Toyota Compact Truck/ Tacoma 4x2 Chronology

November 11, 2014
TOYOTA COMPACT TRUCK/MID-SIZE TACOMA HISTORICAL CHRONOLOGY
 
**NOTE:  All chronology dates are model year, unless noted otherwise.  CY refers to “Calendar Year.”**
COMPACT TRUCK/TACOMA, 4x2
 
Series Chronology
 
1964 - Stout introduced to U.S.
1969 - Hi-Lux compact truck introduced with 1.9L engine.
1970 - Hi-Lux receives new engine.
1972 - Third generation engine debuts in Hi-Lux.
1972 - Second-generation Hi-Lux.
1973 - Available with extended cargo-bed.
1974 - Wins “Pickup Truck of the Year” from Pickup, Van & 4WD.
1975 - Third generation, larger engine.
1975 - 5-spd manual transmission available.
1976 - Pickup name replaces Hi-Lux on U.S.-market trucks.
1977 (September) – one millionth truck produced.
1977 - SR5 grade introduced.
1979 - Fourth generation.
1981 - Receives larger gasoline engine and available diesel engine.  SR5 wins “Four Wheeler
           of the Year,” Four Wheeler.
1983 - Last year of 4-speed manual transmission.
1984 - 5th generation.
1984 - Xtracab, turbocharged gasoline and diesel engines available.  SR5 wins “Four Wheeler
of the Year,” Four Wheeler.
1986 - Last year of diesel engine availability.
1989 - Sixth generation, introduction of V6.
1989 - Wins “Truck of the Year,” Motor Trend
1989 - SR5 wins “Pickup Truck of the Year,” Four Wheeler.
1995 - Seventh generation, introduced as 1995 1/2 model.
1995 - Introduction of Tacoma name.
1995 - “Import Truck of the Year,” Automundo.
1996 - “Best Compact Pickup in Initial Quality,” J.D. Power & Associates.  Tacoma Xtra Cab
wins “Pickup Truck of the Year,” Four Wheeler.
1997 - Minor revision to front styling.
1997 - “Best Vehicle in Initial Quality-Compact Pickup segment,” J.D. Power & Associates
1998 - Addition of passenger-side airbag. 
1998 - Introduction of Tacoma PreRunner Xtracab. Tacoma Xtra Cab TRD wins “Pickup Truck of the Year,” Four Wheeler.
1999 - Tacoma PreRunner adds Regular Cab to model line-up.
2000 - Receives daytime running lights as standard on models equipped with ABS
2000 - Among Consumer Guide’s Recommended Compact Pickup Trucks
2001 - Introduction of PreRunner Double Cab, PreRunner Double Cab V6,
S-Runner Xtracab V6 to model line-up, as well as a StepSide bed.  Tacoma Double Cab TRD wins “Pickup Truck of the Year,” Four Wheeler.
2001 - “Most Wanted Small Pickup,” Edmunds.com
2001 - Among Consumer Guide’s Recommended Compact Pickup Truck
2002 - AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Score (VSS) award for Compact Pickup Truck
2002 - Consumer Reports Most Reliable Compact Pickup Truck
2002 - Intellichoice named Best Overall Value Compact Pickup Class 2WD
2002 - J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study (IQS) award in the Compact Pickup segment.
2002 - Among Consumer Guide’s Recommended Compact Pickup Truck
2003 - Among Consumer Guide’s Recommended Compact Pickup Truck
2004 - Tacoma receives VSC and TRAC as standard on PreRunner models
2004 - “Consumers’ Most Wanted Compact Truck of the Year for 2004,” Consumer Reports
2004 - Among Consumer Guide’s Recommended Compact Pickup Truck
2005 - Eighth generation compact truck, second generation Tacoma.  All-new Tacoma
model line – larger, more powerful, more features.
2005 - X-Runner named “Sport Truck of the Year,” Sport Truck Magazine
2005 - Motor Trend “Truck of the Year;” Among Consumer Guide’s 2005 “Best Buys
            Compact Pickup Truck;” 2005 Automobile Magazine “All-Star Pickup,” Forbes “Best
            Pickups 2005 – Least Expensive;” Kelly Blue Book “2006 Best Resale Value” –     Pickup Truck
2006 - Consumer Guide’s 2005 “Best Buys Compact Pickup Truck”
2006 - Four-cylinder automatic model named “Greener Choices 2006” and “Best of 2006” –
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
2006 - “Best Value in America” for Compact Pickup 2WD – Vincentric
2006 - Edmunds.com names Tacoma “Consumers’ Most Wanted Truck” for fifth year in a row.
2006 - IntelliChoice Motorist’s Choice Award - Compact Pickup Class 2WD
2006 - “Most Requested New Truck,” Autobytel
2007 - “Editor’s Choice Award,” Cars.com – Commuters category.
2007 - “Editor’s Choice Award,” Cars.com – Weekend Athletes category.
2007 - “Editor’s Choice Award,” Edmunds.com
2007 - “Most Wanted Pickup Truck, Compact,” Edmunds.com
2007 - ATLAS Award Winner – Compact Pickup Category by Sport Truck Connection
2008 - Truck Trend Magazine names Tacoma its “Best in Class 2008: Compact Pickup”
2009 - Minor changes for 2009 model year 
2009 - Kelley Blue Book “2009 Best Resale Value” – compact pickup category
2009 - Named an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) “TOP SAFETY PICK”
2009 - U.S. News & World Report 2009 Best Car for the Money awards - “Best Compact                   
            Pickup for the Money”
2009 -  “2009 Best Bet,” The Car Book
2009 - Intellichoice.com “Best Overall Value of the Year” award “Best Truck Value under $26,000.”
2009 – Intellichoice.com “Best overall Value of the Year” award – Compact Pickup Class 2WD
2010 -  Kelley Blue Book “2010  Best Resale Value” – mid-size pickup category
2010 - Kelly Blue Book “2010 Best Resale Value: Top 10”
2011 – IntelliChoice “2011 Best Overall Value” – Compact Pickup segment
2011 – J.D. Power & Associates Vehicle Dependability Study “Most Dependable Midsize
Pickup”
2012 - Kelley Blue Book “2012 Best Resale Value” – mid-size pickup category
2012 - Kelley Blue Book “2012 Best Resale Value: Top 10”
2012 – US News & World Report “2012 Best Cars for The Money” for Compact Pickup Trucks
2012 – Kelley Blue Book “Total Cost of Ownership Award Mid-Size Pickup Truck” – Tacoma
            Regular Cab
2013 - Kelley Blue Book 5-Year Cost-to-Own Award in Mid-size Pickup Category – Tacoma
Double Cab
2014 – Kelley Blue Book “2014 Best Resale Value” – mid-size pickup category
2014 – Kelley Blue Book “2014 Best Resale Value” – Top Ten Vehicle
2014 - U.S. News & World Report “2014 Best Cars for the Money” for Compact Pickup Trucks
 
