Used 1999 Toyota Tacoma Extended Cab Review




what's new

The 1999 Toyota Tacoma gets new front seat belt pre-tensioners and force limiters. Optional on Xtra Cab models is an AM/FM four-speaker CD audio system while 4x4s get 15-by-7-inch steel wheels. The PreRunner adds a regular cab option to its model mix. Natural White, Imperial Jade Mica and Horizon Blue Metallic replace White, Copper Canyon Mica, Evergreen Pearl and Cool Steel Metallic as color options.

vehicle overview

Toyota's sixth-generation compact pickup debuted as a 1995.5 model with an actual model name: Tacoma. It's supposed to suggest the rugged outdoors, as well as strength and adventure. Any of three potent engines go under the hood. Toyota aimed for aggressive styling, inside and out, and Tacomas sport an excellent selection of interior fittings. Regular and extended cab bodies are available, with either two- or four-wheel drive.

A freshening of the front end occurred on both the two- and four-wheel drive models during the last two model years. Swoopy fenders, a larger bumper, aero-style headlamps and a new grille set this truck apart from its forebears. Two-wheel drive Tacomas get a 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine, rated at 142-horsepower. Tacoma 4x4s earn a 150-horspower, 2.7-liter four. Toyota claims that its four-cylinder engines are comparable to V6s from competitors. If those won't suffice, however, consider the V6 option: a DOHC, 24-valve unit that whips out 190 horses and 220 foot-pounds of torque. With V6 power, borrowed from the now defunct T100, this compact pickup can tow up to 5,000 pounds and soundly trounce most factory sport trucks in the stoplight dragrace.

All Tacomas have front coil springs instead of the former torsion bars, but 4x4s feature longer suspension travel to improve ride/handling qualities. Manual-shift trucks feature reverse-gear synchronization to reduce gear noise when shifting into reverse. Four-wheel antilock braking is optional on all Tacomas, and all pickups contain dual airbags with a shut-off switch for the passenger's side. In top-of-the-line Limited pickups, a One-Touch Hi-Four switch is available for easy, pushbutton engagement of four-wheel drive.

The PreRunner model is set to attract truck buyers who desire, but cannot afford, a 4WD truck, 4WD truck owners who don't use their 4WD as often as they expected, and 2WD truck buyers who take their vehicle off-road. Historically, a "pre-runner" is a truck that pre-runs an off-road race course. Toyota's new PreRunner has benefited from considerable suspension tuning and development work with Toyota Motorsports desert racing truck program to produce a 2WD vehicle with 4WD capabilities.

Toyota hopes to attract buyers with the style and image of its Tacoma as well as a lower price tag. We like the Tacoma, but 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.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.