ANCHORAGE, Alaska - In redesigning the Tacoma, Toyota put its small pickup on steroids.
The 2005 Tacoma has grown into a much larger pickup that will challenge the Dodge Dakota.
"Make no mistake about it," said Don Esmond, Toyota Division general manager, at the vehicle's press launch here, "we are on a serious mission to build light-truck market share that will match our strong car presence in the U.S."
For its first redesign in 10 years, the Tacoma grew about 6 inches in wheelbase and length and 5.7 inches in width.
The redesigned Tacoma is smaller than the Dakota in most exterior dimensions and does not offer a V-8 engine option like the Dakota. But the Tacoma's 4.0-liter V-6 makes 10 more hp and 13 fewer pounds-feet of torque than the Dodge Magnum V-8 engine.
And whereas the Dodge offers a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission across the line, Toyota offers a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic on its V-6 models.