which engine and transmission options to choose for Tacoma?

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Gardener
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which engine and transmission options to choose for Tacoma?

Post by Gardener » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:50 am

Given my wife's driving habits, what options for the engine and transmission should she choose?

First, the truck, which is a 2014 Tacoma will be my wife's. She has about a nine mile commute to work. All country roads. Highest posted speed limit is 45 mph. Only one traffic light and a couple of stop signs. Will also be used to haul small loads to and from Lowe's about one time per month. Lastly, it is important that this truck handles well in snow and ice, as we tend to get a good amount of it during the winters. Only thing that we've decided is that it will be 4x4 and have the short bed.

Okay- two last decisions that I have to make:

Engine
2.7 liter 16 valve 4 cylinder, 159hp @5200rpm, 180lb-ft@3800rpm (gets 2.5 miles per gallon more than 4.0)
4.0 liter 24 valve V6, 236 hp@5200 rpm, 266lb ft @4000 rpm

Transmission
4 speed automatic
5 speed automatic

Please note- I am well aware that this truck may not be the most practical vehicle given my wife's driving habits. I am getting it simply because my wife really wants it (which I suppose is as good of a reason as any). Your guidance is greatly appreciated.

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Kosmo
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by Kosmo » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:04 pm

If cost is irrelevant, go with the larger engine and 5 speed transmission.

I would not get a truck with less than 200 hp. (I feel like my Explorer is underpowered at 210 hp.) How much do you care about fuel efficiency? Will you be doing any towing or carrying heavier loads? Do you live in a hilly area?

I don't know the transmission gear ratios, but if the 5th gear is an overdrive, it's only useful on the highway. How much highway driving does your wife do? If 1st gear and overdrive are fixed and it's a 3rd intermediate gear, that would be more useful in everyday mid-speed driving, especially if you're carrying a load.

DFrank
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by DFrank » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:31 pm

I have an FJ Cruiser which has pretty much the same V6 as is available in the Taco. The FJ weighs about 500 pounds more than the Taco, and with that V6 is not a barn burner in terms of acceleration. There is a pretty significant power difference between the 4 cylinder and the V6, so if it were me I would lean towards getting the V6 in the Taco. I am relatively insensitive to fuel costs though (I'd guess you may be looking at about a 10-15% difference there). Another thing to check is what are the recommended fuel requirements for the 2 engines. In my year FJ (2007) the V6 "requires" premium fuel.

It's hard to assess the transmission alternatives without knowing the ratios, and I couldn't find those at a glance on Toyota's web site. I suspect 4th gear in the 4 speed may be a 1:1 ratio, and 5th gear in the 5 speed is almost certainly an overdrive gear. As noted above overdrive would likely improve highway mileage a fair amount.

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LAlearning
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by LAlearning » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:43 pm

V6 and 5AT.
They are both antiques but the best of the worst options.
I know nothing!

The Wizard
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by The Wizard » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:43 pm

I have the four litre V6 (210 HP?) in my Ford Ranger 4x4 pickup and it's just fine. When I'm hauling a full load of something, I worry more about handling and braking than rapid acceleration.
If I want to go fast, I switch to the Mustang...
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Angrypuppy
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by Angrypuppy » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:44 pm

I went from a 2004 F-150 to a 2014 Tacoma DC 4x4. I have the v6 with an automatic. For me it's the perfect combo. I do a lot of driving on logging roads, but not much more sever off road than that.

You'll love the truck.

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Bulldawg
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by Bulldawg » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:47 pm

I have the 2.7 4 cylinder because I drive much and the extra MPG adds up. I can't tell much difference with the power/torque of my brother's 6cyl Tacoma. The 4cyl also comes with a timing chain, not belt per my model year FWIW
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Ged
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by Ged » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:50 pm

Yes, definitely 4x4 if you get a lot of snow. An empty 2WD pickup is one of the worst vehicles you could have in snow.

Back when I lived in snow country I'd pass them stuck on hills all day long in my Subaru.

