Rugged Good Looks and Reliability

December 23 2016, Ian Harwood

Rugged Good Looks and Reliability

The first Toyota 4x4 pickup rolled into Canada in 1979 pretty bare boned: vinyl floor, 4-speed manual transmission (with a very sloppy shifter), bench seat and an AM/FM radio. The only real comfort was the front vent windows that you could reverse to give some air flow in the cab, and that feature didn?t come until two years later.

By 1981 these trucks had a big following in Canada, especially here in B.C. You could not travel a back road in the province without meeting up with one. That cult-like following still exists today. With every new launch of a Toyota pickup, there is a steady stream of customers lined up to buy one. The 2011 Tacoma is no exception. Rugged good looks and a reliable engine is what draws them in. The large front fender flares are moulded into the bumper to give the new Tacoma that off-road look. The raised hood with hood scoop indicates there's plenty of power under there, and its high stature tells you this truck can go anywhere. The 2011 Tacoma continues the tradition of play hard and have fun. Toyota refers to this truck as a mid-size, and after driving the access cab for a week I felt a bit cramped. There is definitely room for you and a passenger, but the second row is small. That's okay if you only plan on taking a few things with you, but I would recommend the double cab for extra passengers. The front bucket seats are comfortable and fully adjustable, and the steering wheel telescopes to fit most drivers. There's an AM/FM CD with MP3 player, auxiliary input jack, and XM satellite ready to go. Safety features include: dual stage driver and front passenger airbags, front seat mounted side airbags and roll-sensing side airbags. The 2011 Tacoma also has active front headrests. In the event of a rear-end collision, driver and front passenger headrests automatically move forward to help reduce whiplash. Toyota's advanced anti-lock brake system includes electronic brake force distribution that works in conjunction with its vehicle stability control and traction control. Two motor choices here. The first is a 2.7-litre 16-valve DOHC 4-cylinder engine that puts out 159 horsepower with 180 lbs.-ft of torque. The second is a 4.0-litre DOHC V6 engine that delivers 236 horsepower and 266 lbs.-ft of torque. The V6 has an option of a 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic with overdrive, while the 2.7-litre comes equipped with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic with overdrive. All models feature a limited-slip differential. 11.5/9.2 L/100 km (city/highway)

Warranty support:Basic 60,000km, Powertrain 100,000 km, Corrosion Perforation Unlimited km. The on-road driving capabilities are good and firm for a truck, but the off-road capabilities is where the new Tacoma shines. Toyota keeps producing and upgrading the iconic truck and Canadians will do their part by continuing to buy them.


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