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Toyota Upgrades Tacoma for 2012

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author photo by Cliff Turner

The Toyota Tacoma is the bestselling compact pickup in America, outselling the competition nearly two-to-one last year. But Toyota isn't resting on its laurels, giving the truck a host of changes inside and out for the 2012 model year.

Changes outside are subtle. Toyota gave the Tacoma a minor facelift, with a revised hood, grille, front bumper fog lights and headlights.

Most of the updates can be found inside. The 2012 Tacoma features an upgraded interior with higher-quality materials, a new steering wheel, new sportier instrument panel and revised gauges. A redesigned center console includes revised climate controls and new power point locations. Trucks with the optional backup camera also get a larger video display.

The 2012 Tacoma also offers upgraded audio options. In addition to standard SiriusXM satellite radio, single-disc CD and six-speakers, the stereo also includes has Bluetooth for hands free calling and a USB port for playing music through an iPod, MP3 player or Flash drive.

Double Cab V6 models include a premium audio and navigation system with larger display, seven speakers, HD radio and Toyota's Entune system. Entune is an infotainment system similar to Ford's Sync. A variety of in-car services can be accessed through Entune and connected smart phone, including Pandora radio, Bing search, email, traffic, weather, sports scores and stock prices. Eco-conscious drivers will also appreciate JBL's GreenEdge system, which reduces fuel consumption by lowering the electric power required for the stereo.

Double Cab and Access models now offer heavy duty all weather flooring. This feature is perfect for drivers who enjoy going off-road or live in areas with lots of rain or snow. The flooring is easy to clean, and won't stain like carpeting. For those who like to venture even further off the beaten path, the TRD Sport and Off-Road now come with water-resistant upholstery. For 2012, the TRD Sport also gets turn-signal markers on the side mirrors and chrome-clad 18-inch wheels.

Other changes for 2012 include lights on the sun visors, additional overhead storage, a rear storage console on Access Cab models and two front-deck "D" rings for helping to securing cargo.

As before, the 2012 Tacoma is available in a wide array of configurations including four- or six-cylinder engines, manual or automatic transmissions, two- or four-wheel drive and two-door Regular Cab, extended Access Cab and full four-door Double Cab. All Tacomas come standard with Toyota's Star Safety System, which includes Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, an Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist and Smart Stop brake override technology.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.