By KBB.com Editors
The 2011 Toyota Tacoma is the best selling compact pickup five years running. While some competitors, such as the Ford Explorer Sport Trac, are bowing out of the compact pickup segment all together, Toyota has expanded is presences by adding five new trims to the Tundra line up. Of course, the term compact doesn't necessarily mean small, as the Toyota dwarfs the Ford Ranger and Chevrolet Colorado in every area that counts. It's now more akin to the midsize Dodge Dakota and Nissan Frontier, and not all together much smaller than some full-size regular cab pickups. And, while the Frontier and Dakota are worthy competitors, neither can match the Tacoma's excellent resale value and overall history of reliability.You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a capable pickup larger than a Chevrolet Colorado, but not as massive as a Ford F-150, the 2011 Toyota Tacoma deserves your attention. Beyond its cult-like following, many consumer groups rank the Tacoma at the top of their reliability and repair charts.You May Not Like This Car If...
Unlike many crossovers and car-based truck variants, the Tacoma still delivers very truck-like ride and handling characteristics. If you need less off-road ability and more on road comfort, the Honda Ridgeline might make a better choice.What's New for 2011
Five new fuel-efficient models join the Tacoma lineup for 2011, all equipped with the 2.7-liter engine. New trims include the T|X and T|X Pro Package, both based on last year's SEMA concept trucks. New features for 2011 include standard air conditioning on Regular Cab models and satellite radio on all models equipped with the six-disc CD changer.Driving It Driving Impressions
We tested a 2011 Tacoma Double Cab with a long bed and 4.0-liter V6 engine teamed to a five-speed automatic transmission. Our test vehicle was also equipped with four-wheel drive and the SR5 package that included an automatic limited-slip differential. On the highway, our Tacoma rode rather nicely, but it almost seemed out of its element when asked to negotiate city streets. Put the pedal to the floor, however, and the Tacoma's V6 engine roars to life, conveying a refined sort of ruggedness. Still, we couldn't escape the feeling that the Tacoma would be happier hauling or towing something or negotiating rocks in a river rather than running suburban-type errands. To be honest, that's exactly the attitude many buyers require for a truck. However, if you don't count yourself an off-road enthusiast or weekend rock warrior, the SUV-like ride provided by the Honda Ridgeline is probably a better fit.Favorite Features
The optional Eaton-Roots type supercharger kit increases the V6's output to 304 horsepower and 334 lb.-ft. of torque, and carries a five-year/60,000-mile warranty (or the remainder of the powertrain warranty at the time of installation) when installed by a Toyota dealer.
All Tacomas feature a composite inner bed with built-in storage compartments and four rail-mounted sliding tie-down cleats.