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Thoughts on New TRD Sport

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by bubbagumps, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Mar 26, 2012 at 12:07 PM
    #1
    bubbagumps

    bubbagumps [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thought I would offer some honest impressions on my new TRD Sport Access Cab. I had a 1st generation Tacoma V6 Access Cab with the 3.7 L engine.

    The Good: :)

    -- Truck has grown to mid-size status. It is pretty much in league with the older Tundra in terms of interior space and size. It also looks a lot more rugged than the 1st gen.

    - Same high-end handing, both on and off road.

    -- Solid build. No creaks or groans.Feels built to last.

    --The interior on the 2012 is definitely a step up from the 1st gen. Taco. Still a lot of cheaper plastic stuff inside but it looks nice. Wasn't sure about the recessed gauges, but they have grown on me. The Sport TRD Sport package has very comfortable sport seats, especially with the lumabr support. In some reviews, I have heard complaints about seating position being too low but I find it to be just right. I think the lack of height adjustable seats has more to do with ergonomics and cabin height. here is just not enough head room to have a large seat adjustment range updwards, so it isn't put it in.

    -- Decent towing and cargo stats for a midsize. Better than 1st gen.

    -- The bed w/outlet and storage bins is a nice bonus.

    --It's a Tacoma, which means it will likely run until it rusts out, properly maintained of course.

    The Bad: :mad:

    You can get a base Taco for cheap but options are more expensive than the competition. Also, with deals and incentives that are almost always offered on full-size trucks these days, the truth is that you can get a well equiped fullsize for much less than a well equipped Tacoma. The decision can be hard. Spending a month looking at trucks, I was offered a well-equipped Ram 1500 or Tundra 5.7 doublecab, both 4x4 , and both less than I paid for the taco.

    It can also take some effort to find the model with the trim you are after., I had to find a dealer 100 miles away who had what I wanted. Every dealer I talked to in my area had the same story--they can't keep them stocked in the trims people want. You can find base trim 2WD easy enough but any of the TRD packages and 4WD models don't stay on the lot more than a week or two before they are gone. In fact, one of the dealers I came across who had stock I was interested in had already sold the vehicle I saw was just delivered when i was checking inventory online. The guy said it literally went the day after they put it out on the lot. They put it out as a showroom item outside the dealer entrance and some guy saw it driving by and walked in. It is also hard to find used Tacomas with good packages and they also are expensive.

    Demand varies by region, of course, but in a lot of spots, your chances of scoring deals are next to nill. They always have someone who will pay for what they are asking and they know it. Don't expect dealers to come down much. I was offered serious deals on Tundras for all the dealers but nobody would move much on the Tacomas. All I could get was $500 off sticker. I wasn't even given a counter-offer when I made a rebuttal. He pretty much had a take-it-or-leave-it attitude and told me if I don't buy, someone else will. I even had to pay a $500 deposit to hold the truck as it was a Monday and I couldn't get out until the weekend. I was advised there was no guarantee it would still be there.

    The Ugly::eek:

    In all honesty, I have found the initial mileage on the V6 4.0L is absolutely abysmal-- worse than what I hear reported for the Tundra 4.6 V8L real world mileage figures. I am a bit shocked. My first two tanks I am getting somwhere between 14- 15MPG. I really don't know what to think, even given it is a brand new vehicle and engine hasn't completely broken in. I do not have a heavy foot and most of my deriving is on the freeway,perhaps not even 20% city, which makes it even a bit more disconcerting. I just hope this improves with driving. I admit this has given me some second-thoughts that perhaps I would have been better off taking the deals on the Tundra. I prefer a more compact design and the Tacoma handles better off the road, but the if you are going to get fullsize mileage anyways, the fullsize starts to look more appealing. To say I am a little bit dissapointed with initital mileage is an understatement. . On my 21st gen V6 4x4, I consistently obtained 20MPG in mixed driving from the day I got the vehicle. This is a truck and I don't expect high MPG numbers, but these initital figures are a bit ridiculous for a midsize. The Tacoma is deifinitely in need of a a 6-speed V6 engine upgrade similar to the Tundra base powerplant.

    If the taco has any glaring weakness, this is it. Many people I hear debate between getting a tacoma or tundra. This is certainly something to think about that might be a deal breaker for the undecided. Ten years ago, it was a no-brainer decision. If you wanted a truck with fairly decent mileage, you went for a compact. You saves a lot of cash and came out ahead on mileage. It is becoming a bit more difficult these days to justify the choice of a midsize over fullsize--both in terms of finances and performance factors such as mileage.

    If you don't need the extra power, I would definitely be looking at the 4 cylinder if you want fuel efficiency. The V6 Taco is not it--despite the midsize/compact label and what the sticker EPA numbers say.
     
