Recently Toyota has been in the news for either hybrid vehicles or contemplating what to do with the gobs of money at their disposal; usually it isn't about performance. Enter the X-Runner, what I see as the anti-Toyota: a torquey six-speed Tacoma with some handling upgrades and lots of attitude. I'm happy to give it a home for the next week.
The 2005 Tacoma is in the battle to become America?s best selling mid-size truck for this year and if my initial impression of the X-Runner is any indication, it most likely will pull it off. Let me introduce you to the X-Runner package.
The X-Runner comes as only a two-wheel drive Xtracab with the 4.0-liter DOHC V6 with VVT-I and a six-speed manual. The engine cranks out a healthy 245 horsepower @ 5200 rpm and 282 lb-ft of torque @ 3800 rpm. The truck gets power to the road via 18-inch alloy wheels fitted with 255/45R18 Bridgestone Potenza rubber.
This truck isn?t just about straight lines either. The X-Runner gets what Toyota calls the X-brace tuned suspension with gas Bilstein shocks and a rear stabilizer bar that helps keeps the Tacoma firmly planted around corners.
Outside the X-Runner gets a healthy dose of ground effects all around and a big, but non-functional hood scoop. The bed is made of a composite material and contains multiple cubbie holes, adjustable tie downs and a 115v/400W power point. Some nice features on a mid-size truck.
Inside you get the standard Toyota fair, which is to say very nice and well put together. The rear jumper seats are pretty small (as are many in this size range) but fold down nicely to reveal more storage.
The Speedway Blue color really brings this truck out, as if all the ?look at me? add-ons already didn?t attract attention. This truck stickers for $23,769, not that bad for what you get. Tomorrow I?ll get you a better look at the interior, until then I?m going to take this out for a few more spins around the block.