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Toyota Tacoma Prerunner (owner experiences)

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  • txyank1txyank1 Posts: 1,010
    in the Summertime. Sorry ladies, that was totally uncalled for!
  • betsypbetsyp Posts: 12
    I'm in the market for a Tacoma, but am having trouble deciding between Pre-Runner and 4x4. I drive off road, usually in the desert on non-maintained roads which can be steep, bumpy, and with loose gravel. I don't know much about the Pre-Runner...Do you think it could handle this type of terrain? Being a new truck buyer, I don't know how to compare. Any help would be greatly appreciated. The Toyota dealers haven't been very informative.
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    My response to you is that a prerunner could definitely do what you need it to. Only you might want to look into getting the locking differential. I have it in my prerunner and it provides alot of added traction in loose dirt situations. However if you get into lots of really tite, off-camber situations, muddy spots, or times when you just need slow crawling ability; 4wd is what you mite need to look at. Prerunners are awesome and very, very capable off road. If price and insurance is an issue -- look long and hard at the prerunner (TRD and V6). If money is not that big a deal, there's no substitute for 4wd (and this is coming from a die-hard prerunner owner). Ill be glad to answer any questions you have - I think I can help a good bit.
  • betsypbetsyp Posts: 12
    saddaddy,

    Thanks for the information. I was under the impression that all pre-runners have the locking differential, so your info is helpful. I am interested in the Pre-Runner primarily because it will be the vehicle I use for a lot of city communting as well off road. It sounds like a happy medium between the 4wd and the 2wd.

    I will be back with more questions as they arise. Thanks again.
  • betsypbetsyp Posts: 12
    One question I forgot to ask....

    I am considering a regular cab, Pre-Runner, which, I don't think, comes in V6. Do you think the 4 cyl. add enough off-road power with the regular cab? Or should I reconsider an extended cab in order to have V6?

    Thanks again.
  • betsypbetsyp Posts: 12
    My brother-in-law just sent me this email...

    "An officer at work has one of those toyota pre runner trucks (CALLED something like a TRD- toyota racing development). He said he looked at all of the trucks available before he bought it and the toyota beat everything hands down. It has an electric differential lock that can be engaged on the roll. He says he has never gotten it stuck where he couldn't engage the lock and rock himself free. He says the 4x4 is for going very slow, being in deep mud, siltly soft sand( more like dust or baby powder) and icy snow. If you plan to drive on bad roads with rocks and sand the prerunner will do it all with no problem. you may be able to get through some deep mud and soft soft silty sand , but you'll have to drive it a little bit harder and faster. That is what that truck was designed for. It's a tuned down Baja / desert style race truck that can take you to work M-F and play on the weekends. He has the V6 extra cab, but no turbo. his truck has 40,000 miles on it and he hasn't done anything to it except change the oil, and put gas in it. He drives it hard 80-85+ on the freeway and has jumped it (rear wheels 4-5 feet in the air) numerous times. He says to tell you if your looking to by a new truck, the only choice is a toyota".

    Does anyone share similar off-road experiences with the locking differential? Sorry to be dragging on with this topic...but I feel compelled to do my research before buying.

    Betsy
  • kg11kg11 Posts: 530
    4WD lo range IS for rock-crawling.locking diff IS as good as 4WD hi range for many situations,but not snow or wet icy pavment.People who drive thier trucks hard and jump in rough rocky terrain are the ones that us responsible 4 wheelers have to winch thier broken vehicles out.ANY truck will handle rough roads even without lockers,but take it easy.
    kip
  • eagle63eagle63 Posts: 599
    to follow up on kg11's response, 4wd LO is for slow going through sand, muck, etc. 4wd HI is for snowy/icy roads, etc at normal driving speeds. The locker too is really only for use at slow speeds in nasty terrain. you can't just engage the locker if you're tooling down the road at 50 mph and see some icy patches ahead. that's where you need 4wd (HI).
    As for prerunner vs 4wd, I would say if you live in a climate with snow/ice, absolutely get the 4wd. the "TRD" package (which I think is available in the prerunner as well as 4wd versions) is basically an off-road package which gives you tighter suspension, locking rear-diff, bigger tires, and skid plates. the locking diff can be had without having to get the TRD package, although it would probably be harder to find.
    Generally, I agree with your brother-in-law about the durability and capabilities of the tacoma. In my opinion, it's 2nd to none. But I would never be jumping my ride unless it was a beater and I had plenty of spare parts with me.
    hope that helps!
  • betsypbetsyp Posts: 12
    After a lot of questioning and research, I've decided to get the Pre-Runner, TRD, with the locking differential. I really appreciate all your advise and information. It has been a great help.