  2. Mar 26, 2012 at 1:04 PM
    #2
    S7ICKlVlAN

    S7ICKlVlAN Cpt. Bubbleguts

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    Good review. I concur with most of it, especially the mpg portion.
     
  3. Mar 26, 2012 at 1:33 PM
    #3
    bubbagumps

    bubbagumps [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Don't get me wrong. I like the Tacoma. It is all the truck I need in terms of towing/cargo most of the time. Honestly, however, if I knew the MPG was going to be this bad, I would have opted for the 4.7L Tundra for those few extra times when the additional cargo capacity and tonnage would come in handy. Based on real-world numbers reported by folks, I would probably get getting better mileage. The rear seats on the tundra access cab(doublecab) also are liveable for adults, although I rarely cary backseat passengers.

    The only drawback to the tundra for me is the obvious size. It is not easy to park in the city. Doable but annoying. I purchased the taco with this in mind and also based in no small part on my past great experience with the 1st generation I had. I will live with the bad mileage, but to be honest, if the dealer offered a clean trade right now for the Tundra, I probably would do it, knowing what I do now.

    I honestly can't see the compact/midsize segment sticking around for long, not when there is no real MPG gain for the well-packaged trucks and when the price is often more expensive for the midsize than the fullsized.

    Toyota definitely needs to upgrade the V6 engine to a more efficient 6-speed automatic. A lot of my friends and co-workers own trucks. When I told my buddies what MPG I was getting, their reaction was universal-"are you kidding me?". This reaction is quickly followed by the expected, "Why the hell didn't you just get a full size?" I am asking myself that now in hindsight.

    Unfortunately, I am getting razzed a bit now by the fellow RAM and Tundra owners I know. Given the MPG I am experiencing, can't say it is not justifiable razzing.
     
  4. Mar 26, 2012 at 1:40 PM
    #4
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Your MPG's will get better but will always be on par with the Tundra equipped with the smaller V8. The MPG rating on the window sticker should have told you as much. I pretty consistantly get between 19 and 20 MPG with my double cab 4wd and I actually do better in the city or mixed driving than on the highway. On the highway, anything over about 65 MPH and my MPG's tank. Believe it or not, slightly taller tires actually HELP the highway economy with no noticeable loss of power.
     
  5. Mar 26, 2012 at 1:48 PM
    #5
    Kevin C

    Kevin C Well-Known Member

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    Overall thoughtful review. I have the same truck, and am very happy. The gas mileage seems to be all over the place on TW. My thought is that people have much different definitions of "not having a heavy foot." I drive almost exclusively in town and average 17 on the nose. Anyway, enjoy your new Tacoma.
     
  6. Mar 26, 2012 at 1:49 PM
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    kryten

    kryten Well-Known Member

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    Agreed on everything you said, bubbagumps. Hope your mileage will pick up though. 14-15mpg is lower than you should be getting.
     
  7. Mar 26, 2012 at 2:14 PM
    #7
    bubbagumps

    bubbagumps [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully, it gets better.

    Window sticker EPA numbers are not that realistic, IMO. It depends on how you drive. That's why I figured I would be on the high end of the estimate as I do not drive aggressively. The Tundra 4.7 MPG window sticker rating is lower than the tacoma V6 but many people are reporting higher real-world numbers if you do some surfing. I think it's just the extra gear in the Tundra.

    IMO, the Taco V6 really really needs that extra gear to remain competitive on the MPG front.

    Part of my assumption and reasoning for the Taco over the Tundra was that I was going to at least get a few MPG more with the Tacoma. I am probably wrong on this, I suspect, when it's all said and done.

    Oh well. Not much I can do about it now. Hindsight is always 20/20. I do enjoy the Taco. I just wish Toyota would put in a more efficient V6.
     
  8. Mar 27, 2012 at 7:46 AM
    #8
    pickle

    pickle UAW made TEAMSTER driven

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    enjoy your new ride, quit stressin'. mpg's get better @12,500 mi. if you are so concerned with mpg's, why buy a truck to start with? believe me, that v-8 tundy mpg would have you really pissed.... should have got a prius if mileage was such a huge priority.. and the tundy option/sport taco option packages if eqivalent are thousands in difference, tundy too pricey. but you do get larger cab space and higher tow capacity with tundy. when you use that higher tow capacity in the 4.6L your mpg's drop real fast.. then wish you got the 5.7L (higher tow, but better mpg than 4.6 with a load on it) the taco rules in mpg ratings for towing or non-towing. i towed 2-axle trailer(@5500 lbs.) from las vegas to tacoma and averaged 14.5-16.6 mpg's in 4.0L v-6 2010 4x4 trd or a/c, and drove most of the way in 4th gear@ 60-70mph. that was and is remarkable mpg's. always used premium chevron or shell gas. i believe you made the right and best choice possible for fuel effiecency for a lower tow capacity 4x4 truck. be happy with your decision, it was a good one!!! peace
     