 
Toyota's first foray into the pickup truck market was the Stout, introduced to America in 1964.  For 1969, Toyota was determined to develop and sell an all-new light truck worthy of the company that produced the Corolla.  Powered by a newly developed four-cylinder 1.9L engine designated 3R, the Hi-Lux was the vehicle Toyota had been looking for. It was somewhat Spartan inside (as trucks were utility vehicles first and foremost at that time), with a metal dashboard, a bench seat and a sturdy cargo area.

Changes were few in the early days of truck production, with a new engine, the 1.8L 8R-C, making its debut in 1970, and subsequently being replaced by the 2.0L 18R-C in 1972. 

Designated a 1973 (but released in Spring 1972 - a 1972 1/2), the next generation Hi-Lux looked less utilitarian and began to take on a car-like quality, all the while retaining its Toyota-like tendencies to be strong, reliable and inexpensive to operate. Styling was updated and turn signals originally installed on top of the fenders were now built into the body. 

For the official 1973 model year, the Hi-Lux took a large step forward in utility. Now available as an option was a 7 1/2-foot Long Bed model providing Americans with the type of hauling ability that had long been possible with full-size domestic vehicles. The combination of Long Bed models and car-like ride and handling made Toyota's Hi-Lux an immediate strong seller. In 1974, the Hi-Lux was awarded the honor of “Pickup Truck of the Year” from Pickup, Van & 4WD.

The year 1975 saw the introduction of the third-generation Hi-Lux.  It was now powered by a 2.2L version of the 18R-C, called the 20R, and was also available (for the first time on a Toyota utility vehicle) with a 5-speed manual transmission.  In 1976, the U.S.-version of the Hi-Lux lost its name, and was to be called “compact truck” from that point forward.  Truck sales were booming world wide, and in September 1977, the one-millionth pickup truck rolled out the factory in Japan.

The SR5 model was introduced in 1979. With its five-speed manual transmission paired with its powerful gasoline engine, the SR5 was intended to appeal to a new type of customer - the sport-truck buyer.

The 1979 model change (the fourth generation) was the most sweeping yet.  It resulted in a well-appointed vehicle, with the emphasis toward passenger comfort while retaining its reputation as a true workhorse. Power remained the same with the continuation of the use of the 20R engine for two more years, but in 1981 a legendary engine took its place under the hood of the truck. That was the 22R engine. The 2.4L gasoline 22R was joined by a 2.2L diesel engine in the same year.

The 1984 truck represented the fifth generation, and saw changes that continued to make it more car-like.  An Xtracab model provided additional storage space behind the seats, and engines now included turbocharged versions of the diesel and the 22R.

With gasoline becoming more affordable, diesel models of the truck were discontinued in 1986, with the turbocharged gasoline model being discontinued in 1988.

A sixth generation of the truck was introduced in 1988, optionally available with a new V6 engine.  Equipped with the V6, the truck was capable of towing 3500 pounds, and was still able to return excellent gas mileage. 

From 1988 until 1994, there were very few changes to the truck. Styling was updated regularly and luxury soon became part of the truck equation. Trucks could now be equipped with an Xtracab, sport seats, air-conditioning - even a CD player. The pickup truck was as strong, rugged and versatile as ever, but provided the owner with everything that a luxury car could.

In 1995, Toyota introduced an all-new pickup truck that was designed and built in America - the Tacoma.  Tacoma featured an all-new line-up of high-performance engines. A 142-horsepower 2.4L four-cylinder with 160 lb-ft of torque was standard on 2WD models, while 4WD models offered a 150 horsepower 2.7L four-cylinder producing 177 lb-ft of torque. Available on both configurations was a newly developed 190 horsepower 3.4L V6 producing 220 lb.-ft. of torque, which the Tacoma shared with the T100.
           
A redesigned front suspension offered a coil-spring/double-wishbone configuration, replacing the Hi-Trac torsion bar double-wishbone suspension on the previous generation. The lower arm uses a closed cross-sectional structure that added strength while reducing unsprung weight. Suspension travel on the 4WD models increased from 5.9 inches to 7.7 inches, improving both on- and off-road performance.  Tread width on both 2WD and 4WDs also increased. Tacoma continued to use the tried-and-true leaf-type rear suspension with refinements to layout design. 

