2004 Tacoma New Car Test Drive
Toyota knows what compact truck buyers want, and its Tacoma pickup delivers the goods. Toyota Tacoma boasts a heritage of solid service as a work truck along with a hard-earned reputation as a winning off-road race truck.
Toyota makes a Tacoma to fit almost any work-related or recreational pursuit. The Tacoma line starts with a simple two-wheel-drive work truck loaded with nothing but quality, durability and reliability. The line tops out with fancy four-wheel-drive models that offer features comparable to a compact sedan.
Changes for 2003 emphasize safety. All Tacoma models now stop with anti-lock brakes (ABS); while child restraint system (CRS) anchors have been added to the front passenger seats of standard Cab and Xtracab models, and to the outboard rear seats in Double Cabs.
Tacoma pickups are available with standard, extended (Xtracab), and four-door cabs (Double Cab).
Base rear-wheel drive (4X2) Tacomas start at just over $12,000. Frugal in features, these are working machines powered by an economical 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine that will push them along for many years of reliable service.
Four-wheel-drive Tacomas come with either a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine (starting at $16,510) or a 3.4-liter V6 ($19,720).
An SR5 option package adds air conditioning, tilt steering, variable intermittent wipers and other features. The price and content of the SR5 package varies with cab, engine, and driveline. V6 Double Cabs and V6 Xtracab 4x4s can be ordered with a similar Limited package, which includes most SR5 content plus power windows, locks and mirrors. Again the precise content depends on the body style.
A StepSide bed option ($310) features bulging rear fenders and a small step behind the doors (not available on Double Cabs).
PreRunner is a 4x2 truck with an off-road suspension. It is patterned after the specially prepared pickups used by off-road racing teams to scout or pre-run a desert race course prior to a race. PreRunners are available in standard, Xtracab, or Double Cab configurations, and with either the 2.7-liter inline-4 or 3.4-liter V6. PreRunners start at $14,015.
Xtracab S-Runner is a low-riding street sports model with a suspension tuned for handling on pavement. S-Runner comes with the 3.4-liter V6, five-speed transmission, sport seats, and color-keyed trim.
The TRD (Toyota Racing Development) off-road package can be added to 2WD PreRunner or 4WD Xtracab models. The TRD package adds Bilstein shocks, a locking rear differential, increased-rate front and rear springs, a larger stabilizer bar, P265/70R16 B.F. Goodrich tires, overfenders (color-keyed on Limited models), and special graphics.
Also available from TRD is a fully warranted, dealer-installed supercharger for the 3.4-liter V6. The TRD blower boosts output by 40 percent, from 190 to 260 horsepower.