    My only decision now is if I should go with 4cyl or 6cyl. I prefer the gas mileage of the 4, but I'm concerned about power, especailly off road.
    Also, My sister's mechanic said that some of Toyota's V6 engines had a problem with blowing a head gasket at 90K. Has anyone else heard this? The mechanic recommends Toyota, but to avoid certain years. I'll probably go with new. I would love to hear your comments.

    Betsy
  • The Toyota V6 head gasket problem was fixed, I believe, in 1995 or 96. The problem started when Toyota removed asbestos from the gasket material. Toyota stood behind their product, even replacing the engine with a short block if necessary. It's no longer an issue and shouldn't affect your choice. The V6 has a lot more power and makes the truck much more enjoyable to drive in my opinion. If you want the extra-cab, you'll have to get the V6 as the 4 isn't available with that option. Anyway, drive both and see what you like.
  • kg11kg11 Posts: 530
    sums in all up.
    kip
  • betsypbetsyp Posts: 12
    After a lot of shopping around, dealing with dealers, etc. I finally found a Pre-Runner, TRD package that seems reasonable. I also found a dealer who actually exhibited some knowledge about his product. So, I would like to get some feedback on costs.

    The dealer offered be a deal of $500 above invoice. A pre-runner with a TRD package, extended cab and V6, and the Convenience package (power windows, etc. which I don't want, but seems to be standard), plus the SR5 package comes to $20,395. This seems like a lot to me. Does anyone has similar comparisons? I would love to know.

    Thanks again.

    Betsy
  • betsypbetsyp Posts: 12
    I'm back. Believe it or not, I'm re-considering the 4x4. After talking to friends, I am reminded that there are times when I may need the 4x4. They may not be many, but on occasion.

    What I really want, and always wanted, is a 4x4 in regular cab, but according to the Southern California dealers, these are nearly impossible to find. This is when I learned about the Pre-Runner, TRD.

    Anyway, does anybody know why the 4x4 in Regular cab is such a rarity in this part of the world? I find it strange.

    Betsy
  • If you're looking to by used in So. Ca., the Toyota 4x4 is really popular here and doesn't last long on the market. If you want a new one, may I suggest Carson Toyota. Try putting in a request at their website for a "Quick Quote" on exactly what you want. They're one of the few dealers that will give you a no hassle quote and even order what you want if necessary. http://www.carsontoyota.com/master_wecare.html
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    One thing that hasn't been mentioned about the 4x4 vs. prerunner thing. In slick situations, the prerunner - locker or no - will not steer very well. The front tires turning helps alot. In short, I think the 4x4 will help you go through stuff more slowly and more safely. I imagine that if you even considered a 2wd, the prerunner could get thru anything YOU need it for. However, at times you might have to rag on it and hit the the tuff spots a little harder to keep up momentum. As far as the v6 vs 4cyl -- most people say that they wish they had the v6. The 4cyl has "enough" power, but again the v6 will make you happier I believe. I know I haven't been around to help lately, but I'll keep up here for alot now. Also go to the message board at www.tacomaterritory.com. The guys there no more about off-roading and tacomas than anyone. They will answer any question cuz so many of them who have had the same questions. I'll be around alot to help here, though. Your questions are welcomed.
  • betsypbetsyp Posts: 12
    I finally purchased my tacoma, 4x4 regular cab, but I had to go to Sacramento to get it. This 2002 model absolutely does not exist in Southern California. I even had dealers tell me that Toyota didn't make the 4x4 in a regular cab any more. The guys at Carson said they never saw one. Isn't that strange? Anyway, the truck exists, but in places near Sacramento, Auburn, Folsom, etc.

    I love the truck! It feels strong and solid. it doesn't have the "umph" of a V6, but Toyota doesn't make the V6 in regular cab anymore. It's a great little truck and I am pleased with the purchase.

    I've learned a lot during these few weeks. Sometimes I think I know more about Toyotas than the Toyota dealers. I have certainly learned to stand my ground when a dealer tries to sell me something that I don't want. Having correct information really helps. Thanks again for all your information and advice.

