The Toyota Tacoma has been the bestselling compact pickup truck in the U.S. since 2005 and the Japanese manufacturer thinks the 2014 model will hang on to that title without making very many changes.
The Tacoma, with its broad range of models and options, is popular with Americans as both a work truck and a play truck. The line offers a choice between four-cylinder and V-6 engines, and 2WD and 4WD drivetrains. Three cab types are available — Regular Cab, Access Cab with rear seating, and the four-door Double Cab. The X-Runner sport model has been discontinued for 2014.
On Access Cab models, the rear doors open to 80 degrees to give passengers easy in and out. Bold overfenders distinguish PreRunner and 4×4 models. PreRunners combine the 4×2 drivetrain with the 4×4’s raised riding stance and styling.
Double Cab models offer a roof-rack system with crossbars that deploy from the roof rails. Regular Cab models have a 109.6-inch wheelbase and Access Cab rides on a 127.4-inch wheelbase.
Both have a 73.5-inch-long bed. The Double Cab has a 60.3-inch bed on the 127.4-inch wheelbase or a 73.5-inch-long bed on a 140.6-inch wheelbase chassis. On all models, the composite inner bed is made from a sheet-molded composite (SMC) deck, and durable walls that are 10-percent lighter than steel. The bed deck has two-tier loading and an integrated deck-rail utility with four standard adjustable tie-down cleats. An available 115V/400W power point further extends the bed’s utility.
Two engines are available — a 2.7-liter Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) four-cylinder that produces 159 hp and 180 pounds-feet of torque and a 4.0-liter DOHC V-6 that provides 236 hp with 266 pounds-feet of torque. Both engines have variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) for strong low-end and mid-range torque.
The V-6 can be teamed with either a sixspeed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. Four-cylinder models offer a choice between a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic transmission. When equipped with a V-6 Tow Package, Access Cab models have a maximum tow capacity of 6,500 pounds.
The new SR Package, available for the PreRunner and 4×4 Access Cab and Double Cab base grade models, adds a sporty look to the Tacoma with a colorkeyed exterior appearance upgrade, including overfenders, door handles, bumpers, grille surround and mirrors with turn signals, plus smoked headlight lenses and a black finish 16-inch Baja wheel style. Models with the V-6 engine also get fog lights with the SR package.
The Limited Package adds 18-inch chrome-clad wheels with 265/60R18 tires; a chrome grille surround and rear bumper; along with chrome outside mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators; chrome door handles and fog lamps.
The starting MSRP on the 2014 Toyota Tacoma is $18,125.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.