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Old 03-12-2008, 11:40 PM   #1
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Full-size to a Mid-size

One thing I'm concerned about is coping with coming down in size from an F-150 to a Tacoma. It's been years since my old Toyota Pickup, and I've been in an 03 Tacoma once and I don't remember it being that comfortable.

I'm just wondering if anybody has done the same thing, if their last truck was full-sized. How was it getting used to it (handling, steering, parking, size difference, driving it in general)? I would appreciate any input, I'm trying to do as much research as I can before I go buy, and you guys seem to know a lot about and love your Tacos.
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:25 AM   #2
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i was surprised by the amount of room in the tacoma. it is roomier than it looks. i suggest test driving one at your local dealer and see for yourself.
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDonC View Post
One thing I'm concerned about is coping with coming down in size from an F-150 to a Tacoma. It's been years since my old Toyota Pickup, and I've been in an 03 Tacoma once and I don't remember it being that comfortable.

I'm just wondering if anybody has done the same thing, if their last truck was full-sized. How was it getting used to it (handling, steering, parking, size difference, driving it in general)? I would appreciate any input, I'm trying to do as much research as I can before I go buy, and you guys seem to know a lot about and love your Tacos.
It's all personal preference. My wife loved the soft ride of our Avalanche. I like the stiffer ride of the Tacoma. The seats are more comfortable in the Avalanche, like sitting on a sofa! Parking is much easier in the Tacoma. We felt indestructible in the Avalanche. It's a battleship going down the highway! The Tacoma is like a Light Cruiser (sorry about the navy references!). I hope that helps.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:31 AM   #4
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Another ex-Avalanche owner here....Like missleman,I was very pleased with that truck,and I too had concerns going from a full-size to the Taco....Immediately however I was struck by the sporty feeling of the Toyota.The manuverability and tight ride really impresses me and I've yet to face a challenge cargo wise that the Taco falls short.As far as room is concerned,the major difference I noticed was the drivers door being closer to my left shoulder and knee.Also,when my son is in his car seat behind me,I remind him to try to keep his dirty boots off the back of the seat.In a full size truck there is no disputing that there is more space between things,but 7 months in with my Tacoma and the slight space concessions are far outweighed by the quality,agility,ease of parking,fuel mileage..etc.of the Toyota.

My $.02 CAD.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:30 AM   #5
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MY first truck was a 96 and they're smaller than my 2007. Before I bought the 2007, I drove around in a Dodge Ram 1500 for 3 years.

We bought the Ram to tow our jeep around. It was a nice truck... nice to drive, etc. But.....it was too damn big. I'd avoid tight parking lots and/or tight parking spots (I did a lot of walking). It's definately a BIG MANS truck for sure. The seats were almost twice as wide as I needed them to be. The gas pedal was elevated a bit for bigger feet (hard to explain) and I had to adjust to that. It just barely fit in my garage if I folded the mirrors in - made for interesting oil changes and tire rotations. I never did *bond* with that truck. I only bought a few things for it....

I jumped at the chance to get back into a tacoma. The fact the 2007 is slightly bigger in size than the 96 - makes is more roomy and better than the 96 I had. I can whip this thing around anywhere and not worry. I still park out in the boondocks cuz I wanna keep it away from dumbass people. The smaller tacoma fits *ME*

Funny....but one day I was driving my Ram to the store. This man says to me, "That's a big truck for such a little girl". That pissed me off....and that'll be engraved in my head for years. And I'm not that little...5'6" and average weight.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:44 AM   #6
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I came from a 91 F-150 super-cab long bed (8ft) to my 04 Tacoma xtracab long bed (being 6 ft in this case).

My impressions in that switch were that the Taco was much more maneuverable, and fun off-road, The ford was just too damn big to run most of the trails around here. I'm a short haul trucker, so I've never had a problem parking anything I've driven when I'm not at work, but if you wanted to park close enough to the mall to get your new truck all torn up, (that's not for me) but the Taco would definately fit in the space.

I then traded the 04 Tacoma for my 07 Tacoma Access cab long bed (6 ft) because I needed to go from the 2.7L to the 4.0L for towing duty. That said, I am happier overall with the size increase from the gen 1 truck to the gen 2 truck. I feel it to be more truck like if that makes sense, and the TRD seats in the gen 2 trucks are much more comfortable than the seats in the gen 1 trucks in my oppinion. However, with the new tacoma being bigger again, I am affraid to take it too far off-road for risk of scratching it all to hell on the tighter trails, so I am sort-of back in the same boat I was in as far as off-roading with the ford.

If you think of it this way, the 05-08 Tacomas are alot closer in size and capabilities and tow ratings to an F-150 than they are to like a Ranger, so your switch over and learning curve will not be all that difficult.
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:00 AM   #7
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The past 4 trucks I've had were F-150s in various configurations, and Suburbans before that. I liked the power of all of them, never having to even think of weight or size...they did it all!
Now I'm in a Taco and loving it. The 2nd gens are as almost as comfortable as anything and the size isn't even an issue as they're
very close. One big difference is the Taco is like driving a sports car in comparison to the others...like comparing a Corvette to a Lincoln...it's really fun to drive. Good luck, you won't regret buying a Tacoma.
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:50 PM   #8
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I came from a 99 SIlverado Ext. Cab, and i love my tacoma. I don't regret the change at all. It is quite roomy actually, and it suits my needs just perfect. I loved my chevy, but it was time to downsize. I liked having the V8, but the 4.0L in the tacoma is quite peppy and has failed to dissapoint. It has better pick up than my chevy ever had. And is much easier to park lol.
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:13 PM   #9
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i went from a '95 chevy extended short bed to my Tacoma and still love the decision. i really like the maneuverability of the smaller size, but im still surprised at it's size every time i park it next to my mom's '03 Silverado extended cab short bed. they're really not that much different in size, believe it or not. the only thing i might do if i got another truck is get a double cab Tacoma, but i need the 6' bed and couldn't really justify the long wheelbase of the double cab long bed for my 4wheelin. i do miss my v8 growl, however. you should go test drive a few. i think you'll like the sporty-tight driving nature of the truck.
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:17 PM   #10
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actually, my girlfriends parents were looking at trading off their old '93 F150 for a new one...... until they test drove the Tacoma. they got in it, test drove it, signed papers and drove it home all in a matter of about 2 hours. they thought that it was just a superior built truck, especially for the price compared to a new F150.
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Old 03-13-2008, 04:58 PM   #11
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Like Maverick said, they are bigger. I looked at the gen 1 double cabs when they came out. I couldn't have the driver seat far enough back for me and be able to fit an adult behind it. Now, I can do that comfortably and my driver seat still has a couple notches left to go further back!

