The midsize Toyota Tacoma is the bestselling pickup truck in its segment and comes equipped with some of the most dynamic control technology in its class. Current models offer four-cylinder and V-6 engines, 4×2 and 4×4 drive trains and excellent styling options.
The Tacoma was first introduced in 1995, as an “offspring” replacement for the “Toyota Truck.” It came available with three engines, which were the 2.4L, the 2.7L and the 3.7L. The first two were four cylinder, while the 3.7L engine boasted six cylinders and pulled 220lb-ft of torque at 190hp.
The first few years of sales for the Toyota were very good in America, though the vehicle only underwent a couple of mostly cosmetic changes. In 1996 the off-road package includes a locking rear differential, though it is only available on the regular cab 4WD models with manual transmission. Bucket seats also add a little extra flavor to the 4WD models this year.
In 1997 there was a switch to distributorless ignitions. Colors available are: Black Metallic, Cardinal Red, Cobalt Blue Pearl, Evergreen Pearl, Lavender Steel Metallic, Paradise Blue Metallic, Sierra Beige Metallic, Sunfire Red Pearl, and Super White.
In 1998 longer rear leaf springs were added in addition to a passenger-side airbag, and the SR5 models get the new name “Limited”. Colors available are: Black Sand Pearl, Desert Sand Mica, Impulse Red Pearl, Indigo Ink Pearl, Radiant Red, Silver Streak Mica, Speedway Blue Metallic, and Super White.
In 1999 Nothing much changed, but seatbelt pretensioners were put in for all models. Colors available are: Black Metallic, Cardinal Red, Horizon Blue Metallic, Imperial Jade Mica, Mystic Purple Mica, Natural White, Sierra Beige Metallic, Sierra Beige Mica Sunfire Red Pearl and Surfside Green Mica.
In 2000 Intermittent windshield wipers are now standard, and the models which feature ABS have daytime running lights. The four-wheel drive models get numerically higher axle ratios for quicker takeoffs. Colors available include: Black Sand Pearl, Cardinal Red, Charcoal Metallic, Dark Charcoal Metallic, Dark Silver Metallic, Dark Slate Metallic, Fawn Metallic, Horizon Blue Metallic, Imperial Jade Mica, Lunar Mist Metallic, Medium Silver Metallic, Natural White, Pepper Gray Metallic, Sierra Beige Mica, Slate Gray Metallic, and Sunfire Red Pearl.
In 2001 a new four-door cab model was available, and thee extended two-door cab was still selling as well. This had the unfortunate effect of shortening the bed in the models which didn’t make the customers happy. The new S-Runner model debuts with a V6 PreRunner Xtracab, stiffer springs, premium shock absorbers and color-keyed exteriors. Colors available are: Black Sand Pearl, Dark Charcoal Metallic, Darkk Silver Metallic, Fawn Metallic, Imperial Jade Mica, Impulse Red, Lunar Mist Metallic, Medium Silver Metallic, Mystic gold Metallic, Pepper Gray metallic, Radiant Red, Slate Gray Metallic and Super White.
In 2002 No significant changes were made to the Toyota Tacoma line. Colors available are: Black Sand Pearl, Imperial Jade Mica, Impulse Red, Lunar Mist Metallic, Mystic Gold Metallic, Radiant Red, and Super White.
In 2003 antilock breaks were made standard for all models. Colors available include: Black Sand Pearl, Imperial jade Mica, Impulse Red, Lunar Mist Metallic, Mystic Gold Metallic, Radiant Red and Super White.
In 2004 The optional flare-fender SideStep cargo box is no longer an option. Colors available include: Black Sand Pearl, Imperial Jade Mica, Impulse Red, Lunar Mist Metallic, Mystic Gold Metallic, Radiant Red and Super White.
The Camry Timeline
- 1982-1986: This time period marks the first generation of Camrys made available in the United States. Referred to as the V10 generation, the Camry originally came in two varieties, a compact 4-door sedan or a 5-door hatchback. Unlike past versions which made only in Japan, the North American Camry was a front-wheel drive vehicle.
- 1986-1990: The second generation of Camrys, or V20, included the 4-door sedan mainstay, but dropped hatchback models in favor of a station wagon body type. In 1988, Toyota began offering second generation Camrys in three different trims – base, DX, and LE. A V6 engine and 4-wheel drive options were also introduced in 1988. Known for their reliability, Camrys from this time period are still going steady today.
- 1990-1994: For the next several years, the Camry underwent few changes until 1992, when a larger grill and updated air conditioning unit were implemented. It remained a 4-door sedan throughout the V30 generation. Although a 2 door coupe was added during this time, underwhelming sales led to a quick demise in 1997. In 1994, the Camry’s engine V6 engine got an upgrade, giving it 188 horsepower and a smoother ride.
- 1995-2000: The Camry was revamped in 1997 with a new body style and upgraded engine. Anti-lock brake also became standard across all trims and the Camry became the best selling car in the US for 1997. Toyota also brought back the 2-door coupe in 1999, this time calling it the Camry Solara, available in SE and SLE trims.
- 2001-2006: With crossover SUVs and min-vans taking a larger piece of the market, Toyota dropped the station-wagon model from the Camry line in 2001. Starting in 2002, Toyota again reinvented the Camry with a more aerodynamic and upscale look. The vehicle was offered in three different types – LE, SE, and XLE.
The known issues that the Toyota Tacoma models across the year are known to suffer from are relatively few. The vehicle is subject to unusually high noise levels due to the heat shield over the exhaust manifold rattling when it cracks. Also, in compliance with emission-control regulations, the oxygen sensor on the vehicle is to be replaced for free at the 80,000-mile maintenance for free.
There were several recalls issued by the NHTSA for the Tacoma over the years which included:
- 1995 – Battery may have defective weld inside one of the terminals which can result in a no-start or explosion.
- 1996 – Front suspension support can crack under some conditions.
- 1998 – Some wheel lug nuts are defective, causing loss of torque, fatigue fracture of wheel and possible loss of the wheel.
- 1999 – Trailer-towing wire harness may have insufficient waterproofing. An electrical short is possible if water enters the housing.
- 2000 – During a side-impact, the fuel inlet hose could be damage resulting in fuel leakage and possibly fire.
- 2001 – Surface of lower ball joint in front suspension might have scratches causing excessive wear and looseness and increase in steering effort required.
- 2004 – Driver’s seatbelt may have incorrect labeling.