Toyota Tacoma Selected as 2005 MOTOR TREND Truck of the Year LOS ANGELES--Dec. 1, 20045, 2004--MOTOR TREND magazine, the world's number one automotive authority and part of the PRIMEDIA Consumer Automotive Group, today announced the selection of the Toyota Tacoma as the 2005 MOTOR TREND Truck of the Year. Each year, MOTOR TREND evaluates all new eligible pickup trucks and awards the coveted Golden Calipers to the one that most clearly raises the bar in the category, specifically in terms of significance, superiority and value. "The new Tacoma is a good example of Toyota listening to its customers and delivering the best materials, fit and finish for its price class," said Angus MacKenzie, editor in chief of MOTOR TREND. "Buyers get Toyota's legendary durability and quality in a beautifully built little truck. Proving there is no penalty for buying a reasonably priced, more fuel-efficient truck, especially significant in this time of rising fuel prices, the 2005 Toyota Tacoma is truly deserving of the title of MOTOR TREND Truck of the Year." Toyota has made the 2005 Tacoma's interior and exterior more engaging, while preserving the affordability that consumers have come to rely on. The new base 2.7-liter VVT-i four-cylinder engine produces 164 horsepower and 183 pound-feet of torque, while the optional 4.0-liter V6 offers 245 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque. Buyers can choose from three cabin configurations, two bed lengths and two or four wheel drive to configure a Tacoma to suit their lifestyle or work needs. "Toyota came out swinging from the get-go with a huge a roster of truck variants," added MacKenzie. "With 18 different configurations, the Tacoma is the broadband of the segment and full of surprise and delight features." This year, the editorial staff of MOTOR TREND conducted testing on five new vehicles, searching for the pickup truck that best represented exceptional value, superiority in its class, and the most significant development on the new-truck scene for 2005. All truly new or substantially revised trucks were considered with the condition that they be available for public sale by January 1, 2005. For the 2005 MOTOR TREND Truck of the Year competition, the winner was selected from the following eligible models: Dodge Dakota, Ford F-250/F-350 Super Duty, Hummer H2 SUT, Nissan Frontier, and the Toyota Tacoma. The MOTOR TREND Evaluation Process MOTOR TREND editors spent several weeks with the contending vehicles, exploring their performance, features, and functionality. Thorough testing was done on each vehicle with a specific focus on the following: engineering and technology, performance, ride and handling, styling and design, interior fit, finish and materials, utility, and value. Special attention was paid to the "pickup" aspects of loading and securing cargo, performance with a payload, and towing. Once the testing and evaluations were completed, MOTOR TREND editors chose the Toyota Tacoma to receive the coveted Golden Calipers. MOTOR TREND evaluates the eligible vehicles based on three key categories: Significance, Superiority, and Value. Significance refers to the vehicle's impact on the market and innovation in engineering, technology, design, safety and packaging. Superiority balances the playing field and looks for class-leading levels of performance, style and functionality within its specific competitive set. Finally, the all-important Value question asks, "What does this vehicle deliver in relation to what the consumer has to pay to purchase and own it?" The complete report on the 2005 MOTOR TREND Truck of the Year testing and selection will be published in the February 2005 issue of MOTOR TREND (on newsstands January 4, 2005) and high-resolution images of the winner are available upon request and at www.MotorTrend.com/media. Multimedia coverage of the testing and selection process will be broadcast on MOTOR TREND Radio, hosted by Bob Long.