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Questions about Tacomas / Frontiers / Dakotas (4 Door)

bizutch

Delicate CUSTOM flower
Dec 11, 2001
15,923
9
Over your shoulder whispering
Some of you know my vehicle expired and we've been waiting til tax time to start the hunt. I thought $8-10k would get me a functionally sound 4 door pickup or a king cab full size. Having talked to most full size owners, I'm pretty sure I've figured out that around here (WNC mountains), EPA estimates of 18mpg is crap b/c we never hit "Highway Speeds". So, full size are 15-16mpg and I just can't pay that.

So, I'm moving back toward 4 Door Tacomas. Sticker shock.:shocked: The new body style are upwards of $17k for 2006 and newer. The 2002-2004 models are $14,500 and up. BUT....through a very good friend at church, I've being brought one to test drive today. It's 2004 with 150k+ miles on it. To help us out, he's willing to sell it for $13k.

http://samanddavesauto.v12soft.com/inventory/view/6241363/2004-TOYOTA-TACOMA DOUBLECAB



Here's my thing...that's a lot of miles. My blazer developed issues from 70k all the way til it died at near 200k, from computers to hub bearings to oil cooler lines, computer getting wet at the car wash, etc.

Is the Tacoma actually worth spending $13k on a 3.5L engine 4 door truck?

Or is the newer one just the shiz-nit that I should ignore that price?

Or am I an idiot for not just buying a way cheaper Dakota or Frontier?

Any help from RM experience would be great.:thumb:
 
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IH8Rice

I'm Mr. Negative! I Fail!
Aug 2, 2008
24,548
492
Im over here now
i cant understand how the used new body style Tacomas still sell for so much, even with a lot of miles on them...i guess it has to do with how over priced they are from new.
while the newer style Dakota's are absolutely hideous, they are built relatively well built..especially with the Hemi (though mileage isnt so great.) the Frontier is also a nice truck both inside and out and they can be had for pretty cheap but they are a bit small inside
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
6,420
2,209
[303]
An '04 with 150K is nothing. Barely broken in, especially if it's the 6-cyl (which I thought was a 3.6L?). My '96 Taco was running STRONG with 225K on it when I was side-swiped and totalled. Loved that truck. ISSUES: I had a hub bearing go out once somewhere in the early 100K range, never had an issue with it again. I bought it with 82K on it, and somewhere in the first year or so I had to have the front differential replaced. It had cracked somehow and burned out, possibly from the previous owner not servicing it? Unsure, but I was told it was a rare thing to have happen IIRC. That's it, not other major issues.

All that said, when my Taco was totalled I wanted to replace it with a newer, 4-door version (mine was an X-cab). HOLY MOLY sticker shock! I would up with a 2006 Tundra 4-door, and could not be happier. Full size bed and passenger compartment, and I regularly get over 17mpg even in the city. Yeah it's not a lot, but I did the math and compared sticker price (bought the Tundra for $18K) to comparably equipped Tacomas of the same year (over $23K, upwards of $26K) and figured that it'd be a long time before the fuel efficiency would make up for the higher purchase price of the newer Taco.

Also, I've ridden in but never owned Frontiers and Rangers, and I think the quality of the build and interior and ride is noticeably sub-par compared to Tacomas. Definitely smaller interior, and the turning radius of the Frontier is garbage. Worse than my Tundra. Never ridden in a Dakota, can't comment. But I do like full-size Dodge diesels. Who doesn't?
 
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stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
15,537
1,961
Colorado
There is a reason that the Toyota's sell for so much, even used - they last forever. As long as you take care of it, you can comfortably get one up to 250k.
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
6,420
2,209
[303]
There is a reason that the Toyota's sell for so much, even used - they last forever. As long as you take care of it, you can comfortably get one up to 250k.
^^^This. Except replace "250K" with moar, although YMMV they run for.ev.er.
 

bizutch

Delicate CUSTOM flower
Dec 11, 2001
15,923
9
Over your shoulder whispering
OK, so then if go with the Sierra, it's only 30k less miles on it. And these aren't far reaching hypotheticals. This guy is LITERALLY doing me a favor on these vehicles.

