First gen toyota tacoma

First gen toyota tacoma DEFAULT

Looking Back At The First Generation Toyota Tacoma

By Arun Singh Pundir


It's been 25 years of the Toyota Tacoma from then to now, so let’s have a look at the very first generation, a game-changer in its own right.

The Toyota Tacoma was introduced in 1995 as the replacement of the very successful and by-now cult favorite Hilux, which stood for High Luxury. As compared to the Hilux, the Tacoma came with better engineering and excelled in just about all aspects, be it handling, comfort, safety as well as ride quality; the hallmark of Toyota.

That said; the Hilux was more rugged and bore greater payload capacities. But the Tacoma was designed specifically for the US and Canadian markets, knowing that for many in this side of the world, a pickup truck wasn’t just a workhorse but more of a personal vehicle, sometimes even doubling up as the family car.

In doing so, the Toyota Tacoma, a Japanese-made truck became as American as the Detroit three offerings: the Ford F-Series, the Chevy Silverado, and the RAM trucks; and the 2020 version delighted, as always.

It's been 25 years of the Toyota Tacoma from then to now, so let’s have a look at the very first generation, a game-changer in its own right.

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The History Of Toyota Trucks In The US

Toyota’s first trucks started to trickle into the US in the ‘60s with the first one named, Stout. It wasn’t all that successful but that did not make Toyota give up. Instead, Toyota replaced it with the Hilux in the late ‘60s itself and it became an instant hit, so much so it was simply known as the Toyota pickup.

The Hilux came in 1968, and at the time was powered by a 1.5-liter inline-four cylinder that made 76 horsepower. It sounds weak, silly even, but it was the ‘60s, and this was the average for trucks at the time. Over time, the power got better, the looks got better but the Hilux always remained what it was at launch: a basic pickup truck that was a reliable and inexpensive workhorse.

In 1976, the Hilux nameplate was officially retired and so the Toyota pickup came to be known as just that, the pickup from Toyota. The Hilux retained its name elsewhere although, and it's still sold in various parts of the world as the Hilux. It's only in North America that it was succeeded by the Tacoma in 1995, where it remains at the top of its game.

RELATED: The Real Story Behind Toyota's Pickup Trucks

1995: A Brand New Era

In the ‘90s, it was clear to most of the automobile manufacturers in the world that in America, there was a pickup and SUV wave. Small and compact cars were still not in demand and when it came to sedans, it was only the muscle ones that were still valued.

The pickup truck was now being considered more than just a workhorse and became a lifestyle vehicle of choice for many. So Toyota withdrew the Hilux/Pickup and introduced the Tacoma, aimed towards people who drove a pickup as their daily driver rather than using it as a farmhand. It was still a compact, mid-size truck, but now came with smoother ride quality and plenty of safety features that made it a perfect fit for families.

In its very first generation, the Toyota Tacoma came in standard, extended, and double cab options with a three-engine lineup. The base engine was a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that made 142 horses and 160 ft-lb torque. Next in line was a 2.7-liter four-cylinder power mill that churned 150 horsepower and 177 ft-lb torque. Finally, at the top was the 3.4-liter V6 that churned a respectable 190 horses at the time with 220 ft-lb torque. There was an aftermarket supercharged TRD variant as well, carrying the same 3.4-liter V6 but this one made around 250 horses and jetted 270 ft-lb of torque.

The engine came paired with either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission, and you could also opt for a four-wheel-drive. In 1998, they also offered a TRD Off-Road package that came with a locking rear differential to really up the ante. This made Tacoma rather popular with the youth. In the same year, the PreRunner became another option, this one coming with a 2WD, often taken with the TRD Off-Road package.

In 2000, the S-Runner was launched as a limited edition. It was a 2WD and featured the 3.4-liter V6 with better numbers and a beefed-up suspension as well. With the Tacoma and its various special editions, it now became a pickup that appealed to everyone, from track enthusiasts to rally racers, people who needed a workhorse to those who needed a reliable family car.

RELATED: What's The Best Toyota X Runner To Buy?

The Success Of The Tacoma

The Tacoma became a successor of the Hilux/Pickup in the best possible sense of the word, taking the success of the latter to even greater heights. And it did so because it was the perfect blend of a truck that could go off-road and haul decent weight while being a comfortable ride and rather plush.