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by SimonJester » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:53 pm

Not to thread hijack but Ive been searching for a used taco and am frustrated I can find many Tundras for a much lower price then Tacomas.

I guess people value the Tacoma more due to the better gas millage.
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Gardener
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by Gardener » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:55 pm

I should have added a few more details. that this is a 4 door vehicle. We live in a hilly rural area. Loads hauled will be light and monthly for small home projects. This vehicle will rack up very few highway miles.

I will check to see if v6 engine requires premium fuel. Not overly sensitive about gas prices.

Does the fact that my wife will periodically have to drive up and down hilly snowy roads suggest the need for v6? Or is that irrelevant? (I know very little about engines)

You are correct, per what I've read, in saying that 5th gear is for highway.

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LAlearning
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by LAlearning » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:57 pm

Irrelevant. The most important need is proper snow/ice tires. Any engine will get you moving. 4wd does not help you move or stop.
I know nothing!

Gardener
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by Gardener » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:57 pm

LAlearning wrote:V6 and 5AT.
They are both antiques but the best of the worst options.
LA,

Why do you favor v6 and 5at? Thank you.

Busting Myths
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by Busting Myths » Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:39 pm

Gardener wrote:Given my wife's driving habits, what options for the engine and transmission should she choose?

First, the truck, which is a 2014 Tacoma will be my wife's. She has about a nine mile commute to work. All country roads. Highest posted speed limit is 45 mph. Only one traffic light and a couple of stop signs. Will also be used to haul small loads to and from Lowe's about one time per month. Lastly, it is important that this truck handles well in snow and ice, as we tend to get a good amount of it during the winters. Only thing that we've decided is that it will be 4x4 and have the short bed.

Okay- two last decisions that I have to make:

Engine
2.7 liter 16 valve 4 cylinder, 159hp @5200rpm, 180lb-ft@3800rpm (gets 2.5 miles per gallon more than 4.0)
4.0 liter 24 valve V6, 236 hp@5200 rpm, 266lb ft @4000 rpm

Transmission
4 speed automatic
5 speed automatic

Please note- I am well aware that this truck may not be the most practical vehicle given my wife's driving habits. I am getting it simply because my wife really wants it (which I suppose is as good of a reason as any). Your guidance is greatly appreciated.
Did Toyota ever fix the frame rust issues? I have seen some posts on the internet (take it for what it is worth) that the current generation (05+) suffered from this issue.

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by DFrank » Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:56 pm

Gardener wrote:I will check to see if v6 engine requires premium fuel. Not overly sensitive about gas prices.
Be sure to check the 4 cyl fuel requirement also.
Gardener wrote:Does the fact that my wife will periodically have to drive up and down hilly snowy roads suggest the need for v6? Or is that irrelevant? (I know very little about engines)
No, I'm sure the 4 cyl will get you up and down hills just fine.

Ideally you should test drive a V6 back to back against the 4 cyl and see how you like the level of acceleration and general driving performance between the two engines. It's very hard for us to know your preferences and whether one or the other choice would meet them better than the other. I like vehicles that accelerate reasonably well, and as I indicated earlier am not particularly sensitive to fuel costs, so I would choose the V6.

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by mmmodem » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:09 pm

You have a Hobson's choice. The configuration of a 4 door short bed 4x4 is only available with the 5 speed auto and V6.

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Ged
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by Ged » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:18 pm

LAlearning wrote:Irrelevant. The most important need is proper snow/ice tires. Any engine will get you moving. 4wd does not help you move or stop.
It certainly does help you get moving. +1 on snow tires though. I had 4 studded snow tires on my Subaru and the only time I got stuck was when the snow depth was greater than the road clearance.

