Good looks combined with reliability and fuel efficiency to earn the 2005 Toyota Tacoma the truck of the year award from Motor Trend magazine.
The Tacoma beat out four other new or significantly revised trucks — the Dodge Dakota, the Ford F-250/F-350 Super Duty, the Hummer H2 SUT and the Nissan Frontier, the magazine announced Wednesday. SUVs were judged separately.
"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," Motor Trend editor in chief Angus MacKenzie said. "Buyers get Toyota's legendary durability and quality in a beautifully built little truck."
He said the Tacoma was proof that "there is no penalty for buying a reasonably priced, more fuel-efficient truck, especially significant in this time of rising fuel prices."
The two-wheel drive version of the Tacoma gets 20 miles per gallon in city driving and 27 mpg on the highway, Toyota says.
Motor Trend said the 2005 Tacoma had a "more engaging" interior and exterior than previous models.
The magazine also praised the variety of configurations. Buyers can choose from three cabin configurations, two bed lengths and two- or four-wheel drive.
Earlier this fall, Motor Trend named the Land Rover LR3 the SUV of the Year thanks to its combination of off-road ruggedness and on-road drivability. The Chrysler 300, the unusual sedan that has been a linchpin of the company's revival, was named Car of the Year.