The name Tacoma had American antecedents as well, it came from an Indian word for the mountain that provided water to their tribe. The mountain, later, became Mount Rainier. Even the designer was Kevin Hunter, who worked at the Calty Design Research in California, the same guys who design the Tacoma to date.

The first generation lasted till 2004, and sales for most of the years remained above 150,000 per year. Not the kind of love the F-Series got, but enough to make the Tacoma a dependable and reliable brand for most of the US. Enough to have it valued even as a used truck down the years.

Sources: DrivingLine, AutoInfluence

NEXT: Looking Back At The First Generation Hummer H1


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About The Author
Arun Singh Pundir (974 Articles Published)

Arun Singh Pundir has been a longtime media crackerjack and worked most of his life in sales and marketing. In 2018, he officially flipped and switched sides to the editorial. He lives with his wife, two rascally sons and is a car and motorcycle nut in his free time. Not that he has too much free time. He currently writes for HotCars on anything that has any number or kind of wheels. He is also penning pop culture, lifestyle and all things rich for TheRichest. For now, he considers his Isuzu D-Max V-Cross, Suzuki Ciaz, and Royal Enfield Classic 500, the three current flames of his life. His dream is to drive around the world; even if it takes more than eighty days.

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Toyota Tacoma (95-04) 1st Generation: Everything You Need To Know

Produced by Toyota since 1995, the Tacoma is a pickup truck made specifically for the North American market. Partly due to Toyota’s outstanding track record of reliability, the Tacoma quickly became one of the best-rated trucks from this era. In fact, they were so well-made that you can still buy a 1st-gen Tacoma up to this day. If you are in the market looking for a cheap and somewhat older pickup truck, the 95-04 Tacoma might very well be the car for you. To help you decide and find the right one for you, here’s everything you need to know about the Toyota Tacoma: Specs, pricing, different models, and edition as well as every yearly update.

Red 95 Toyota Tacoma

1995 Toyota Tacoma

Launched in the US in February 1995, the Tacoma was engineered for better ride quality, improved handling, comfort, and safety than its predecessors, the Toyota Truck and Hilux.

Toyota offered three different engine options. The 2.4l four-cylinder 2RZ-FE engine rated at 142 HP and 160 lb-ft of torque with a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 lbs and gas mileage of 26 mpg.

The second engine available was the 2.7l four-cylinder 3RZ-FE engine produced around 150 HP and 177 lb-ft of torque. Surprisingly, the 3RZ-FE was more fuel-efficient than the smaller model at only 20mpg.

Last but not least, was the 3.4 L 5VZ-FE V6 with a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. The 3.4 L was rated at 190 HP and 220 lb-ft of torque with only a small increase in gas mileage, 21 miles mpg.

Find a repair manual for your Toyota Tacoma here!

 1998 Tacoma

In the beginning, the Tacoma sold very well. By 1998, Toyota released the PreRunner model. The Tacoma had the same full-frame and a solid rear axle as its predecessors, however, but the front suspension was redesigned with Toyota changing to coil springs on both 4x2s and 4x4s. A TRD Off-Road Package was available that incorporated a locking rear differential.

Red 99 Toyota Tacoma with side-steps

1999 Tacoma

The PreRunner option spread to regular cab models for 1999, and all Tacomas equipped with antilock brakes were also equipped with daytime running lights. With the PreRunner package a certified hit, Toyota pushed the style envelope even further. In 2000, Toyota introduced the Tacoma StepSide model, incorporating a bed with distinct fender blisters. Including, a new four-door crew cab model. Christened the Double Cab model, it was given Tokico gas shocks and four doors. The extended cab had a 6 ft bed, while the crew cab only had a 5-foot-5-inch bed. In October 2000, Toyota revealed the S-Runner trim package that incorporated a five-speed manual transmission paired with a 3.4 L V6 engine.

Red 2004 Toyota Tacoma

2002 Tacoma

The Tacoma remained unchanged in 2002. However, it was still popular enough to be named the “Most Wanted” small pickup that year. By 2003, the Tacoma had increased in sales by 16.5%. The Toyota Tacoma ended is life in 2004, remaining largely unchanged.

