tacoma clearance

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Sunday, May 10th, 2009

 Here’s a quick tutorial of Tundra and Tacoma specifications important to off-road enthusiasts.

Toyota off-roaders treasure vehicle clearance to help maneuver over obstacles without damaging underbody components or just to plow through heavy snow without getting stuck. Here’s a quick review on the important dimensions and numbers for Tundra and Tacoma:

Approach Angle
When looking at the truck profile or from the side, imagine a line from the contact patch of the front tire to the lowest hanging point on the front bumper or fascia. The angle between this line and the ground is the approach angle. Vehicles with a high approach angle can negotiate steep ramps without inflicting damage to the front end. The approach angle is generally a function of vehicle ride height and the body’s front overhang. Four-wheel-drive vehicles tend to have a higher approach angle because they may be equipped with taller tires or the suspension is set up for a higher ride height. The Tacoma PreRunner has a suspension and tire package similar to the 4×4 model, so its dimensions are similar.

Departure Angle
This angle is measured the same way as the approach angle but using the rear tire and rear of the vehicle. The departure angle is an indication of how a vehicle can drive off a steep hill or obstacle without hurting the underside. This angle is usually smaller than the departure angle because there is more overhang with a truck’s cargo bed.

Ground Clearance
This is the measurement from the truck’s lowest-hanging point under the vehicle down to a level ground surface. Measurements can be taken at different points. Some automakers use the differential or “pumpkin” on the rear axle. The lowest point can also be a muffler or shock mount on the axle tube. Enthusiasts will measure at the frame rails and crossmembers to gain a better understanding of where and how their vehicle will clear certain obstacles. Toyota measures ground clearance at the lowest non-moving component, which is usually the crossmember supporting the transfer case.

Following are clearances for Tundra 4×4 Double Cab (standard bed) and Tacoma Access Cab, both PreRunner and 4×4 models. These are the most popular pickup configurations for off-road enthusiasts.


Front Overhang

Approach Angle

Rear Overhang

Departure Angle

Ground Clearance

Tundra 4×4 Double Cab

35 inches

29 degrees

48 inches

25 degrees

10.4 inches

Tacoma Access Cab 4×4 & PreRunner

33.3 inches

35 degrees

47.4 inches

26 degrees

9.3 inches