Tacoma vs Tundra - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-16-2009   #1
 
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Tacoma vs Tundra

This isn't really H20 related, but since a lot of folks use trucks to schlep the gear around, this is a good sounding board.

If you drive one, what is your opinion of the Tacoma vs. Tundra? I don't have a truck and need one for weekends in the winter, and all summer. I'm interested in thoughts on size vs simplicity, reliability, etc.

Before the tree huggers whine about SUV's and gas mileage, I ride my bike to work 4 times a week, and my wife drives an Outback.

Word to your mothers....

PB

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Old 02-16-2009   #2
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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You really have to clarify what you are looking for in a truck.

Is it just you and your wife, or more?
Just for recreation, or do you plan on actually using it as a truck?
What do you value, gas mileage or power?
Planning on towing anything, or not?
Are you a big, medium or small person?
Looking to buy new or used?
Heart set on a toy or are you open to other brands?
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Old 02-16-2009   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowhere View Post
You really have to clarify what you are looking for in a truck.

Is it just you and your wife, or more?
Just for recreation, or do you plan on actually using it as a truck?
What do you value, gas mileage or power?
Planning on towing anything, or not?
Are you a big, medium or small person?
Looking to buy new or used?
Heart set on a toy or are you open to other brands?
Just for me. I need it for weekends especially in summer for recreation and a few landscaping projects in the summer (i.e. no heavy loads or towing).

I'm short, so I know that I should buy the biggest, nastiest, rig I can possibly get my hands on. Preferably something with tires taller than I am.

I'm definitely buying used - late 90's or early 00's.
I've been burned on a Ford once, so my heart is set on Japanese, and Nissan just doesn't cut it. That kind of narrows it down to a Toyota.
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Old 02-17-2009   #4
 
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Tacoma all the way. For personal use and a truck that will last you forever it can't be beat. I'd think about the Tundra if I had to use it for work and hauling heavy stuff, but for a personal vehicle something smaller and a bit more economical is nice. The Tacoma is about the perfect size for an outdoorsy kind of car too. It'll make it on medium level offroad stuff unmodified, and still has enough room in the back to put all your gear in. Long enough to throw a mat down and sleep in too.

That said, they are a pretty desirable truck, so expect to pay a decent amount compared to other similar vehicles. I almost bought one a while back, and it had 120,000 miles on it and was a latish 90's model, and was over $10k from a dealer. You can find the occasional deal on them, but they really seem to hold their value. Its a good thing I guess, since you can be reasonably assured of getting your money back when/if you sell it.

Anyways, I'd say its about the ideal truck out there honestly. Most of the world tends to agree too, as its the one you'll see 90% of the time in the Australian Outback, Africa and South America (#1 choice for terrorist cells too evidently.......unfortunately).

JH
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Old 02-17-2009   #5
 
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I have an 03 Tacoma - I love it. It gets about 18 mpg avg (V6 engine, 4x4). I think the 4 cylinder gets about 1-2 MPG more, but it is underpowered in my opinion. The 05 Tacomas were a new model year if memory serves and they are a fair bit bigger and lot more powerful than the previous models. The V6 went from 190 hp to 236 hp but has essentially the same gas mileage, the truck also got 4 inches wider.

I would consider the crew cab - it is a lot better for shuttles. The Tundras are great trucks as well, just seemed like overkill to me.
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Old 02-17-2009   #6
 
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Tundra all the way
I had an 04 tacoma sr5 v6 and it was great for journeying around with one or two people, slept nicely in the back and could carry lots of kayaks with the rack on the topper. Long story short I wrecked it big time, rolled it came out with a little scratch on my left hand. They are great trucks but like a dart, they are a little too long for how narrow they are in my opinion.
So after all the insurance and what not, I bought a 2000 tundra limited, added a topper and ladder rack and it was hands way better than the tacoma, a bit wider, not too much longer and got great gas mileage averaging around 18-20 hwy when driving within reason, i think due to the bigger engine hauling not much more than the taco. I would still be driving it if i were stateside, but I'm here in Iceland.
that being said, it is still for sale, check it out in the swap if you are interested, it is a sick gear hauling road trippin machine.

hope I answered your questions

-Paul
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Old 02-17-2009   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulie View Post
Not too much longer and got great gas mileage averaging around 18-20 hwy when driving within reason, i think due to the bigger engine hauling not much more than the taco.
Interesting. US EPA estimates for the Tacoma are 16 city, 19 hwy and the Tundra are 14/15 city and 18 hwy. Actually not that different relative to size and power.

I'm steering away from the Tundra not because of size or gas mileage but because there are so many extras and doo-dads that I don't need (or more importantly - costly to fix). Unless someone can convince me that the Tundra reliability is on par with the Tacoma, the decision is fairly clear.
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Old 02-17-2009   #8
 
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I think the biggest difference I noticed between the trucks is that once you load up the tacoma it loves to eat gas and the tundra pretty much stays the same. True, the tundra has more bells and whistles but I never had to fix anything major, routine maintenance, had to replace the timing belt as it was recommended, but other than that the ops cost on the tundra vs tacoma were about the same, my 2 cents as a previous owner of both. and really you should just buy my truck and help me support my habit here in the land of ice
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Old 02-17-2009   #9
Shapp
 
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I have a 1997 Tacoma 4 cyl, 2 wheel drive with extended cab and canopy. I have had it for 10 years, got it certified used from Toyota with 24,000 for $11,000. It now has 208,000. I have had no major problems, only routine maintenance and brakes done (I still have the original clutch, knock on wood). I get about 26 to 29 mpg (seriously, I keep track) depending on load/speed. I have had this thing loaded with 4 adults and a weeks worth of rafting gear + dog driving out from Troy to Wallowa (2 hours on gravel road with a steep canyon drive out) with no problem. It hauls my 14 foot boat plus 2 coolers and dry box and all my stuff for a week long rafting trip + my wife and dog with no problem for several hours worth of driving, you could even stash a smaller kid in there with all that stuff. I have also had 18 bags of concrete in the back, although that was pushing it.

I don't tow (except for drift boat) and am not a race car driver, and the 4 cyl seems plenty of power for my needs + way better gas mileage when compared to my friend that has a 6 cyl tacoma of almost the same year.

I will probably be looking for a new rig in a year or so, and will probably upgrade to a 4 cyl, 4 wheel drive Tacoma (better access to some of my climbing areas), but am also interested in looking at Nissan (have some friends that have had good luck with those). Why do you think Nissan doesn't cut it? I would really like to know as I will be in the market soon my self.
Shapp
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Old 02-17-2009   #10
 
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I have a 2002 Tundra that gets 19 hwy best case. That's using cruise control and keeping it under 3000 rpm whenever possible. Shappattack is right, a 4 cylinder Tacoma is going to do way better mileage wise than a 6 cyl (or 8 cyl Tundra). I recently got rid of my 1981 Toyota pickup. It had 275,000 and was mechanically sound. Toyota trucks are the best out there.
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