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First Tacoma - seeking input - 2X or 4X...I know, I know...

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by sportsguy, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Sep 21, 2011 at 10:25 AM
    #1
    sportsguy

    sportsguy [OP] searchgeek

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    I'm going to try asking this in the hopes that some nugget of info will pop up to help me make a clear decision on whether to buy a 2wd or 4wd Tacoma. I'm even going to help out by providing more info that simply asking "which one should I buy...?"... ;)

    Here goes:

    1 - I have a long history of 4wd and offroading, so I KNOW I like that stuff. :D

    2 - Other than the desire to go offroading, I have no actual "need" for 4wd. I live in Seattle, so other than taking myself to places where 4wd is required, it's a rare day when it's needed here.

    3 - truck will replace my BMW Z4 roadster as my daily driver for the most part. So, while MPG isn't the reason I'm moving ot the truck per se, a 2wd Tacoma actually gets better mileage than my Z4 around town (where I drive).

    4 - I'm looking at Prerunners and 4x4s, so I'm hoping those with real world experience can tell me if there is a big difference in fuel economy between these two models. Being taller, and more in the wind, more exposued underneath leading to increased drag, I'm assuming the Prerunner MPGs fall somewhere between a normal 2wd model and the 4wd models. Open to feedback here guys.

    5 - My driving style is gentle, I plan on a running full synthetics for all fluids where possible and will be installing a bed cover - about the most I can do to help with MPGs, other than keeping the tires aired correctly and avoiding AC. ;) And I'll likely install a better air filter to improve breathing a bit.

    6 - only looking at manual trans trucks

    7 - which color gets the best MPG? :D

    8 - any reliability issues on the newer trucks that stand out? I'm guessing no, other than a couple references to recalls I've come across.

    Now, with all of that, I prostrate myself before the vast knowledge of the community in hopes someone can help me come to a decision.

    Do I give up noticable fuel economy with the 4wd over a Prerunner? I KNOW I give up noticable offroad performance with the Prerunner, but in reality, I might get offroad only a few times each year. Still, if the MPG is roughly the same, I'd likely take the 4wd model.

    I was fine until last night. Bank called to tell me the money was in my account. I thought I had found the right 2010 Prerunner, until a quick Autotrader search netted a fresh 2008 4wd in a preferred color (either color is fine, though).

    Final thought: I know none of these options net a vehicle which is a paragon of fuel efficiency, but here's an example:

    I was looking at a GMC full size 2wd regular cab truck withthe 5.3 V8 engine. In the end, the difference in cost to me at the end of the year between that GMC and a stock 2wd Tacoma was roughly $1,000 in fuel costs. So while outright MPG isn't my main goal, it's a signpost I choose to watch.

    Thanks for your input gang.
     
  2. Sep 21, 2011 at 10:59 AM
    #2
    bjmoose

    bjmoose Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    Toyota sez 17/21 em pee gees for pre runner and 16/20 for 4x4.

    That's prolly as accurate a guess as youll get from anyone on this site.

    One other consideration: if you go 4x4 offloading, you're more likely to upgrade to a heavier, more agressive tire that's both more expensive on it's own, and puts more hurt on your gas mileage.
     
  3. Sep 21, 2011 at 2:41 PM
    #3
    sportsguy

    sportsguy [OP] searchgeek

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    Thanks for the input bjmoose. :) Good point on the offroad tires being heavier, too.

    After some digging around on Toyota's website, as your data gave me the idea to check out their site, I came up with the following interesting tidbits:

    1st off, Toyota no longer offers the Prerunner as a regular cab, according to their website, so I'll compare apples to apples, albeit granny smiths to red delicious apples...

    2011 Tacoma Regular Cab 4x2 (4cyl/5 spd)

    City: 21 mpg
    Hwy: 25 mpg
    Combined: 22 mpg

    Overall height: 65.8 inches
    Overall weight: 3250 lbs
    Overall ground clearance: 8.1 inches

    2011 Tacoma Access Cab 4x2 Prerunner(4cyl/5 spd)

    City: 19 mpg
    Hwy: 25 mpg
    Combined: 21 mpg

    Overall height: 70.3 inches
    Overall weight: 3740 lbs
    Overall ground clearance: 9.3 inches

    2011 Tacoma Regular Cab 4x4 (4cyl/5 spd)

    City: 18 mpg
    Hwy: 20 mpg
    Combined: 19 mpg

    Overall height: 69.9 inches
    Overall weight: 3665 lbs
    Overall ground clearance: 9.3 inches

    Now, you'd think the 4wd is down 5mpg on the highway due to weight, but the Access cab Prerunner is actually heavier and gets noticably better ratings. The Access cab Prerunner is actually slightly taller than the 4wd Tacoma, which should contibute to lower fuel economy, but whatever effect this small difference has in this case doesn't really play into the ratings, it seems.

    So I'm left to think that the loss in highway MPG is due to added frictional losses from the T-case and front axle et al. Could also be explained by base gearing in the axles, though, as I'm not sure if the Prerunner rear axle shares the same ratio as the 4wd models. I'd be surprised if they do.

    And after all that number crunching, I'm left feeling like the Prerunner is more for me. We'll see what a test drive in the 4wd model does to change my mind or reinforce my lean...
     
  4. Sep 21, 2011 at 2:43 PM
    #4
    Jester243

    Jester243 mod status????

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    You ever go over the passes in the winter?

