Toyota Focuses on Safety For Tacoma Pickup
Oct 17, 2005
Toyota introduced an all-new Tacoma pickup truck line for 2005 and for 2006 adds safety features to this popular model. All Tacoma models for 2006 gain a Tire Pressure Monitor System, which is designed to detect a significant loss of pressure in any tire and alert the driver by a warning light in the instrument panel. Seriously low tire air pressure can potentially lead to a hazardous handling condition.
In addition, Tacoma models equipped with the bench front seat gain the advanced dual-stage airbag system with an occupant classification system (OCS), which was already standard on bucket seat models. A new service reminder light has been added to all Tacoma models.
The Tacoma line features a wide selection of models that are larger, more maneuverable, more powerful, and more fuel-efficient than the compact trucks they replaced. Leading the Tacoma line in performance and style is the exciting X-Runner model that blends concept-truck design with sports car performance from a 236-horsepower V6 engine and a specially tuned chassis.
"The larger Tacoma series was the first step in expanding our presence in the North American light truck arena," said Jim Lentz, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. "In terms of size, power, safety and capability, the new-generation Tacoma was designed to meet the changing demands of the pickup truck market."
Larger than its predecessor in almost every metric of comparison, the new-generation Tacoma offers an extensive variety of body-and-bed configurations with substantially more passenger room, cargo volume and towing capacity than before.
Eighteen model configurations make up the 2006 Tacoma line, based on three cab types: Regular Cab, Access Cab, and the four-door Double Cab. The Tacoma Regular Cab and Access Cab models feature a 73.5-inch-long bed. The Double Cab is available with a choice of a 60.3-inch bed and the 73.5-inch bed.
The Tacoma line offers 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains, plus the popular PreRunner models that combine the 4x2 drivetrain with the raised riding stance and styling of the 4x4 models.
The new-generation Tacoma is equipped with a full array of safety technology. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA) are standard on all models, and the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system is available for all models except X-Runner.
All Tacoma models for 2006 are equipped with the advanced dual-stage airbag system with an occupant classification system (OCS). A front passenger cutoff switch is standard on all Regular and Access Cab models. Double Cab models in addition offer optional side curtain and front seat side airbags. All seating positions on every Tacoma model are equipped with three-point seatbelts.
Larger, Yet More Maneuverable
The new-generation Tacoma moves well beyond the compact-truck dimensions of the previous model. Regular Cab 4x2 models are built on a 109.4-inch wheelbase (an increase of 5.9-inches); PreRunner and 4x4 Regular Cab Tacomas sit on a 110-inch wheelbase; 4x2 Access Cab models ride on a 127.2-inch wheelbase (an increase of 5.3-inches); Access Cab PreRunner and 4x4 wheelbase is 127.8-inches.
The Double Cab with the standard five-foot bed shares the 127.8-inch wheelbase, and the Double Cab long-bed models ride on a 140.9-inch wheelbase. Front and rear track have been widened by nearly four inches compared to the previous-generation Tacoma, yielding more than four inches of additional shoulder and hip room.
The Tacoma Access Cab models feature dual rear access doors instead of one as on the previous-generation model. Rear doors on Double Cab models are more than three inches longer than before and open to 80 degrees to give passengers easier access.
Even with its large dimensions and passenger room, the Tacoma offers a stronger, stiffer chassis and improved maneuverability. Suspension and steering tuning improve off-road performance and on-road ride and handling.
Powerful Engines for Hard Work – and Play
The 2006 Tacoma line features two engines: a 2.7-liter VVT-i DOHC four-cylinder engine that produces 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft. of torque and a 4.0-liter VVT-i DOHC V6 that produces 236 horsepower and 266 lb-ft. of torque. Both engines feature an Electronic Throttle Control System with intelligence (ETCS-i) that helps improve performance and fuel economy.
Two transmissions are offered with the V6 engine, a six-speed manual and a five-speed automatic. The four-cylinder models offer a choice between a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic transmission.
Tacoma features an integrated hitch and bumper design. Properly equipped, the V6-powered Tacoma models can tow up to 6,500 pounds, a 30-percent increase over the 5,000-lb towing capacity of the previous generation V6 models.
