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Toyota Tacoma

jperceljpercel Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Toyota
I am currently researching the Toyota Tacoma 4x4 pick-up and someone had said that the automatic version is not as good as the standard? Would you agree and in what situations? I drive highway, city, and mountain areas but will not be towing heavy loads on a daily basis? I haven't driven standard yet in my life but am now considering it. Any suggestions or helpful advice?


  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    I think the biggest argument for the 5-speed is on the 4cyl versions. An extended cab 4X4 feels a bit sluggish with an automatic. A reg. cab might be ok, you'd have to drive it and see if it had enough power for you. I don't think there is much argument on one or the other being more reliable. Comes down to driver preference. Take a test drive and if the 4cyl automatic has enough power for you then go for it. Biggest advantage Toyota has over most of the competition is offering a 4cyl with a 4X4. The 2.7L is no slouch but the slushbox slows it down a bit.
  • automatic transmission, but ANY automatic transmission is more complex than a standard and thus requires more maintenance (fluid changes) and is more likely to have problems, which will also cost you more to fix.

    I personally would never even consider an auto-tranny with a 4 cylinder. Just takes away more of what little power you had to begin with.

    If you ENJOY driving, definitely go with a stick. Shifting your own gears is satisfying, and you will have more control over the vehicle while being forced to remain attentitive to your driving. There are some other advantages to sticks, too. If you're battery gets too low to crank the engine while starting, you can do the old rolling and pop the clutch while turning the ignition trick to start the engine. You can also rock the truck by going between reverse and first to get out of a stuck situation. Sticks are usually quicker than autos, and they usually offer better MPGs at the same time.

    I think in just about any vehicle that is performance oriented, a stick is the way to go. Family and luxury sedans are a different story.
  • is that I to am looking at a auto 4 cylinder 4x4 and have asked the same qustion in other groups. People give thoughtful and useful responses but I can not seem to find anyone who owns one. I know toyota sell plenty of these vehicle but I can't get anyone to admit to owning one, or maybe people who drive these do not log on to Can anyone help jpercel and myself? Hello, is there anybody out there?
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    Actually, there aren't many automatics out there and most of those seem to be V6's. When I was looking to buy one used a few years back, I started looking for a V6 automatic and eventually gave up and bought the 4cyl 5-speed. In all the trucks I looked at I didn't see one automatic. That's what I originally was looking for so that my wife could drive it, but I bought the 5-speed (what I REALLY wanted) and she just had to live without driving it.
  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    One reason why automatics arent produced with 4-banger in mass quantities is the relative lack of power. Automatic transmission shifts somewhere between 2-3K rpms, so you are really missing out on the power in the mid-upper band. I have a V6 manual, and at 3500rpms, my truck just jumps forward, almost twice as fast as at 2500 or 3000rpms. I4 just doesnt produce enough horsepowers to justify putting a $900 automatic tranny on it. Besides, if you gonna offroad, you'll be fine with either one.
  • make their living on high end horsepower. If you want them to perform, you have to keep the revs up. A 5 speed will allow you to do that without all the drama of the passing gear in an automatic transmission.
    I have the 2.7 (5 speed) in my long bed, 2wd T100, and although there are times that I feel I need more power, it is adequate most of the time (probably due to the manual trans). Also, there are now a few companies making aftermarket performance parts/kits for Toyota four bangers.
    There are most likely some people over at that are running a 4x4 Taco with a four banger and an auto trans, check it out.

  • eagle63eagle63 Posts: 599
    I actually like the 4-speed auto in the tacoma. Pluto's right, in general a manual should be more reliable as it's less complex - but I've heard a few tacoma owners here at Edmunds complain of problems with their 5-speeds.
    The other big advantage (as I see it) with the auto is you get the 4.10 gearing.
  • Hi all,
    I am about to buy myself a prerunner V6 Xcad. I talk three sale men from different Toyota dears.
    Two said that the TRD made the ride on Freeway
    and City street feel discomfortable than the one WITHOUT TRD. Please give me your oppion.

