2.4L automatic, extended cab 2WD SR5. So far, I'm getting 25 mpg. The smallest engine available, but has perfectly adequate power. This is the first year for standard ABS, which was a hard to find option. I searched forever for these features in a used truck, really glad I found it. I hear the '05 and newer Tacomas don't have as good build quality, they're larger and don't offer the 2.4L. If you're looking for great reliability and mileage, I'd get an '03 or '04.
I have to be honest that this is the best truck that I have ever owned. It does great on gas. I never have any problem with it. I use it for hauling, loading kayaks, mountain biking. And driving all over the country. In 5 years I have put 100,000 miles on it with no problem. I plan to put another 150,000 miles on it. I just keep the oil changed brakes and tires every two years and she runs like a champ. Great looking truck to. Next time though I think I am going to buy the v6. Better for towing my motorcycle!!
I've always wanted a Toyota 4wd
pickup, and I bought one about a year
ago. It took me a while to get used
to the 2.7L engine and the 5sp. But I
was used to high reving engines, and
this one almost runs like a diesel.
Keep the revs low and change gears
early, and she runs great. This is
definitely a truck engine. You can
feel the torque on the low end. I had
an old Mazda B2000 and Nissan
Frontier, and liked them both. But
they would bottom out if I carried a
heavy load. Not this baby! The
Tacoma is made for haulin'! But don't
get the 4 cyl if you're always in a
hurry. It has plenty of power to haul
and tow, but its not a race engine.
I bought the truck used back in the day with less than 80K on it. It now has over 156k and only replaced the brake pads. I have overloaded this truck many times and even pulled trailers with a F250 on the back. This little truck does it all. I have the TRD package and it goes where ever you want it to go.
I bought this truck as a commuter
vehicle. The test drive was great.
After I purchased it, and was stuck in
traffic, the lack of legroom, and
support in the seat quickly went from
discomfort to severe pain. I'm only
6'2" but I just don't fit. First time
this has ever happened to me in any
vehicle. Even my daughter's Geo has
more comfortable seats.