Let's try pluses and minuses of that 04 Tacoma versus the 04 Sierra.

Then, here's one last question. Jeremy R mentioned over the weekend something about a Tundra that had the 5 speed auto getting really good mileage. A 2006 Tundra w/ what I think is that tranny just popped up on that lot, but it's a King Cab. I gotta make sure I've got room to comfortably haul 7 & 9 yr old girls around. Anybody know what Jeremy R was talking about and if that rig is a viable option?

http://samanddavesauto.v12soft.com/inventory/view/5773676/2006-TOYOTA-TUNDRA ACCESS CAB SR5

Again, thanks for helping guys. After my buddy yesterday gave me the frugal, practical mini-van pitch, I had to get back to guys who use trucks. :D
 
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dan-o

Turbo Monkey
Jun 30, 2004
6,385
2,633
I'd get the GMC.
I have driven over 400k/mi on GMT-800 body style GM trucks and they have been bombproof.
The 5.3 is a great engine; good power, reliability (SBC engines are one of best from any maker) and economy.
Replacement parts are plentiful and cheap (new or used).
It will get similar (ie decent at best) MPG compared to most v6 mid-sized trucks while being more comfortable, capable etc.
 

mattmatt86

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2005
5,354
10
Bleedmore, Murderland
Consider a Ridgeline? I get almost 22 mpgs in mine and I've seen guys on the ridgeline forum get 24 mpgs. The trunk is awesome, I use mine for work so I can keep all my tools locked away and still have the bed to use. If you use it for shuttling and have a dakine pad you can get 8-10 bikes in it.

Stay away from a Dakota. I had one and it was horrible, I was lucky to get 14mpg and had to replace the cooling system twice, ball joints, and power steering system all before 60k miles. I sold it with 80k miles and probably had 10 thousand in repairs, my ridgeline still has the original tires at 100k and hasn't needed anything other than normal maintenance.
 
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bizutch

Delicate CUSTOM flower
Dec 11, 2001
15,923
9
Over your shoulder whispering
I've looked at the Ridgeline, but for the most part the price they want for them is minimal difference from the Tacoma's to justify not being able to reach in the front of the bed....ever. I like the vehicle, but that wheel/tire combo is just terrible. I don't even know if you can fit 30" TA K/O's or 31's even on it?

And I've not seen a Ridgeline for $13k or less.
 

4130biker

PM me about Tantrum Cycles!
May 24, 2007
3,900
444
Lizard Town
My last truck, I learned my lesson to avoid first model year runs. 2007 tundra with multiple emission system failures, $3000 fixes (luckily they extended the warrranty so I didn't pay any of them.)
I think 2006 Tundra had upgraded brake rotor size and were fairly dialed as far as the tundras go (also actual 4 door, not the flap thingy). Plus, I think, I really nice size for a pickup.
I now have a TACO and I totally dig it. Sticker shock does suck, but once you have it, your resale will stay up there as well. I can't comment on long term reliability, but thats part of why I have it, from what I've heard.
Two things to think about:
-Do you really need four wheel drive? Do you have something else to tackle the passes in winter?
-Through my research, it seems that these aren't as valued down in Texas and that general region. I saw a few cheaper than normal down there, but then the problem is getting the thing.
 

bizutch

Delicate CUSTOM flower
Dec 11, 2001
15,923
9
Over your shoulder whispering
Wife has an Altima. We live in the country, so getting out in the winter a few times a year comes down to needing 4WD...just for my driveway. The road into town is way worse than my drive in the snow. After my youngest ran a 105 temp and I got her to the ER, I'll always have a 4WD for work around the house and getting out in winter. In our part of the WNC, it doesn't snow tons consistently, but when it does, we get BURIED!

