Wow, I bought this Tacoma almost 12 years ago, and I have never put a dime into it except for routine maintenance. The one exception was the mass air flow sensor. It was the only part that ever needed replacement due to failure. It went out about a year after I bought it. The engine still worked with the blown mass air flow sensor; it just would not accelerate smoothly or quickly.
These 3.4 Liter V6 engines are great motors as far as power and reliability. They are also smooth, but they do not get good gas mileage by any stretch of the imagination. Mine gets anywhere between 16-18 miles per gallon depending on where and how I am driving it. Luckily, this Tacoma is no longer needed as a commuter rig. This is good since both my wife and I live in the Seattle area, and driving a stick shift in the Seattle area is quite miserable. Seattle traffic is insane.
Now, that I have owned this rig for more than a decade, I can tell you this old Tacoma has been an extremely useful tool for both me and my family. I am now married, and I am in my late forties, and I also have a fixer upper house, which has constant needs and issues so this old Tacoma is now the house fix it truck. It runs all of the errands for our house no matter how ugly or simple they are.
It is funny how I bought this Tacoma more than a decade ago to have a sport truck with the sole intent to go exploring trails and go fishing, and then life started happening. Other than the occasional trail run on a logging road, it does not seen much fun time anymore. It has, however, been used as a truck to move things, and help my friends move things more times than I can count. It is always used at least once every other weekend for some kind of work.
Okay, so let me tell you some of the bad things about it, which there are not a whole lot to talk about. The seats are not at all comfortable. Our Tacoma has the split bench seat, which is not the least bit comfortable especially when we have to drive any kind of distance. The suspension is also very tight and hard. Even if we drive it over a small bump, it still kicks you in the kidney and in the ass. Part of this is due to the fact the seats don't have a lot of support. It is, however, a truck so it is not exactly built to be comfortable especially since it was built using twenty plus year old technology.
Remember when buying one of these old Tacomas, they are trucks built with twenty plus year old technology so they are no where near as ergonomically friendly or as comfortable as the new generation of pick-up trucks from any of the manufacturers. They are not even close. A lot has happened in automotive and truck technology since these rigs were designed more than two decades ago. Any of the new pick-up trucks from any of the manufacturers built in the last ten years will be a hell of lot more comfortable than one of these first generation Tacomas. It is not even a close competition.
I will give you some information about our Tacoma. It is a 1999 SR5 Extra-Cab with the 3.4 Liter V6, and the manual R150F 5-Speed transmission. It is also a four wheel drive. Our Tacoma is a bare bone stock SR5 with the only amenities being power steering, power brakes and air conditioning. Everything else on it is manual. It has manual windows, door locks and manual locking front hubs that have to be locked in order to use the four wheel drive. It still has the original stereo system, which works fine. We had the bed sprayed with Line-X a few years back, which makes hauling dirty crap a lot easier. Our old Tacoma is straight, but the paint is definitely showing its old age; the paint doesn't have any luster to it anymore.
Now that this Tacoma is almost twenty years old, I pay acute attention to its maintenance. I follow the Clinton's service manual religiously. I have always been diligent about maintaining this rig, but now that I am older, and it is older, I pay even closer attention to its maintenance details. I run full synthetics on all of its lubricants, and I change them out at the appropriate intervals.
At 48, I still love driving it even though I don't drive it much on the freeway or any place fun anymore. Good Luck to all of you with your purchase. I hope this review helps you with your decision.
Good Luck Once Again.
4x4 x cab v-6 5spd - 20.5 overall gas mileage, good power, excellent capability off road. I have pulled 5500 lb trailer short distance with no problem or strain but I highly recommend a draw tight, no bumper pull. Interior is adequate for a 99 but I really like the 05s. Have not had one problem other than waterpump outage at 74000 miles - routine maintenance is all
I bought my truck new in 1999.
I ran 2 crank cases of 10w-30 Castrol regular motor oil.
After that, I have used 10w-30 Castrol synthetic motor oil ever since.
I change oil about every 5000 miles.
I have had to replace the electronics to repair a left turn signal issue that cost about $500.00.
I have had to replace the power steering pump, twice as the first one was a rebuild and under warranty. I have had to replace the battery once and also the catalytic convert (about $1000.00).
I still have the original clutch and have replaced the front brakes and rotors one time.
My truck now has 456,5000+ miles on it. I would drive it to across the US with no worries. It has been a great truck.
It is now 2/28/2016 and my truck now has 478,000+ miles on it. I still have the original clutch and motor. I have some issues now but they are minor as the truck is still a reliable form a transportation to and from work. I now average 250 miles a week instead of 700 as when I lived in Atlanta.
I have noticed that some of the plastics are starting to break or show some serious signs of wear.
I also notice that my gas mileage has decreased some. I am down around 20mpg where years ago I was around 26mpg.
Truck odometer will soon show 485,000 miles. It has been a great truck. The AC no longer works. The interior is showing signs of wear.
I now drive about 25 miles one way to each day now instead of 70. It still runs great. 15 months it should have 500,000 miles. It still has original clutch and motor.
I bought this truck brand new 15 years ago and now have 72,000 miles - and she's a garage queen. Finally replaced the original tires at 66,000 and still on the original brake pads! Shocks got squishy early on so replaced them with KYB's at 51,000. The only repeat problem is with the Idle Air Control ("IAC") valve which tends to go out on these trucks. I replaced it once and now need to replace it again. The part is about $350 at Toyota and, with a couple hours work, I can install it myself.
This is a great looking truck - white with the TRD package - but like most Toyotas, it drives with all the personality of a dial tone. Just plain dull, like you might as well be driving a Camry.
I have replaced the exhaust manifold, rear leaf springs, and the universal joint at the differential twice. It does not burn or leak oil. The steering gear and suspension are tighter than a friends much newer full- size domestic truck with 1/6th the miles. Manual transmission and original clutch.