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.
Have had no problems with truck other than the average wear and tear of use. No rust and it's now 3/1/08. Have owned 3 toyotas and this is the best. Recommend and will purchase another. 4WD works great.
4WD on the fly. Size.
Better defrost. Never needed it until I moved to Maine. On really, really cold days defrost only works up to @ 6-8 inches above steering wheel. Wish there was a diesel option.
I bought this truck new in 2002 and besides a replaced power steering pump (under warranty) I have had no mechanical issues. Toyota quality is second to none. Only gripes I have is the placement of the clock, and a jittery ride over bad pavement, and mediocre gas mileage (18 mpg avg.) but hey, its a truck. Stock tires were crap and after replacing them with bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo's the handling improved greatly. This truck has never let me down, and I'll probably have it forever. Its still as solid as the day I drove it off the lot. It always pays to have a great pickup.
Size. Its much easier to park this thing than a full size chevy or ford or even tundra.
New tires hands down. Maybe add the TRD supercharger. I would if I had money to blow.