It’s time to stop lurking (spent time learning the layout of the site and becoming proficient with the “find“ option to prevent repetitive posts when able) and introduce myself properly. Real name’s Tom from Northern Virginia. I tend to ramble, forgive me.
I recently traded in my ’05 2.3L 5-speed manual 4X2 Regular Cab Ford Ranger XLT with 54K miles for an ’11 Tacoma 2.7L 5-speed manual 4X4 Regular Cab base model. $17K even out the door (all related charges included), 2 years/25K miles “ToyotaCare”, and a dealer coupon book that covers a few safety inspections, discounts on post-“ToyotaCare” maintenance and a few other things.
I’ve been a Ranger fan for years (owned 3 of them), but I wanted a 4 cyl. 4X4. Ford doesn’t make one, or I would have bought another Ranger. I never towed anything or gone off-road (less sliding off-road in the snow), but I do haul quite often, to include a 600lb street bike. My minimum requirements for a vehicle were: 4 cyl., 4X4, manual transmission, regular cab, rear sliding window. The Tacoma I purchased fit the bill and Toyota’s resale/dependability reputation is a plus.
It sure was nice using the 4X4 in the 13 inches of snow we had recently. I didn’t need to fill up the bed with snow and sand-bags to get a little traction like I did all those years with my 4X2 Rangers.
I really like the look of the vehicle as compared to the Ranger. It’s quieter and the ride is better. I love the composite bed, rail system, and cargo storage areas. The interior is “Spartan” (Toyota sure means “base”, for base models), gas mileage is acceptable (22MPG on last tank for a combination of city/highway/4X2/4X4 use).
I recently bought the OEM cargo divider for $160 via Craig’s List. For the short term, I plan to buy: Window deflectors (aftermarket), Windshield/hood deflector (OEM, hood protector), black OEM tube steps (wife is short, mitigate door dings), and variable speed wiper switch/stalk (boneyard or new). I understand the part number for the switch changed in ’09. I’m still doing research on the forward tie-downs. I have trouble believing they’re an accessory item. I’ll probably go after-market and install under the bed bolts, but I’d like to know what the weight rating is for the OEM side mounted rings first. I know, ask in the correct forum.
I did forget bench seats don’t recline. I’m getting used to the position, but may try the washer -trick at some point. I’m not at the point (yet) of replacing the seat for singles. Three hour rides aren’t bad, but I don’t know if I could do an all day ride.
I also want to look into the Blulogic system. Is it compatible with the “base” radio/CD system? If not, at some point I’ll pull the OEM stereo and go aftermarket. Yes, yes, ask about Blulogic in another forum.
Hope I can help someone and look forward to your advice and guidance in the future.