Toyota Tacoma PreRunner Double Cab
By Keith Burton
Our test vehicle was a brilliant blue Tacoma with the available Pre-Runner offroad package with the double cab. Hey, let me tell you, this is a pickup truck that draws plenty of compliments and is fun to drive.
The Pre-Runner Tacoma looks like a 4x4 version. That is, you get the high-up suspension and many of the upgraded features when you get one with the quad cab configuration. But you don’t get four wheel drive. Instead, you get a lock up rear differential that is controlled by a button on the dash. But just in case you think that you are missing too much with this version, with the lock up rear axle, you can go most everywhere that a most people would take a pickup truck, except for deep mud or deep and loose sand. Okay, you might get it stuck, but not often.
What you do get is a pickup truck that has a lot of room and style, which are big pluses for most suburbanites who need a powerful midsize pickup with room to carry five adults.
The interior is nicely styled with a real sport flair. The instrument cluster is within three deep nacelles and clearly marked. The center stack contains all the additional controls and they are within each reach of the driver, another plus. The bucket seats are also well formed and comfy for those long commutes to the job in the city.
For a pickup truck with an off-road suspension, the PreRunner is quite compliant, soaking up most small bumps without jittering the cockpit too much. You are always aware that the truck is after all, a truck, but it won’t beat you up on most road surfaces. Steering is light but feedback is adequate to let you keep the Tacoma between the lines.
Our truck was equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission. We found this an ideal solution for most conditions, especially within heavy stop and go traffic. The tranny shifts almost imperceptivity and is a nice match to the powerful 4-liter, 236 horsepower V6. This engine has great torque, at 266 ft. pounds, and launches quickly from a stop light.
If you order the quad cab version, expect a pretty big truck. It isn’t as big as a full size truck, but this is not the tiny Toyota trucks of yore. The truck is available with either a short or long bed out back. The long bed version of the Double Cab stretches the wheelbase to just over 141 inches. Getting into some parking lots means some extra maneuvering as the turning radius suffers a bit with such a long vehicle.
We liked the hot-looking hood scoop that is centered on the Tacoma’s hood. It really adds a sporting look to this pickup truck, which makes it stand out among its competitors. Actually, this Tacoma competes better with some full-size trucks for interior room and general size. Ford’s Ranger and Chevy’s small Colorado doesn’t come close. The Tacoma is more competitive with the midsize Dodge Dakota.
Towing capacity is limited to 3,500 pounds with the V6 unless you get the towing package that includes a fitted hitch. Then you can tow up to 6,500 pounds.
Fuel mileage always depends on how you drive and if you are towing a trailer. But the EPA rates the Tacoma PreRunner at 18 city, 22 hwy. We averaged around 19 miles per gallon in a combination of city and highway driving.
Overall, the 2007 Toyota Tacoma is hard to beat, it is more expensive than some of the other midsize trucks, but you get a lot for the money as well as a truck that looks sharp, well-built, and performs the way a pickup truck should.