The Toyota Tacoma is consistently among the best-selling midsize pickups in the class. Introduced in 1995, the Tacoma offers standard rear-wheel drive, available four-wheel drive, and three cab configurations, depending on the model year. Short- and long-bed layouts are also offered.
2016 to Present: Toyota Tacoma
The third-generation Toyota Tacoma made its debut for 2016. It’s based on the same footprint as the second-generation Tacoma, although numerous construction changes, a fresh interior and a new V6 engine choice are offered.
The Tacoma is available in extended (Access) and crew cab (Double Cab) configurations. Standard rear-wheel drive and available four-wheel drive models can be had. Two available bed lengths measure roughly 5 and 6 feet long.
As always, the Toyota Tacoma projects a rugged presence, with the current generation featuring a large, gaping grille enhanced by three horizontal slats. There are some variations on the grille design depending on the trim level. Each model is marked by flared headlight assemblies and distinct pockets housing the available fog lamps. Four-wheel drive models add front and rear skid plates.
Each model has slab sides magnified by deeply arched wheel wells. Character lines and body sculpting are also present. From the rear, all models feature beds with storage compartments as well as a lockable and removable tailgate. A step bumper and “Tacoma” debossing are also present.
Steel wheels are standard and alloy wheels are available. All models come with a sliding rear window. A hard, tri-fold tonneau cover is available.
Inside, the Tacoma’s cabin offers room for four in the Access Cab and five in the Double Cab. Fabric-trimmed seats are standard and leather upholstery is available. Bucket seats up front are standard on all models. Access models come with a pair of rear jump seats. The Double Cab has a flip up rear bench seat.
A new feature for the third-generation Tacoma is Crawl Control, which allows the four-wheel drive Tacoma to take over acceleration and braking at speeds of up to 5 mph. The driver can then concentrate on steering while navigating a rocky output or when ascending or descending a hill.
Standard equipment across the model line includes a USB port, Bluetooth, a backup camera and a touch-screen audio system. Packages or trim level upgrades bring in satellite radio, push-button start and navigation. A 120-volt bed-mounted power outlet is available for plugging in household electronics.
The standard engine for the third-generation Toyota Tacoma is a 2.7-liter, four-cylinder making 159 horsepower. It comes paired with a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. Also available is a 278-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine that comes paired with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.
Earlier Toyota Tacoma Models
The first-generation Toyota Tacoma was built from 1995 to 2004; the second-generation model was built from 2005 to 2015.
Those initial Tacoma models were available in regular and extended cabs. In 2001, the extended cab models were renamed Xtra cab and a four-door Double Cab was introduced. The three-cab arrangement continued through the first generation model’s run.
Upon its release, the Toyota Tacoma offered three engine choices: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine and a 3.4-liter V6. All three engines are paired with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission.
Introduced for 2005, the second-generation Toyota Tacoma offered regular, Access and Double Cab body styles. A 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine is standard, which generates 159 horsepower and comes paired with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. An available 236-horsepower, 4.0-liter V6 engine comes mated to a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic.