The Toyota Tacoma is a pickup truck manufactured in the U.S. by the Japanese automobile manufacturer Toyota since 1995. The first generation Tacoma, model years 1995½ through 2004, was classified as a compact pickup. The second generation, model years 2005 through 2015, and third generation, in production since 2015, are classified as mid-size pickups and are produced in the U.S. and Mexico. The Tacoma was Motor Trend Magazine'sTruck of the Year for 2005.
As of 2015, the Toyota Tacoma is sold in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Panama, Bolivia, Bermuda, and the French territory of New Caledonia.
The Tacoma was introduced in the US in February 1995 (March 1995 market launch) as a replacement for the Hilux, which prior to this was marketed in the US under the name Toyota Pickup. Compared with the Hilux, the Tacoma is engineered with a greater priority on ride quality, handling, comfort, and safety over ruggedness and payload capacity. The design is intended to better suit the needs of the US and Canadian pickup truck market, where pickup trucks, particularly compact and mid-sized models, are often used as personal vehicles, and less exclusively for commercial, agricultural, and off road use. The name was derived from the Coast Salish peoples' name for Mt. Rainier in Washington state.
Development began in 1989, following launch of the fifth generation Toyota Pickup in late 1988 and concluded in 1994. Design work was done at Calty Design Research in California from 1990 to 1992, when Kevin Hunter's exterior design proposal was chosen in the autumn of 1991 and in final form, frozen for production in 1992. Patents for the production design were filed in Japan in April 1993 and October 28, 1993 in the United States.
There were a total of three engines available for the Toyota Tacoma:
2.4 L four-cylinder rated at 142 hp (106 kW) and 160 lb⋅ft (217 N⋅m) of torque
2.7 L four-cylinder rated at 150 hp (112 kW) and 177 lb⋅ft (240 N⋅m) of torque
3.4 L V6 rated at 190 hp (142 kW) and 220 lb⋅ft (298 N⋅m) of torque.
The 2.4 L gave 29 miles per US gallon (8.1 L/100 km; 35 mpg‑imp) (highway cycle), the 2.7 L gave 26 miles per US gallon (9.0 L/100 km; 31 mpg‑imp) (highway), and the 3.4 L delivered 22 miles per US gallon (11 L/100 km; 26 mpg‑imp) (highway ).
Two-wheel drive Tacomas (non-PreRunner models) had 5-stud wheel lug patterns and available with the 2.4L or 3.4L. Automatic and manual transmissions were available. Four-wheel drive and PreRunner Tacomas had six-stud wheel lug patterns and were available with the 2.7L and 3.4L engines. All PreRunner and all Double Cab models were only available with an automatic transmission for the first generation while the regular cab and Xtracab four-wheel drive was available with either a manual transmission or automatic transmission.
The truck's frame is fully boxed until immediately after the rear leaf spring mount bracket where it transitions into a c-frame section. The 3.4 V6's manual transmission was an R150F while the automatic transmission was an A340F (Aisin code is 30-40LE). The aftermarket TRD supercharged 3.4L V6 produced 254 bhp (189 kW) and 270 lb⋅ft (366 N⋅m). From 1997 on, the regular cabs was only available with a 2.4L or a 2.7L 4-cylinder. The TRD Off-Road package was introduced in 1998. This package added a locking rear differential and was only available to PreRunner and four-wheel drive models that were equipped with a V6.
In its first couple years of production the Tacoma sold very well, attracting many young buyers. The first generation Tacoma underwent a minor headlight upgrade from recessed to flush headlights in October 1996 on 2WD models and a total of two cosmetic facelifts: the first in July 1997, and the second in October 2000. The facelifts mainly entailed grilles (model year MY1998 and 2001) and tailgate badging and emblems (MY1998). Mechanical changes included a switch to distributorless ignitions (coil-on-plug) in 1996 and in 1997 longer rear leaf springs. A passenger-side air bag was added in July 1997, and the driver's side air bag (standard from 1995 launch) was "depowered". Most 4x4 models came with Toyota's Automatic Differential Disconnect (ADD) system after the 2000 model year.
