More Tacomas Mean More V-6 Engines Needed

Toyota-Tacoma-4.0L engine II

Toyota is ramping up production at its Huntsville, Ala., plant where it makes the all-aluminum 24-valve 4.0-liter V-6 engine. So far this year, Tacoma sales are up 22 percent over last year's numbers. Projections have the Tacoma, and other vehicles that use this popular V-6, climbing even higher before the end of the 2013 sales year.

According to Automotive News (subscription required), Toyota plans to invest $150 million in the Alabama plant to increase parts and production. The investment is likely to create as many as 50 new U.S. jobs, and produce as many as 362,000 V-6 engines per year, an increase of more than 30 percent.

Among other benefits, the additional 4.0-liter production will allow Tacoma to increase its segment marketshare, which, according to Toyota, is reaching close to 66 percent of the segment in some areas of the country. Of course, for the 2013 model year, the midsize pickup market consists of very few vehicles (only the Honda Ridgeline and Nissan Frontier for now).

Last year the Toyota Tacoma sold more than 140,000 units, with the vast majority of those models sold with the V-6. Of special note, a unique run of 750 Tacoma Bajas were sold in 2012 and Toyota expects to sell just less than 1,000 Bajas for 2013, all with V-6s. Additionally, we were told popularity is growing for the desert-racing-themed Baja trim, which could include even more performance modifications.

On the flip side, 2013 will be the last year the street-performance-themed Tacoma X-Runner will be offered, as customers have not taken to this package in nearly the same numbers as the PreRunner and Baja trims. A spokesman for Toyota said it's likely to offer more "adventure-themed" vehicles in the future because truck buyers who actually use their pickups like their more functional capabilities.

Whether that means we'll be seeing a more aggressive and extreme Tacoma TRD Baja T/X package or if the Tundra Rock Warrior options will morph into something as serious as the Baja suspension, we don't know. For now, we'll keep our fingers crossed for an all-new 2014 Tundra adventure truck.

Toyota engine plant AL II



I hope they are going to get better fuel mileage.

Tacoma needs a small diesel.

I expected better mileage from the V6. 11.5L/100km is the best i can get hwy (DCLB 4x4 lifted with 32's).
Other than that i am very happy with this truck.

isn't that a V-8 in the picture?

Old truck, old engine, old interior.
The 4.0L has the performance of a V6 with the mileage of a V8....big deal.

It's good to see more jobs that will flow onto secondary jobs in the community.

But, the V6 is a thirsty engine, but reliable like most Toyota engines.

I do know here the Hilux with the 4 litre V6 is having clutch problems when used for heavier work that the newer Rangers/BT50s, Colorado/Dmax etc are managing quite easily.

When I built my last house a few business owners who were operating them stated when used for towing a reasonable load 4-5 000lbs the drivetrain suffered and the clutches were replaced under warranty.

The newer diesel trucks can all tow 3.5 tonnes (7 800lbs) and the Hilux is rated at 2.5 tonnes (5 400lbs). This low rating difference might have something to do with the clutch problems.

As for the diesel, even though reliable is old and tired. I don't think the US would get this diesel as it is under powered.

I have read Toyota is working with BMW for a new diesel and BMW will transfer Toyota hybrid tech. Maybe the new Taco will be the new Hilux, which is being mostly designed here at Toyota Australia.

I bought a GMC Canyon cause Toyota never upgraded thier V6 in the Taco. My 2001 Taco had a much better V6 then the new ones do..

I have a feeling that this is the change in tooling and increase in workforce for the production of the redesigned 6 and 4 cylinders that we're going to see in the 2015 Tacoma. As it was announced on the news here in Alabama the changes were for 6 cylinder engine parts. Toyota has no choice but to redesign them to meet new emission regulations and to help meet the new CAFE regs also.

I can't wait for the mid sized trucks to be updated. 10 years is a loooong lifespan.

@CDN Mark - there have been rumours of VW bringing the Amarok to Canada. That would be interesting. Toyota does need to upgrade the Tacoma. They don't have much cause since they currently have minimal competition. I hope that the new Colorado rocks, if for no other reason than to wake up Toyota.

The Ford Ranger and Colorado are not really making a lot of waves in Australia. Last time I looked the Hilux,Navara and even the Triton was outselling the duo.

@Robert Ryan
Nissan are factoring in the D22's they are still selling. The detuned D40 2.5 diesels seems to work a treat. The D22 (Hardbody) mid spec STX 4x4 dual cab are selling for about $32k as well, attracting young people.

