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Is 4x4 worth it?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by sonic_boom, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. Oct 23, 2009 at 4:08 AM
    #1
    sonic_boom

    sonic_boom [OP] Member

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    I'm looking for a economical all around pickup truck since my 99' accord is going to cost $3500 to get it up to shape. I'm looking into the Tacoma reg cab 4 cyl but I'm debating if I can get by with just the 2wd or do I need the 4wd because I live in MN. I live right in the metro area but there are occasional 1ft of snow storm, unplowed roads, and sleet but I don't go off-roading. If the 2WD can be driven around the snow then I would rather buy a newer, lower milage, economical, easier to maintain 2WD tacoma. The 4WD tacoma less then $10k around here are beaten up pretty bad or else they are about to need a $2,000 maintenance tune up. But if you guys think I need the 4WD, then I will consider the 4WD. My budget is $10,000. Please let me know if there's any problem areas I should watch out for while shopping.

    2WD owners:
    If I get the 2WD, I will get snow tires and sand bags but are there many cases you wish you had a 4WD. I noticed that some of the 2005+ 2WD has auto LSD, does that help in snow traction?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Oct 23, 2009 at 4:15 AM
    #2
    ChrisYoTaCoMa

    ChrisYoTaCoMa Chrome's for Harleys and old farts

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    I have a 4x4, and I am from MA. I can tell you when I was up there last winter with mine, if it was not in 4, it was useless in the snow. Completely useless. As soon as I put it in 4, it was unstopable, it was like a tank. I am pretty sure some of the guys will chime in about the locking rear ends in the Prerunners, TRD's, and if they are good in the now or not, I have no idea. I would never get a 2wd truck up there where it snows, no way. I am moving back to MA next spring, and I am glad to still have the tacoma.
     
  3. Oct 23, 2009 at 4:24 AM
    #3
    RCBS

    RCBS "Cause I'm mighty proud of that ragged old flag."

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    better to have and not need, than to need and not have. if you do go with a 2wd, try to find something with limited slip rear, the locker doesn't really help on snow covered roads as it tends to make the rear of the truck want to kick out when the wheels spin.
     
  4. Oct 23, 2009 at 4:26 AM
    #4
    Brunes

    Brunes abides.

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    +1 for have it and not need it. It won't make you an amazing driver- but it can certainly help you improve your safety margin and help when you are having fun with the truck.
     
  5. Oct 23, 2009 at 4:50 AM
    #5
    JeffRock

    JeffRock Well-Known Member

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    I keep thinking i could have saved a bundle with a 2X4. the last three trucks I have had were 4X4's. And i hardly used it. Found it more fun and challenging to drive without the four wheel drive on in snow.
     
  6. Oct 23, 2009 at 5:00 AM
    #6
    ChrisYoTaCoMa

    ChrisYoTaCoMa Chrome's for Harleys and old farts

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    It wasn't challenging to me when I was stuck in my driveway, and the thing would not move after 16 inches of snow. It kinda sucked.
     
  7. Oct 23, 2009 at 5:38 AM
    #7
    WNYTACOMA

    WNYTACOMA Well-Known Member

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    My guess is that if he is from the 'Capitol region' where their idea of a heavy snow is 4 inches. We can get that in an hour here.

    2 wheel drive is useless in the type of snow we get here, as well. The 2 wheel drive guys can't get out of their own way.
     
  8. Oct 23, 2009 at 6:47 AM
    #8
    4WD

    4WD cRaZy oLdmAn

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    Before you totally dismiss a 2 wheel drive truck you need to seriously consider getting a later year model Tacoma TRD or pre runner with the locking rear differential , throw some chains on the rear if necessary & you'll go just about anywhere a 4x4 will go.....:cool:

    Web DSC00635.jpg
    Web Web DSC00632.jpg
     
  9. Oct 23, 2009 at 6:57 AM
    #9
    Cars0n`

    Cars0n` Well-Known Member

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    for the one time you venture off the beaten path (or plowed road) and go to turn around and get stuck on a dirt road way out in the sticks you'll wish. you had 4wd. that's what happened to me luckily a guy came on a quad and pulled me out. it was only like 2 inches of fresh snow, little above freezing and very slight incline to climb in reverse, but with the 2wd i got stuck and wasnt going anywhere. 2+ hour walk back if that quad never came. go for the 4wd if you can man and don't look back.
     
