The Toyota Tacoma, the best-selling compact pickup truck in the U.S. market since 2005, offers a sporty new SR appearance package for 2014, along with four levels of Entune® audio. In conjunction with the Entune upgrade, the backup camera display has been moved from the rear-view mirror to the Entune head unit display. The Tacoma X-Runner sport truck is discontinued for 2014.
Entune Audio leverages the user’s mobile smartphone to provide a richer in-vehicle experience with fully integrated access to navigation, entertainment and information services. The Entune Premium Audio and Entune Premium JBL® Audio systems feature engaging mobile apps, including Bing™, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable®, Pandora®, Yelp and Facebook Places plus real-time traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports and stocks. Access to Entune services is subscription free.
The new SR Package, available for the Tacoma PreRunner and 4x4 Access Cab and Double Cab base grade models, lends a sporty look with a color-keyed exterior appearance upgrade, including overfenders, door handles, bumpers, grille surround and mirrors with turn signals, plus smoked headlight lenses and a black finish 16-inch Baja wheel style. Models with the V6 engine also get fog lights with the SR package.
With a wide array of models and options, the Toyota Tacoma has found great success as a work truck or play truck, and it continues to dominate a market segment that has seen some competitors withdraw in recent years. The Tacoma line offers a choice between four-cylinder and V6 engines, and 2WD and 4WD drivetrains, along with numerous cab and bed styles.
The Tacoma also offers luxury and sophisticated exterior design with the available Limited Package that debuted for model year 2013. The package’s amenities include SofTex®-trimmed seats, heated front sport seats; variable speed windshield wipers; metallic tone instrument panel trim; leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls and dual sun visors with mirrors and extenders.
SofTex is a new material that is soft like leather, but weighs half as much. It’s also easier to clean and its manufacture generates around 85-percent fewer volatile organic compounds than conventional synthetic leather.
The Limited Package dresses up the Tacoma with 18-inch chrome-clad wheels with 265/60R18 tires; chrome grille surround and rear bumper; along with chrome outside mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators; chrome door handles and fog lamps.
The 2014 Tacoma configurations are based on three cab types: Regular Cab, Access Cab with rear seating, and the four-door Double Cab. The rear-opening doors on Access Cab models open to 80 degrees to give passengers easy ingress and egress.
Bold overfenders distinguish PreRunner and 4x4 models. PreRunner models combine the 4x2 drivetrain with the 4x4’s raised riding stance and styling. Double Cab models offer a roof rack system with crossbars that deploy from the roof rails.
Tacoma Regular Cab models are built on a 109.6-inch wheelbase, and Access Cab rides on a 127.4-inch wheelbase. Both feature a 73.5-inch-long bed. The Double Cab is offered with a 60.3-inch bed on the 127.4-inch wheelbase or with the 73.5-inch-long bed on a 140.6-inch wheelbase chassis.
On all models, the composite inner bed is made from a sheet-molded composite (SMC) deck and tough, durable walls that are 10-percent lighter than steel. The bed deck features two-tier loading and an integrated deck-rail utility with four standard adjustable tie-down cleats. The rails are compatible with Genuine Toyota Accessories, including cargo bed cross bars, a fork-mount bike rack, and diamond-plate storage boxes. An available 115V/400W power point further extends the bed’s utility.
The 2014 Tacoma model line offers two engines: a 2.7-liter Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) four-cylinder that produces 159 horsepower and 180 lb.-ft. of torque, and a 4.0-liter DOHC V6 that provides 236 horsepower with 266 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines employ variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) to ensure strong low-end and mid-range torque.
The V6 can be teamed with either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. Four-cylinder models offer a choice between a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic transmission. When equipped with a V6 Tow Package, Access Cab models boast a SAE-certified maximum tow capacity of up to 6,500 pounds.
Capability, Handling and Ride
An Automatic Limited-slip Differential (Auto LSD), which uses brake intervention to help reduce tire slippage at the rear wheels, is standard on all Tacoma models. The TRD Off-Road Package, available for 4x4 V6 automatic models, includes Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC).
HAC operates by independently controlling the brakes at each wheel as needed to help prevent the vehicle from rolling backward or slipping sideways during a transition from a stopped position to climbing a grade. DAC uses engine braking to regulate downhill speed and independently control the brakes at each wheel to help improve directional control. DAC automatically de-activates if the driver depresses the brake or accelerator pedals, presses the DAC button, or shifts into neutral.
The TRD Off-Road Package provides a carefully tuned balance of off-road performance and on-road handling. Chassis modifications include an electronic locking rear differential, progressive-rate front springs, specially tuned Bilstein shock absorbers, a 28-mm front stabilizer bar and BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires. Fog lamps top off the package. The TRD Off-Road Packages feature a locking rear differential that can be activated by a switch in the cab. An electronic rear differential is available on 4x4 models and the PreRunner.
