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Avg. Price Paid:$8,109 - $18,159
Original MSRP: $14,180 - $26,015
MPG: 23 City / 28 Hwy
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2007 Toyota Tacoma Performance

This performance review was written when the 2007 Toyota Tacoma was new.

The 2007 Toyota Tacoma receives accolades for its powerful V6 engine and refined five-speed automatic transmission, as well as its adequate hauling capacity and impressive off-road handling. "This is plenty of truck for 95 percent of truck buyers, everyone who isn't hauling plywood or pulling 40-foot goosenecks," says Car and Driver. Nevertheless, a harsh suspension prevents performance from being ideal.

Acceleration and Power

Every Tacoma Regular Cab -- as well as the 4x2, 4x4, and PreRunner Tacoma Access Cab -- is powered by a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 159-hp at 5,200 rpm and 180 pound-feet of torque at 3,800 rpm. According to New Car Test Drive, this power plant "is about average for the class." Still, Edmunds asserts that buyers who need hauling or towing ability "will certainly want to choose the V6."

Overall, most auto writers agree that the 4.0-liter V6 engine that comes standard on all Tacoma Double Cabs, as well as the Access Cab X-Runner, is the ideal motor for this vehicle. According to MSN, the engine's ability to produce 236-hp at 5,200 rpm and 266 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm "provides fast acceleration in all versions." Kelley Blue Book adds, "Put the pedal to the floor and you can feel and hear the powerful V6 working, conveying a refined sort of ruggedness." Newsday concludes, "The extra power is welcome, and the new V6 delivers quick launches and more-than-adequate passing ability on the highway." This engine is also an available option for all other Tacoma Access trims.

According to the EPA, the base Toyota Tacoma 4x2 maintains a fuel economy of 20 miles per gallon city and 26 miles per gallon highway with a manual transmission, and 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with an automatic transmission. The base 4x4 Tacoma, however, maintains a fuel economy of 17mpg city and 22 mpg with manual transmission. While Consumer Guide notes that this is the "class average" and that premium gasoline is recommended for all V6 models, New Car Test Drive asserts, "The 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine does offer better fuel economy than the V6 and can run on less-expensive Regular gas."

Toyota offers four different transmission options for the Tacoma. In addition to the Regular Cab, all four-cylinder Access Cab trims are outfitted with a standard five-speed manual transmission with overdrive. An additional six-speed manual transmission is standard on all V6 Access Cabs and Double Cab 4x4 short bed trucks. Altogether, New Car Test Drive reports that "the manual does not offer fuel economy advantages."

Optional for the Regular Cab 4x2 and Access Cab 4x2 is a four-speed electronically controlled automatic overdrive transmission with intelligence (ECT-i). However, the five-speed ECT-i -- standard on the Double Cab PreRunner and 4x4 long bed truck, as well as optional for all V6 Access Cabs -- appears to be most reviewers' favorite. According to New Car Test Drive, it is "super smooth and very responsive, quickly downshifting when you mash the throttle, and it offers five ratios to better keep the engine at its most efficient rpm." MSN agrees, stating that it's "exceptionally responsive." Combined with the Tacoma's 4.0-liter V6 engine, New Car Test Drive says the pair is their "first choice for this truck."

Handling and Braking

Though most auto writers would agree with Kelley Blue Book's assertion that the Tacoma seems "happier hauling or towing something or negotiating rocks in a river," many still concede that the X-Runner also offers a good "car-like" driving experience. "The X-Runner is a lot of fun to drive and handles like a sports car. It corners flat and generates lots of grip in the curves," says New Car Test Drive. The Sacramento Bee notes, "In city traffic, the Tacoma is no darter, but it had enough pop and maneuverability to hustle around congestion without tossing driver and passengers around the cabin."

Reviewers generally agree that the Toyota Tacoma's suspension configuration contributes to an overall rough ride. "The Tacoma continues to ride like a truck, with jiggles and vibrations that came through to passengers in the PreRunner 4X2. It didn't matter if the Tacoma was off road or on uneven pavement in town," says the Associated Press. The Toyota Tacoma's suspension system is comprised of a stabilizer bar and coil-spring double wishbone suspension in the front, and a leaf-spring suspension with staggered outboard-mounted gas shock absorbers in the rear.

Even the Tacoma Access Cab X-Runner, which comes equipped with an X-brace tuned suspension with gas-filled Bilstein shock absorbers and rear stabilizer bar, offers a "relatively rough ride," says the Orlando Sentinel. "On smooth pavement, it isn't bad, but on bumpy roads, it's jarring. That's the trade-off for a truck that handles this well." Nevertheless, Consumer Guide states that the X-Runner's sport-tuned suspension does "annoy less."

The Tacoma's braking system consists of power-assisted ventilated front-disc brakes, rear-drum brakes, and a standard four-wheel anti-lock brake system with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist. "Anti-lock brakes are especially important on a pickup, given the tendency of rear brakes to lock up when the truck isn't loaded," says the New York Times. While New Car Test Drive reports that the brakes "are smooth and easy to modulate and can bring it to quick halt without drama," Car and Driver asserts that the "brake pedal continues to be spongy and long."

Off Roadimg

Most auto writers agree that the 4x4 Tacoma's part-time four-wheel drive system provides satisfying off-road capability. In fact, New Car Test Drive says, "In short, we'd feel comfortable tackling just about any terrain in a Toyota Tacoma. And it doesn't just get there, it does it in relative comfort." Nevertheless, the Chicago Sun-Times cautions, "The Tacoma has good off-road abilities with four-wheel drive, but such a system adds weight and complexity. Performance and fuel economy thus suffer."

Hauling

The Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab 4x2 with manual transmission (base model) has a payload capacity of 1,350 pounds. Capacity, however, can reach a maximum of 1,495 pounds with the Tacoma Double Cab PreRunner's automatic transmission. "Although a full-size truck would typically be able to haul much heavier loads, we didn't really need that capability, and we imagine 90 percent of full-size-pickup owners don't, either. So we started to wonder if Toyota had found a pickup-size sweet spot," says Car and Driver.

All Tacomas have a bed height of 18 inches and width of 56.7 inches wall-to-wall (41.5 inches between wheel wells). With the exception of the Double Cab short bed -- which has a bed length of 60.3 inches -- every Tacoma's bed measures 73.5 inches in length.

Every Toyota Tacoma comes equipped with a standard fiber-reinforced sheet-molded composite inner bed, which according to the Chicago Tribune "means that the bed and side walls won't rust and that loading will be a lot quieter than when tossing lumber onto a steel platform. Nice touch, though those offering aftermarket slip-in or spray-on bed liners might not agree." New Car Test Drive reports that the bed is "lighter than steel yet tougher and more durable."

Towing

Every 2007 Tacoma has a standard maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. With a V6 engine and Toyota's Towing Package, however, this figure can increase to 6,500 pounds.

Review Last Updated: 5/5/08

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