    I would go with the 4wd
     
  5. Sep 21, 2011 at 3:52 PM
    #5
    sportsguy

    sportsguy [OP] searchgeek

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    Rarely - have only gone up to Leavenworth a couple time in the winter. Managed to ride through a snowstrom up there once on my FJR, too... *shivers*

    Still, worth keeping in the front of my mind...;)
     
  6. Sep 21, 2011 at 5:44 PM
    #6
    tdcoly

    tdcoly Well-Known Member

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    2011 Tacoma Regular Cab 4x4 (4cyl/5 spd)

    City: 18 mpg
    Hwy: 20 mpg
    Combined: 19 mpg

    Overall height: 69.9 inches
    Overall weight: 3665 lbs
    Overall ground clearance: 9.3 inches

    This is mine (pyrite mica, if it matters). After a year, I'm pulling just about 22mpg, probably about 80% in town.
     
  7. Sep 21, 2011 at 5:51 PM
    #7
    Maticuno

    Maticuno Resident Pine Swine

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    So, you're only looking at the 4cyl Tacomas? You said you are also only looking at manuals. I'm not sure about the 4 cyl, but the V6 with auto gets better mileage than the V6 with 6 speed. I went from a V6 6 speed Access Cab PreRunner to a V6 Auto Double Cab Long Bed 4X4 and I consistently see a 2-3 MPG improvement. The mileage numbers on the Fuelly tag in my sig show almost no city driving, just plenty of long stretches of desert highway combined with short trips off-road in 4 wheel.
     
  8. Sep 21, 2011 at 5:55 PM
    #8
    Jimsc

    Jimsc Well-Known Member

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    I went with a 4x2 Prerunner after having a 4x4 Dodge Dakota and don't miss it because I don't go off road. If you can afford a 2009 up Prerunner the Auto LSD system is great and will allow you to go almost anywhere!
     
  9. Sep 21, 2011 at 6:03 PM
    #9
    Warhorseforever

    Warhorseforever Will The Thrill

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    Please note I am PreRunner and am giving 2nd hand info from my readings.
    There isn't much diffrence between 2x and 4x mpg's like 2 mpg's less as stated above. Alot of guys on here who buy 4x4's and put lift and bigger tire with a re-gear are gettin close if not better mpg's than before lift and tires. And it's been shown that ac with widows up is better at constant highway style driving, and vice versa for in town. It's also been show that bed covers increase drag and reduce mpg's. But neither by much. I ride to school with my window's down at ~60 mph 2000 rpm 40 miles round trip and don't notice much degeneration of mpg's. If you really want to help you fuel economy remove the 2nd air filter, and can you do a deck plate on 2nd gens?

    2nd Air Filter-http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/performance-tuning/2012-diy-secondary-air-filter-removal.html
     
  10. Sep 21, 2011 at 6:07 PM
    #10
    TacoDawgfan

    TacoDawgfan Hunker Down You Hairy Dawg!

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    I cant imagine living up north and not go for the 4x4. With that said, my V-6 auto 4x4 is averaging 19.3 mpg's right now on my fuelly. Been holding pretty steady there since I've had it. My brother just bought a pre-runner just like mine and in the 2 weeks he has had it is averaging 20-21 mpg. So to me the mpg's shouldn't be the consideration. Cant say for the 4 cylinders though. Good luck and welcome to the club.
     
  11. Sep 21, 2011 at 6:11 PM
    #11
    Tacolover443

    Tacolover443 Well-Known Member

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    TRD off road if you want a rear locker for offroading. :D :D having a locker is soooooo nice.
     
  12. Sep 21, 2011 at 9:17 PM
    #12
    sportsguy

    sportsguy [OP] searchgeek

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    Awesome feedback guys. Thanks. :)

    Test drove a 2008 4wd reg cab this evening. Really impressed...except this one had the "excessive cigarette smoke" option installed by the previous owner... :(

    Just as well, though, as I might just swing by the dealer and snag a new one. Price is close enough I can close the gap. This pretty much means I'll be going 4wd given the Prerunner is only available in the non-regular cab models. I do have a thing for regular cab trucks - I admit it. :)
     
  13. Sep 21, 2011 at 9:38 PM
    #13
    Warhorseforever

    Warhorseforever Will The Thrill

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    I spent the first 4 years of my driving life in a reg cab S10. Never again will I buy a reg cab anything. I'm 6'3'' 230 so I was it was a sight to see. But to each his own. :thumbsup:
     
  14. Sep 22, 2011 at 12:20 AM
    #14
    05sctaco

    05sctaco Well-Known Member

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    THey have the access cab 4x4, 4cy, manual. I think they migh thave a double cab in 4cy 4x4 too. The reg cab 4x4 are pretty night too.
     
  15. Sep 22, 2011 at 1:07 AM
    #15
    Dilley

    Dilley Well-Known Member

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    Reg cab 4x4. I have a prerunner and I love my truck to death but and its def not worth the extra 1mpg.I would have to think that every one who owns a prerunner at some point is like "dammit I should have gotten the 4x4!" and I am also sure no one with 4x4 has ever said "Dammit i should have just gotten the prerunner" you should get a 4x4 for sure and then buy a old Honda civic or something if your worried about mpg.
     
  16. Sep 22, 2011 at 7:32 AM
    #16
    sportsguy

    sportsguy [OP] searchgeek

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    Nah... I'll just ride the FJR in the garage more to balance the "household mpg" rating... ;)

    Next car to come home after the Tacoma is paid for in a few years will be something older, with a lumpy cam, maybe a crappy suspension but can haul ass in a straight line...

    Likely not a Hemi, but a nice 340 ci car would work:
    [​IMG]

    Or maybe a
    [​IMG]

    Possibly a Grand National, but unlikely the GNX... :(
    [​IMG]

    Or we might even go for one of these rare beauties... 930...
    [​IMG]

    All dreams for the moment, but you can lay money the day I pay off the Taco, I'll start shopping. Vacations that year will be at auto auctions... ;)
     
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