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I've often read that the Toyota Tacoma is such a nice, higher-priced truck, so I was anticipating a good trip in a new 2019 SR5 CC V6 4X4 Tacoma which I borrowed from my brothers' dealership to make a "dealer trade" run for him. Well …. needless to say, I don't know what all the hoopla over Tacomas is about, because this truck was so underwhelming in power, transmission operation, quality of interior materials, and overall ho-hum styling, that my friend and I, (who both drove this truck over 700 miles), labeled it as a "piece of crap" = neither one of us would have paid half of the $40,000 sticker price it was commanding, and frankly, I wouldn't have traded my TWELVE-YEAR-OLD Frontier for it even-up !!!!

I now have an even greater appreciation for the engineering, build quality, powertrain operation, and fantastic value that our Frontiers have over the Tacomas, that now when I see one on the road, I will feel sorry for the poor schmuck who paid so much more, for so much less.

Driving that Tacoma all day for over 700 miles was SO BAD, I had to post the experience on here for those of us Frontier owners who have always heard how great (and expensive) the "Tacos" were. I guess in all fairness, it did have a smooth ride on Firestone tires ….. LOL
 

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The Toyota mystique - is a mystery.
 

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I had a 2002 Tacoma king cab that was pretty much flawless after 213K miles. Big fan. So to me, it was a foregone conclusion that I was going to get another one in 2013 when I need a crew cab for a growing family.

I test drove the TRD 4x4 one (for the formality I thought) and I just couldn't buy it. Just didn't like it for many reasons.

Granted that was a Gen 2 in 2013, and not the newer Gen 2 1/2 (or whatever it is), but it sounds like they didn't improve it much.
 

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Great brew of tea right here.... *sips softly (kermit meme)
 

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Granted that was a Gen 2 in 2013, and not the newer Gen 2 1/2 (or whatever it is), but it sounds like they didn't improve it much.
Same frame underneath and the same rear drum brakes. The drivetrain is new, but the guys on TacomaWorld seem to tolerate it at best; some outright hate it. Similarly equipped to a PRO-4X is $5,000 more out-the-door, at least in my area where distributor Gulf States Toyota floods the dealerships with cheap SR5 models "upgraded" with an expensive "Texas" appearance package.

And it has the new bro-dozer styling, which I don't care for. The Gen 1 has timeless looks. They will still look good decades from now, like a 2nd Gen GMC C-10.
 

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Why do Tacos get all the adoration? same reason as Wranglers.... marketing and fanbase.... its no different than the Apple crew in the tech market.... there's plenty of evidence of a poorly designed/produced product, but the mfr doesn't care much because as long as its newer and has some 'thing' that teh fans called for or think is neat, they'll apologize for it till the cows come home.
 

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Why do Tacos get all the adoration? same reason as Wranglers.... marketing and fanbase.... its no different than the Apple crew in the tech market.... there's plenty of evidence of a poorly designed/produced product, but the mfr doesn't care much because as long as its newer and has some 'thing' that teh fans called for or think is neat, they'll apologize for it till the cows come home.
There's plenty of crapfest Android devices on the market too buddy ::wink::

Back on topic - Tacos are reliable, they've been reliable for the last few decades. Lately though Toyota has been taking their reliability and upcharging for it. Tacos are good all-around trucks, but they're not perfect... neither is our Frontiers. And as a whole Toyota is still on top of all the other Japanese brands with regards to reliability reputation.

Wrangler is a capable machine also, but there's a lot of sacrifices Wrangler owners never mention that Wrangler passengers will always notice lol
 

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I didn't like Taco 10 years ago. Was pretty set on buying one but absolutely did not like seating position - got in, got out, said no thanks and went to buy Frontier - couldn't get a P4X at time (dealer was being an as_) so literally went across street and bought an Equator RMZ4.


