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Exterior Tacoma Changes and Suggested Mods to Stand Out

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Shop Tacoma Exterior Trim

Sometimes something as straight forward as a well placed decal can change the entire attitude of your truck. Other exterior mods for your Tacoma like bumpers, fender flares, and side steps are great for enhancing your truck's off-road appeal and capabilities.

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The Toyota Tacoma is a popular truck and the amount you see on the road continues to grow. The styling is unmatched, the performance numbers speak for themselves, and the crowd drawn to them shows time and time again that the mid-size truck is still at large in the heart of the community. As you cruise in your new Tacoma, the passion of owning one can fade by just how many of these trucks you will see out there on the road. Luckily there are nearly limitless ways that you can add a personal look to your very own Toyota Tacoma.

Tacoma Faces

The popular models of Toyota Tacoma’s are the most attractive. Through the past 14 model years the Tacoma has only changed twice. Generation splits usually are radical redesigns in which the two different body styles hardly resemble one another as the manufacturer understands the vehicles need an overall from front to rear to keep up with the times.

Toyota knew that from the year 2005, and with the second generation of Tacomas they really got it right. When the third generation was introduced very little needed to change. They did do enough for one to clearly be able to tell the two apart with a quick glance.

2005-2015: The first generation of Toyota Tacomas was very bubbly in design. When the third generation appeared in 2005 Tacoma stuck to the generally round design but sharpened some of the edges. These trucks are easily identified by the sharp headlights, the stubby nose, and the flared fenders and quarters.

2016-2019: In 2016 the third generation of Tacoma was introduced and Toyota took another step further from the round designs. The front end is much more aggressive and the headlights are even narrower and sharper than before. From front to back, these trucks have a much bolder appearance than the prior generation as sharp edges and strong angular accents were worked into the appearance.

Sub-model Variances

The general appearance of Tacoma trucks hardly changes from sub-model to sub-model. Suspension tuning and tire packages generally separate one from the others in terms of appearance.

SR5s, TRDs, and Pre-Runners all vary when it comes to closer looks. The X-Runner was still the most radical take on the Tacoma available from Toyota though.

This model featured side skirts and a dropped suspension that made the vehicle appear as a performance street truck rather than an off-road capable vehicle in comparison to how the Tacomas are usually known.

The Go Tos

Setting up a Tacoma to stand out is an extremely rewarding endeavor on both the aesthetic and performance level. As you are shopping for modifications to make the truck stand out you will find that most of the popular upgrades will also increase the vehicle's capabilities in some manner. 

Wheels & Tires: The first place anyone is going to look to start upgrading their Tacoma is the wheel well. Wheel and tire packages are a great way to give a Tacoma a particular look you are after. Depending on the package chosen, wheels and tires can improve off-road or street performance.

Lift Kits: Tacoma trucks have an outstanding presence in the off-road segment. Fitting the truck with bigger wheels and tires can improve ground clearance. To fit those bigger tires a lift kit may be needed. This will help increase off-road performance while enhancing the Tacoma’s already aggressive appearance.

Grille Guards & Brush Guards: The use of a grille guard or brush guard gives the front end of the Tacoma an additional level of protection on the trail. This unit will protect the front end from potential threats in the brush while providing additional space for lighting to be attached. It also works to give the truck an all-out off-road appearance.

Bumpers: For even more protection than a grille guard can offer, heavy duty bumpers can be attached. These units give the vehicle the ability to bust through stumps while easily attaching accessories like lighting and winches. Tubular bumpers can also be selected to help improve wheel clearance and improving the Tacoma’s ability to roll over tall obstacles. Either choice will radically change the look of the truck.

Caps: A cap is an extremely useful upgrade. They provide secure, dry storage for cargo and can double as a sleeping space while overlanding. The cap is another modification that will radically change the Tacoma’s appearance. They also make room for the use of racks that can be mounted to the roof of the cap.

Roll Bars: You are bound to push the limits of a Toyota Tacoma and that does mean you Risk running into the worst case scenario. If the truck were to topple over a roll bar can very well save your life. Roll bars will give the truck a very serious off-roader appearance and does double as a location for auxiliary lighting to be mounted.

Auxiliary Lighting: Many of the mods listed make it easy to mount auxiliary lighting. Additional lighting is extremely helpful to have onboard in order to spot upcoming obstacle and plan a line while off-roading in the dark. These units also happen to transform the appearance of the truck almost entirely and give a real trail worn truck feel.

Fitment includes: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, Pre-Runner, X-Runner, SR, SR-5, TRD-Sport, TRD-Off-Road, Limited, TRD-Pro