The PreRunner model was introduced for the 1998 model year. The PreRunner is a two-wheel drive that shares the same taller suspension and lug pattern as the four-wheel drive. Along with the four-wheel drive model, it was also available with the TRD Off-Road Package that included a locking rear differential, also introduced in 1998.
Designed through 1998 (by Yusuke Fukushima) as part of the MY2001 facelift (patented on September 22, 1998 at Japan Patent Office under #0890798) was a new crew cab (four-door) model added to the lineup in October 2000. The crew cab, officially dubbed as the Double Cab model, featured four doors and Tokico gas shocks, while the extended cabs still opened with two doors and used Bilstein shocks. The extended cab featured a 6 ft (1.8 m) bed while the crew cab featured a 5-foot-5-inch (1.65 m) bed. Many customers were upset with small crew cab beds, but most competitors shared this shortcoming.
In October 2000, along with the front facelift, Toyota had also unveiled an S-Runner trim package which included the 3.4-liter V6 engine. It came with 16-inch (410 mm) alloy wheels, and a 5-speed manual transmission with Tokico gas shocks. There were only 800 produced each month from September 2000 to August 2004. By 2003 the Tacoma had gained 16.5 percent sales from its previous years. The Tacoma's popularity only increased in the next few years. By 2004 it was ahead of the Nissan Frontier, and Dodge Dakota, but still 2.2 percent behind in sales to the Ford Ranger.
In 2008, Toyota proactively announced a 15-year, unlimited mileage corrosion warranty for 1995-2000 model years due to inadequate rustproofing and frame corrosion issues affecting over 800,000 Tacomas. Toyota will either repair the frame or buyback the truck for 1.5 times its KBB retail value. This was later extended to include 2001-2004 model years, but in these cases when a frame was found to be rusty to the point of perforation, the frame is replaced with a new one instead of a buy back.
On November 21, 2012, Toyota recalled about 150,000 Tacoma mid-size pickup trucks from the model years 2001 to 2004 that were sold primarily in 20 cold-weather U.S. states. The recall involves the spare tire and how it could fall off.
In 2000, Toyota began development of the second generation Tacoma under chief engineer Chikuo Kubota. The majority of development work was handled by Hino in Japan. Designers Shigeya Hattori and Hideo Karikomi of Hino, won the internal design competition in 2001. Final designs were frozen for production in 2002 and patents filed on July 3, 2003, with test mules being tested from early 2003. Prototypes were built later in 2003, with development ending in the second quarter of 2004.
On February 4, 2004 at the Chicago Auto Show, Toyota unveiled a bigger and more powerful Tacoma. This new Tacoma was available in eighteen different configurations, that included three cab configurations, four transmissions, two engines, and two bed lengths. The three cab configurations consist of regular cab, access cab, and double cab. The transmissions come in 4-speed automatic, 5-speed automatic, 5-speed manual, and 6-speed manual. Beds are: 6 ft (1.8 m) long bed, and 5 ft (1.5 m) short bed. The Tacoma's 4.0-liter 1GR-FE V6 took the place of the original 3.4-liter 5VZ-FE V6. The new V6 had many enhancements, such as a tow rating of 6,500 lb (2,948 kg), and a payload capacity of 1,650 lb (748 kg). It produces 236 horsepower (176 kW) and 266 lb⋅ft (361 N⋅m) of torque. The smaller, but all-new 2.7-liter 2TR-FE 4-cylinder alternative in less expensive models is rated at 159 hp (119 kW) and 180 lb⋅ft (244 N⋅m). of torque.