TRD Supercharger

The Toyota Tacoma TRD supercharger was co-developed by Toyota with Magnuson Superchargers. They were specifically designed for use in the FJ Cruiser and Tacoma equipped with a 3.4L 5VZ-FE V6 engine. Offered through certified Toyota dealers, they could be installed without voiding the warranties by said dealerships. The power output was increased to 254 hp and 270 lb-ft.

Toyota Tacoma’s for Sale

If you’re in the small pickup market, the Tacoma is a great choice. And luckily, they aren’t that hard to come by. Just a quick google search for “Toyota Tacoma’s for sale near me” brings up a wide range of options. It only takes a little bit of research to find out what prices are in your local area.

Toyota Tacoma Recalls

There have been a few recalls on the 4x4s that Toyota made. Most of them have had to do with the bumper light assembly parts that failed to conform to the federal safety standard. They were cited to not contain the required amber side reflectors.

Furthermore, on the 1995 Tacoma, the front suspension support was known to crack under particular driving conditions. The battery was also occasionally known to have a defective weld inside the positive and/or negative terminal. However, the fear was that the defective weld could prevent the vehicle from starting, not cause an explosion or anything like that.

Not to neglect is also the now-famous”frame recall”. This recall is probably one of the best-known in the automotive world. The problem was about frame corrosion and was so bad that Toyota had to buy back many of them or perform extensive frame repairs at their own cost. However, 1st-gen Tacomas are only eligible for the recall if they were inspected by the manufacturer before 2011. Consequently, if you plan to buy one, make sure to check if the recall has been done before spending your money on a potential pile of rust.

Last Words

The first-generation Toyota Tacoma is a marvelous and reliable pickup truck. If you’re looking for a daily driver that can haul your boat on weekends and perform as well on a farm as in the city, the Tacoma is the truck for you. It’s definitely a 4×4 that you shouldn’t underestimate.

Find a repair manual for your Toyota Tacoma here!

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Toyota Tacoma Review - 1995-2004 - 1st Gen

If you’re looking for a basic, compact pickup truck, then the first-generation Toyota Tacoma could be what you need. Toyota’s famous cargo-hauling, modification-loving truck started out small, but it still packed a huge punch when it came to capability and value. For anyone that happens to be in the market for one, here is a short buyer’s guide to help you out.

First-generation Toyota Tacomas hold their value really well

Toyota Tacoma Pre-Runner in the sand

If you take a gander at your local classifieds or do a nationwide search for a first-generation Tacoma (1995-2004), you will most likely notice that their prices are sky-high. That’s because Tacomas hold their value really well and due to their superb reliability, Tacoma sellers can charge a premium for them.

After a quick search on CarGurus, we saw some base-model Toyota Tacomas with over 100,000 miles on the clock selling for around $15,000. That’s a pretty penny to pay for a small truck, but if it’s worth it to you, then go for it. However, if you’re unsure, then keep holding out and you’ll find the one that you’re looking for at the right price.

MotorTrend recommends finding a first-gen Tacoma with fewer than 150,000 miles on it, if possible. There is also the option of buying a truck with a salvaged title, however, you may want to be wary of those ones considering you’re talking about a 20-year-old truck.

The 95-04 Tacoma was offered in a few different configurations

When shopping for a 95-04 Tacoma, you’ll have a few different configurations to choose from. Autotrader notes that this vintage of the Tacoma came as a standard, extended Xtracab, and a shortened crew cab also known as the “double cab.” There is also a two-wheel-drive PreRunner model that had a lifted ride height.

As far as engine choices, you’ll have a few to choose from. The list of engines included a 142-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder, a 150-hp 2.7-liter four-cylinder, and a 190-hp 3.4-liter V6 engine. There’s even a TRD supercharger available for the V6 engine, which gave it around 50 more horsepower. However, that V6 engine is the one to get, if you can find one. If not, then the 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine will do you just fine.

Look out for excessive rust

Now that you’re familiar with the different kinds of first-gen Tacomas on the market, it’s time to address the bad things about it. Autotrader recommends checking for excessive rust in the undercarriage and leaf springs. This generation of the Tacoma was so well-known for having rust that Toyota extended the rust warranty to 15 years and unlimited miles. There was also a recall for the rusted frames and Toyota replaced them in many cases.

