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FEATURES | 8 out of 10
“There are no strippos”
“class-first roof-rack system” (Double Cab)
Kelley Blue Book
Apart from the host of safety, performance, and utility features already mentioned, even the most basic 2008 Toyota Tacoma comes with a healthy roster of comfort and convenience items. As Motor Trend says, “even the base 2WD regular-cab truck features standard carpeting, a CD player, tilt/telescope steering wheel, tachometer, digital clock, an SMC composite bed with utility rail system, and a flush rear bumper. Automatic transmission Access Cab and Double Cab models get a gated shifter.”
Kelley Blue Book mentions two new-for-2008 items: a TRD supercharger for the 4.0L V-6, as well as the TRD Off-Road Rugged Trail Package. The TRD, or Toyota Racing Development, supercharger includes an intercooler and may be purchased and installed at the dealership. It boosts the horsepower of the V-6 from 236 to 304. The Off-Road Rugged Trail Package includes a locking rear diff, 16-inch Baja wheels, additional skid plating, black overfenders, and Bilstein shocks.
Of the performance-oriented X-Runner option, AutoWeek praises the “special X-brace out back to keep cowl shake to a minimum” and the limited slip differential that “helps put the power down.” But they are less impressed with the “silly ground FX (like a hood scoop that doesn't actually do anything)” and the “Big Brake Kit, which strangely is paired with rear drum brakes.”
The Tacoma is filled with thoughtful nooks and crannies, following right along with the intelligent design built into its composite rear bed. Automobile feels that “the wide variety of standard and optional features (among them under-the-floor and behind-the-seat storage cubbies, rear seats that fold flat, a 400-watt outlet in the cargo bed, bed storage boxes, a bed extender, and TRD sport and off-road packages) makes the Tacoma useful both for work and for play.”
Other accessories include a bed divider, bed net, cargo crossbars, Yakima roof rack, bike rack, running boards, flip-out bed extender, SnugTop Super Sport hard shell, and a rubber bed mat. Cars.com reports “well-heeled Tacomas include a JBL premium stereo with a six-CD changer, power windows, remote entry and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls.” That highest-level JBL/satellite option includes a free three-month subscription to XM radio and Bluetooth compatibility. But proving that, indeed, this truck was new in 2005, no nav system is offered, an omission that may well hurt the Tacoma when judged side-by-side with car-based rivals such as Honda’s Ridgeline.
Though eclipsed by car-based rivals in the highest-tech gadgets realm, the 2008 Toyota Tacoma has a thorough list of features that are largely well designed, thoughtfully executed, and useful.