Toyota, a Japanese automaker, has been producing the Toyota X-Runner pickup truck since 1995 in Mexico and the US. Compact pickups are what the first-generation Tacoma, which had model years from 1995 to 2004, were categorized as.
Midsized pickups are the third generation, which has been produced since 2015, and the second generation, which was produced from model years 2005 to 2015. Both are made in the United States and Mexico.
Sport trucks are unique vehicles that add a level of performance to the pickup truck lineup that is often not seen in other variants. The Toyota X-Runner was a tiny truck that was unusual for this market.
In the late 1980s, sport trucks were very popular. There were tiny pickups from almost every brand, and it appeared that the youth were modifying them by adding louder exhausts, larger tires, and lowered suspensions. Well, the sales of tiny trucks have decreased over time, much like that fad.
Only a handful of companies still produce tiny vehicles today, and you hardly ever see one that has been modified. All eyes are now on full-size vehicles. Maybe people used to prefer full-size trucks with their V8 power since petrol was so inexpensive back then.
It would be fascinating to watch if the tiny truck, which has been expanding in size and weight, makes a comeback given the recent increases in gas prices. Certainly, Toyota hopes so. They are one of the few manufacturers of small pickups left. Additionally, sales of the little Tacoma are still robust.
In 2015, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Bermuda, and the French overseas region of New Caledonia were the countries where the Toyota Tacoma was sold.
Performance of the Toyota X-Runner
The Toyota X-Runner was a 42 sport truck that was stylish, entertaining, and very capable. It was a discontinued model for 2014. Toyota chose to discontinue the X-Runner after nine years of production. Undoubtedly, this revelation disappointed a tiny but devoted set of fans.
Stylish, engaging, and extremely capable, the 42-inch Toyota X-Runner was a sport vehicle. In 2014, the model had been discontinued.
The X-Runner, on the other hand, brought a degree of performance to the market that would cause you to rethink buying a sports car. With its integrated fog lamps, hood scoop, and aggressive body modifications, it has a superb appearance. 18-inch alloy wheels and Bridgestone Potenza tires are mounted on it.
It also sported a 4.0-liter, 236-hp V-6 engine under the hood to boost its street cred. Yes, its engine and its corresponding six-speed manual transmission have been utilized elsewhere.
The X-sport-tuned Runner’s suspension, a rear stabilizer bar, and performance tires are absent from the other versions. Once you combined all of these elements, you had a winning formula for sport truck success.
Toyota X-Runner with the Toyota Racing Development (TRD)
To create a powerful vehicle, Toyota Racing Development (TRD) got its hands on the X-Runner. Additionally, they created a supercharger package that is readily available and increases engine output to 304 horsepower and 334 foot-pounds of torque.
Toyota retains its powertrain warranty when the item is installed by the dealer. So, if the standard 0 to 60 mph time of 7 seconds was not fast enough for you, the supercharger should reduce that time by at least a second. There are more specifics regarding this $4,500 option on the TRD sales page.
Trim and Layout for the Toyota X-Runner
Being an Access Cab model, the Toyota Tacoma X-rear Runner’s doors have a rear hinge. In an emergency, two passengers can fit in a pair of jump seats, or they can be folded up to increase the internal storage space.
Storage spaces are also located beneath and between the back seats, making them a convenient place to store anything you don’t want flying around the cabin as you accelerate quickly.
A quirky-looking subwoofer with a large “X” across its face and a light to set the mood is located between the two chairs. The X-Runner effectively conveys “different” in an amicable manner.
Bucket seats with fabric trim and manually adjustable lumbar support are provided upfront. The bolstering and overall support in the driver’s seat is decent, you ride high, and the hood scoop does not obstruct your vision. Given that the X-Runner is a low-rider truck by nature, this accomplishment is noteworthy.
The Tacoma has side mirrors that may be electronically adjusted for even more viewing enjoyment. You can glance back through the mirror and use the rearview monitor at the same time because it is conveniently located in the far left corner of the rearview mirror and is standard across the model line.
The Toyota X-Runner: Created for Your Driving Satisfaction
Driving the X-Runner is a blast. Additionally, the six-speed manual transmission is the ideal match for it. As you change gears, you simply need to get used to the long throws.
Save the sixth gear for interstate driving when you’re ready to turn on the cruise control to get more miles per gallon; otherwise, you should find the fifth gear to be the optimum location to leave the transmission unless your RPMs exceed 3,000.
the sensation experienced while driving on curvy roads with a good amount of rises and descents thrown in for good measure. When driving like this, you can appreciate the sport-tuned, lowered suspension since the truck maintains a tight grip and makes every bend with ease.
