3/4 Front Glamour 2014 Toyota Tacoma

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MPG 18 City / 22 Highway
, Automotive Editor -
One of the only options for buyers who don't want a full-size truck -- and still an excellent choice.


Once upon a time, tough little pickups roamed land, offering sturdiness and utility for the price of an economy car. Somewhere along the line, automakers lost interest in the genre, and today there are precious few compact trucks left -- the survivors are really midsize.

The Toyota Tacoma carries on as an economical alternative to larger, more expensive rigs. Even though the Tacoma belongs to a dwindling breed, Toyota has kept it alive and well with continuous updates and a deep model range.

What's New

The sport-appearance SR Package joins the option list, featuring color-keyed exterior trim, smoked headlight lenses, and Baja-style wheels. The Tacoma can now get four different versions of Toyota's Entune audio system. The sporty X-Runner model has been dropped.

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Which Style To Buy?

2014 Toyota Tacoma
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2014 Toyota Tacoma Base

Recommended for: Buyers looking for a light-duty truck at an economical price.

Somewhat surprisingly, base versions of the Tacoma are available in all three cab styles and with four-wheel drive. All variants get air conditioning, a limited slip differential, a bedliner, bed utility rails, and the standard version of Toyota's Entune audio system. Four-wheel drive models are outfitted 16-inch wheels, black fenders, front and rear mudguards, and an engine skid plate.

The Regular Cab carries a cloth bench seat, while the Access Cab and Double Cab get front buckets in upgraded upholstery along with power windows and locks, and two additional speakers. The Double Cab also gets power mirrors, driver lumbar adjustment, and rear-seat vents.

The new SR Package, available on 4x4 Access Cab and Double Cab models, includes a monochrome exterior treatment, smoked headlight lenses, side-mirror turn signals, and special black-finish wheels.

2014 Toyota Tacoma
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2014 Toyota Tacoma Base V6

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Recommended for: Buyers who need a versatile workhorse.

Base versions of the Access and Double Cabs can be equipped with a 4-liter V6 with 236 horsepower, available with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. The V6 boosts towing capacity to 6,500 pounds and provides acceleration on par with full-size trucks.

2014 Toyota Tacoma
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2014 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner

Recommended for: Buyers who want the look of a 4x4 without the extra weight or expense.

The rear-drive PreRunner offers the rugged look of a 4x4 truck, if not the traction. Upgrades include 16-inch wheels, front and rear mudguards, and a front skid plate. Ground clearance is similar to that of four-wheel drive models. Buyers can add the new SR Package for an even sportier appearance. PreRunners are available in Access Cab or Double Cab form.

2014 Toyota Tacoma
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2014 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner V6

Recommended for: Buyers who want sporty looks and performance in a two-wheel drive truck.

The PreRunner is available with a 236-horsepower V6 for peppier street performance and enhanced towing ability. The 4-liter is matched to a six-speed manual or five-seed automatic transmission. Equipment and options are identical to the four-cylinder PreRunner, expect that the SR Package includes fog lamps on V6 models.

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