Also for 1995, a standard driver-side airbag, center high-mount stop light and adjustable seatbelt anchors, improved side-view mirrors, along with optional four-wheel ABS were added. Additionally, Tacoma received side door impact beams and three-point, automatic and emergency locking retractor (ALR and ELR) seatbelts in outboard positions, with an ELR seatbelt on the driver's side.

For 1997, Tacoma remained mechanically unchanged, but received a redesigned front-end. Headlights were faired into a new grille, and the whole assembly is more aerodynamic and stylish than before.

The addition of a passenger-side airbag came in 1998, one year ahead of the Federal standard for 1999.  For increased safety, the passenger-side airbag could be turned off with the ignition key. But for redesigned sound systems and the addition of new colors, the 2WD Tacoma carried over unchanged.

The Tacoma PreRunner was introduced in mid-year. The new 2WD pickup combined the rugged styling and off-road ability of Toyota’s 4WD pickup trucks with the affordability of a 2WD model. For model year 1999, a Regular Cab model with an automatic transmission equipped with the 2.7L four-cylinder was added to the PreRunner line-up.

The 2000 model year also saw the addition of the Tacoma StepSide, a sporty stepside package that added a youthful alternative to the Tacoma lineup.

The 2001 Tacoma entered the new model year with aggressive new styling changes, several new upgrade packages and four new exterior colors. In addition, the Tacoma lineup became more diverse with the addition of the four-door Double Cab and sporty S-Runner 4x2. 

The 2002 Tacoma carried over with no changes.

The 2003 Tacoma carried over with no exterior changes. A Child Restraint System lower anchor was made standard for the front passenger seat on Regular and Xtracabs, and for the rear outboard seats on the Double Cabs.  Anti-lock brake systems were made standard on all models.

For 2004, Tacoma got Vehicle Stability Control with Traction Control as standard equipment on four-wheel drive and PreRunner models.

For  2005 Tacoma was completely revised, and was offered in three cab types – Regular Cab, Access Cab with new dual access doors and rear jump seats and the four-door Double Cab. The wheelbase on all cab types increased and front and rear track were widened by up to four inches, yielding additional shoulder and hip room.

Flush glass and flush body-to-bumper surfaces intended to reduce both wind noise and aerodynamic drag gave Tacoma a higher-quality appearance. The bed featured a new sheet-molded compound (SMC) deck and walls that were 10 percent lighter than steel, yet tougher and more durable. New TRD Off-Road and Sport Packages became available.

The 2005 Tacoma line introduced a revised 2.7L DOHC four-cylinder engine that produced 168 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque and a new 4.0L DOHC V6 producing 240 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque. In both engines, a new electronic throttle control system with intelligence (ETCS-i) helped optimize performance and fuel economy. 

Six-speed manual and 5-speed automatic transmissions were offered with the V6, and the four-cylinder models offered a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. Replacing the sporty S-Runner, the exciting X-Runner model blended concept-truck design with sports car performance from the new V6 and a specially tuned and lowered chassis.

Properly equipped, V6 Tacoma models could tow up to 6,500 pounds, 30 percent more than the 2004 V6 models. Toyota dealers offered a Toyota Racing Development (TRD) supercharger kit for the V6 that boosted output to about 300 horsepower.

Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system became available for all models, while the Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC) systems became available in certain configurations.  Double Cab models offered optional side impact air bags and curtain side airbags.        

For 2006 Tacoma entered the model year with a Tire Pressure Monitor System standard on all models and advanced airbags on models equipped with bench seating.  


The 2007 Tacoma was a carry-over with no exterior changes. All Tacoma models received redesigned head units, larger front seats, freshened instrument panel and chrome plated combination meter perimeter.  Rear seats that fully fold flat were made standard on Access Cab models. In addition, walk-in memory became standard on Access Cab Sport Grade seats.

The 2008 Tacoma was carried over unchanged from the 2007 model year.

For 2009, all Tacoma,models added several key safety features as standard equipment including the
Toyota STAR SAFETY SYSTEM™,  front seat-mounted side airbags, curtain side airbags and active front headrests. The Auto-LSD replaced the mechanical LSD in all applications where it was previously available.

Tacoma also received interior and exterior revisions for 2009. All models featured an argent-painted grille, while the TRD Offroad, TRD Sport and Tacoma X-Runner models were distinguished by a new smoked headlamp trim. All models gained restyled LED taillamps, and a new tailgate handle was able to accommodate an available backup monitor on Access Cab and Double Cab models.

Inside, all models featured new front door trim panels, while a lower center stack housed the standard auxiliary audio input jack. Access Cab models received a redesigned rear seat for improved comfort, as well as standard power windows and door locks. The SR5 grade also received new seat fabric for 2009.

The standard audio systems were now satellite radio-ready. The optional JBL audio six-CD system became Bluetooth® compatible and satellite ready, and includes a three-month free trial subscription to XM® Satellite Radio.

After the assortment of interior and exterior revisions the previous model year, the 2010 Tacoma remained unchanged.

For 2011 all Tacomas featured a brake override system as standard equipment. New front grilles were added to the Standard grade, SR5, and models with the TRD Off-Road and Sport packages. Air conditioning was made standard on all Regular Cab models. Integrated satellite radio was included in models with a six-disc changer. An available Convenience Extra Value Package was made available on Double Cab models.

