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Are first gen V6 Tacomas underpowered?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by PumpinIron, Feb 13, 2020 at 7:08 PM.

  1. Feb 13, 2020 at 7:08 PM
    #1
    PumpinIron

    PumpinIron [OP] Active Member

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    I’m a long time Jeep Wrangler TJ owner. I’ve always felt the 4.0 in the TJ was underpowered at highway speeds. It has 195 HP, but on the highway at 70 MPH plus, overtaking others is a chore at best, and this gets even worse with larger tires, even with the proper gear ratio.

    I have yet to drive a first gen Tacoma, but I am very interested in them. However, given that they make the same power as the 4.0 in the TJ, I am curious how owners feel about them. Do they feel like a chore to drive on the highway at higher speeds? Could you pass someone at 70 MPH pretty easily, or does it seem like you’re ringing the engine out and it’s barely going to do it?
     
  2. Feb 13, 2020 at 7:10 PM
    #2
    Bishop84

    Bishop84 Well-Known Member

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    I'd put it at par with the XJ. The auto hinders it, but the manual is perfect for the 3.4

    My XJ never felt "slow" but I feel more confident on the highway with the 3.4 to a 5 speed.
     
  3. Feb 13, 2020 at 7:11 PM
    #3
    Crow_of_judgement

    Crow_of_judgement Every villain is lemons

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    They do ok.

    Mine likes to run about 75 on the highway and if I need to pass someone itll do it
     
    jammer, jackn7, GQ7227 and 1 other person like this.
  4. Feb 13, 2020 at 7:13 PM
    #4
    PennSilverTaco

    PennSilverTaco On the spectrum...

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    I’ve driven a stick shift 3.4L before and I don’t think it was the least bit underpowered!
     
  5. Feb 13, 2020 at 7:14 PM
    #5
    PumpinIron

    PumpinIron [OP] Active Member

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    One thing I remember about my TJ 4.0 with the auto was that at 70 when it would downshift from 4th to 3rd, the engine would get dramatically louder but it really didn’t feel like you were gaining any speed or passing power. It was just sort of a lot of extra noise but no extra power.
     
  6. Feb 13, 2020 at 7:15 PM
    #6
    Bishop84

    Bishop84 Well-Known Member

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    The auto 3.4 isn't special either. You have to plan ahead for passing.
     
  7. Feb 13, 2020 at 7:16 PM
    #7
    PumpinIron

    PumpinIron [OP] Active Member

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    Sounds like I need to be looking at a manual in that case. I found one I really like, but of course, it’s an auto (wish it wasn’t).
     
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  8. Feb 13, 2020 at 7:17 PM
    #8
    Kiloyard

    Kiloyard Road Warrior

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    It's a lot slower than a modern car or truck, but I have no problem keeping up on the highways with stock tires and gearing. Does OK on the mountains if you downshift.
     
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  9. Feb 13, 2020 at 7:19 PM
    #9
    TacomaRyan15

    TacomaRyan15 Well-Known Member

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    I owned a 1st Gen V6 for over 10 years. I thought it was a great engine and wasn't underpowered at all. I loved it!

    I have the 2.7 auto now. I love the truck but it is a real dog.
     
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  10. Feb 13, 2020 at 7:23 PM
    #10
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Well-Known Member

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    I feel that for a measly 206 cubic inch v6 it has quite adequate power for what it is. Mine moves my truck with reasonable authority and on the freeway, about 78mph is where it comes into its own, taking long inclines without having to kick down a gear. Plus I did the Elbow Mod which made response around town a bit livelier.
     
  11. Feb 13, 2020 at 7:59 PM
    #11
    Ngneer

    Ngneer Well-Known Member

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    Love my 02 x cab 4x4, butt, a slow turd it is
     
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  12. Feb 13, 2020 at 8:14 PM
    #12
    STLharry

    STLharry Lube: It's the key to penetration.

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    Mine isn't...:D
     
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  13. Feb 13, 2020 at 8:39 PM
    #13
    west_of_the_ocean

    west_of_the_ocean New Member

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    Interesting hearing all these perspectives. Im new to my 1st gen V6, and it seems pretty nimble to me, even with the AT. Really I suppose it is, compared to everything else I usually drive. It helps that I don't live in the mountains and use stock tires.
     
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  14. Feb 13, 2020 at 8:42 PM
    #14
    PumpinIron

    PumpinIron [OP] Active Member

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    Yep, it is interesting hearing everyone's perspective.

    I suppose I could always supercharge it if it wasn't enough power. Of course then I'm stuck running premium fuel and I'm not sure how I would deal with the engine tuning, as it appears there isn't a good tuner (i.e. HPTuners) for the first gen Tacomas.
     
  15. Feb 13, 2020 at 8:43 PM
    #15
    GQ7227

    GQ7227 mw survivor

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    my truck hauls it at 90mph and is smooth as creamy butter (as long as the road surface is great or better), jumps real quick from a steady 70mph to pass someone if needed
    its near pure stock and no added weight, lift, etc.
    i also have MT so i control the show on the road :)
    and welcome to TW
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020 at 9:00 PM
  16. Feb 13, 2020 at 8:49 PM
    #16
    GQ7227

    GQ7227 mw survivor

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    welcome to the family!
     
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  17. Feb 13, 2020 at 8:56 PM
    #17
    Greeny

    Greeny Well-Known Member

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    Are first gen V6 Tacomas underpowered?

    Subjective, but nope!
     
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  18. Feb 13, 2020 at 9:03 PM
    #18
    HardTaco03

    HardTaco03 Member

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    I think they have the right power for what they are I wouldn't say they are setting the world on fire though.I think if they had about 250hp that be pretty awesome.They are awesome off-road and make great hunting rigs, my buddies v6 TRD has 276,000 miles and still going strong it definitely does what he needs it to do
     
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  19. Feb 13, 2020 at 9:50 PM
    #19
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    This is very subjective. For 25 years old truck (I mean truck designed i early 1990's) the power is right where it should be for a pickup truck. Tacoma is kind of hybryd of daily driver commute vehicle, SUV for fun on trails and "get some stuff home from Home Depot".

    It is not a utility truck, not 18ft trailer tow, not a sport racing car nor a luxury limousine. Understanding that I think I can say Tacoma is not underpowered (maybe with exception of 4cyl with auto transmission).

    You know that if you think otherwise you can always slap TRD sticker on it and that allone will add all missing hp you need. :)
     
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  20. Feb 13, 2020 at 9:53 PM
    #20
    Madjik_Man

    Madjik_Man The Rembrandt of Rattle Can

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    2004 DC 3.4 4x4 TRD
    I have two. Both the 3.4 with stock 4.10 gears.

    The 98 xtra cab is a 5-speed. The 04 DC is an auto.

    I hate the auto.

    I plan on doing the 5-speed swap into it.
     

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