That being said, be sure to crawl under the Tacoma that you’re interested in and check for any glaring rust spots or issues. If it’s really bad, then be prepared to find another Tacoma.

Get a pre-purchase inspection done

1995 Toyota Tacoma

If you’re planning to buy a first-generation Toyota Tacoma, then be ready to do a lot of digging for the right one. The prices for them can sometimes be outrageous, even for the rusted ones, so it’s important to take your time. Also, if you find one that you like, but aren’t sure if it’s a good buy, then have a pre-purchase inspection done by a third-party mechanic.

It might cost you around $100 to $200, but it could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. The first-gen Tacoma is quickly becoming a classic and still proves to be the right-sized truck for many buyers. If you can find a good one to buy, then you’ll have a truck that will last you for many years and miles and will hold its value while doing so.

RELATED: How Reliable Is the 2021 Toyota Tacoma?


Toyota tacoma gen first

Toyota Tacoma

Motor vehicle

The Toyota Tacoma is a pickup truck manufactured in Mexico and the United States by the Japanese automobile manufacturer Toyota since 1995. The first-generation Tacoma, model years 1995 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 midsized pickups and are produced in the U.S. and Mexico. The Tacoma was Motor Trend's Truck of the Year for 2005.

As of 2015, the Toyota Tacoma is sold in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica,[1] Bolivia, Bermuda, and the French territory of New Caledonia.

First generation (N140/N150/N160/N170/N190; 1995)[edit]

Motor vehicle

First generation (N140/N150/N160/N170/N190)
01-04 Toyota Tacoma.jpg
ProductionJanuary 1995 — August 2004
Model years1995—2004
AssemblyUnited States: Fremont, California (NUMMI)
  • Kevin Hunter (1991, 1992)[2]
  • Yusuke Fukushima (second facelift: 1998)
Power output
  • 142 hp (144 PS; 106 kW) (2.4)
  • 150 hp (152 PS; 112 kW) (2.7)
  • 190 hp (193 PS; 142 kW) (3.4)
  • Regular Cab: 103.3 in (2,624 mm)
  • Xtracab/Double Cab: 121.9 in (3,096 mm)
  • 1995–97 Regular Cab 2WD: 174.8 in (4,440 mm)
  • Xtracab 2WD: 193.3 in (4,910 mm)
  • 1995–97 Regular Cab 4WD: 180.5 in (4,585 mm)
  • 1995–97 Xtracab 4WD: 199.0 in (5,055 mm)
  • 1998–2000 Regular Cab 4WD, 1998–2002 PreRunner Regular Cab 2WD: 183.8 in (4,669 mm)
  • 1998–2002 Xtracab 4WD & PreRunner Xtracab: 202.3 in (5,138 mm)
  • 1998–2002 Regular Cab 2WD: 184.5 in (4,686 mm)
  • 1998–2002 Xtracab 2WD: 203.1 in (5,159 mm)
  • 2003–04 Regular Cab 4WD: 184.4 in (4,684 mm)
  • 2003–04 Xtracab V6 & Double Cab: 202.9 in (5,154 mm)
  • 66.5 in (1,689 mm)
  • Between wheel well: 40 in (1,016 mm)
  • 2001–02 Crew Cab: 70.1 in (1,781 mm)
  • 2003–04 Crew Cab: 70.3 in (1,786 mm)
  • 2WD: 61.0–64.1 in (1549–1628 mm)
  • 4WD: 66.3–67.7 in (1684–1720 mm)
Curb weight
  • 2WD: 3155 lbs
  • 4WD: 3877 lbs

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 midsized 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.[3]

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.[4][5]

Three engines were 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 26 miles per US gallon (9.0 L/100 km; 31 mpg‑imp) (highway cycle, 2WD), the 2.7 L gave 20 miles per US gallon (12 L/100 km; 24 mpg‑imp) (highway cycle, 4WD), and the 3.4 L delivered 21 miles per US gallon (11 L/100 km; 25 mpg‑imp) (highway cycle, 2WD).[6]

