When looking for a small truck very few options existed. I owned a Toyota Tacoma before a few years ago, and checked out Chevy Dodge, Ford, Nissan. Besides hefty price tags, low resale values, bare bones options for $25,000 or less, no other truck compared to Tacoma. I was further surprised at the addition of the 4 cylinder with double cab offered this year. The truck is awesome, decent power, great ride and surprisingly quiet. To me their is no competition out their to compete with the Tacoma.
This is my 3rd Tacoma and I love the ride and the overall build quality BUT the engine noises drive me absolutely crazy! The best description I can give is that the engine sounds like a wind-up toy. The noises seem to be an exhaust leak of some kind (most noticeable during acceleration) along with a loud valve-tapping sound coming from both the top and bottom areas of the engine (most noticeable at idle). I believe the exhaust sound may be a known faulty manifold problem (?) but I'm not sure about what seems to be the valve-tapping sounds. If anyone has any input whatsoever to the problem and/or fixes, PLEASE post a reply. I'm praying the dealer will be able to find and fix the problems
First, I'll say I've driven Fords most my life and some imports. I tried the mini-SUV route and had a Ford Escape for 7 mos. I was in need of a truck, but not a full-size. The F150's are very nice and a natural choice for me but the Tacoma really has fit my needs. The build, detail and quality of this truck is very nice and very solid. I have the Off-Road pkg in Super White and it turns heads and gets lots of comments. I can see why Toyota has run most the other midsize/compact trucks out to pasture - I had a Ranger as my last truck and the Tacoma makes hit look completely out of date.
Disclosure - I won't buy American. I have owned 2 Rangers, many SUVs, but this is my 1st Tacoma. I LOVE IT!!! This is a daily driver/commuter for me not a work/ranch truck, but I may do light off-roading (hunt/camp). I got the TRD Sport Package w/ JBL - it's perfect (I didn't need JBL, not a "stereo guy" but it is nice.) The ride feels high and solid. I wanted a truck (not a car) so I love the truck feel. The long wheel base and curb weight make for a smooth ride. I don't understand the "road noise" complaint - mine is V-6 & perfectly quiet at 75 mph. Brakes could be better, but no complaint.
I bought my Double Cab TRD Off-Road in early December. I had done tons of research on Edmunds.com as well as many other review and rating sites. This truck has been a perfect fit for me. I do not drive it daily as I have a work truck. When I get in it and take it for a drive it is always a fun experience. The ride is comfortable for being a pickup truck. The bed is on the small side, but if I wanted a full size I would have bought one. It really is just an all around versatile vehicle. I am getting an average of 17.92MPG. So it's not too bad. Driving it for an extended period of time isn't uncomfortable. I really do love this truck.