    Betsy
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    Believe me......4-banger is extremely potent offroad. We had a little get-together yesterday with TTORA members (www.tacomaterritory.com) in San Antonio, and one of the 4-bangers went through rocks an Xtracab wouldnt. Short wheelbase is a king.
  • eagle63eagle63 Posts: 599
    congratulations on the new truck!! BTW, that's a standard car dealer trick. If they say things like, "Oh, I don't think toyota (or any brand for that matter) makes that model any more..."
    all that means is that they don't have it in stock!
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    What do you guys think is reasonable for a 1998 Prerunner, avg. miles, no other options. I've talked with a couple dealers and they're asking close to original MSRP, sheesh. There seems to be a wide gap between the Edmunds, KBB, and Nada guides web sites. I'm thinking of buying a Prerunner for my son.
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    Don't know for sure, but I would think that you should get a 98 std cab, 4cyl, for around 13K-14K at the most. That may be off base, but it does make me feel good that these trucks are holding their value well. I have a 2000 prerunner and was a little skeptical of how the 2wd variation would be - resale-wise. Feel free to ask any questions, man. By the way, there's no better truck for a son.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    I checked on Edmunds and a 98 Tacoma Prerunner, which first came out in that year, only in the Extended Cab, has a trade-in of $8519 and dealer retail of $10520. I agree though that Toyotas and Hondas (which I own a CRV and Accord) do hold there value quite well.

    Are the prices listed on Edmunds what I'd expect to pay? I haven't checked on the dealers lot yet, but on AutoTrader.com they're about 11-12K without options, which is exactly what I'm looking for, a 1998 Tacoma Prerunner Extended cab.
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    I would think that the price listed on edmunds and other sites could be a starting point at least. From $10-12K would be a pretty good range to expect from the lots. Again, not positive. I would think that the edmunds prices would be a fairly good idea of what you might pay. There should be a little discrepancy between v6 and 4cyl as well. So watch for that. Not much help - sorry.
  • This information may or not be of any help to you, but here goes. We are in the northern VA area and my son had been looking for a 98/99 SR5, x-cab, V-6, 5 speed for about 2 months, and everything he found was god awful expensive -- it was just about the cost of a new one.

    On Monday, he compromised and bought a 99 SR5, x-cab, TRD, 4-cyl, 5 speed, with 34K miles for $14,200. Dealer was asking $18.1 but offered it at $17.1. I showed the salesman a printed copy of their web page offering the truck at $14,650. The salesman looked shocked (yeah, right!). Went in to the sales manager and came back and took our offer. The salesman said he was really unaware of the internet deal but said the sales manager knew about it because he put the ad on the web. Salses manager said they rarely ever get someone coming in as a result of their web page, but since I had printed out the ad, they honored it. According to KBB, the value was about $18K. Edmunds showed the value at about $15.7. Don't know why there is such a large difference. Anyway, he is happy with it (except that it is white), but it is really clean with no dents or scratches. I tried to buy a 2002 Pre-Runner v-6, automatic, but the best price I could get was $20,800 + tax, title, etc. I bought a 2002 Frontier XE, X-Cab, 4x4, V-6, automatic for $19.6 out the door. Really wanted the Toyota, but just too much money, particularly since tax and title needed to be added to the Pre-Runner.
  • jakutajakuta Posts: 16
    Just started researching the above truck and have a few questions:

    1) Are power seats (or at least driver's seat) available?

    2) Keyless remote available?

    Thanks in advance!
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    I do not think that power seats are available on any tacomas. However, remote keyless entry is available with the RS3200 security system option. Its a $500 dollar option. Will you opt for the TRD package? I have a 00 prerunner with everything but cruise and bucket seats, and I absolutely love it. Any other questions, I can probably help a good bit.
  • croccroc Posts: 4
    Hi,
    I just bought a 01 Pre-runner TRD a month ago after 3 years of disappointment with a Subaru. I had an '81 4x4 for 11 years of trouble free driving-despite some rugged adventures into the moumtains. I always missed that truck and always wanted another Toyota. So far I love this truck. It's not only my first v6-(thirsty, but what the heck)-it's my first automatic-(I guess I'm officially old!). I drop in from time to time and cruise the Toyota sites so I'll be talking to you!
  • My fiancee and I just purchased an 02 Prerunner 4X2 with the 2.7L four and SR5 package. We absolutley love the truck, but I am wondering how to get more power out of it. Can you add the supercharger? If not, what other suggestions to you all have?

    Absolutely GREAT little truck!
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
  • I drive a 2002 Maxima SE and I LOVE the engine that car! What a coincedence!

    It WOULD be great if I could give it that engine, but alas, I can't! Other suggestions?
This discussion has been closed.