1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

just test drove a 2009 DC tacoma - first impressions (long read)

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by NetMonkey, May 23, 2009.

  1. May 23, 2009 at 8:28 PM
    #1
    NetMonkey

    NetMonkey [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Member:
    #8536
    Messages:
    1,725
    Gender:
    Male
    Geogetown, TX
    Vehicle:
    2010, 4x4, DC, off-road, shortbed, automatic
    Toytec Ultimate Lift @ 3", Mickey Thompson MTZ's 285/75/16, Moto Metal 955b, rear 2" ALL, Marlin Crawler sliders
    so, i will be buying a new vehicle this year so i figured i would start by getting the ball rolling...

    i went to Miller toyota in Culver city, CA. i was amazingly suprised at how respectful, polite, and courteous that they were. i told them that i wanted to get inside a tacoma and just "feel around" and... i told them that i was not in the market to buy today. the lady who was helping me took me to the last tacoma they had on their lot (a 2009 double cab, automatic, trd sport, long bed) and turned me loose (i actually want a 2009 DC, 4x4, automatic, short bed, with the off-road package). she answered all my questions and i probably spent 20 minutes looking inside and outside of the truck.. playing with all the buttons, knobs, features, moving the seats all around, messing with the steering wheel, etc... i went from top to bottom on this truck. all the while, she never once asked me or pressured me to buy. while i was looking, she offered my a test drive and we were off...

    now, i currently own a 2005 nissan titan, king cab, 2x4 so my observations and comparisions are coming from 4 years of driving the titan.
    i have been wanting a smaller truck because i find the titan just too damn big for los angeles. hehe... parking the titan in los angeles is like trying to dock a battleship in a pond; its fricken impossible. :) so the tacoma seems like a good choice.

    so, anyway....
    CAB / ERGONOMICS
    the tacoma cab is smaller, but i felt like it cradled me (does that make sense?). i didnt feel like i was swimming in the cab like the titan. Even though the tacoma double cab is smaller than the titan king cab, there was more usable space. you could actually seat 4 people comfortably in the tacoma.
    funny, for being a smaller truck, the hood line on the tacoma is much higher than the titan. i think the titans hood is slanted at an angle where the tacomas hood is more flat. anyway, i felt like there was more hood to look across. good? bad? i dunno.
    Likes:
    the heights of the armrests fit me perfectly, the controls were easy to see, the vents were high on the dash the way i like them and i could adjust them easily. i like the built in blue tooth. the air conditioner is powerful.. the truck cooled down fast! the aux jack is near a little cubby/pocket so you can place your device close to the jack. there are 3 cup holders up front; 2 of which are greatly adjustable. there are a bunch of extra little cubbies and pockets in the dash area for your "stuff". the fit and finish of the truck was amazing and the ride was quiet (although, i was only on surface streets). the radio was descent, but ceratinly not as punchy and powerful as the titan.
    Dislikes:
    i wear polarized sun glasses and i cannot see the radio display with them on (but you memorize the layout and buttons on a vehicle, so... i dunno).
    the steering wheel radio controls are in a poor position. i like to drive with my left elbow on the window/door edge and my fingers holding the wheel. in the titan, the buttons are conveniently positioned so that i dont have to reach to operate them. on the tacoma, i really have to reach my thumb to adjust the controls.
    i will miss the auto up and auto down off all the windows like the titan has. at least the tacoma has a driver auto down.
    some of the items in the truck seemed weak and flimsy. for example, the little doors that cover the under seat storage area. also, the little plastic pannel that was behind the air/heater controls. it was easy to press and bend that panel in.

    STORAGE
    OMFG!!! UNDER/BEHIND SEAT STORAGE!!! brilliant! that is the one thing that pisses me off about the titan is that there is no under seat storage in the back. there are things that i want to carry in the cab (hitch, ball, mount, tools, first aid kit, etc..) and now i can stow those items in the tacoma. the center console size is smaller than the titan, but the seat storage more than makes up for it. both the tacoma and titan share a good amount of door pocket space.