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by The Wizard » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:29 pm

Ged wrote:
LAlearning wrote:Irrelevant. The most important need is proper snow/ice tires. Any engine will get you moving. 4wd does not help you move or stop.
It certainly does help you get moving. +1 on snow tires though. I had 4 studded snow tires on my Subaru and the only time I got stuck was when the snow depth was greater than the road clearance.
Even on just wet days when I commuted with my pickup, I'd switch into 4x4 mode at red lights if I was first in line, to allow for a quick takeoff when the light turned green, without any fishtailing.
And with Ford pickups anyway, 4x4 models come with tires quite suitable for mud and snow. No need to buy a separate set of winter tires. I would expect Toyota to be similar...
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miles monroe
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by miles monroe » Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:00 pm

have your test drove them? i did a few years ago and the 4 cyl engine had no pickup at all.

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William4u
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by William4u » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:18 pm

LAlearning wrote:Irrelevant. The most important need is proper snow/ice tires. Any engine will get you moving. 4wd does not help you move or stop.
+1 Winter tires trump everything else in terms of importance for safety in winter, snow, and ice. There is no substitute.

Check out Consumer Reports. Stopping distance is cut in half in snow and ice. Grip and lateral stability is much improved.

And because you are wearing your other tires only half as much, the cost isn't that much higher than just running through your All Season Tires twice as fast.

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by white_water » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:53 pm

4x4, V-6 , 5 speed. Good for snow and ice, you will likely need some ballast in the back for traction. Our 4 door, short bed served us well when we lived at 6200 ft in the mountains, and had 5 months of winter, generally 18-mpg, better in the summer, better on flat ground, better MPG on the interstate. It can pull a decent load i.e. trailer full of firewood, medium size boat, etc. Have driven it on 1900 mile trips, confort is OK, not great for long hours of driving.

Absolutly get the studded snow tires if your locality permits. Good luck with your Tacoma, and the 2 door short bed will get better MPG than the 5 passenger model.

ralph124cf
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by ralph124cf » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:58 pm

On the Toyota site it says that if you get the standard cab you can only get the 4 cylinder with the four speed, and if you get the access cab or double cab with 4WD you can only get the V-6 with the five speed transmission.

Ralph

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William4u
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by William4u » Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:00 pm

white_water wrote:Absolutly get the studded snow tires if your locality permits.
The non-studded winter tire technology has improved dramatically over the last decade, so much so that studded tires are not needed anymore except for extreme situations.

Winter Tyres or 4x4: which is best?

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by The Wizard » Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:18 pm

William4u wrote:
white_water wrote:Absolutly get the studded snow tires if your locality permits.
The non-studded winter tire technology has improved dramatically over the last decade, so much so that studded tires are not needed anymore except for extreme situations.

Winter Tyres or 4x4: which is best?
Studded tires are mandatory for racing on frozen lakes...
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The Wizard
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by The Wizard » Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:23 pm

William4u wrote:
LAlearning wrote:Irrelevant. The most important need is proper snow/ice tires. Any engine will get you moving. 4wd does not help you move or stop.
+1 Winter tires trump everything else in terms of importance for safety in winter, snow, and ice. There is no substitute.

Check out Consumer Reports. Stopping distance is cut in half in snow and ice. Grip and lateral stability is much improved.

And because you are wearing your other tires only half as much, the cost isn't that much higher than just running through your All Season Tires twice as fast.
It looks like you may have missed my earlier post about 4x4 pickups generally having winter-capable tires as standard equipment. We're not talking about passenger cars here...
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terpfan122
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by terpfan122 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:41 pm

bought my taco new in 2006 for 25,600
V6 SR5 5AT access cab 4x4
awesome little truck and I miss it, until I bought my F150 it was the best vehicle I ever owned
sold the taco in 2012 for 18500
the stock tires were horrible - in light snow I needed 4x4 many times and in rain I would spin, until I purchased LT Hankook Dynapros, then never needed 4x4 in snow
I averaged 20.4 MPG on hway, about 17ish around town, transmission was fine, no premium gas necessary for Toyota trucks
I routinely hauled my quad and towed a 3000# tailer - no issues with either

sold it for a larger tow vehicle - 2012 F150 FX4, and even though I absolutely loved my taco, man I will never go back to anything less than a half-ton

ps...from many years of experience hauling and towing up hill in the snow - the 3 most important items are 1) momentum and 2) tires 3) 4x4

good luck

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by terpfan122 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:42 pm

also forgot to mention Toyota is about to update tranny and engine in the taco, very soon

