The Toyota Tacoma is the compact line of trucks. These smaller but still very powerful trucks offer a lot of value and huge amount of trim levels to meet every customer’s needs. The Tacoma has been around since 1969 under various names, it has when through countless body style changes and many different engines through the years. The current rendition of this classic compact truck offers a 2.7 liter engine that puts out 159 horsepower matched with a 5 speed manual transmission. The biggest engine offered in this model is a V-6 that puts out 236 horsepower which almost seems like overkill in a truck this small, but really is needed when pulling a sizeable or heavy load. The Tacoma come standard with a rear wheel drive but there is an optional 4WD upgrade that many will find necessary for serious off road action.

This compact truck comes in many different trim levels including the popular off road package and the TRD supercharger levels which really crank up the engine and suspension used. The Tacoma base price is $16,365 but can go much higher when you add on all the extras.

Body styles: Truck
Engines: 2.7L I-4, 4.0L V-6
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 5-speed manual, 5-speed automatic, 4-speed automatic
Models: Regular Cab, Access Cab, X-Runner, PreRunner, Double Cab

All regular-cab 2011 Toyota Tacoma models now come with air conditioning. There is also an available Convenience Extra Value Package for Tacoma Double Cab models, with cruise control, sliding rear window, keyless entry, and audio controls on the steering wheel. There are also new grilles — a metallic surround with gray bar on standard models, chrome surround with black bar for SR5 and Off-Road, and body color surround with matching bar for Tacoma X-Runner.

The current Toyota Tacoma’s body has the most curves and angles ever. It’s offered with a higher ground clearance and more off-road capability, regular height, or with a lowered street truck look. Largest wheel size for the Tacoma is 18 inches.

Regular Cab Tacoma models seat three people, Access Cab models seat four, and Double Cab models seat five. Cabs are standard with tilt/telescoping steering wheel, air conditioning, and power ports. Tacoma options include cruise control, rear heater ducts, and sport seats.

When it comes to handling, the sporty Tacoma X-Runner pulled a 0.89 g on the skidpad and went through the slalom at 65 mph. The Tacoma Double Cab went from 0 to 60 in 8.7 seconds; the PreRunner did it in 6.8. The Double Cab stopped from 60 mph in 126 feet and the PreRunner needed only 122.

Driver and front-passenger airbags are standard on the Tacoma, with an advanced airbag system (on Access Cab and Double Cab models). Also standard on the Tacoma are disc/drum brakes, ABS, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, stability control, and traction control.

Regular Cab: 17-20 mpg city/22-26 mpg highway
Access Cab: 14-20 mpg city/18-26 mpg highway
X-Runner: 17 mpg city/21 mpg highway
Double Cab: 14-16 mpg city/18-20 mpg highway

  • Cab/bed options
  • X-Runner handling
  • Rugged durability
  • Capability
  • X-Runner ride quality
  • Overdone styling
  • Not enough standard

Versatile pickup that keeps growing


  • Ford Ranger
  • Nissan Frontier
  • Chevrolet Colorado

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