Toyota also introduced an X-Runner trim, which replaces the slow selling S-Runner trim from the previous generation. The X-Runner features the 1GR-FE paired to a six-speed manual transmission, 18 in (457 mm) alloy wheels, is lowered two inches from the factory and included an X-Brace suspension package. Toyota also included a Down-Hill Assist Control (DAC) and Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC), with models that were equipped with the optional Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Off-Road package. DAC automatically applies braking during downhill descents while HAC prevents the vehicle from rolling backwards on hills. A rear locking differential, or limited-slip differential were also some optional features. Every Tacoma was manufactured with a composite inner bed that includes a deck rail system with four tie down cleats, hook-pins, storage boxes. TRD package equipped Tacomas also feature an in-bed 115 V/400 W AC power outlet. The tie down cleats are rated to hold up to 220 lb (100 kg).
The 2006 model Tacoma was a bit different from the 2005 model. The 2006 model made some options standard. Toyota also added 2 new interior colors for the 2007 model year. 2008 models are carry-ons from 2007. For 2009 safety features were added and the Tacoma no longer offers a mechanical limited slip differential rather an open differential which uses individual wheel braking to simulate a mechanical LSD or "Auto-LSD". TRD off-road models continue to come equipped with a locking rear differential. The second generation Tacomas were assembled in Tijuana, Mexico and Fremont, California while the plastic/composite beds were all built in Mexico. However, in August 2009 Toyota announced that it would relocate Tacoma production from Fremont to San Antonio, Texas.
A minor facelift came for 2009, including a slightly revised grille on some models, new LED taillamps, and on the X-Runner, TRD Offroad and TRD Sport models includes smoked headlamp trim. Auxiliary audio input now comes standard. The Access/Double Cab trucks have two new ceiling mounted speakers and available backup monitor. Four new exterior colors are also added to the Tacoma.
After the bankruptcy of GM, GM ended its joint venture with Toyota. Toyota, needing additional production volume at its Texas and Mississippi plants, ended Corolla and Tacoma production at the Fremont plant. In 2010 all Tacoma production was moved to Toyota's Texas plant in San Antonio. The Tacoma will be built alongside the Tundra. This brought a total of approximately 1,000 new jobs to San Antonio
The 2012 model year refresh featured a restyled front bumper, headlights, grille, hood, new interior and a shark fin antenna for the SiriusXM satellite radio. The 2013 model year comes with touch screen audio system and removes the shark fin antenna and SiriusXM radio capability unless the optional Entune package is installed. 2014 models came with a new SR trim and for 2015 models the regular cab model was discontinued.
In November 2016, Toyota USA settled a class action suit over frame rust, agreeing to inspect and if necessary replace rusted frames on 2005–2010 model year Tacomas, 2007–2008 MY Tundras, and 2005–2008 MY Sequoias in the US and its territories.
SG Automotive manufactures a truck with a similar grille and headlights called the Huanghai Major in China.
2009 model year Tacoma extended cab (US)
2012 model year Tacoma extended cab 4 cylinder (US)
Given the smaller size of pickup trucks in the Tacoma's category, crash testing for these sized trucks lags with how well most full size trucks perform. However, in an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) test of the Tacoma and other small trucks, only the side airbag equipped Tacoma received the highest overall rating of "Good" in the side impact test. The Tacoma also is rated "Good" in the frontal offset crash test. In 2009 with the active head restraints the Tacoma is given the IIHS's Top Safety Pick award.
The Tacoma comes in two TRD packages: Sport and Off-Road. The Sport is targeted more towards improved on-road performance, while the Off-Road is more geared towards the off-road enthusiast. Both are available in 2WD or 4WD, with rear electronic locking differential available only in the Off-Road model. Both variants come with TRD-specific seats, and 400w AC-power inverters mounted in the bed. A TRD supercharger for the 1GR-FE was a dealer-installed option. TRD offered a cold-air intake (CAI) and cat-back exhaust system through Toyota dealerships. Also available are TRD cosmetic accessories such as; aluminum front skid plate, along with shift knobs (A/T and M/T), radiator cap, oil filler cap, and exhaust tip. TRD also sold seat covers for these Tacomas, but only fit the 2005-08 models (09-15 have airbags in the seats, 2005-08 do not).
