When it comes to pick-up trucks, mid-size and full-size, we, the Americans, are the best at it – that’s how it’s always been. Ever since the F-150 hit the shelves during the Great Depression, Ford has been the king of the off-roading, hauling, towing and then some. Chevrolet, a General Motors subsidiary, is also one of the best in business, and right now we’ve got the Silverado and the Colorado going heavy on the market. So, what does that have to do with the Toyota Tacoma, exactly? It has everything to do with it, my friends! Back in the day the Ford Ranger used to rule the segment of mid-size trucks, however, Toyota, a Japanese company, managed to outrun the Blue Oval Brand and ended up dominating the mid-sizers for the last couple of decades. And it’s not a joke, fellas: to beat the Yanks at their own game you gotta pack a mean punch, a mighty kick and use your brains a lot, otherwise you’ll get stranded on the side of the road. However, as we all know today, the Yanks are defeated, fair and square. Besides, have you ever been on a Toyota Tacoma off-road journey? It’s a blast, believe me. The wind in your hair (with the windows open, that is), the dirt on your wheels, the engine roaring…man, I could do this for a living, you know?
Chevy Silverado Vs Toyota Tacoma
Alright, so, the smartest folks might’ve already guessed that our hero today is the Toyota Tacoma – the best-selling, the most popular and simply the greatest mid-size truck on the planet. In this article we’ll talk about buying a used Toyota Tacoma, the new Toyota Tacoma redesign (finally, yo!), the Toyota Tacoma Baja edition, the 2005 – 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, and a bunch of other exciting stuff. Stick around, people, it’s going to be a joyful ride (joyful, in a truck?) and I bet you’ll learn a lot about the Tacoma and find out what is it exactly a chart-topper, a big-time money-maker and quite frankly a fine piece of art. Now, before we dig in and start crackin’, I wanna say a few words about the traditional Batman vs Superman dilemma: one of the most popular comparisons on the Internet is, of course, the Chevy Colorado vs Toyota Tacoma, as this is the mightiest competitor on the market of mid-sizers from the Generals. I gotta say that this one is as close to the pedestal as they come, and if you’re a sucker for all the latest technological features, impressive fuel-efficiency and a more American-style design, then the Colorado might as well be your pick.
Toyota Tacoma Vs Nissan Frontier Vs GMC Canyon
On the other hand, if you’re all about that off-road glory, class-leading durability, reliability and legacy, then you’re better off with a nice Toyota Tacoma (wait, did I just call it nice?!) Check out my article if you want to know all the pros and cons of the two trucks. Other folks love to compare Toyota Tacoma to Nissan Frontier, but I don’t really think it’s a fair fight, because, let’s face it: Tacoma is a king, while the Frontier is not even a princess. You think that’s harsh? Maybe, but that’s how the industry works these days, folks! I still gotta say that right now we’ve got General Motors striking the market hard with the brand-new GMC Canyon and the redesigned Colorado. I’m not saying that the Toyota Tacoma is going to be overthrown, but it’s safe to say that the competition in 2016 will be one hell of a spectacle for us all to enjoy. If you’re interested in an intelligent discussion about the mid-size class-leader in full details, go to and share you own personal thoughts, predictions and forecasts about the future of the model, the segment and the automobile industry as a whole. You’ll find valuable info on the latest 2016 Toyota Tacoma, all the Toyota Tacoma accessories (yep, it’s got some, even though it’s a rough-touch pick-up truck), and more.
Not Just Your Regular Truck
Ok, NOW it’s time to talk history, my friends, and track Toyota’s movements for the last 2 decades to try and understand why is it the greatest one to ever do it. Don’t worry, we’ll also talk about Toyota Tacoma towing, Toyota Tacoma mileage, the Horsepower, the acceleration, the exterior/interior design – all of that. Oh, and remember: there’s no Toyota Tacoma SUV out there – never was, and I hope that never will be. Besides, you’ve got the 4Runner – an exceptionally great SUV that’s got pretty much the same grille as the Tacoma, so, don’t get it twisted. By the way, did you know that the Tacoma earned the Truck of the Year award from Motor Trend back in 2005 (that’s one of the most respected and trusted sources, my friends)? Yep, Toyota has always been getting top-class awards from all around the world, so, this shouldn’t come to you as a surprise. As for the world-wide domination, the 2015 Toyota Tacoma is available here in the Unites States, in Canada, Mexico, Chile, and a couple of other North/South American countries. Right, on with the story, then!
