Two different dual-overhead-cam engines are offered in the Tacoma: a 2.7L 4-cylinder or a 4.0L V6. The four makes 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque and has adequate power if towing is not required; others will want the 236-horsepower and more so its 266 pound-feet of torque--much of it at available at lower revs--for its stronger yet more easygoing nature and its better towing and load ability. When properly equipped, the Tacoma in Access Cab form can tow up to 6,500 pounds.
Several specialty models give the Tacoma a more focused look and purpose--especially for those looking for more performance or off-road ability. Pre-Runner and X-Runner models have a performance-truck look, with the X-Runner maximizing the Tacoma's on-road abilities with a special 6-speed manual gearbox, suspension, wheel and tire upgrades and the capability to get to 60 mph in less than seven seconds or to pull up to 0.9g in lateral acceleration.
On V6 models, there's also a fully warranted dealer-installed supercharger kit available, which boosts engine output to 304 horsepower and 334 pound-feet of torque. Other performance options include a dealer-installed Big Brake system with forged-aluminum 4-piston calipers, braided steel lines and larger, higher-friction pads.
T|X and T|X Pro models give the Tacoma a sportier off-road look, including black Alloy bead-lock wheels and BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires, as well as a stainless steel exhaust tip and exterior graphics. The T|X Pro gets a special TRD cat-back exhaust system for a throatier sound plus more power. Both versions get special Bilstein shocks, fog lamps, and a 28-mm stabilizer bar--plus water-resistant seats inside.
All Tacoma models come with a composite inner bad that's 10-percent lighter than steel yet more durable. There's also an integrated deck-rail utility with four adjustable tie-down cleats. Cargo accessories include diamond-plate storage boxes, cargo cross-bars and a fork-mount bike rack.
An SR5 Package is offered on the Access Cab and Double Cab models; it's mostly an appearance package, with more chrome brightwork and color-keyed overfenders, and some upgraded trim inside. Infotainment systems have been kept up-to-date in the Tacoma, with Double Cab V6 models offering a Display Audio system with a 6.1-inch touch screen, backup-camera display, JBL Synthesis speakers, subwoofer and amplifier, plus HD Radio with iTunes Tagging, a USB port, iPod controls, voice recognition and Bluetooth music streaming. Also offered is Toyota's Entune system, with apps for Bing, Pandora and more.