Through 45 years of compact pickup truck heritage, Toyota has continued its sales dominance in this competitive segment with the Tacoma. Starting with the Stout in 1964, followed by the Hilux in 1969, Toyota Compact Pickup in 1976, and for the last 15 years the Tacoma, Toyota’s compact pickups have been a leader in the evolution of the compact pickup segment.
The Toyota truck started out as basic and functional and through the years became more powerful, with added roominess and refinement. Throughout, it was always rugged and reliable. It has defined, and redefined the meaning of a phrase that has become synonymous with the Toyota brand, quality, durability and reliability.
Now in its eighth generation, Toyota has sold more than five and one-half million compact pickups in the U.S. Presently, Tacoma commands a nearly 40 percent market share in its segment, outselling its closest competitor by more than 2:1.
After receiving extensive interior and exterior revisions in 2009, the 2010 model year Tacoma carries over unchanged.
The 2010 Tacoma line offers two engines: a 2.7-liter DOHC four-cylinder that produces 159 horsepower with 180 lb-ft. of torque and a 4.0-liter DOHC V6 that produces 236 horsepower with 266 lb-ft. of torque. In both engines variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) provides strong low-end and mid-range torque. An Electronic Throttle Control System with intelligence (ETCS-i) helps optimize performance and fuel economy. The V6 engine can be teamed with either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. Four-cylinder 4x4 models come equipped with a five-speed manual transmission and four-cylinder 4x2 models offer a choice between a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic transmission.
The Tacoma X-Runner performance truck features the 4.0-liter V6 engine in a specially lowered and tuned chassis. Available exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, the X-Runner can accelerate from zero-to-60 mph in less than seven seconds. Just as impressive, X-Runner can achieve lateral acceleration in excess of 0.9-g – comparable with many performance cars. The X-Runner's Access Cab design incorporates a full body kit, a hood scoop and integrated fog lamps. The color-keyed monochromatic exterior comes in three colors – Barcelona Red, Black Sand Pearl and Speedway Blue.
When equipped with a V6 Tow Package both Access and Double Cab models boast a maximum tow capacity of 6,500 pounds. Considering the Double Cab V6 PreRunner also earned an EPA mpg city/highway rating of 17/21, the combination of power, capability, and fuel economy has made Tacoma a market leader.
Capability, Handling and Ride
Tacoma offers some of the most sophisticated dynamic control technology in the segment. Standard on all Tacoma models is the Toyota Star Safety System™, which includes the anti-lock braking system (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRAC). An Automatic Limited-slip Differential (Auto-LSD), which uses brake intervention to help reduce tire slippage at the rear wheels, is standard on all Tacoma models (with the exception of models equipped with TRD Off-road packages, which are equipped with a separate locking rear differential).
The VSC system, which integrates TRAC, enhances traction on or off-road by helping to keep the vehicle on its intended course. VSC detects front-wheel slide and rear-wheel slide during cornering and attempts to control either condition with throttle intervention and/or by braking individual wheels. Auto-LSD employs the sensors and hardware to provide the limited-slip effect on the rear wheels.
EBD optimizes brake pressure at each wheel independently for greater control under braking, especially when cornering. BA is designed to determine if the driver is attempting emergency braking. If the driver has not pressed firmly enough on the brake pedal to engage the ABS, the system supplements applied braking power until pedal pressure is released.
Tacoma automatic transmission models come equipped with Hill-start Assist Control (HAC). By independently controlling the brakes at each wheel as needed, HAC prevents the vehicle from rolling backward or slipping sideways during a transition from a stopped position to climbing a grade. The TRD Off-Road Package on 4x4 V6 automatic models includes HAC and Downhill Assist Control (DAC). DAC uses engine braking to regulate downhill speed and independently control the brakes at each wheel to help improve directional control. DAC automatically de-activates if the driver depresses the brake or accelerator pedals, presses the DAC button, or shifts into neutral.
To serve the specific needs of the off-road enthusiast, TRD Off-Road Packages feature a locking rear differential that can be activated from an electronic switch mounted in the cab. This on-demand feature allows the power to be evenly distributed to both rear wheels to increase overall traction. An electronic rear differential is available on 4x4 models and the 4x2 PreRunner.
All seating positions on every Tacoma model are equipped with three-point seatbelts, and an advanced dual-stage airbag system. A front passenger cutoff switch is standard on Access Cab models. Each model is equipped with standard front seat-mounted side airbags and roll-sensing side curtain airbags (including a cutoff switch). All Access and Double Cab models feature standard active headrests on the driver and front passenger seats. The active headrests move up and forward almost instantly in the event of certain rear-end collisions to help reduce the distance between the occupant's head and the headrest.
Comfort and Convenience
The well-equipped 4x2 Regular Cab model includes a standard full-size spare tire; AM/FM CD four-speaker sound system; tachometer; digital clock; two instrument panel powerpoints with a lighter; dome lamp; and rear mudguards. Air conditioning is offered as a standalone option on Regular Cab models.
The Access Cab and Double Cab models add more standard features, including power windows and door locks, bucket seats and a center console. In Double Cab models, power mirrors and driver seat adjustable lumbar support are also standard. For both Access and Double Cab models the option combinations are built on five core packages.