Two-wheel drive (2WD) Tacomas (non-PreRunner models) had five-stud wheel-lug patterns and available with the 2.4-L or 3.4-L automatic and manual transmissions were available. Four-wheel drive and PreRunner Tacomas had six-stud wheel-lug patterns and were available with the 2.7-L and 3.4-L 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 for 4WD (Aisin code is 30-40LE) and A340E for 2WD. The aftermarket TRD supercharged 3.4-L V6 produced 254 bhp (189 kW) and 270 lb⋅ft (366 N⋅m).[7] From 1997 on, the regular cabs were only available with a 2.4-L or a 2.7-L four-cylinder engine. 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 few 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 1998 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 system after the 2000 model year.

The PreRunner model was introduced for the 1998 model year. The PreRunner is a 2WD 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.[8]

In October 2000, along with the front facelift, Toyota had also unveiled an S-Runner trim package that included the 3.4-liter V6 engine. It came with 16-inch (410 mm) alloy wheels, and a five-speed manual transmission with Tokico gas shocks. Only 800 were produced each month from September 2000 to August 2004. By 2003, the Tacoma had gained 16.5% 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% 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 buy back the truck for 1.5 times its KBB retail value.[9][10] 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.[11]

On November 21, 2012, Toyota recalled about 150,000 Tacoma midsized 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.[12]

  • 1995–1997 Toyota Tacoma 4WD

  • 1998–2000 Tacoma Xtracab 2WD

  • 1998–2000 Tacoma Xtracab 4WD

  • 2001–2004 Tacoma Regular Cab

Production Colors[13]Model years
Black Metallic (204)96 to 99
Black Sand Pearl (209)00 to 04
Cardinal Red (3H7)95 to 97 and 99 to 00
Cobalt Blue Pearl (8K6)95 to 97
Cool Steel Metallic (926)98
Copper Canyon Mica (3M1)98
Evergreen Pearl (751)95 to 98
Horizon Blue Metallic (8N1)99 to 00
Imperial Jade Mica (6Q7)99 to 04
Impulse Red Pearl (3P1)01 to 04
Lavender Steel Metallic (926)97
Lunar Mist Metallic (1C8)00 to 04
Mystic Bronze (M10)01 to 04
Mystic Gold Metallic (4P7)01 to 04
Mystic Purple Mica (938)98 to 99
Natural White (056)99 to 00
Paradise Blue Metallic (754)95 to 97
Pewter Pearl (196)95 to 96
Radiant Red (3L5)01 to 04
Satin Black Metallic (205)95
Sierra Beige Metallic (4M4)95 to 00
Sunfire Red Pearl (3K4)95 to 00
Super White (040)01 to 04
Surfside Green Mica (6P4)98 to 99
White/Super White (045)95 to 98

Second generation (N220/N240/N250/N260/N270; 2004)[edit]

Motor vehicle

Second generation (N220/N240/N250/N260/N270)
2009 Toyota Tacoma -- NHTSA.jpg
ProductionAugust 2004 – August 2015
Model years2005–2015
LayoutFront engine, rear-wheel drive/four-wheel drive
Power output
  • 159 hp (161 PS; 119 kW) (2.7)
  • 236 hp (239 PS; 176 kW) (4.0)
  • 4-speed automatic
  • 5-speed automatic
  • 5-speed manual
  • 6-speed manual
  • Regular Cab 2WD: 109.4 in (2,779 mm)
  • Regular Cab 4WD & PreRunner: 110.0 in (2,794 mm)
  • Access Cab: 127.8 in (3,246 mm)/127.2 in (3,231 mm)
  • Double Cab Long Bed: 140.9 in (3,579 mm)
  • Regular Cab: 190.4 in (4,836 mm)
  • Access Cab: 208.1 in (5,286 mm)
  • Double Cab Short Bed: 208.1 in (5,286 mm)
  • Double Cab Long Bed: 221.3 in (5,621 mm)
  • 2WD Extended: 74.6 in (1,895 mm)
  • 2WD Regular: 72.2 in (1,834 mm)
  • 4WD: 74.7 in (1,897 mm)
  • X-Runner: 74.0 in (1,880 mm)
  • Extended Cab & 4WD Regular: 69.9 in (1,775 mm)
  • Double Cab: 70.1 in (1,781 mm)
  • Regular Cab 2WD: 65.7 in (1,669 mm)
  • 2005–06 X-Runner: 65.2 in (1,656 mm)
  • 2007–Present X-Runner: 72.2 in (1,834 mm)
Curb weight3,550–4,220 lb (1,610–1,914 kg)[16]

