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Purchase advice - 4x2 snow performance, etc.

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Da Hapa, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. Apr 24, 2012 at 11:13 AM
    #1
    Da Hapa

    Da Hapa [OP] Member

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    I've used the search function and the only relevant thread I found got off topic with name calling, etc. and didn't really help me so I apologize in advance if my noob question has been asked before but...

    My wife and I are contemplating purchasing a new Tacoma for our in-laws as an early retirement/thank you for paying for your daughter's education gift. They live about an hour outside of NYC and so they experience typical East Coast winters. Their roads are usually well plowed (as I understand it) and my father in law isn't likely to tow, go off road, or speed. He is a super handy guy that likes doing home improvement type projects and he's always wanted a small pickup.

    We are leaning towards buying them a double cab since we want them to be able to take the grandchildren in car seats in the back and we're thinking the 4 banger might be fine (my father in law drives an old crapbox Taurus right now and the 4 banger will likely be quicker).

    But my big question is 4x4 or 4x2? As I said, he's not going off road but I don't see him owning a separate set of snow tires (he doesn't now for the Taurus or the old CRV that the also own). Will sandbags and 4x2 be sufficient in NY winters? Stepping up to 4x4 means getting the V6 and all told it's several thousand more... for something that won't be used 90+% of the time. But again, I'm a CA resident that doesn't know jack about driving in the snow and the only thing worse than wasting $ on buying 4x4/V6 would be to not buy that and find them unable to drive in the winter.

    Any/all thoughts/advice would be sincerely appreciated.

    Christian
     
  2. Apr 24, 2012 at 11:20 AM
    #2
    BuzzardsGottaEat

    BuzzardsGottaEat "Pick up some speed.. You'll make it."

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    I hardly ever use my 4x4 on road and I'm from South Dakota, now In Nebraska, where roads aren't always plowed promptly. I will say, however, that the few times I found a rough patch that 4x4 sure did ease my mind. If NY roads are better kept and plowed than South Dakota I'm sure 4x2 will be fine. Its not like it won't be significantly more capable than the Taurus.
    Good luck with your decision
     
  3. Apr 24, 2012 at 11:29 AM
    #3
    MountainEarth

    MountainEarth Well-Known Member

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    Will this be a primary vehicle for him? That is, will he have to go out in bad weather? (i.e. would he be commuting with this vehicle?) Any hills where he is? Or is it totally flat? Sandbags and studded tires in the rear are fine in the flats and well plowed streets.
     
  4. Apr 24, 2012 at 11:39 AM
    #4
    DEEVON911

    DEEVON911 Semi-Pro

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    Well around here we have a ton of hills, so I wouldn't even think of not having 4x4 for the winter. But if they live in a pretty level area, and the roads are kept pretty good, than should be ok with 2 wheel drive. Just have to remember these trucks have a light ass end, so as a precaution, he should keep some weight in the bed for better traction during winter, other than that, should be good to go.
     
  5. Apr 24, 2012 at 11:45 AM
    #5
    [eric]

    [eric] Well-Known Member

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    sounds like you plan on having your kids in this vehicle. If that is the case I would suggest you pay for whatever is safest. The fact that you are considering it already suggest you can afford the 4x4.

    4x4 makes a big difference in snow and ice, but nothing is more important then knowing how to drive in the snow (slowing down, use good judgement, etc.)

    good luck. And I cant wait till my daughter grows up and buys me a new truck!!:D
     
  6. Apr 24, 2012 at 11:53 AM
    #6
    OZ-T

    OZ-T Quite an experience to live in fear , isn't it ?

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    Get the 4x4 if you can afford it
     
  7. Apr 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM
    #7
    Tacoma206

    Tacoma206 Well-Known Member

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    ^ This.

    You just don't want to have to worry about anything. But if you think you won't be worrying about it in the 4x2 than you should go with that.
     
  8. Apr 24, 2012 at 12:06 PM
    #8
    SnowroxKT

    SnowroxKT AK SnowroxKT

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    I live in Anchorage, Alaska where we just broke the snow record this year...

    That being said, I will always purchase 4x4 or AWD if AT ALL possible, in terms of car choice and economic feasibility (lol if I aint broke, and even if I move where I might not need it)

    But, for your situation, it isn't going to be your vehicle. Since they already own a CR-V, is that AWD or FWD? I believe they offer both for the CR-V's... Even though FWD is better than RWD in snow normally that would give you an idea to go off of (ie if they: have the AWD model=get the 4x4, have the FWD model=Tough call)

    Is this going to be their main form of transportation?

    Welcome to TacomaWorld btw! :wave:
     
  9. Apr 24, 2012 at 12:09 PM
    #9
    Simon's Mom

    Simon's Mom Wag More Bark Less

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    good set of all terrains
    the dunlops in wet weather or any snow are not the best
     
  10. Apr 24, 2012 at 1:25 PM
    #10
    Da Hapa

    Da Hapa [OP] Member

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    Hi everyone and thanks for the quick and varied responses.