I think other than the Hilux, Nissan and Mitsubishi are offering some good deals drawing in the budget conscious buyers.

But Toyota are offering good bargains when wheeling and dealing.

I think Ford/Mazda/GMH/Izuzu/VW will have to look at pricing if they want to move more volume. But how much profit are they picking up on each sale?

Even most base models now come with power everything and bluetooth, MP3 etc.

I had a really close look at the Colorado last week and the interior is what I would term 'atypical GM'. It is poor in quality. It suits a cheap base model truck, but the highend truck I saw look awful. Chintzy.

I hope the US gets a much improved interior in their Colorado's. But that my opinion. I haven't seen a new Dmax interior yet.

@Big Al--That is too bad, GM needs to step up the game if they are going to be in the midsize truck market. I am impressed with interiors and finish of the new 2014 Chevy Impala and the new Buicks. I realize that GM needs to sell some volume, but it would be much better to concentrate on the fit and finish than to be number 1 or 2 in sales. I have owned 3 Chevys and 1 Buick and have been relatively satisfied with the service that I have had, but they need to come to the table with more to compete with Tacoma. I still hope that they are making some last minute changes to make the Colorado/Canyon into something more.

@Big Al,

What year Colorado do you look at? The all-new, redesigned version isn't out yet and maybe at the Detroit Show in 2014.

I agree though, that the previous-gen GMC Canyon/Chevy Colorado weren't very desirable.


@ Tim Esterdahl, the new Colorado is already on the market in Australia, where Big Al resides.

D M Start preaching. G M AND Toyota are going to dump a bunch of cheap midsize trucks on our market. this could turn into another craze/fad/invasion. I know it will not hurt F 150 sales because nobody will buy these strippers except cheap skates and bottom feeders. Well if they don't sell they can always dump them Mexico. Oh I though strippers had 4 cylinder engines.

@Jeff S
I do want the see the US version of the Colorado achieve good sales numbers. I really hope you guys get the 2.8 diesel as well. This engine will run rings around the Toyota 4 litre V6 off road and towing.

Actually from what I've read some reviewers think the Colorado is the best of the mid sizers off road. But they are becoming very competitive with each other.

A great start as I have pointed out is to improve the interior. This shouldn't be hard. But on the other side of the coin, US pickup interiors are 'masculine' in design.

We don't have that approach, only in the Ranger is that evident.

Our interiors are more SUV/Car like.

@Jake - since Oxi is no longer on this site, you've picked a different poster to boot lick.
Sad to see someone without an opinion of their own.

Or are their 2 suck *ss Jake's on this site?

Lou, Stop trolling. That's a different Jake.

If you read the post you would understand he was not agreeing with DM. His post went totally over your head. I see you miss oxi. You are a sad little man.

@Don - if I've made a mistake, I have no problems retracting my statement and issuing an apology.

That is the problem with the multi-fake name posting that goes on. It is hard to tell who is legitimate and who is not.

Its a shame they aren't retooling for a PHEV motor. These large v6 engines are guzzlers. Nearly as bad as the v-8s.

I have been told (a week ago) by a friend of mine who is an engineer for GM that the midsize twins WILL have a diesel option.When I asked him if it would be the 2.8 he wouldn't tell me anything more on the subject.According to the Holden website,the 2.8L CRD is available on the 4x4 models with the 2.5L CRD is for the 2wd models.I want the new Colorado diesel so I will wait for it.

You guys! The Toyota 4.0 V6 is an engine that was on the drawing board 10 years ago or more. The whole concept is dead. Why would an American truck buyer settle for a middleweight pickup when you can buy a half ton for the same price and have all the additional functionality?

Papa jim - "You guys! The Toyota 4.0 V6 is an engine that was on the drawing board 10 years ago or more. The whole concept is dead. Why would an American truck buyer settle for a middleweight pickup when you can buy a half ton for the same price and have all the additional functionality?"

In short? Build quality.


The people saying how reliable this engine is apparently have never read about the rampant head gasket problems, etc.

Rampant? Ha! I'm a Tacoma owner and visit one of the most popular Tacoma owner websites and had to search for what you were talking about and as hard as I tried I could only find a handful of issues. I seemed to find 10 times more threads concerning these engines reaching 100,000, 200,000 and one with even 300,000 miles on it with no trouble at all. The 2nd gen Tacomas have had their issues, I'll give you that, but the engine HAS NOT been one of them. The Tacoma is not a perfect truck but show me one that can beat it in its class.