Toyota Tacoma TRD by Kevauto / CC BY-SA 4.0. In addition to performance, the Toyota X-Runner also shines in the payload and towing areas.
The X-developers Runner should be commended for including a rear stabilizer bar and performance tires since they give the vehicle a balanced and assured driving experience that is reminiscent of a sports coupe.
The Toyota X-Runner excels in two additional categories besides performance, namely payload and towing. Payload weighs 1,425 pounds while towing weighs 3,300 pounds. You receive a truck that is fun to drive as well as one that can transport, store, and pull all of your belongings. Use your sports coupe to try it out.
The Toyota X-Runner’s Sport Truck Option
What alternative sport trucks are available to Tacoma buyers in 2014 without the X-Runner? The PreRunner, a sub-model offered in Access Cab and Double Cab (short or long bed) configurations, is the sole model.
But there are some significant distinctions to take into account, like the fact that the PreRunner is a 44 vehicle and that a rear stabilizer bar is not offered. The latter’s absence makes sense because what the X-Runner accomplished on smooth pavement, the PreRunner accomplishes off-road.
The Background Check of the Toyota X-Runner
Toyota unveiled a brand-new Tacoma in 2005. Tacoma models are available in eighteen different configurations. The X-Runner, the sports car in the lineup, is our favorite.
The 2004 S-Runner was replaced by the X-Runner, which had a 3.4-liter V6 engine with 190 horsepower and a standard 5-speed manual transmission. The X-braced reinforced frame beneath the 2005 X-Runner gives the vehicle more stiffness, hence the name.
The X-Runner is marketed by Toyota as “The Muscle Truck Meets Sports Car.” That’s an accurate way to characterize the X. The X is somewhat less unusual than comparable sport trucks, which boast 500 horsepower V-10 engines like Dodge’s SRT-10.
The Power Behind the Toyota X-Runner’s Engine
The 4.0 liter DOHC V6 with VVT-I valve management that generates 245 horsepower powers the X-Runner. A 6-speed manual transmission is the only available option for the X.
The X-Runner is a far more usable package than, say, an SRT-10 thanks to that combination and a smaller, lighter body. 500 horsepower in a truck makes for a beast you have to be very careful with.
On the other hand, the X-Runner becomes a truck that you can drive aggressively with ease thanks to its 245 horsepower and reduced weight. Toyota claims that the X-Runner can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under seven seconds, and that seems about right.
The engine is smooth up to the redline at 5500 rpm, but it can still quickly exit a stop sign in second gear. The 6-speed manual’s ratios are good and strategically set. You can utilize all of your equipment to move quickly. There won’t be any complaints if you simply cruise while skipping the third and fifth gears.
The shift connection is the only factor that lessens the excitement. The linkage has way too much slop, making it difficult to shift rapidly or, worse, causing noises from the gears grinding.
The Toyota X-Runner and Its Pristine Interior Finishing
The world is a lovely place inside the X. Although the inside does not resemble a Lexus, it is in no way unattractive. The cabin features usual high-quality Toyota materials throughout, as well as some nice extras like a steering wheel with audio controls and a telescopic and tilting steering column.
Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab by Kevauto / CC BY-SA 4.0. On the recalled Toyota X-Runner cars built between 2001 and 2004, Toyota pledged to restore the damaged lower ball joints. Unfortunately, older car models are not covered by this recall.
The dash arrangement is uncomplicated and obvious. Long drives made the driver’s seat bottom angle uncomfortable because it is not adjustable.
The situation in the back seat is unique. Only the Access Cab version of the X-Runner—a longer cab for people like you and me—is offered. Although there are two seat belts back there, it is impossible to conceive an adult sitting back there.
There is also no backrest there. The “seat” is more of a cushion with a 90-degree rise in the back. For small children, pets, or luggage, the back is suitable.
Dependability and Common Problems with the Toyota X-Runner
One of the most well-liked compact trucks in the US is the Toyota Tacoma. It can go over any surface, and its features will keep you and your passengers secure and amused while driving. It is a dependable truck, but it is not impervious to wear or trouble-free.
Knowing Tacoma’s common issues can help you extend the life of your vehicle, whether you plan to purchase a used one or just want to take better care of the one you already have.
Toyota X-Runner: How Reliable Is It?
