Toyota Tacoma Off-Road
POSTED: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 5:55pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 10:11am
I want to confess a personal issue here. No, it’s not that strange night my junior year in college, but it concerns automotive products. I confess to being a bit of a homer. I want products made in the good old US of A for American car companies to do well. Not that I would lie to make them sound good, but deep inside, I want them to kick a little foreign tush every now and then.
And one area we could always count on for some tailgate kicking was in pickup trucks. I mean, come one. Is there anything more American than a small enclosed box with a big open one out back? Having a truck that looks like you could haul Commodore Perry’s arctic supplies when all you really haul is potting soil is as patriotic a statement as an Eddie Bauer down vest in the middle of New York City. It doesn’t matter if you need it, for crying out loud. It only matters that you look like you do. And if you honestly do need a tough truck, the products from the land of the free and the home of the 99-cent burger were the choice to make.
Well, after driving the latest version of the Toyota Tacoma TRD off-road edition, It has to be said, no matter how much you make allowances, squint your eyes or watch reruns of “Bridges of Madison County,” the Tacoma is the league leader.
We can start with design, but that is so subjective it can hardly be held against the GMC, or any other American truck for that matter. The Tacoma, though, is fresh and big…surprisingly big. Driving the new Toyota I wondered why anyone really needs the full-sized Tundra. That’s because for my money, the Tacoma is so nice, there’s hardly any reason to buy the big brother.
The new Tacoma is so clean looking, so solid, so effortless and so practical, it was frankly embarrassing to many of its competitors. The body was as rattle-free as a sedan and the power from the optional 238-horsepower, 4.0-liter V6 was intoxicating, in a trucklike sort of way. Inside, it is roomy and in our Double Cab test vehicle, offers as much seatroom as a good-sized car. The dash design was a bit fussy, but in a brushed aluminum sort of way. The drivetrain is virtually silent and the body structure is as though carved from a solid ingot.
The new Toyota Tacoma is a very good truck and should scare the bejabbers out of the domestics. Our truck with every convenience a truck type should want, came to $28,889.