- - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

What has happened to the Toyota Tacoma’s regular cab body style? Well, in 2015 it is not available anymore. Instead, it’s just the extended cab/Access Cab version as well as the crew cab/Double Cab option. And say goodbye to the off-road-equipped TRD TX Baja version in 2015 too as now it’s the TRD Pro package that is being offered on this very manly of men truck.

While the Toyota folks have not redesigned the Tacoma in sometime, it’s still a crowd favorite since it has a strong engine and is a reliable go-to in the mid-size market.

Competition for this mid-size pickup truck includes the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Caravan and the standby Nissan Frontier.

For trims on the 2015 Toyota Tacoma there are two cab configurations including the Access Cab that is extended with small rear-hinged doors and a 6’ X 1” bed or the Double Cab with a choice of a 5’ or standard 6’ X 1” bed.

If you opt for a two-wheel-drive Toyota Tacoma Access Cab, you get 15-inch steel wheels, a limited-slip rear differential, power locks and windows, air-conditioning, bed utility rail system, cloth upholstery with rear seats that fold up and also offer storage under the seat, tilt and telescoping steering wheel and a variety of technology additions like Bluetooth and audio connect, an Entune touchscreen display and you can also add a sliding rear window as an option.

For the Double Cab 2WD there will be black fenders, power mirrors and a 60/40-split rear bench seat that has rear storage and adjustable headrests.

Moving into the 4WD category of the Tacoma on the base you get the addition of 16-inch steel wheels, the black fenders from the Double Cab, an engine skid plate with front mud guards and for the PreRunner option either on the Access or Double Cab you get rear-wheel-drive along with the standard features from the 4WD Tacoma.

There are also some optional packages available on several of the trims. For example, the Access Cab can come equipped with a Convenience package that adds not only keyless entry, but also power mirrors on the Access Cab version, cruise control, sliding rear window and audio controls on the steering wheel. With the SR5 package, there will be a chrome grille and rear bumper, fog lights on the V6 version, an adjustable driver lumbar support, which is a standard feature on the Double Cab as well as intermittent wipers, leather-wrapped steering wheel, rearview camera and on the automatic a shift knob.

If you want the addition of the TRD Off-Road package, you must choose between the PreRunner or a 4WD Tacoma. The TRD Off-Road package has the SR5 package included as well as stronger suspension with Bilstein shocks, Hill-Start and Downhill Assist on the 4WD automatic, 16-inch alloy wheels, TRD graphics, a 115-volt power point and sport seats. For the TRD Sport Package, you get sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, hood scoop and a bed-mounted power outlet.

For the Limited package, which can be added with the V6 Double Cabs there is the inclusion of the SR5 package goodies, 18-inch chrome wheels and chrome exterior trim, auto-dimming rearview mirror with an outside temperature gauge and not only heated front seats, but synthetic leather upholstery with a high-end audio system including a navigation system with Entune. Under the hood the 2015 Toyota Tacoma has both rear- and four-wheel drive and either a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine or a 4.0-liter V6 engine, however the standard is the four-cylinder engine with 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. On the Access Cab it’s a five-speed manual transmission and on the rear-drive-only PreRunner Access and Double Cabs it is the four-speed automatic, which is also an option on the other trims.

For safety on the Tacoma, the 2015 offering includes antilock brakes with brake assist, stability control, front-seat side-impact and full-length side curtain airbags with front active head restraints and the optional rearview camera.

The Tacoma does seem a bit dated with its hard plastic and low-mounted seats making the ride a bit bumpier, but it is a truck and if you want to enjoy the truck experience this is the way to go.

In the front there is certainly plenty of room to move around, but the Access Cab I drove had limited space in the back row for passengers, basically jump seats for children to enjoy. The cabin does feature extremely easy to use buttons and knobs on the dashboard and everything has the feel of built tough. The touchscreen system was also pleasantly easy to use and intuitive to navigate.

With the bucket seats it’s a comfortable ride and if you opt for the Double Cab the backseat is adult-friendly and rear seats fold up if you need extra storage space.

In the bed of the truck the Tacoma’s has the standard composite bedliner. If you opt for the power outlet you can really enjoy this ride on occasions like camping or hanging with friends for a tailgate party or some other outdoor festivity.

To drive, the four-cylinder isn’t quite as up to the challenge as the V6, which I prefer when it comes to a rough and tumble pickup. For towing you have no choice but the latter anyway. It’s a strong ride with good suspension and handling and the TRD Off-Road package is fun with loud exhaust so folks know you are coming, indeed, it’s a truck that feels like a truck with no frills just that pickup truck attitude.

Should You Need to Know: If you like to off road this Toyota Tacoma is for you, particularly the TRD Pro model.

MPG: For the 2015 Toyota Tacoma I drove, I got 16 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.

Cost: The 2015 Toyota Tacoma Access Cab I drove had a price tag of $34,840.

For more auto tips and information follow Rita @RitaCook13.

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