What Changed for 2008:
- No significant changes for 2008
Rugged pickups have been an integral part of Toyota's lineup for decades. The latest version, the midsize Tacoma, which was introduced almost 30 years ago, is available in a variety of models, from a stripped-down bench-seat work truck to the high-performance X-Runner. Like its bigger brother the Tundra, the Tacoma is built in America at the NUMMI joint-venture plant (with GM) in Fremont, California.
The Tacoma is available in three cab choices: Regular Cab, Access Cab and Double Cab, the last-named offering a choice of long (73.5-inch) or short (60.3-inch) beds. The Tacoma is available in 2- or 4-wheel drive (2WD or 4WD), or PreRunner, which combines the high ground clearance of 4WD with a 2WD. The Regular Cab features cloth bench seats, manual tilt and telescoping steering wheel, 15-inch wheels and tires, and SMC composite bed. The 2WD X-Runner comes standard with Bilstein shocks, 18-inch Bridgestone Potenza tires, power windows/locks/mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, cruise control, limited-slip differential, and remote keyless entry. A TRD (Toyota Racing Development) Off-Road package is available, and includes features like BFGoodrich tires, locking rear differential, heavy-duty front tow hook, front stabilizer bar, off-road-tuned suspension, sport seats, and a 115-volt deck-mounted power point.
Toyota offers the 2008 Tacoma with both 4- and 6-cylinder engines. A 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 159 hp and 180 lb.-ft. of torque is available in 2WD models (with a choice of 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic transmission) as well as PreRunners and 4WDs without a Double Cab (manual transmission only). A 4.0-liter V-6 engine (236 hp, 266 lb.-ft. of torque) is available in PreRunner and 4WD Access Cabs (with 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission) and Double Cabs (automatic only, except the 4WD short bed). Toyota also offers the X-Runner exclusively in 2WD Access Cab format with a manual transmission. With a specially lowered and stiffened suspension, X-braced frame, and sporty body kit, Toyota claims this \"muscle truck\" can run 0-60 mph in less than 7 seconds and pull a sports-car-like 0.90g on the skidpad. EPA fuel economy estimates for the 2008 Tacoma are as follows: 2WD I-4 Regular Cab: 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway with the manual transmission and 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway with the automatic transmission; 2WD V-6 Regular Cab: 15 mpg city/19 mpg highway with the manual transmission and 16 mpg city/20 mpg highway with the automatic transmission. Tacoma 4WD I-4 Regular Cab gets 17 mpg city/22 mpg highway with the manual transmission and 16 mpg city/20 mpg highway with the automatic transmission; the 2WD V-6 Regular Cab gets 15 mpg city/18 mpg highway with the manual transmission and 16 mpg city/20 mpg highway with the automatic transmission. The 2WD Access Cab and PreRunner models with manual transmissions get 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway. The 2WD X-Runner gets 15 mpg city/19 mpg highway, and the PreRunner Double Cab, 4x4 Access Cab, and 4x4 Double Cab achieve 16 mpg city/20 mpg highway.
Safety features that are standard on the 2008 Toyota Tacoma include anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist. Toyota's Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is available for all models. All seats feature 3-point seat belts and advanced front air bags. The Double Cab offers optional front-seat side air bags and roll-sensing side curtain air bags that include a cutoff switch. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rated all Tacoma models 5 stars for the driver and front passenger in a frontal impact. All Tacoma models received 5 stars for side impact for front-seat occupants, and the Tacoma Double Cab received 5 stars for side impact for rear-seat passengers. The Regular Cab has no rear seat, and the Extended Cab model was not rated for rear-passenger side impact. All Tacoma models receive 4 stars for the rollover test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has given the Tacoma a \"Good\" rating for offset crash protection.
When VSC is ordered along with the TRD Off-Road package on 4WD V-6 automatic-transmission models, two features-Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC)-are included. HAC independently controls the brake at each wheel as needed to help prevent the vehicle from rolling backward or slipping sideways during a transition from stop to moving when climbing a grade. DAC is another great off-road tool that uses engine braking to regulate downhill speed when off-roading. The driver does not need to depress the brake pedal to control the descent speed.