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Help deciding between Land Cruiser or '14 Taco for dd + family adventures

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by stubbspy, Jul 11, 2018.

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Taco vs Land Cruiser for a DD+

  1. Land Cruiser, squeeze 'em in

    46.6%
  2. Taco, just take two for camping

    27.6%
  3. Neither, do a 4x4 conversion on an E-350 and enjoy the space

    25.9%
  1. Jul 11, 2018 at 3:06 PM
    #1
    stubbspy

    stubbspy [OP] Member

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    Ok, here's the scenario that I've been debating in my head for months now.

    Sometime in the next few months to a year, I'll need a new daily driver as my old Focus is dying.

    First, about me and my needs/wants:
    • I like camping and the outdoors
    • I like driving fun vehicles (i.e., sporty...)
    • I do woodworking as a hobby and frequent trips to home centers for renovations and home repair
    • Already have a nice '15 Odyssey as the family hauler
    • About to have our 4th kid
    • We usually bring my brother-in-law camping with us, making 3 adults and 4 kids
    This vehicle will be my daily driver (17 miles one way to work), camping/adventure vehicle and hauler for projects around the house.

    I've got two main options that appeal to me right now:
    • Buy my bro-in-law's '14 Taco Baja T|X (close enough to the current TRD Pro)
      • + Low miles, good price
      • + Already set up for moderate off-roading from the factory, probably sufficient for now.
      • + truck bed for carrying lawn/garden/wood/camping stuff
      • + more fun to drive
      • + better fuel economy
      • + easily upgradeable radio
      • - only seats 5, so can't even fit my whole family, much less bro-in-law in addition.
      • - uncovered/unprotected storage in bed, and adding a cover would negate some of the utility
      • - more expensive initially (but likely to live a long life)
    • Buy a 00+ Land Cruiser/LX470
      • + cheaper up front
      • + 8 seats, can fit everybody
      • + 3rd row air
      • + enclosed, secure storage
      • + full-time 4wd + ATRAC (I figure it might make for slightly safer winter driving in Utah)
      • + more plush and comfy
      • +- having to decide between a replaceable stereo (00-02 non-nav) vs 5-spd transmission (03+)
      • - poor fuel economy
      • - slow
      • - will need more maintenance and love over the next decade
    I figure that if I buy the Taco, my bro-in-law will get a new one and we could always drive both trucks to remote campsites. That's definitely not as fun as being all in the same car on longer trips though.

    If I buy the Cruiser, I will also get a utility trailer for dump runs, big lumber loads, and camping gear -- no way we can fit camping gear for 7 people behind the 3rd row!

    It has also occurred to me that it's a good idea anyway to have two vehicles if we're going to quieter destinations in case we have a problem or get stuck, though we could take two vehicles even if I buy the cruiser.

    Either way, 90% of my usage will be commuting, 5% household duties and 5% (at most) camping trips.

    I've never done much off-roading, and while it looks fun I don't know how much time I'll have to get into it beyond hunting for some new BLM campsites over the next few years, so I don't think the cruiser would need too many mods beyond a small lift and 33" tires (both of which the Taco has from the factory).

    What does the collective think?
     
  2. Jul 11, 2018 at 3:13 PM
    #2
    Pirate1975

    Pirate1975 “What do you do with a drunken sailor...?”

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    Two vehicles better than one, and both newer vehicles to boot. Two vehicles can spread the cargo. Two vehicles,possibly leave one at the campsite and have the other mobile?
    Just an opinion..
     
    Thunder Fist likes this.
  3. Jul 11, 2018 at 3:28 PM
    #3
    Thebubble

    Thebubble Well-Known Member

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    Yup....

    Get the Land Cruiser - it's full sized and you can haul a lot!
     
