Is the Trendy Toyota Tacoma as Good because the Authentic Toyota Truck from the ’80s?

When contemplating reliability and sturdiness, there exists no better legacy within the automotive house than that of the standard Toyota Truck. From earlier homeowners recounting tall tales of fantastical achievements throughout earlier possession, to big-budget tv adventures set on destroying one, the little Japanese pickup has earned its place amongst automotive icons. Greater than that, nonetheless, the Toyota Truck cemented the Toyota model as a secure, long-lasting, well-informed alternative amongst opponents. 1000’s of Tacomas, Tundras, 4Runners, and Sequoias have undoubtedly discovered houses due to the collective reminiscence America has for the Toyota Truck. 

Legacy, generally, has a approach of overstaying its welcome although. With over thirty years separating the Toyota Truck from the trendy Tacoma, is there any cause to suppose that the efficiency of a producer three many years prior has any bearing on a contemporary providing? Is the Tacoma nonetheless as secure a purchase because the Truck was—or has Toyota rested on its laurels for too lengthy? 


Toyota Truck with vintage graphics

A Fast Historical past Lesson

Earlier than that query might be answered, understanding what made the Toyota Truck a legend can be useful. First off, when anybody refers back to the Toyota Truck, they’re in actual fact referencing the Toyota Hilux. The Hilux was a worldwide mannequin, initially launched in 1968. In North America, it changed the Toyota Stout in 1969. In 1975, the Hilux title was dropped altogether for the US, modified to easily “Toyota Truck.”

Toyota Truck at Radwood

Within the 1984 mannequin yr, Toyota launched the fourth technology of the Toyota Truck for the US, and it was this mannequin that might in the end catapult the mannequin from import under-dog to legend for American shoppers. Incomes a chief spot in Again to the Future in 1985, the Toyota Truck grew to become the car to have, bolstered by an already spectacular historical past of sturdiness and reliability. 

Back to the Future Toyota Truck

Bulletproof Energy

So what was it concerning the fourth technology that set it up for invincibility? The truck was provided in each common and an prolonged Xtracab model for further house. It may very well be bought in both 2WD or 4WD guise, with early fashions having strong entrance axles. Though a diesel mannequin was provided briefly for the US, the motor that issues with reference to legacy is the venerable 22RE. Considerably reworked in 1985, this motor would turn into legendary for sturdiness, respectable gasoline effectivity, and good low-end torque. In 1985, a turbo model was provided to compete with Nissan’s V6, and whereas it was a high-quality providing, it wasn’t the primary participant. 

22RE Toyota Engine

Paired with a W56 5 pace handbook or A340F 4 pace, energy supply was environment friendly and dependable. There was definitely no intention of sportiness with these choices, however for vans that had been constructed for utilitarian functions, there have been few complaints. With minimal repairs, these transmissions have supplied many years of use and tons of of hundreds of miles for a lot of examples. 

Toyota Truck towing Boat

Constructed to Final

Outdoors of the powertrain, the Toyota Vans weren’t advanced. This was many years earlier than the introduction of sophisticated interiors or fussy suspensions. The components had been constructed to perform at a fundamental stage, and had been constructed to final. 

Toyota Truck Press photo

The Trendy Toyota Truck

Quick ahead to the trendy period, and the Tacoma is now in its third technology. Having changed the Toyota “Truck” in 1995, the Tacoma grew to become the entry stage Toyota pickup for American patrons. Total, the Tacoma has largely added to the legacy of the Truck, persistently incomes awards for reliability, and incomes the belief of anybody from the single-cab 2WD handyman proprietor, to the off-road fanatic with a TRD 4WD mannequin. 

3rd Generation Toyota Tacoma

The fashionable Tacoma is obtainable in an Entry Cab or a full four-door Double Cab with both 2WD or 4WD. Engine choices are both an I4 2TR-FE or a V6 2GR-FKS. Whereas the Tacoma is the one car within the US that at present makes use of the 4 cylinder 2TR-FE, it’s shared with many different RWD Toyota utility autos globally, together with the Land Cruiser Prado, Hilux, and HiAce. 

Toyota Tacoma Overland build on Nitto Trail Grappler tires

Trendy Powertrains

Geared up with twin VVT-i in 2015, the 4 cylinder is in any other case a moderately fundamental motor in a world the place opponents make the most of hybrids, turbos, and direct-injection. Very similar to the 22RE, it has confirmed to be sturdy, environment friendly, and highly effective sufficient to deal with gentle truck duties. The one transmission alternative is a AC60 six-speed computerized that’s additionally shared with the V6. Whereas extra advanced than the A340F, it has confirmed to be a dependable workhorse transmission within the Tacoma software. 

Toyota Tacoma V6

The Tacoma’s V6 is a barely extra trendy engine, capable of selectively use each direct and port injection. The engine is shared with a lot of the Toyota line-up, together with the Camry, Sienna, and Highlander, in addition to any Lexus with the 350 moniker. Merely put, this engine is all over the place. That being stated, the complexity of the twin injection system is one thing to pay attention to. Whereas there haven’t been any widespread issues, time will inform if the pursuit of extra trendy know-how will have an effect on longevity. The V6 remains to be provided with a six-speed handbook, the RA60, with no notable widespread issues. 

Toyota Tacoma Off-Road Setup with Nitto Trail Grappler tires

Some Issues By no means Change

With regard to suspension, the trendy Tacoma is bought with comparatively old-school choices, not in contrast to the Toyota Truck. Merely put, if it ain’t broke, don’t repair it. The truck even retains drum brakes within the rear. It might appear that lots of Toyota’s engineers are nonetheless content material with erring on the aspect of sturdiness and reliability when obligatory.

Toyota Tacoma Off-Road Flex

And so, within the trendy period, is the Tacoma as sensible a alternative because the invincible Toyota Truck? Contemplating the core components of the truck, the Tacoma remains to be a car seemingly constructed with simplicity and sturdiness in thoughts. As increasingly opponents provide trendy technological options, the Tacoma troopers on with older, easier tech. Now, stepping inside a Tacoma, an proprietor is greeted with trendy facilities (until it’s essential to change the seat top), and time will inform if the enhancements made to ICE and lively security stand the take a look at of time.

Toyota Tacoma Interior

Remaining Verdict

The Toyota Truck was launched right into a market flooded with autos recovering from the malaise-era of the Seventies and ’80s market. A car making it to 100k miles was an achievement, and a truck, particularly an import, that would carry out in each a utilitarian or off-road setting reliably was notable. We stay in a considerably completely different world. All autos are higher as of late, which truthfully might be traced to the requirements that manufacturers like Toyota achieved within the ’90s. Whereas the trendy Tacoma might not appear to be a bastion of invincibility as of late, it isn’t as a result of it’s much less dependable, extra in order that the whole lot is extra dependable than ever. That’s not a foul factor. That being stated, the Tacoma remains to be the most secure alternative within the mid-size phase. It has stayed primary for a cause; a few of it’s due to that legacy, however a lot of it’s having the ability to stand behind that legacy yr after yr with confirmed efficiency and no scarcity of keen patrons.

Toyota Tacoma Off-Road Overlander

  • The brand new Tacoma is the proper platform for an off-road construct. Here is the place to start out.

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