I bought my 2012 Access Cab 2.7L 4x4 5spd Tacoma last Friday after driving it and several others multiple times. I also researched them on this and other sites before buying. My main concern with the 2.7L was having enough power. I was also on the fence between a manual and an automatic. I previously had a 2008 V6 Prerunner automatic, which I loved, but always regretted not getting 4wd. And while the power was nice, it was definitely overkill for someone who never tows anything.
Well, after spending a week with my new one, I'm certain I made the right choice.
It's no speed demon, but has plenty of power. I really like the 5spd as opposed to the automatic. I haven't driven one in several years, so it's taking some practice, but I love feeling more connected to the truck.
It all comes down to personal choice, but if this post helps someone decide which Tacoma is right for them, then it has served its purpose.