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The Tacoma's Start

A mid-size truck perfect for off-roading, the Toyota Tacoma is known as a sturdy, light, and reliable truck that has the added advantage of being able to squeeze into tighter areas than a full-size. Introduced in 1995 with two-wheel or four-wheel drive, the Tacoma came as a regular or extended cab on a full-frame with leaf spring suspension. It was smaller than the average truck, had two trim levels (base and Prerunner) and came with three engine options: a 2.4L 4-cylinder with 142 horsepower; a 2.7L 4-cylinder with 150 horsepower; or a 3.4L V6 with 190 horsepower. It also came with a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission. One amenity missing was a four-door model, and some consumers were initially turned off by an interior that was tight for the taller-than-average driver.

Through the Years

These problems would be fixed with the addition of the crew cab with four doors in 2001. Greater interior space was a great addition, though the bed size shrunk. This would not last for long as consumers demanded more space overall. The original Tacoma was much smaller than the newer versions. It was much slimmer with sleek lines and a smooth side. The new generation in 2005 altered to body into a fitter design. Chiseled sides and a beefy, stronger look were implemented along with a redesigned grille with chrome stripping. Newer models developed, like the X-Runner that was designed for the sporty on-road drivers and a T/X or TRD for the off-roaders.

Today, the Tacoma comes as a regular cab, extended cab, or crew cab style with a choice of a short or long cargo bed. It offers a 2.7L 4-cylinder engine with 159 horsepower or a 4.0L V6 with 236 horsepower. The V6 can be had with a six-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. The 2015 TRD Pro package also offers a supercharged V6 that boosts horsepower to 304. Riveting off-road performance and on-road convenience have made the Tacoma is one of the leading mid-size trucks on the market today.

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