    SEATS
    i actually found the seats to be snug, firm, and very comfortable. i dont mind the higher step in and the lower seat position that some people talk about. the driving position seems correct for me (i am 5'8"). the lumbar support was great and i actually dont mind the manual seats (as compared to the titans electric seats. actually, the titans seats annoy me because i always rub against the seat back tilt button when i step into the truck. this means that i am constantly having to tilt the seat backwards after i enter the truck).
    the back seats in the tacoma are amazing!! they are actually comfortable and you have plenty of leg room. i would not be embarrassed to have someone ride in the back seats in the tacoma like i am with the titan. the titans back seats are cramped and so damn uncomfortable.

    POWER
    well... there is no comparison. the titan blows the tacoma away as far as power is concerned. the titan is super punchy and has instant power and thottle response at any speed and rpm. however, the point of get getting the tacoma was to go smaller and that also means a smaller engine. but with that said, the tacoma is no slouch either. when you step on the gas, the truck moves... i floored it out of a parking lot and spun the tires vigorously (understatement) :) and i would be getting much better mileage in the tacoma as well (i get 12mpg in the titan).

    BRAKES
    i have read that some people feel that the brakes in the tacoma are squishy. i felt like there was a 1/2-3/4 inch or so "play" when i touched the brakes, but, pressed further, the truck stopped just fine. i felt confident about the brakes.

    RIDE
    the suspension of the 2x4 prerunner sport was VERY soft... eek! (the 2x4 titan is waaay firmer) and the front end lean in the corners... ugh :eek: i would hope that the 4x4 off-road version of the truck would have a much firmer ride. i also plan to install a set of 5100's at 1.75" so i hope that would firm it up as well. and now that i have climed in and out of the truck a bunch of times, i feel reassured that 1.75" of lift on 265/75/16 is plenty for me. any higher and i think it would be too tall for my short legs :)


    overall, i liked the truck. but i still think i want to get more seat time and play time before i purchase. i also want to see the differrent colors in person. the truck i drove was in black, but i am interested in silver or that dark gray... i cant decide.

    if anyone in so cal wouldnt mind showing off their truck to me, i would be greatful. especially a truck with 4x4, with the off-road package and/or with a lift.

    ohh.. and even if i wasnt going to buy a tacoma, i would still want to buy a vehicle from Miller toyota. seriously, these guys earned my business.

    thanks for reading :)
     
  2. May 23, 2009 at 8:54 PM
    #2
    vwguy60

    vwguy60 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Member:
    #14465
    Messages:
    121
    Gender:
    Male
    Southern California
    Vehicle:
    2009 TRD Sport DC LB
    Toytec Ultimate Lift Kit, TC ucas, TRD CAI, powder coated OEM tube steps, powder coated TRD skid plate.
    My past trucks included, a 1998 F-150, 2004 Dodge Quad Cab 5.7 Hemi, 2004 Toyota Tundra Limited Access Cab and now my 2009 Tacoma TRD Sport.

    I read your review/comparison and it was very similar to what I felt when I compared it to my past trucks. One thing I could not stand about my Tacoma was the lean into turns and the very soft ride. My Toytec coil overs cured that issue right away!

    Here are a few pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. May 23, 2009 at 8:57 PM
    #3
    AaronM

    AaronM Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Member:
    #16727
    Messages:
    53
    Gender:
    Male
    BC
    Vehicle:
    09 Timberland Mica SR5 LB
    Truxedo Tonneau Cover. Weathertech mats. EXTREME! Right? :|
    I spent about a year and a half considering a new vehicle, ranging through an 89 Jaguar XJS, a Mazda RX-8, GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier, and finally to the Tacoma.

    Gotta say, the people at the Toyota Dealer were the best to deal with. The fact that their truck is the best mid-size helps too.