X-Runner: Muscletruck Meets Sports Car
A true performance truck factory-developed as a separate-and-dedicated model, the X-Runner showcases the Tacoma line's 236-horsepower 4.0-liter V6 engine in a specially lowered and tuned chassis. The X-Runner name is derived from its exclusive "X-braced" reinforced frame that provides enhanced torsional rigidity.
The X-Runner's Access Cab design incorporates full-vehicle-surround ground effects, a hood scoop and integrated fog lamps. It is offered in just three colors – Radiant Red, Black Sand and Speedway Blue – on its color-keyed monochromatic exterior.
The X-Runner suspension is lowered one inch versus the standard Tacoma and rolls on 255/45R18 Bridgestone Potenza performance tires wrapped around 18-inch alloy wheels. The exclusive X-Runner suspension incorporates firmer and shorter springs, specially tuned Bilstein gas shock absorbers positioned outboard of the frame rails for increased stability, rear stabilizer bar with firmer bushings and specially tuned steering response.
Available exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, X-Runner is also equipped with a limited-slip rear differential. The X-Runner can accelerate from zero-to-60 MPH in less than seven seconds. As impressive as its acceleration, Tacoma X-Runner can achieve lateral acceleration in excess of 0.9-g, giving it outstanding road-holding ability.
Head-Turning Style Outside, Expanded Utility
With its big, bold headlights and grille, Tacoma exudes a strong, rugged appearance. From the outside, flush rear surface glass and flush surface structures between the bumper sides and body give Tacoma a sophisticated and higher-quality appearance. PreRunner and 4x4 models are distinguished by bold overfenders.
The composite inner bed is made from a sheet-molded compound (SMC) deck and walls that are 10 percent lighter than steel, yet tougher and more durable. The bed deck features two-tier loading and integrated deck rail utility that includes four standard adjustable tie-down cleats. The rails are compatible with Genuine Toyota Accessories, including cargo bed cross bars, a fork-mount bike rack, and diamond-plate storage boxes. An available 115V/400W powerpoint further extends the bed's utility. Double Cab models offer a first-in-class roof rack system with crossbars that deploy from the roof rails.
Interior storage has been maximized in Access Cab models by means of tumble-flat rear seats with underseat storage and, on Double Cab models, additional storage behind the rear seatback. On all models with front bucket seats (except the sport seats), the front passenger seat folds flat and features a tray table.
Comfortable, But Still Rugged
While retaining a rugged overall look and feel, the interior offers admirable comfort with high-grade fabric and generous standard equipment. Sound absorption material in the headliner and behind the rear seats and better-insulating carpeting help to provide a quiet cabin. Exterior aerodynamic details help reduce wind noise.
A three-pod instrument gauge panel lends a sporty look in all models. The center console (standard on Access Cab and Double Cab models; available on Regular Cab) flows up into the instrument panel for a unified appearance. The console includes three integrated cupholders, two that can accommodate extra-large containers. All models provide dual bottle holders in driver's- and passenger's-side doors.
Audio controls are mounted high for easy access. Higher-grade models feature fabric-covered sun visors and an overhead console with map lights and compartments for sunglasses and a garage door opener.
Outstanding Value, Simplified Ordering
All Tacoma models offer compelling value. The well-equipped 4x2 Regular Cab model includes as standard equipment anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA), a full-size spare tire, AM/FM CD 4-speaker sound system, tachometer, digital clock, two instrument panel powerpoints with lighter, a coolant temperature gauge, fuel warning light, dome lamp and rear mudguards.
The Access Cab and Double Cab models add more standard features, including bucket seats, a center console, and, in Double Cab models, upgraded seat fabric and power windows, mirrors and door locks.
All option combinations are built on five packages. An Enhancement Package for the 4x2 Regular Cab adds air conditioning and styled steel wheels. The Convenience Package adds cruise control, remote keyless entry, and power windows, door locks and mirrors.
The SR5 Package bundles styling and comfort features, including color-keyed overfenders and front bumper, chrome grille surround and chrome rear bumper, center console (in models where it is not standard), intermittent wipers and upgraded interior features and trim. In Access Cab and Double Cab models, the SR5 package also adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter.
