Best Off-Road Pick For a Daily Driver? - 2016 Toyota Tacoma Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,130
edited March 2016 in Toyota
imageBest Off-Road Pick For a Daily Driver? - 2016 Toyota Tacoma Long-Term Road Test

Is the 2016 Toyota Tacoma the best pick for a new off-roader that you can drive daily?

Read the full story here


Comments

  • growlerguygrowlerguy Member Posts: 5
    No Canyon or Colorado on your list? I thought they were Toyota's direct completion?
  • yellowbalyellowbal Member Posts: 234

    No Canyon or Colorado on your list? I thought they were Toyota's direct completion?

    The Colorado has that weird front shield that kills approach angles and ground clearance.
  • daryleasondaryleason TexasMember Posts: 501
    I know plenty of people buy brand new four wheel drive vehicles, but I can't stomach taking something that's Financed off-road into the brush. I'd be one of those jerks that just pose with it. If you're buying something to go play off-road in, it just makes more sense to buy used. Something that's already got a few scratches and dents on it, so you don't get upset about ruining the new paint job while making a huge monthly payment.
  • diondidiondi Member Posts: 71
    What about a Ram Rebel? That would be a full-size truck competitor for the Tacoma without having to go to a Raptor.
  • ebeaudoinebeaudoin NE IllinoisMember Posts: 509
    Between the Jeep and the Tacoma, it's the Tacoma, hands-down. FCA hasn't proven themselves worthy of anything but leasing a vehicle. I would hate to be way out in the sticks when my Cherokee breaks down.
  • adamb1adamb1 Cookeville, TNMember Posts: 122
    I agree on Ram Rebel. You also get the trick air suspension.
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    diondi & adamb1, the Ram Rebel starts at $43K compared to the $35.5K of the Tacoma TRD Off-Road. Different price class unless they do the usual Big 3 pickup tactic of lopping off high-four figures from the MSRP.

    As to the original question, I'm seeing 2yo SR5 4Runners in the $31K range in my area with low miles. That would be my pick. Larger backseat than the Tacoma, plenty of off road capability. Loaded Limited Grand Cherokees of the same age and miles have nearly the identical asking price of the base SR5 4Runners, but I know which one I'd trust for the long haul.
  • diondidiondi Member Posts: 71
    emajor, Ram Rebel does have high incentives just like the other full-size domestic models. Right now they have $9000 off in Canada, I'm not sure about the US pricing. I was looking at either a Tacoma or Tundra, but for the price they were asking for I got a much better equipped Ram 1500 Sport rather than a Tundra TRD or Tacoma TRD... and this was in 2015 when they were expecting the 2016 model to come in within a few weeks! The Toyota dealers didn't want to budge on pricing at all, so it was quite disappointing for me. Also, the seating position in the 4Runner/Tacoma is not as comfortable in my opinion - I feel scrunched up.
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    edited March 2016
    Thanks, diondi. Interesting that incentives are so high on one of the niche trims in the Ram lineup. The low-to-the-floor seating of the Tacoma and 4Runner certainly isn't ideal, and actually I would have to seriously consider that before pulling the trigger on one. The problem I'd have with the Ram Rebel or any full-sizer is the difficulties in getting something with that width and length down some of the trails on which I would be using it.

    The asking price on Tacomas has been ridiculous for years. Ten years in with no real updates and Toyota still was raising the price. The buyers must be a very loyal group.
  • misterfusionmisterfusion Member Posts: 471
    I would consider the Colorado or Canyon, I just perceive them as the better daily driver. I'd just have the dealer remove the air dam prior to delivery. Although even then I think it has a worse approach angle than the Tacoma, so if I were really planning on doing some trail-busting then I would also consider a mild lift.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457

    I know plenty of people buy brand new four wheel drive vehicles, but I can't stomach taking something that's Financed off-road into the brush. I'd be one of those jerks that just pose with it. If you're buying something to go play off-road in, it just makes more sense to buy used. Something that's already got a few scratches and dents on it, so you don't get upset about ruining the new paint job while making a huge monthly payment.

    It's just stuff, go out and use and enjoy it. Otherwise you may be cruising around in a pristine truck for 18 months worrying about a few scratches when a Prius T-bones you. :D
  • daryleasondaryleason TexasMember Posts: 501
    @stever: Don't get me wrong. I can spend money easily. And I do go out and enjoy doing things. But my 4x4 toy wasn't bought new. Its sort of like when I go to buy a new firearm. If it's so high that I have to worry about ruining the finish by carrying or firing it, I won't buy it. I won't buy a car I'm afraid of driving due to depreciation or a gun I can't fire due to depreciation. It's why I hate to hear about these ultra low-mileage cars that sat in a storage building for 50 years. I love Mustangs, Bel Airs, Impalas, Cougars, etc., but I think it's horrible to hear about one that's only got 15 miles on it, with the original tires, belts, hoses, etc. It means for all that time, it was wasted. I just don't want to be the guy paying a payment on it while it's getting broke in.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    edited March 2016
    I think there should be a law that all new car owners must key their driver's door before they can drive off the lot. A sledgehammer may be overkill though. :)

    Life is short....
  • bassracerxbassracerx Member Posts: 188
    adamb1 said:

    I agree on Ram Rebel. You also get the trick air suspension.

    the only thing about the rebel is it has like a 1 inch lift. you can get a good quality 2 inch lift kit for under 600 dollars if that and install it yourself or pay a shop a nominal fee
  • dinpdxdinpdx Member Posts: 3
    "Ideally it's also versatile as well as easy and comfortable to drive."
    And you pick Tacoma? I'd vote for Subaru Outback if these qualifications are actually important. Over 8" ground clearance and climbs steep terrain like a goat. If off-roading is really important than just buy an old beater Taco.

  • squarefoursquarefour Member Posts: 24
    The off-road differences between a car-based choice like the Cherokee or Outback and the Taco aren't just confined to capability (which the Taco wins easily), there are also very real questions of longevity to take into consideration. The underpinnings of the Cherokee and Subie just weren't made to withstand the sort of repeated abuse inherent in off-roading a Taco can handle. A car-based rig is great for periodic trail-running and the like, but a Taco is built to withstand more serious trail-busting and repeated use. The old school live axle and leafs at the back and purpose-built wishbones up front are just simply more robust and engineered for off-roading. Meanwhile, the struts, links, mounting points and chassis found in the Subies and Cherokee/Renegade are adapted from passenger cars. So, really, the question comes down to how much off-roading you plan on doing and what sort of off-roading.
  • metalmaniametalmania Member Posts: 167
    If it was just down to those two and off roading was a high priority, I'd take the Tacoma. But since I'm not actually an off-roader, I think I'd go with a Colorado over a Tacoma. And if I didn't get a truck, I'd take an Outback over the Cherokee. Again, if off road was NOT a priority.
Sign In or Register to comment.