This month, we have to say goodbye to the Toyota Tacoma, and we do it with heavy hearts.The Tacoma SR5 is a well-balanced truck, even with the mild-mannered 159hp power plant. The 2.7L Inline 4 has decent power throughout the rpm range, but really shines when the needle gets above 3,200 rpm. The four-speed automatic transmission shifts very easily and makes good use of the motors power-band.

Inside, the truck is much roomier than the last generation Tacoma and has a more refined look and feel. The only part of the interior that showed any wear from the last year of daily driving, was the floor mats, but the seats and everything else looked showroom new.

In terms of fuel economy, this truck did very well. We racked up just a little more than 30,000 miles on the truck and averaged 24 mpg and topped as much as 29 mpg on long road trips. There is just something about motoring the Taco down the highway, as it really liked cruising at good speeds. As far as maintenance costs, the only money besides the gas we had to put in the truck was for the normal oil changes and a new windshield.

We are very happy with the Tacoma and everything it has to offer, and the price is decent, considering how well this truck performs. If you are in the market for a entry level truck that has good power and a refined feel, the Tacoma is definitely worth going to the dealer and taking it for a test-drive.

K&N Air Intake System
The new intake comes with a Premium Series high-flow air filter, mounting brackets, a cold-air dam, and adapter fittings for the factory vacuum lines. All of the hardware is included with the K&N kit. Our initial investment cost us $335.99 and another $15 for the air filter cleaning kit. However, over the course of your vehicles lifetime it will more than pay for itself. In addition, if you plan on laying your truck out, your going to have to get one anyway for clearance.

MagnaFlow Performance Series Exhaust
We installed Magnaflow's 2.5-inch stainless steel cat-back exhaust with polished stainless steel muffler and 3.5-inch slash cut mirror polished stainless steel tip. Increased exhaust system efficiency makes for better power while complimenting fuel economy.

DJM Suspension
The DJM Suspension static lowering kit was a simple, straight forward suspension kit to install. The most strenuous effort was pressing in and out the ball joints. After putting some miles on the new suspension components, the suspension settled down some more. The kit lowered the front three inches, and it lowered the rear four inches. The driveability was good, and the ride remained the same because the kit uses the factory struts and rear leaf springs.

Royal Purple
The use of synthetic fluids improves automobile performance in many aspects. The decrease in friction results in more horsepower, decreased wear and increased mileage. Service intervals can be increased to as much as 12,000 miles once an engine is clean and free of contaminants. We gained almost 4hp by just changing the oil over to Royal Purple.

MHT Wheels
By far this was the biggest investment that we made for the Tacoma. But hey, pimpin' aint easy right? Our MHT wheels are a two-piece design wheel, constructed by utilizing high quality spun forged inner and outer rim halves. The centers are precisely machined using the latest in CNC machining processes, and are manufactured from rotary-forged, 6061 heat-treated aluminum.

Nitto Tires
By utilizing a racing concept design, Nitto Tire's engineers developed the NT-555. With a specially formulated compound and one of the biggest contact patches available, the NT-555 provides superior traction, reliable handling, and delivers total vehicle control. The three-circumferential grooves channel water efficiently, while the lateral grooves break up the water wedge. This combination of grooves and channels reduces the chance of hydroplaning. The handling of these tires were great, from accelerating to braking, the tires held their ground and refused to break loose from the asphalt.

T-Rex
T-Rex billet grilles are made out of aircraft quality T-5 or T-6 billet aluminum rather than the more popular extruded aluminum. Each grille is then hand-assembled into a custom jig and precision TIG welded to ensure a strong and clean weld.

Stylin Trucks
Because Toyota doesn't offer chrome- handles or mirrors for the '05 and up Tacoma, we decided to go with chrome plated covers over color-matching them. With some colors like our silver, it could be difficult to match the color exactly and we thought it would have more of an impact if they were chrome. The covers are made of ABS plastic and then chrome-plated to match the factory chrome.