  4. Jul 11, 2018 at 3:30 PM
    #4
    Speedytech7

    Speedytech7 Toyota Cult Ombudsman

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    Have a look at my builds --->
    I have a Land Cruiser and a Taco, I'm not the one to ask. I daily the 13MPG cruiser and wheel the 21MPG supercharged Tacoma :/
     
    G.T. and Skootter14 like this.
  5. Jul 11, 2018 at 5:41 PM
    #5
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    My Brother/wheeling partner has a 2000 LX470, I have a 2015 Tacoma with Baja suspension. I'm very familiar with both vehicles and their capabilities, and have worked on and lifted both vehicles. Here are my thoughts.

    The LX470/Land Cruiser
    -Has the legendary 1 million mile 4.7 V8
    -Early 2000 versions are stuck with the 4spd trans
    -MPGs are awful
    -AWD is nice but contributes to bad mpgs above
    -Very spacious and nicely appointed. Seating position is very upright and large windshield combined with seating position give outstanding visibility.
    -Little aftermarket support for any power upgrades
    -Lexus has less aftermarket support than the Land Cruiser due to the AHC system
    -You should factor the utility trailer into the overall purchase cost comparison.

    If looking to buy the Land Cruiser or Lexus equivalent, the AHC system on the LX470 can be a headache. It failed multiple times on my brother's LX resulting in one corner of the vehicle going into "low mode". Repairs were extremely expensive. When it failed the 3rd time we removed the system and replaced it with a conventional one. Removal was a major PITA, but doable. As in having to cut steel hydraulic lines above the frame with minimal clearance to the body, by feel.

    Lexus version also has a proprietary radio system that no aftermarket support, you are somewhat stuck with the OEM system. Extremely difficult to replace.

    Tacoma
    -Extensive aftermarket support
    -Very reliable and proven 4.0
    -Upgrade options for the 4.0 with supercharging if desired
    -Very reliable 5 speed auto trans
    -Much better fuel economy by comparison
    -No AWD, pro and con. Helps with the mpgs.
    -Good for about 4 people. While it seats 5 any kind of cargo becomes a problem due to space unless it can sit exposed in the bed.
    -Cannot beat the utility of a truck at the home improvement store/dump run.
    -14 years newer in your case will likely be more reliable

    For your use cases:
    -Tacoma will be a better commuter - based on mpgs
    -Tacoma will be better at house hold duties, without needing the purchase of a separate trailer, and the inconveniences associated. Storage, tabs, having to hook it up ect.
    -LX better at camping trips so you can fit your entire family, not counting your brother.

    Personally I wouldn't want to put 7 people in a vehicle for an extended drive, 2 vehicles sounds much more pleasant. If going to remote places 2 vehicles is better just in case something breaks down. It should also remove the need to pull a trailer. You can still talk over a radio, I do it all the time. You don't even need to go all out with a CB, but instead just pickup a short wave handheld that can run off a power outlet in the truck.

    All of that said, unless you really need a truck, I would buy the vehicle that can hold the whole family. If you are about to have your 4th kid, meaning a family of 6, then the vehicle should seat 6. And that would rule out the Tacoma IMO.
     
  6. Jul 11, 2018 at 6:53 PM
    #6
    stubbspy

    stubbspy [OP] Member

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    I’m wondering which one would work better for non-camping activities like mountain biking and canoeing. I imagine the longer roofline of the 100 would make loading a canoe easier unless I got a rear load bar or shell for the taco. For bikes the truck wins easily as the only easy option on the tall 100 is a hitch mount.
     
  7. Jul 11, 2018 at 6:55 PM
    #7
    stubbspy

    stubbspy [OP] Member

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    Also, I don’t really need to fit my whole family into my car (except for off-roading) unless we need to leave the minivan with a mechanic for repairs.
     
  8. Jul 11, 2018 at 10:29 PM
    #8
    G42

    G42 Well-Known Member

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    That Baja Taco it's already a pretty offroad worthy vehicle. Add in the versatility, and the lower hasle factor with having a beern vehicle, and it's pretty compelling. The Cruiser is a nesn vehicle for sure, though, and rather tank like in all the best ways.
     