    Interesting to read your opinions :)
     
  4. May 23, 2009 at 9:04 PM
    #4
    Fluffymonkey

    Fluffymonkey Token

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Member:
    #7932
    Messages:
    2,177
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Matt
    College Station, TX/ Lawrence, KS
    Vehicle:
    2013 Trd Sport DC, 07 DC sr5
    2007: Avid sliders, 30% front tint, Truxedo low-pro qt tonneu cover, aero turbine 2525 muffler w/ 8'' tip, AR25 Resonator, 16x8 Dick Cepek DC-1 w/ 265/75 Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs, 2010 headlights, ome 884 coils with .5'' top plate spacer, OME sport front shocks, blisten 5100s rear, 2'' aal, locking gas cap, LR ucas, Viper 2-way remote start, afe drop in filter, Rocky locking bike mounts, gear chest, scanguage, pop n lock tailgate lock 2013: most things transferred over from my 07, 5100s @ .85 + eibachs, wheelers progressive aal w/ overload
    Glad you're finally making your way over from the dark side :D jk. I like Nissans. My second choice would have def been the frontier nismo :).
     
  5. May 23, 2009 at 10:14 PM
    #5
    w8n4mud

    w8n4mud There's a mod for that!

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Member:
    #6831
    Messages:
    6,204
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Albert
    San Diego, CA
    Vehicle:
    2015 Subaru WRX
    Bilsteins 5100's (Front & Rear), GrillCraft, Line-X'ed Skid Plate & Bumper Valence, Blacked out hood scoop, Avid Light Bar and much more.
    I totally agree, BUT I still love my Tacoma despite some features it does not have. I would add that its missing a nav system!
     
  6. May 23, 2009 at 11:03 PM
    #6
    jdkeller

    jdkeller How many words can be fit in this s

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Member:
    #11040
    Messages:
    12,983
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jonathan
    Inland Empire, Ca
    Vehicle:
    2008 Tacoma Prerunner TRD Offroad
    Dome light LED, 6000k HID Headlights and fogs, Grillcraft black mesh, rear 5100's, Total Chaos UCA's, 285/75/16 BFG KM2's, Spidertrax spacers, Blacked out emblems, cb,kenwood tm270 ham radio, All Pro 3" leaf pack, Fox 2.0 coilovers, Revenge Fab Sliders, u bolt flip kit, Pioneer avh4200, bed bar with light and antenna, Wet Okoles, Weathertech Mats, Wet Okole Armrests, Rear KR Fab bumper, bed mat, N-Fab spare tire carrier with full size spare on 16" TRD rim, Bedlinered flares and grille. Camburg Spindles, All Pro front fenders.
    Nice read. Im in Fontana so if your ever out here hit mu up and you can drive my truck. Its not 4x4 though. trd offroad with lift and 33" tires.
     
  7. May 24, 2009 at 12:18 AM
    #7
    BakoTruck

    BakoTruck Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Member:
    #16674
    Messages:
    2,823
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Herbie Hancock
    Bakersfield, CA
    Vehicle:
    05 PreRunner TRD
    Mostly stock for now, I have added a cb radio, various cheap mods and I plan on adding aftermarket wheels and other items in the future.
    I think it sounds like your doing a good job of going through the process of buying a vehicle. I as well tried to do all the research, I think the they could have done better on a lot of things but overall I think it is better in a lot of areas vs the other types of trucks in the same category.

    Are you going to be doing any offroading or towing? If not I would suggest not going with the TRD package like me. I think it was a mistake for me since I don't tow or do any heavy duty offroading and it was a waste of money for me. The shocks do really well going fast in the dirt and the oil cooler is nice but I don't think it really matters. You can always add stuff like that later if you want too. My 05 TRD came with the Bilstein shocks, Im not sure if they still do but Im sure they still do. You said that you wanted the stiffer ride and I think the Bilstein shocks give my truck a good solid/stiff ride so it mite be a good thing for you to get the TRD package or add them later. I would suggest test driving a non TRD truck and see what you think for the ride. I would also say go with the blue color but they don't offer the blue for 2009 for some reason which is stupid I think. I have a silver mica and wish I would have gotten a blue but the silver is pretty sharp in the sun. But anyways good luck and remember to ask yourself what you really want vs what you need. :D
     
  8. May 24, 2009 at 1:06 AM
    #8
    seligman

    seligman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Member:
    #17207
    Messages:
    417
    Gender:
    Male
    If Miller Toyota Culver City is affiliated with Miller Toyota Anaheim, I wouldn't recommend them. My friend just got screwed by the Anaheim bunch.

