Do you want a pickup/truck that, with maintenance will last you for the rest of your life? Do you like having a bond with your vehicle? Well if you don't get board with having the same vehicle, this truck (can only speak for 1995 up to 2000) will last the rest of your life. It's not invincible, and It still is a machine. But a very well made machine. The 2RZ (2.4L straight 4) is a solid engine. A Toyota Master Mechanic once told me from his experiences and what he has seen, he feels that this engine is in the top 10 best engines in the entire world. Not just Toyota engines. If you love this truck, it will love you back. This truck will always start for you. Unless the started dies, but if you have a manual you have an easy way around that to at least get somewhere to get the new part. At the very least, this engine with maintenance it will always be capable of turning over. This truck (2.4L) is not a maintenance free truck, but the maintenance is consistent (other words you wont have to many surprises), fairly cheap and easy to do most of the time. Buying a truck like this saves you money driving it. It does not wear tires unevenly, with the 2.4L you can push 30mpg if you don't drive it hard (trying to push 80 on the freeway, hard acceleration from stops, etc...) Almost every part on the car can last you to at least 200K before needing replacing (specifically ball joints. DO NOT go past 200K on upper Ball Joints). This truck (2.4L) can take a beating and will happily do it, because it wants to see you succeed. It wants to help put you in a possession that someday you can pass it onto a Son or Daughter. This truck will help you work hard, or at the the very least get you from point A to B consistently. It doesn't try to be the fastest, the strongest, the best looking, the most luxurious, the smoothest, it just tries. and tries and tries. It may not get an A++ in school, but it tries. and it's participation bumps its grade up. This truck (2.4L) will be around a long time, and it's a damn shame they don't make them with kind of personality like this anymore. If you are in the market, and happen to be reading this. 5/5, 10/10, 100/100, what ever you go buy. This truck (2.4L) has and always will have my recommendation.
In 2017, if you have an unabused Pre-runner, better hold onto it. It's like gold in your hand. These trucks are bullet-proof, extremely reliable, durable and just keep rolling along with no issues. I've had mine since it was new, have put over 300K miles on it, and it runs like new. Off-roading is a breeze. I can take it anywhere. These trucks will be hard to find, and will hold their value and more - just like the old Toyota FJ.
tacoma trucks have a long history of the frames rusting to the point of major problems toyota has done very little to fix this mine just bent while mechanic had on lift to inspect for odd noise I was having.
We owned a GMC and within a few years of its life, quite a few things were already breaking. I purchased my 2000 Toyota Tacoma 2wd back in 2000 and it is still going strong in 2015. Other than some normal paint oxidization, I have no complaints. The only expensive maintenance we had done was replacing the catalytic converters and timing belt work but that was nothing compared to its years of service. This car has cost us so little money in its lifetime.