Built at Toyota's and General Motors' New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) production facility, in Fremont, Calif., the 2000 Tacoma compact pickup truck enters the new model year with a new appearance package, exterior colors, and daytime running lights on ABS-equipped models.

The all-new Full Color Key Package is available on all Tacomas with Sunfire Red Pearl exteriors. The package includes color-keyed front and rear bumpers, grille, door handles and outside mirrors.

Tacoma is available in regular- and extended-cab models, with two- or four-wheel drive, manual or automatic transmissions and with four-cylinder or V6 engines. Models include Tacoma, Xtracab, Xtracab V6 and Xtracab Limited V6. All 2WD Tacomas feature a standard 2.4-liter, 16-valve, twin-cam four-cylinder engine, that produces 142 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 160 lb./ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. 4WD models feature a standard 2.7-liter, 16-valve, twin-cam four-cylinder engine producing 150 horsepower at 4,800 rpm and 177 lb./ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm.

Available on both 2WD and 4WD models is a 3.4-liter, 24-valve, twin-cam V6 engine which produces 190 horsepower at 4,800 rpm and 220 lb./ft. of torque at 3,600 rpm. The 2.4-liter engine is available with either a five-speed manual transmission or four-speed automatic, and the 2.7-liter and 3.4-liter engines are available with either a five-speed manual transmission or four-speed electronically controlled automatic.

For improved reliability and reduced maintenance, the 2.7-liter engine is fitted with Toyota's Direct Ignition (TDI) system which replaces the distributor with a crank fire sensor and uses an individual coil for each pair of cylinders. This results in more accurate ignition timing, and aids the On Board Diagnostic system (OBD-II) in misfire detection.

In response to demand by many off-road enthusiasts, Tacoma continues to offer manual locking hubs as standard equipment on 4WD models. Also available is Toyota's 4WDemand shift-on-the-fly system for shifting into 4WD at speeds up to 50 mph. Available optionally on Limited models is Toyota's one-touch Hi-4 selector switch for easy 4WD engagement. On all systems, the transfer case control lever is used to shift into 4WD Low range.

The available locking rear differential aids Tacoma in low-speed, off-highway maneuvering. When 4WD Low is selected, the driver may lock the rear differential by pressing a dash-mounted button. When engaged, the locking rear differential evenly splits torque between both rear wheels, forcing them to turn in unison.

Tacoma's suspension smoothes out the bumps, while providing an excellent ride during on- and off-road driving. Both 2WD and 4WD models are equipped with an independent double wishbone front suspension with coil springs. A 1.02-inch stabilizer bar and hydraulic shock absorbers are featured on all 2WD models. For additional ride control, gas filled shock absorbers are standard equipment on 4WD V6 Tacomas. The rear suspension on all models is a live axle located by leaf springs with staggered hydraulic shocks.

The popular TRD Off-Road Package, will be offered again in 2000. Inspired by Toyota's successful desert racing program, the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Off-Road package is available on 4WD Xtracab models (excluding 4-cylinder 4ECT models), which have the highest ground clearance in their class. The package offers a rugged combination of front and rear Bilstein shock absorbers, locking rear differential, increased-rate front coil springs and rear leaf spring suspension, modified camber rear springs, a larger stabilizer bar, 31x10.5R15 white-lettered Goodyear tires, overfenders (color key on Limited models) and a special graphics package. 2WD regular cab models are fitted with 14x5-inch wheels with full wheel covers and P195/75 R14 all-season tires. Xtracab models receive 14x6-inch steel wheels with P215/70 R14 tires. For both models, an optional 14x6-inch alloy wheel is available.

4WD models are fitted as standard with 15x6-inch steel wheels and P225/75 R15 mud and snow tires. An optional 15x7-inch styled steel wheel package with P265/75 R15 tires is available for Tacoma 4WD models.

Brakes on all models are front disc/rear drum, with the 4WD models offering larger units front and rear, and a larger brake booster. Four-wheel ABS also is available. Tacoma's cargo bed is a double-wall design to help minimize damage to the exterior skin in the event that a cargo load should shift, and is fitted with four inner tie-down points. Tacoma is capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds when equipped with the V6 engine and 3,500 pounds when powered by a four-cylinder with a payload range of 1,568 to 1,889 pounds.

All Tacomas are equipped with a driver-side airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) with passenger-side airbag cut-off switch, front seat belt pretensioners and force limiters, passenger ALR/ELR three-point seat belts in all positions except the center-front on bench seat-equipped models, side door impact beams and an energy absorbing urethane steering wheel.