In 2000, Toyota began development of the second generation Tacoma under chief engineer Chikuo Kubota.[17] 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.[18]

On February 4, 2004 at the Chicago Auto Show, Toyota unveiled a bigger and more powerful Tacoma. Launched on October 18, 2004 as a 2005 model, 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. 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.[19] In 2010 all Tacoma production was moved to Toyota's Texas plant in San Antonio alongside the Tundra. This brought a total of approximately 1,000 new jobs to San Antonio.

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.

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.[20]

  • 2009 model year Tacoma extended cab (US)

  • 2010 model year Tacoma double cab long bed V6 (US)

  • 2012 model year Tacoma extended cab 4-cylinder (US)

  • 2006 model year Tacoma Interior

Safety and structural integrity[edit]

The Tacoma comes standard with anti-lock brakes, brake assist, and electronic brakeforce distribution. For 2008, a rollover sensor was added which would deploy the side curtain airbags in the event of rollover in Tacomas equipped with the optional side airbags. Beginning with the 2009 model year, all Tacomas feature Toyota's Star Safety System which added Vehicle Stability Control and traction control. Front row side torso airbags and side curtain airbags for both rows also become standard as well as active head restraints.[21][22]

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.[23] The Tacoma also is rated "Good" in the frontal offset crash test.[24] In 2009 with the active head restraints the Tacoma is given the IIHS's Top Safety Pick award.

TRD packages[edit]

The Tacoma is offered 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 400-w 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 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).[26]

The TRD Sport package sells in two levels. The first level has a color-matched grille, color-matched front/rear bumpers/door handles/mirrors, and hood with nonfunctional scoop, Bilstein shocks/struts, stainless steel exhaust tip, and aluminum 17-in wheels with 265/65R17 tires. The second level includes the above and 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.[26]

The basic TRD Off-Road package includes none of the color-matched body parts (black door handles/mirrors, chrome bumper/grille). Different from the off-road package, the Technology Package has color-matched body parts, aluminum 16-in wheels, Bilstein shocks, skid plates, and electronic locking rear differential but does not include the hood scoop from the Sport models. The off-road package included certain features that are useful for off-roading, such as those mentioned earlier, while the Technology Package 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, and 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.[26]

TRD Extreme or T/X Baja[edit]

From model years 2011 to 2014, the Tacoma was offered in one 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-terrain tires. The BAJA model also include a stainless steel TRD exhaust. The iconic BAJA shift knob is also available for the six-speed manual transmission models.[27]

TRD Pro[edit]

The TRD Pro package was offered for 2015 models.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30] About 1200 TRD Pro Tacomas were made.[31]

Ironman edition[edit]

In 2008, an "Ironman" edition was released, named after Ivan "Ironman" Stewart.[32] 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-RunnerAccess cab

The Toyota X-Runner was a limited production sport model. Although it utilizes the standard 4.0L and 6-speed manual from other Tacomas, the X-runner uses lowered double-wishbone suspension, Bilstein shocks and frame x-bracing.

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.[33] The X-Runner was last offered in Canada for the 2014 model year[34] and in Hawaii (USA) for the 2014/2015 model years.[34]

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.[35]

Production numbers are unknown but it is believed roughly 3,000 X-runners were made each model year.

