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Old 02-17-2009   #11
TakemetotheRiver's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,477
I owned a '99 Tacoma before I had my son and upgraded because of the room to a Tundra. The Tacoma was perfect for just me and a rolled raft in the back, but it wouldn't have pulled the trailer and raft set-up I have now as easily. I see no difference in gas mileage when I'm hauling the trailer in my Tundra.

Also, 2 months after trading in the Tacoma, I totaled the first Tundra- ran into a gaurdrail on ice at 40 mph- I walked away with a seat belt abrasion- the tow truck driver couldn't believe anyone walked away from it.

My insurance company paid me more than I had paid for it and I got a better Tundra. The point is, for safety, reliability, and value, I wouldn't have anything but a Toyota.

If you go with the Tacoma, just don't get a 4-banger- they have no power and the loss of gas mileage is far more noticeable when you add weight. Also, if you go with the Tundra, the V-8 automatic has a lot more power than the V-6 standard. Unfortunately, they don't make a V-8 standard.

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Old 02-17-2009   #12
Snowhere's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 844
shappattack will get better mileage then we would do to attitude difference. Same with power comparisons.
Driving around 5000ft to 11,000ft in Colorado will make the 4cl a dog compared to driving around Washington.
Up here, 6cl is the only way to go in a small truck.

I worked my way from small, to medium to now a large truck. I have a couple of rugrats and a dog, so the full size crewcab
fits the bill if I want to take the family raft/camping or I am helping a friend build their house. If I did not have kids, I would rock
a small truck, but even paying the gas for a full size is not bad if you only use it sparingly.

With a small, sporty supercharged car for my daily, and a nice German AWD wagon for the wife/family car, the HD Crew rounds out my fleet nicely.

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Old 02-17-2009   #13
iliketohike's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 176
before I moved to Colorado I couldn't believe how people could drive full size trucks unless they owned a boat or some sort of trailer. I thought they were insecure and foolish. After struggling up passes in my V6 pathfinder, which was standard, and borrowing my buddies Tundra I was sold. As fate would have it someone else totaled my pathfinder by hitting me. So I was on the market and I knew what I wanted. Tundra V8 4WD.

Ok, so Tacoma vs. Tundra. They did upgrade the six from a 3.0 in the early 90's to a 3.3 to a 3.5 to the late model which is a 4L. The 4 banger is for silly people in colorado, that don't like passing, and for sea level. I can't speak about how well that new V6 motor does, but something tells me my V8 climbs hills better and tows better. I track my gas milage and get inbetween 19-20 on the highway, but as low as 10 stop sign to stop sign stop and go around town. the means I fill up and it take about 22 gals if I do it when the gas light comes on.

Anyway, they cost the same, because so many people like the tacoma and the tundra is full sized. So for the same money you can get a Tundra over a tacoma. It's more comfortable to sleep in, has more room, and the difference in gas milage is like 1-2 miles per gallon. Get the Tundra, you'll be stoked. And I work on my vehicle and so far the Tundra has been breezy to work on.
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Old 02-17-2009   #14
tallboy's Avatar
Telluride, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
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Posts: 175
Shopping for a Tacoma can be frustrating because of how expensive they are, at least excellent blue book or better. I bought a 92 in 2000 with 110,000 for $6800 and it was an awesome truck. 100,000 miles later it had minimal maintenance costs (tires, shocks, starter). I drove most of the passes in the san juans, lived out of it most weekends, and hated to see it seats don't fit too well in the extended cab. It sold last year with 215,000 miles for $5500. That was one of the few great investments I've had. You won't regret getting a Tacoma
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Old 02-17-2009   #15
Warren's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 122

Went from a little 95 reg cab Toy to the 04 Tundra and haven't gone back. The Taco is a great truck for its reliability, mileage and manuverability. Just try driving both of them. When I went to buy a Taco in 04 I got talked into test driving the Tundra. The ride is just sooooo much different. The Taco moves like a truck where as the Tundra feels more like a car. Smooooth. It may be a little overkill for your needs but if you tow or haul like I do the power difference is amazing. You won't really notice it too much until you are loaded climbing a long hill. The extra space in the cab is pretty nice too. Haven't had one long enough to speak as to their durablity personally but friends who have older ones haven't had any complaints. I went from the 04 to the 06 and now have the 07 and as long as I can I will never own a different truck. Love the Tundra. As for the bellls and whistles, once you have them you may realize they make for a pretty comfortable journey. Don't listen to me though cause I like my trucks decked.
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Old 02-17-2009   #16
Spits Hot Fire
N. Cascades, Washington
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 978
A Suby and a Taco? Your gonna have the two most popular vehicles in CO.

I've been driving a 4door 08 Tacoma for about a year, it's my dream truck. So happy with it. Didn't hurt that I have an amigo that manages the dealership in town. I got nothing to really add except that I feel like with the newer, wider trucks I dont notice that darting feel that paulie talks about at all...of course I never drove the old ones so I cant compare. Now that I have the topper, the racks, carpet from top to bottom it's my camping,shuttling,trippin dream.
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Old 02-17-2009   #17
iliketohike's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 176
I was reading the post more and noticed that the poster was concerned about the Tundra's reliability because of extra bells and whistles. First, I am not aware of any feature in the Tundra that the Tacoma doesn't offer.

But my reason for chimming in again is to say that, a V8 is always going to be more reliable than a V6. The reason: If you don't haul the motor never has to work that hard. So when you are trying to pass that 18 wheeler making the drive to the mountains you're not going to have to redline the V8 to get by it, wherease the V6 will have to put out all it has. Also, the V8 is the ideal motor when considering the crank shaft. I forget exactly but when I learned about motors in school they said that every 45 degrees of spinning in the crank the V8 gets a piston to drive it as opposed to 60 degrees in the V6. What this means is that the V8 can produce more power with less combustion per cylinder and a better balanced crank.