The TRD Sport package comes in two levels. The first level has a color-matched grille, color-matched front/rear bumpers/door handles/mirrors, and hood with non-functional scoop. Bilstein shocks/struts, stainless steel exhaust tip and aluminum 17" wheels with 265/65r17 tires. The second level includes the above and also adds a towing package (oil and transmission coolers, fan clutch), and heavy-duty high output alternator and battery. The 2005-08 model years came with a mechanical limited slip differential. The 2009-15 model years have an open differential with a brake assisted "automatic limited slip" rear differential, similar to a VSC system.
The TRD Off-Road package includes none of the color-matched body parts (black door handles/mirrors, chrome bumper/grille) or hood scoop from the Sport models, but does have aluminum 16" wheels, Bilstein shocks, skid plates, and electronic locking rear differential. Features include A-TRAC (2009-15), Hill Descent assist (Automatic transmission only) and Hill Start assist (Manual transmission only). Progressive rate springs are included, and smaller diameter sway bars compared to the Sport package which gives the Off-Road more wheel articulation and a smoother ride but allows for more body roll. The towing package upgrades the battery, alternator, fan clutch, and includes oil/transmission coolers (same as the Sport). All-Terrain tires (265/70r16) and a heavy duty front tow hook complete the package.
TRD Extreme or T/X Baja
From model years 2012 to 2014 the Tacoma was offered in 1 of 1500 of the T/X BAJA package. Package includes upgraded lifted suspension with Eibach springs and TRD Bilstein coil-overs in the front and TRD Bilstein reservoir shocks in the rear with an additional leaf spring. The bead-lock style wheels are also added wrapped in BF Goodrich All Terrains. The BAJA model also include a stainless steel TRD exhaust. The iconic BAJA shift knob is also available for the 6-speed manual transmission models.
The TRD Pro package was offered for 2015 models. Based on the TRD Off Road, the Pro package added a 2" front lift with Bilstein 2.5-inch front shocks and 2.0-inch rear shocks with remote reservoirs for extra wheel travel, BFGoodrich all-terrain tires on 16-inch black and silver bead-lock-style wheels, and TRD cat-back exhaust system. Cosmetic upgrades included the scooped Sport hood, black badges, blackout lighting elements, a TRD Pro matte-black grille with TOYOTA lettering, and various TRD-badged interior parts. About 1200 TRD Pro Tacomas were made.
In 2008, an "Ironman" edition was released, named after Ivan "Ironman" Stewart. The engine output was increased to 304 hp (227 kW) and 334 ft⋅lb (453 N⋅m) with the addition of the TRD Supercharger and Magnaflow exhaust.
2005-2008 model year Tacoma X-Runner Access cab
The Toyota X-Runner was a limited production sport model. Although it utilizes the standard 4.0L and 6-speed manual from other Tacoma’s, the lowered double-wishbone suspension, Bilstein shocks and frame x-bracing create a remarkable track vehicle rather than a drag-strip brute.
The X-Runner is only available in three colors per year, and only five colors total. For the 2005 to 2008 model years, the X-Runner was available in Speedway Blue, Radiant Red and Black Sand Pearl. 2009 exchanged Radiant Red for Barcelona Red Metallic and Black Sand Pearl for Black. For the 2012 model year facelift, Speedway Blue became Nautical Blue Metallic and then Blue Ribbon Metallic for 2014/2015. The X-Runner was discontinued in the mainland US after the 2013 model year. The X-Runner was last offered in Canada for the 2014 model year and in Hawaii (USA) for the 2014/2015 model years.
Key differences between the X-Runner and the other packages include tweaks to the suspension, hood scoop, ground effects kit, driving lights, sports wheel and tires, and a 3.15 final drive ratio (3.73 for V6 PreRunner and 4X4). Toyota added a rear-mounted X-Brace to stiffen up the rear end (hence the name X-Runner). The chassis was further stiffened by adding two more support braces to the frame. An optional big brake kit by TRD is also available on the X-Runner; which consists of a 332 mm slotted rotor and 4 piston caliper. The BBK (big brake kit) was designed by StopTech. To further its track and sport appeal, TRD also offered a dealer-installed and warrantied roots-style supercharger which raised the power from 236 to 300 hp (176 to 224 kW) and the torque was raised from 266 to 345 lbf⋅ft (361 to 468 N⋅m).