Getting Acquainted – The First Generation Tacoma (1995-2004)
Alright, so, the first Toyota Tacoma for sale became available 20 years ago – in March 1995. It was introduced to the world in February, as a replacement for the good-old Hilux, which was known on the American market as the Toyota Pickup (yep, as simple as that). Compared to the predecessor, the Tacoma was designed, engineered and built with one goal in mind: to create a far more comfortable, safe and enjoyable truck, with extra attention to the ride quality, handling and behavior on the city streets, as opposed to making it a workhorse with a high payload capacity and towing might. And hey, if you still didn’t “dig” the somewhat “Spartan” cabin, you could go with a Toyota Tacoma custom interior. The new design was intended for the North American market and Toyota wanted to make it more appealing to the US and Canadian pick-up truck fans. The thing is, we love our compact/mid-sized trucks fun, cozy and “civilized” and we generally buy them as personal vehicles. You know, for riding around town, driving to work, going shopping – that sort of thing – not as much for off-road adventures (even though we do like to roll in the mud, the desert and the blizzard) and commercial, agricultural and all kinds of other business use. So, there you have it – the difference between the American-Canadian and the worldwide markets.
The Original Toyota Tacoma HP And Mileage
The new Toyota Tacoma was in development since ’89, following the start of the 5th generation Toyota Pickup. Design and engineering was done in California (at Calty Design Research) during the 1990-1992 period, with the final exterior design, offered by Kevin Hunter, being frozen for production in ’92. Right from the start the Toyota Tacoma was available with 3 engines to pick from: the first engine was a 2.4-lit 4-cyl unit, good for 142 Horsepower and 160 pound-feet of torque. The second unit was a 2.7-lit 4-cylinder, capable of 150HP and 177 lb-ft of torque (so, not really that stronger), while the mightiest one was a 3.4-lit V6 engine, pumping out 190 Horses and 220 pound-feet of torque. So, that’s the original Toyota Tacoma HP in numbers for y’all. As for the Toyota Tacoma mileage, the entry-level engine returned 29 miles per gallon in combined driving, the 2.7-liter returned 26MPG, and the V6 was good for 22MPG. Furthermore, you had a choice between a manual and an automatic transmission. And yes, that was the traditional silver Toyota Tacoma that we all fell in love with. The white, blue and red paints came a bit later.
The First Turbocharged Pack
I bet you didn’t know this, but the 1996 Toyota Tacoma was available with a TRD supercharged 3.4-lit V6 pumping out 254BHP and 270 pound-feet of torque (don’t confuse it with the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, though). As for the Toyota Tacoma Prerunner, the first ever edition hit the shelved in ’97 (in July, to be exact). In terms of design, it was pretty similar to the Toyota Tacoma 4×4 models of that era, offering the same frame, styling, front/rear suspension parts, selection of engines, and more. Plus,it also could be upgraded with the TRD Off-Road package. And get this: the Prerunners and the 4×4 traditional Tacomas were so much alike in construction, frame and design, that you could easily use stock Toyota Tacoma Parts to transform the Prerunner into a four-x-four. So, how did the Tacoma did in the first couple of years after the release? Well, it did exceptionally good! The majority of buyers were young, energetic people (men, I would presume), who really loved the Japanese giant’s design, reliability and off-road-friendliness. The first cosmetic facelift happened in 1997, while the second one came around with the 2000 Toyota Tacoma. Mechanically-speaking, the customers got distributorless ignitions in ’96 and longer back springs in ’97.
The Extended Cab And The Crew Cab Toyota Tacoma
Yusuke Fukushima, a talented designer, introduced the Crew Cab Toyota Tacoma in October 2000, which featured 4 doors, while the extended cabs were still packed with 2 doors. The Toyota Tacoma Extended Cab 4×4 was “packed” with a 6.-foot bed (that’s 2 meters); the crew cab, in turn, featured a 5-foot-5-inch (1.65 meters bed. So, that’s early Toyota Tacoma dimensions for you, folks. I gotta say that a lot of the potential customers were kinda upset with the small crew cab beds, but that was a common practice among mid-size trucks back in the day. With the 2000 Toyota Tacoma the Japanese giant also introduced the S-Runner trim package that was equipped with a 3.4-lit V6, 16-inch alloy wheels and a 5-speed manual transmission. Fun fact: the company put a limit on these once and for the September2000-August2004 period was producing only 200 units a year. I guess they were a bit unsure about how the public would react to it and decided to play it slow – that was a smart move. The 2001 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner Double Cab debuted a year later, with little to no changes.