Three low volume models were deleted from the Tacoma lineup and replaced by five new four-cylinder models.

The 2012 Tacoma receives a restyled exterior look and a redesigned, upgraded interior in all models adding comfort, usability and audio/infotainment performance.

The restyled exterior shows a fresh face with a redesigned hood, grille, headlamps and front bumper, among other changes. Inside, Tacoma adds a new center-instrument panel design with a revised gauge cluster, along with a new steering wheel. A redesigned center stack adds new air conditioner/heater controls and power point locations.

The 2012 Tacoma interior also gets a new look with a black high-contrast center console, switch plate covers, dash and upper door trim, while the SR5 grade features a new seat fabric design. Tacoma offers new heavy-duty all-weather flooring in the 2012 Tacoma Access and Double Cab models, while the more specialized TRD Sport and Off-Road models offer new water-resistant fabric protection seats. The TRD Sport Package adds side mirrors with turn-signal lamps for 2012, as well as available chrome-clad 18-inch wheels.

Details that add up to more comfort and function include a larger, higher-resolution display for the available back-up camera (3.3-inch vs. 2.4-inch), a new temperature gauge, available rear-view mirror with compass and HomeLink, vanity lamps added to sun visors, an additional overhead storage compartment and, on Access Cab models, a new rear-console storage box. All models now feature two front-deck “D” rings for added versatility.

Toyota added upgraded audio options for some 2012 Tacoma models. Access Cab models offered a new available six-speaker system with an AM/FM/ Satellite Radio-capable head unit with a single-disc CD player. Built-in Bluetooth® allowed hands-free phone, and a USB port enableed connection of an iPod®, MP3 player or flash drive with music files.

The DoubleCab V6 models offered a more advanced display audio system with the most in-demand connectivity features. These included navigation, Toyota Entune™ services, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with 90-day trial subscription), HD Radio with iTunes® tagging and text/e-mail-to-voice. This premium infotainment system played through a JBL® GreenEdge audio system with seven speakers.

GreenEdge technology helped reduce fuel consumption by lowering the electric power demand on the vehicle.

The Toyota Entune system is a collection of popular mobile applications and data services, with three years of complimentary access. Once a smart phone is connected to the vehicle using Bluetooth wireless technology or a USB cable, Entune’s features are operated using the vehicle’s controls or, for some services, by voice recognition. Entune includes Bing™ and Pandora®; real-time info including traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports and stocks. Apps available in spring 2012 at no charge include iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com and OpenTable®.

For 2013 the best-selling compact pickup truck in the U.S. offered a new Limited Package that added a touch of luxury and more sophisticated exterior appearance. The package included 18-inch chrome-clad wheels with 265/60R 18 tires, chrome grille surround and rear bumper along with chrome outside mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators, chrome door handles, and fog lamps. The package also included many interior amenities such as SofTex-trimmed heated front sport seats; four-way adjustable driver’s seat; variable speed windshield wipers; metallic tone instrument panel trim; leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls; auto-dimming rear-view mirror with rear camera display and outside temperature gauge; a HomeLink® universal transceiver and much more.

Entering the 2014 model year, Tacoma has now been the best-selling compact pickup truck in the U.S. market since 2008.  To carry on this remarkable sales momentum the 2014 Tacoma offers a sporty new SR appearance package, along with four levels of Entune audio. In conjunction with the Entune upgrade, the backup camera display has been moved from the rear-view mirror to the Entune head unit display.

Entune Audio leverages the user’s mobile smartphone to provide a richer in-vehicle experience with fully integrated access to navigation, entertainment and information services. The Entune Premium Audio and Entune Premium JBL® Audio systems feature engaging mobile apps, including Bing™, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable®, Pandora®,  Yelp and Facebook Places plus real-time traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports and stocks. Access to Entune services is complimentary for three years.

The new SR Package, available for the Tacoma PreRunner and 4x4 Access Cab base grade models, lends a sporty look with a color-keyed exterior appearance upgrade, including overfenders, door handles, bumpers, grille surround and mirrors, plus smoked headlight lenses. Models with the V6 engine also get fog lights with the SR package. The available ST Package, meanwhile, introduces a new 16-inch alloy Baja wheel style.

The Tacoma X-Runner sport truck is discontinued for 2014.
 
PRERUNNER:*
Tacoma PreRunner was developed in conjunction with Toyota Motorsports’ successful desert racing truck program.  Much of the suspension tuning and development work was done with the assistance of Toyota-driver Ivan “Ironman” Stewart.

PreRunner shared identical exterior styling on all ’98 4WD models. PreRunners were available only as Xtracab models with an automatic transmission and with either a four-cylinder or V6 engine. Enhancing PreRunner’s off-road ability was an available Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Off-Road package. 

The package offered a rugged combination of front and rear Bilstein gas-pressure shock absorbers, locking rear differential on V6 models, progressive-rate front coil springs and rear leaf suspension, modified-camber rear springs, a larger front stabilizer bar, 31x10.5R15 white lettered Goodyear tires, 15x7-inch alloy wheels, black overfenders and special Off-Road graphics.

In 1999, the Tacoma PreRunner added a Regular Cab to its line-up in addition to the PreRunner Xtracab model, and the 2000 model offered standard daytime running lights on all models equipped with ABS.

For 2004, Tacoma PreRunner received Vehicle Stability Control with Traction Control as standard equipment.

