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by Steve Siler

2003 Toyota Tacoma Pick-Up Truck Review

2003 Toyota Tacoma

The one that started it all in this country has grown into a very nice small truck-still the standard by which all other compacts are measured. In terms of quality and refinement, few competitors can come close to the Tacoma, let alone surpass it.

Nicely proportioned and good-looking, the Tacoma won't embarrass you in the lumberyard, the church parking lot or anywhere in between. In the compact class, only the Dodge and the GM twins offer as wide a mix of bed lengths, drivetrains and cab configurations. The Toyota comes in standard cab, XtraCab and Double Cab (crew cab) varieties. The XtraCab, like most extended cab competitors, offers jump seats for two armless people, but offers no rear-hinged access doors to help them get back there (or help you load things back there, for that matter).

Still, the Toyota has so much going for it, such as splendid ergonomics, smooth engines and a high-quality feel to everything you can touch that you may be willing to go without such luxuries.

The Tacoma is offered with your choice of four- and six-cylinder engines: a 142-hp 4-cylinder (that makes 150-hp in high-riding PreRunner 4X2 trim) or a 190-hp V-6. Four-wheel drive is offered in with any bodystyle or either engine, while the lowered, 4X2-only "S-Runner" model is the truck for the street racer in all of us, offering a three-spoke steering wheel, fog lights and 16-inch alloy wheels, among other things.

Find a Toyota Tacoma Online