The PreRunner, The 02 Tacoma And A Boost In Sales
The traditional 2002 Toyota Tacoma was pretty much the same as the previous two editions, so, nothing fancy and exciting there. However, the Toyota Tacoma 02 was quite a solid model and as far as the Toyota Tacoma used models go, this one could be a sweat deal for you on the market of pre-owned cars. Despite the fact that it’s about 15 years old, it’s still pretty great to own. Alright, back to it: the 2003 Toyota Tacoma – surprisingly enough – saw a huge boost in sales of 16.5% as compared to the previous years. In the next few years, the Japanese mid-size truck managed to become even bigger (in terms of popularity and demand, that is), and by 2004 Toyota Tacoma was able to beat the rivaling Dodge Dakota and Nissan Frontier; but the mighty Ford Ranger was 2.2% ahead – still, the #2 spot was more than enough for Toyota to pop that champagne. Fun fact: back in 2008 Toyota announced a fifteen-year, unlimited mileage-corrosion warranty for the 1995-2000 editions because of the bad rustproofing and flaws with frame corrosion in about 800K trucks. The company offered to either repair the troubled models or buy them back for 1.5x of the KBB retail value – pretty sweat, right? The 2001-2004 editions followed shortly. Furthermore, in 2012 (November 21), they recalled 150K Tacoma Toyota pick-ups from that same 2001-2004 period (the spare tire was the weak spot – it could just fall off in the middle of the road, which was a bad flaw :)).
Going For World Domination – The Second Generation Tacoma (2004-2015)
In 2000, with the beginning of the century, Toyota started working on the second generation. Chief engineer was Mr. Chikuo Kubota and much of the development work (the studies, the concepts, the tries-and-errors) was done by Hino in hometown, Japan. By the way, in case you were wonderinh, Hino was a big deal and won the international design competition (yep, there is one) back in 2001. The first prototypes were manufactured in 2003. And the company revealed the new, bigger, better and stronger Tacoma on February 4, 2004 at the Chicago Auto Show. The new generation was available – drum roll please – not in one, not in two, but in 18 different configurations, including 3 cab configurations, 2 engines, 4 transmissions and 2 bed lengths. Yep, quite the pack, if you ask me. So, if you wanted to buy Toyota Tacoma 4×4 edition, you had tons of setups to choose from. Cab-wise, the company offered a regular cab, an access cab and a double cab. As for the transmission, the shoppers had to pick between a four-speed automatic, a five-speed automatic, a five-speed manual, and a 6-speed manual transmission. The beds, as mentioned above, came in two lengths: a short one, 5ft (1.5 meters), and a long one, 6ft (1.8 meters), which was more than enough.
The Arrival Of The Toyota Tacoma X-Runner
The 2005 Toyota Tacoma switched the old 3.4-lit V6 for a new 4.0-lit V6 engine that was much stronger, good for 236 Horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. The second-gen Toyota Tacoma towing capacity was good for 6.5K pounds, with a payload capacity of 1.65K pounds. The smaller engine, the 2.7-lit 4-cylinder, that was standard for the entry-level trims, was capable of 159HP and 180 lb-ft of torque. Right around the same time the Japanese major let go of the average-selling S Runner edition from the previous years and rolled in with the brand-new Toyota Tacoma X-Runner. This trim was powered by the 4.0-lit V6 and mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. Plus, it featured 18-inch alloy wheels (2 inches lower from the factory model) and had the X-Brace suspension package. Furthermore, the models that were packed with the TRD (Toyota Racing Development) Off-Road package also got the DAC (Down-Hill Assist Control) and the HAC (Hill-Start Assist Control) equipment. A quick explanation: DAC automatically kicks the breaks in when the truck is coming down a hill/mountain/higher ground, while HAC prevents it from rolling back on those hills. Nowadays a used Toyota Tacoma X Runner is still in large demand, partially because it’s been around for 10+ years and the gearheads love that stuff. If you’re one of them, you’ll get it.
Building Up On The Already Amazing Truck
The 2006 Toyota Tacoma was a bit different from the previous edition and made some optional features/equipment standard, however, the 2006 Toyota Tacoma MPG estimates remained the same – not that it’s really important for a pick-up truck, but still, there you have it. The 2007 Toyota Tacoma introduced two new interior colors, and that was it! What, you think that’s not enough? Well, how about the 2008 Toyota Tacoma – that one was a 100% copy of the previous edition! But, for 2009 the truck received a couple of safety features and the mechanical limited slip differential was no longer available. The second-gen Tacomas were assembled here in the States (Fremont, California) and in Mexico (Tijuana). But in 2009 the company claimed it was going to relocate production to Texas (San-Antonio). The 2009 Toyota Tacoma received a minor facelift, with a slightly different front grille and new LED taillights. The Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport, Offfoad and X-Runner got some unique updates as well. Furthermore, 4 new exterior colors were made available and the Access/Double Cab editions got 2 new ceiling-mounted speakers and a backup monitor.