  10. Oct 23, 2009 at 7:20 AM
    #10
    sonic_boom

    sonic_boom [OP] Member

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    I see you guys' point. I asked some coworkers about their 2WD trucks and they swear they don't ever need 4WD unless off-roading. One old timer told me that he could do anything a 4WD could do. That confused me a bit because when I drove my uncle's 4WD pickup in 2WD mode in the snow and I had to switch it back to 4WD right away because it was fish tailing. Am I missing something here?

    I've driven my 1999 accord pretty much my whole life and even with snow tires, I still have trouble starting in snow storms and ice. What I noticed was my dad's 1990 corolla with it's narrow all-season tires was the best in the snow. Weird? That's why I asked if the small 2WD tacoma is good in the snow.

    Hey this would be what I want if it wasn't so far away:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2001...ewItemQQptZUS_Cars_Trucks?hash=item19b7339c58
     
  11. Oct 23, 2009 at 7:25 AM
    #11
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    I'm being totally serious here....

    A front wheel drive car is much better in the snow than a 2WD truck. YOu're better off getting another accord.

    Get the 4WD.
     
  12. Oct 23, 2009 at 7:29 AM
    #12
    JeffRock

    JeffRock Well-Known Member

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    Not much will move after 16 inches.
     
  13. Oct 23, 2009 at 7:33 AM
    #13
    JeffRock

    JeffRock Well-Known Member

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    Just throwing my opinion out there. He asked, no reason to be a wise ass. Sure out west you get more snow.
     
  14. Oct 23, 2009 at 7:41 AM
    #14
    bobwilson1977

    bobwilson1977 Well-Known Member

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    I've taken my 2WD taco over the Sierras every year for 9 years, and most of the time there's a lot of snow. I usually put 150 pounds of sand over the wheels and take it easy. It does ok. But I only drive in the snow a few times a year. If you live somewhere that gets a lot of snow, 4WD might be well worth it. I lived in MA for 3 years. The truck stayed back home because I was in college. But there's no way I would have driven my truck on those streets because they got a lot of snow.
     
  15. Oct 23, 2009 at 7:42 AM
    #15
    2009Silver

    2009Silver Well-Known Member

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    I'm in Wisconsin. I would never consider a 2wd truck. I usually try and wait to engage 4x4 until I have to, but I couldn't imagine only having 2wd.
     
  16. Oct 23, 2009 at 7:53 AM
    #16
    NicksRig

    NicksRig Well-Known Member

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    You gotta go with the 4x4. Snowy climate= 4x4.
     
  17. Oct 23, 2009 at 7:56 AM
    #17
    bobwilson1977

    bobwilson1977 Well-Known Member

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    The problem with trucks is that they weigh nothing in the back. I think me and one or two other people could lift the back of mine. So in a 2WD truck, the drive wheels have hardly any weight on them. Just the other day I was at a stop light in the rain. The light turned green, I gave it gas and it just sat there spinning out. The guy next to me thought I was showing off.
     
  18. Oct 23, 2009 at 7:57 AM
    #18
    NAAC3TACO

    NAAC3TACO Just east of crazy

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    I hardly ever use 4x4, but it's sure nice to know that I have one vehicle that can go anywhere in any kind of weather. We don't get a lot of snow here in Reno, but in early 2005 we had a series of heavy snow storms. At that time I had a 4x4 Silverado and I don't know how I would have gotten around without it. It's also fun for off road use if you're into that. A Prerunner with some weight in the bed and the correct tires would probably do fine also. JMO.
     
  19. Oct 23, 2009 at 8:00 AM
    #19
    bobwilson1977

    bobwilson1977 Well-Known Member

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    Its also important yet obvious to add that the way you drive has as much to do with it as anything. I've been crossing the Sierras before and seen Land Rovers in the ditch. I usually drive in a higher gear than usual so I won't over-accelerate. I also take time to speed up and slow down and avoid using the brakes. I also carry chains and use them when it gets heavy. I've been in some seriously snowy conditions and to date haven't gotten stuck.

    But if I lived somewhere that got snow, I'd definitely go 4WD.
     
  20. Oct 23, 2009 at 8:03 AM
    #20
    NAAC3TACO

    NAAC3TACO Just east of crazy

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    Driving style is important. Most of the vehicles I see on their roofs in the winter are 4x4s. I always say 4x4 helps you go, but it doesn't help you stop.
     
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