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Tacoma 6300 Mile Roadtrip / Review

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Old 08-03-2009, 08:11 PM   #1
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Tacoma 6300 Mile Roadtrip / Review

I just took my new Taco on a road trip that totalled 6000+ miles. I added a Scangauge II to it the week before I left. I would recommend one of these for anyone curious about the mileage, or operation of their vehicle. It displays more info than any geek could ever want. I programmed mine to display the actual speed, funny Toyota didn't do the same......
First off the trip went from Manitoba Canada, to Yellowstone, Vegas, L.A., up the PCH, th B.C., back to MB.
If I were to do this type of driving more than once a year I would not have bought a 4 cyl. I was able to pull all grades at 70 MPH, most of the time in 4th, occasionaly, I would end up needing 3rd @ 5000 RPM to maintain my speed up 6% & 7% grades. In third, with about 700# load I could keep the air on. I averaged around 21 - 24 mpg at 75, at 85 I got around 18.5 - 20. Funny thing to watch the scangauge show 14 mpg going up, 30 mpg going down. At lower speeds, it would tell me that the fuel was cut while coasting. So for you standard owners, coast in gear, it will save you gas. As well, the highest gear always got the best mileage, regardless of load. I found a downshift necessary below 1500, as the engine would vibrate excessively. On level ground at 60 mph, I saw averages around 25 - 26 mpg. The engine temp was always 88 - 91C, no matter the load, outside temperature, or abuse. My impressions of this truck are that it's engine and transmission are not very refined. It gets very tricky to co-ordinate smooth shifts with the clutch fan and AC compressor cutting in and out in traffic, causing different loads, and drastically different rates of RPM drop between shifts. The transmission has gear rattle, as well as some release bearing noise, and the engine vibrates under load until over 3000 rpm, but it is reasonable quiet, with the windows up. Of note, I rode in a Honda CR-V during my trip and was impressed at the total absence of engine vibration, and it has more hp from a smaller engine... Handling is good for a pickup. Not nearly as balanced as a frontier, the taco is only neutral under throttle, it understeers (pushes) the rest of the time. Factory tires very quiet, decently grippy on dry pavement, wind noise from the mirrors noticable. Seats comfortable for 14 hours at a time. Stupid exhaust leak sound meant the windows stayed up almost the whole trip. But the AC kept up with the Mohave desert heatwave no problem.
Overall a nice rig, only downside really is the leaky sounding, vibrating engine. But it always kept up with traffic, while getting very good mileage.
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:17 PM   #2
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Great write up! Hope you had a great trip
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:27 PM   #3
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Welcome to the last years of a dwindling model... the reg cab 4x4. I see some of the same stuff you mentioned in mine, and yet, another 4wd has more/other problems. I look at it this way, prolly the best 4 cyl p/u motor out there, it shouldn't be able to do all you mention , but it does (generally more cylinders =smoother motor). If you need power, keep it over 2500 rpm 3500 for more. The CR-V... my sisters element has a v-6, I opted not to buy into a higher tech engine with better hp per liter. Looking forward to a lot of low maintainance miles
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacoyota View Post
....
The CR-V... my sisters element has a v-6.....
The Honda element is not available with a V6....
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:17 PM   #6
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i have a 4 cyl. I drove from Shreveport Louisiana to Fairbanks Alaska the truck was a champ. I drove to Vegas then up through Canada. SInce Ive Been up in Alaska, I've been camping in Valdez 400 Mile trip. Had the bed loaded with wood and camping gear. I had to downshift to third once to get up a mountain but other then that it was fine. I bought the 4 cyl cause I knew it was a good engine also its the only one I could afford haha. I am really happy with this truck, I think I gave it the Ultimate test driving up here with my stuff in the bed. Oo yeah the 4 cyl eng is amazing at starting up at -50 compared to the V8 fords parked at my shop. I put a block heater and a cold front screen on the front. Engine stays warm going down the highway too.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:28 AM   #7
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I feel my 2.7 has more than enough power for a 4 cylinder......





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Old 08-04-2009, 06:28 AM   #8
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Isthatahemi On the CR-V and element i was refering to the concepts of smaller but high tech engine, you may have missed the idea . WE coulda went with a v-6 or more state of the art technology, I went with the low maint 4 cylinder. BTW i have nothin againts Honda...... alternate statement....I coulda went with any v-8 model , but i chose a 4 cyl.
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacoyota View Post
my sisters element has a v-6, I opted not to buy into a higher tech engine with better hp per liter.
It is not I who missed anything. There is no higher tech 4 cylinder pickup engine than the 2TR. It uses it's technology to make good torque, and subsequently it vibrates under heavy load, this is masked by the automatic.
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:36 PM   #10
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Where did you go?
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:01 PM   #11
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Wll instead of trying to argue with me let me say it this way , i like my reg cab, of course its high tech ( now tell me " no it's high techier"), the v-6 is high tech too. I'm pointing out, in the high techness you seem to desire to beat me with, i opted for the low maint, easy going nature of the 4 cyl, not the robust hp v-6.
why do people highjack a statement into another context just for the sake of being right. R E E L A A A X X !
Back on the thread, now, man that was a long road trip! I usually drive within 300mi and go hiking
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:39 PM   #12
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yep , like i thought u did miss it. I called the 4cyl "prolly the best 4 cyl p/u engine" (post#3) then tell me "theres no higher tech p/u engine than the TR" . If you want ot be right , then teach me how to use the quote function LOL.
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:40 PM   #13
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You were saying a CRV had a six, you had no idea what you were writing about, that's all I wrote, let it go.
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derekabraham View Post
Where did you go?
Yellowstone, Vegas, Hoover Dam, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Mulholland drivee, The PCH from Mulholland to near Portland. Nanaimo, (B.C.), Vancouver, Gibsons, Calgary, then home. Highlights included getting caught downstream of a washout in the desert, and keeping up with a poorly driven RX-8 on Mulholland.
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:51 PM   #15
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i was saying a crv.. and an element....., refering to the crv he mentioned & my sisters element. Like this as a re write.." the crv and my sisters element with a v6.." maybe we both assume too much. I didnt write it saying"a crv has 6 cylinders..." you would make a decent liberal with your mis-contexted requotes.
The point i will take away is I'll write more specific, my writing style isnt worthy of journalism, I'll do better.
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:54 PM   #16
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hey so how long did the trip take you ??
you said you did some hiking where ??
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isthatahemi View Post
Yellowstone, Vegas, Hoover Dam, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Mulholland drivee, The PCH from Mulholland to near Portland. Nanaimo, (B.C.), Vancouver, Gibsons, Calgary, then home. Highlights included getting caught downstream of a washout in the desert, and keeping up with a poorly driven RX-8 on Mulholland.

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Old 08-07-2009, 03:58 PM   #18
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Very happy with the truck....And the trip took 16 days.
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:40 PM   #20
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I enjoyed Nanaimo, back in 1990 i think it was. We had our sub on the surface in the strait. I got to watch dolphins just off the bow seemingly eye level. Always wanted to do a kayak trip in the area. Closest I get is Whistler/Blackcomb ski trip every other year or so.
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