Moving To Texas And Improving The Truck
With the 2010 Toyota Tacoma production officially moved to Texas and the mid-sizer was to be manufactured along with the elder brother – the Tundra. The great migration opened up about 1K new jobs in San Antonio. As for the 2012 Toyota Tacoma, the truck received yet another facelift, including a restyled front, new headlights, grille and a new interior (plus a shark fin antenna for satellite radio). The 2013 Toyota Tacoma featured a touch-screen audio-system and let go of that antenna (the available Entune package brought it back, though). If you’re interested in the 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport price, I’m happy to say that you can get it for 7-9K, which, in my opinion, is a bargain. The 2014 Toyota Tacoma was literally the same as the previous model, except it introduced the SR trim. The price for Toyota Tacoma 2014 remained – yep, you guessed it right – the same. Now, before we move up to the third generation, let me tell you a few things about the safety equipment and the line-up of packages.
The Safety Equipment And The TRD Packages
The Tacoma comes standard with electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist and anti-lock brakes. The Star Safety System was introduced in 2009 that adds Vehicle Stability Control and traction control. Plus, the side curtain and side torso airbags became standard, as do active head restraints. And with all that equipment the Toyota Tacoma got a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS (the greatest organization that runs all kinds of crush tests). Now let’s talk about the packages: for the second gen, Tacoma was offered in 2 TRD packages – Sport and Off-Road. The first one was all about improved on-road performance, while the second one, the Off-Road was more suited for – aha, you guessed it – fans of off-road adventures. Both were available in 2WD and 4WD. Furthermore, from 2010 to 2014 the Toyota Tacoma Baja Edition was introduced as well. The packaged was equipped with lifted suspension (Eibach springs and TRD Blistien coil-overs) upfront and TRD Bilstien reservoir shocks around back. So, if you’re a fan of Toyota Tacoma lifted trucks, the Baja version might just be what you’ve been looking for. Besides, it’s not called the Toyota Tacoma Limited package for nothing…Plus, there was a stainless steel TRD exhaust for y’all auto enthusiasts. Alright, that’s all I wanted to tell you folks about the Safety Equipment and the different packages offered with the second generation Toyota Tacoma, so that you don’t get confused (and it’s pretty easy to do that).
Finally – The Third Generation (2015 – Present Day)
The Toyota Tacoma 2015 was officially introduced at the Detroit Auto Show 2015 in January, with the new gen hitting the dealerships in September the same year. The exterior profile has been improved a lot, borrowing styling tips and tricks from the friendly 4Runner SUV and the 2014 Tundra, boasting a much more edgy, aggressive and in-your-face look with a bigger grille and new headlamps. If you want to see who’s boss – Tacoma of Tundra – check out my extensive review. The rear end and the bed were updated too, giving the truck a fresh new look. Under the hood the new Tacoma could be packed with either the 2.7-lit 4-cyl engine, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission or the 3.5-lit V6, which – first time in history of pick-up trucks – is running on the Atkinson cycle. Crazy, huh?
Toyota Tacoma 2015 – Dropping Weight And Gaining Power
Yep, you could say that the Tacoma was turned into a hybrid! The output of this new powertrain was capable of 236HP and 266 pound-feet of torque. As for fuel-efficiency, the 2015 Toyota Tacoma returned 21 miles on the highway and 19MPG in the city (19MPG combined). The towing capacity was improved to 6.8K pounds. Furthermore, Toyota upgraded the frame, adding more high-strength steel, which allowed to drop some weight and make the truck more rigid. The suspensions and rear differentials/axle were updated as well, making the truck more road-friendly, while still keeping it off-road-ready. Trim-wise, the new Toyota Tacoma 2015 was offered with a choice between five, including the entry-level SR, the mid-level SR5, TRD Off Road, TRD Sport and the ultimate trim – Limited. As for the cabs, the shoppers had a choice between the Access Cab and the Double Cab, with the long/short beds. The good-old Regular Cab was dropped from the third generation, though. I’m not actually sure why they did that, but I’m not even mad.