PapaJim- apparently there are alot of truck buyers that disagree with your statement of "why not just buy a 1/2 ton" because Toyota sure does sell alot of Tacomas. Up 22% from last year even. Apparently they didn't get the memo of "you're supposed to buy a 1/2 ton because!!!"lol

@Robert I'm 6-2 and weigh 250 lbs. Sitting in a Tacoma for a trip around the block is ok, but driving one on a daily basis is not. I want comfort, performance and quality. I drive less than 10k miles per year so FE is not a big deal here. Why do you want a cramped little truck?

Papa Jim, I don't want a full size truck, a smaller truck is more functional to me. I need to be able to tow a 4K boat and haul my friends around yet navigate the city parking garages and on the weekend hit the trails. A land yeight just won't cut it for my needs.

@papa jim

Why a cramped little truck... Easier drive and park in the city, go further in bush off-road. I was sad that Toyota made the last gen Tacoma bigger - the previous gens needed to carry a farm-jack and/or winch off road because if stuck, most others couldn't get to them. Try taking full size down a quad trail and watch them sink in the soft stuff. To me - the last gens growing was to add comfort for the soft core buyer which is the majority who never go off road (in bush) and has allowed the Tacoma to get compared to cheap full size strippers and become more nicheas a 'midsize' (not compact or full size). Toyota should offer another true compact available in two trims; as a cheap stripper for fleet and a hard core no-frill off road adventurer. Then morph the current size tacoma into something closer to the gen-1 tundra with 4.6L V8 its top motor. Then Tundra can drop its V6 and add diesel for to take it to HD 3/4ton area.

Wow, what an engine :)

Hopefully they'll switch the Tacoma over to the uprated dual VVTi engine fo next year as well.
@Sandman- I think the 1GR is built on the same line as the UR V8's. It has the same bore as both the 4.6 and 5.7.
@Big Al- I'm surprised they even offer the V6 with a manual trans down there. I would have figured those were all high-spec private use trucks- with automatics.
@Dafish- That's funny
@Jake- I'll bet you a round of those pretentious martinis you like tat Toyota has no intention of "dumping" any "cheap" Tacomas any time soon.
@papa jim- the 4L 1GR V6 went into production almost 12 years ago (which is NOTHING for an engine family). It has been explained ad nauseum that buyers of high spec midsize trucks aren't concerned in the least that they could have gotten more metal for the money. They bought a vehicle to exactly suit THEIR needs, not YOURs. Why is it so hard for some people to undertand that?

I think Toyota should drop a reasonable diesel into the Tundra. With 300hp and 550ftlb of torque. Have a drivetrain to suit. Nowadays a 4 litre diesel can be made develop that kind of power and torque.

Strengthen the chassis and other areas if needed, it wouldn't take much.

They then would have a 3/4 ton truck the size they used to be only a couple of decades ago. With more usable towing power than any full size 1/2 truck on the market.

Call it a midsize HD. Sort of Eco HD.

It would take sales away from the Big 3 and would be competitively priced.

No we can get most any pickup with a manual, even high end.

My BT50GT is a high end Mazda 4x4 twin cab. Leather power everthing, with I think almost every known braking and traction aid invented.

I chose the manual over the auto. As good as the new autos are I'm old school off roading. I have hill decent, but I haven't used it yet. Because I have a gearbox, that seems to do a great job. I like the diff locks and traction controls, it helps not getting bogged. I drive with the diff lock off and when I have been bogged I have so far back out. This tactic will fail one day though.

Where I live I also get into top gear and can drive until I need fuel or a piss stop. I the longest I have driven on cruise without touching the brake or accelerator has been about 600kms. Then I had to go have a leak.

My tank is small by some of our vehicles at 80 litres, but on the highway and driving long distances I'll sit on 110km. This will get me more than 1 000kms.

@Robert.. Then you aren't looking too hard because "blown head gasket!" threads pop up on a weekly basis on the 4Runner forums. I purposefully stayed the hell away from this V6 when shopping for my 4th gen 4Runner. It only achieves 1 MPG better than the V8 in real world use, goes through head gaskets, and has fancy stuff like VVT and aluminum construction that can and will fail. Screw that.

@Dafish The 3.4 V6 in your first gen taco is not even comparable to the 4.0 V6 they use today. Our 3rd gen 4Runner with the same 3.4 V6 your taco had is a complete dog compared to our 4th gen 4Runner with the 4.0 V6 the new taco's have. The MPG and power of the 3.4 vs the 4.0 is night and day. Our 4.0 06 4Runner it gets 25 highway, much better than the 20 highway our 3.4 1999 4Runner got.