  • Bought a 4X4 extended cab about 3 weeks ago w/the 5 speed. I like it very much. I had a harder decision about the 6 cyl vs 4 cyl question, but glad I got the 4 banger. If you have never driven a stick before that is a bit of a problem, but can be overcome. I think the standard tranny is fun to drive, and I did not even consider the auto trans. It does make a test drive a bit of a problem however!
  • So, you guys have convinced me to give the 5-speed a shot! But now I'm looking at all the options available on this beast and I was wondering what the deal is with the bucket seats? Does anyone have them? Are they more comfortable than the bench? Are there any options you recommend or discourage for the 2DR Toyota Tacoma STD 4W ExtCab? Also,I am interested in getting a cap, but I don't know what a good manufacturer would be or where to look. Any suggestions?
  • in my 1998 Tacoma. I don't know if the newer Tacomas have a different seat but I like mine just fine. My only complaint would be the reclining mechanism for the seat back. It's kind of "notchy" and doesn't allow for a lot of different reclining angles, and therefore isn't as comfortable as it might be. Between my buckets I have the storage compartment, and it doubles as an armrest, just like a captain's chair. I would definitely go for the buckets; they're more comfortable, and really, how often are you going to have three people in the front seat?

    You made a good choice with the 5 speed. I don't think you'll regret it one bit.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,241
    Mine came with a 60/40 bench but I switched it out with buckets. As plutonious said, the extra storage space is worth it, plus it makes it alot easier to reach around into the back to get stuff. And if you have a passenger, that's what the ext. cab is for. I don't know if it's still the same, but there used to be two types of buckets. The standard buckets were basically the same as the bench, only no middle section. Identical comfort, reclining, padding, etc. Then there was an upgraded seat package that had really nice buckets with lumbar and all that. Those were the buckets I really wanted, but the availability was only on the really expensive models with a bunch of options. The standard buckets weren't very comfortable to me, but I repadded them to fit me and were then ok. Seats are tough because what's comfortable for one person is painful for another. I've heard people say on these boards that the Camry seats are uncomfortable, however I've had 20 hour trips never leaving the seats for more than fuel. I thought they were pefect.
  • jpercel,

    If you go with a 4 cylinder, manual is probably your best option. However, as far as reliability goes, depending on how long you keep your vehicles at some point you will need to replace your clutch. That's not an issue with an auto tranny. And as your initial post states. You have not owned a vehicle with standard before. You may end up putting some wear and tear on the clutch as you become proficient with the standard. Just some food for thought.

    Also, Snugtop makes a nice canopy for the Taco but your local Toyota dealer may have a canopy dealer near by that they will recommend.

    Good luck with your purchase.
  • on which tranny will be more expensive to own in the long-run. My Toyota clutches have gone 200K+ miles without being replaced, and then the vehicles were sold. Sure, with that kind of mileage, there was a little "chatter" and the clutch wouldn't grab until the pedal was a little further out, but I never thought I had to go out and get a new clutch.

    As for putting wear and tear on your clutch while learning to drive, it isn't that hard. Heck, my little sister was driving stick all over town after just a week. Of course, she had a good teacher! :-)
  • tistevetisteve Posts: 142
    I have a '99 Ext Cab 4x4 with the 2.7 cyl and the TRD package. I used to have a '97 same truck but without the TRD and many comfort options.
    I have now put 26,000 on my '99 w/TRD. I liked the handling of the TRD a lot better than the stock. But, if you drive on bad roads, it can be too harsh sometimes. I'm thinking maybe some Rancho 9000 shocks would allow you to set a softer setting for around town and then be able to tighten them up for the trail.
    If you're not a "truck" person, take a long ride with the TRD before you buy it, many people tire of the tight ride and regret it later.
    But, off road, the TRD rocks. No bottoming out and bouncing up and down, the truck just reacts and keeps looking for the next big dip or hole. It is a big difference off road.
    I have had the 4 cyl 2.7 with 5 spd on both trucks. I've never seen a Taco 4 with Auto. As I've told many people, if you're used to Japanese 4 cyl engines, you'll like the 2.7 If you come from bigger American engines and shift at 2,000 rpm's, you'll think it is slow.
    I also agree about hills, if you drive them, the 6 would be nicer. Where I live it is very flat and I have no regrets about the four. Only getting 19-20 mpg though, probably my heavy foot!
  • Hello all,

    I am going to be looking at a 1996 2WD standard cab Tacoma, but as it is very far from here, i would like to see if I can get some preliminary info from you guys before the long trip to see it. To begin with, cabin space is my biggest concern. As I am 6'1", wear a 56 coat, have a 44 waist, and am about 300 lbs, I am worried if I will even fit in the thing! I also wanted to know if the stanard cab can be retro fitted with bucket seats. I read some posts about people doing that, but I think those were Xcabs.
    I am very excited about it, but if I cant fit comfortably, then there is no point in even seeing it.

