Toyota Tacoma: The Best-Selling Midsize Truck in the US is Better than Ever
Toyota has been making trucks since the early years of the brand, and has been selling their popular small trucks in the US since the late 1960's. Until 1995, Toyota simply called their small truck a "Toyota Pickup". Not very creative to be sure, but they were intended to be functional small trucks and not much more. One thing that Toyota may not have counted on however, was the fact that Americans love their pickup trucks. So, as the popularity grew, perhaps Toyota felt it was about time they gave their truck a name - and in 1995, the Toyota Tacoma was born.
If you're a truck person (or even if you're not), you're no doubt familiar with the Tacoma. As the best-selling and number one rated mid-sized pickup in the US, almost everyone knows it. With legendary Toyota quality, durability and resale value, the Tacoma is hard to beat. It has grown in almost every way since its 1995 debut, including in size, power, popularity and available body styles. One thing that's remained the same though, is the Tacoma's reputation as a tough and durable truck.
Body Styles and Trim Levels
Toyota has recognized a need for different cab configurations to meet the varied uses that truck owners have for their trucks. With a regular cab, an extended cab and a crew cab available, there's something for everyone. Add to that the fact that Toyota makes a variety of trim packages for the Tacoma, and you'll see why they say there's a Tacoma for just about everyone.
Once you've decided on a body style, you have to choose whether you're satisfied with a base model or want to step up to the SR-5 trim. The SR-5 gives you more standard features, and access to options that the base model doesn't. If you still need more, try the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) package and see all the goodies that version adds. For off-road or street enthusiasts, the PreRunner or X-Runner trim packages will get you just about anything you could want for your chosen terrain.
As you can see, there are quite a lot of choices available for configuring a Tacoma to suit your tastes. And options packages include four-wheel drive, bench or bucket seats, a sunroof, 4- or 6-cylinder engine, a sport-tuned or off-road suspension and the list goes on.
Tacoma Powertrain and Performance
For powering your Tacoma, there is a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine that can be configured with most of the body styles - for better fuel economy without sacrificing choice. A 4-liter V6 with 236-hp is available in just about every body-style as well, depending on trim level. Paired with your engine selection is either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy for the 4-cylinder engine is fairly good at 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The V6 gets around 17 and 21 respectively.
Tacoma's safety rating based on government crash tests is a top-rated five stars, and the IIHS gives its best rating as well. The Toyota Tacoma remains one of the best truck values in the US market today. With all of its extra features and the ability to almost custom configure your truck, we predict the Tacoma will remain a top choice for years to come.