After a complete redesign for 2005, Toyota's Tacoma pickup enters 2006 with minimal changes. The advanced airbag system, previously standard only on models with bucket seats, is now standard with the bench seat. All models also now receive a new tire pressure monitoring system.
Small pickups have been a major part of Toyota's business since the first one went on sale in this country. Toyota claims that the Tacoma accounts for nearly 10% of their sales. As if to underscore Tacoma's importance to the brand's U.S. sales, it is now built exclusively at Toyota plants in Fremont, California and Tijuana, Mexico.
Variety is the buzzword in the Tacoma lineup, with the availability of everything from a no-option, bench-seat-equipped 4-cylinder work truck to the X-Runner, which Toyota describes as a "muscle" truck, a lowered 4x2 version that, according to Toyota, runs 0-60 mph in under 7 seconds and pulls 0.9g lateral acceleration readings on the skidpad. Naturally, there are 4x4 versions with available off-road packages as well as the PreRunner, a 4x2 Tacoma with the stance and styling of a 4x4. Anti-lock brakes (front disc, rear drum) are standard on all models, and Toyota's Vehicle Stability Control system is standard on all but the X-Runner.
The Tacoma is offered with a regular cab, Access (extended) cab, and Double (crew) cab, the latter offered only on 4x4 and PreRunner models. Double Cabs are available with both short and long beds (60.3-inch and 73.5-inch, respectively), while all other models get a 73.5-inch bed. Payloads range from 910 lbs. to 1,685 lbs., depending on model and equipment, and towing capacities range from 3,500 lbs. to 6,500 lbs. The Tacoma offers two engine choices: all models except X-Runner and Double Cab models come with a 2.7L, 4-cylinder engine (159 hp, 180 lb.-ft. of torque) with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. A 4.0L V-6 (236 hp, 266 lb.-ft.) is standard on the X-Runner and Double Cab models, and optional on PreRunners and 4x4s with the Access Cab. Transmission choices are a 6-speed manual (standard on X-Runner and 4x4 Double Cab) or a 5-speed automatic (standard on PreRunner Double Cab, optional on PreRunner/4x4 Access Cabs and 4x4 Double Cabs). Regular Cab versions of the PreRunner and 4x4 are available with only the 4-cylinder/5-speed manual powertrain.
The Tacoma competes in the Midsize Pickup segment, a category which, unlike the full-size pickup segment, is divided among American and Japanese brands.
According to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM the Tacoma's 168,831 sales in calendar year 2005 put it at the top of the sales chart in its segment. Next on the list are the Chevrolet Colorado (128,359 sales in 2005), Ford Ranger (120,958), and Dodge Dakota (104,051). Other competitors include the Nissan Frontier, Honda Ridgeline, GMC Canyon, Subaru Baja, Mazda B-series, Mitsubishi Raider, and Isuzu I-series, with the 2007 Ford Explorer Sport Trac joining the fray in 2006.
|Base (M5)||5 speed manual||$13,980||159-hp / 2.7L 4-cyl||20/27|
|PreRunner (M5)||5 speed manual||$14,850||159-hp / 2.7L 4-cyl||20/27|
|PreRunner V6 (M6)||6 speed manual||$19,635||236-hp / 4.0L 6-cyl||16/21|
|Base V6 (M6)||6 speed manual||$22,810||236-hp / 4.0L 6-cyl||16/21|
|X-Runner V6 (M6)||6 speed manual||$23,745||236-hp / 4.0L 6-cyl||16/21|