I know a buddy found his D2500 Dodge out of Texas for that same reason, but can't imagine savings enough in Texas to justify the drive on just a Tacoma...a quad cab diesel though, sure.
 
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jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
61,260
8,061
media blackout
Biz... if it's just 4wd you're after, would you consider an awd wagon? I went from a Tacoma to a Subaru and couldn't be happier. Pm me if you want some more details.
 

MTB_Rob_NC

What do I have to do to get you in this car TODAY?
Nov 15, 2002
3,430
0
Charlotte, NC
When buying a vehicle there are a a few critical questions you should be asking yourself.

What do you NEED vs. what do you want? The reason pickups became so popular was the value which they provided. Back in the 90's you could get a very loaded up pick up with room for 4, for LESS than you would pay for a comparable sedan. That really isnt the case any longer. So ask yourself. What functionality do you NEED from a pick up vs. what functionality do you WANT? Then quantify how much it would cost you to meet the WANT part. For example how often do you load up your truck with stuff that will ONLY fit in a truck? 1, 2, 5x's a year? How much would it cost you to rent a truck for that # of times.

That is just a simplistic example, but given the prices of trucks vs cars along with the operating expense you should do this excercise if cash is a concern.
 
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4130biker

PM me about Tantrum Cycles!
May 24, 2007
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Lizard Town
Wife has an Altima. We live in the country, so getting out in the winter a few times a year comes down to needing 4WD...just for my driveway. The road into town is way worse than my drive in the snow. After my youngest ran a 105 temp and I got her to the ER, I'll always have a 4WD for work around the house and getting out in winter. In our part of the WNC, it doesn't snow tons consistently, but when it does, we get BURIED!

I know a buddy found his D2500 Dodge out of Texas for that same reason, but can't imagine savings enough in Texas to justify the drive on just a Tacoma...a quad cab diesel though, sure.

Makes sense- it was one of the questions I asked myself on my latest round when I was trying to save some money, unfortunately for my bank account, I had the same answer as you.

I think Jon has a good point too- if you won't need the truck for hauling things very often, wagons are sweet and can holds lots of bikes. My old ass subie was by far, waay better than any truck I've driven in the snow.
 

jackalope

Mental acuity - 1%
Jan 9, 2004
6,227
2,994
in a single wide, cooking meth...
FWIW, my buddy has a 2008 4WD Frontier with a 3.5L V6 and 6 Speed manual tranny (<-- hard to find), and he gets decent mileage (especially on the highway). I'd say mid-to low 20's mileage, and it's been pretty reliable so far - just had to replace the u-bolts in the driveshaft, but wasn't too pricey. It's a 4 door and seems like it has plenty of room for kids.
 

bizutch

Delicate CUSTOM flower
Dec 11, 2001
15,923
9
Over your shoulder whispering
Got a big dog. My blazer reeked of dog. Wife, 2 kids, 4 bikes, camping equipment, firewood, haul trash down to the main road every week, shuttling, etc, moving mulch, trips to the dump. I definitely use a truck. And the three vehicles I've had that were not 4WD had multiple undercarriage bangs and busts from getting an inch off the road, slamming curbs and running forest service roads.
 

4130biker

PM me about Tantrum Cycles!
May 24, 2007
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Lizard Town
Got a big dog. My blazer reeked of dog. Wife, 2 kids, 4 bikes, camping equipment, firewood, haul trash down to the main road every week, shuttling, etc, moving mulch, trips to the dump. I definitely use a truck. And the three vehicles I've had that were not 4WD had multiple undercarriage bangs and busts from getting an inch off the road, slamming curbs and running forest service roads.
then a truck it is!
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,830
3,943
Portland, OR
I mean, I could probably get this beast for $11,000-$11,500. Why would I get the Tacoma(other than WANT..WANT...WANT) ?
http://samanddavesauto.v12soft.com/inventory/view/5773651
That is a solid truck. The LSx engine is a great platform for reliability and some performance as well (but it's a truck). I have never been a fan of the Tacoma body, but the pre '95 Toyota's are getting wicked hard to find (and never came in a 3rd door).

