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Is the 2.7 4X4 auto a "dog"?

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Old 07-01-2013, 10:35 AM   #1
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Is the 2.7 4X4 auto a "dog"?

I've always wanted to ask this and don't know why I never did before. Anyway, gas mileage is a big deal to me and since I need a 4X4 pickup for our winters, it only makes sense to look at the 2.7 4X4 Tacoma. I don't hate driving a stick, but I prefer an automatic so that's the direction I'm going in. With that said, is the 2.7 4X4 auto a decent truck power wise or does it drive like a dog with the automatic? Obviously I'm not looking for V6 power out of the 2.7, but I would like to know if it's as miserable to drive as my 2.3 Ranger. Any advice would really be appreciated folks.

BTW, I'm looking into the 2001-2004 model years if that makes a difference.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:40 AM   #2
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The only way to truly get an answer is to test drive one. You will get answers on both sides of that argument here. It would be safe to assume however, that it would not be as much of a dog as a 2.3 Ranger danger
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:43 AM   #3
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My 5speed isn't that bad. I'm not winning any races but its gets me around just fine. My only issues is heading up into the mountains it's sluggish. But I can't speak for the auto. I live my 4cyl.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:55 PM   #4
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I've been driving a 2.7l 4-cyl extra cab for 10 years now. Bought it in 2004. Mine is an SR5, auto, with 265/70/16's. It's a big 4 cyl, and actually not horrible. Don't expect to be racing people in it off the line! But it's actually quite capable. The only time it's really an issue is if you tow for any distance. I snowmobile up here in the Northeast, so even pulling a one place trailer with my sled, gear in the bed of the truck, it's doggy on the hills. You'll be winding that thing out. Even when it's not loaded, you'll hear the auto tranny working hard on the big hills.

Mind you, I have pulled a big two place enclosed snowmobile trailer loaded with two machines before- it can be done.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:25 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input so far fellas. The reason I haven't just gone and test drove one is because 4 banger 4X4 Tacos don't pop up for sale too often around here except for 5-speeds. If anything I'll probably have to look out of state for one in an automatic. Seems people just don't want to get rid of the damn things.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueitrgsr View Post
My 5speed isn't that bad. I'm not winning any races but its gets me around just fine. My only issues is heading up into the mountains it's sluggish. But I can't speak for the auto. I live my 4cyl.
He's looking for a first gen with a 3RZ, not a second gen with a 2TR engine.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabin Fever View Post
Thanks for the input so far fellas. The reason I haven't just gone and test drove one is because 4 banger 4X4 Tacos don't pop up for sale too often around here except for 5-speeds. If anything I'll probably have to look out of state for one in an automatic. Seems people just don't want to get rid of the damn things.
4 cylinder autos are even more difficult to find. You may have to cast a wide net in the auto search tools to find the one for you.

I owned a 2000 Ranger 2.5 auto for 12 years - great little truck. Performance wise, there are pluses and minuses for each. Ranger is better on FE, worse on power/acceleration. 4x4 Tacoma sits up higher, especially over my RWD Ranger. Neither truck will win many races, but both were appropriately geared to get you off the line and into traffic safely and without many sneers. Personally, I find my Tacoma more fun to drive and I like the styling better. FE wise though, the 4 cylinder Rangers are better performers. If you make the leap, you won't be disappointed. Just be careful on the Tacoma you buy: make sure if it's an older, Gen 1 that the frame has been undercoated by Toyota and under warranty. My 2004 is warranteed until 2018 and was a key buying factor when I picked mine up about a year ago. Good luck on the hunt!!
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:21 PM   #8
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I think paired with the auto, it is a dog. (at least I feel like mine is, lol)

I've heard the manual is much better.
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:08 PM   #9
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It's better than I expected... Coming from a Mustang, I was concerned about some of the online acceleration feedback, but after ten months, I have had no problems with it. The only time I notice a real limitation was with a fully loaded bed, straight into a head wind. Couldn't top 80mph except when heading downhill. The 65-70mph window seems to be the sweet cruising spot. If you have a lot of mountain/steep hill driving, you might take some pause, otherwise go for a test drive and see how you like it. (BTW, much better than the Ranger's slushbox!)
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:11 PM   #10
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My cousin has a single cab with the 2.7 in it and hates it, he loves the gas mileage but he says when he tries to pass on the highway it takes forever for it to speed up here is a pic of his truck

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Old 07-05-2013, 09:22 AM   #11
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I'm not into head-snapping HP but I'm happy with mine. Its a race car compared to my '84 carbureted 4runner that had 96hp

I can pass trucks on the highway with no problem. My drive train is all stock, except for the limited slip unit. It bogs down on the hills, but I just down shift to maintain speed. I think it helps me a bit to have manual hubs (the front diff, front axles and front driveshaft do NOT turn while in 2wd). 01-04 Tacomas were not available with manual hubs, though.

MPG varies from 19 to 25, depending on conditions. Not great, but acceptable for a heavy 4x4 extended cab.

