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Toyota Tacoma, page #7

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About Toyota Tacoma

Since its introduction more than a decade ago, the Toyota Tacoma has been a mainstay of the compact-pickup segment. Typical advantages to a new or used Tacoma include a variety of body styles to choose from, useful off-road abilities, solid build quality and a better-than-average reputation for reliability and durability.

Downsides are few. Even when modestly appointed, Toyota's compact pickup usually costs more than competing trucks from domestic manufacturers, and taller drivers might find the cabin of the first-generation Tacoma to be somewhat uncomfortable. But overall, the Toyota Tacoma is a very capable pickup and comes recommended for nearly all truck shoppers.

Current Toyota Tacoma
The Toyota Tacoma is a midsize pickup truck available in a variety of body styles and trim levels. There is almost certainly a version that suits your needs. Three cab styles -- regular, extended cab (Toyota calls it an Access Cab) and crew cab (Double Cab) -- are offered on the Tacoma, as well as short or long cargo beds.

Available trim levels include the base, PreRunner and X-Runner versions. The base Tacoma is your basic work truck, with air-conditioning, a composite bedliner, a bed utility rail system, a CD player and not much else. The PreRunner provides the look and suspension of the four-wheel-drive trucks without the actual four-wheel-drive mechanicals, while the X-Runner features modifications that enhance on-street performance without giving up much utility. Of course there's also a true off-road package for 4WD trucks.

Engine choices include a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque and a 4.0-liter V6 that puts out 236 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. Owners planning on frequent hauling or towing will certainly want to choose the V6. Available transmissions for the four-cylinder are either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. V6 buyers can choose between a six-speed manual and a five-speed automatic.

In Toyota Tacoma reviews, our editors have found the truck's roomy interior, powerful V6 option and excellent off-road capability to be its best attributes. Additionally, the Double Cab version is only the compact/midsize crew cab on the market available in both short- and long-bed configurations. Frequently noted dislikes in our consumer reviews include an occasionally rough ride quality, poor seat comfort and the inability to order leather seating as an option.

Used Toyota Tacoma Models
There have been very few changes to the second-generation Tacoma since its 2005 debut. It's important to note that in this first year, the Tacoma featured higher output numbers from its engine -- however, this was due to a change in testing procedure, not actual horsepower. Among notable changes, stability/traction control, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags were optional items prior to 2009 and may not be present on a used model.

The Tacoma nameplate dates back to 1995. It debuted in that year as a replacement for Toyota's long-running, and more simply named, "Pickup." This first-generation Tacoma is smaller than the one currently on sale but is still very capable and a fine choice for a used truck.

All first-generation Toyota Tacoma trucks came with one of two available four-cylinder engines or a 190-horsepower V6. Just like today, buyers could choose two- or four-wheel drive, along with either a five-speed manual transmission or four-speed automatic transmission. Tacomas from the 1990s came in either regular-cab or extended-cab (Xtracab) body styles. Unlike some competing trucks of this period, Tacoma Xtracabs lacked a third door to aid in rear-seat access.

This issue was solved for the 2001 model year when Toyota came out with the crew-cab (Double Cab) body style for the Tacoma. The Double Cab had the most interior room in the Tacoma range and four standard-opening doors. In order to keep overall length reasonable for on- and off-road maneuverability, however, Toyota reduced the Double Cab's bed length. This setup proved problematic for certain Tacoma buyers, which is why Toyota added a long-bed option for the second-generation Double Cab.

The Toyota Tacoma's reputation for better-than-average reliability is certainly a big bonus in the used compact truck segment. From a buying perspective, no one year of the first-generation Tacoma stands out. Continual improvements were made throughout its run but none of them were drastic enough to limit the appeal of earlier years. From a safety standpoint, trucks built after 1997 would be preferable, as these will have a passenger-side airbag. In the first-generation truck's last model year, 2004, stability control became available as an option.

Auto blog

Subaru to stop building Camry for Toyota in the US

Fri, 09 May 2014 16:26:00 EST

It was back in 2007 that Subaru of Indiana Automotive, under contract from Subaru minority shareholder Toyota, built the first Toyota Camry at its plant in Lafayette, Indiana. Rumblings of the end of that contract work have been around for a while, as Subaru talked of expanding capacity to build more units and add a line for the Impreza, and Toyota talked of moving Camry production to its Georgetown, KY plant. The news was official internally last November when SIA Executive Vice President Tom Easterday told the Louisville Courier-Journal that Camry production would end. Now, Automotive News reports that both automakers have admitted publicly that the end will come in 2016.
SIA currently has a 170,000-unit capacity devoted to the home-brand Legacy and Outback models, while a $400-million expansion increases that to 300,000 units to prepare the facility for Impreza production in two years. Freeing up the 100,000 units of production devoted to the Camry means a 400,000-unit capability, which is far more than Subaru needs at the moment, but the Toyota exit will allow it to expand any way it sees fit. Subaru has said it will absorb the workers on the Camry line and no jobs will be lost, the mayor of Lafayette saying the development could change the timetable for the expansion.