New Features, New Equipment, A New Interior
The interior went through some significant changes as well and became almost luxurious, with a bigger touch screen display, a new instrumental panel, dual-zone climate control, soft-touch materials instead of the old hard plastic, and more. Now, even though the 2015 edition remained largely the same as 10 years ago, all that stuff we just discussed made it one hell of a pick-up truck. That 4-cylinder offered decent fuel-efficiency, while the V6 made it one of the fastest modern-day mid-sizers. By the way, the TRD TX Baja was replaced with the TRD Pro package, which is like the ultimate off-road beast straight from your dreams. And even the entry-level 2015 Toyota Tacoma access cab offered tons of features and equipment to feel in control and up-to-date. If you wanna learn more about all the different trims, go to.
Toyota Tacoma 2016 – The Current Edition
Now, if you think that the Japanese had enough changes for 2 years, you’re wrong. The Toyota Tacoma 2016 has been fully redesigned and is all-new and fresh this year. Suffice it to say that if you’ve been a fan of the previous Toyota trucks. This one will be right up your alley. Plus, you’ll get a GoPro mount coming standard for those off-road crazy stories to become alive on your camera. Furthermore, the interior features a new design, with the latest infotainment system with a touch screen interface, and more. As for the powertrain, the 2.7-lit 4-cylinder is still available, while the noisy and rough 4.0-lit V6 has been replaced by a far smoother and economical unit. So, you’ll get more horses (278 in total, a 40+ boost as compared to the 2015 edition) and 265 pound-feet of torque. Mileage is improved on as well: the Toyota Tacoma 2016 returns 24 miles on the highway and 19mpg in the city (21mpg combined). All that makes the latest Tacoma a most desirable mid-size truck, even though you’ve got mighty competition in the name of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, mentioned above. Ok, that’s it for the all-new 2016 Toyota Tacoma changes. Again, it’s a mean buster, believe me on that. And with the TRD Pro you’ll get a serious off-road champ in your hands. And I highly recommend checking out my article to get yourself even more familiarized with the latest Toyota Tacoma to date.
Toyota Tacoma 2017 – Coming Soon
Now, if you’re all about peaking into the future and discussing the not-even-available-yet models, go to and read about everything that’s currently known about the upcoming release. Toyota is getting ready to introduce even more exciting stuff with the Toyota Tacoma 2017. So, if you’ve been saving that hard-earned money ever since the 2014 edition, waiting for a TRULY new mid-sizer from the Japanese giant, I’d say wait for the new hustler to hit the streets later this year. The heads at Toyota are exceptionally smart and they are constantly holding that magical balance between keeping folks interested and excited and delivering at the right moment, so that we get what we want just when we are thinking about losing our interest. That’s a mighty talent, and my guess is that’s what they’re doing with the 2017 Tacoma. Besides, the 2015 and the 2016 editions incorporated a lot of changes and a lot means A LOT when it comes to the Tacoma, you know? Alright, that’s pretty much what I can say at this moment. Again, check out the article, read it through and through and tell me what y’all think in the comments. I’ll even accept the harshest, most negative feedback :).
Toyota Tacoma For Sale
Ok, my friends, this is our last stop today! We’ve talked about the history of the legendary mid-size truck from the early days up to the upcoming 2017 edition. So, at the end I want to talk about buying a brand-new or a pre-owned model. Now, if you type in something like Toyota Tacoma For Sale Miami, you’ll get tons of web-sites, both with the official Toyota dealerships (they’ve got a lot of them over there) and places like CarGurus.com, KBB.com and such that are offering vehicles from private owners. The same is true if you search Google for Toyota Tacomas for sale in Utah, in Chicago, in New-York – whatever. It’s a universal rule, and the one thing that you gotta keep in your head is you can’t go cheap when buying a used car, because you might just end up with a bad purchase. Buying brand-new is easy. But if you want to save a bit and go with an older edition, like maybe a 2001 Toyota Tacoma, or something fresher, like the 2012-14 edition, you have to use your head and do an extensive research, otherwise the sellers will make a fool out of you (not necessarily, but they might).
Go With Your Mind And Your Heart
Now, this is a legendary truck we’re talking about. So, you won’t have any problems finding an owner who’s putting for sale Toyota Tacoma 4×4 or a Toyota Tacoma double cab lifted (yep, the customized one), the TRD Pro edition, the X-Runner – pretty much any edition, model, trim level, package you could think of in your city/state. I’ll say it again: be smart about it, always double-check and don’t buy a truck just because the seller is a nice guy or he says you’ll love it. You gotta feel the connection first, you know? Besides, make sure to request all the legal papers and don’t buy it unless you’re 100% confident. That’s it, my friends – see ya!
Check out this video: MotorWeek | Road Test: 2016 Toyota Tacoma