    Thank you,

  • Just to let you know that I have a 2002 Doublecab. I'm 6'4" and a little over 300lbs and I fit into it pretty comfortable. Of course it's not like my SuperDuty CrewCab I had, but my gas bills are a lot less and I can turn once into a parking lot.
  • kg11kg11 Posts: 530
    I have a '95 std cab 4X4 V6.I'm 6'1" 225lb.My truck came with buckets and I guess they were a little more comfortable than the bench but I quickly replaced them with chevy astro van buckets.This is an easy job for anyone with a drill and a crescent wrench.
  • well, i saw the car, and I fit in the cabin quite well, although seriously dont see 3 people ever fitting in there-at least not with me being one of them. I found the bench quite comfortable for being what it is.
    I wonder about the stereo. Does any one have a decent sound system in a standard cab? Can you fit more than two speakers?

    Just curious, Im probably going to buy it now.

  • Now that I am close to purchasing the car, i would like to ask about the experiences of other Toyota tacoma standard cab 2wd owners. I hear much discussion about other models, but I curious to see what people have to say about this little guy.

    And does anyone know how much it can tow? What kind of gas mileage it gets? at what high speeds will it still feel safe?

    thank you
  • wsnoblewsnoble Posts: 241
    Finally got my 2002 DCab today.

    Lunar Mist w/CQ, AB, LX, AA, and WL

    The red int lights are a big change, but i already love this truck.

    I will miss my 98 XCab though...

    Moonroof install next week, Woo Hoo!

  • wsnoblewsnoble Posts: 241
    Don't miss the 98 60/40 bench seat.

    2002 buckets are leaps and bounds better...

  • 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.
  • kg11kg11 Posts: 530
    The problem I have with my std cab on dirt roads is in 2WD it fishtails.When I put it in 4hi I can drive AT LEAST twice as fast with confidence.
  • betsypbetsyp Posts: 12
    Are you talking about the Pre-Runner or the 4x4?
  • kg11kg11 Posts: 530
    is the only one that CAN be put into 4hi,which is the best way to drive on those wash-board roads with a V6 Taco!
    BTW the fishtail-spinout problem can be corected by putting a load in back and/or driving slowly
  • betsypbetsyp Posts: 12
    I misunderstood your initial response.

    I would like to know how you compare the 4x4 with the Pre-Runner that has the locking back differential. I know they are very different machines, but can the Pre-Runner handle difficult desert roads? I am not sure if I need a 4x4 for my purposes.

  • kg11kg11 Posts: 530
    driven a pre-runner but w/o locking diff and in 2wd my taco is very capable off-road.I read your question about 4 cyl on the pre-runner page and I think you would probably be satisfied with the 2.7 pre-runner.
  • kg11kg11 Posts: 530
    I think toyota may have discontinued the V6 in the standard cab because it has too much power for the short wheelbase.Mine gets squirrely on wet roads and in the mud.The 2.7 produces more usable torque than the old 3.0 V6
  • ochizonochizon Posts: 25
    Hey all,

    I finally bought the 96 tacoma 2wd reg cab. Does anyone know where i could get my hands on a manual for this car? Whats the deal with manuals anyway? I dont know anyone who has the manual for their car. The guy who sold me this car even had the original price sticker, but not the manual!


  • sc0rpi0sc0rpi0 Posts: 897
    Do you mean repair manual for Taco? If so, those are $200 or so, and you can get it at the dealer. If you just want a user manual, I'm sure someone at has it scanned in or would be willing to scan some pages for you. Mine's a '02, so it may not work too well.
This discussion has been closed.