About year ago I was pretty set on buying a Tundra - found exactly what I wanted, drove it, liked it, had a good deal worked out. Went and drove a Titan (had to check out new model), and drove P4X home next day. Tundra felt like a wagon compared to Titan.

But, wife has '15 4Runner Limited - I really like it. Since it's not mine, I can tell you 4Runner owners will tell you they are so great because they are made in Toyota's premier plant in Japan.
 

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I owned a '99 Taco, regular cab, 5 speed, 4 cylinder 4x4, and it was the best truck I have ever owned. Stone-axe simple, never had a single issue, but sadly had to sell it when we had a baby. I went to an F150 with the 300 six, also really good, then a Ranger, same story. My first Tacoma was an 09 TRD, which needed two transmissions within the first 14,000 miles, plus there was a lot of rust on the frame (this was before the recall). I eventually sold that and bought a '12 TRD, which lasted 20K before a whole bunch of problems came up- electrical issues, rear diff worn out, squeaks, stereo not working. I don't consider the later Taco's lemons, but the are "lifestyle" vehicles, not real trucks. The only issue I have had with my P4X has been the belt tensioner for the a/c at 18K miles, which was replaced. Everything else is self-imposed resulting from mods. I use the Frontier as my DD and farm vehicle (it gets into smaller spaces much easier than a full-size) so it works harder than all the others I have had. Like others have said Toyota quality is a mystique. They make great vehicles but they are not really that much better that other brands.
 

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The Taco basically has 2 advantages over the Frontier, an updated interior (that lacks much seat adjustment) and better MPG.

Other things I feel the Frontier is superior.

I drove the Tacoma and mainly didn't like the constantly shifting auto.

Other than that it was quite nice.

Not nice enough to justify the price differential though.
 

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My son has a 1998 Taco he bought used with 100K on it. Now it is over 250K and running good. Things go wrong with it? Absolutely, but nothing major; shocks, tires, a new radiator etc. but still the truck soldiers on. His daily driver is now a Toyota FJ but he says he will keep the Tacoma forever.

Personally I do not like the styling of the current Taco, my opinion only, but lots of people complain of the motor/transmission on it as well. Too car like, not suited for truck work yada yada. I went Frontier because I could get the features I wanted at a MUCH lower price. And I have to say my SL has loads of goodies on it and is more comfortable than most of the cars I have owned. Plus it tows like a trooper!!! Easy to work on also!!!
 

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I didn't like the styling changes made when the 1995 Tacoma replaced the Hilux. Didn't care for the car-like fenders, hoodline, and grille. Looked like they took the front clip of a low-end 1992 Toyota Trecel and designed a truck with the same styling cues in-mind. They sort of fixed that with a mid-first-gen refresh but I'd already gotten into the Hardbodies, got my '89 in 2000 or so.

It's funny, they went from having a truck powertrain, a truck seating position, and a more car-like body to having a car-like powertrain, a car seating position, and a truck body, and the changes to the seating position in particular are strange given that "Crossovers" have caused cars to have more truck-like seating positions compared to a decade ago.
 

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My daily driver work truck here in Africa is a 4 door Diesel Toyota Hilux - 5 speed manual, 4x4, with rear locker.

Last week while home in Missouri on vacation I hit up 3 different dealers (Toyota, Jeep, and Ford) and test drove vehicles I've been interested in lately. I'm not in a rush but could see buying something new / different in 6 months.

Drove a 2019 - 6 speed manual Tacoma TRD Sport last week. I kind of liked it but would want the TRD Offroad w/ electronic locking rear.
1st gear feels really low geared in comparison to the Nissan Navara I have access to here in Africa.

The Tacoma TRD Sport has this annoying faux hood scoop that other than being totally useless is a big blind spot. The TRD Offroad doesn't have the hood scoop. Also drove a 2019 4Runner. Nice vehicle lots of room inside but I want a manual for my next vehicle.

Went over to the Jeep dealer and drove a 4 door Wrangler Rubicon with 6 speed manual. Had way more power than the Tacoma off the line but felt cramped inside plus tipsy on the road.