How Charlotte lost to Plano without even knowing it was dealing with Toyota

Thu, 08 May 2014 14:14:00 EST

With Toyota set to relocate its North American headquarters to the Dallas, TX suburb of Plano following a top-secret, 100-city search, the cities that missed out can now begin asking themselves what happened during a process they apparently knew little about.
That's a particularly brutal task for Charlotte, which, according to North Carolina's Secretary of Commerce, Sharon Decker, finished second to Plano. While Toyota has been fairly open about what it was looking for in a new headquarters city - direct flights to Japan, proximity to its US production facilities, a lower cost of living, high-quality educational facilities and finding a neutral site suitable to the California, Kentucky and New York-based employees that would be relocated - it's been less open about how the finalist cities, which also included Atlanta and Denver, stacked up against each other.
The Charlotte Observer has a few ideas. Part of the problem is the distinct lack of direct flights between Charlotte and Asia. US Airways, which operates a hub at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, doesn't fly to Asia.

2014 Toyota 4Runner Limited

Thu, 08 May 2014 11:57:00 EST

What would you say if we told you that outside of Jeep and Land Rover, the best brand for those who want to go off road is Toyota? Sounds remarkable, eh? But the truth is, Toyota's history of providing vehicles for the rougher bits of our blue marble dates back to 1950, barely a decade after Willys built the first Jeeps and only a few years after Land Rover made its big debut with the iconic Series I.
In fact, Toyota's start in off-roaders was with a small contract for providing the US Army with vehicles, during the Korean War. From that, the BJ was spawned. This Jeep-like vehicle evolved into the 20 Series and then into the iconic 40 Series Land Cruiser in the 1960s.
So yes, Toyota knows its way around the trails. While the Land Cruiser, deservedly, gets all the attention thanks to its impressive longevity, we're partial to the 4Runner, which is a far more affordable entry that serves as Toyota's challenger to the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Lexus eschews production in China over quality concerns

Sat, 03 May 2014 09:01:00 EST

One of the more popular trends in the auto industry is setting up production operations in China. Mainstream manufacturers like Ford, General Motors and Volkswagen have done it, and even luxury marques like Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have or will soon have manufacturing ops in the People's Republic.
One company that isn't building cars in China, though, is Lexus. The Toyota-owned luxury brand still manufactures all of its vehicles in Japan (aside from a few RXs, which are built at a Toyota factory in Canada). According to Tokuo Fukuichi, Lexus just isn't ready to build cars there yet.
"The German Three have a brand image that they have cultivated over the past century in their long history, but Lexus is not in people's minds like that yet," Fukuichi-san told Reuters UK.

Jim Lentz exposes more details behind Toyota's move to Texas

Fri, 02 May 2014 18:40:00 EST

Toyota's North American CEO Jim Lentz has already given us a rough idea of what prompted the company's surprise move to the Dallas suburb of Plano, TX from its longstanding headquarters in Torrance, CA. A new story from The Los Angeles Times, though, delivers even more detail from Lentz on the reasoning for the move, what other cities were considered and why the company's current host city wasn't even in the running.
Of course, one of the more popular reasons being bandied about includes the $40 million Texas was set to give the company for the move, as well as the state's generous tax rates. According to Lentz, though, the reason Toyota chose Plano over a group of finalists made up of Atlanta, Charlotte and Denver, was far simpler than that - it was about consolidating its marketing, sales, engineering and production teams in a region that's closer to the company's seat of manufacturing in the south.
"It doesn't make sense to have oversight of manufacturing 2,000 miles away from where the cars were made," Lentz told The Times. "Geography is the reason not to have our headquarters in California."

Toyota GT86 turbo, convertible, sedan variants back on the table

Fri, 02 May 2014 16:26:00 EST

Okay Toyota, make up your mind. Figure it out. Quit playing games with our heart. Either build a bunch of variations of the excellent GT86 (also known as the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ) or don't. At this point, we're just tired of the back and forth. After no shortage of denials, an Australian website is claiming that Toyota is reconsidering convertible, four-door, turbocharged and all-wheel-drive hybrid variants of the GT86. Kindly pass all the salt.
It's not that we don't want to believe the Aussies; we do. But when the story lists the same "sources in Japan" as a lot of the other denials and confirmations about GT86/BRZ/FR-S variants, well, there's a certain sense of the "Boy That Cried Wolf," here. Ignoring all that, then, what does Motoring.com.au claim to know?
Sources claim the GT86 Convertible will arrive in October 2014, while the turbocharged and hybrid sedans are slated for 2016.

