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Deciding between Tacoma, 4Runner or even FJ

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Old 03-10-2013, 12:12 PM   #1
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Deciding between Tacoma, 4Runner or even FJ

Hey all,

Posted this exact question on another forum but looking to gather as many thoughts/opinions/suggestions as I can on the matter:

Just looking for a little guidance. My job will have me moving across the country shortly into a region that gets its fair share of snow. In addition to this I will likely be starting a family soon and will need a little extra space than what my current vehicle can offer. I've settled on Toyotas because they are a perfect blend of reliability, affordability and efficiency. They aren't too hard on the eyes, either.

I am drawn to both 4Runners and Tacomas equally but I see a few pros/cons with each. 4Runners I enjoy because I simply like the SUV body style, it would likely fair better in the snow (doesn't have an ass end with no weight in it to go flying all over the place) and offers more seating capacity. On the end other Tacomas seem a bit more versatile, have a bed I can throw the dog/work gear/camping gear/etc into and seem like they would do better in off-road conditions, although I don't see myself doing any crazy wilderness trekking.

Please share with me your thoughts/experiences/suggestions/criticisms and point me in the right direction.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:14 PM   #2
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Tacomas have a bed, and what do you do in beds, have sex
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:19 PM   #3
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One of our members recently sold his FJ when his wife had a baby and he bought a 4Runner, he's turning it into quite the capable machine and he's pretty happy with it.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:19 PM   #4
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go test drive them all. eliminate one then drive the 2 again and pick. FJ wont be a good family car as its only two doors and the back seat is small.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:20 PM   #5
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I have no problems with my 4x4 tacoma in the snow even with no weight in the bed
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:28 PM   #6
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My Tacoma has handled well in the snow also, with no weight in the bed.

FJ: Very Cool, great in snow - Not enough room for family.

4 Runner: Very cool, great in snow - No Bed!

My Vote - Get a Double Cab Tacoma: Great in the snow, Can handle a family + you can get a long or short bed.

Good Luck
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:29 PM   #7
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I'd say go with the Taco or 4Runner. FJ is cool, but not the most practical if you are planning to start a fam.

I'd say get a Taco DC 4x4 and put a shell on the back. Tons of lockable storage if needed and you would probably come out cheaper than the 4runner. Either is a good choice.
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:20 PM   #8
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Tacoma you get the bed for putting anything in the the back!
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:34 PM   #9
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Don't get an F-gay... Get the Tacoma (double cab long bed) for family and hauling crap! If you don't need the bed get the 4Runner! So nice but damn they are expensive!
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:23 PM   #10
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I'm in the same boat. Two kids (five and seven years old). Aging dog. Active lifestyle with camping, fishing, snowboarding, etc.

I/We have decided on a used Off Road TRD double cab, post 2008. What it finally came down to is which car on the road these days is most dependable and utilitarian. After many years of thinking and overthinking cars I have concluded that there really is no perfect vehicle. I figure this is about as close as I can get for now.

Ninja edit for spelling
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:45 PM   #11
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My suggestion.......get a 4x4 DCSB Taco with a shell or cap. put the dog in the bed with a pad, blanket or crate......keeps the dog hair out of the cab. The DC is great with kids, and the Taco does well in snow.

I live near Reno and have not had any problems driving in snow. The Yellow Lab likes riding in the "way back" and the Minister of Finance likes not having dog hair on her clothes
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:57 PM   #12
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I looked at all three and decided a Tacoma DCSB was the right fit for me.

FJ is too small in the back. I use the bed enough that I didn't want a 4Runner.

If you really like an FJ or 4Runner but the lack of a bed is a problem, buy a trailer.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:03 PM   #13
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I've had all three. Skip the FJ and then decide if you want a truck or an SUV. 4Runner will cost a little more up front. I'd say either is a fine choice for snow.
Let us know what you end up with.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:12 PM   #14
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I love my Tacoma but now that I have started a family and expecting another little one on the way I wish I would have gotten the 4Runner for more space.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teniente View Post
My suggestion.......get a 4x4 DCSB Taco with a shell or cap. put the dog in the bed with a pad, blanket or crate......keeps the dog hair out of the cab. The DC is great with kids, and the Taco does well in snow.

I live near Reno and have not had any problems driving in snow. The Yellow Lab likes riding in the "way back" and the Minister of Finance likes not having dog hair on her clothes
Exactly! I did the same thing. With a nice cap on the taco, it looks like an suv. But, unlike the runner or fj, it still gives you the option of it being a truck if you need it.
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Old 03-10-2013, 04:30 PM   #17
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I currently have an 2007 FJ TRD, it is really cool but not for a family. I ordered a Tacoma a few weeks ago and waiting for it to come in, but I wanted to go back to a truck. I have looked at and wouldn't mind haveing the 4 Runner but they are too pricey for my taste. Yet they can be a really capable off roader. As far as the Tacoma that depends on what you will be hauling around. Good Luck but they are all really good choices. Just remember YOU are writing the check and what are you going to be comfortable with?
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:16 PM   #18
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Kid seats in the Tacoma are tight. Check out the Ridgeline. Way better for your needs unless you need to tow.
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:29 PM   #19
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i have had a 4runner
driven an fj
and own a 4door 2nd gen tacoma
......all are good in snow and bad weather
......if you plan on a family or camping or travel for more then a weekend dont get an fj
......if you need a bed for tools,work,hauling your choice is obvious and i fit my 4yr old with a car seat and my 8yr old in a booster seat, my 55lbs pitbull and my fiance with no problem very comfortably however i would have got a 4runner if i had a second pickup for work at the time...they ride better have more room and can tow a trailer just as good as the tacoma and you can get a v8 in them and there amazing offroad with the same mods as the taco or fj...
bottom line if you dont NEED the bed get a 4runner
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:05 PM   #20
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Maybe I'm bias because I have a DCLB, but with one young child and another on the way, the double cab has loads of room for the family. I would love an FJ someday but the lack of a bed would require me to get a trailer to haul the dirt bikes.
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