@WXman The 4.0 is a much easier engine to maintain compared to the 4.7 you mentioned in the 4Runners. The 4.7 REQUIRES the timing belt to be changed every ~100,000 miles or your engine can go boom. That's the downfall of an interference engine. Where the 4.0 V6 is not an interference engine like the 4.7 V8. In terms of performance, the 4.7 is rated to tow more in the 4Runner s the 4.0 V6, but the 4.7 only runs a second if that faster through the quarter mile than the 4.0. The 4.7 also gets 2-3 less MPGs than the V6 ran in 2wd.
Plus with the 4.0 you get the option of 2wd, full time 4wd, 4hi locked (center diff lock), 4lo unlocked, and 4lo locked (center diff lock). Versus the 4.7 V8 which does not have the option of 2wd. Our 1999 4Runner was a limited; it came with 2wd, full time 4wd, 4hi, and 4lo; with the rear diff lock.

The current 5th gen 4Runners has part time 4wd (like trucks) on SR5 and Trail trims and full time 4wd on the limited models.

The 4.0 V6 is still used today in the Tacoma, Tundra, FJ Cruiser, and the 4Runner's. The Tundra, FJ Cruiser, and 4Runner's use the higher output 4.0 compared to the 4.0 still used in the Tacoma.

The poor Tacoma needs some competition! Ford, RAM, and GM decided they were going to build trucks Toyota's full size truck. The Tacoma needs more engines? When you look a When you look at it all the full si all the full size trucks now have v 6's that will get a heck of a lot more power than that Tacoma power plant, and beat it in gas mileage too.

That's supposed to say Ford GM, and Ram build trucks that will smoke Toyota's full size truck

@ Lou - I was just trying to jerk Denver Mikes chain because he is always preaching that the compact/midsize truck market is history. I did not mean to offend you.

@TRX 4 Tom I understand your point, but not everyone wants a full size truck in the city. For people that just tow a small boat or haul off yard work, a full size truck might not make sense. If I had to parallel park my truck every day I would not be driving a full sized truck. And my current truck only had a couple of inches of clearance in some of the parking garages downtown when it was stock height. Now that it is lifted, I can only fit in 1 parking garage downtown due to height clearance.

If you’re going to make the argument about fuel economy, why not just buy a HD diesel and do deletes and a tune to get better MPG's than the half ton premium engines (5.7, 5.7, 6.2, and the 6.2)?

I know plenty of people that get 25+ highway in the HD diesels

@Big Al- I knew you COULD, I'm just surprised anyone buying the gasser DOES.

In other news, just found out that the 2014 F-150 will get the HID headlights on XLT and higher trims.

@ Thomas Imber Just more things to bring Ford down in the JD Power relibility list. The HID's in the current F-150 have poor light output compared to other vehicles with HID projectors. Ford either uses cheap projectors, or it's the DS3 bulbs; because the ones I looked at have big hot spots.

Here is a good example of the hot spots...

Now here is the post and comment to that pic:
"Here are mine. Just got them in tonight. Way better than the halogens."

"Nice. Be sure you aim them before driving out in public with them like that."

The guy likes them installed them himelf without aiming them.


I got my lights installed today and I know there are a gazillion threads scattered about but none really had any good shots showing the output. So I figured I'd save someone the trouble of sifting thru a million posts lol.

Overall this is a MAJOR improvement over the stock halogens or even a PnP HID kit in the stock reflector. There are much better projectors out there but unless you are really into HID lighting and want the best, these will suffice for anyone out there off the showroom floor. The high beam is really amazing and reminds me of my old Hella E55 retro in my Integra back in the late 90's. Loved that high beam. The pictures don't do the high beam justice as it I would of had to overexpose in order to pic up all the light.

@Mr Knowitall
Sorry, I read you comment as if you were surprised that we have manuals on offer.

I don't know why, costs? Most manuals are bought by businesses and fleets. The Hiluxes that I saw were in a rural region. That could have an influence.

Also, most pickups here are diesel. That might have something to do with it.

@Jake - my whole hearted apologies. There have been a few bloggers using the Jake name that troll by deliberately agreeing with individuals that are controversial (Oxi for example). I made the mistake of assuming that you were one of those.

@TRX-Tom - not everyone wants or needs a full sized truck and not everyone tows or hauls like you do.

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