  9. Jul 12, 2018 at 4:47 AM
    #9
    Wattapunk

    Wattapunk Stay lifted my friends !

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    If you already have a van as a family hauler, why even consider a landcruiser? For camping or home improvement runs, nothing beats a truck. Go browse the accessories and mods for our Tacomas on this website to give you an idea of the vast array of options available to us. If you still have a liking towards a landcruiser, sell the van and get one as a spare vehicle. Buying an older higher mileage Landcruiser will likely be more costly in the long run due to repair / fuel costs and increase chance of it breaking down at the most inopportune time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
    WSW3 likes this.
  10. Jul 12, 2018 at 5:07 AM
    #10
    honda50r

    honda50r Don't say 'Overland'

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    Personally, one of the most fun aspects of any trip is the drive there. Nothing is going to beat having your entire family together.

    Then just buy a sweet camping trailer that could also serve as a utility trailer

    upload_2018-7-12_8-7-8.jpg
     
    TacoCruiser and stubbspy [OP] like this.
  11. Jul 12, 2018 at 5:09 AM
    #11
    TacomaMike37

    TacomaMike37 Well-Known Member

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    4 kids and you are considering a Taco?!?!?!? If you plan on going camping and not using the minivan will you put one of the kids or the wife in the bed?
    Zero chance I would consider a Tacoma with 4 kids.

    I have three and its not comfortable for anyone. I will have a full sized once the boys get older.
     
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  12. Jul 12, 2018 at 7:36 AM
    #12
    stubbspy

    stubbspy [OP] Member

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    We'd have TWO Tacos to take camping, mine and my bro-in-law's new one if I choose that route. So no putting people in the bed required. ;)
     
  13. Jul 12, 2018 at 12:35 PM
    #13
    Shwaa

    Shwaa Well-Known Member

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    17 mile commute each way doesn't sound too bad, but doing that 5x a week in a Land Cruiser the costs will add up.
     
  14. Jul 12, 2018 at 12:38 PM
    #14
    stubbspy

    stubbspy [OP] Member

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    Not awful, about $330/yr difference at current fuel prices (I ride a motorcycle during much of the summer). I figure I can swing that for the seating options.

    Because I'm a bit OCD, I made a spreadsheet to calculate my commuting cost for my current and potential vehicles -- includes fuel cost, tires, oil, maintenance, and insurance.
     
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  15. Jul 12, 2018 at 12:40 PM
    #15
    stubbspy

    stubbspy [OP] Member

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    All told, allowing an extra $400/yr for maintenance and repairs on the decade+ older Cruiser, I figure it'll cost me about $700/yr more to run.
     
  16. Jul 12, 2018 at 12:41 PM
    #16
    MedicMutt

    MedicMutt Purveyor of Useless Information

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    Two Tacos is a possibility? That route, for sure. Even though I voted E-350 :spy: (Love a Quigley 4x4 van)
     
  17. Jul 12, 2018 at 12:43 PM
    #17
    stubbspy

    stubbspy [OP] Member

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    Yeah, my brother-in-law is just wanting to replace his '14 with a new one, so we could take both for wheeling. Of course, even with a Cruiser, we could still take both vehicles.
     
  18. Jul 12, 2018 at 12:43 PM
    #18
    G.T.

    G.T. Official TW Burrito Inspector

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    Ha, I'm in the same boat plus a 5th gen 4Runner. The only difference for me is that the diesel LandCruiser get the best fuel economy out of the lot with the Tacoma being the worst.

    IMG_5757.jpg
     
  19. Jul 12, 2018 at 12:46 PM
    #19
    Gunshot-6A

    Gunshot-6A Seldom Correct; Never Unsure.

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    honda50r, Greenbean and seedy_tea like this.
  20. Jul 12, 2018 at 12:47 PM
    #20
    AuDigger

    AuDigger Well-Known Member

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    As an afterthought also, the 100 series is equipped with a timing belt not a chain. Granted it only needs changed every 90,000 miles or so.
     

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