through Los Angeles and lower Oxnard Counties, I noticed many (nine
over four days) late-model Tacomas pressed into service as light duty
work trucks. Their composite boxes stored all sorts of equipment, from
lawn mowers to ladders to lumber. The only other recently built small
pickups I saw performing the same duties were two Colorados, a Ranger,
and a Dakota.
I want to
like the current Tacoma more than I do. I need a small truck in Southern
California because it’s not practical to park a full-size
at my house and I don’t need to tow 10,000-lbs.
a 2002 Tacoma TRD Double Cab 3.4-liter V6 PreRunner 4x2 and fell madly
in love with the truck’s simplicity, usability, and
dimensions. It was priced below $26K because it was a 2WD PreRunner.
Today I’d pay almost $29K for a comparable Tacoma that’s
almost as large as the first-generation Tundra. Current generation Tacos
were stretched almost six-inches while front and rear tracks were widened
by nearly four-inches.
and whiny TRD supercharger transforms the Tacoma into a fast sprinter.
3.4-liter V6 Toyota Racing Development compressor was a simple bolt-on
piece of hardware but the new 4.0-liter TRD unit is sophisticated and
tightly integrated with the Tacoma’s engine management and
ignition systems. Plus, it adds an air-to-liquid intercooler for improved
intake efficiency. The best 0 to 60 time came in at 6.6-seconds.
Except for a bit of lag at the start, power was constantly available
in all gears and torque was impressively strong.
the supercharger under the truck’s original powertrain
warranty for up to 5-years or 60,000-miles when installed by a Toyota
dealer. Non-dealer installs are warranted up to 12-months or 12,000-miles.
and handling were very good for a long wheelbase crew cab. There was
little body roll in corners taken at sensible speeds. Driving the 4x4
Tacoma on the twisty Mulholland Highway wasn’t as difficult as
had been anticipated. The sport suspension was always on the stiff
side of comfortable on the coastal and mountainous two-lane road, especially
when the truck hit coarse pavement, but for the most part
behavior was predictable and seldom unsettling. Steering feedback was
the biggest complaint – becoming slow and
dull at higher speeds.
bed option made the Tacoma difficult to park. At 221-inches it was
the same length as a Chevrolet Avalanche and only 7-inches shorter
than a Tundra CrewMax, and it lacked back up sensors. Several parking
attempts in different lots required multi-point turning maneuvers.
time spent driving the Tacoma left me wanting something different.
Something better. If I wanted a truck this size, I’d get a half-ton.
But in the city, do I need a 6.6-second mid-size pickup? No. Do I want
better than (an average) 15.2-miles-per-gallon? Yes. Would I settle for
a four-cylinder gas engine - or better yet a diesel - in my city truck?
is a decent truck but what I really want is an A-BAT.
2008 TRD Supercharged Toyota Tacoma Double Cab 4x4 Long Bed
JBL Stereo and CD: $560
TRD Sport Package #1: $3,345
V6 Towing Package (6,500-lbs Max): $650
Floor Mats: $199
Security System: $479
TRD Supercharger Main Assembly: $4,140
TRD Supercharger Installation Kit: $360
Delivery Fee: $685
Price as Tested: $36,585