While I'm not a F@rd fan, my 2000 F350 with 7.3 diesel was a solid truck and I got it for $9k with only 100k miles on it.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,830
3,943
Portland, OR
^^^This. Except replace "250K" with moar, although YMMV they run for.ev.er.
A friend of mine just hit 350k on his Silverado SS that he uses to tow his show car and/or truck with no major issues to date. I would say that is pretty good for a domestic truck.



My personal truck when it hit 300K. 2003 Silverado SS now has over 350K
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
6,420
2,209
[303]
Then, here's one last question. Jeremy R mentioned over the weekend something about a Tundra that had the 5 speed auto getting really good mileage. A 2006 Tundra w/ what I think is that tranny just popped up on that lot, but it's a King Cab. I gotta make sure I've got room to comfortably haul 7 & 9 yr old girls around. Anybody know what Jeremy R was talking about and if that rig is a viable option?
Did you miss my post? Or was it a little tl;dr for ya? 2006 and older Tundras get decent mileage, it's a smaller engine than the newer body style. My '06 is a full quad cab, and it's friggin' ROOMY in the back seat... like big enough for 3 adults to sit back there fairly comfortably for several hour road trips. The King Cab is definitely smaller, but still doable and probably fine for the childrens for now. I've sat in the back of a 4-door Taco and it's not much better than a King Cab Tundra, FWIW.

Having owned a 5-speed manual 1996 Tacoma 3.6L V6 and now a 5-speed auto 2006 Tundra 4.7L V8 I can vouch that the MPG numbers on the two links you have provided are pretty spot on. My Tundra regularly goes 17.5mpg with a mix of city and highway driving.
 

bean

Turbo Monkey
Feb 16, 2004
1,338
0
Boulder
FWIW, my buddy has a 2008 4WD Frontier with a 3.5L V6 and 6 Speed manual tranny (<-- hard to find), and he gets decent mileage (especially on the highway). I'd say mid-to low 20's mileage, and it's been pretty reliable so far - just had to replace the u-bolts in the driveshaft, but wasn't too pricey. It's a 4 door and seems like it has plenty of room for kids.
I prefer the Frontier. I didn't care for the Tacos I drove.
 

bizutch

Delicate CUSTOM flower
Dec 11, 2001
15,923
9
Over your shoulder whispering
Full Trucker, I'd typed it up but not hit SUBMIT because we had a customer come in. Can't find a Tundra that model year at this particular dealership at the moment. Every dealer that has something like it wants top dollar, so apparently that is a high demand vehicle too.

As for that Ridgeline in Asheville, not gonna pay that much unfortunately. If I was, I'd go for the newer Tacoma body style for an extra $1-2K.
 

Jeremy R

<b>x</b>
Nov 15, 2001
9,551
691
behind you with a snap pop
I just remember in '05 when I bought my tacoma, the 05 tundra had a 5 speed automatic and it got like 1 mpg less than my new tacoma. As far as my tacoma, I got it new in 05 when the new body style came out, and I have put 175,000 miles on it, and its never seen the inside of a shop. Oil changes, tires replaced when needed and I finally had to put front brake pads in at 173,000 miles. So yeah, that explains why resale is so high. It does suck that the new ones are so high now. When I got mine in 05, they were not that expensive.
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
6,420
2,209
[303]
Full Trucker, I'd typed it up but not hit SUBMIT because we had a customer come in. Can't find a Tundra that model year at this particular dealership at the moment. Every dealer that has something like it wants top dollar, so apparently that is a high demand vehicle too.
Gotcha. I bought my '06 Tundra in '09, and I think everyone had a hard-on for the "NEW" Tundra at the time so mine was super reasonable, only $1500 moar than the dealer in your link is asking (and mine is better equipped, is a true crew cab, and had half the miles on it). I think when gas prices started getting ridonk, the demand for the 4.7L V8's went up, because they really are reasonable on gas for a full-size truck.