Toyota built both motors, so I imagine the construction is virtually the same, and with the gas milage being about the same, and the price for a 01 tundra actually being the same or less than a tacoma, its a no brainer. I'm guessing I will get at least 250,000 miles on my motor before I even think about rebuilding it.

But don't listen to the EPA. if you drive the tundra around town stop sign to stop sign you are looking at 10-12 mpg. 19-20 on the highway if you aren't driving 80+ and passing everyone, and if the motor is tuned. Airfilter and oil change will change the MPG. I change my airfilter twice a year and change my oil at 3000 miles. Super easy to do yourself, you don't even have to jack it up.

Beware. the 00-02 tundra I think has a problem with the rear axle seals which leak differential oil into the drums and cause the brakes to suffer. fairly complicated job, a shop should do it for about 250, I bought all the parts and oil for 50. You should make sure your's aren't leaking or you'll overheat your front discs and warp them, a common problem with Tundras, I know of at least 2 other Tundra owners with this problem from that era. That is the only problem I am aware of. The motor is a champ and so is everything else.
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Old 02-17-2009   #18
I'm wrong 50% of the time
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RFV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 857
98 Taco TRD xtra cab. Great truck. 185K and still tough. Bought in 2004 w/ 129K. I have done clutch (my fault - haha), power steering pump, tires - tie rods -alignment, and minor upkeep. Tows the raft and single snowmo really well. Double snowmobile is OK. 4 wheels like a champ with no mods standard (trd has rear lock).
Now that the family brood is up to 3 and a mut, it's cramped, but doable for short to medium drives. I'd sell and upgrade to a crew cab in the 00-02 range of the same model. Might even think about the Tundra or the same years (V8 - I just like a manual though). I'm just not sold on the price point for the newer models.

A 4 cyl in CO is out of the question. I could keep up with you in my 4cyl 1.9L Westfalia.
Claimer: Someone that makes a claim that they have been there and done that, can do anything you can do better than you. I hate "claimers"
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Old 02-17-2009   #19
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at my house, Montana
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Posts: 4,346
Tacoma vs Tundra, you'll have to decide if you want the bigger truck with more doodads. Definitely DON'T get the 4 cyl, as TTMTR says. I got my 94 xcab 4wd in 4cyl, trying to save money. We joke that we have to pedal over passes, and that is without any trailer. But, it does do a great job pulling the little raft trailer, and I've hauled furniture and a sailboat with it, no problems above and beyond the lack of power inherent.

My hubby is a bit of a car freak, and says toyota has been having some problems in the past few years, too many things going wrong. Not so bad yet that they are knows as Fords and Chevy's, but all the more reason to go used, let them figure out their latest round of issues. It is affecting their sales so far, but not their reputation.

Our little xcab works ok for shuttles, we cram 4-5 people in there and that back seat really shouldn't be called that. But it works. I'm glad I didn't go bigger, another vehicle serves that function in our household.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 02-17-2009   #20
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 262
Taco or of the hardest decisions to make!

I was in this situation a year ago and both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Obviously, the Tacoma is the one that holds the "bullet-proof" header under its name. There is certainly less maintenance on a V6 than a V8. I believe that the Tacoma is a better daily driver due to its smaller size, economics, etc. It can certainly tow a raft and trailer easily but so can most trucks. I do have friends that have early 2000's Tundras and personally I did not like the drivers seats. I felt more comfortable in the Tacoma's bucket seats. With all that being said, if $$$ were not an issue I would be happy with a 2009 Tundra with full bed and 4 doors, limited edition!

I settled for a 2008 Tacoma crew cab TRD Off-Road in March of 2008 and then two weeks after my wedding in July 2008, some doucher rear ended me on my way to work because he was staring at the horses in the field next to the stop light. Coffee explosion all over the interior, totally bent frame, a confused dog in the back, and a wife that got out of the truck and smashed her Dunkin Donuts coffee mug on the ground while at the same time yelling to the driver who hit us, "What the F%*&, you F*%^IN A$$HOLE!"...anyways, I loved that truck (and I still love my wife)!

I decided after the insurance company totalled it to not get another 2008 since I couldn't get as good a deal as I did in March and potentially my accident was a higher-being telling me not to have $500 monthly car payments. I searched far and near for a first generation used Tacoma. I scored a 2001 Tacoma Crew Cab TRD Off-Road with all the bells and whistles that I ever needed i.e. TRD Super Charger, Topper, Bed Rug, Subwoofer, 2inch lift, BFG's, Brush Guard and the truck only had 44,000 miles on it! It was a ridiculous find and I jumped on it immediately. The truck drives like a dream! With the Supercharger the truck drives like a V8, it will do Vail pass at 90 and still be under 4000 RPM.

Moral of the story is Tacomas rock and are a more economical purchase, they retain their value better than Tundras, will tow a raft and trailer easily, etc. Obviously we all have our differences in opinions and I would suggest driving several different ones and decide what fits you and your lifestyle best. I would suggest staying away from the extended cab Tacomas, the back seats are only good for "little" people and a PFD or two.

If looking for a used Tacoma be very patient. They are in demand all of the time, they retain their value and rarely sell for less than Kelly Blue Book. Another word of advice is do not make truck shopping an emotional experience because if led by emotion you will either buy something you really can't afford or you will pay more than you should.

Good luck!


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