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other midsize/compact trucks out to pasture - I had a Ranger as my last truck and the Tacoma makes hit look completely out of date.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.
Barcelona Red Metallic; TRD Off-Road Extra Value Package With JBL Audio ($4,150 -- includes JBL AM/FM stereo with six-disc in-dash CD changer and MP3/WMA playback capability, auxiliary audio input, six speakers and subwoofer, XM Satellite Radio with three-month subscription, Bluetooth, off-road-tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks, locking rear differential, 16-by-7-inch alloy wheels with P265/70R16 BFGoodrich tires, engine skid plate, front tow hook, 115V/400W deck power point, foglamps, remote keyless entry system, cruise control, variable-speed wipers, overhead console with compass and temperature gauge, chrome grille surround and rear bumper, color-keyed front bumper and over-fenders, smoked headlamp trim, sliding rear window with privacy glass, sport seats with driver lumbar support and sport fabric trim [in place of standard bucket seats, passenger-side fold-flat feature deleted], metallic-tone instrument panel trim, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth phone controls, leather wrapped shifter (A/T models only), dual sun visors with mirrors and extenders, tailgate-handle integrated back-up camera linked with auto-dimming inside mirror with monitor, TRD Off-Road graphics, VSC + A-TRAC in place of standard VSC +TRAC, Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC) [A/T models]); V6 Tow Package ($650 -- includes Class 4 hitch, transmission and supplemental oil coolers [transmission cooler not available on manual transmission models], 130A alternator, heavy-duty battery, seven-pin connector with converter); Carpet Floor Mat Set/Door Sill Protector ($199-- two-piece mat set for Regular Cab, four-piece mat set for Access Cab and Double Cabm, door sill protector); Daytime Running Lights ($40), 50-State Emissions ($0).
Naturally aspirated port-injected V6
DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable intake-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
236 @ 5,200
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
266 @ 4,000
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
I = 3.52; II = 2.04; III = 1.40; IV = 1.00; V = 0.72; R = 3.22; FD = 3.72
The traction control allows quite a lot of wheelspin in 2WD. With traction control off, the extra wheelspin (and axle hop) worked.
Quite a lot of dive but also more bite from off-road tires than expected. Also very good fade resistance -- tight cluster of stops.
Slalom: Traction control Off/stability control On: Obviously not meant to slalom and it feels out of place; slow-ratio steering; balloon tires and lots of suspension travel. Also, stability control is not defeatable in 2WD so it became a guessing game of what is permitted with Toyota's prescribed limits.