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Help me decide, 2.7 i4 AT 4x4 or 4.0 AT V6 RWD

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Old 05-02-2011, 05:03 PM   #1
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Question Help me decide, 2.7 i4 AT 4x4 or 4.0 AT V6 RWD

I am trying to decide on what Access Cab model to buy. I won't be going off road, but the last 2 winters in NJ have been rough with snow and ice, so I'm considering the 4x4. I am planning a trip to Pittsburgh next winter. I currently have a 4x4 2003 Jeep Liberty Limited 3.7 V6. The Liberty is heavy and the MPG is between 14 city and 18 highway. It is about average from a dead stop, and has good power at speeds > 50mph on the highway. What type of difference would I notice with the 2.7 i4 vs. my Jeep? Also, how does the 4.0 V6 compare to the Jeeps 3.7 V6. I drive about 20 miles highway and 10 miles in the city to work each day. I am really looking to get the 18 city 20/21 highway MPG with the Tacoma. I bike ride a lot, and my bike will fit perfect in the truck bed, so no more bike rack. I was also considering the Ford Ranger, but like the look inside and outside better of the Tacoma, and the MPG. By the way, will the 2.7 i4 AT 4x4 really get 18 and 21? My Liberty was suppose to get 17 and 21, and never came close to those averages. I got a quote from a dealer about 2100 less than the sticker price on the 2.7 i4 AT 4x4, but only a APR of 4.99%. I plan on going for a test drive this Friday, and want to know what to feel for in the i4 while I'm driving it. Thanks for any help.
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Old 05-02-2011, 05:50 PM   #2
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Drivng varies of course, but the 21 mpg is the real deal, i get up to 25 mpg at times in mine on the freeway here, max speed is 65 though. as far as v-6, test drive one, i think youll find it truly better , and youll get readily comparable feel for the 2. I thought i heard the AT in the 2.7 is sluggish, the manual trans isnt bad, very strong for a 4 cyl/MT, once again drive n compare. From the liberty, 2.7 will be a bit slower, the 4.0 faster.
As far as 4wd goes, if you can handle snow tires or chains with 2wd, then ok, its easily doable, but keep in mind the TPMS sensors cost and 2nd set of wheels if you go that route. 4wd is great, and only gets better with snow tires/traction
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Old 05-02-2011, 05:55 PM   #3
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V6

I've had a lead sled Toyota once in my '94 4 Runner with the 3.0,

My '86 w/ the I4 that was regular cab 4 speed manual....yes they had them back then had plenty of power for that light truck.

The Tacoma is no featherweight....

Why not V6 4x4 AT?


Bigger is Better!
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:30 PM   #4
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I Had a 2005 DCABLB V6 4X4 AT and now i have a 2011 Reg cab 2.7L M/T, The double cab had lots of power with the V6 and was a beast offroads/in the snow. The 2.7 L 4 Cyl Is a very capable motor paired with a manual transmission. It all comes down to what your needs/wants budget are. You will definetly spend more in gas with the V6. If you plan on towing more than 3,500 lbs, get the V6!
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:36 PM   #5
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Take them for a test drive! Seems like 2.7 4x4's get about 20+- a few, and the V6 4x4's get about 17+-. Don't expect the 5 banger to be a speed demon, but it is a solid little motor. The V6 is a strong motor that will be quicker than your Jeep, but you're gonna spend a lot more on maintenance for the V6. It all depends what you really need it for.
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:15 PM   #6
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If you get the I4, get manual. The I4 is no powerhouse and the auttragic makes it even slower due to greater drive train loss thanks to the torque converter.
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:07 AM   #7
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I have to get a AT. I was attracted to the Tacoma 2.7 i4 AT 4x4 because of the 18/21 MPG.

My dealer has the same 4x4 model loaded in the 4.0 V6, but it will probably be $4500 more. The window sticker says 16/20 MPG, but the dealer's web site says 14/18. Which is the right MPG? The other problem with the 4.0 V6 is that the color is black, which is almost impossible to keep clean and looking good. If I could get 0% for 60 months, the 4.0 may be an option, but right now my budget is leaning towards the <25k 2.7 Tacoma.
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:13 AM   #8
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Correct me if I'm wrong guys, not an automotive expert, but isn't it easier to get better MPG out of a manual than automatic, if driven correctly?
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:40 AM   #9
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I have an I4 5spd 4x4. I get on it quite a bit and dont spend much time on the highway. I average 21 mpg. It def has plenty of power for me. I hauled a 3,500lb trailer 2 weeks ago and once it got movin it kept up without much problem, little slower.
And black is hard to keep clean, but I think it looks good dirty.
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:50 AM   #10
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We used to own a 2004 Jeep Liberty 4x4. Had it for 4+ years. Drivetrain was problem free and seemed to get about the advertised fuel economy.

