The 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport is automakers latest version of midsize pickup truck and it comes in 3 cab styles: regular cab, Access Cab and Double Cab. Regular and Access cabs come with 6-foot beds, while the Double Cab can be had with either a 5- or 6-foot bed. The Tacoma can seat up to five people in certain configurations.
Much of the Tacoma’s appeal comes from its various special models and packages. The TRD Off-Road Package is perhaps the most popular, with a combination of appearance and performance items. Included are progressive-rate front springs, Bilstein-brand shocks, BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires, 16-inch alloy wheels and TRD badging. The TRD Sport Package offers a monochromatic appearance, street-tuned suspension and lower-profile tires on 17-inch wheels.
The X-Runner is the real street-performance star in the specialty group. It features a 4.0-liter V-6 engine, six-speed manual transmission, 18-inch wheels, improved steering response, low-profile Bridgestone Potenza tires and a lowered, specially tuned suspension. The X-Runner gets its name from a unique X-brace on the rear of the frame.
Daytime running lights are new, and a display audio system with the Entune multimedia system is available for all cab styles. A new Limited Package includes simulated leather upholstery, heated front seats, 18-inch chrome wheels, a chrome grille surround, chrome rear bumper, color-coordinated front bumper, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with an outside temperature gauge and Limited badging.
The Tacoma’s wheel flares are muscular, its character lines are pronounced and the grille menacing. The Double Cab looks particularly good, especially in four-wheel-drive trim. The X-Runner, however, doesn’t have a lean, athletic look worthy of its performance; it’s just too burly with all its extra bodywork. Exterior features include:
115-volt power outlet in cargo bed on TRD packages
Dent-resistant composite inner liner in cargo bed
Available skid plate for engine
Regular cab Tacomas include standard 15-inch wheels
18-inch alloy wheels available
The interior was updated, getting water-resistant seat fabric with the TRD Sport package, along with black center console and door trim. It’s hard plastic and shows scuffs easily, but it otherwise looks nice, and it’s not like the rest of the class is any better.
The backup camera system features a small camera in the tailgate handle and a 3.3-inch screen mounted in the rearview mirror. Interior features include:
Standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel
Optional power windows and locks
Optional leather-wrapped steering wheel
Optional cruise control
You have to be really committed to buying a compact pickup to ignore the extra value that goes along with the usually useful size available in the hyper-competitive fullsize class. The Tacoma starts at $21,260 with a four-cylinder engine, but there’s also a V6 4×4 model with an automatic and the $4,035 TRD Sport Extra Value Package, not to mention a few other options that can drive the price up to $32,791.
You do get a pretty heavily loaded Tacoma for your money, though. To compare, a Ford F-150 STX SuperCab 4×4 rings in at $32,145, but doesn’t come with the navigation, hitch, cargo-management features in the bed, running boards and TRD Sport package goodies like foglights, hood scoop, TRD graphics, alloy wheels and specially tuned suspension of the similarly priced Tacoma.
Mechanical features include:
159-horsepower, 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine with iron block/aluminum cylinder head, dual overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder makes 180 pounds-feet of torque
236-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 with aluminum block/cylinder heads, dual overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder makes 266 pounds-feet of torque
Five-speed manual or four-speed automatic for four-cylinder trucks
Six-speed manual or five-speed automatic for V-6 trucks
Standard automatic limited-slip differential
The Tacoma combines accident-avoidance technologies and standard side-impact and side curtain airbags. Besides stability control, the standard Star Safety System includes antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, and traction control. Other safety features include:
Three-point seat belts in all seating positions
Available driver and front-passenger active head restraints