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Advice on first truck for Student Driver

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by vdeluca, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. Feb 23, 2011 at 6:08 AM
    #1
    vdeluca

    vdeluca [OP] New Member

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    Hi all, My son is 15 with a learners permit and he wants a small truck (automatic)for his first car. We dont have a big Budget ($4k),no 4x4 or double cab is necessary. Just to drive back and forth to school and baseball practice, etc.
    Can someone provide some advise on what year Tacoma we should consider and what we should be looking for. I understand there were some rust problems on 1st generation. Thanks
     
  2. Feb 23, 2011 at 6:12 AM
    #2
    memario1214

    memario1214 Vivid Illumination Vendor

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    First and foremost, where is your budget? High end anyway. That is the big question. There are rust issues on every vehicle dependent on where you live.
     
  3. Feb 23, 2011 at 6:34 AM
    #3
    DEEVON911

    DEEVON911 Semi-Pro

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    Only $4k for a Tacoma that is decent might be tough. Are you looking for 4x4, or double cab, Off road? There are alot of options on these trucks. It all depends on what he wants to do with it. The thing is you can buy a Tacoma with more miles on it then you would say a Chevy and still be confident that its going to be running good and for a while. As long as it has been taken care of anyway. Either way good luck. If gets a Tacoma he has a great site here to learn about it and learn how to ad on / fix things on it!
     
  4. Feb 23, 2011 at 6:36 AM
    #4
    o5iiawah

    o5iiawah Well-Known Member

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    Living in Daytona beach, a lot of trucks in your area, especially used ones with high mileage are going to have rust issues. Consider looking inland to Gainesville, Ocala or Orlando where the air isn't as salty.

    Or, if it doesn't have to be a taco, you can buy my 94 Explorer XLT 4x4. ;)
     
  5. Feb 23, 2011 at 7:42 AM
    #5
    EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia Well-Known Member

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    AutoTrader only lists two 4-cylinder 2WD automatic Tacos within 300 miles of you and priced at $4000 or lower. One's a 1998 and the other is a 2000. Both of them have over 160,000 miles on them.

    Given your budget, your best bet would probably be to monitor the classifieds and CraigsList for something offered by a private seller.

    The #1 issue to check for is frame rust. Earlier (2000 or previous) Tacomas were given an extended warranty coverage as part of the frame rust campaign. However, this coverage will be lapsing soon given the age of the vehicles.

    Good luck with the 'hunt' ..
     
  6. Feb 23, 2011 at 7:48 AM
    #6
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    First of all, this is JMHO but I think everyone should drive a manual for their first car.

    Second, look for a first gen 5 lugger, you can find a somewhat decent one in that price range.
     
  7. Feb 23, 2011 at 8:06 AM
    #7
    hookedontronics

    hookedontronics Well-Known Member

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    i also agree with manual, it keeps you more aware.

    Second 4k is not much for a tacoma, even an older high mileage one. You might want to look into a ranger or s10 or nissan hardbody. I had a hardbody for my first vehicle and it was great
     
  8. Feb 23, 2011 at 8:09 AM
    #8
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    3 cylinder Geo Metro, he'll never get a speeding ticket :D One of my friends had that for a first car and it was an absolute gutless wonder.

    I agree with the manual if he's anywhere near coordinated enough to drive a stick. If you get him a Tacoma, I would suggest keeping him off this site otherwise he'll have access to endless ideas for modifications!
     
  9. Feb 23, 2011 at 9:02 AM
    #9
    ISUGrad05

    ISUGrad05 Public Servant Enemy #1

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  10. Feb 23, 2011 at 9:13 AM
    #10
    easyeatlanta

    easyeatlanta Artificial Intelligence beats natural stupidity

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    I agree also my truck is manual and it is my first car
     
  11. Feb 23, 2011 at 9:51 AM
    #11
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    I almost rolled back into a few people on hills but I learned quick lol.
     
  12. Feb 23, 2011 at 10:02 AM
    #12
    SlimDigg

    SlimDigg Resident MMA Fanatic

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    I would advise against a manual for first car. You are just learning to drive, you don't need the extra distraction of manual trans. Make it simple, go or stop.
     
  13. Feb 23, 2011 at 10:12 AM
    #13
    beefcake

    beefcake J-rob

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    x2, an automatic is something everyone can drive, get him a manual transmission, that alone will also make what you're looking for a little cheaper. If it were me... i wouldn't hesitate buying a 98-00 5 lug 4cyl. with over 160,000 miles on it. The fact of the matter is that these trucks really do run forever, dont hesitate to buy something with even 180k on it, as long as it hasnt been neglected for long periods of time, chances are it's a good pickup
     
  14. Feb 23, 2011 at 10:37 AM
    #14
    macgyver

    macgyver Well-Known Member

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    I disagree, a manual transmission is not a distraction, once learned it becomes second nature. As long as you give them the proper training under supervision they will be fine. I learned how to drive a manual in about 30 minutes and was out on the open road. Both of my sisters Picked it up pretty quick as well. People seem to think that driving a manual transmission is hard. It's actually pretty damn easy. My parents gave both of my sisters manual transmission vehicles for their first cars, now they won't drive anything but a manual.

    Although my first car was an auto (hand-me-down) I switched to a manual transmission vehicle when i was 17 and I have never gone back to an automatic. IMO it gives you a better understanding of the vehicle, more control, and keeps you from getting distracted doing other things.

    Buy him something cheap for sure. I got a hand me down Honda w/ 150k miles for my first vehicle. The statistics are in his favor that he will wreck it at some point, his fault or not. I think the statistic is in the 80+% that a teenager will have an accident in their first 2 years of driving.
     
  15. Feb 23, 2011 at 10:48 AM
    #15
    Graham

    Graham Pay it Forward

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    I bought my stepson his first truck a month ago. Here's the thread with some pics of the discussion:

    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/1s...ust-bought-my-step-son-his-first-vehicle.html

    Whatever you decide on, get a carfax report first. If that looks good, then take it to a mechanic who you trust for a good inspection. If you choose to buy it, replace all fluids in the vehicle so you are making a fresh start.

    We got him a manual transmission, because I think everyone should know how to drive one and it forces him to concentrate on his driving rather than flooring it and blasting the radio.

    Good luck with your search.
     
  16. Feb 23, 2011 at 11:04 AM
    #16
    ISUGrad05

    ISUGrad05 Public Servant Enemy #1

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    May also look for a T100 if you can't find a Tacoma at that $4000 price in good shape. Unlike the 89-95 pickups, the T100 could be had with air bags which is a huge safety plus.
     
  17. Feb 23, 2011 at 11:22 AM
    #17
    glamis3000

    glamis3000 Well-Known Member

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    i was hit in my ford ranger just 13 days after being licensed.. 100% other persons fault, but my back i have 2 fractured disks and one bulging disk.. id get him an older hard body pick up, toyota makes a near bullet proof truck and always has. my 96 yota just broke 240k and runs as good as the day it came off the lot..
     
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