For 2008 and 2009, the PreRunner remained in the Tacoma line in both 4x2 and 4x4 form, and as a Regular Cab, Access Cab or Double Cab.

Like the rest of the Tacoma lineup, the 2010 PreRunner remains unchanged from the previous model year.

For 2011 three low-volume PreRunner models were deleted and two new PreRunner four-cylinder modles were added to the Tacoma lineup.
 
*PreRunner changes mirror Tacoma 4x2 changes unless otherwise noted.
 
DOUBLE CAB:*
The Tacoma Double Cab delivers the cargo-hauling capability of a pickup truck, the passenger roominess and comfort of an SUV and rugged styling that makes a strong active-lifestyle statement.

Double Cab is offered in SR5 and Limited trim levels with available off-road package in the two-wheel drive PreRunner series with a four or six-cylinder engine. It offers 11 inches of class-leading ground clearance, and a 61-inch cargo bed.  It’s four, large conventional doors open to a well-appointed and roomy interior, featuring spacious front and rear seating and a 60/40 fold-down rear bench with three-point outboard belts.

The 2003 Double Cab featured CRS lower anchors for rear outboard seats.

For 2008 and 2009, the Double Cab remained available in either 4x2 or 4x4 form. Like the rest of the Tacoma lineup, the 2010 Double Cab remains unchanged from the previous model year.
          
*Double Cab changes mirror Tacoma 4x2/4x4 changes unless otherwise noted.
 
S-RUNNER:*
The S-Runner was offered in a 4x2 Xtracab trim level with a five-speed manual overdrive transmission and powered exclusively by Tacoma’s 190-horsepower V6 engine.  Performance was enhanced with a low-to-the-ground sports tuned suspension with Tokico gas-pressure shock absorbers and stiffer springs, antiroll bars and bushings.  Ground clearance was reduced by two inches from the standard 4x2.

S-Runner boasted a full color-keyed exterior that included the grille, lower valence panel, front and rear bumper, overfenders and outside door handles and mirrors. For an extreme appearance, a dealer-installed Toyota Racing Development (TRD) body kit was available.

The color-keyed exterior was complemented by an aggressive interior feel which included standard amenities such as front sports and power lumbar driver seat, front seat for and aft adjustable headrests, leather steering wheel and shift knob, tachometer with twin trip meters, AM/FM/Cassette audio with six speakers, tilt steering wheel, variable intermittent wipers and a rear console box.

The 2002 Tacoma S-Runner’s door badging became color-keyed and there was an addition of a driver’s side A-pillar assist grip.

The S-Runner was discontinued for the 2005 model year.
 
*S-Runner changes mirror Tacoma 4x2 changes unless otherwise noted.
 
STEPSIDE:
The StepSide package was available on Regular and Xtracab 4x2 Tacoma models, powered by either four-cylinder or V6 engines for model years 2001-2003.  The StepSide’s cargo box was a solid steel unit with a sporty image that was enhanced by the use of front fenders, bumper and grille from the Tacoma 4x4.

The StepSide package was discontinued for the 2004 model year.
 
X-RUNNER*:
The X-Runner, first available in 2005, is offered in a 4x2 Access Cab trim level and powered by a 245-horsepower 4.0L V6 engine. The factory-developed performance truck has an exclusive six-speed manual transmission, specially tuned high-performance chassis and unique 18-inch alloy wheels. The X-Runner suspension uses firmer and shorter springs, and has specially tuned Bilstein gas-pressure shock absorbers. The vehicle also features a rear antiroll bar.

The X-Runner exterior incorporates full-vehicle and color-keyed ground effects, a hood scoop and integrated fog lamps. 

The interior features sport seats, a leather steering wheel and shifter, AM/FM radio with six-disc CD changer and six speakers. Other standard features include cruise control and remote keyless entry.

The 2007 X-Runner carries over for the 2008 Model year.

For 2009, the X-Runner received a new smoke headlamp trim.

Like the rest of the Tacoma lineup, the 2010 X-Runner remains unchanged from the previous model year.

The 2011 X-Runner adds a new front grille and, like all Tacomas, adds a brake override system as standard equipment.

*X-Runner changes mirror Tacoma 4x2/4x4 changes unless otherwise noted.
The Tacoma X-Runner sport truck was discontinued for the 2014 model year
           
What does it mean?
4x2 Truck: 4x2 means that the vehicle has four wheels, two of which are driven.

Tacoma: From the Salish Indian word for the mountain that provided water to their tribe (now known as Mount Rainier). The name suggests images of strength and power.
 
Tacoma PreRunner: PreRunner is a term that refers to a class of vehicle used to pre-run an off-road race course in order to save the race vehicle for race day. Often, these pre-runner vehicles are heavily modified 2WD trucks.
 
Double Cab: Double Cab is a Toyota conceived term for a four-door truck.
 
S-Runner: The term S-Runner is a sport version of the Tacoma PreRunner.
 
X-Runner: The X-Runner name is derived from its exclusive X-braced reinforced frame that provides enhanced torsional rigidity.
 
Where is it built?
Compact trucks were built at the Honsha Plant in Toyota City, Japan. 
 
All Tacoma’s are built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (TMMTX) in San Antonio, Texas and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Baja California (TMMBC) in Baja California, Mexico. 
 
All truck beds are produced at TABC in Long Beach, Calif. 
 