Access and Double Cab models offer upgraded audio systems, including an AM/FM radio with a CD player, six-disc changer and six speakers. Double Cab models also offer a JBL premium audio system with seven speakers, including an amplified subwoofer. Both audio upgrades feature steering wheel audio controls.
High Performance Options and Accessories
The high-performance truck market is a growing segment dominated by young male enthusiasts that make significant investments in the modification and customization of their trucks. Toyota is committed to reaching this unique market and offers a variety of performance parts and option packages.
The TRD Off-Road Package offers a carefully tuned balance of off-road performance and on-road handling. Chassis modifications include a locking rear differential, progressive-rate front springs, specially tuned Bilstein shock absorbers, a 28-mm front stabilizer bar and 265/70R16 BF Goodrich Rugged Trail tires on 16-inch alloy wheels. Fog lamps and TRD graphics top off the package for a tough, sporty appearance.
The TRD Sport Package is road-focused and features its own specific suspension tuning, a limited-slip rear differential and lower-profile 265/65R17 tires on 17-inch alloy wheels. This package also gives Tacoma a sporty street look with fog lamps, a hood scoop, TRD graphics and a color-keyed rear bumper, mirrors, grille surround and door handles. Double Cabs with the long-bed and the TRD Sport Package also include an electrochromic auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
Both TRD option packages include a 400W/115V powerpoint in the bed, sport seats with adjustable lumbar support and unique fabric, plus an overhead console with a compass and outside temperature display.
The available dealer-installed high-performance Big Brake system was developed specifically for this model by Toyota Technical Center and TRD engineers. The goal was to develop a system for hardcore enthusiasts that would provide effective braking performance under sustained heavy use.
The Big Brake system was tested extensively by Toyota engineers both on the ride and handling course and the high-speed oval at the Toyota Arizona Proving Ground. The system features huge 13 x 1.25-inch semi-floating vented rotors with directional internal fins; forged aluminum four-piston fixed calipers; larger pads with high coefficient-of-friction material, and braided steel lines. The system dramatically improves pedal feel and substantially reduces brake fade from repeated high-speed stops.
New Level of Dynamic Control
In all 2006 Tacoma models, the standard four-wheel ABS is augmented by EBD and BA. EBD optimizes brake pressure at each wheel for greater control under braking, especially when cornering. The Brake Assist system is designed to determine if the driver is attempting emergency braking. If the driver has not pressed firmly enough on the brake pedal to engage the ABS, the system supplements the applied braking power until pedal pressure is released.
Tacoma offers some of the most sophisticated dynamic control technology in the Toyota inventory and in the compact pickup truck category. The optional VSC and TRAC (Traction Control) systems give Tacoma models traction on or off-road by helping to keep the vehicle going on its intended course. The system detects front-wheel slide and rear-wheel slide during cornering and attempts to control either condition with throttle intervention and/or by braking individual wheels.
Some VSC and TRAC systems also include Automatic Limited-slip Differential (A-LSD), which uses brake intervention in place of a mechanical-type LSD unit to help reduce tire slippage at the rear wheels. (The TRD Off-Road Package uses a locking rear differential, and the TRD Sport Package is equipped with a mechanical limited-slip rear differential.)
On automatic transmission models, the VSC and TRAC option also includes Hill-start Assist Control (HAC). When the option is ordered along with the TRD Off-Road Package on 4x4 V6 automatic models, it also includes the Downhill Assist Control (DAC) system. By independently controlling the brakes at each of the wheels as needed, the HAC system helps to prevent the vehicle from rolling backward or slipping sideways during transition from a stopped position to climbing an upgrade.
The DAC system uses engine braking to regulate downhill speed and independently control the brakes at each of the four wheels to improve directional stability. This feature also works in reverse and is automatically de-activated if the driver depresses the brake or accelerator pedals, presses the DAC button, or shifts into neutral.
Toyota Heritage and Value
The eighth generation of Toyota compact pickups, which first launched in 1964, the Tacoma accounts for nearly 10 percent of Toyota sales in the United States. The Tacoma is assembled at the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) production facility in Fremont, Calif. and Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Baja California (TMMBC) production facility in Tijuana, Baja Calif., Mexico.
Toyota's 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle limited warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60 months/60,000 miles and corrosion perforation for 60 months with no mileage limitation.
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