The Toyota Tacoma’s reliability has earned middling reviews. In a RepairPal assessment, it received a rating of 3.5 out of 5.0 and came in last among the seven models considered for its category.
However, Tacoma’s cost of ownership is cheaper than that of other pickups, despite its low ranking. This is because the majority of its issues are small and don’t call for pricey fixes.
Consumer Reports gave the 2013–2015 model years a flawless dependability rating. The 2016 and 2017 year models’ overall reliability ratings, however, were lower due to problems brought on by a significant overhaul.
According to CarComplaints.com, the 2016 Tacoma received the most general complaints, whereas the 2017 model has experienced transmission issues.
Which are the Common Problems with the Toyota X-Runner?
The Toyota Tacoma is a pickup truck, and it might experience problems as it accumulates miles. Owners of Tacoma vehicles have reported the following issues the most frequently over the years:
1. Problems with Lower Ball Joints
One of the most often reported issues with Tacoma’s front suspension is premature wear on the lower ball joint.
Trucks with worn or loose ball joints have less self-centering and are more difficult to steer. Unusual noises coming from the front suspension may also be heard by drivers. In the worst situation, the pickup’s lower ball joint may completely break from the suspension, rendering the driver helpless.
Toyota identified the problem as being caused by a scratch that was accidentally made on the lower ball joint’s ball component during manufacturing. The trucks in question were produced between 1995 and 2007.
Toyota promised to fix the defective lower ball joints on the recalled Toyota X-Runner models produced between 2001 and 2004. Unfortunately, this recall does not apply to previous models of automobiles.
Find out if the model year you’re interested in has been subject to a recall by visiting the NHTSA website.
2. High-Mileage Toyota X-Runner with Defective Automatic Transmission
There are reported transmission issues with the Toyota Tacoma, which affect vehicles with anywhere between 125,000 and 150,000 miles on the odometer. These problems, which hinder the car from shifting properly, have been documented in Tacoma models made between 1995 and 2015.
Toyota X-Runners produced from 2006 through 2011 as well as in 2013 regularly develop cracks in the amber lenses of the front parking lights.
Fortunately, fixing this issue won’t require a major overhaul of the automatic transmission. It has been determined that the issue is either due to an improperly adjusted throttle position sensor or a malfunctioning shift solenoid.
Drivers have reported that their transmissions returned to normal after calibrating the sensor and replacing the defective solenoid.
3. Amber Front Parking Light Lens with Cracks
The amber lenses of the front parking lights on Toyota X-Runners made in 2006 through 2011 as well as in 2013 frequently develop cracks. Their parking light lenses’ construction prevents them from withstanding the heat generated by the light bulbs.
Thankfully, the solution is simple and merely calls for replacing the damaged parking light lens with a new one. Instead of ordering from a dealership, Tacoma owners can significantly reduce their repair expenses by using aftermarket components.
4. Defective Air Flow Meter
Performance concerns in Tacoma models manufactured from 1996 to 2013 have been connected to a malfunctioning mass airflow (MAF) sensor.
This sensor occasionally stops functioning properly due to excessive dirt. If cleaning the device doesn’t solve the issue, it’s probably time to replace the mass airflow sensor on your truck.
Before their check engine light comes on and an onboard diagnostic scan tool produces a MAF sensor error code, drivers might not be aware of the problem.
This sensor’s inaccurate readings may be a factor in poor acceleration, rough idling, and decreased fuel efficiency. The truck could potentially have surges or hard starts, as well as black exhaust smoke.
5. Issues with the Throttle Position Sensor
The throttle position sensor on Toyota X-Runner models produced between 1995 and 1997, 1999 to 2000, 2002 to 2004, 2007 to 2008, and 2015 may malfunction.
As was previously indicated, an improperly adjusted throttle position sensor can affect how the automatic transmission functions.
These Toyota Tacoma throttle position sensor issues could be brought on by a worn-out throttle body or carbon build-up on the sensor.
The throttle position sensor will significantly advance idle timing if it is out of calibration. As a result, the engine produces less power, wastes more fuel, and emits more dangerous gases.
6. The Engine Fails to Start Due to a Bad Starter
The engine in the Toyota Tacoma is typically dependable. A faulty starter is one of the potential causes of the engine won’t start.
The Tacoma model years from 1995 to 1998, 2001, 2005 to 2006, and 2008 are all impacted by this issue. It has been suggested that the starter will break down between 100,000 and 125,000 miles.
Some truck owners claim that changing the starting solenoid contacts fixed a related issue in their car. Others believe that replacing the starter itself is more practical.