**NOTE:  All chronology dates are model year, unless noted otherwise.  CY refers to “Calendar Year.”**
 
COMPACT TRUCK/TACOMA, 4x4
 
Series Chronology
 
1979 - Introduction of 4WD.
1979 - Pickup, Van & 4WD “4WD of the Year,” Off-Road “4WD Vehicle of the Year,” 4x4 and Off-Road Vehicles “Toughest Truck of the Year.”
1980 - Is best selling Compact 4x4 for the next 14 years.
1982 - 4WD model available with 5-speed transmission.
1984 - Introduction of auto-locking hubs on 4WD.
1985 - Automatic transmission available on 4WD.
1989 - “Pickup Truck of the Year,” Four Wheel & Off Road Magazine.
1995 - Introduction of Tacoma name to truck line.
1996 - “Pickup Truck of the Year”, Four Wheeler.
1996 - Wins JD Power IQS.
1997 - Expanded availability of locking rear differential.
1998 - Minor change to styling, suspension.
1998 - “Pickup Truck of the Year,” Four Wheeler.
2000 - Adds appearance package, new exterior colors, and receives daytime
running lights on ABS-equipped models
2000 - Among Consumer Guide’s Recommended Compact Pickup Trucks
2001 - Aggressive styling changes, several new upgrade packages and four new
             exterior colors
2001 - Among Consumer Guide’s Recommended Compact Pickup Trucks
2002 - AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Score (VSS) Top performer in Compact Pickup Truck segment.
2002 - Among Consumer Guide’s Recommended Compact Pickup Trucks
2003 - Among Consumer Guide’s Recommended Compact Pickup Trucks
2004 - Tacoma receives VSC and TRAC as standard on PreRunner models
2004 - Among Consumer Guide’s Recommended Compact Pickup Trucks
2005 - Eighth-generation compact truck, second-generation Tacoma.  All-new Tacoma model line – larger, more powerful, more features. 
2005 - Motor Trend “Truck of the Year;” Among Consumer Guide’s 2005 Best Buys
Compact Pickup Trucks; 2005 Automobile Magazine “All-Star Pickup,” Forbes “Best Pickups 2005 – Least Expensive”
2006 - Consumer Guide’s 2005 “Best Buys Compact Pickup Truck”
2006 - Four-cylinder automatic model named “Greener Choices 2006” and “Best of 2006” – American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
2006 - “Best Value in America” for Compact Pickup 4WD – Vincentric
2006 - Edmunds.com names Tacoma “Consumers’ Most Wanted Truck” for fifth year in a  row.
2008 - Tacoma named top compact truck in Edmunds.com “2008 Consumers’ Top Rated Vehicle Awards”
2009 - Named an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) “TOP SAFETY PICK”
2009 - U.S. News & World Report 2009 Best Car for the Money awards - “Best Compact                    
            Pickup for the Money”
2009 -  “2009 Best Bet,” The Car Book
2009 – Intellichoice.com “Best overall Value of the Year” award – Compact Pickup Class 4WD
2010 -  Kelley Blue Book “2010  Best Resale Value” – mid-size pickup category
2010 - Kelly Blue Book “2010 Best Resale Value: Top 10”
2010 – Earned Insure.com “Low Cost Car Insurance Award”
2010 – Edmunds 2010 Lowest True Cost to Own Award
2012 - Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com “2012 Best Resale Value” – mid-size pickup category
2012 - Kelly Blue Book’s kbb.com “2012 Best Resale Value: Top 10”
2012 – US News & World Report  ”2012 Best Cars for The Money” for Compact Pickup Trucks
2015 – TRD PRO Series Tacoma is launched
 
 
In 1979, Toyota expanded its popular line of pickup trucks to include both two- and four-wheel-drive models. The new four-wheel-drive trucks were an immediate success with both consumers and media alike, being awarded “4WD of the Year” by Pickup, Van & 4WD, “4WD Vehicle of the Year” by Off-Road and “Toughest Truck of the Year” by 4x4 and Off-Road Vehicles.

Changes and updates on the 4WD models mirrored their 2WD cousins, with the exception of the drivetrain.  When first introduced, the four-wheel drive model was available with only a four-speed manual transmission, but was updated with a five-speed unit in 1982. A “shift on the fly” system, whereby the front hubs could be locked automatically when four-wheel drive was selected, without exiting the vehicle, was introduced in 1984. The next transmission change came in 1985, as a four-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission was made available.

Toyota trucks earned their reputation as rugged and reliable workhorses. The combination of four-wheel drive and luxury (power windows, door locks and mirrors, compact-disc player, sunroof, additional seats in the rear of the cab) proved that Toyota trucks were capable of getting almost anywhere in style, and coming safely and reliably home again.

Toyota’s Tacoma line (see 2WD section for detailed product description) saw minor changes and additions for the 1997 model year. Available on all 4WD models, Tacoma’s locking rear differential provides it with ability on tough trails unlike that of any other compact pickup truck. Other changes were to the availability of bucket seats on non-SR5 level Xtracabs and revised striping on SR5 models.

On the inside, all 1998 Tacomas received a passenger-side airbag with cutoff switch for increased occupant safety. Also added were rotary HVAC controls, two additional 12V power outlets and repositioned cupholders.

On the outside, a restyled grille and headlights along with larger front bumper and new overfenders made for a more aggressive appearance. Inspired by Toyota’s successful desert racing program, a special Toyota Racing Development Off-Road Package was equipped with specially valved Bilstein shocks, increased-rate front coil and rear leaf springs and a locking rear differential.

After receiving a redesigned interior and styling upgrades in 1998, the 1999 Tacoma remained relatively unchanged with the exception of several new added-value packages and safety features.  The added safety features included new front seatbelts with pretensioners and force limiters as well as a passenger-side airbag cut-off switch. 