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by Wiess » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:30 pm

The Wizard wrote:
William4u wrote:
LAlearning wrote:Irrelevant. The most important need is proper snow/ice tires. Any engine will get you moving. 4wd does not help you move or stop.
+1 Winter tires trump everything else in terms of importance for safety in winter, snow, and ice. There is no substitute.

Check out Consumer Reports. Stopping distance is cut in half in snow and ice. Grip and lateral stability is much improved.

And because you are wearing your other tires only half as much, the cost isn't that much higher than just running through your All Season Tires twice as fast.
It looks like you may have missed my earlier post about 4x4 pickups generally having winter-capable tires as standard equipment. We're not talking about passenger cars here...
I have to disagree, stock tires on a truck do not equal tires rated for use on snow and ice.

I am very interested in this topic too as I hope to purchase a Tacoma soon. It will likely be a V6 Access cab, automatic...

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by jlawrence01 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:59 pm

There are two things that need to be taken into account.

First, what are you going to do with the vehicle? Do you plan to haul freight? Do you plan to pull a trailer or a camper or the like? Make sure that whatever you buy will be able to what you might need to do with it in the next 15-20 years.

For example, my brother used to sell Ford Trucks. A customer comes in to buy a F150. My brother started asking him the list of questions to determine his needs. The customer stopped him with a bunch of profanities and demanded that he sell him a stripped down model with the lowest price. My brother complied.

Two years later, the guy shows up spewing more profanities. Why did you sell me this !@#$ truck that can't pull a large camping trailer? His response was that he sold the truck he asked for.

Second, do you plan to resell the truck anytime soon? If you do, you better get a vehicle that meets the needs of a broad range of users. That means that it should have a tow package, upgraded transmission and the like. If the purchase is in the luxury class, it needs leather seats.

For example, with my approval, one of our salesman purchased a stripped down Chevy Silverado. I mean, this thing was only rated for 750 labs, crank windows, etc. Ever try to sell that vehicle? When I tried to sell it, we went through 20-30 prospective buyers before finding anyone who wanted to test drive it.

Do realize that the Tacoma has somewhat limited appeal among truck buyers although most owners say that they would purchase one again. Its appeal is somewhat regional.

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by interplanetjanet » Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:41 pm

Wiess wrote:
The Wizard wrote:It looks like you may have missed my earlier post about 4x4 pickups generally having winter-capable tires as standard equipment. We're not talking about passenger cars here...
I have to disagree, stock tires on a truck do not equal tires rated for use on snow and ice.
I absolutely agree. "All Season" tires truly aren't - there is an ocean of difference between them and a half decent snow tire.

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by The Wizard » Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:08 pm

Wiess wrote:
The Wizard wrote:
William4u wrote:
LAlearning wrote:Irrelevant. The most important need is proper snow/ice tires. Any engine will get you moving. 4wd does not help you move or stop.
+1 Winter tires trump everything else in terms of importance for safety in winter, snow, and ice. There is no substitute.

Check out Consumer Reports. Stopping distance is cut in half in snow and ice. Grip and lateral stability is much improved.

And because you are wearing your other tires only half as much, the cost isn't that much higher than just running through your All Season Tires twice as fast.
It looks like you may have missed my earlier post about 4x4 pickups generally having winter-capable tires as standard equipment. We're not talking about passenger cars here...
I have to disagree, stock tires on a truck do not equal tires rated for use on snow and ice.

