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Are you happy with Tacoma?

Jackieo87Jackieo87 Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Toyota
I'm thinking about buying a 1998 or 1999 Toyota
Tacoma 4X4 extended cab. Does anyone have any
comments? Good experiences or bad? Help!!! Thanx.


  • GischpelGischpel Posts: 133
    I have a 1998 Tacoma Ex-Cab w/5 spd, 4 cylinder, SR5 and I love it. I use it for weekend do it yourself stuff and weekday commuting. The 4 cylinder is fine, if you are not pulling a trailer or boat, otherwise I'd consider the V6, which romps!!! The only thing missing is a 3rd and/or 4th door. That would certainly round out the package.

    If you have specific questions, send me an e-mail at

  • Thanks for responding, Terry. You have given this vehicle a much better report than Consumer Reports did. I'm glad because I really like the Tacoma.
  • hindsitehindsite Posts: 590
    I have a 1999 4x4 V6 SR-5 and I love the truck. I wished I had purchased one earlier . . .
  • Hi Jackieo87. I am responding to your comments about Consumer Reports and their view of the Tacoma. I just got my Dec. issue and they rate the Tacoma, Ranger and S10. I respect their opinion on most things, but on compact pickups I think they're way off. They call the Tacoma's ride "punishing" and seem to lean toward the Ranger as the best of the three, even though it has a worse repair record. It seems CR doesn't like the Tacoma because it's more like a truck than the popular Camry or other sedans. Well, duh. Get a clue.

    What I'm looking for in a truck is reliability, flexibility, power and ease of use, which I think the Tacoma V6 4x4 will deliver. Can someone back me up on this? I think CR's reports on cars are all skewed to those who are looking for comfortable family cars.
  • jatjat Posts: 11

    I agree with you, in fact the Tacoma had the best acceleration unloaded, second best towing acceleration (2 tenths of a second off the best time), best fuel efficiency, and was the most reliable of the compact trucks tested. What more can you ask for in a truck? Comfy ride?... It is a truck not a luxury sedan.
  • GischpelGischpel Posts: 133
    One thing they also dinged the Tacoma for was road noise. That's probably more a factor of the tires chosen than the truck. Put the same tires on all three trucks and then compare them. I have no problem with road noise on my 98 with the stock tires -- Firestone Wilderness AT's.

    The report was not very well done in my (obviously biased) opinion.
  • I plan on ordering the 15" aluminum wheels, with the 225/75R15 tires. They also sell the 265/75R15 tires with those wheels (for $400 more), but I assume these are more aggressive and thus louder. Plus, in Vermont winters, a thinner tire it more useful in the snow.
  • lwflwf Posts: 223
    Regarding the latest Consumers Report, no one seems to be commenting on the article following the compact-pickup comparisons where CR seems to be attacking the character and perhaps mentality of people who drive pickups, especially the compact ones. I don't know the accuracy or the relevance of the statictics being quoted but I, for one, don't believe I'm a menace because my vechicle of choice is a pickup, irrespective of its size.
  • I have had my '96 Tacoma 4x4 Xtracab now for over two years and have only two (small) compaints:

    1) I got the 60/40 split-bench front seat. That seat, to me, is almost useless. You can not fit a third person in the middle (I'm small, 5'4" and have to slide the driver's seat way up). I would have preferred the buckets, but you could not get the buckets on the '96 without the SR5 package (cost about $4,000 more).

    2) CR did a review of the 96 Tacoma and said the stopping distance was excessive. I whole heartedly agree! I understand the 99s have a shorter stopping distance. Anyway, next time I'm getting the ABS.

    My 96 has just a little under 24,000 miles. Have had no problems with it.
  • I read the CR report and found it biased towards someone looking for senible family transportation. The report really didn't fit the profile of most compact 4x4 pickup buyers. I mean really, how many 4x4 pickup buyers really care about where to put a child seat? To give CR some credit, I think they put more weight on on-road handling and comfort because most trucks spend more time on-road than off. I'm guessing that's why they thought Ranger was best. Than again, if a potential truck buyer is serious about on-road driving, than they'd go with a 2x4, not 4x4.
  • Thanks for the insight, Paul. I plan on ordering the 4-wheel ABS on a 99 Tacoma. It seems that ABS is not a popular option around here - most Tacomas in stock do not have it.

    We'll see what happens. I have now written email to four dealers in my area. Two have responded with questions so far. They want me to call them. I want to keep the negotiations as impersonal as possible until I get assurance that they either have the truck I want, or will order it for me. Then we'll talk price. :-)
  • cymcym Posts: 12
    I'm hoping to buy a Tacoma 4X4 extended cab 6 cylinder, 5 speed by the end of the year. I know I want to get the ABS brakes, bucket seats, SR5 package of options and the convenience package (tilt wheel, cruise control, tach, trip meter and lighting package). Is there any advantage to getting aluminum wheels versus the standard steel wheels? Is it just looks? What about the 4WDemand option. Would there be a down side to always having the wheels locked (like gas mileage, possibly??) It seems to me that it wouldn't be that big a deal to manually lock the wheels. I have yet to see this particular truck on a lot with ABS brakes. One dealer told me it was because it is not desirable for off roading-could this be so?
  • I'm going to order the aluminum wheels on my Tacoma because they don't rust. Steel wheels usually end up looking all rusty no matter how you take care of them. Also, I like the more rugged look of the aluminum wheels anyway.

