The Toyota Tacoma's a basic work truck for some, a sporty personal commuter for others, and a capable rock crawler for some. That translates into some very lean equipment on the absolute base models, and some very expensive sticker prices on the most padded-out versions.
The basic Tacoma is a little sparse, since it's filling a niche that even the Ford Ranger left behind. Buyers are still demanding, though, and Toyota's had to upgrade some of the features; every Tacoma now gets Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, and six speakers to go with its AM/FM/CD player, for example.
Last year, the Tacoma also integrated Toyota's Entune system, which brings mobile-app connectivity to the vehicle's audio system. Entune links smartphones to the Tacoma's audio unit and its LCD screen to display 3G-connected navigation functions and real-time weather and traffic information, all accessible by voice commands--and augmented by text-to-voice capability, HD Radio, and Bluetooth audio streaming. In our experience, the system links quickly with the latest Apple software and provides a relatively inexpensive navigation option, though some of the data entry can get tedious--and since voice commands aren't as easily recognized in the Tacoma's loud cabin. Streaming was excellent, though, and so was sound quality itself.
The Tacoma lineup spans from those base models through a new Limited package, which gets sport seats (still vinyl); a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls; a rearview camera; a garage door opener; and 18-inch chrome wheels. The X-Runner gets wider wheels and tires; a lowered, sport-tuned suspension; and an X-braced frame (hence the name), along with extra interior conveniences. Beyond those street-oriented models, the Tacoma comes into its own with two specialized models, the PreRunner and TRD, which are focused for tough terrain and look the part.For those who want an off-road able truck that really looks the part, it's all here, though. The PreRunner adds a higher-riding suspension, locking rear differential, and other appearance cues. Also available is a TRD Off-Road Package that brings special badging, plus an off-road suspension with Bilstein dampers, fog lamps, and a transfer-case skid plate. Taking the concept to an extreme is the Off-Road Rugged Trail Package, which includes a locking rear diff, 16-inch Baja wheels, additional skid plating, black overfenders, and Bilstein shocks.
A number of other dealer-installed accessories are offered on the Tacoma--including a Other accessories include a flip-out bed extender, SnugTop Super Sport hard shell, a rubber bed mat, a bed divider, a bed net, cargo crossbars, a Yakima roof rack, a bike rack, and running boards. It's completely customizable to a certain lifestyle, even if that lifestyle is a pretty small percentage of the world at large.