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2014 Toyota Tacoma: Works hard, plays hard

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Toyota Tacoma

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The 2014 Toyota Tacoma is a versatile, rugged truck that lets you work and play in style.
This midsize pickup is perfect for those who want the utility of a truck, but also want something a little smaller and more fuel efficient than full-size models
The Tacoma comes in three cab styles: regular, Access and Double. With the regular and Access models, you get a six-foot bed, and the Double comes with a five- or six-foot bed.
The truck is powered by a standard 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 159 horsepower. Optional is 4.0-liter V-6 that makes 236 horsepower. The four-cylinder models come with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission, and the V-6 models have a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic.
In all models, automatic limited-slip differential is included.
Fuel economy is rated at 16 mpg city, 19 highway on the V-6 and 21 and 25 on the four-cylinder.
Safety features on the Tacoma include traction control, electronic stability system and side curtain airbags, all standard. A backup camera is optional.
For added functionality and convenience, the TRD models have a 115-volt power outlet in the cargo bed.
The interior is comfortable, with seating for up to five and optional heated front seats.
The Tacoma starts at around $19,000 and ranges to about $30,000.
For a fun, versatile, reliable midsize pickup, you won’t find many choices better than the Tacoma.

The Tacoma's larger sibling, the Tundra, also is a formidable pickup.

Over the past few years, Toyota has pretty much stood pat when it comes to making changes to its large Tundra pickup truck. Sure, the model did well when the prior version was introduced, but since, it has faced some stiff competition from the powerhouse models of the U.S. Big Three.
So for this model year, Toyota decided to do some tinkering.
The result is a bigger, more sculpted look on the exterior and a few added amenities on the interior. Well, on our test model, you’d actually have to say that there are more than a few added amenities, as it was a highest-of-the-high trim that was pretty luxurious inside.
The engine choices carry over from the previous version: a 4.0-liter V-6, a 4.6-liter V-6 and a 5.7-liter V-8, each mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
But, Toyota says it has improved handling and ride quality with some engineering mojo and that steering quality has also been upgraded.
Our view?
Oh, yes indeed.
This truck was actually quite pleasant to drive, which is something you wouldn’t typically say of a truck.

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