Hi, I'm new to this forum and I'm wrestling over the idea of getting a Tacoma. What sparked this idea is 1) i have a street bike and want to get another dirt bike, and I need a way to transport them to the places i want to use them. this can range from a few hours to way to a couple thousand miles away. Up until now I've mainly relied on friends or family with pick up trucks, but that is becoming increasing difficult, and impractical. 2) my current car, a tiny dodge neon, is getting up there in miles (110K) and i think id rather trade it in now while i can get a couple grand instead of wait till it starts becoming a money pit anyway. I'm attracted to the tacoma because of it's modest size, relatively good gas milage, and i think it looks awesome.
I've been doing a lot of research and trying to compare and weigh what i need and what i don't. V6 vs. I4 (or is it v4?). 4x4 vs 2x4. access cab vs. crew cab. manual vs. auomatic. you get the idea.
However, searching this forum has brought up some questions.
1) i saw something about insufficient leaf springs?? is this all 2nd gens? I would like to carry the dirtbike and the streetbike, or even 2 street bikes at the same time sometimes (if they even fit laterally). this would be about 650-800lbs total in the bed. would i need to upgrade the springs? how much would it cost? how would i do so?
2) Ive read the thread involving the tailgate. i have to say, it's weakness was a bit dissappointing. the fact that it hasn't been addressed by toyota, or even the aftermarket is discouraging. this in mind, should i get the access cab then? would a race replica street bike (kawasaki ninja) fit in the bed of an access cab with the tailgate up? if not, or if i get the double cab, would it be safe to put both rear tires on the tailgate? or if i take 2 street bikes in the back of the truck, if a friend comes. would this be to much weight for the tailgate while driving.
....or perhaps the 1st gen taco would be better for me???? how does their MPG compare??
i'm also considering the nissan frontier but was turned off by reports of transmission failiuers, electrical gremlins, and cam chain timing issues.
for the record. im 20 years old, so i'm on a bit of a budget. i've never had to get a loan for anything, i've managed to pay straight up for everything until now. i'm a bit lost when it comes to loans, financing, leasing, etc etc but thats another story. but i did see the result of the age poll and i see my age demographic is the largest. maybe some tips from others my age??.
Also, i live in south florida. pavement land. so i don't really NEED off-road capability or 4x4. but it would be nice to have. a friend of mine off-roads lightly some places in florida. and i spend a lot of time in vermont. so off-roading is something fun to think about but not very important. more important is a truck that can be a daily driver when i don't commute on the bike. or take my bikes to the track or trails.
LASTLY (i know...) what should i look for when looking at used tacoma's? and what would be a good price. i've seen they tend to range from 16k to 23k used.