The 2000 model offered standard daytime running lights on all models equipped with ABS.

For 2001, the Tacoma received a new front fascia that included a vertical grille and raised hood, new multi-reflector headlamps and jeweled tail lamps. Tether anchor brackets have been added to supplement child restraint systems.

The 2002 Tacoma 4x4 carried over unchanged.

The 2003 Tacoma’s 4x4 updates and changes mirrored those of Tacoma 4x2.  A Child Restraint System lower anchor was made standard for the front passenger seat on Regular and Xtracabs, and for the rear outboard seats on the Double Cabs.  Anti-lock brake systems were made standard on all models.

For 2004, Tacoma 4x4 received Vehicle Stability Control with Traction Control as standard equipment.
Toyota introduced an all-new Tacoma pickup truck line for 2005 that was larger, more powerful and more fuel-efficient than before. A stronger, stiffer chassis and new suspension and steering tuning improved off-road performance and on-road ride and handling.

The all-new 2005 Tacoma offered three cab types – Regular Cab, Access Cab with new dual access doors and rear jump seats and the four-door Double Cab. The wheelbase on all cab types increased and front and rear track was widened by up to four inches, yielding additional shoulder and hip room.

The new Tacoma was styled with a stronger appearance, with its big, bold headlights and grille. Flush glass and flush body-to-bumper surfaces were intended to reduce wind noise and aerodynamic drag, and also contributed to Tacoma’s higher-quality appearance. The bed featured a new sheet-molded compound (SMC) deck and walls that were 10 percent lighter than steel, yet tougher and more durable. New TRD Off-Road and Sport Packages became available.

The 2005 Tacoma line introduced a revised 2.7L DOHC four-cylinder engine that produced 168 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque and a new 4.0L DOHC V6 that produced 240 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque. In both engines, a new electronic throttle control system with intelligence (ETCS-i) helped optimize performance and fuel economy. 

Six-speed manual and 5-speed automatic transmissions became available with the V6, and the four-cylinder models offered a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.

Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system became available for all models, while the Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC) systems became available in certain configurations.  Double Cab models offered optional side impact air bags and curtain side airbags.

For 2006 Tacoma entered the model year with a Tire Pressure Monitor System standard on all models and advanced airbags on models equipped with bench seating.  

The 2007 Tacoma was a carry-over with no exterior changes. All Tacoma models received redesigned audio head units, larger front seats, a freshened instrument panel and chrome plated combination meter perimeter.  Rear seats that fully fold flat were made standard on Access Cab models.  In addition, walk-in memory became standard on Access Cab Sport Grade seats.

For 2008, the Tacoma 4x4 was a carry-over.

For 2009, all Tacoma,models adds several key safety features as standard equipment including the Toyota STAR SAFETY SYSTEM™,  front seat-mounted side airbags, curtain side airbags and active front headrests. The Auto-LSD replaces the mechanical LSD in all applications where it was previously available.

For 2009, all Tacoma,models added several key safety features as standard equipment including the Toyota STAR SAFETY SYSTEM™,  front seat-mounted side airbags, curtain side airbags and active front headrests. The Auto-LSD replaced the mechanical LSD in all applications where it was previously available.

Tacoma also received interior and exterior revisions for 2009. All models featured an argent-painted grille, while the TRD Offroad, TRD Sport and Tacoma X-Runner models were distinguished by a new smoked headlamp trim. All models gained restyled LED taillamps, and a new tailgate handle was able to accommodate an available backup monitor on Access Cab and Double Cab models.

Inside, all models featured new front door trim panels, while a lower center stack housed the standard auxiliary audio input jack. Access Cab models received a redesigned rear seat for improved comfort, as well as standard power windows and door locks. The SR5 grade also received new seat fabric for 2009.

The standard audio systems were now satellite radio-ready. The optional JBL audio six-CD system became Bluetooth® compatible and satellite ready, and includes a three-month free trial subscription to XM® Satellite Radio.
 
After the assortment of interior and exterior revisions the previous model year, the 2010 Tacoma remains unchanged.

For 2011 an all-new T|X and T|X Pro packages were made available on all V6 models equipped with a TRD Off-Road package. The T|X package included TRD 16-inch black alloy bead-lock wheels and 265/70R16 BF Goodrich Rugged Trail tires, Black tube side steps, chrome tailpipe tip and unique exterior badging.  The T|X Pro deleted the tube steps but added a TRD cat-back exhaust.

Also for 2011, Regular Cab 4x4 models with automatic transmission came equipped exclusively with bucket seats. Two new 4x4 models were added to the Tacoma lineup, a Regular Cab four-speed automatic four-cylinder and an Access Cab four-speed automatic with a four-cylinder.

The 2012 Tacoma received a restyled exterior look and a redesigned, upgraded interior in all models adding comfort, usability and audio/infotainment performance.

The restyled exterior showed a fresh face with a redesigned hood, grille, headlamps and front bumper, among other changes. Inside, Tacoma added a new center-instrument panel design with a revised gauge cluster, along with a new steering wheel. A redesigned center stack added new air conditioner/heater controls and power point locations.

The 2012 Tacoma interior also received a new look with a black high-contrast center console, switch plate covers, dash and upper door trim, while the SR5 grade featured a new seat fabric design. Tacoma offered new heavy-duty all-weather flooring in the 2012 Tacoma Access and Double Cab models, while the more specialized TRD Sport and Off-Road models offered new water-resistant fabric protection seats. The TRD Sport Package added side mirrors with turn-signal lamps for 2012, as well as available chrome-clad 18-inch wheels.

