Toyota Tacoma History and Cylinder Heads

Categories: Cylinder Head Tips

Known for its reliability and mileage durability, the Toyota Tacoma has been producing models for over 26 years. All three generations of models have stayed true to their signature mid-size truck. Over the years, the Tacoma has managed to collect an impressive number of awards and recognition. On account of the Tacoma’s durability, stories are shared of collecting *millions* of miles. Throughout each generation of Tacoma, it has been improved to last 10 to 15 years without needing any major repairs. Find out below the history of the Toyota Tacoma and options for replacing Toyota Tacoma cylinder heads!

First Generation

After six generations of the Toyota Truck, Toyota named their 1995 model: Toyota Tacoma. This was the first generation of the Toyota Tacoma small truck with improved variants to their former Toyota Truck. Unlike other trucks, the Tacoma was offered in two versions, one being smaller and the other being more midsize. The lower-riding rear-wheel drive came with a 2.4-liter inline-4 while the higher-riding 4-wheel drive came with a 2.7-liter inline-4. From 1995-2001, the Tacoma enhanced its safety features as well as its styling features. As production grew, Toyota moved from the NUMMI plant in Fremont, California to the TMMBC plant in Baja California, Mexico.

Second Generation

The rise of success only kept growing as the second generation of Tacomas took off. In 2005, the Tacoma X-Runner received the Truck of the Year award from Motor Trend. Following their past success, Toyota kept to the mid-size pickup design while designing a more spacious interior. While the style was being revamped, the safety features required some improvement. In 2009, Tacoma followed the Star Safety System after implementing front seat-mounted side airbags, curtain side airbags, and active front headrests. This safety improvement landed the Tacoma to be one of the only smaller pickup models to earn an IIHS Top Safety Pick rating. With ratings and awards high, Toyota added production at the San Antonio, Texas plant in 2010. Each model added more exterior style changes and interior refinements. While the 2012 models offered TRD Sport and Off-Road enhancements, the 2015 models continued to improve the public favorite. Even with the success of the Toyota Tacoma up into the second generation, it was only surface level to the success of the third generation of Tacomas.

Third Generation – Now

With the momentum of 20 years of Toyota Tacoma’s, the 2016 model released a slightly larger version of their classic truck. Fuel efficiency was improved through their 3.5-liter V6 since it operates on the Atkinson cycle. The 2018 model added revamped safety features for crash avoidance. As technology advances, the Tacoma continues to improve with user-friendly technology as well as improved features. What the 2019 Tacoma lacked in interior quality, the 2020 Tacoma made up for with its impressive cabin. Despite being a mid-size truck, the Tacoma models have been excellent with their off-road capabilities. The most recent 2021 Tacoma has managed to correct all of their small critiques while staying true to their original Toyota Truck.

Toyota Tacoma Awards and Recognitions

Below are some of the impressive Toyota Tacoma awards and recognitions.

  • 2010 – 2020 Kelley Blue Book’s Best Resale Value Midsize Pickup Truck for 11 years in a row.
  • 2021 Toyota Tacoma is Kelley Blue Book’s Best Buy of the Year among midsize pickup trucks.
  • America’s best-selling midsize pickup for the last 16 years.
  • Best Resale Value Award winner for 19 years in a row.
  • Top 10 Best overall Best Resale Values for 10 years in a row.

If we listed each award from 1995 to 2021, then this article would be pages long! The Tacoma’s long list of accolades only grows every year as they make a new model. For being a mid-size truck, the Tacoma’s reliability has proved itself to hold its longevity.

Tacoma High Mileage Story: Mike Neal

Toyota Tacomas are known for their reliability on the roads by averaging 200,000 – 300,000 miles without repairs. While the average mileage is impressive, one of the most famous high mileage stories of the Tacoma belongs to Mike Neal from North Carolina. Over the years, Mike’s 2008 Tacoma Access Cab has racked up over 1.2 MILLION miles! With having to travel long distances by car for work, Mike needed dependable transportation. This influenced him to choose the Tacoma since they are known for their dependability. Over 1.2 million miles later and most people would agree he made the right decision. Mike keeps an ongoing count on the back of his truck to update every 10,000 miles. Mike and his Tacoma prove why the Toyota Tacoma has always been a favorite with its tried and true mileage.


Importance of Cylinder Heads in a Toyota Tacoma

Since Toyota Tacomas are bought for their longevity, Clearwater Cylinder Head can help improve it through our custom cylinder heads. Whether you have a Tacoma or any other vehicle, cylinder heads are essential to ensuring proper engine functionality. Sitting on the engine, the cylinder head’s function is to close off the combustion chamber. It provides lubrication to the cylinder to ensure the engine functions smoothly without overheating. In order to preserve the engine, any sign of a bad or cracked cylinder head should be quickly repaired or replaced. Some of the biggest warning signs of a cylinder head failure are:

  • Overheating as a result of a crack.
  • Excessive Oil in the intake or exhaust ports.
  • White Smoke as a result of the coolant contaminating the oil.

Clearwater Cylinder Head is dedicated to improving your vehicle through our top-quality selection of cylinder heads. If your vehicle is showing signs of a cylinder head failure, we encourage you to act quickly and call Clearwater Cylinder Head to get a replacement before any more damage occurs.

Leak Down Test to Check Your Cylinder Head Video

Buy Replacement Heads at Clearwater Cylinder Head

With over 50,000 happy clients and 25+ years of business, Clearwater Cylinder Head prioritizes customer satisfaction through our top-quality cylinder heads. Just like the Tacoma models, we are all about “Going the Extra Mile” by producing a quality product for you. Our employees are dedicated to manufacturing, inspecting, restoring, and replacing cylinder heads on all vehicles. If your Toyota Tacoma needs a replacement cylinder head or just an inspection, then Clearwater Cylinder Head is the place to call. Our team is happy to assist you with any questions regarding cylinder head selection.


Please call us to inquire about new cylinder heads for your Toyota vehicle by calling us toll-free at 1-800-572-1963. We look forward to serving you!