I am very interested in this topic too as I hope to purchase a Tacoma soon. It will likely be a V6 Access cab, automatic...
You can disagree all you want, but I'm relating my personal experience with my 2004 Ford Ranger 4x4 with factory-supplied Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain tires. In eleven winters thus far, I've had no problems dealing with 8 inches or more of unplowed snow and obviously no problems with snow-covered plowed roads. I go to northern New England for skiing without worry in this truck.
It should be noted that if you purchase a 2WD Ranger, you get a different set of "highway" tires, but you're going to have trouble in snow with a 2WD pickup to begin with, unless you put some weight over the rear wheels.

The OP is considering a Toyota truck and should research whether all-terrain tires come as standard equipment on the 4x4 version...
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by The Wizard » Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:09 pm

interplanetjanet wrote:
Wiess wrote:
The Wizard wrote:It looks like you may have missed my earlier post about 4x4 pickups generally having winter-capable tires as standard equipment. We're not talking about passenger cars here...
I have to disagree, stock tires on a truck do not equal tires rated for use on snow and ice.
I absolutely agree. "All Season" tires truly aren't - there is an ocean of difference between them and a half decent snow tire.
Not All Season.
All-Terrain.
There's a difference...
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by Crimsontide » Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:28 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Wiess wrote:
The Wizard wrote:
William4u wrote:
LAlearning wrote:Irrelevant. The most important need is proper snow/ice tires. Any engine will get you moving. 4wd does not help you move or stop.
+1 Winter tires trump everything else in terms of importance for safety in winter, snow, and ice. There is no substitute.

Check out Consumer Reports. Stopping distance is cut in half in snow and ice. Grip and lateral stability is much improved.

And because you are wearing your other tires only half as much, the cost isn't that much higher than just running through your All Season Tires twice as fast.
It looks like you may have missed my earlier post about 4x4 pickups generally having winter-capable tires as standard equipment. We're not talking about passenger cars here...
I have to disagree, stock tires on a truck do not equal tires rated for use on snow and ice.

I am very interested in this topic too as I hope to purchase a Tacoma soon. It will likely be a V6 Access cab, automatic...
It should be noted that if you purchase a 2WD Ranger, you get a different set of "highway" tires, but you're going to have trouble in snow with a 2WD pickup to begin with, unless you put some weight over the rear wheels.
Bingo, my 2WD Tundra absolutely sucks on snow and ice. We can't even get out of the driveway after one of our infamous ice storms without 10 bags of sakrete in the bed positioned right over the rear wheels...

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by dpc » Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:38 pm

FWIW, my wife has a 2005 4 cyl 4x4 automatic. Extended cab - not 4-door. To me, it is sluggish, but she is quite happy with it. If I were driving it daily, I'd get the V6, but we may go with another 4-cyl when we replace it, since she doesn't care and it is seems to be less expensive and gets better mileage. Not sure how readily available the 4 cyl might be however. Also not sure you can get the four-door with a 4-cyl. If you're set on the 4-door, you might want to look at the Honda Ridgeline - I don't think the price is that much higher.

It's amazing how little these trucks have changed over the years. You can probably get a Tundra for about the same price.
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by agent13x » Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:38 am

SimonJester wrote:Not to thread hijack but Ive been searching for a used taco and am frustrated I can find many Tundras for a much lower price then Tacomas.

I guess people value the Tacoma more due to the better gas millage.
The tacoma gets 17 all around whereas the tundra will get 14-15 all around. I did the same analysis and ended up buying a tacoma over a tundra a few years back, even though they were going for the same price. I'm not 100% sure if I'd do it the same way again. You can get full size trucks now that get much better than 17 MPG...Toyota really needs to update their engines to get with the times.

I did enjoy the truck though, and I had the same configuration you're looking at: quad cab with v6, 4x4, auto transmission. Only complaint was bad gas mileage for a smaller truck. Handles any snow you can find in Nebraska (plenty) just fine with 4x4 and all terrain tires. I've never had snow tires on any vehicles and never had a problem.