A factory TRD composite spoiler was also an option but originals are rare.
The X-runner comes only with an Aisin RA60 6-speed manual transmission produced by Aisin Seiki Co.
Production numbers are unknown but it is believed roughly 3,000 X-runners were made each model year.
The new Tacoma was officially unveiled at the January 2015 Detroit Auto Show with United States sales following in September 2015.
The truck has a new exterior profile taking styling cues from the 2014 model year 4Runner SUV and the 2014 model year Tundra pickup and features a much more aggressive and masculine look, with a larger grill and new projector beam headlamps. The tailgate and bed were redesigned and featured a debossed Tacoma logo as well as an infused spoiler. New character lines were also observed on the truck as well as an air dam in front of the vehicle – these new features will likely assist in added fuel economy.
Toyota offers a 2.7 liter I4 engine paired with a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, and a 3.5 liter V6 engine paired with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The 3.5 V6 can run on a simulated Atkinson cycle using VVT-iW, and feature Toyota's D-4S system which allows it to switch from port injection to direct injection based on driving conditions. The 2.7 liter delivers 120 kW (161 hp) of power at 5200 rpm and 246 N⋅m (181 lb⋅ft) of torque at 3800 rpm, while the 3.5 liter delivers 207 kW (278 hp) of power at 6000 rpm and 359 N⋅m (265 lb⋅ft) of torque at 4600 rpm. EPA-estimated city/highway/combined mpg for the 4x2 automatic is 19/24/21 and 18/22/20 for the 4x4 automatic. Based on the SAE J2807 tow guidelines the Tacoma can tow up to 6,800 lb (3,100 kg) with the added tow package.
In addition to this, Toyota updated the truck's frame by adding more high strength steel in order to increase the truck's rigidness and to drop weight. The body is also constructed using ultra-high strength steel that will be integrated using a new hot stamping process that reduces weight. Toyota also updated the suspensions, rear differentials and rear axle to improve the truck's road manners while still keeping it off-road capable. The truck is available in 6 distinct trims, these are the base SR, mid-level SR5, TRD Off Road, TRD Sport, Limited, and range topping TRD Pro. The truck is offered in Access Cab and Double Cab configurations with the long or short bed sizes. The Regular Cab model was not carried over for the new generation pickup. The interior of the pickup gets a complete overhaul as well. Using a handle-bar theme, Toyota made the interior of the Tacoma more luxurious and added a larger touchscreen display as well as an all new instrument panel. Soft-touch materials also replaced the previous generations hard plastics. A leather option was added. Toyota has also used an acoustic windshield, better insulated doors, as well as more weather stripping to reduce road and wind noise. For the first time Toyota will offer dual climate control in the newly refined Tacoma.
Unlike the 2nd generation models, the steering wheel controls (as of 2016-2017) have reduced functionality, and therefore impaired convenience when attempting to browse phone Contacts / Favorite Contacts. The steering wheel D-pad controls are no longer linked to the Entune system for the purposes of browsing and selecting contacts. Instead, the driver must rely on voice controls, or reaching over to make adjustments to the Entune system to browse and select the appropriate contact in order to place a phone call. Furthermore, D-pad controls no longer offer the ability to scroll through lists of songs during USB or Bluetooth music playback. The driver must use the touch screen to select new albums/artists/songs. These limitations were removed for the 2018 model year onward.
The TRD Off Road trim models features an all-new terrain select mode which allows the driver to choose between different types of terrain such as, loose rock, mud, and sand. Toyota also announced a new CRAWL mode that will allow the driver to steer the truck in tough terrain while the truck manages braking and acceleration by itself. In addition to this the truck also features a moon-roof, key-less entry, Qi Wireless phone charging capability, easy lower tailgate, blind spot monitoring system, backup camera (standard) and a mounted GoPro holder (standard).
