Bought my Tacoma PreRunner new with 2.7 L motor and automatic transmission. It has 97,000 miles and has been a gas hog. Never gotten over 22 MPG. Loaded and doing 65 MPH on interstate it averages near 18 MPG. It also has a higher than normal insurance rating even with my excellent driving record.
I bought this used to see if I could live with a compact truck. Mine has 2.7 4 cyl with 5 speed. The catch is it has 220k miles on it!! I have to say it runs like new I swear!! I talked to the guy that owned it from new and he had no problems ever. Leaks nothing and burns no oil. Shifts great. I have oversize rims and tires and still has decent pickup. When this wears out I'll buy another with less miles for sure. Oh no rust on the body or frame either, I'm in the rust belt in the Northeast. Goes great in snow.
Ease of 4wd, gas mileage, smooth shifting, stable, solid, nice radio/cd player, handling
My Tacoma is a regular cab short wheelbase 2WD with 2.4 L and automatic. It is fun to drive and very manuverable. It can haul the load when asked and gets fairly respectable gas mileage (20-24 mpg). I made several cross country trips with a loaded bed and it has performed just great.
Favorite features are reliability, fun to drive and it still looks like new after all these miles.
Suggested improvement is make the Tacoma run like the Camry 4 cylinder.
Approaching 95,000 miles and my 2.7L 4 cyl is still zooming along. No let up in the power though I pause for thought when the truck seems to "lurch" at stop lights. It gets warmed up and everything seems to gell for the rest of my drive. Light weight so it can be too bouncey even in the highway and a challenge to control in wind driven rain. Pleased with the quality and had no really expensive or repeated problems. Pretty much the next 50K miles is make or break for me buying another Toyota since I've had less expensive Fords make it to this point just fine. I expect to be driving my '02 at 150K so here's hoping I see many more miles and that the next one is a Texas-made Tundra.