There was a period several years ago when the Tacoma was starting to decline in sales. Not that the product had slipped, it’s just that people wanted larger trucks. Well, those same gas-guzzling behemoth trucks aren’t selling so well now with gas rising above $4 per gallon.
The Tacoma has filled a need for many years, serving primarily as a gapper between truly small and large trucks. It’s a sturdy truck that can do some heavy lifting, yet the Tacoma also has better-than-average power, offers a touch of refinement, and possesses some off-road capability as well.
It short – the Tacoma epitomizes the qualities of a fine pickup truck.
There are some changes this year in the 2011 Tacoma makeup. For one, they are no longer made in California, but manufactured in Texas along with the larger Tundra. Toyota has dropped three low-volume manual transmission models and now features five 4-cylinder offerings in either regular, Access and Double cabs. So there are plenty of choices in the Tacoma lineup, including the double cab 4×4 that was driven here for a week.
In a year with many changes, note that the biggest one many people notice is a revised grille that has a single bar instead of two.
The Tacoma double cab 4×4 is a very powerful 4.0-liter, V6 that has 236 horsepower. The more modest 4-cylinders are a 2.7-liter with 159-horsepower. As a rule, the Tacoma line is known as trucks that deliver solid performance and a ton of reliability.
2011 Toyota Tacoma
Power: 2.7-liter, 4-cylinder, 159-horsepower or 4.0-liter, V6 236 horsepower
Mileage estimate: 16-25 mpg
Price: $16,365 – $27,525
Standard features include: tilt/telescoping steering wheel; traction and stability control; antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist; 4-speaker stereo system with MP3/CD