Toyota also introduced a TRD Pro version in late 2016 for the 2017 model year, which comes with FOX-patented Internal Bypass shocks, TRD Pro catback exhaust, TRD Pro skid plate, Rigid Industries LED fog lights, and heritage inspired 'TOYOTA' grille. The 2017 model year TRD Pro was only available in the double cab short bed configuration, with either a manual or automatic gear box in Barcelona Red Metallic, Super White, or Cement. Black leather with red accents and stitching is the only available interior option. For the 2018 model year TRD Pro, Midnight Black Metallic and Cavalry Blue are new available exterior colors, with Barcelona Red Metallic and Cement discontinued.
The Tacoma's transition to its third generation took place while the segment is growing. In 2014, the San Antonio plant built 105,796 Tacomas and the Baja plant built 71,399 for a total of 177,195. In 2015, the San Antonio plant built 110,911 and Baja built 82,328 for a total of 193,239 built. In 2016, 191,673 Tacomas were sold in the US and Canada (along with 115,489 Tundras also built in San Antonio) and, with the mid size segment up overall, the San Antonio plant was running costlier extra Saturday shifts to keep up with demand, running at 125% of projected plant capacity. The 2016 and 2017 model year double-cab short-bed Tacomas are currently made in Tijuana (VINs starting in 3) and all other Tacoma configurations are made in San Antonio (VINs starting in 5). Toyota USA announced it intended to increase production at the Tijuana plant in 2018 from about 100,000 to 160,000 Tacomas.
For the 2020 model year, the Tacoma received a facelift.
In 2003 Toyota introduced a TRD sport package on the Tundra full-size pickup. This package was introduced in 2005 for the Tacoma at the same time as the release of the newly redesigned Tacoma.
Toyota Racing Development offered a TRD supercharger for the FJ Cruiser and Tacoma equipped with 4.0-liter V6 engine, available through Toyota dealerships. This supercharger was co-developed with Magnuson Superchargers to ensure the utmost reliability. When installed by a professional dealer, it would not void any warranties on a vehicle. The supercharger increases the Tacoma's power output to 304 hp (227 kW) from the original 236 hp (176 kW), and the torque output to 334 lb⋅ft (453 N⋅m) and is now out of production.
This all-new TRD supercharger is compatible on all 2005 through 2015 model year Toyota Tacoma trucks, and 2007 through 2009 model year FJ Cruiser SUV. This supercharger system features Eaton roots-type rotating components in a one-piece integral manifold, iridium spark plugs, and a five-rib serpentine drive belt system. It produces about 6 psi (0.41 atm; 41,000 Pa) of boost pressure.
The supercharger, when installed by an authorized Scion or Toyota dealer, has the same warranty as powertrain, five years or 60,000 miles (97,000 km), or the balance of the new car warranty, whichever is greater. When not installed by an authorized dealer, the supercharger is covered by a 12-month, 12,000-mile (19,000 km) parts-only warranty. The manufacturer's suggested retail price of the TRD supercharger is $4,500, not including installation.
The TRD supercharger program was discontinued for all vehicles, including Tacoma, as of June 2015.
Back To The Future Tacoma Concept
On October 21, 2015, Toyota and Universal Pictures celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Back to the Future (franchise) with a Toyota Tacoma Concept that was inspired by the original Toyota pickup that Toyota created for Back to the Future. The 2016 Tacoma 4WD was recreated using the same features and black color paint trim, KC HiLite driving lamps (modified with LED lighting), modified headlights and taillights (matching the 1985 version), the Toyota badging to the truck's tailgate, as well as the same D-4S fuel injection, and the 1985-inspired mudflaps. The only difference between the 1985 original and the 2016 concept is the tires: Goodyear was featured in the 1985 film, while BF Goodrich is used on the concept. The concept also did not have a solid front axle like the original 1985 Pickup. Toyota notes that this is a one-off concept as there are no plans to offer it as a package or level trim.