The Toyota Tacoma is sold exclusively in the North American market, beginning in 1995 when it replaced the Toyota Pickup. The previous-generation Pickup had been a rebadged and somewhat tailored version of the Hilux, which is still sold internationally. The Tacoma is designed and sold separately and is almost entirely unrelated to the Hilux. The Tacoma began as a compact pickup truck and has since grown into a midsized pickup. It is now the best-selling small pickup truck in the United States.
The first-generation of the Toyota Tacoma launched in 1995 as a more road-ready, consumer-driven pickup than the Pickup model it replaced. The Tacoma name comes from the indigenous name for Mount Rainier in Washington state. Three engines were offered in this Tacoma, starting with two four-cylinder options and a V6. These were mated to either a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission.
The second-generation of the Tacoma came in 2004 and is the most-sold small pickup truck in America. A 2.7-liter four-cylinder and a 4.0-liter V6 were offered with four-, five-, and six-speed transmissions in manual and automatic. The truck grew from its compact size to a midsize offering and several trim and model options were offered during this generation's 11-year run. Cab configurations ranged from single ("regular") to extended to crew cabs, depending on model year, and with two bed lengths, also depending on model year and cab configuration. During this generation, production of the Tacoma moved from the Fremont, California plant (which had been shared with General Motors) to Texas where Toyota had completed new facilities dedicated to truck production.
The third-generation Tacoma was introduced in 2015 as a 2016 model. Substantial changes were made to the pickup to bring it into line with the new emergence of a once again competitive midsize truck market. The 4.0L V6 was dropped in favor of a powerful, but more economical 3.5L option. Exterior changes were made to make the Tacoma far more aggressive in styling. Model trim packages were extended to include robust off-road options as well.
Although the Toyota nameplate and Tacoma model have enjoyed relatively high expectations for reliability on the whole, the Tacoma still has its fair share of complaints. Most are with the second-generation model, which sold in huge numbers in the U.S. These are usually low mileage concerns that are covered under warranty and include accelerator issues, paint issues, and electronics problems.
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