The TRD Sport Package is road-focused and features its own specific suspension tuning and lower-profile 265/65 R17 tires on 17-inch alloy wheels. This package also gives Tacoma a sporty look with fog lamps, hood scoop, TRD graphics and color-keyed rear bumper, mirrors, grille surround and door handles.
Both the TRD Off-Road Package and TRD Sport Package have a 400W/115V power point in the bed; sport seats with adjustable lumbar support and unique fabric.
Baja Series Enhances Off-Road Capability
Taking off-roading to the next level is the limited edition Baja Series Tacoma. The Baja Tacoma is inspired by Toyota’s rich Baja racing truck heritage that dates back three decades and includes numerous titles at the legendary Baja 500 and 1000.
The limited edition Baja Series Tacoma adds BFGoodrich T/A KO tires (LT265/70R16) and bead-lock style off-road wheels with an exclusive Gun-Metal Gray finish, TRD Cat-back Exhaust, increased front ride height of nearly two inches and unique Baja Series graphics.
The front suspension is upgraded to include Ø60mm piston Bilstein race shocks with TRD coil springs that feature a protective zinc plated body and a one inch increase in wheel travel. The rear suspension is equipped with Ø50mm piston Bilstein race shocks with a remote reservoir to increase shock oil capacity for greater heat dissipation and damping sensitivity. The rear shocks also include a zinc plated body and a 1.5-inch increase in wheel travel.
Standard on all Toyota models is the Star Safety System™, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Smart Stop brake override technology (SST). Every Tacoma has standard three-point seatbelts for all seating positions, front seat-mounted side airbags, roll-sensing side curtain airbags (including a cutoff switch), and a front advanced dual-stage airbag system. A front passenger cutoff switch is standard on Access Cab models.
Access Cab and Double Cab models feature standard active headrests for the front seats, which move up and forward almost instantly in the event of certain rear-end collisions to help reduce the distance between the occupant's head and the headrest.
Comfort and Convenience
The well-equipped 4x2 Regular Cab model features standard air conditioning; digital clock; two instrument panel power points with a lighter; dome lamp, mudguards, a full-size spare tire and Entune Audio.
Access Cab and Double Cab models add more standard features, including power windows and door locks, front bucket seats and a center console. Power mirrors and driver seat adjustable lumbar support are also standard in Double Cab models.
With owners using their trucks for hard work and play, Tacoma offers heavy-duty all-weather flooring in the Access and Double Cab models, while the more specialized TRD Sport and Off-Road models offer water-resistant fabric protection seats. Access Cab models feature a useful rear-console storage box and an available backup camera.
The base Entune Audio system for Tacoma uses a 6.1-inch touch-screen display with a rear-view camera, AM/FM CD player, MP3/WMA playback capability, four speakers, auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod® connectivity, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology for audio streaming, hands-free phone use and phone book access.
Available Entune Audio Plus adds a high-resolution 6.1-inch screen, HD Radio with SiriusXM Radio (includes 90-day trial subscription), iTunes® tagging and HD Traffic and Weather (metro areas only). Standard on the Limited grade and available for the SR5 grade, the Entune Premium Audio system adds Navigation and the Entune App Suite.
At the top of the line, the Entune Premium JBL Audio system upgrades the sound quality considerably with the JBL GreenEdge™ amplifier and seven GreenEdge speakers including subwoofer. GreenEdge technology also draws reduced electrical power from the vehicle.
Tacoma’s instrument gauge panel lends a sporty look in all models. The center console (standard on Access Cab and Double Cab models) flows into the instrument panel for a unified appearance. The console integrates three cupholders, two of which can accommodate extra-large containers.
Tacoma’s interior provides durability and comfort with high-grade fabric and generous standard equipment. Sound absorption material in the headliner and behind the rear seats, along with insulating carpeting, help to provide a quiet cabin. All Tacoma models provide dual bottle holders in driver’s- and passenger’s-side doors. Audio controls are mounted high for easy access.
Higher-grade models feature fabric-covered sun visors, an overhead console with map lights, and compartments for sunglasses and a garage door opener. Interior storage is maximized in Access Cab models with fold-up rear seats and under-seat storage. Double Cab models feature 60/40 split rear seats with adjustable headrests and under-seat storage.
For Tacoma Access Cab and Double Cab models, the available option combinations are built on five core packages: Convenience Package, two levels of the SR5 Package with other options and two TRD Packages, Sport and Off-Road (described earlier).
The SR5 Package bundles styling and comfort features, including color-keyed overfenders and front bumper, chrome grille surround and chrome rear bumper. The package also adds intermittent wipers and upgraded interior features and trim, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel and automatic transmission shift lever.
A wide array of available accessories, including TRD performance components, expand Tacoma’s utility, comfort and driving enjoyment.
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. The Tacoma also comes standard with Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.