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Recommendations for a Late Model Toyota Tacoma 4x4

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by bersaguy, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. bersaguy

    bersaguy Oregon Member

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    There was a similar thread a while back and it got me thinking of my vehicle needs.

    As part of our prepping and to reduce monthly outlay etc., the wife and I are thinking about consolidating from our two current vehicles to one. She has a Subaru Forester with good fuel economy but limited hauling/towing capability. I drive a 4x4 Yukon which can handle the hauling, but would like to improve the fuel economy.

    To make a long story short we are thinking about a Toyota Tacoma with the extended cab or the crew cab. I have looked at the new ones and don't like the fact that they do not have a steel bed, it is some kind of composite or plastic. It maybe be as strong as steel, but call me old fashioned, I want a steel bed on my pick-up. So my questions:

    1. Does anyone know what year Toyota went to this composite bed?

    2. I will be looking for a late model Tacoma. Is there any year that I should avoid? or look for? I am figuring 2005 or newer.

    Thanks, I appreciate your help.
     
  2. The Cheese

    The Cheese somewhere special Member

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    IIRC 2005 is when they went to the composite bed. I had an 05 2wd x-cab for a bit. Good little truck, but really I don't know if you really will be able to haul that much with a crew cab unless you have a trailer. Their beds are tiny. One thing to consider, is that even with the 2wd and the 2.7L inline 4 the mileage still wasn't that great. And with the 3.4L and 4wd you will probably be in the same neighborhood as your yukon mileage wise. I think the most we ever got was 21mpg hwy with that little 4banger. I remember looking at the 4x4 trucks and seeing 17-18mpg hwy listed on their stickers. Your mileage might vary. Another thing to consider is that from 04 or 05 on they have had drive by wire. So really you do not have a cable controlling the throttle body. At times I found this very annoying. Mix in a traction control you really can't do anything with and it really wasn't fun when you started slipping. That said, I now am the proud owner of a 95 4runner with the 2.4l 22RE motor, and once I do a few house keeping things with it I will be happy as a clam. Still get 23mpg hwy no matter what, working on getting that up to 27. Thing has no power for passing and such, but it can pull loads with out much complaint at all. Its nice to have a newer rig, but IMO Toyota's quality has gone down hill a little bit. In your case, I am not sure if you will gain a whole lot by going to a new Taco, if anything at all. If you put some $$ into your yukon you could probably up the mileage a bit and still have more room than the tacoma and more power too. I know when my dad had a early 2000's Tahoe they would get about 19 or so on the hwy. Throw some exhaust on there, a good tune plus get the injectors cleaned and change the gearing in the diffs and you could be a bit better than that I would think. In town it would probably still suck, but on the long hauls you would do better. Plus another thing to consider is overall range. The GM's will have a larger tank. I think the Toyotas at most have like 19gallons. Just another thing to think about.
     
  3. bersaguy

    bersaguy Oregon Member

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    The Cheese,
    Thanks for the good info.
    I average over 17 mpg with the Yukon and have actually gotten over 20 on the highway with a strong tail wind. Probably could stand to have the injectors cleaned. What do your recommend for changes to the exhaust system?

    Thanks.
     
  4. The Cheese

    The Cheese somewhere special Member

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    For the exhaust, bigger pipe and free flowing muffler (flowmaster, magnaflo, etc). I haven't messed around with any GM products so I don't know specifics, but a good muffler shop should be able to steer you right. Then you get a cold air intake. Doing that will free up the flow in an out of the motor so it won't have to work as hard. Then maybe a programmer to get a "lean" mode. Won't have as much power, but it will gain you some MPGs, maybe. Then maybe get the diffs re-geared assuming you don't tow much. But I would scour the net and see what you can find for a yukon/tahoe forum. There is probably some geeks out there that have tried everything and given opinions on the matter, like all other forums ;)
     
  5. Wenis

    Wenis Tri-Cities, WA Member

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    I own a 2005 V6 double cab 4x4 TRD offroad and I absolutely love it. I use up every bit of storage behind and underneath the back seats, as we often have four full size adults riding which is very comfortable. I get about 19mpg. In my opinion, I wouldn't waste a dime on any 4cyl truck or without 4WD. I picked the Tacoma because I didn't always need V8 power so the V6 is perfect, and with 6500 lb towing, I've pulled boats, car haulers and uhaul trailers with ease. I prefer the composite bed liner but there's still metal behind it. I've had two friends like my truck so much they both bought one too. With the double cab, you'll probably end up with the short bed, which isn't a big issue unless you keep a truck box back there which will take up a third of your bed (I keep one back there with winter gear in the winter months). Otherwise there is a long bed option but it probably won't fit in a standard garage and it greatly reduces your turning radius. Even with all the Toyota recalls for the brakes, the Tacoma wasn't involved. Some of the newer versions have bluetooth capabilities but also have the ugly tail lights and different color selections. I'm on 100,000 miles now and the only time I had to take it in for a repair was when I heard a strange noise with the fan on. Turns out a mouse made a nest up there with leaves. Both front mudflaps have broken off and the external temperature gauge stopped working a few months ago, but the truck is solid.
     
  6. bersaguy

    bersaguy Oregon Member

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    Guys,
    Thank you both for your comments. I've got a bit of cogitating to do.