I purchased this truck about a month ago, and am so impressed by it. It does everything I need to do, and more. If you are looking for a small truck, that sits like a 4x4, gets good gas mileage, and looks great, this is the one for you.
Locking diff, ECT, and the size of the truck is perfect, not too big not too small.
The only improvements i can think of would be to move the shifter closer to the driver, a third door for the ext. cab, and a 5-speed auto.
This is a great truck with a lot of get up and go. The Tacoma is well-built and Toyota's trademark mechanical craftsmanship has not disappointed. However, there are two areas that have been below par. The comfort is not the greatest. This isn't the vehicle one wants to travel in for long distances! The other detractor is the emergency brake. I can't even tell the brake is engaged. A couple of times I have forgotten to let it out, I have still been able to roll backward and drive forward without realizing the brake was on. In addition, the brake is ancient in its design - a pull out stick under the ignition. That may have something to do with its effectiveness.
I wanted something with a quick V6 to schlep around stuff without having wasted space like an SUV while still being able to sit up high. The Tacoma accomplishes all of that. I'm a girl and still feel good about driving this truck. I really like all the storage space in the center console.
We girls need a vanity mirror on the driver's side! I imagine there are quite a few guys who need somewhere to admire themselves as well. Seats need to be redesigned for added comfort. Power seats would be nice. The emergency parking brake needs some help.
I needed a vehicle that can haul 4 people, tow a boat, fit on off-road mountain trails, go in the mud, haul firewood, and still get decent mileage. A full-size won't go where I need it to and 12-15 mpg isn't that appealing. Enter the Tacoma double cab 4x4 with TRD. I took my first trip with it last weekend. We travel with 2 dogs, 2 coolers, and 4 large totes. Our destination is a hunting cabin in the woods which requires traversing a couple miles of tight, rough trails that a full-size can't do without scratches and scrapes. Quite simply, I don't know of any other vehicle that could possible meet my needs any better than the 2004 Double Cab 4x4 w/ TRD.
Love the aggressive looks - will look better with newer more aggressive tires. TRD package is awesome - good ride, good ground clearance, and the locking rear is great to know it is there - I am sure I will need it someday. Power aplenty at all rpms. Great stereo.
The front seats aren't the most comfortable seats in the world - they lack cushion in the seat. The ones on my 12 year old Nissan are much better. Plus, I didn't get quite as good of mileage as I was hoping. I got about 16.5 overall, not bad, but not near 20 I was hoping for.
2004 Toyota Tacoma 2dr Xtracab 4WD SB (2.7L 4cyl 5M)
Awesome. Living in the Pocono Mtns of PA this truck goes anywhere anytime and it's a blast to drive on the winding back roads. Bought it to get me to the trout streams and ski slopes which it does just great. However, I've driven it to SC repeatedly with no complaints and used it to build a couple brick patios out back. It hauled repeated loads of brick, gravel, and sand like a mule. No complaints about the 24 MPG for a truck either. Quicker out of the hole would be nice, but thats a compromise I knew I was making for the gas mileage when I bought it. I am an outdoorsman and "do it yourselfer" so this vehicle is ideally suited to my lifestyle.
Love the exterior styling. Rugged, durable, and inexpensive to operate. Great gas mileage and enormously practical. When you shift into 4 wheel drive, it feels like the center of gravity drops 6 inches and you are riding a cat.
Move the clock. I have a hard tonneau on mine so it would be nice if the bed sidewalls were a little higher.