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Dad wants a Taco: 4cyl 5MT SR5 or 6cyl 6MT TRD off-road... or 4.6L Tundra?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Quentin, May 22, 2010.

  1. May 22, 2010 at 2:36 PM
    #1
    Quentin

    Quentin [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Eleanor, WV
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    My dad currently has 2 trucks. He has a 2003 F250 with 43000 miles on it and a 1995 Chevy S10 w/ 130000 miles on it. The F250* is for pulling their 3 horse trailer. The S10 is basically a commuter truck (he gets nearly 30mpg all highway). He really has his heart set on a new Tacoma.

    * He owned a concrete finishing business when he bought this truck, so he had to get a 3/4 ton truck to write it off as a business expense, else he'd still have a 1/2 ton. He no longer owns the business, so it really is overkill for his needs.

    So scenario 1 is sell the S10 for whatever he can get and buy a Tacoma. He really likes the access cab V6, 6MT w/ offroad package. He isn't a hardcore offroader, but he does see some tricky situations here in rural WV as he's an avid coon, deer, bear, and turkey hunter. My suggestion was to get the 4cyl, 5MT SR5 access cab Tacoma so that he would still have an "economy" truck, so to speak. There is about $2500 difference between the 2 trucks based on my employee pricing.

    Questions:
    - Those of you w/ the 4WD 4cyl, what sort of fuel economy do you get in a pure highway, driving like a grandpa situation? Same goes for the V6 guys (please list if you have 5AT or 6MT).
    - Is there anything major missing from the SR5 as far as traction capability compared to the off-road package models? Open diffs, weaker traction control, etc? I know the TRD offroad has the e-locker, and that is certainly appealing, but again, is it something that transforms the truck's ability.

    Scenario 2 is to sell both trucks and get a V6 6MT Tacoma or 4.6L V8 Tundra (TRD offroad, as well) to handle everything. He rarely, if ever, pulls 3 horses w/ the trailer anymore, so by my calcs, 2 horses + the trailer would fall well under the 6500lb limit on the V6 Tacoma. Of course, the V8 Tundra would have no issues with that trailer loaded down with 4 horses. The difference in these two trucks is only $1200. He likes the size of the Tacoma better, but the small V8 Tundra is actually rated at 19mpg due to what looks like really tall gearing on 5th and 6th gear versus the 18mpg of the Taco. Anyone have direct experience between the 4.6 Tundra and a V6 tacoma on 55mph driving*? I have a hard time believing that a large truck like the Tundra would get noticeably better fuel economy.

    * You literally have to drive 45+ minutes to get to interstate from my parent's house, so everything is 55mph and lower with essentially no stop-and-go driving.

    The big thing I noticed on the 6MT Taco is that it has such low gearing for having 6 gears at its disposal. I'm sure this is great for towing and such, but it seems like it would unnecessarily drink a lot of gas when just commuting and such. Is it insane to spend almost as much money on a Tacoma as a Tundra? Thoughts on the two truck versus one truck scenario? His F250 is worth around $16k privately sold per NADA ($13k trade-in). It seems like there would be a lot of extra cost in keeping two trucks that overlap so much for his needs.

    Anyway, any insight is welcome. If there are any major things that could make or break the choice, that I may have overlooked, please state them. My dad tends to just buy the truck he likes the best, but I'm a excel-loving nerd engineer that likes to verify the right choice was made by dollars and cents. I just want him to get the truck that makes the most sense as far as total cost of ownership and doing what he needs done.

    Thanks,
    Quentin

    P.S. If Toyota would get the new 4.0L in the Taco, it would be the V6, 6MT taco no doubt. I have that engine in my 4Runner and it really is a nice mill.
     
  2. May 23, 2010 at 7:10 AM
    #2
    Regaj

    Regaj Member

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    Some excellent questions, Quentin. You've obviously thought this through very well.

    Although I own both the 4cyl, 5MT Tacoma (2009 Standard Cab SR5) and the 6cyl, 6MT Tacoma (2010 Access Cab SR5, Tow Package), I bought the 4cyl 2009 model for my wife and so can't really speak to the mileage the 4-banger gets. My 4-week-old 6cyl 2010 with 1400 miles on it gets 18-19mpg in mixed driving. That'll probably go up a mile or two as the motor continues to break in.