    Regarding the auto-lock hubs, I have this on my 1992 Explorer. It seems like an unnecessary luxury to me, and another avenue of breakdown that I don't want. I don't see it as an inconvenience to manually lock the hubs when I need 4 wheel drive in the winter, so I'll forego the expense and repairs of the auto hubs.

    Regarding ABS, I will be ordering a truck from the factory with ABS, since like you, I have seen no trucks in stock anywhere with this option. I don't know why they're not pre-ordered with ABS, since most people would use a truck on-road most of the time. Maybe since it's an expensive option, people generally don't want to pay for it. I'll pay the price for increased safety though, and Consumer Reports recommends that option as well.
  • AirwolfAirwolf Posts: 142
    FYI- Toyota will be redesigning the Tacoma for the 2001 model year, and will hopefully add four doors at that time.
  • cymcym Posts: 12
    Thanks for the input about the Tacoma options. I'd be interested as to how your e-mail process is working out. I have been thinking about doing a similar faxing type process as an alternative to driving to each dealer, but I'm kind of worried that noone will take it seriously.
  • It's been 10 days now since I sent an email to the area's dealers. I have received responses from two of them so far, asking questions clarifying what I wanted. One quoted what the MSRP would be on the "package" I wanted. I sent responses back confirming what I wanted and have not yet received any answer in 5 days. I assume they are either "looking" for a truck somewhere in stock that fits my requirements, or have since decided that if I haven't called by phone I'm not that interested. ;-) I will eventually have to talk to someone in person, but I'm putting that off until everyone's decided that they will have to order a truck to get what I want. I'd like to have an order in place by 12/31, so I still have a couple weeks yet. I'll let you know...
  • jatjat Posts: 11

    I am curious if you tried
    I think you can specify what options you want
    and they will try to find a truck that meets
    your requirements.
  • stanfordstanford Posts: 606
    I tried them for a different vehicle. They couldn't come close to the prices the dealers would give me in person. I don't know how frequent this is, but I've heard a couple of other people mention the same thing.
  • I guess I plead ignorance about Autobytel. All I know is that they charge money to call around and find a car that you want, which I could do myself. I don't see the benefit gained for the money paid, other than my time. And I've also heard what stanford said as well...
  • jatjat Posts: 11
    Bryan, I've never tried it but I think the
    service is free. It is supposed to be
    hassle free, no haggling with sales. The
    dealer e-mails you what they can find and
    the price they are willing to sell the vehicle
    for. I think there are no obligations to buy
    from that dealer. Sounds good to me. Then
    again that is assuming that my assumptions are
    true. I'm not sure how good of a deal you would
    get (from what Stanford said you don't get a
    good deal) but at least you can use it as a
    basis for haggling with other dealers.
  • I got my 98 4runner little over a year ago, two of my co-workers bought a 98 Tacoma 4X4 ext. cab and a 99 toyota prerunner (?). We are all very happy with the trucks. The Tacoma 4X4 was off-road several times already, as I understand it did better than all other trucks on the trips. I plan to join them soon. The prerunner looked like a 4X4 but is a 2X4 in disguise.

    Please also consider the high resale values when you look at the toyota trucks. Only thing I did't like was the toyota dealers. They seemed to have more attitude than others. Service was great though.
  • drozdroz Posts: 30
    I used Autobytel when looking for a T-100. They were supposed to guarantee the best price but I still had to walk out on the dealer to get what I wanted. He did call back but they couldn't get what I wanted. At least it is worth a try to get started and find the best price. I eventually bought a Ford F-250 SD for the size I needed and used the service but had to argue again. But it again did get two dealers at least to call me. I still have my 1991 Toyota pickup which is great and should last another 20 years at least.

    As for ABS, you do not stop any faster with them (most studies show slower). You can steer better when lacking traction. That is their purpose. I know how to stop on ice so have no desire for them and don't need the extra cost and maintenance.
  • ABS in my area is mostly for raining days. I have driven cars and trucks with and without ABS sytems on wet highways during emergency avoidance, I will pick ABS any day for the added safty. Four wheel ABS is even better.
  • stanfordstanford Posts: 606
    One of the common statements by people who don't like ABS is that they can just apply the brakes to just before the point of slippage. I've always wondered why ABS would affect them, as it doesn't kick in until it detects slip anyway. Cheap insurance IMO.
  • sHasHa Posts: 4
    Just bought a 99 Tacoma 4X4 Xtra Cab SR5 and love it so far. One major problem -- NO CLOCK ! I didnt want the convenience package because the Intramentent Wipes come with the tilt steering wheel and I NEVER use cruise control so I thought why would I need it ? Get the convenience package for 2 reasons -- THE CLOCK and THE LIGHTED IGNITION. Can anyone help out - Im looking to buy a compact digital clock for my Tacoma - one that looks like a digital alarm clock and glows at night without having to push a 'LIGHT' button. All I have been able to find is crappy ones that dont light up at auto stores. It wouldnt have to be battery powered, I could wire it if necessary but it must light up/glow and it must be compact. Toyota wants $ 71.00 plus installation for the in dash clock. Forget it. Can anyone suggest a catalog or internet site for a clock ????
  • bryan99bryan99 Posts: 22
    Hi Sha. I am interested in the truck you purchased since I am currently in the process of buying the same thing. Can you write to me and let me know the options you bought and what you paid? I won't ask what options you wish you had bought but didn't. ;-)

