The Tacoma Pickup - The "Indestructible" Truck by Toyota
The Toyota Tacoma has been the best selling compact pickup truck in the United States for years. In fact, in 2010, the "indestructible" pickup, as many loyal owners call it, sold more than 106,000 units, nearly double the units sold by its closest competitor. An interesting fact that most folks aren't aware of is that Tacomas were used by Special Forces of the U.S. Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. Their model of choice was the Double Cab, with SR5 (Sport Rally 5-speed) and TRD (Toyota Racing Development) packages. Even the U.S. Army found them to be "indestructible!"
The Toyota Tacoma, named after the City of Tacoma, in Washington State, has been produced since 1995. It fell into the compact pickup segment until the 2005 model year, when it was reclassified to a mid-size truck. This second generation Tacoma was awarded Motor Trend Magazine's Truck of the Year for 2005. There are currently four models of Tacoma available-- the X-Runner, Regular Cab, Access Cab, & Double Cab.
Exterior of the Tacoma
As you walk up to the front of the new 2015 Tacoma, the differences between the 2011 and 2015 are quite noticeable. You can easily see every panel on the front end has been revamped. The headlights have a new updated "sculpted" look. The grille and bumper now share a similar appearance to Tacoma's big brother, the Tundra. The front bumper features integrated fog lights mounted in a more rectangle inset. The hood has been reshaped and offers much better visibility.
Interior of the Tacoma
As you open the driver's door, you'll notice the newly designed door trim and seat fabric. When you get behind the new "high-end" steering wheel with available integrated volume and multimedia controls, you'll see a new high contrast black center console unit and sleeker instrument cluster design. The biggest hi-tech upgrade for 2015 is Toyota's available "Entune" multimedia system. The Tacoma Double Cab V6 model will be one of Toyota's first vehicles to feature this new system. Entune is simply a collection of apps and data services that bring you things like Pandora Radio, Bing, real time traffic, weather and fuel prices. When your Smartphone is connected, all of the features can be operated by "hands-free" voice recognition or your vehicle controls. Navigation is also now available on Tacoma as well.
Tacoma's Mechanical Info
Engine choices for 2015 are the same as they were for the 2011 model year. A 2.7-liter I4 is standard, creating 159 hp and 180 lb ft of torque at 3800 rpm. The optional V6 delivers a hearty 236-hp and 266 lb ft of torque at 4000 rpm. Both engines get advanced variable valve timing. The V6 can be ordered with either a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic. The four-cylinder model gets either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic.
Safety and the Tacoma
Besides having a complete comprehensive airbag system, every 2015 Tacoma comes standard with the "Star Safety System". A group of six advanced safety features designed to help drivers stay in control of the vehicle at all times.This system includes:
- Vehicle Stability Control
- Traction Control
- Anti Lock Brakes
- Electronic Brake Force Distribution
- Brake Assist
- Smart Stop Technology
Toyota Truck History
Toyota first entered the pickup truck market in 1947 with the "SB" that was only sold in Japan and some limited Asian markets. It was followed up in 1954 by the "RK" which was renamed the "Stout" in 1959. In 1968 the compact "Hilux" was produced. After years of continued refinement, the Hilux became well known for being extremely durable and reliable. Depending on your age, you may recall seeing some of these trucks around in the late 1970s. Some are still on the road today with over 300,000 miles!