I have owned 2 vehicles since 1985, my whole driving life. My 1st truck at 15 was a 1980 toyota pickup, I ran it to 550k miles before giving it to my brother in 1998. I purchases this 1996 Tacoma as a replacement. Was hoping for half the life of my 1st. It did not disappointed me yet. Just turned over 350k miles and is still my daily driver. Would not even think twice about heading cross country. I have replaced a starter, clutch master cylinder, and all bushings and ball joints (only one failed but I changed them all). Have yet to even replace the clutch but it is starting to slip I will buy another one if this one does give it up.
My ratings are based on this truck's performance in its best days. 4cyl, 4 spd, basic model. Sadly, at 310,000 miles it's begining to decline. I bought it with 4500 miles and since then all that's been replaced other than the usual things is the starter - NOTHING ELSE! Clutch began to slip at 290,000; AC broke at 295,000 but that's it! I'm having to downshift a lot to get it up hills but it's been a phenomenal vehicle. I just sold an '03 fully equipped 4wd CrewCab Tacoma with almost 100k that looked and performed like new. Sad to see it go but I didn't need a fancy commuter anymore. Hope our '01 Sequoia will perform as well even with all its fancy stuff.
I bought my 96 from my father in law with 96000. He drove long distances to work every day and racked up the miles. It was factory serviced all the way up to the point I bought it in 2000. I have never owned a toy but always wanted one. It was a dream come true for me. This truck ran like a brand new car for a long time. I still own the truck and have replaced the rotors twice, pads, and a plate inside the starter. That is it maybe 300 dollars in maintenance. It has never left me hanging stuck some where looking for a tow truck. It now has 203,000 and still going strong, not bad.
Bought this truck used and has been the best truck I have ever owned. This 1996 replaced a 1990 4WD toyata that I had. The 1990 replaced a 1988 Chevy pick-up that I bought new and that truck was a piece of crap. I will always buy Toyota. Also have a 1996 Rav4. A1 on both.