The Convenience Package, for Access Cab models only, adds cruise control, remote keyless entry, power mirrors, sliding rear window with privacy glass and steering-wheel mounted audio controls. The SR5 Package for both Access and Double Cab models, bundles styling and comfort features, including color-keyed overfenders and front bumper, chrome grille surround and chrome rear bumper, intermittent wipers and upgraded interior features and trim, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel and automatic transmission shift lever.
For Double Cab models, an optional Premium JBL audio six-CD system is Bluetooth® compatible and has an integrated satellite radio system, which includes a three-month trial subscription to XM® Satellite Radio.
Access Cab and Double Cab models offer upgraded audio systems with an AM/FM/in-dash six-disc CD changer, which are satellite radio ready and includes pre-wiring and antenna. Optional on Access Cab models is a system that features two audio speakers integrated into the ceiling and a 7.9-inch 65-watt subwoofer integrated between the rear jump seats, bringing the speaker count to seven. Double Cab models offer the JBL premium audio system with seven speakers, including an amplified subwoofer. Both audio upgrades feature steering wheel audio controls.
Toyota offers a variety of performance parts and option packages for Tacoma. The TRD Off-Road Package provides a carefully tuned balance of off-road performance and on-road handling. Chassis modifications include progressive-rate front springs, specially tuned Bilstein shock absorbers, a 28-mm front stabilizer bar and 265/70R16 BF Goodrich Rugged Trail tires on 16-inch alloy wheels. Fog lamps and TRD graphics top off the package for a tough, sporty appearance.
The TRD Sport Package is road-focused and features its own specific suspension tuning and lower-profile 265/65 R17 tires on 17-inch alloy wheels. This package also gives Tacoma a sporty street look with fog lamps, hood scoop, TRD graphics and a color-keyed rear bumper, mirrors, grille surround and door handles.
Both TRD option packages include a 400W/115V powerpoint in the bed, sport seats with adjustable lumbar support, unique fabric, plus an overhead console with a compass and outside temperature display. Double Cab and Access Cab models also offer the new backup monitor system.
The available dealer-installed TRD Big Brake system was developed by Toyota Technical Center and TRD engineers. Engineered to provide effective braking performance under sustained heavy use, the Big Brake system dramatically improves pedal feel, while substantially reducing brake fade from repeated high-speed stops. The system uses 13 x 1.25-inch semi-floating vented rotors with directional internal fins; forged aluminum four-piston fixed calipers; larger pads with high coefficient-of-friction material; and braided steel lines.
TRD also offers a 4.0-liter V6 Supercharger kit capable of generating 304 horsepower and 334 lbs.-ft. of torque. The design uses Eaton Roots-type rotating components in a one-piece supercharger plenum/manifold casting. The supercharger is fully warranted for up to five years or 60,000 miles or the remainder of the powertrain warranty at the time of installation when installed by a Toyota dealer.
The 2010 Tacoma line offers 18 different model configurations based on three cab types: Regular Cab, Access Cab, and the four-door Double Cab.
With its big, bold headlights and grille, Tacoma projects a strong, rugged appearance. Flush rear surface glass and surface structures between the bumper sides and body give Tacoma a sophisticated, clean look. PreRunner and 4x4 models are distinguished by bold overfenders. PreRunner models combine the 4x2 drivetrain with the 4x4's raised riding stance and styling. Double Cab models offer a roof rack system with crossbars that deploy from the roof rails.
The Tacoma Regular Cab and Access Cab models feature a 73.5-inch-long bed. The Double Cab is available with a choice of a 60.3-inch bed or the 73.5-inch bed. The Tacoma's composite inner bed is made from a sheet-molded compound (SMC) deck and walls that are 10 percent lighter than steel, yet tough and durable. The bed deck features two-tier loading and integrated deck rail utility that includes four standard adjustable tie-down cleats. The rails are compatible with Genuine Toyota Accessories, including cargo bed cross bars, a fork-mount bike rack, and diamond-plate storage boxes. An available 115V/400W powerpoint further extends the bed's utility.
Tacoma Regular Cab 4x2 models are built on a 109.4-inch wheelbase; PreRunner and 4x4 Regular Cab Tacomas are built on a 110-inch wheelbase; 4x2 Access Cab models (including PreRunner and 4x4) ride on a 127.4-inch wheelbase. The Tacoma Double Cab with the standard five-foot bed shares the 127.4-inch wheelbase, and the Double Cab long-bed models use a 140.6-inch wheelbase.
The rear doors on Access Cab models open to 80 degrees to give passengers easy ingress and egress.
The Tacoma interior provides durability and comfort with high-grade fabric and generous standard equipment. Sound absorption material in the headliner and behind the rear seats along with insulating carpeting help to provide a quiet cabin. Exterior aerodynamic details help reduce wind noise.
A three-pod instrument gauge panel lends a sporty look in all models. The center console (standard on Access Cab and Double Cab models) flows into the instrument panel for a unified appearance. The console integrates three cupholders, two of which can accommodate extra-large containers.
All Tacoma models provide dual bottle holders in driver's- and passenger's-side doors. Audio controls are mounted high for easy access. Higher-grade models feature fabric-covered sun visors and an overhead console with map lights, as well as compartments for sunglasses and a garage door opener.
Interior storage is maximized in Access Cab models with fold up rear seats and underseat storage. Double Cab models feature 60/40 split rear seats with adjustable headrests and under-seat storage.
The Tacoma is assembled at the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) production facility in Fremont, Calif. and Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Baja California (TMMBC) production facility in Tijuana, Baja Calif., Mexico.