  9. Mar 27, 2012 at 7:48 AM
    #9
    brny67

    brny67 Well-Known Member

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    great review
     
  10. Mar 27, 2012 at 8:01 AM
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    Terrin81

    Terrin81 Active Member

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    I've got the 12 Sport DCSB Upgrade and your review is pretty spot on. I also couldn't bargain too much since there were 2 of these trucks in the state of FL at the time (they laughed at the True Car pricing for basically the same reasons you said).

    I've been tracking my fuel since ~1200 miles (I'm currently at ~3500) and average 16.7mpg. I've only taken 2 longer highway trips and I see ~20mpg highway (at ~78mph). Most of my driving is city (although it averages out because my city is short trips and the highway is long trips) and I get ~14mpg. I can't wait for it to get better, I wasn't expecting it to be this much worse when I switched from my 2001 Explorer Sport to this thing, also wasn't expecting it to be this much worse than my fiances 2008 4Runner.

    As it breaks in I'm hoping I can average in the 18mpg range, fingers crossed...
     
  11. Mar 27, 2012 at 8:10 AM
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    ScreamingTaco

    ScreamingTaco Huge Member

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  12. Mar 27, 2012 at 8:10 AM
    #12
    TenBeers

    TenBeers Well-Known Member

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    I had a Tundra before my current Tacoma for the reasons stated in the review -- I got a 2WD TRD crew cab for less than I could get a Tacoma! However, I only got 16mpg in the Tundra.

    I consistently get 20-21mpg in my 4.0 V6 2WD DCSB, so I am happy. If I was only getting 16 or so, I would seriously look at an extended cab Tundra 4x4 next time around. Made in San Antonio by folks who know what salsa tastes like.
     
  13. Mar 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM
    #13
    Smokey11

    Smokey11 You Can't Fix Stupid !

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    Sounds to me as if you bought the wrong pickup, all you keep talking about and comparing it to is the Tundra if thats what you wanted you should have bought it. Like Whippersnapper02 said if you want MPG's then buy a Hybrid MOST people dont buy a pickup for how well they do on fuel....just my .02
     
  14. Mar 28, 2012 at 7:52 AM
    #14
    bubbagumps

    bubbagumps [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Well, I am not trying to argue with anyone about MPG. I just am flabbergasted at the initital mileage I am getting compared to my old V6 1st gen. I am also pointing out observations about the mid-size compact segment. I am not saying I do not like the truck. That is why my thread title is .."My thoughts on.."..Just offering realistic observations.

    Everyone has their own reasons for getting a truck. Some get a truck for work. Some get one because of the utility. Some get them for offroad play. Others get them for image and like to jack them up because they look cool. There are no right or wrong reasons for getting a truck. But some people do have criteria they look at when buying.

    As I said, the reason I went with the Tacoma over the Tundra was because of my past experience with the 1st gen Taco. It got reasonable MPG for a truck and you do not need a can opener to extract yourself from the vehicle when wedging yourself between other vehicles in a parking garage. I don't care about the image aspect of it and do not need to be seen in a fullsize.

    IMO, most fullsize trucks today are bigger than they need to be today. Most 'compact' trucks are also bigger than they should be. In fact, outside of the old Ranger, you can't get a true compact anymore. As the size gap narrows between 'compact' and fullsize and as the price and MPG figures get this close, the lines are really getting blurred. You can actually save money now by going fullsize as the incentives and rebates are always there and the MPG difference over the life of the truck is going to cost less than the money saved on the sale.

    So, IMO the Tacoma doesn't need to get any bigger and hopefully Toyota keeps their senses about them. They also should put a 6-speed V6 into the truck. The 4.7L is not needed here in a truck in this category, just a 6-speed V6 4.0L. If someone needs the additional power or towing, they are going to be looking at fullsize to begin with. That would definitely increase the MPG rating and keep the Tacoma true to its compact/midsize roots and actually give buyers who don't want a fullsize a viable and practical option. It is true nobody buying a truck is going to be looking at good MPG numbers, However, IMO, the #1 reason most practical buyers go for a compact is because of the better MPG ratings on the window sticker. That is reality. If the manufacturers keep beefing everything up, it will eventually result in the death of the segment and the loss of sales, especially when gas goes over the $5 mark.

    Just my observations here and truck talk. Not trying to argue. The manufactuers need to keep the compact trucks compact, not flirting with fullsize.
     