    They were nice and friendly until the negotiating began. I just helped him negotiate a bunch of prices over the internet. PM me if you want more info.
     
  9. May 24, 2009 at 1:48 AM
    #9
    Kyouto42

    Kyouto42 Iron Beard

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    Member:
    #8614
    Messages:
    9,243
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Jake
    Ahwatukee, AZ
    Vehicle:
    BSP '10 4x4 TRD Off-Road DC
    See build thread in signature
    Indigo Ink > Speedway Blue (let the flames begin lol).

    Anyway, yea the truck does roll a lot but you get used to it quick. I came from a '05 G35 coupe lowered, there was almost zero body roll so it took me about 1000mi or so to get used to feeling like I was gunna roll. However, it starts to quickly gain your confidence... it'd take a hell of a lot or a really stupid manover to roll it. These are awesome agile trucks that's almost missleading how much so. I have a '80 prerunner TRD Off-Road (same suspension in the 4x4 btw) with the Blisten shocks (Sport also has the same shocks, but they're tension is set diffrent). I also have an AccessCab which... is also just as usefull minus sitting in the back lol.

    Keep in mind some of the stuff you did like (the way the rear seats are, bluetooth, ect) are only in 09's. Personally for AC (which you're not looking for) I think the 05-08 has a better setup for the rear... but that's personal opinion.

    There are some days I wish I had my old car back, but 95% of the time I dont' regeret buying this truck one bit (minus not getting 4wd). Things like nav and such that one pointed out... easy fix for with even $500 head unit. 4 bolts and about 30min you're done.
     
  10. May 24, 2009 at 5:16 AM
    #10
    brian

    brian Another Traitor

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Member:
    #16011
    Messages:
    7,557
    Gender:
    Male
    Elizabeth City, NC
    Vehicle:
    2008 F-350 Powerstroke
    spacer lift = compressed front springs = less roll, at least for me :) Shits almost too stiff though, lol.

    I was noticing it yesterday a little, but with my 285 tires on my truck, the brakes actually do feel squishy now, since they're larger. I may look into something to upgrade the brakes, when and if I ever get the money. TRD big brake kit is expensive as hell. I did just read something about Tundra brakes on a Tacoma, can't verify if it works on 05+
     
  11. May 24, 2009 at 7:47 AM
    #11
    NetMonkey

    NetMonkey [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Member:
    #8536
    Messages:
    1,725
    Gender:
    Male
    Geogetown, TX
    Vehicle:
    2010, 4x4, DC, off-road, shortbed, automatic
    Toytec Ultimate Lift @ 3", Mickey Thompson MTZ's 285/75/16, Moto Metal 955b, rear 2" ALL, Marlin Crawler sliders
    thanks for the feedback, guys.

    hmm.... i will keep that in mind. the guy i did speak with was the internet sales manager. so maybe the "screwing" would be minimal? :)


    wow.. thats a generous offer. thanks! fontana is really outta the way though (70 miles). it might be worth the trip if i cant find a similar offer in los angeles or orange county :)


    ya, i do plan on doing some light off roading and minimal towing. i always figured it is easier to add and pay for all that stuff at the time of purchase. and my wife wont think that i am constantly spending money on the truck if it was already on there at the time of purchase ;)
     
  12. May 24, 2009 at 7:53 AM
    #12
    brian

    brian Another Traitor

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Member:
    #16011
    Messages:
    7,557
    Gender:
    Male
    Elizabeth City, NC
    Vehicle:
    2008 F-350 Powerstroke
    LoL... I just noticed this :p
     
  13. May 24, 2009 at 7:58 AM
    #13
    TRDPyrite09

    TRDPyrite09 function & form

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Member:
    #16069
    Messages:
    129
    Gender:
    Male
    Houston, Tx.
    Vehicle:
    09 Pyrite Mica TRD Sport DC SB 4x4
    check my sig for mod list and build thread
    nice review. i hope others find it useful. cant wait to take delivery of mine.
     