So I just did a CL search in your area for "2006 Tundra" and people want CRAZY money for these things! Dang... people selling theirs for more than I bought mine for 4 years ago.
 
Jan 4, 2013
97
0
Sometimes it is worth more money to have a smaller vehicle, depending where you drive. For example, if I had to choose between driving a full-size or a Tacoma every day, I'd have to go with the Tacoma.
 

OffCamber

Monkey
May 27, 2005
405
6
Loxahatchee, Fl

profro

Turbo Monkey
Feb 25, 2002
5,604
282
Walden Ridge
The Tacomas don't get that much better fuel economy that full size trucks if at all. The best combined mpg for a 2013 4WD is 19. When my 2000 F250 Powestroke can get 20 mpg combined, it a crying shame such a smaller truck can't do better.

IF a 4WD Tacoma could get in a combined in the mid 20s, I'd sell my F250 AND Land Cruiser for one. Don't let the small size fool you. (albeit the size keeps getting bigger and bigger)
 

bizutch

Delicate CUSTOM flower
Dec 11, 2001
15,923
9
Over your shoulder whispering
The Tacomas don't get that much better fuel economy that full size trucks if at all. The best combined mpg for a 2013 4WD is 19. When my 2000 F250 Powestroke can get 20 mpg combined, it a crying shame such a smaller truck can't do better.

IF a 4WD Tacoma could get in a combined in the mid 20s, I'd sell my F250 AND Land Cruiser for one. Don't let the small size fool you. (albeit the size keeps getting bigger and bigger)
And that's what frustrates me. I've ridden in your rig and Clealan's and the mileage they get is too sweet, but diesel prices aren't. Blows my mind how "poor" the mileage on the mid-size trucks is compared to full size.

The ideal scenario is for me to see the cost of ownership of that 2004 GMC Sierra I posted versus the 2004 Tacoma I posted. If I'd kept track of cost of ownership on my Blazer (gifted to me at my grandfather's passing) versus another SUV that I actually paid ful pop for, I'd bet my total exceeded most anything else. :rolleyes:

I just found out this thing is being delivered to me on a flatbed (he owns a tow company and it's on his way). Talk about a test drive...
 
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bizutch

Delicate CUSTOM flower
Dec 11, 2001
15,923
9
Over your shoulder whispering
36 month, high interest rate financing is all my Credit Union is willing to do on older, high mileage vehicles, so I either got to look at newer ones that get low interest rate financing over longer terms or pay cash for a beater.

So this is how poor people wind up in fancy cars.
 

mattmatt86

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2005
5,354
10
Bleedmore, Murderland
36 month, high interest rate financing is all my Credit Union is willing to do on older, high mileage vehicles, so I either got to look at newer ones that get low interest rate financing over longer terms or pay cash for a beater.

So this is how poor people wind up in fancy cars.
Although I wouldn't consider myself poor, That's exactly how I wound up buying a used truck for almost 25k. My credit union gave me 3.9 for 5 years but it had to be on a car less than 3 years old and worth a certain dollar amount. The financing for a 10-15k truck was horrible. I use my truck for work so it had to be reliable so I couldn't get a beater. I'm hoping when I start my new job I can pay twice my payment per month to get rid of the debt faster, my new company gives a $400 dollar truck allowance.

I still think you should consider the Ridgeline, I was dead set on a Tacoma 2 years ago, the ridgeline wasn't even on my radar but I took each home for a weekend and the Ridge was better in almost every aspect, including driving on shuttle roads. I know the wheel/tire combo doesn't scream "offroad" but ask yourself if you really need 31" offroad tires? You might only use them for .0001% of your driving and the rest of the time they are just costing you MPGs. You said you have a Dog, the rear seats both fold up to let the dog lay right on the floor, I just got home from a trail ride with my dog and she just hops right in and lays on the floor. I've even seen someone keep an entire XC bike inside the cab with the seats up.
 
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