Any reason why you have to have a truck? A Subaru is a good AWD winter vehicle that would likely get better gas mileage, and be more comfortable.
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:34 AM   #12
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Slightly off topic. Did anyone had a chance to drive 4.2 V6 F150 and a 2.7 4x4 Tacoma? How would they compare? Reason I ask is:

I used to have '98 F150 Supercab 2wd, 4.2L V6, 5spd manual and it was really slow. I had to downshift lots on almost any hill but it got me around even loaded to the max payload on almost all summer weekends. I never towed anything.

I owned it before I bought my Tacoma. The plan was to get '05+ Tacoma AccessCab 4x4 5spd to replace it, but somehow I ended up with my V6 DCSB 6MT instead. Just curious if I would have had the same issues if I have went with the 4 cylinder Taco. I never had a chance to test drive one. Would the 2.7 4x4 Tacoma feel more powerful than tha 4.2 F150?
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:11 PM   #13
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When I sold cars I drove a 99 4.2liter 5spd 4wd f150 (unknown axle gears) for a demo. I actually thought it was a great truck. Power wise it may have had more pep than my 2004 Regular cab 2.7 prerunner.
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:50 PM   #14
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Smile 4.2 to 2.7 comparison

No, the 2.7 isn't really powerful compared to the 4.2. My dad has a 2001 f150 with the 4.2 in it, and it definitely has more power than the 2.7
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somethinboutayota View Post
My cousin has a single cab with the 2.7 in it and hates it, he loves the gas mileage but he says when he tries to pass on the highway it takes forever for it to speed up here is a pic of his truck

Well ya... put oversized tires on a 2.7 without regearing and it IS going to be a dog.

Worst thing I ever did to my '94 with the 22RE was put 31's on it. Had to have it on the floor to maintain 75 up a very gentle grade. Had to downshift to maintain 55 up a decent grade, and if someone cut me off and I had to take my foot off the gas, I would never recover.

The 2nd Gen 2.7 is adequate. It's a good engine in a good truck. It's not a powerhouse, but it's better than a LOT of other vehicles on the road.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PattonT View Post
When I sold cars I drove a 99 4.2liter 5spd 4wd f150 (unknown axle gears) for a demo. I actually thought it was a great truck. Power wise it may have had more pep than my 2004 Regular cab 2.7 prerunner.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinButler35 View Post
No, the 2.7 isn't really powerful compared to the 4.2. My dad has a 2001 f150 with the 4.2 in it, and it definitely has more power than the 2.7
Hmm, interesting. Mine was 5spd 2wd with 3.55 gears and it was enough to get by and get the job done, but I don't think I would be ok with a truck with less power than that. Maybe the 2.7 is not for me after all.
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:43 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich91710 View Post
Well ya... put oversized tires on a 2.7 without regearing and it IS going to be a dog.

Worst thing I ever did to my '94 with the 22RE was put 31's on it. Had to have it on the floor to maintain 75 up a very gentle grade. Had to downshift to maintain 55 up a decent grade, and if someone cut me off and I had to take my foot off the gas, I would never recover.

The 2nd Gen 2.7 is adequate. It's a good engine in a good truck. It's not a powerhouse, but it's better than a LOT of other vehicles on the road.
You are so right.
When I took the oversized 245/75/16's off of my 5 speed 3.31 rear end geared 2x4, and installed stock diameter 235/60/16's, the difference was night and day...



The 2.7 is a good little engine... but doesn't do very well when taken outside of its stock operating parameters.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:52 AM   #18
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I don't know about the Taco, but my dad and I had identical 1996 Nissans - his auto, mine stick. No contest, the auto sucked.

Now I've got a new Taco, 2.7, stick, and while it's not a Tesla*, it has a LOT more kick than my Nissan ever did. I'm willing to bet that a 2nd gen Taco automatic is just fine. An older one I would surely want to drive first.

*drove a Tesla yesterday for the first time. Dear God. I've driven 911s and Vettes and neither one, no matter how tricked, has acceleration or handling like that Tesla. You could get into a lot of trouble in that car. I could buy 8 of my version of the Taco for what the top of the line costs, but damn...it might be worth it.
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:06 PM   #19
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Gets me to and from where I need to go, maybe not quick, but it does the job. Only real issue I have is steep hills, but on flat its not too bad.
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:15 PM   #20
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My 2.7 4x4 Auto is great as far as I'm concerned. I needed to get an automatic because of an injury while in the Army but I have not been disappointed. I went with more aggressive tire tread but kept them factory size, so only had to deal with additional weight of the tires themselves.

I recently installed a RTT which stands fully above the cab but even the wind resistance created hasn't been an issue at interstate speeds.

Only issue has been when loaded, going up a steep hill and into a head wind.

I just received LCE headers and may consider one of Tooters spacers if/when they are available. I am also giving serious consideration to the URD SC kit. Have the money set aside and just got a copy of the install instructions. Only concern is voiding my factory warranty. Want to make sure I can uninstall it quickly if warranty service is needed.

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