  15. Mar 28, 2012 at 8:10 AM
    #15
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Winter gas mileage always sucks..... at least, it has for me on my 07 (auto) since new.

    The cold weather mileage is 15-16mpg and the warm weather mileage is 18-19mpg (consistent mixed driving back-n-forth to work, etc)

    I honestly don't know why the truck doesn't like the cold weather and/or the winter gas mixtures..... My husbands Acura MDX isn't affected by either and gets consistently the same mileage all year long.

    It's weird.... but... You should see better gas mileage in the warmer months and as the truck breaks in.
     
  16. Mar 28, 2012 at 8:42 AM
    #16
    bubbagumps

    bubbagumps [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I think winter driving figures are affected to a large degree by drag, not so much mixtures. Cold winter air is denser by about 30% and this likely increases the drage coeificent by about a factor of 2. An MDX is much more streamlined and sits lower to the ground and is less influenced by this parameter. Tacoma is more boxy and upright and sits higher. There is also a large gap between the ground and undercarriage which creates drag, Needless to say, by their nature, trucks are not built with efficient aerodynamics so it would make sense they see noticeable changes in winter/summer MPG driving.

    In my old Tacoma, I noticed changes between winter and summer by about 2MPG. Also, when I traveled out west in the mountains, the MPG increased by about 2-3 MPG, which is understandable given the thin air at altitude. Trucks are probably influenced by drag more than any other vehicle. That's part of the reason a fullsize gets worse MPG. It's not neccesarily the larger engine that contriubtes the most. Larger engine actually helps with the MPG when cruising on the highway. The drag coefficient of a fullsize RAM 1500 has to be through the roof. Also, a 4x4 gets worse MPG than 2wd because they sit higher and there is a larger gap underneath the truck to draw in eddies and ceate drag. That's why the manufactuers making the compacts bigger is just going to make it worse.
     
  17. Mar 28, 2012 at 9:48 AM
    #17
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    I owned a 96 tacoma 3.4L for 5 years that never varied in gas mileage from winter/summer.

    My Dodge Ram 1500 that I owned for 3 years never varied in gas mileage from winter/summer.

    In fact, I've never had another vehicle that varied this much between the seasons.
     
  18. Mar 28, 2012 at 11:12 AM
    #18
    bubbagumps

    bubbagumps [OP] Well-Known Member

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    A vehicle has to get worse MPG in colder weather. To not do so would violate the Laws of Physics and conservation of momentum.

    The colder the air, the denser it is and the more air is pushed out of the way and the more the displaced air pushes back on the truck and creates drag. You can't get aroud this. How noticeable the change will be to the driver depends on a lot of things, not the least of which is how accurately they keep track of their fuel mileage and the aerodynamic profile of the vehicle. It will also depend on vehicle modifications.

    Some may not notice the difference unless they kept track of their mileage religiously and accuraretly. Some may think they keep track of it accurately but they really don't. Then there are vehicles where the differences will truly be insignifigant, even for those who keep track accurartely.

    I find it hard to believe a Ram 1500 driver would not notice any difference at all in winter or summer MPG in cold weather climates if they really accurately calculated their MPG over the entire winter. I am not talking Florida. I am talking Michigan, Wyoming, or New England. They may not notice a 5MPG difference but 1-3 MPG I would say would probably be realistic to expect for a truck this large and with this profile. Fullsize pickups also have larger fuel tanks. Someone with a 33 gallon tank may not really be emptying their entire tank between fillups and inaccurately comptuing their MPG. That extra 1-2 gallons missed will be signifigant in the calculation.

    Someone saying a Ram 1500 gets the same mileage in winter I would believe only if I saw scientifically and emprically accurate fuel readings. Then I would go to the University Physics dept and advise the physicists that there is proof that the laws of physics have been mysteriously altered. The Air Force and Navy would like to know about this too as they will use the Ram 1500 to study how an aerodymanic cross section can not experience higher drag when air or fluid density increases.
     
  19. Mar 28, 2012 at 11:26 AM
    #19
    Utard

    Utard Well-Known Member

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    Are you basing your MPG on winter gas? My MPG where very good just before winter gas then it went to crap. It seems to be a lot better as of the last two weeks so I think I am getting summer gas back.
     
  20. Mar 28, 2012 at 11:35 AM
    #20
    Dustyroades

    Dustyroades Well-Known Member

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    Did those who are saying "don't buy a truck for MPG" bother to read the OP?

    He makes a good point, why choose a midsize over a fullsize when initial price is comparable, MPG is comparable, and the only real "advantage" is it's smaller?

    That being said, 14-15mpg seems on the low end of what people are reporting on this site, and I have heard a lot of truly abysmal MPG numbers from the Tundra.
     
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