Originally Posted by ERdept
Hello all, and glad to about to join the club. After much research, I've decided upon a Toyota Tacoma as my truck.
But now I need help on options before I buy. Some of the question that I have are.........
1) Should I get automatic or manual transmission? (I can drive both and my uses are as my single vehicle commuter for a 7 mile trip. Then on quarterly campouts going from moderate to severe offroading).
2) Which transmission has more ruggedness/reliability?
3) Is it better to get the upgraded tow package even if I'm not towing to enhance the reliability/ruggedness of the truck?
4) Is it worth getting the factory supercharger?
5) Finally, what are the most simple and cost effective minor modificaitons to make it more offroad capable?
Thanks in advanced. I don't know if this is the place to post questions like this, while I intro myself or not, so I will duplicate this post on the general forum.
As for transmission, that really depends on a lot of things not the least of which is personal preference. Example, compared to most sticks I have driven the tacoma clutches are fairly heavy, so if you comute involves a lot of stop and go driving and traffic I suspect that will get old fast.
Second, the auto gets 1-2mpg better mileage than the manual on the v6, I am not sure off hand if that is true with the 2.7L I4.
Depending on the severity of the off-roading you want to do, in my experience autos tend to blow off road, particularly when it comes to climbing, loose sand and mud. I have driven three tacos off road, a 98 2.7L 5spd, an 04 2.7L 5spd, and an 07 4.0L 6spd, and have never gotten stuck or bogged down or couldn't go where I wanted to in any of them. I have also driven a 98 blazer, 99 f-150, 2000 pathfinder, and 2000 Montero sport all autos off road, and in every one of them I got bogged down, stuck, or had to turn around and go back because they could not climb the hill I wanted to climb. That said I know I am not comparing apples to apples, but that is my experience with transmissions off-road so I figured I'd share it.
As for the S/C. You can allways add it later, get the truck for now and then add the S/C if you feel that you need more power later on.
Best Mod for off-roading will be new tires, even in the stock size as all the factory tires pretty much suck off-road.