I got this 1997 Tacoma 4x4 Xtra Cab with 37k on it in 2007. From the beginning, the clutch master Cyl has been problematic. The first owner had replaced the factory master and the after-market master failed me on the way from the dealership. The dealership did nothing to correct the problem. They topped off the fluid and I was stranded a few days later in the middle of nowhere. I stock all fluids under the hood so I got out of the swamp. I have replaced the clutch master 4 times in the last 8 years. Other than that this truck has been bullet proof.
This truck is a good truck. I have kept up with 5k oil changes. I don't hole-shot it but when I have needed it to get out of the way of something or pull itself out of some mess, it has not had any issues. It gets the advertised mileage even with 240k. It looks good but for some dings that were on it when I got it. The paint suffers from being under trees and I might repaint it.
I recommend anything from the Toyota truck line. I have friends with 2003, 2014 and 2016 Tacomas -- none of them are any less reliable. I have replaced the starter, alternator, clutch, serpentine belt, timing belt, water pump, radiator, front and rear breaks with rotors, front struts, rear shocks and floor mats. Note that the recoil on the seatbelts will not be strong enough to retract the belt unless you feed it back. It has quick trap lock on the belt but if you pull the belt too fast it will lock before you can fasten it.
I spent years at sea as a captain and so I tend to look ahead on maintenance. I am sure I would have been just as well without a lot of the renewed parts... but I am very confident in this truck.
I purchased my 1997 Toyota Tacoma LX V6 Extra Cab in '99 with 67,000 miles on it. Today, it has 272,000 miles. I've only replaced the radiator, O2 sensor, a ball bearing joint, and the starter, as well as, the normal required maintenance such as timing belts. It is a true work horse, and a remarkable automobile for reliability and function considering the other vehicles I've witnessed. I've been offered by three different individuals on separate occasions to buy it from me. It's not going to happen.
With the V6, it has a lot of get up and go. It always surprises friends and family who borrow it. Good gas mileage; can actually squeeze 5 people in; I added aluminum wheels which makes the truck look sharp.
The only thing that I don't like is the turning radius.
I bought my Tacoma new, it now has 190K and still running strong. I have never had any problems with this truck; actually it has required very little maintenance. Very well build. It gets excellent gas mileage.
Maybe my truck is just having it's time and I probably would have rated higher if I had it earlier but It's been Ok truck I bought it with 237,000 miles and I have 320,000 on it since I've owned it I replaced the radiator, dropped a K&N filter in replaced the transmission gasket (I have an auto), the electrical, tires, ball joints, bearings, front calipers, CV boots, alternator, this all happened within 3 months of owning it so @ about 250,000 I replaced all this and lasted to 320,000 I hope it just last now I did most of the work myself so it was some what worth it. I love parking this thing in the city though when I'm working out there.
Driving in the city, I'm near San Francisco and work construction so I love bombing around in this pick up.
I'm going to check out the frame when I get back because I'm reading all this bad stuff about it I wish the alternator wasn't so crammed up was super hard to get to. ABS I feel like should be a standard 15inch wheels are a nice add on if you can find them for a good price because finding tires was a pain and I live in California and tried like 8 stores before I finally found some tires. Other than that I like my truck as basic as possible if your 6ft you will have a problem sitting in the Bench seat I'm only 5'9 but people that are 6ft+ always have a problem sitting in my truck and the bench is pushed all the way back
I bought my Tacoma new in December of 1996. I confess that I haven't been the most responsible owner regarding regular maintenance and the like. It doesn't seem to matter, though. My Tacoma, now at 198,000 miles, turns over and purrs like a kitten every morning. I have driven it cross-country 7 times and would still have the confidence to do it today at its current mileage. I've used it for hauling construction debris, towing a loaded U-haul trailer up a mountain, and even fit two men over 6' tall in the regular cab with me. I've proven it can run on no oil (per my mechanic's chagrin) and an empty gas tank. This machine is truly remarkable and, at times, even miraculous.
You can't improve upon perfection. This machine is out-of-this-world.