As for off roading it, I take my DC SB on tight atv trails all the time. It scrapes a few branches here and there, but nothing bad.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:16 PM   #12
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A couple of days ago as I was travelling on the highway and following a 2000ish Silverado,a first gen Tundra passed us and stayed beside the Chev long enough for me to compare sizes......The Tundra looked no different in size than my DC Taco in comparison and it seems to me that the Tacomas are now in line size wise to the original Tundras.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:23 PM   #13
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I came from a '93 Dodge Ramcharger, and although it was a great truck, I fell right into my Taco. I had a little transition time but since then I have not looked back, I love my truck.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:19 PM   #14
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As one who recently switched from the '06 F150 DC 4x4 to the '08 Taco DC Sport 4x4... I mostly miss the power of the V8 Ford, but I do NOT miss parking the full-sized F150. The Taco impressed me with its handling in the snow this winter, despite having stock tires.

Some caveats, don't expect much improvement in gas mileage unless you're getting a 2-wheel drive and/or a 4-cylinder. The stock tires, Dunlop, are crap!! There is a problem with the rear leaf springs sagging, but a TSB is available. I'm still waiting for the engine surging phenomenon at a stop light.

Overall, I'm very happy with the Tacoma and am thinking about getting an X-Runner for the warmer months. Yes, I'm reliving my 2nd errr 3rd childhood according to the misses.
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:42 PM   #15
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My budy has a F-150 Super cab and he is amazed on how much room my truck has inside, and its only an Ext. Cab. Way more than the Hilux versions in the PI that we had. Also, my other buddy owned an 03 Taco Ext. cab, and mine is definately wider, and I believe the rear bench has a little more leg room. If you go with DC you will not be loosing to much space. Just my opinion.
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:46 PM   #16
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Wow, lots of responses, seems like there are a lot of people who've done the same thing.

Yeah, the only real problems I have still with the F-150 is parking; I'll always look for spots that I can pull all the way through, just to make sure I park straight. It's a superb vehicle, I just think that it's too much truck for my purposes.

I'm not too concerned about MPG (it is still a truck), but the cabin will probably seemed kinda cramped compared to the Ford.

I actually just scheduled a test drive for next week, a DC Long-Bed. I'll let you guys know how it goes!
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:47 PM   #17
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So, just an update, I test drove a Taco today (a couple, actually):

The first was the DC Long-Bed with the Sport package. The ride was incredibly smooth with great handling, and the V6 has more pep than I realized. I know I hear things about how potent it is, but driving it was another experience.

The second was a Access Cab with the Off-Road package. The ride was pretty much comparable to the first one, nice handling. The rear seats do seem pretty small, but there is actually more room than I thought. I just sat back there for a little while but I was glad to get out.

I also thought about testing out a Tundra, but I decided against it because I'd probably end up getting one. I'm going to tough it out with my truck for awhile, but I'll probably get a Tacoma sometime in '09. On a side note, does anybody know if the Taco will be getting a redesign in the near future? I like the current models, so hopefully they'll be around.

And, thanks a lot to you guys for your input; it's nice to have a resevoir of knowledge and first-hand experiences. It certainly makes my choices easier.
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:06 AM   #18
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[quote=CDonC;68729] I'll probably get a Tacoma sometime in '09. On a side note, does anybody know if the Taco will be getting a redesign in the near future? I like the current models, so hopefully they'll be around.[quote]

Yep looks like 09's will be arriving early, June. Mid-cycle refresh. VSC and TRAC, side airbags will all be standard like the Tundra. Mech LSD rear will disappear, LED tailights, Leather and backup camera avail, MP3/Sat options,suspension updated, smoked headlamps on some, discontinued and new colors.

Most likely will involve a $$$ increase.
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demoncleaner View Post
Yep looks like 09's will be arriving early, June. Mid-cycle refresh. VSC and TRAC, side airbags will all be standard like the Tundra. Mech LSD rear will disappear, LED tailights, Leather and backup camera avail, MP3/Sat options,suspension updated, smoked headlamps on some, discontinued and new colors.

Most likely will involve a $$$ increase.
Oh nice... Takes them 4 years to realize MP3's should be an option in these trucks?
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick491 View Post
If you think of it this way, the 05-08 Tacomas are alot closer in size and capabilities and tow ratings to an F-150 than they are to like a Ranger, so your switch over and learning curve will not be all that difficult.
^^^ I came from a '99 to this truck and like the slightly larger size. But it's still not full size. I test drove a Tundra extra cab for grins before I ordered this one. Damn that thing is huge. I could get it in the garage but only had inches to spare. I think you'll like the maneuverability, power, and roominess of this size truck and never look back.
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