The Toyota Tacoma has a reputation for being the benchmark for a tough, quality truck. As a result, these vehicles can be found all over the world, from desolate deserts to scenic mountaintops and everything in between. Tacomas transport soldiers, farm equipment, landscaping supplies, camping gear, and more. So, what’s all the hype about?
A Brief History Lesson
Toyota made its first compact pickup way back in 1947. The Model SB was a sweet truck featuring a 995cc engine that generated 27 horsepower. The descendants of this truck first made it to the United States in the 1960s. And then, in 1964, the Toyota Stout made its first appearance.
If we’re being honest, the Stout wasn’t great. It was big and heavy and slow; its 1.9-liter engine chugged out a measly 85 horsepower. But the Stout was reliable, so Toyota kept working on the idea by developing the Hilux. For three decades, Toyota played with the design of the Hilux, adding features like four-wheel drive, bigger cabs, and more powerful engines.
The Birth of the Tacoma
Toyota launched the first Tacoma in 1995. This first-generation Tacoma was a breakthrough. It was a mid-size truck that sported great handling, comfort, and modern safety features and also looked great. It was such a solid design that it stayed largely the same until 2004.
The Second Generation
In 2004, Toyota introduced its second-gen Tacoma. This fresh, updated vehicle was sleek and modern in every way. It was bigger and more powerful than its predecessor, with iterations going all the way up to a 4.0 liter V-6 that produced a massive 236 horsepower and 266 pounds of torque. It was also better looking, with oodles of stylish trim and paint options to choose from. It’s no wonder the second-gen Tacoma won the 2004 Motor Trend award for Best Truck of the Year.
The Third Generation is Even Better
Toyota outdid itself with the third generation of Tacoma in 2015. With a boatload, or actually truckload, of improvements that make the truck operate better on and off-road, the Tacoma really leaned into its iconic status. This new generation also saw the introduction of the TRD Pro Series, which is quite possibly the best-looking truck ever.
So, What’s to Love?
The answer is simple: the Tacoma consistently delivers. Every version of the Tacoma has proven it’s worth time and time again. It’s a perfect mid-size truck. And, with tons of available Toyota off-road accessories, you can take the Tacoma anywhere. Check one out for yourself to see what all the fuss is about.