2004 Toyota Tacoma Review | Edmunds.com

2004 Toyota Tacoma

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Toyota Tacoma Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 142 hp @ 5000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2004 Toyota Tacoma

  • A capable compact pickup with a variety of body styles and a strong reputation for reliability. Value is in question, however, as a short standard equipment list makes it easy to spend a bundle on options.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Flexible and refined drivetrains, competent off-road, multiple body configurations, available stability control, solid build quality and reliability record.

  • Cons

    Most convenience features are optional, no third or fourth door on Xtracabs.

  • What's New for 2004

    All 2004 Toyota Tacoma models get standard Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, and V6 models can now be equipped with Vehicle Stability Control. Four-wheel-drive V6 models come with Active TRAC, a traction control system intended for off-road use, while 4x2 PreRunner models have traction control, plus a limited-slip rear differential.

Full 2004 Toyota Tacoma Review

What's New for 2004

All 2004 Toyota Tacoma models get standard Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, and V6 models can now be equipped with Vehicle Stability Control. Four-wheel-drive V6 models come with Active TRAC, a traction control system intended for off-road use, while 4x2 PreRunner models have traction control, plus a limited-slip rear differential.


Tacoma. Toyota says the name is supposed to suggest the rugged outdoors, as well as strength and adventure, but a friend of ours once quipped, "Obviously, nobody from Toyota has actually been to Tacoma."

Making pickups for the U.S. market since 1964 (remember the Stout, anyone?), Toyota introduced its sixth-generation truck and the Tacoma nameplate in 1995. Designed and built in America, the Tacoma line has been well received. Since '95, Toyota has been steadily increasing the number of Tacoma variations. There are now 17 different versions, meaning the odds are good that you'll be able to find a truck to fit your needs.

Toyota hopes to attract buyers with the handsome styling and rugged image of its Tacoma as well as its reputation for quality and reliability. We give the truck high marks, but often question the value it represents. Most of these Toyota trucks don't come cheap. Guess that's the price you pay for the peace of mind a Toyota provides.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2004 Toyota Tacoma comes in three body styles: Regular Cab, Xtracab and Double Cab. Each is available with two-wheel or four-wheel drive. Toyota also offers Tacomas with a "PreRunner" designation. PreRunners are 2WD trucks that have the looks and heavy-duty suspension of 4WD models. The Double Cab is a compact crew cab that offers four full-size doors and a longer passenger compartment for people who want a pickup and an SUV but can't afford both. In order to keep overall length reasonable for on- and off-road maneuverability, the Double Cab's bed length is shortened to 61.5 inches. Toyota also offers a special 2WD S-Runner Xtracab sport truck equipped with the V6, a five-speed manual transmission and a sport-tuned suspension. Standard features are few and far between. On most Tacomas, items like air conditioning, cruise control, bucket seats and power windows and locks are all optional. Toyota does offer two optional packages -- SR5 and Limited -- that bundle the most desired features. A TRD off-road package is also available that includes an upgraded suspension, meaty 16-inch tires and a locking rear differential.

Powertrains and Performance

You'll find one of three engines underneath the hood of a Tacoma. Two-wheel-drive Tacomas get a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder base engine, rated at 142 horsepower and 160 pound-feet of torque. Tacoma 4WDs and 2WD PreRunners are upgraded with 2.7-liter four with 150 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. Standard on Double Cab and optional on Xtracab models is a 3.4-liter V6 that whips out 190 horses and 220 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices include either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. When it comes to towing power, four-cylinder models can handle up to 3,500 pounds, while the V6 is capable of handling up to 5,000 pounds.


Antilock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution are standard on all Tacomas. Traction control is standard on V6 models (V6 PreRunners also have a limited-slip differential), and stability control is optional. In government crash testing, the 2004 Toyota Tacoma earned three stars (out of a possible five) for driver safety in frontal impacts and four stars for the passenger. In side-impact testing, it received three stars for front-occupant safety, with a high likelihood of pelvic injury. The IIHS gave the Tacoma an "Acceptable" rating for frontal offset crash testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Tacoma's interiors are industrial in design and look dated, but are constructed of high-quality materials. Switchgear is logically placed and easy to use. The seats are generally comfortable, but larger drivers might find them short on room.

