Kelley Blue Book ® - 2004 Toyota Tacoma Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2004 Toyota Tacoma Overview

Body
Still the One to Beat

There are some vehicles on the market that are the envy of the automotive world. Some are simply stunning to look at, while others are drooled upon because of their speed. Then there are vehicles like the Toyota Tacoma; its claim to fame is its bulletproof reliability record and a legion of repeat buyers so numerous it makes even the bean counters smile.

The Tacoma is available in 17 separate configurations that include a regular cab, an Xtracab and a four-door Double Cab. Trim levels include the base model, PreRunner and S-Runner as well as one upgrade trim level known as the TRD package. The Tacoma can be ordered with a long or short bed and offers three engine choices including two 4-cylinders and one V6. A manual/automatic transmission option is available on most trims; the PreRunner and Double Cab models do not offer a manual transmission option.

The nice thing about the Tacoma is that with so many iterations, there is a model to fit just about everyone's budget. The least expensive is the 4x2 regular cab with the 142-horsepower 2.4-liter engine. The 2.4 pulls surprisingly well for its size and can actually handle a fair amount of extra weight-so long as it doesn't involve towing. A move up to the PreRunner or 4x4 version will cost a bit more, but gets you the more powerful 150-horsepower 2.7-liter engine and a longer standard and optional equipment list.

For those who need the power of a V6 engine, Toyota makes its 190-horsepower 3.4-liter dynamo available on all Xtracab and Double Cab Tacomas. The Tacoma's V6 is a good motor with lots of low-end torque and emits surprisingly little noise while operating. The V6 4x4 Tacoma is an adept off-roader, with high and low transfer case, optional locking rear differential and over 10-inches of ground clearance. Both on and off-road, the Tacoma feels balanced andconsidering its tall tires and high center of gravityhandles fairly well. The Tacoma also performs very well in both government and privately-conducted crash tests; safety features on the Tacoma include two-stage front air bags, seat belts with pretensioners and force limiters that optimize the function of the seatbelts and head rests at all outboard seating positions.

For 2004, Toyota has added standard anti-lock brakes to the entire line and enhanced stopping power by including their EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution) system that helps even out hydraulic pressure running to each brake. 4X2 PreRunner and V6 Tacoma models now offer the option of VSC (Vehicle Stability Control), Active TRAC traction control and an automatic limited-slip rear differential.

If its just you and your stuff, you'll probably find that the Xtracab makes the most sense, since it still affords you more cabin space than a regular cab yet maintains its 6-foot cargo bed (Double Cab models reduce the bed length to 5-feet). If you opt for the SR5, you'll find your tough and rugged pickup will have a pretty cushy interior that includes such non-truck like features as air-conditioning, tilt-wheel, tachometer and full gauge package and Toyota's 3-in-1 AM/FM cassette CD six-speaker audio system. Of course you can go all out and order the Limited, but then you might never want to take your truck off-road or even near the dirt shoulder for that matter.

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