There are other trucks besides the Toyota Tacoma that could have the same issues. Similar problems can arise with other models as well, especially as their mileage increases.
Knowing them in advance can assist you in keeping up with the necessary inspections and repairs to keep your car on the road for longer.
Why Is the Toyota X-Runner a Good Deal Though?
The X-Runner comes with a decent bundle. It has many excellent features but a few drawbacks that prevent the driver from having fun. The price of $23,110, which allows you to overlook a lot of little defects, is the best feature.
Toyota X-Runner cars built between 1995 and 1997, 1999 to 2000, 2002 to 2004, 2007 to 2008, and 2015 may have a problem with the throttle position sensor.
For $23,000, you can obtain a truck with a great driving experience, a 73.5-inch bed that can fit all of your belongings, and the ability to tow 3500 pounds. It will be useful for carrying things, but be sure to secure your vehicle bed adequately to prevent dents and scratches.
It will always cost more to have it fixed than it would to purchase a spray-on bed liner or even hire a bed liner installation professional.
Summary of the Toyota X-Runner Design
The Toyota X-Runner RTR (Ready to Race) was a labor of passion for the engineering team behind it and was built nearly entirely from parts bought from the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) parts counter.
The Toyota X-Runner RTR SEMA exhibition truck, which was built using TRD parts, is dripping with qualities that make it the ideal straight-liner.
Apart from the production, Toyota X-Runner model’s 4.5-inch reduction in truck-like ground clearance, the tiny hauler’s body retains its stock appearance.
Toyota’s official motorsport colors are represented by a two-tone Five-Axis Classic Silver and Red paint scheme. The compact pickup truck’s introduction as the Tacoma in 1995 is represented by the number 95.
The Toyota Tacoma’s very stock exterior hides some unique surprises, making it the ideal sleeper hot rod truck. A 500+ horsepower V-8 engine that has been carefully fitted fits inside the Toyota Tacoma engine bay.
The Toyota X-Runner RTR receives the TRD twin-scroll supercharger package, which converts a 5.7-liter engine from the full-sized Toyota Tundra truck into 504 horsepower and 550 pounds-feet of torque that is SAE-certified.
The 6-speed automatic transmission and rear axle assembly, which have been shortened to fit the shorter Tacoma length, are joined by the Tundra engine at the tip of this distinctive SEMA show vehicle. Drag-way-specific Goodyear Eagle tires are mounted on a TRD limited-slip differential designed by Eaton.
The rear Goodyear Eagle tires are 2 inches in diameter and 7 inches wide larger than the front tires to fit the drag racing truck motif.
The exhaust system has undergone a significant makeover, but the braking system and other electrical aids are still in place. To maximize high-impact takeoffs from drag racing’s well-known “Christmas Tree” starting light, the exhaust outlet is moved.
Performance Summary for the Toyota X-Runner
Non-essential weight has been removed from the Toyota X-Runner RTR to adapt it to the sport of drag racing. The weight of the rear seat, the air conditioning, the electric convenience equipment, and the reservoir for the windshield washer fluid all contribute to faster quarter-mile timings. A TRD roll-bar is installed inside a racing-tailored cabin to consider safety.
Although Toyota has made a significant change with this demonstration model Tacoma to attain maximum horsepower in a small vehicle frame, the idea of putting an 8-cylinder engine in a compact pickup is not new.
V-8 power is available as an option in production trucks for the Dodge Dakota, Chevrolet Colorado, and GMC Canyon pickup trucks. The transition to V-8 engines for General Motors’ smaller vehicles occurred in 2009, years after mechanically inclined tuners installed small block engines in the S-10 pickups.
The TRD tenets and the influence of the exhilarating motorsport make this combination a real go-getter even though the Toyota X-Runner RTR only exists as a show vehicle.
The Toyota X-standard Runner’s 255/45-18 Bridgestone Potenza RE050 tires have excellent traction. Due to the harsh ride brought on by the lowered suspension and stiffer shocks and springs, you will be reminded that it is a truck.
The Downsides of the Toyota X-Runner
The handling is equally amazing as the acceleration. The 255/45-18 Bridgestone Potenza RE050 tires that come standard on the Toyota X-Runner are highly grippy.
You will be reminded that it is a truck as a result of the rough ride caused by the lowered suspension and firmer shocks and springs. Additionally, if you choose to travel quickly around curves, you should check to see if the pavement is smooth.