    What I can say is that I have long been a huge fan of the 4cyl Toyota engines. I had a 1st-Gen 97 Taco (4cyl, Extended Cab) which gave me 300K nearly trouble-free miles. And before that I had an 89 Toyota 4x4 Pickup (they didn't call 'em Tacomas then), 4cyl standard cab which also gave me over 300K miles. The Toyota 4cyl motors are gems.

    Because of that track record, and because of the handful of extra mpg the 4cyl gets over the 6cyl, I was strongly biased towards getting another 4cyl when I was shopping for my 2010 model a month ago.

    But, similar to your dad, I also needed to be able to tow things on occasion (in my case, motorcycles). I included the small-engine Tundra in the mix of what I was considering - but eventually dismissed it because I didn't want to drive a truck that large and heavy, all the time, just for those few instances when I'd be towing with it. The 4cyl Taco, good as it is, would be stressed when towing - even if it was just occasionally. The 6cyl Taco seemed to be the "just right" solution, so that's what I eventually did.

    Like your dad, I'm not a serious off-roader. I use my truck for hunting and fishing and need a 4x4 that can get me in and out of wooded trails and crappy old fire roads and the like, as well as getting me out my 1/4-mile-long driveway when it snows in the winter. Nothing truly serious. My previous trucks did fine with that stuff, so I passed on the TRD package. I'd love to have it, but just didn't feel I could justify the couple extra grand.

    I think your dad could go either way - 4cyl Taco and keep the F250, or sell both his current trucks and buy the 6cyl Taco - and be perfectly happy as long as he is okay with losing a few mpg. I don't see any way he's going to be able to maintain that 30mpg he gets while commuting (is the S10 a 2wd model?)

    One thing he might consider, if finances permit, is to buy the 6cyl Taco while keeping his F250. Then see how the Toyota does for towing his horses. My bet is that he'd end up selling the Ford after awhile.

    I have to say, despite that longstanding bias in favor of 4-bangers, I am loving the 6cyl mill in my new 2010. Smooth, relaxed, and a noticeable bump in power over the 4cyl in my wife's 2009. Not sure I understand your P.S. comment - the 4.0L IS the mill that comes as the V6 option in the Taco.

    Gearing in the manual 6-speed is fine. The low ratios wouldn't be an issue for anyone until doing 65+. Not an issue at all for the kind of roads your dad spends most his time on.

    Best of luck with it all. Tacomas are amazing trucks.
     
  3. May 23, 2010 at 11:23 AM
    #3
    Quentin

    Quentin [OP] Well-Known Member

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    That sounds plenty reasonable as far as fuel economy. Great input for the 4cyl v. 6cyl!

    I think he'll end up making the same decision. The V6 seems to be a compactish sized truck with most of the pulling capability of the 1/2 tons.

    Your offroad needs sound exactly like Dad's. He has a long driveway that is relatively steep and difficult to get out of when they get 2' of snow... which is pretty common. It sounds as if your SR5 handles that just fine. I think he just really likes the look of the TRD offroad. Personally, I'm a sucker for those small extras that I feel complete the look (like the TRD stickers, haha). We'll definitely keep a non-TRD in consideration as it gets most of the TRD goodies for a $1000 or so less. Dad's best friend just bought an 06 SR5 V6, 6MT this week and dad really liked it.

    Yeah, it is 2WD 4cyl. It burns coolant like crazy, though, so it is probably a wash cost wise, haha. His F250 gets like 15 mpg, so 20mpg in the Tacoma would be a huge improvement for the miles he puts on it.

    For WV, you only pay sales tax on what you actually pay for the vehicle. If he bought the truck outright, he'll pay sales tax on $2X,XXX. If he traded in the F250, he only pays sales tax on $1X,XXX. It turns out to be like $600 difference. I'll recommend that he try to tow the trailer w/ his friend's V6 taco first.

    Toyota refreshed the 4.0L 1GR this year for the FJ and 4Runner. It gets VVT on intake and exhaust port as well as changing the to a roller rocker valvetrain. It also uses 0W-20 oil so that gives it a little bit more fuel economy. Also makes 270hp instead of 240hp.