HOWEVER... we literally (no hyperbole here) had to put 13 power windows into it in those 4+ years!!! No joke! This is a design defect in a plastic piece within the power window assembly that Jeep refused to address. It is a common problem with the 1st Gen Libertys. A fix-it kit can be purchased with metal parts (not from Jeep but from a frustrated Liberty owner who took it upon himself to address the problem when Jeep wouldn't), but unless you get that be prepared to fix it constantly. Worse part is... it doesn't get "stuck" in the up position... when it fails (and it will... repeatedly)... the window drops into the door, so you are forced to address it! A REAL PITA!!!!!!!
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:04 AM   #11
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Keep in mind 4x4 adds weight, access cab/double cab also add weight. If you want the absolute best mpg's possible, get the 2.7l reg cab manual 4x2. The manual will get slightly better mpg's than the automatic (on average).
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redsox4life View Post
I have to get a AT. I was attracted to the Tacoma 2.7 i4 AT 4x4 because of the 18/21 MPG.

My dealer has the same 4x4 model loaded in the 4.0 V6, but it will probably be $4500 more. The window sticker says 16/20 MPG, but the dealer's web site says 14/18. Which is the right MPG? The other problem with the 4.0 V6 is that the color is black, which is almost impossible to keep clean and looking good. If I could get 0% for 60 months, the 4.0 may be an option, but right now my budget is leaning towards the <25k 2.7 Tacoma.
Why AT? Just curious. I have a 4wd access cab with the 2.7 MT. Great combo, 23mpg combined mileage. The transmission definitely makes the most of the smaller engine.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:03 AM   #13
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I have never drove a MT, so that is why it has to be AT. I understand that the MT will get better MPG, but if I will 18/21(or better) with the AT 2.7 i4 4x4 I'll be happy. I just don't want to get 14/18. If that is the case I will look at other Toyota models as well as other makes. I was looking at the new Ford F-150 V6 4x2 2 door with back seats, and that is supposed to get 17/23. I feel that truck is too big for me to park, and I'm not sure it really gets 17/23. It also would cost $4500 more than the Tacoma 2.7 i4 4x4. Thanks for all the info and opinions.
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:54 AM   #14
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Modern automatics are just as efficient as manual transmissions in most conditions. In hilly areas I just slap it down a gear and leave it there till the next hill crest, no problem. The fuel cutoff on decel feature provides engine braking, not as much as a manual but pretty close. One other advantage for manuals: constantly stirring the shifter makes it harder to talk or text while driving.
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:14 PM   #15
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In my opinion Get the 4x4, 2.7.
When it snows you know you will have traction (put 240# sand in the back in the winter to be sure) and may benefit from bigger wheels, brakes and beefier suspension.
I will not be as quick as a 6 but will build up speed when you need it.

If concern for mpg you might also have a concern for cost to maintain which will be less on a 4cly.

I get around 22 (mostly around town but only have 8,000 miles so will probably improve a bit with time). Mine is a manual an a regular cap but I imagine the acab will not hurt mileage too much.

Looks count too, you like the 4x4 look or the 4x2 look?
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Old 05-03-2011, 12:31 PM   #16
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Check the site for mpg, there are plenty of v6 4x4 AT averaging 20 mpg. I have ~5k miles now and getting anywhere between 20 - 22 AVG MPG per tank (filled at 1/2) in mixed driving.
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:42 PM   #17
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An auto often has around 30% loss of power , where a manual might be 25%, guidelines, not a written rule.
So the autos .7 over drive cant quite be compared to a manuals .8 overdrive. Also there is the locking torque converter, that really helps an auto out when it comes to a comparison to a manual.
Bottom line, I wouldnt choose an auto based on mpg neccessarily. Buy an auto because you just want one , dont like shifting, or makes towing easier. Also choose an auto if one of the drivers tends to be hard on clutches.

None of that changes anything ,I got mine! Time for you to choose yours .
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmWise1 View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong guys, not an automotive expert, but isn't it easier to get better MPG out of a manual than automatic, if driven correctly?
Not anymore....the trans' are geared different....the AT gets better mileage....test drive them both.The 4cyl AT is fine.....75mph ='s 2500 rpm's!;but, of course waaaayyyyyy down the road you will have to service/overhaul either transmission?????.Folks dog the AT....no reason for such chatter,it's a fine AT...a hell of a lot smoother that the MT...IMO.
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 08WhiteTaco View Post
If you get the I4, get manual. The I4 is no powerhouse and the auttragic makes it even slower due to greater drive train loss thanks to the torque converter.
If you want a dragster....then by all means,buy one!.Torque and gearing are far more important that power....I believe the high dollar engineers at toyota got this one right...including their AT.
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