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by YttriumNitrate » Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:05 am

Gardener wrote:Will also be used to haul small loads to and from Lowe's about one time per month...
Okay- two last decisions that I have to make:
Engine
2.7 liter 16 valve 4 cylinder, 159hp @5200rpm, 180lb-ft@3800rpm (gets 2.5 miles per gallon more than 4.0)
4.0 liter 24 valve V6, 236 hp@5200 rpm, 266lb ft @4000 rpm
If the main "truck" duties of this vehicle will be hauling stuff from Lowes, I'd go with the smaller engine. Even if you fill up the short bed with bricks you'll still have enough power to get where you want to go. Sure, it might take a bit longer to get up to speed, but that's about it.

I used to have a 4cyl Chevy S10 with a whopping 94 HP 130 lb-ft that I would fill with bricks and take on the interstate. I had no problems getting up to interstate speeds as long as the people in front of me realized that you're supposed to be accelerating on the on-ramps.

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by bubbadog » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:50 am

I have a 2001 Tundra 4x4 access cab with the 4.7 l v8 engine. I have owned since new and have averaged about 16.5 mpg in all around driving. Not sure if the OP is also considering a Tundra. It sounds like the v6 Tacoma has about the same gas mileage as the Tundra.

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by heyyou » Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:28 pm

without 10 bags of sakrete in the bed positioned right over the rear wheels...
With a plastic bedliner, you could use cinder blocks which are weatherproof, just as cheap by weight ($1.09+tax and 35# each), and easier to load if wearing gloves. You can buy them on the way home if the storm starts during the work day, and the Lowes employees will load them for you. At home, they become part of the next compost bin when winter is over.

Get the automatic for easy resale, especially on the double cab, even though resale might be ten or more years from now. The stick shift does not have a granny first gear, so your lowest gear is near the same on both the automatic and the stick transmissions, and you have 4x4 Low.

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by Jimmei1 » Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:31 pm

I've had Tacomas with both engines. The main problem with the 4cyl is the transmission. Often if driving 65-70 on a highway, the transmission would downshift from 4th to 3rd, then quickly to 2nd. I had to learn to lift up the gas slightly to avoid the sudden shift to 2nd. The gas mileage isn't much different in my experience. I recommend the v6.

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by supton » Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:58 am

I'd go V6/5spd auto if it was me. Only if I was doing piles of highway driving, or lived in a sedate area, or otherwise got a smokin' deal on the I4 would I go that route. More power! [So says the guy who commutes in an I4 sedan.]

I did my shopping a year ago, and wound up in a Tundra. Seemed cheaper than the Tacoma, and more space, and not really worse mpg's (if forums are to be believed). Since it was my weekend vehicle (no, not a great financial move) I wasn't too worried about fuel economy. I did some stop and go one summer vacation, and it got 16mpg; right now my Scanguage is indicating 13mpg, as I just filled it and then did some driving on backroads. That said, its average for the last year was 19mpg, and I have seen as high as 22 (more like 20-21), as I live in the sticks and have lots of miles at moderate speeds, and essentially no city driving. If I had lots of city driving I'd go Tacoma, as this thing is a beast to park (I refer to it as docking).

While I have the "little" V8 it is adequate for my needs (the 4.6L). I'm sure the I4 would get the job done, but IMO in a double cab I'd go V6 w/o a second thought. In a regular cab, hmm, maybe the I4 would be cheaper... Test drive both.

Speaking of tires...

I read up on the tires it came with (Bridgestone Duelers 684II) and how they were horrible. I wasn't sure if the truck would become a daily driver (DD is an '04 VW with 298kmiles) so I decided to go top of the line Michelin LTX MS2. Suposed to be good in snow, long life, etc. After driving in a few snowstorms: honestly, I'd rather drive my car in the snow. In RWD the truck is stupid tail happy. Traction control works hard. Sure, I could ballast the rear, but... And in 4x4 mode I get driveline binding. It's a part time system, no center diff, so it can't be used on bare pavement, period. While that is an ok tradeoff on the road, I've found it a massive nuisance in my driveway, which can be covered in snow yet require lock to lock turning. No doubt, it goes through deep snow. But for greasy roads it's just as much work, maybe more work, than driving my FWD car with all seasons.

