Trucks wait to be tested
Trucks wait to be tested. Click image to enlarge. More photos!

After three days of testing on the road and in the bush near Head Lake, Ontario, the results are in and for 2007, the Toyota Tacoma 4X4 Double Cab has been crowned 2007 Canadian Truck King.

Nineteen trucks were put through a series of tests to find out how they would perform in the real world in back-to-back testing that clearly showed the good and the not so good of these working vehicles. The tests included a road test, an on-road towing test, a dead weight pull, an off-road capability test and a utility test. Finally, fuel consumption and price were factored in. See How we tested the trucks for more information about the testing procedure. Also have a look at The challengers for complete specifications and our personal impressions of each of the trucks.

The nineteen contenders were divided into seven categories: mid-size under V6, mid-size V6 and over, full-size 1/2-ton V6, full-size 1/2-ton V8 under 5-litres, full-size 1/2-ton V8 over 5-litres, full-size 3/4-ton and full-size 1-ton. All tested vehicles were 2007 models with the exception of the Toyota Tundras, 2006 models that are scheduled to be replaced early next year. As well, all GM full-size trucks were “Classic”, that is they are carry-over models from the previous generation that is currently being replaced with a new generation of GM full-size trucks.

The scores were very close for all vehicles, showing that today’s trucks are built for all kinds of chores, from hauling cargo and trailers to motoring through mud and brush and still providing the ride comfort and amenities one would expect in an everyday vehicle.

2007 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4X4 Doublecab
2007 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4X4 Doublecab. Click image to enlarge. More photos!

But in the end, the Toyota Tacoma 4×4 Double Cab came out on top. The Double Cab 4×4 is powered by a 4.0-litre V6 that produces 236 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque and comes either with a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. It includes air conditioning with rear seat heater ducts, CD player with six speakers, 60/40 split rear bench seat, power locks and windows and power mirrors. Our test vehicle came with the TRD Sport and Towing Package that added a limited slip rear differential; Bilstein shock absorbers; upgraded alternator; an in-dash 6-CD changer; P265/65R17 tires with 17-inch alloy wheels; coloured grille, mirrors, bumpers and door handles; hood scoop; front sport seats; auto dimming rear view mirror; steering wheel controls, front seatback pockets, digital compass; outside temperature gauge; fog lamps; a 400-watt (115-volt) cargo bed power outlet and TRD Sport badging. As for the towing equipment, this package also includes a 7-pin trailer wire harness and a class IV trailer hitch, for a towing capacity of 2,948 kg (6,500 lbs).

Styling by big-truck manufacturer Hino, a division of Toyota, gives it a muscular, in-your-face appearance that hides the fact that this a smooth-riding truck with intelligently-placed controls, a high level of refinement and a solid, built-to-last feeling to it.

The Tacoma excelled at the dead weight pull, pulling a full 6000 lbs. and was the truck of choice for the grueling off-road course. Its ground clearance of 240 mm (9.4 in.) was greater than any of the trucks in its class and was the deciding factor in off-road supremacy. On the road, the Tacoma was as comfortable as any SUV and, as equipped, came with a full complement of creature comforts. Our only gripe were the front seats, which we found to be a bit cramped. Tall people may not like the seating position in the Tacoma. Our preference, for a full day behind the wheel would be the Nissan Frontier Crew Cab. While more comfortable, though, the Nissan did not have the pulling or off-road capability of the Toyota.

All Tacoma models come with a cargo box made with a new composite material that’s lighter and more durable, and resistant to deformation, impact damage and rust than a conventional box. Equipped with the optional 400-watt (115-volt) cargo bed power outlet, and a variety of tiedowns gave the Tacoma unbeatable utility. The rear seat backs fold flat as well for extra cargo carrying flexibility.

Winners in each category were (please see The challengers for our comments):

  • Mid-Size under V6: 2007 Chevrolet Colorado 4WD Extended Cab LT Z71

  • Mid-Size V6 and over: Toyota Tacoma 4×4 Double Cab
  • Full-Size 1/2-ton V6: 2006 Toyota Tundra 4×2 Regular Cab
  • Full-Size 1/2-ton V8 under 5-litres: 2006 Toyota Tundra 4×4 Double Cab
  • Full-Size 1/2-ton V8 over 5-litres: 2007 Dodge Ram 1500 ST Quad Cab 4X4
  • Full-Size 3/4-ton: 2007 GMC Sierra 2500HD SLT Classic 4WD Crew Cab
  • Full-Size 1-ton: 2007 Ford F-350 XLT DRW

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