The vehicle could be agitated and sent into the next lane if there are bumps in the middle of the bend. On a smooth road, however, the X Runner is fantastic. Compared to certain sports cars, the X Runner communicates with its driver better. You can confidently push the X Runner to its boundaries.
The brakes on the X Runner are the subject of other criticism of its performance. They have a soft, hardly perceptible feel. The situation is so awful that the first few times you stop at a light, you end up stopping further than you intended to. The drum brakes on the back of every Toyota X-Runner are outstanding these days.
What Toyota X-Runner Generations/Years Should I Buy?
The durability, handling, off-road prowess, and reliability of the Toyota Tacoma are legendary.
When the Toyota Tacoma was first introduced in 1995, it was a tiny truck. The compact size of the first generation was in use until 2004. The second generation and later revised models were eligible for the mid-size category.
The durability, handling, off-road prowess, and reliability of the Toyota Tacoma are legendary. In 2005, MotorTrend named it Truck of the Year. Many owners assert that their Tacoma has more than 400,000 miles on it and is still in excellent condition.
Toyota also provided the Toyota X-Runner package from 2005 to 2013. As a sportier version of the slow-moving S Runner trim, it was introduced.
The X Runner was designed for drivers who wanted comfort and superb handling but were ready to give up off-road performance, unlike the original Tacoma, which sacrificed comfort for amazing off-road performance.
Their intended customers wanted something sporty like the Ford SVT Lightning; they didn’t need to take the truck off-road. To remain competitive in the sports/muscle vehicle industry, Toyota released this hulking muscle truck.
According to Gear Patrol, the Toyota X-Runner was a fantastic pickup and is still in use today.
In the world of automobiles, the Toyota X-Runner is well-regarded. What generation should you get, though?
Toyota X-Runner 2005 to 2008: The Best and Reliable Deals
The first generation of the X Runner was, in the opinion of the majority, the best. Their owners continue to prefer them to more recent models.
The 2005 X Runner came equipped with an X brace suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a standard six-speed manual transmission. Hill-start and downhill assistance were included with the TRD Pro off-road package.
Although a limited-slip differential was included as standard equipment, rear-locking differentials weren’t until 2006.
X Runner is one of the fastest pickup trucks ever produced, claims Motor Biscuit. The 4-liter V6 engine in the 2005 X Runner produced a staggering 245 horsepower and 282 lb-ft of torque, although later models only produced 236 horsepower and 266 lb-ft. Models with the TRD Pro supercharger upgrade have 334 lb-ft of torque and 304 horsepower.
A 5.7-liter engine from the full-sized Toyota Tundra truck is upgraded with the TRD twin-scroll supercharger kit for the Toyota X-Runner RTR to produce 504 horsepower and 550 pounds-feet of torque that is SAE-certified.
The Toyota X-Runner By Toyota vs. The SVT Lightning By Ford: Who Wins?
The Toyota X-Runner isn’t nearly as powerful or quick as the Ford SVT Lightning in terms of stats. A 5.4-liter V8 supercharged by Ford produced 380 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque.
Additionally, it ran from 0 to 60 in 5.2 seconds, according to Car & Driver. However, the X-Runner wasn’t designed with pure speed in mind. Similar to the TRD Camry, handling is important.
Autoweek notes: Around turns, the Toyota X-Runner handled predictably and with ease. According to Driving.ca, it was also able to hold onto the road more firmly than the Ford.
True, the Tacoma can’t tow as much as the Ford, but it can carry more weight per cargo. Additionally, the X-Runner had a stick, unlike the Ford Lightning.
The X-Runner is a fantastic value. Most persons who were asked to estimate the truck’s price gave answers in the $30,000–$40,000 range. Additionally, the X-Runner is not being produced by an unknown business.
You can feel secure in purchasing one because it has the normal Toyota quality and resale value. It is even made here in California at the NUMMI plant in Fremont. Toyota would sell millions of them if more people were aware of it.
Jim Wicks is the founder of MotorVehicleHQ. With over two decades of experience in the automotive industry and a degree in Automotive Technology, Jim is a certified car expert who has worked in various roles ranging from a mechanic, car dealership manager, to a racing car driver. He has owned more than 20 cars over the past 15 years. Ask him about any vehicle you see on the road and he can tell you the make, model and year. He loves the aesthetics of all things cars, and keeps his vehicles in pristine condition.
In his free time, Jim enjoys getting his hands dirty under the hood of a classic car or taking long drives along the country roads. His favorite car? A 1967 Shelby GT500, a true classic that, according to Jim, “represents the pure essence of American muscle.”