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true advantage of 09-10 vs older 2nd gens.

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Old 01-01-2010, 03:36 PM   #1
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true advantage of 09-10 vs older 2nd gens.

I think I'm finally settled down on a 2nd gen AC 4x4. Now the question is whether to get a 09+ model for side air bags and all the traction control goodies that they come with.

My background. I've been driving an AWD Honda Element for the past 5 years. It has done wonderful for me in the snow. NO problem so far whatsoever.

Stepping into a RWD pickup (albeit with part time 4WD), is this platform significantly less stable than my AWD Element that I should anticipate a big change in driving behavior for low traction situations? Would the additional electronic traction features on the newer models be hugely beneficial, especially for someone like me who is not accustomed to driving a pickup sans the stability features?
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:46 PM   #2
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This is my first truck I've ever had. Also my first RWD/4WD. Have always had FWD cars. I have found it to be rather predictable in both RWD and 4WD with all TC systems on. Have had it fish tail once a bit around a sharp turn from a stop, but I attribute that mostly to not having anything in the bed. I have driven it in RWD with everything turned off in the snow and naturally it was all over the place. Personally, if you're going to be doing a lot of winter driving I'd want the TC, VSC, etc. The safety of the side airbags is nice too. Besides, empty parking lot donuts are always a push of a few buttons away anyways. Just my 2 cents naturally a lot will say they rather have nothing and control themselves what the vehicle does. I'm no stranger to poor weather driving though and I still prefer to have the extra stuff if needed.
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:03 PM   #3
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the truck would be much better in the snow as it is a true 4wd system...they trac and vsc stuff would help in a case where you started to slip or get outta control...but really if you know how to drive in snow then you'll be fine in a 2wd car...you just can push the limits further with awd or 4wd is all since you have more traction...i know cuz i drove my parents ford bronco 2 that was rwd in like 10" of snow and ice once and did fine...yeah i slid around but it's still possible ...just have to be more cautious than you would in a 4wd truck
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:52 PM   #4
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For the last 10 years I've driven a 1st gen Tacoma 4X4. It was great in the snow. As with all light pickups, it was sometimes dicey in slippery conditions when in 2WD.

Skip forward and now I have an '09 4X4 TRD Sport. I commute 60 miles per day in a very wet and slick area. This '09 sticks to the road WAY better than the older truck did. The VSC system, the LSD and all the bells and whistles DO make a difference. I was amazed at the difference. I feel almost as secure in the Tacoma as I do in our '08 FJ Cruiser. Even the ABS has been "tested" on my truck and it kept me from whacking into something I was too close to.
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Old 01-01-2010, 06:30 PM   #5
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My '09 is incredible in the snow, very, very safe.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:38 PM   #6
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Personally I hate traction control systems, but I'm also a desert rat.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachBoy View Post
My '09 is incredible in the snow, very, very safe.
I agree with what BeachBoy said ^^

Excellent in the snow and very predictable. Nothing to worry about.
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:05 AM   #8
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my first tacoma but not my first 4x4 and I am loving the way this thing is in the snow I dont even put 4 wheel drive on unless I am looking for parking or having fun
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izu_yo View Post
I agree with what BeachBoy said ^^

Excellent in the snow and very predictable. Nothing to worry about.
Agreed. Even with the factory Dunlop all-season tires, mine has been stable and predictable on the snow and ice.
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:04 AM   #10
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x1. My 2009 makes it very difficult to have any fun in the snow. Really takes some slick surfaces to get me to spin out. I was able to go up a hill that was covered in ice and snow. At least 6 people in all different kinds of trucks and cars started to slide and turned around. My traction control systems where engaging all the time but I got up the hill. My wife's Acura has TCS and had to turn around.
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:10 AM   #11
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Oh, yeah, I forgot to say that in my post above... it's almost BORING sometimes. I rarely need four wheel drive now, where I used it all the time in the 1st gen Tacoma. I still have the OEM Dunlops and I don't even have any complaints about them, but I haven't been in deep snow yet. (the same type tire came stock on my FJ Cruiser and I didn't like them in the snow)

Bottom line: for street use at least, you can't beat having the systems on the '09.
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:21 AM   #12
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I 'upgraded' from a Saturn Vue AWD to an 09 TRD Sport. It was very very good in snow and a very predictable vehicle.

My new truck accelerates much better in snow and with the extra ground clearance, able to handle deeper stuff than the Vue.

Their is one difference in the negative that I have seen; the truck weighs alot more. So stopping on slick roads is a huge issue compared to the lighter Vue.

I still won't trade my truck back for the Vue, though
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:30 AM   #13
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All i have ever driven were RWD and pickups
lots of Fox body mustangs
06 F350 Dielse
dodge 12V deisel
every 1/2 ton they made

pick ups will always side step on you, and you will always have the potential to loose it around a turn with too much skinny pedal.

It's got nothing to do with the car, its the driver, take your time, don;t drive like a kid, and you will get used to it.

I have an 06 AC 6-cyl 6spd and i can make it do what i want, just take your time.

and the little tacoma is def better in inclimate weather then the 1 tons, and will be much better than your element was.
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:38 AM   #14
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I would probably go 09-10 but either way you'll be fine: http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd...prerunner.html If I can drive through that with 2wd and no traction control devices other than ABS I would be willing to bet you would be OK with an 05-08 4wd model (I say 4wd since it sounds like you see more snow than I do).
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:20 PM   #15
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I got my 09 back in november of 08. Could have picked up an '08 for a good deal but the side air bags and trac/vsc was worth the extra money if you ask me.
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ywen View Post
Stepping into a RWD pickup (albeit with part time 4WD), is this platform significantly less stable than my AWD Element that I should anticipate a big change in driving behavior for low traction situations? Would the additional electronic traction features on the newer models be hugely beneficial, especially for someone like me who is not accustomed to driving a pickup sans the stability features?
Yes it is a big change. Use 4WD whenever it's slick, and you'll find the transition to a 4X4 no biggie. And yes get an 09+, if you aren't accustomed to a RWD, it is a different game all together. The VSC and TRAC system is really impressive.
Two negatives vs the element; you will be shifting in and out of 4WD, and the mileage difference might bother you. Good Luck
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:38 PM   #17
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Go '09+...

I love all the traction goodies and options on my '09 TRD OR 4x4...

The A-TRAC alone is worth it...
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:31 AM   #18
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So, the 08 4x4's dont have a single thing, like limited slip? It might be a silly question, but I have the 08 dbl cab SR5 package, and I guess I just assumed that the Limited was still there.
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:39 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoeflich View Post
So, the 08 4x4's dont have a single thing, like limited slip? It might be a silly question, but I have the 08 dbl cab SR5 package, and I guess I just assumed that the Limited was still there.
If you want to know if you have limited slip, look at your rear axle and see if it says LSD on the back of it by the fill plug. If so then you have a limited slip diff. I'm not 100% sure but I think you need the Sport package for limited slip? Maybe its included in the SR5 package?
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:47 AM   #20
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I had a AWD element for years as well. You will just need to remember to out it in 4 hi before you set out. The element was of course auto engaging when it needed it. I honestly think the element would do better in light snow than the truck will. That is mostly due to weight distribution. In heavy snow and ice...tacoma all day.
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