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Old 03-02-2013, 08:12 PM   #1
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Advise for buying a Tacoma

Hi guys, we're thinking of getting a 2nd generation (probably used) Tacoma for the misses. We will be looking for a 4wd, auto, quad cab in either a short or long wheel base. The plan is to add a lift and set it up as a very comfortable daily driver/ family trip vehicle that is fully capable of moderate trail riding. We are definitely looking for a tow package and rear locker.

Other than that;
What option packages should we be looking for?
Are there certain models or years we should stay away from?
Is A-Trac available like on the FJ Cruiser?
Also, on the FJ, A-Trac can be added just by installing an inexpensive switch as long as the truck is equipped with a rear locker. Is that also the case with the Tacoma?

We are just starting to research and are not that familiar with the Tacoma so any advise is greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:39 PM   #2
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They hold value extremely well, and often times new models are only a bit north of used prices. What's your budget?
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:31 PM   #3
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I am in the same boat and in the process of researching as well. May I suggest you search google for year to year changes first? It will give you an idea as to when new features and trim packages have been released. I personally have settled on '09 and above due to side impact air bags in the double cab.

Also, you may want to read a couple of the threads on this forum regarding TRD sport vs. TRD off road. Some of them spiral a bit out of control but you can get a feel for what the two packages offer with respect to options, locker, atrac, etc.

Cheers and good luck.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:59 PM   #4
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A 4X4 Auto Doublecab with a locker will limit you to the off Road package which will limit you to a short bed. the sport has a limited slip diff. As to the year, if you can afford it you might as well go new. I was in the same boat when I bought my 11, except I knew the model I wanted. I was looking at 08 and newer at the time, but the difference in the used vs new trucks was not that much so I opted for the brand new truck that I could be sure of its history and such. Have yet to regret the decision. Especially since here in a month or two dealers will probably try and clear out any remaining '13s to make room for the 14s. At least that was what was happening when I bought mine around May.

A-trac is available in the newer trucks as well. dont know the exact year it started but my 11 Off Road has it. as well as a ton of other stuff.

My opinion, for what you are looking for an Off Road should meet all your needs. Make sure it has a tow package, and you should be good to go. If you are looking for extra storage space inside the cab, forgo the JBL sound system as the amp and sub take up a good amount of space and arent that great anyway.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonomonster View Post
Hi guys, we're thinking of getting a 2nd generation (probably used) Tacoma for the misses. We will be looking for a 4wd, auto, quad cab in either a short or long wheel base. The plan is to add a lift and set it up as a very comfortable daily driver/ family trip vehicle that is fully capable of moderate trail riding. We are definitely looking for a tow package and rear locker.

Other than that;
What option packages should we be looking for?
Are there certain models or years we should stay away from?
Is A-Trac available like on the FJ Cruiser?
Also, on the FJ, A-Trac can be added just by installing an inexpensive switch as long as the truck is equipped with a rear locker. Is that also the case with the Tacoma?

We are just starting to research and are not that familiar with the Tacoma so any advise is greatly appreciated.
If you want ATRAC and a locker you need to get an '09 or newer TRD Offroad 4x4
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Old 03-03-2013, 02:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
If you want ATRAC and a locker you need to get an '09 or newer TRD Offroad 4x4
Yup. OTOH, if you don't care that much about A-TRAC and are willing to install an aftermarket rear locker, you don't have to get an Off-Road to have the more prominent options of that package.

You'll also want to look at the full cost of whatever you find used against new, including any taxes, insurance, and interest. As was said, late model used and new can be so close in price that new makes more sense.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:43 AM   #7
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I bought a 2010 DC 4WD shortbed w/ no locker (limited slip diff only) w/ 51K miles. I paid 23.9K for it. Just as a price gauge for you. Good luck w/ your search.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:48 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the responses guys. You all have given a lot of great advise. So it looks like a late model TRD Offroad with A-Trac, locker, and tow package will work best for us. We are not in a rush to buy so we will be watching the used market to see what pops up locally and if we don't see what we're looking for at a steal we'll go new.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonomonster View Post
Thanks for all the responses guys. You all have given a lot of great advise. So it looks like a late model TRD Offroad with A-Trac, locker, and tow package will work best for us. We are not in a rush to buy so we will be watching the used market to see what pops up locally and if we don't see what we're looking for at a steal we'll go new.
You will have to move fast when a nice truck with your desired options pops up because it will go fast. Be prepared to run out at a moments notice when it first is listed. Good luck, you and your wife have made a very great decision.
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:36 AM   #10
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I certainly don't want to hijack but I feel like these questions might apply to the OP so...

