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Toyota Tacoma: New Blacked-Out Look for Truckers

By Tim Spell, August 3rd, 2019

Despite the offering of aggressive-looking, off-road-tough models by all midsize pickup manufacturers, Toyota stands apart as having an entire Tacoma lineup that's skewed toward young male adventure seekers.

Manufacturer photo: The Tacoma SX Package includes a black hex-shaped grille
Manufacturer photo: The Tacoma SX Package includes a black hex-shaped grille

For 2019, Toyota adds an SX Package that delivers on this attitude with budget-minded buyers in mind. This exterior package ups Tacoma configuration offerings to 32.

Tacoma's blacked-out SX Package helps strengthen its hold on consumers hooked on the pickup's work and off-road capability, racing-inspired design and overall character that a Toyota engineer describes as "badass." Toyota created the package for buyers wanting to personalize their truck by using it as a base for customization or allowing it to "stand confidently on its own."

The SX Package is available as a $570 option on the entry-level SR Access Cab 4x2 and 4x4 models. Starting price for an SR Access Cab 4x2 pickup is $25,850. In base form the truck has a strong visual presence, and the SX Package enhances the exterior to create a bad-boy look. The package includes black-accented headlamps, mirror caps, door handles, overfenders and 4x4 badge (if applicable). The SR's standard silver-painted steel wheels are replaced with custom-look 16-inch matte-black alloy wheels.

Fitting with the theme, the hex-shaped grille is black. This works well with the aggressive front-end styling featuring a chiseled face and raised hood that drops to blend with muscular fenders.

Manufacturer photo: The Tacoma SX Package includes a black hex-shaped grille

Six colors are available with the SX Package: Super White, Silver Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Barcelona Red Metallic and Quicksand. SR models come standard with a color-keyed rear bumper and a Paint Protection Film is a $395 option.

The Tacoma SR is available with accessories that complement the SX Package. Predator tube steps, available for $639, are especially suited for 4x4 models. These steps provide a rugged off-road look, as well as a practical assist into in out of the cab. The design features a heavy wheel-to-wheel bar with perforated metal pad loops at each door. Another good match with the blacked-out look is a black-chrome exhaust, which is a $95 option.

At the business end of the exhaust is a choice of 2.7-liter four-cylinder and 3.5-liter V-6 engines. The 2.7-liter delivers 159 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 180 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,800 rpm. The 3.5-liter generates 278 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 265 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,600 rpm. Both engines are partnered with six-speed automatic transmissions and have an estimated 21 miles per gallon combined city/highway fuel economy for 4x2 models.

Maximum towing is 3,500 pounds with the four-cylinder and 6,800 pounds for the V-6 with the Tow Prep Package. Payload capacity for the Access Cab's standard 6-foot box is 1,620 pounds for the four-cylinder and 1,540 pounds for the V-6.

Tacoma's easy-lower, lockable tailgate is topped with an integrated spoiler, and its lower portion is carved out and boldly stamped with "TACOMA." This treatment reflects the Tundra design and creates a retro look.

Manufacturer photo: The Tacoma SX Package includes a black hex-shaped grille

The tailgate opens to a bed made of a lighter fiber-reinforced sheet-molded composite material that's resistant to rust and dings. The SR model comes standard with a deck rail system that allows the mounting of sliding tie-down cleats and accessories such as bed dividers. A cargo-floor mat is a $120 option.

An SR model is equipped with standard Toyota Safety Sense, a package more fitting for a luxury vehicle. Toyota Safety Sense includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Sway Warning System, Automatic High Beams and Dynamic Cruise Control. An Integrated Backup Camera is another safety plus.

Entertainment is provided by a standard six-speaker Entune Audio system with 6.1-inch touch-screen display. Tacoma's infotainment package includes advanced voice recognition, hands-free phone capability, phone book access, music streaming via Bluetooth and Siri Eyes Free.

Listening to the audio system and phone is facilitated via a quiet cabin featuring extra sound-absorbing materials and an acoustic windshield. A sliding rear window with privacy glass, and power windows and door locks are standard.

The Access Cab's small rear compartment is the only sacrifice the buyer makes with this pickup. It's a capable, well-equipped truck with an eye-grabbing SX Package-enhanced exterior that's offered at an affordable price.

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