  14. May 24, 2009 at 8:18 AM
    #14
    NetMonkey

    NetMonkey [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Member:
    #8536
    Messages:
    1,725
    Gender:
    Male
    Geogetown, TX
    Vehicle:
    2010, 4x4, DC, off-road, shortbed, automatic
    Toytec Ultimate Lift @ 3", Mickey Thompson MTZ's 285/75/16, Moto Metal 955b, rear 2" ALL, Marlin Crawler sliders
    those are 285/70/17 ?
     
  15. May 24, 2009 at 8:20 AM
    #15
    vwguy60

    vwguy60 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Member:
    #14465
    Messages:
    121
    Gender:
    Male
    Southern California
    Vehicle:
    2009 TRD Sport DC LB
    Toytec Ultimate Lift Kit, TC ucas, TRD CAI, powder coated OEM tube steps, powder coated TRD skid plate.
    Yes they are.
     
  16. May 24, 2009 at 3:00 PM
    #16
    seligman

    seligman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Member:
    #17207
    Messages:
    417
    Gender:
    Male
    Yeah, I think the internet sales people are better. In that case, you might be fine. Somebody told me they are salaried and don't make a commission.

    Here's what I would do. Start with Longo Toyota in El Monte. If you know the exact specs, they will e-mail you a price within 1 hour.

    Then forward that quote to other Toyota dealerships in your area. I did this for my buddy about 2 weeks ago. Within 8 hours of going back and forth with about five dealerships, Longo came down $800 on their initial price. Then Toyota of Orange agreed to match it.

    Also, go to Yahoo Autos or Edmunds.com to get the invoice price for the truck you want. Both sites allow you to customize the specs.

    I think you have a definite advantage by wanting a 4x4 - dealerships are more desperate to unload them.
     
  17. May 24, 2009 at 3:03 PM
    #17
    05PreRunner

    05PreRunner "Living life in the FAST lane..."

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Member:
    #2675
    Messages:
    4,965
    Gender:
    Male
    <-(714)-> SO-CAL
    TRD intake, JBA "shorty" headers, URD y-pipe
    Im in the OC... If you want a test drive, let me know...
     
  18. May 24, 2009 at 3:45 PM
    #18
    NetMonkey

    NetMonkey [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Member:
    #8536
    Messages:
    1,725
    Gender:
    Male
    Geogetown, TX
    Vehicle:
    2010, 4x4, DC, off-road, shortbed, automatic
    Toytec Ultimate Lift @ 3", Mickey Thompson MTZ's 285/75/16, Moto Metal 955b, rear 2" ALL, Marlin Crawler sliders
    awesome, thanks!

    actually, i will join you guys at the so cal mod day on june 6th. i think that will be a great way to check out the trucks and meet some of the local peeps. :)
     
  19. May 24, 2009 at 9:23 PM
    #19
    BakoTruck

    BakoTruck Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Member:
    #16674
    Messages:
    2,823
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Herbie Hancock
    Bakersfield, CA
    Vehicle:
    05 PreRunner TRD
    Mostly stock for now, I have added a cb radio, various cheap mods and I plan on adding aftermarket wheels and other items in the future.
    Originally Posted by BakoTruck [​IMG]
    My 05 TRD came with the Bilstein shocks, Im not sure if they still do but Im sure they still do.

    Whoops, what I was trying to say is that I wasn't sure if the new TRD's still came with the Bilstein shocks. :D
     
To Top