    To answer some of your questions:
    1) The CRV they have is AWD. To the best of my knowledge, they've never put snow tires on it and have never had an issue.
    2) The Taurus stays parked outside and again... never changed tires at winter time. However, it's FWD and forgive my ignorance but I assumed that FWD sedands with the weight of the motor and tranny providing traction would be better in the snow than a RWD truck.
    3) My father in law was born and raised in NYC. While I don't know jack about driving in snow, he's been driving in snow his whole life. Granted, never in a pick up but going back several decades of driving a lot of different vehicles with various snow driving capabilities. I would assume he'd put sandbags, etc. in the bed of the truck during the winter months to provide additional traction but I'll make sure and mention that.
    4) This won't be the primary vehicle. I would expect; however, from time to time that it would be driven in the snow (on plowed roads).
    5) My child probably won't be in the car. We live on the other coast but my brother in law and his family are in Virginia and I think the double cab makes more sense if they're down there and visiting to have the extra space/utility.
    6) We are blessed to be able to afford the 4x4 option but I'd like to think that part of the reason we're in that position is that we make wise financial choices. I whole heartedly agree with everyone's suggestion/statement that 4x4 is better in inclement weather but given my ignorance to how 4x2 Taco's handle the snow, I'd rather get your input/feedback before puting what is likely to be another $5,000 into a truck for a feature which won't be used off road and will only increase maintenance while lowering fuel mileage. But as I said, if the 4X2 is simply unsafe in the snow (like I understand the original Lexus LS400 was) than it's a no brainer.

    We've kicked around the idea of a simple Subaru Forester as well but it's not really what he's always talked about wanting and my conundrum of paying for the AWD (in the case of the Subie) when it might not be necessary remains.

    Again, thanks for the feedback so far... please keep it coming.
     
  11. Apr 24, 2012 at 1:33 PM
    #11
    2004TacomaSR5

    2004TacomaSR5 Sentinel Prime

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    4x4, just cuz you never know when you'll need it, and you would be regretting not having it, NY get's some nasty storms, remember 2010/2011? It took them quite awhile to get those roads plowed down enough to get a 2wd vehicle across, best just to just have 4x4. I wouldn't own a truck without 4x4 personally.
     
  12. Apr 24, 2012 at 1:39 PM
    #12
    BuzzardsGottaEat

    BuzzardsGottaEat "Pick up some speed.. You'll make it."

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    Not to get off the topic too much but you also may want to consider an access cab if you're getting the 4cyl. If they'll actually be using the back seats by all means ignore this post, but if the only people going in the back are the grandkids the seats are perfect sized ha I don't haul many passengers but when my ten year old brother and his friends need a ride the seats are plenty. Plus that way he can reach the rear sliding window. If this didn't help at all and derailed this I'm sorry :(
     
  13. Apr 24, 2012 at 2:07 PM
    #13
    TenBeers

    TenBeers Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you can get a 4-banger in a double-cab, but I might be wrong.

    It sounds like I drive in similar winter situations, and I just upgraded from a 2WD to a 4WD.

    The electronic doo-dads on the 2WD do a pretty good job of keeping you from spinning if you are going a little too fast, but braking is really no different. I never found myself on a hill steep enough to cause me any issues with traction. I just left snow in the bed to add weight.

    While I always felt safe with the 2WD, I like having the peace of mind of having 4WD available if I need it. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

    A DC 4WD is a pretty big investment for something that would be occasionally used. Like the other guy said, an Access Cab can carry kids in a pinch, and the 4-banger is an option there.
     
  14. Apr 24, 2012 at 2:23 PM
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    Da Hapa

    Da Hapa [OP] Member

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    No, I appreciate all feedback.

    Both the grandkids are under two and therefore will be in car seats for a while. It's next to impossible to fit a rear facing car seat in the back of an access cab. So that coupled with their lifestyle (they like to go out to eat/visit family) means they will probably actually use the rear seats and I think the additional cost of the DC vs. AC is worthwhile.
     
  15. Apr 24, 2012 at 2:25 PM
    #15
    Da Hapa

    Da Hapa [OP] Member

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    Appreciate the input.

    You used to not be able to get the I4 in the DC but you can now. Unfortunately, and I don't understand this at all, it's still coupled to the archaic 4 speed auto rather than the still old school but significantly newer tech 5 speed offered with the V6.
     
  16. Apr 24, 2012 at 2:26 PM
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    OZ-T

    OZ-T Quite an experience to live in fear , isn't it ?

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    but can you get a 4cyl DC 4x4 ?
     
  17. Apr 24, 2012 at 2:33 PM
    #17
    jonatay

    jonatay Well-Known Member

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    Also, If you get the TRD offroad version, it will come with the locking rear differential to put power to both rear wheels instead of just one.
     
  18. Apr 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM
    #18
    SnowroxKT

    SnowroxKT AK SnowroxKT

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    This normally does not help in the snow, it increases drifting especially on corners...
     
  19. Apr 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM
    #19
    KenLyns

    KenLyns Lord of War

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    The 4-cyl is not offered in DC 4x4 models - truck is just too heavy. 4x4 actually adds more weight than the difference between AC and DC.

    I would get a 4x4 without question. The Taco in 4x2 performs worse on snow, slush and ice than a FWD Taurus - you get more wheelspin accelerating from a stop, and more liable to fishtail.
     
  20. Apr 24, 2012 at 2:36 PM
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    jonatay

    jonatay Well-Known Member

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    Very true, but it could help you get out of a slippery situation.
     
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