  • Hey...unbelievable...I bought a '99 Tacoma 4x4 V6 Ext. Cab w/out the Convenience package...and I can't STAND the fact that there's no damn clock!!! We obviously have the same problem. If you do find a good clock, please let me know..and I'll do the same! Good luck in hunting for one, I haven't been able to find anything that's acceptable yet.
  • Bryan, I bought a '99 Tacoma V6 Ext. Cab 4x4 with the SR5 LX package and the TRD off road package. If you don't need true 4x4ing capability, the TRD package isn't necessary, however it does give you nice aluminum alloy wheels and big tires, as well as black overfenders and then of course the push-button locking rear differential and the better shocks and suspension. I also got the power package (including windows and locks) and then tilt wheel and cruise control. I got bucket seats and also the All-Weather guard package. So, the options I got are as follows:
    CK : All weather guard Package
    LX : SR5 Package
    PO : Power Package
    AC : Air Conditioning (included in LX)
    CL : Cruise Control (mandatory w/ PO package)
    TW : Tilt Wheel
    CH : Chrome Package (included in LX)
    WR : Sliding Rear Window (includein in LX)
    BU : Cloth Bucket Seats
    EX : AM/FM w/ Cassette (included in LX)
    FD : 4-wheel demand shift on the move (mandatory with the TRD package)
    OF : TRD Offroad Package
    FE : 50-state emissions (won't find this on Carpoint or Edmunds I don't believe..but it doesn't add money to the total)

    So...all of that MSRP'd for $24,063 which includes the $420 destination charge.

    I got a good deal since I got a $1000 rebate from Toyota and a $1000 match on my downpayment. So after the $2000 taken off of it and after negotiating a lot, I paid $20,706 plus Colorado tax. We got a pretty good deal.

    All in all, we paid out-of-pocket (minus tax) about $600 under invoice.

    Good luck in finding the truck you want!
  • bryan99bryan99 Posts: 22
    Hi! Thanks for the info. I thought I would post the results of my recent visit to a Toyota dealer to "preference" order a 1999 Tacoma 4x4 ExtrCab V6 5-speed:

    To make a long story short, we ended up at an impasse in the end over a matter of $109. Here is the breakdown of what we figured, prices are dealer invoice cost:

    Base price for Tacoma 4x4 5-speed V6: 18036
    Total options: 2936
    Sub-total: 20972

    Profit 200
    Destination 420
    Advertising fee (TDA) 200

    Total 21792

    I had presented this price after he talked me "up" from pure invoice (I offered the 200 profit) and he went and brought back the sales manager after about 10 minutes. The sales manager gave me a lecture about how he wanted to keep the company-I-work-for's business (which is right next door to the dealership) and wanted good word of mouth and how he'd take my "$200" offer because blah blah blah and shook my hand and left. So the salesguy and I started drawing up the documents to actually order the car. I figured it was a done deal. Then he gets down to what price to write on the order form and says "OK, so it's *this* invoice plus $200 and..." and I said "Hold on. That price is not the same as the price we agreed on." So we go into this hassle about *his* invoice vs. *my* invoice,
    where I allowed $200 for advertising fee, and his invoice had $303 plus another $6 for something-or-other.

    So I said no, the price I was willing to pay is the one that *you* took into the sales manager, and the one he apparently agreed on. The salesguy says no, he "agreed" on $200 over invoice. *Their* invoice, apparently. I said no. I was kinda ticked -- other dealers had done this to me before -- have an informal agreement on a price, then at document signing time it's "Well of course there's this fee and that fee...".

    So, I offered to pay his invoice plus $200 if he'd include a can of touch-up paint (which he agreed to) and a Toyota shop manual, since I would have bought these anyhow. He said no on the manual.

    So I walked. Oh well. We'll see if he calls back, which he hasn't yet in two days.

    Anyhow, lessons learned: There is a set "configuration" of 4x4 Extracab V6 Tacomas that are built and sent out to different regions. The one that our region gets the most of (30% of their allotment) is:

    AA, CK, CQ, FD, and LX. It seems that if you "build" on an already preset configuration, you have a better chance of getting what you want. So my request would have been the above options, substituting VK for LX, and adding BM, CF, DH, HP, SR, and BL.

    I'm going to call another dealer today to see if he'll meet the *first* price I had agreed on with the dealer yesterday. If so, I'll just order it from them.

    That's it for now. The saga continues... :-)
  • GischpelGischpel Posts: 133

    I am in the same boat as you -- no clock in my Tacoma and have learned that I really need one. If anyone finds one, please post it here for us all.


This discussion has been closed.