Details that add up to more comfort and function included a larger, higher-resolution display for the available back-up camera (3.3-inch vs. 2.4-inch), a new temperature gauge, available rear-view mirror with compass and HomeLink, vanity lamps added to sun visors, an additional overhead storage compartment and, on Access Cab models, a new rear-console storage box. All models now featured two front-deck “D” rings for added versatility.

Toyota upgraded the audio options for some 2012 Tacoma models. Access Cab models offered a newly available six-speaker system with an AM/FM/ Satellite Radio-capable head unit with a single-disc CD player.  Built-in Bluetooth® allowed hands-free phone, and a USB port enabled connection of an iPod®, MP3 player or flash drive with music files.

The DoubleCab V6 models offered a more advanced display audio system with the most in-demand connectivity features. These included navigation, Toyota Entune™ services, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (with 90-day trial subscription), HD Radio with iTunes® tagging and text/e-mail-to-voice. This premium infotainment system plays through a JBL® GreenEdge audio system with seven speakers. GreenEdge technology helps reduce fuel consumption by lowering the electric power demand on the vehicle.

The Toyota Entune system is a collection of popular mobile applications and data services, with three years of complimentary access. Once a smart phone is connected to the vehicle using Bluetooth wireless technology or a USB cable, Entune’s features are operated using the vehicle’s controls or, for some services, by voice recognition. Entune includes Bing™ and Pandora®; real-time info including traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports and stocks. Apps available in spring 2012 at no charge include iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com and OpenTable®.
 
For 2013 the best-selling compact pickup truck in the U.S. offers a new Limited Package that adds a touch of luxury and more sophisticated exterior appearance. The package includes 18-inch chrome-clad wheels with 265/60R 18 tires, chrome grille surround and rear bumper along with chrome outside mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators, chrome door handles, and fog lamps. The package also includes many interior amenities such as SofTex-trimmed heated front sport seats; four-way adjustable driver’s seat; variable speed windshield wipers; metallic tone instrument panel trim; leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls; auto-dimming rear-view mirror with rear camera display and outside temperature gauge; a HomeLink® universal transceiver and much more.

Entering the 2014 model year, Tacoma was the best-selling compact pickup truck in the U.S. market since 2008.  To carry on this remarkable sales momentum the 2014 Tacoma offered a sporty new SR appearance package, along with four levels of Entune audio. In conjunction with the Entune upgrade, the backup camera display was been moved from the rear-view mirror to the Entune head unit display.

Entune Audio leveraged the user’s mobile smartphone to provide a richer in-vehicle experience with fully integrated access to navigation, entertainment and information services. The Entune Premium Audio and Entune Premium JBL® Audio systems featured engaging mobile apps, including Bing™, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable®, Pandora®,  Yelp and Facebook Places plus real-time traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports and stocks. Access to Entune services was complimentary for three years.

The new SR Package, available for the Tacoma PreRunner and 4x4 Access Cab base grade models, lended a sporty look with a color-keyed exterior appearance upgrade, including overfenders, door handles, bumpers, grille surround and mirrors, plus smoked headlight lenses. Models with the V6 engine also got fog lights with the SR package. The available ST Package, meanwhile, introduced a new 16-inch alloy Baja wheel style.

For 2015 model year Toyota introduced the TRD PRO Series Tacoma from Toyota Racing Development (TRD).  Serious off-roaders have long favored the Tacoma as a basis to build their custom trucks. The 2015 Tacoma TRD Pro Series gives them a head start on their way to the desert. Replacing the limited-edition Tacoma Baja Series that was offered for 2014, the 2015 Tacoma TRD Pro Series adopts much of that model’s beefed-up body and chassis features, including 16-inch beadlock style TRD alloy wheels with BF Goodrich LT265/70R16 All-Terrain KO tires.

Suspension mods make the Tacoma TRD Pro Series off-road ready, raising ride height in front, increasing wheel travel and using TRD springs with decreased rate for better ride control over rough terrain. The front suspension, which adds 0.75-inch wheel travel, is upgraded with 60mm-piston Bilstein high-performance shocks with remote reservoirs to increase shock oil capacity for greater heat dissipation and damping sensitivity. The rear suspension is equipped with 50mm-piston Bilstein high-performance shocks with remote reservoirs, and the TRD springs add 1.5-inch to wheel travel.

A TRD Cat-back Exhaust cuts backpressure and adds a sporty growl to the 4.0-liter V6 engine. And then comes the TRD Pro Series styling: black alloy wheels, unique blackout front grille, special TRD badging and a choice of black, white or exclusive Inferno exterior colors. Inside, the TRD shift knob and floor mats add a custom touch.

The all-new ninth-generation 2016 Tacoma will be revealed at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 12, 2015.
 
What does it mean?
4x4 Truck:  4x4 signifies that the vehicle has four wheels, all four of which are driven.
 
Where is it built?
Four-wheel-drive compact trucks were built at the Tahara Plant in Tahara, Japan, and all truck beds were produced at TABC in Long Beach, Calif.  4x2 compact trucks were built at the Honsha Plant in Toyota City, Japan.  
 
All Tacomas are built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (TMMTX) in San Antonio, Texas and Baja California (TMMBC) in Baja California, Mexico.  All truck beds are produced at TABC in Long Beach, Calif. 
 
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