Third generation (N300; 2015)[edit]

Motor vehicle

Third generation (N300)
2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport Access Cab 3.5L front 5.14.19.jpg

2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport Access Cab (GRN300)

ProductionAugust 2015 – present[36]
Model years2016–present
LayoutFront engine, rear-wheel drive/four-wheel drive
Power output
  • 159 hp (161 PS; 119 kW) (2.7)
  • 278 hp (282 PS; 207 kW) (3.5)
  • 5-speed manual (2016/17)
  • 6-speed automatic
  • 6-speed manual (RC62F)
  • Access Cab (Long Bed only): 127.4 in (3,236 mm)
  • Double Cab Short Bed: 127.4 in (3,236 mm)
  • Double Cab Long Bed: 140.6 in (3,571 mm)[37]
  • Access Cab (Long Bed only): 212.3 in (5,392 mm)
  • Double Cab Short Bed: 212.3 in (5,392 mm)
  • Double Cab Long Bed: 225.5 in (5,728 mm)[38]
Width74.4–75.2 in (1,890–1,910 mm)
Height70.6 in (1,793 mm)
Curb weight4,425–4,480 lb (2,007–2,032 kg)

The new Tacoma was officially unveiled at the January 2015 Detroit Auto Show with United States sales launch following on September 10, 2015.[39][40]

The truck has a new exterior profile taking styling cues from the 2014 model year 4Runner SUV and the 2014 model year Tundra pickup, with a larger grille 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.

Toyota offers a 2.7 liter I4 engine paired with a 5-speed manual (MY2016-17) 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.[41] In addition to this, Toyota updated the truck's frame by adding more high-strength steel in order to increase the truck's rigidity and to drop weight. The body is also constructed using ultra-high-strength steel that was 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 trims: 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 long or short bed sizes. The Regular Cab model was not carried over for the new generation pickup as it was discontinued in 2012. The interior of the pickup has been changed as well. Using a handlebar theme, Toyota made the interior of the Tacoma more luxurious and added a larger touchscreen display as well as a new instrument panel. Soft-touch materials also replaced the previous generations hard plastics. A leather option was added.[42] 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 Tacoma.

Unlike the 2nd generation models, the steering wheel controls in the 2016 and 2017 models had 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 feature 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).[43]

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.[44] In 2016, 191,673 Tacomas were sold in the US and Canada (along with 115,489 Tundras also built in San Antonio)[45] 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 percent 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.[46]

2020 facelift[edit]

For the 2020 model year, the Tacoma received a facelift.[47][48][49]

In addition to the exterior facelift, there were new added technologies inside. These include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa capability. On the SR5 model and higher, there is a power-adjustable driver's seat and on the Tacoma Limited Double Cab, there's a new Panoramic View Monitor for 360-degree bird's eye views of the truck's immediate surroundings.[50][51]

TRD Lift Kit[edit]

In January 2021, the Tacoma TRD Lift Kit was made available as a dealer-installed option for 2020 and newer Tacoma models. The kit includes Bilstein shocks fitted with TRD red dust boots and "Tuned by TRD" graphics. Total frame ground clearance increases by 1.7 inches with the suspension lift kit.[52]

  • 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

Toyota Racing Development[edit]

In 1998, Toyota added a new Toyota Racing Development (TRD) off-road package. The package includes off-road tires, 16-inch alloy wheels, TRD dampers, a locking rear differential and the TRD graphics.[26]

In 2001, 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.[53]

TRD supercharger[edit]

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. 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.[54]

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.[55] 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 $4500, not including installation.

The TRD supercharger program was discontinued for all vehicles, including Tacoma, as of June 2015.[56]

Back To The Future Tacoma Concept[edit]

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.[57]


Calendar year US Canada Mexico[58]
2000 147,295[59]
2001 161,983[60]
2002 151,960[61]
2003 154,154[62]
2004 152,932[62]
2005 168,831[63]381
2006 178,351[64]5,275
2007 173,238[65]4,886
2008 144,655[66]4,154
2009 111,824[67]4,129
2010 106,198[68]3,432
2011 110,705[68]3,771
2012 141,365[69]9,904[70]5,072
2013 159,485[71]10,400[70]3,394
2014 155,041[72]9,973[70]5,259
2015 179,562[73]11,772[70]5,194
2016 191,631[74]12,618[70]4,376
2017 198,124[75]12,454[70]3,647
2018 245,659[76]13,878[70]4,644
2019 248,810[70]12,536[70]5,476
2020 238,806[77]16,946[70]4,784


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External links[edit]

Here's How I Turned Our 19 Year Old Tacoma Into A Tiny Raptor! Baby Yota Ep.8

If you want to talk to Ann, you would say so. I'll lend it to you, my dear, it's all nonsense. Sleep with her as much as you like if you wish. When should I send it to you.

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