Lastly drove a pair of 2019 F150's. 1 w/ the 3.5 Ecoboost and 1 with the 5.0. The 3.5 had some pop to it. Mash the accelerator and it throws you back into the seat. The 5.0 is dog, I was expecting Mustang GT and was greatly disappointed. Mash the accelerator on the 5.0 and it hunts for the right gear and then slowly moves out. Interiors on on the F150 were crap. Hard plastic everywhere to include the window sill where I rest my arm and miss-matched chrome. Cloth seats while comfortable, as a living room couch, look cheap.

Next time home will drive a 6 speed Frontier and Chevy Silverado. Didn't have time to get to them this trip.

I probably won't buy another Frontier till they restyle them 10 years from now. I just can't see buying a new truck that has the exact same looks / interior as my current Frontier. If nothing else, I'll probably just keep the Frontier.
 

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i have to admit the old taco's (late 90s, early 2000's) were and are still indestructible. That's why you see so many of them still! 4Runners too, just a good platform and they were a true small sized truck. After that i think the toyotas quality as far as going over 200k without problems goes downhill
 

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I had an '03 Tacoma TRD Pre-Runner before my '06 Frontier. Only reason I bought it over the Frontier was impatience. Couldn't find what I wanted. It was a nice truck but when I moved and needed 4wd, I took advantage and bought the recently redesigned Frontier. Loved that truck till I needed something full-size for work. Soon as I didn't, got another "Frontier" in my Equator.

I love the look of the current Tacomas. But hate sitting in them. When we bought our Highlander (which is an amazing vehicle) I sat in a few Tacomas. I forgot how much it sits like a car. I mean like compact seat in a well car. I'm 5'8 180 lbs. My dad is 6' 230 and couldn't even get in the truck with the steering wheel all the way up. Legs kept hitting it. I also don't like that composite bed at all.

The things sell like wildfire though. They are all over the place around here. But I just wouldn't get one knowing what Nissan has on the table even after 14 years.
 

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I just got rid of a 1996 Taco. Bought it new. If it wasn't for the rust problem I'd still have the truck. Frame was gone. Sold it on Craigs list for a $1000.00 dollars...the phone was ringing off the hook after 5 minutes of listing. I was going to buy Toy again but, a used Taco(a few years old) was more then my new left over 2017 Frontier. If the Frontier turns out to be half the truck the Taco was...I'll be happy. So far I really like the Frontier.
 

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Had my 06 Tacoma for 5 years, won't own another. Uncomfortable, bad forward visibility, driveline vibrations, clattery engine, zero creature comforts. Just not nice to drive at all. It never left me stranded but I still spent several thousand in parts alone. Cool looking truck but that's about it, I sold it with a very rusty frame.

The 16+ was a serious disappointment for me. I waited a long time to find out it was just a facelifted 2nd gen with a weaker drivetrain. I have owned many Toyota trucks and cars, the best were from the late 80s and early 90s when they overbuilt them, Even the most mundane parts were good quality.
 

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Back in late '14 I priced a comparable Taco to the SV in my sig. For the price Toyota wanted, I could have bought a P4X.
 

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The Taco basically has 2 advantages over the Frontier, an updated interior (that lacks much seat adjustment) and better MPG.

Other things I feel the Frontier is superior.

I drove the Tacoma and mainly didn't like the constantly shifting auto.

Other than that it was quite nice.

Not nice enough to justify the price differential though.
lol it really doesn't get better mpg. maybe 1-2 at best but even then its subject. looking at sites like fuelly many get just teens in mpg. honestly every truck I've seen and driven all get crappy gas mileage. I think the only one thats decent is the ridgeline.

all the new trucks, Colorado zr2, f150's gmc all get crappy mpg.

I'm waiting for one to come out one day that gets close to 30mpg, that would be awesome lol
 
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