Lots of people get by on all seasons in the winter; I did last year. Will do so again this year. But I almost think this truck needs snows faster than my FWD cars do. And let's be clear, the cheapest snows I could get is probably $600 for a set, and then I'm still out another $200 in rims.

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by Epsilon Delta » Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:22 pm

Jimmei1 wrote:I've had Tacomas with both engines. The main problem with the 4cyl is the transmission. Often if driving 65-70 on a highway, the transmission would downshift from 4th to 3rd, then quickly to 2nd. I had to learn to lift up the gas slightly to avoid the sudden shift to 2nd.
Why do you object to this? Is it rough or is it just that it's shifting when you don't think it should? A good automatic will shift a lot more frequently than most drivers.

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Meaty
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by Meaty » Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:05 pm

I have the V6 taco. It's a great truck. Gas mileage is decent, does well in slick conditions, and hauls plenty unless you're a contractor or lumber jack
"Discipline equals Freedom" - Jocko Willink

supton
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by supton » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:54 am

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Jimmei1 wrote:I've had Tacomas with both engines. The main problem with the 4cyl is the transmission. Often if driving 65-70 on a highway, the transmission would downshift from 4th to 3rd, then quickly to 2nd. I had to learn to lift up the gas slightly to avoid the sudden shift to 2nd.
Why do you object to this? Is it rough or is it just that it's shifting when you don't think it should? A good automatic will shift a lot more frequently than most drivers.
You sure it's going down to 2nd? It might be 3rd. Pretty much all automatic transmissions, up until a decade ago, used lockup torque convertors (today, there are "automated" manual transmissions, often called DSG or dual clutch gizmos, which put computer control around what is essentially a manual gearbox). Today torque convertors still use lockup to reduce losses; but today as well as back then, "unlock" is often used to gain 200-300rpm (or more) of engine speed to deal with load changes. The six speed in my Tundra does the same thing, unlocks the torque convertor first, then if that won't do the trick then it starts clicking down through the gears.

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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by pshonore » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:07 am

Ever consider the Dodge Ram 1500 4X4 ? The Crew Cab model has a back seat that is bigger than a full size passenger car. Even the Quad cab has a smaller back seat but still ample. I Have the Hemi V8 with a 6 speed auto. 17mpg around town and 22 MPG on the highway for a trip. They do have a V6 that is probably 25% better gas mileage. Motor Trend Truck of the year for two years straight. Well equipped Base model around $30K. Extremely quiet and comfortable ride (only truck with rear coil springs).

supton
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by supton » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:59 am

I have to say, the V6/8spd Dodge has been on my radar. Well as much as any high dollar expense might be... I want to say people have been getting low 20's for mpg on that model, inspite of 4x4 and double cab (I look time to time online to see what others get, plus fuelly should track this well enough). It's rather impressive. I wish they made a 4.5L/8spd instead of the 3.6L/8spd, mostly for the "more power!" aspect (plus I do have towing needs that the V6 would be asked to be worked more hard than I want), but I don't need/want the big 5.7L. Dodge has become a contender again, and I've read of few complaints, outside of the unconventional gear selector (a knob on the dash instead of a lever).

I have not kept track of what the models are going for, but IIRC GMC/Chevy have had low-ish sales. I know they were pushing their updated 4.3L pretty hard, so I wonder if deals could be had there. Want to say there are complaints about the shifting on that six speed, not reliability issues just it holds gears too long (a plus in my frugal eyes!).

Assuming you don't mind shopping outside of Toyota, that is.

pshonore
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Re: which engine and transmission options to choose for Taco

Post by pshonore » Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:11 am

The 5.7L/6 speed still has a conventional shift lever. RAM has a great lease deal going right now. $2500 down, $169/month for 2 years 10K miles per year (although I think that's for competitive lease holders so it may cost you a few bucks more). Try it for 2 years. If you like it, keep it, otherwise give it back and try something else.

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