Driving Impressions

Driving the 2004 Toyota Tacoma is easy enough thanks to its compact dimensions. Both four-cylinder engines offer adequate acceleration, while the V6 has a broad power band and is well suited for towing and off-roading. Ride quality can suffer if the TRD off-road package is ordered, but the payoff in terms of enhanced off-road ability is well worth it. Handling is competent on pavement, and the brakes are strong.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

10 year review

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Vehicle: 2004 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab Rwd SB (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

Got my Taco in 2005 w/ 12k miles while visiting O.C CA. I consider it my first-born child. It has 50,200 on it now, and a set of spark plugs are the only thing I`ve put into it besides oil/lube changes. Timing belt this year due to age only. Has plenty of power for what you put in bed, small trailer. 26 mpg is about the best I can get on highway due to lack of cruz and the fact it drives out good around 75mph. My neighbor drives a 1996 base model @ work that has 550k last I saw. It`s on clutch #3, the u-joints in the steering & driveshaft are the other replaced items. Oil still needs no checking between 5k changes. If you maintain your Yota you can count on them for a good, long time. Word

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Tremendous vehicle

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Vehicle: 2004 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Regular Cab Rwd SB (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

My dad bought me a brand new 2004 Toyota Tacoma regular cab extended cab when i graduated high school, that was now 9 years ago and this thing is still running, i have 335078 miles on it and it still feels like it did the day i came home and saw it in the drive way. i have only had to change the oil and rotate the tires, i have had no mechanical or any other problems for that matter. I LOVE THIS TRUCK

278,000 miles and counting

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Vehicle: 2004 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Xtracab PreRunner V6 Rwd SB (3.4L 6cyl 4A)

I bought my Prerunner new in 2004. My previous truck was an F-250, so it was tough to give up the size, and the big V8 engine - in fact I still miss those things. But this truck just keeps on and keeps on and KEEPS ON, so I just can't complain anymore. In all these miles, I have done pretty much NOTHING except change the oil, and whatnot. The only thing that has ever broken was the power steering pump, somewhere around 150K miles. I plan to continue driving this as my main (and only) work and personal vehicle at least until it hits 350,000. I see no reason to believe that will be a problem.

Best truck...ever!bou

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Vehicle: 2004 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Xtracab V6 4WD SB (3.4L 6cyl 4A)

I bought my 2004 4X4 TRD December 03. 2004 was last year of the compact size. Didn't want the larger midsize 05 model. Extremely durable and reliable. Off road capabilities are superb. It also cruises very well on the highway. Excellent in snow...deep snow. Only regular scheduled maintenance required.These trucks are the best EVER.

I can't believe how bad

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Vehicle: 2004 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Xtracab 4WD SB (2.7L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this truck with 78,000 miles used in 2008. I have to say it is very reliable and it starts every time I try and fire it up. Of course it bounces all over the road like a typical small size truck does on bumpy roads. I just bought new Monroe shocks and struts that have to be installed. I'll see if that changes the ride. Regardless, when I first got it I was getting 16mpg. Don't ask what happened but I am at 142,000 miles and for some strange reason, I am now getting like 13. I have changed the spark plus, got a new air filter, new tires, I keep the air in the tires at the right poundage and I still can't understand it. And it's a 4 cylinder.

Love this truck!

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Vehicle: 2004 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Xtracab V6 4WD SB (3.4L 6cyl 4A)

I bought my truck in late 2003, and it just turned 100,000 mile last week. It has not needed anything other than normal maintenance (brakes need to be replaced, tires too). The worst thing is that the accelerator squeaks. I travel about 30 miles to and from work daily and it gives me a comfortable ride. The V6 helps passing the big trucks (I am glad I did not get the 4 cylinder). This is a great truck! I hope my next Toyota is just as reliable (whenever that happens).

Talk About The 2004 Tacoma

2004 Toyota Tacoma Discussions See all Started By

I have a 99 Tacoma SR5 V6 with a bad frame rust / rot problem. Near the front of the spring shackles the rust is so bad that I can push my finger through the frame in spots. I have contacted Toyota an...

Added this discussion as I did not see a general Tacoma discussion. Purchasing a 2003 Tacoma 4x4 Extended Cab with TRD, SR5 Color Key, automatic, sunroof, bucket seats, etc.. Was wondering if there ...

We’ve all heard that Toyota has a serious problem with rust on the frames of its 1995- 2000 and 2001-2004 Tacoma trucks that lead to premature perforation of the frame. The 2005’s ha...

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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