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Old 01-11-2020, 12:39 AM #1
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Anyone own a 2nd gen Taco?

I've been back and forth between a newer 4th Gen 4runner or keeping the 3rd gen and the Outback for a DD, but earlier in the week I test drove a 2015 Taco access cab 4x4. I liked the 4.0, the size of the cab was comfy and the truck rode decent, although it seemed rougher than my 4Runner.

I'm about to buy a fixer-upper house, so a truck would be more useful for me as opposed to keeping the 'runner and getting a small utility trailer. It's hard to tell how well the Taco may actually be in terms of a replacement for both of my current vehicles. [ '99 t4R and the '05 Outback wagon ] To be clear, if I went the route of a 4th gen 4runner, I'd still have to get a utility trailer for hauling debris and construction supplies. A truck would eliminate the need for a trailer.

If anyone owns a 2nd gen Taco and can share thoughts or give pros/cons, I'd appreciate it.

The few cons for the Taco that I come up with are:

- twist button t-case engagement, as opposed to the mechanical shift lever
- no multi-mode T-case on the Taco. this is hands down one of the best features of my Runner
- No rear e-locker, the Taco is a base model.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:21 PM #2
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don't know that much about the gen 2 but I have heard the 6 cylinder engine is not nearlly as durable as the gen 3. Also there is no OBD II port to help diagnosis. Good luck
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:17 AM #3
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Also there is no OBD II port to help diagnosis...
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:25 AM #4
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You've already covered the biggest flaw in the 2nd gen Tacoma, the overly complex 4WD system, too many points to fail, but being a 2015 it's likely you'll be a long ways from having those sorts of issues. The other problem I have with the chassis is some of the steps Toyota started taking to make the trucks less serviceable, the supposed "lifetime" transmission with an oddball drain/fill procedure, the modular, but also complex and integrated electronic systems etc.

Otherwise they are fairly comfortable trucks. Overall the chassis design between the 185 (3rd gen 4Runner/1st gen Taco) and 120 (4th/2nd gen) is very similar, so it's a step sideways in a lot of ways. The 4.0 is a great engine though, many have their doubts but I'm a believer, it's a better design than the 3.4 as far as I'm concerned, has more power in a usable powerband, and the auto trans is beefy.

My dad's 2005 is approaching 250k completely trouble free miles, and my mom's FJ cruiser just crested 200k. We regularly tow 4-6000lbs with the Tacoma to this day and it hasn't skipped a beat.

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Old 01-12-2020, 01:27 AM #5
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Quote:
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don't know that much about the gen 2 but I have heard the 6 cylinder engine is not nearlly as durable as the gen 3. Also there is no OBD II port to help diagnosis. Good luck
OBD2 has been mandatory in all US sold cars since 1996, along with Can-Bus since 2008. Not sure where you heard that.

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Old 01-12-2020, 04:53 AM #6
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I had a 2011 Taco before my 99. Great truck. Great motor. Beyond reliable. I have heard of absolutely zero problems from anybody about 4wd "computer problems". I had an offroad so i had all the fancy shit. Never once had a problem.
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Old 01-12-2020, 02:27 PM #7
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I have a 1st gen Tacoma that I use as a daily vehicle. Iíve used my uncle 2nd gen while I didnít have a car and I liked it. There was a bit more power and it handled nicer than mine. But his was an automatic with the electronic 4x4, where as mine is 5speed with manual 4x4. Personally I prefer less electronics controlling stuff like that
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Old 01-12-2020, 02:32 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I_Cappi View Post
I had a 2011 Taco before my 99. Great truck. Great motor. Beyond reliable. I have heard of absolutely zero problems from anybody about 4wd "computer problems". I had an offroad so i had all the fancy shit. Never once had a problem.
Great engine but the transmission is balls
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:05 PM #9
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I don't own a 2nd gen Taco but I do own a 3rd gen 4runner and an Outback exactly like you. I also own a 5'X10' utility trailer that I use to haul plywood, sheetrock, trips to the dump, etc. I think this works better than owning a truck. Most construction supplies fit in the back of the 4runner or Outback anyhow. Just my 2c.
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Old 01-12-2020, 05:35 PM #10
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I owned a 2011 Taco for a couple years, really loved that truck. I regret having sold it. Mine was an Access cab, 6 spd, v6, TX Pro edition, had all the bells and whistles (and electronically controlled bits) I freaking loved it. It was slightly more modern feeling than our 3rd gen 4runners, but not overly so.

My very short list of complaints involved the narrow and short bed dimensions, and less than stellar gas mileage for a midsize pickup. A 4'x8' sheet of ply wood will not lay flat between the wheel wells, which is surprisingly annoying. Also the 6' "long" version of the bed is still pretty short. With my wife commuting in the truck we were getting 12-14 mpg, with me driving it was closer to 14-16 mpg, with a bit more freeway mixed in. Electronic 4x4, and other electrical bits, were never an issue for me, but I can see why they turn some folks away.
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Old 01-12-2020, 10:31 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red October View Post
I owned a 2011 Taco for a couple years, really loved that truck. I regret having sold it. Mine was an Access cab, 6 spd, v6, TX Pro edition, had all the bells and whistles (and electronically controlled bits) I freaking loved it. It was slightly more modern feeling than our 3rd gen 4runners, but not overly so.

My very short list of complaints involved the narrow and short bed dimensions, and less than stellar gas mileage for a midsize pickup. A 4'x8' sheet of ply wood will not lay flat between the wheel wells, which is surprisingly annoying. Also the 6' "long" version of the bed is still pretty short. With my wife commuting in the truck we were getting 12-14 mpg, with me driving it was closer to 14-16 mpg, with a bit more freeway mixed in. Electronic 4x4, and other electrical bits, were never an issue for me, but I can see why they turn some folks away.
Quick remedy for carrying 4x8 sheets, the bed has pockets on either side to hold a 2x4 piece of wood cut to the right length that'll give you a base to lay them flat.

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Old 01-13-2020, 12:49 AM #12
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OBD2 has been mandatory in all US sold cars since 1996, along with Can-Bus since 2008. Not sure where you heard that.

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Pretty sure he thought OP was asking about 2nd Gen 4Runner and not Tacoma.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:36 PM #13
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Sorry missed the Tacoma reference I was thinking about 2nd gen 4runners
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:39 PM #14
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Even the cheapest harbor freight 4'x8' utility trailer will have more room and haul more weight than any Tacoma. I got mine (trailer) when I still drove a sedan, but it has been a great 'truck' for me through all the house work...

Try putting this in the bed of a Tacoma:



So, keep the 3rd gen if you like it.

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Old 01-19-2020, 12:58 AM #15
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Thanks for the replies and the pics. At this time, I'll just keep the 'runner for another year and re-evaluate what my needs are. I can always add a full size beater truck to my 'empire of dirt' for hauling remodeling supplies.
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