I am a fuel economy NUT. I shift at 2100 RPM, never speed, coast in gear and get very agitated when I have to “throw it away” (meaning gas). This is why I really want a 4 cylinder vehicle. However, I need a 4 cylinder vehicle with some hauling and towing capacity. This excludes crossovers because they can’t tow more than 1500 lbs. 3500 lbs capacity seems about right.
The questions I have are: Will a 4x4 Access cab 4cyl 5spd manual Tacoma meet my needs? It needs to have 4x4. Won't get a truck without it.
- Will I be able to get a rear-facing child seat in the back? My wife is short (5’2”), so she may be able to sit in the back behind me. She finds the back seat perfectly comfortable in the Access cab. I have seen some people get a rear-facing seat in, but I would like to hear from any people who have tried recently. Will we also be able to get a dog back there? Maybe the dog will be up front and the wife in the back! HA! We will use the Yaris for most child hauling anyway.
- The travel trailer I am looking to get is a 16 foot Scamp, which is listed as 1750 lbs dry. I guess that loaded it would be around 2200-2400 lbs. Would I be able to safely tow this through the Canadian/American Rockies with gear, and family if I wanted to? I live in Manitoba (flat prairie), so I am not worried about towing in the simple hills in this province. It is possible that I will have to get a trailer that will 3000lbs loaded... should I be concerned? It wouldn't be towed more than a couple times a year. We want to seasonal camp for the most part.
- What add-ons will I need for towing other than the hitch, possibly airbags, mirrors, brake controller and wiring. Will I need an oil cooler? Bigger alternator?
- I am willing to do some modifications to the truck to improve its power a bit. No superchargers or anything. However, would a drop-in air filter, all synthetic fluids, and LC headers and removing the charcoal filter give me… I don’t know, 5-10 more hp and torque? That would be perfect, as they would also improve fuel economy. Are there other (non-crazy) mods that I should look into to get a bit more power?
- Tacomas hold their value like nothing else here in Canada. It’s to the point where a 2009 4x4 I4 Access Cab with 33,000 kms is still $27,500. I could walk out of a dealership once I have my grad rebate etc applied on a brand new truck for probably under $30,000. On top of this I have an older Corolla that would be pain to safety to sell, but might be tradable for $2000. Is it worth it to just buy brand new? I have only found one used Tacoma that fits the description that I have stated in months of searching Manitoba and the Western provinces. I am unsure and nervous about searching the northern States.