1) I have noticed through my Internet searched that most all used tacos (on Craigslist at least) are being sold via a dealer. Why is that? Where are the private parties advertising? Or are they mostly selling their used tacos to dealers and/or letting leases go?

2) I too am opting for the TRD off road package but I'm curious about the road manners of the off road compared to the sport. They obviously have differently tubed suspensions and wheel sizes but is it a very noticeable difference on pavement and/or while you are driving the freeway? And if so, where do those differences lie?
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aguabonita View Post

2) I too am opting for the TRD off road package but I'm curious about the road manners of the off road compared to the sport. They obviously have differently tubed suspensions and wheel sizes but is it a very noticeable difference on pavement and/or while you are driving the freeway? And if so, where do those differences lie?
http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd...-off-road.html
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:05 AM   #12
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We will be buying from a dealer because we want something certified and will be trading in a minivan.

I didn't realize the suspensions are that different between models. I would think a long wheelbase with road tires would drive better than a short wheelbase with all terrains.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:13 AM   #13
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Not sure the difference in the wheelbase is much of a factor, but I cant say from experience. As for tires, they are changeable. But with anything, if you get a hybrid tire you sacrifice a benefit of a great tire on a limited amount of surfaces for a good tire on a wider variety of surfaces. Though most will tell you that the stock Off Road tires are garbage anyway. Guess you could always work with the dealer to give you the tires you want. I had the dealer transfer the tires I had on my trade in onto my new truck.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:14 AM   #14
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OP, in your post you stated you are doing 'moderate' trail riding, honestly, in all of the trails I've done and conditions that I have driven it, the LSD rear in my 07 Sport still makes it an extremely capable truck. The only time I have wished for a locker is going up Black Diamond trail runs, even still, I made it though. If you don't need the Off-Road package the you can get a long bed.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:29 AM   #15
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The tires will be replaced almost immediately. I have a spare set of Cooper All Terrains mounted on 17" FJ Cruiser wheels that will be used until the truck is lifted. After the lift we plan to keep the FJ Cruiser wheels and run 285/70/17 Dick Cepek FC2's. I run this same tire/size/wheel on the FJ and have no complaints, although they can be pricey. As far as the locker, you are correct that it will probably never really be needed. The FJ is wheeled much harder than this will be and I rarely use the locker on that, however it is a nice option to have. My wife will be wheeling this more than myself so the more aids she has the better, and A-Trac is a must. She has very little offroad driving experience. Who knows though, after a year her confidence may build and she may want to push the trucks limits more. Five to six years ago she could care less about wheeling and now she's suggesting trips and figuring ways to incorporate wheeling into our family vacations. As for lwb vs swb, its hit or miss with us. We like the look of both when lifted, and the extra room of the lwb is nice, but the swb is nicer offroad. There may be a little wiggle room with whether or not we need/want a locker, but A-Trac is a must for a vehicle she is driving offroad. I do love the hood scoop on the Sport models. Is A-Trac available on the Sports models?
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:49 AM   #16
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Like the man said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
If you want ATRAC and a locker you need to get an '09 or newer TRD Offroad 4x4
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OZ-T View Post
If you want ATRAC and a locker you need to get an '09 or newer TRD Offroad 4x4
I didn't realize that they come together, and you can't get one without the other. On the FJ you used to be able to get the locker without A-Trac.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonomonster View Post
I didn't realize that they come together, and you can't get one without the other. On the FJ you used to be able to get the locker without A-Trac.
The Tacoma isn't an FJ
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:26 PM   #19
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want the trd off road package 4x4 with tow package you should get everything you want.
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:32 PM   #20
I've done... questionable things.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacoGuy171 View Post
want the '09 or newer trd off road package 4x4 with tow package you should get everything you want.
Yep
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