I had lusted a red Toyota 4x4 Xtracab since I was in college, and my wife and I could finally afford to buy this one new TRD off the lot. We've taken into the most inhospitable places in the Colorado high country, moved out of two houses with it, landscaped innumerable lots with it, and added kids to the mix in between all the rest. It's been flawless overall, and we still love it dearly after 8 1/2 years. Given, the interior is small for a child seat and two 5'10 and over adults. Yes, there are a few rattles, it gets < 20 mpg, and rides like a buckboard wagon. But, it's a go-anywhere truck that always works. We've never regretted buying it, even once.
Goes anywhere. Carries lots. Always works. What more could we want?
None. The '02 was the pinnacle of the Tacomas. The new ones only have 9" or so of running clearance; the older style like ours has almost 12". Toyota at its best.
Put most of the miles on it during the past 6 years (highway miles) driving 300 miles one way every 3-4 weeks. Since January 2010 have only put about 1200 miles on it. Comfortable for a tall person like me, and handles well. Economy was between 22-24 MPG, but got 26 a couple of times when my driving was below 60mph. Averaged 20 mpg around town. Height of truck bed low enough for carrying small loads and loading fertilizer, chicken feed, mulch in (50-60 pound bags). Selling it at 115,000 miles. Transmission went out at 78,900, but had purchased extended waranty, which covered replacement and rental car. Enjoyed truck, but can't carry new grand kids in it.
Handling, comfort, legroom, 6 speaker sound system (SR5 package), ease of getting in and out of cab, truck bed height. Choose truck due to J D Powers rating for this year, not disappointed.
Put K&N filter in it after 15,000 miles (made big difference in pickup and gained .5 mpg). Payload capacity could be improved. Pretty much satisfied.
This is my 3rd Toyota P/U. Purchased because dependability. I've been disappointed with the fuel mileage, 20mpg. Wish Toyota would go back to manual hubs and offer a small diesel in the US. For its size, it can't be beat for performance and overall satisfaction.
Body style, performance, dependability and overall quality.