    I should run the numbers and see what RPM the engine is spinning at 55mph. I'm figuring it is around 2200RPM or so, which would lead to, what I'd expect better fuel economy.

    Sounds like the V6, 6MT is the way to go, while getting rid of both of the other trucks. I think gas mileage will probably be a wash because the miles he put between the two old trucks were split between 14 and 30mpg.

    Thanks for the in-depth response!
     
  4. May 24, 2010 at 10:42 AM
    #4
    Simms65

    Simms65 Well-Known Member

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    To add a point:

    The Off Road 4wd (compared to a SR5) package does come with 4-low ATRAC, which is an amazing traction aiding electronic braking system. There are several very good threads discussing ATRAC here in 2nd gen and in the off roading forum. I'd suggest you give them a read.
     
  5. May 24, 2010 at 3:11 PM
    #5
    Quentin

    Quentin [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I'll search around a bit. That sort of info is what I was specifically fishing for...

    And hello to another WVian. :D
     
  6. May 24, 2010 at 6:39 PM
    #6
    Hootbro

    Hootbro Omnipotent

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    Do not know how much this helps but I have been making numerous trips between TX and PA of late and have been getting the following Highway MPG:

    65MPH 24MPG

    75MPH 21MPG

    This is with a 5MT 4 cylinder 4WD. For the record, you can not get a 4 cylinder 4WD with a AT.
     
  7. May 24, 2010 at 7:05 PM
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    shawnd2

    shawnd2 Well-Known Member

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    I too love the Toyota 4cyl. I had an 84 and 85 4runner's with the 22r's and they were great motors. Both trucks had over 425,000 kms without issue.
    I bought a 96 Tacoma with the 2.7L 4cyl 5spd. and as much as I tried to convince myself I loved the 4cyl, I just couldn't. The head cracked at around 350,000 kms which was disappointing. I also found it very underpowered, even more so then my 4runner's. Maybe I had higher expectations, not sure.
    I now have a 08 v6 A/T Access cab TRD offroad and man what a difference! Tonnes of power and to be honest I find hardly any difference in fuel economy. And it's sooo much nicer to drive with some extra power.
    Personally for the money I would go for the Tundra. That way he could do it all with one truck.

    Shawn
     
  8. May 25, 2010 at 8:36 AM
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    Simms65

    Simms65 Well-Known Member

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    Wild and wonderful! :D
     
  9. May 25, 2010 at 9:18 AM
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    Evil Monkey

    Evil Monkey There's an evil monkey in my truck

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    I have the V6 six speed 4x4 TRD OR. I can get 18mpg on the highway if I keep it around 65mpg. Your dad would probably get better mileage since he'll be running at about 55mph. It'll allow him to keep the truck at or under 2000 rpm, which saves the most gas. I also run larger tires (285/75R16) and have a 3" lift so that affects my mileage as well. I've never towed with it so I can't comment on how much the mpg will drop.
     
  10. May 25, 2010 at 9:25 AM
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    neontrail

    neontrail ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈ ✈

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    nice posts in this thread... Rep sent out!
     
  11. Jun 14, 2013 at 11:15 AM
    #11
    Quentin

    Quentin [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Bump from the grave.

    Dad ended up buying a '11 V6, 4WD, AC, OR, 6MT Taco. He loves it. Oddly enough, a few weeks later, my father-in-law's 98 Tacoma SC, 4cyl, AT, 4WD was stolen out of his driveway, on a high speed chase, and eventually stranded and abandoned after blowing out 2 tires. My FIL wanted it gone after it was recovered, so my dad bought it for $750, spent $1500 in repairs and refreshing, and now has a great little beater truck.

    Then, in November, my younger brother bought a DC V6 5AT OR Tacoma.

    [​IMG]

    Then, last month, my uncle bought a DC 5AT Taco Baja.

    [​IMG]

    So, since spring of '11, we've added 4 Tacomas to my immediate family. The 4Runner and Prius v are mine. That Baja Tacoma is my pick of the bunch. I love the factory setup on that truck.
     
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