HQ move based on study, not pitch from Gov. Perry, Toyota says

Tue, 29 Apr 2014 14:15:00 EST

Toyota's surprising announcement on Monday that it will move its North American headquarters from Torrance, CA location to the Dallas suburb of Plano, TX is allegedly not due to any political wrangling from the state's Republican governor, Rick Perry.
Perry (above) has been up front in his aggressive pursuit of businesses and jobs for Texas, traveling to California, Missouri, Illinois and New York to tempt corporations to his state. And it's not just about the promise of much lower taxes, a Perry spokesman reminds Automotive News that the state boasts, "a workforce that is skilled and ready to do any job."
For his part, Jim Lentz, Toyota's North American CEO said Plano was chosen through an internal process, with the location helped by its proximity to the company's massive pickup factory in San Antonio rather than any campaigning from the governor.

Toyota moving US headquarters to Plano, Texas

Mon, 28 Apr 2014 14:45:00 EST

It's official, Toyota is relocating its US operations to Plano, TX. And it won't be a symbolic 'all ranch and no cattle' gesture - the Japanese automaker, whose headquarters have been in California since 1957, has decided to base nearly all of its operations in the Lone Star State, including much of its engineering, finance and sales and marketing teams.
The move, which will see the establishment of a new headquarters campus in the Dallas suburb will not only affect employees at the company's current Torrance, CA Toyota Motor Sales USA campus, it will also touch the lives of thousands of employees at the company's other operations, including 1,000 workers at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America in Erlanger, KY and some New York-based staff as well. The Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, MI is not facing relocation, however, and it actually stands to gain responsibilities as Toyota overhauls its US org chart. Toyota says that its reorganization will affect about 4,000 employees in total.
According to Automotive News, while Toyota is adopting an "'everyone is invited' stance for the relocation," some attrition is expected from employees who aren't interested in relocating southward from the Golden State. For its part, the automaker is reportedly making expenses-paid visits to Plano available to full-time staffers and spouses to help them make the relocation decision, as well as a lump-sump payment if they decide to go through with the move.

Toyota restructuring US operations, possibly moving to Texas

Sun, 27 Apr 2014 18:40:00 EST

According to multiple sources familiar with the matter, Toyota is poised to announce Monday that it is restructuring its US operations, which may include plans to relocate some of its operations to Texas. Toyota Motor Sales has been located in California since 1957, and is responsible for North American sales, marketing, and distribution for Toyota, Lexus and Scion. According to Toyota literature, its Torrance operations presently employs 6,156 workers and represents a $2.3-billion investment.
Workers in Toyota's Torrance offices were abuzz about the possible relocation to Texas. One young offspring of a Toyota employee even posted to Twitter that her parents warned about the upcoming move, and she said she's refusing to go.
Rumors at one point had Toyota settling in Richardson, TX, just outside Plano. But Autoblog talked to Richardson Mayor Laura Maczka, who said she would be thrilled if that were true, but has not heard anything on the subject. Autoblog also emailed with Bill Sutherland, a city councilman in Torrance, CA, who said, "To date the only info I have is what I have read in the paper expecting a press release Monday."

Toyota updates Euro-market GT86 suspension, appearance

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 09:31:00 EST

While we were busy ogling the Scion FR-S Release Series 1.0 with its Yuzu yellow paint and a workover by Toyota Racing Development, and the Japanese Toyota 86 buyers were trying out their Playstation-compatible Sports Drive Logger telemetry system, the European 2015 Toyota GT86 got fitted with some new parts of its own. New on next year's model are stiffer mounts for the front suspension and rear shock absorbers, and new shocks in the back for better damping and less friction. Toyota says the result is sharper steering and less body roll.
Inside, the instrument panel and center console get decorated with a "carbon-fiber motif." There are new shades of pearl white and silver to dress up the outside, and the roof gets a shark-fin antenna for sharper looks and aero. It goes on sale this summer, and you can read everything we just told you in the press release below. We've reached out to Scion to see if we'll get the same upgrades on the FR-S this summer, too, company PR rep Nancy Hubbell telling us, "The European changes are among those being considered for the US model FR-S and we'll have final confirmation soon."