New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 21, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
10 ■ Herald-Zeitung ■ Friday, April 21,1995
Z e i t u n gWheelsToyota TacomaThis compact, sporty pickup has room and power to spare
Toyota’s sixth generation compact pickup, the all-new Tacoma, features three powerful new engines, an all-new chassis, enhanced safety features and aggressive styling, inside and out.
The Tacoma is available in both regular- and extended-cab models in both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive versions. Our test truck was a bright red regular-cab with four-wheel drive. That worried me a little when I first saw it. I have been known to leave regular-cab com-t pact pickups sitting where they were parked I when left for evaluation because I simply would not fit into them comfortably enough to drive _ ftirther than across town.
V That was not a problem with the Tacoma. At two inches better than six feet tall and 20 pounds better than 200 hefty, I was right at , home in the Tacoma even on a trip that involved both Interstate and back country highways.
* The hood, fenders and grille of the Tacoma are deeply sculpted, emphasizing the truck’s
v sporty nature and bold character lines. The two-wheel and four-wheel drive versions get styling vanations to the front fascia and tenders.
When you get ready to order a Tacoma, you can opt for one of three new engines.
• , The two-wheel drive Tacoma comes with a standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Four-wheel drive models like our test vehicle are powered by a 2.7-liter four. And the newly developed 3.4-liter V6 introduced last fall in Joyota’s TI OO pickup is available as an option
• in both configurations. t« All three engines provide more horsepower ' and torque than those found in previous generations of compacts, have reduced noise and vibration, and are built for high reliability and ' low exhaust emissions.
The 2.7-liter, 16-valve double overhead cam .* engine in the test truck develops 150 horse-
power at 4,800 rpm and 177 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000 rpm.
The 2.4 liter, 16-valve DOHC engine standard in two-wheel drive trucks generate 142 horsepower at 5,(XX) rpm and 160 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000.
Both four-cylinder engines utilize four-valve design and long independent intake runners for improved intake efficiency and optimal power. A small valve angle and a compact cylinder head with pent-roof combustion chamber improves combustion efficiency and reduces knocking. A large capacity air cleaner and
intake resonator help boost torque at mid-range speeds.
Improving reliability and longevity are such things as stainless steel exhaust gas recirculation piping and aluminum alloy crankshaft bearings, and the 2.7-liter powerplant uses balance shafts to reduce engine noise and vibration.
The V6 available in the Tacoma produces 190 horsepower at 4,800 rpm (up from last year’s 150) and 220 foot-pounds of torque (up from last years 180).
Standard towing capacity for the V6 has gone from 3,500 pounds to 5,000.
A torque control system has been incorporated into the automatic transmissions in all four-wheel drive models. When shifting, torque is momentarily reduced by retarding the engine’s ignition timing to help ensure smooth gear changes.
The five-speed manual transmission used with the 2.4- and 2.7-liter engines incorporates a triple-cone synchro for second gear, and a double-cone synchro for third gear to improve durability. The manual transmission on all three Tacoma engines uses a reverse gear synchro to reduce gear noise when shifting into reverse.
‘Th* hood, fenders and grille of the Tacoma are deeply sculpted, emphasizing th* truck’s sporty nature and bold character lines.’
Available on V6-equipped extended-cab models with four-wheel drive is a system that enables die driver to shift into 4-high by simply touching a button on the transfer case lever.
The front suspension of the new Tacoma is a coil spring double wishbone configuration. The lower arm uses a closed cross-sectional structure that adds strength while reducing unsprung weight. Suspension travel on four-wheel drive models has increased from 5.9 inches to 7.7 inches.
Tacoma uses a leaf-type rear suspension.
The recirculating ball steering gear used last year has been replaced on the Tacoma with rack-and-pinion gear that improves both feel and response.
Four-wheel anti-lock brakes are optional on all Tacoma models.
The cabin of the Tacoma is roomier than that of its predecessor. Cabin height has been increased by 1.18 inches and the floor.height of the four-wheel drive models has been lowered 1.57 inches.
Rubber mountings for the outer tracks of the Tacoma’s bucket seats and 60-40 bench seat were added to reduce vibration.
Front seat belt anchors are adjustable and a driver-side airbag is provided.
All Tacoma models are covered by Toyotais 36-month/36,000-mile comprehensive new vehicle warranty and by a 60-month/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
(David Sullen*, editor and publisher of the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, has written an automotive column for the past 11 years.)
t u n
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