Tacoma: older models vs. '05 (& newer)

I'm thinking of buying a used Toyota but want some opinions and advice (from experienced owners) on the newer Tacoma's (2005 +) compared to the older models (2004 & older). I'm specifically looking for a double cab, 2WD or 4WD (not sure yet). Pro's and con's... reliability, versatility, engine, chassis, etc... anyone have some worthy tips and advice??

anyone?? Bueller... Bueller...

I know the 98-? have had a major recall due to faulty frames. So I would avoid those. Or if you're an opportunist, then get one and take it in for the recall. My cousin got $12,000 for his 99 Taco that had 150,000 and had the recalled frame.

My boss owns a 05 4x4 regular cab 5-speed taco and he hasn't had any problems out of it. It has 70,000 on it. He said the only thing he doesn't like about it is it can't handle a decent load. He said you can tell if theres a couple hundred pounds in the back.

But other than that he loves it.

If you can get a good deal on a Taco then your doing good. Those things have such high resale values. Their great trucks. They go forever.

I can't offer much of a comparison but I had a 98 2wd extra cab and now a 05 4wd extra cab. They were both great trucks but the newer one is hands down better for what I use it for. The 98 only had a 4 banger and was working hard. The V6 in the 05 feels like it will move anything. The one think I do not like about the 05 is that is has a painted front bumper. Not sure if that is standard on all of them or if it was part of a package though.

My boss owns a 05 4x4 regular cab 5-speed taco and he hasn't had any problems out of it. It has 70,000 on it. He said the only thing he doesn't like about it is it can't handle a decent load. He said you can tell if theres a couple hundred pounds in the back.

I think there is a recall or NTSB for that. Our 05 qualified for it and we took it in for new rear leafs and new shocks all the way around. Cost $0 and now handles like a truck. It was very soft from the factory.

I think there is a recall or NTSB for that. Our 05 qualified for it and we took it in for new rear leafs and new shocks all the way around. Cost $0 and now handles like a truck. It was very soft from the factory.

Hmmmm :busted:

I may have to mention this to him. Never hurt to suck up to the boss :moon:

I'm not sure that it applied to the regular cab but I know it did on some access cabs and I think the double cab. Wouldn't hurt to check though because the stock leafs are way too soft.

I had a ’97 Short cab 4x4 and loved it. No problems. The 2.7 is a little under powered but is supposed to run forever. I have heard the 3.4 has had some head gasket troubles, similar to the notoriously bad 3.0 v6 from the previous gen. That said, the 3.4 is pretty quick and fun to drive. If you are into off-roading, try to find an early model with the manual hubs. Lots of people seek out the TRD for the locker but I would prefer an LSD given the choice. If you are looking at a newer truck, also look at the Frontier.

I've had lots of Toyota trucks. I had a 2001 taco 4x4 extra cab w/ all the goods. Traded it for a 2005 that was EXACTLY like it in terms of trim. I called the salesman I bought the 01 from and told him I wanted an identical 05.

Biggest difference??? TONS more power and more room inside. My 05 taco will pull my 5x8 trailer FULL of MX gear (including 2 bikes) like my 01 pulled it empty - seriously.

The interiors are nice, the extra cab part has a door into it (which I really like).

I have almost 80k miles on it now (78 & change) - I drive a lot and that truck has pulled my MX "show" to WA, OR, CA, AZ, CO, WY, ID, etc.

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Thanks for the replys guys. What about the bed on the newer models? I've heard it's not steel, but made out of some composite material and that it flexes when tying down bikes, etc... also there are no welded/fixed tie down loops, but adjustable tie points that don't work very good... anyone have any insight to this?? how does the V6 on the newer model compare to the '04 and older?

Thanks again.

The bed on the newer models is made of some composite. I pulled up the bolts holding the bed to the frame and added some tie down anchors. It comes with 2 but they were in the back for some reason. I moved them to the front and then built some new ones for the back. It does have some sliding plastic system on the rails that I have used but it is not sturdy enough IMO.

The new V6 compared to the or 4cyl is night and day. I only have 30k on the V6 so I can't only compare the power but it has tons of it. I used to pull around our tent trailer and not even feel it. Also pulled a trailer with 4 quads with no problems. For a midsize truck I think it would be hard to beat the Taco with the V6.

Thanks for the replys guys. What about the bed on the newer models? I've heard it's not steel, but made out of some composite material and that it flexes when tying down bikes, etc... also there are no welded/fixed tie down loops, but adjustable tie points that don't work very good... anyone have any insight to this?? how does the V6 on the newer model compare to the '04 and older?

I've already addressed the power of the new V6 versus older - a whole new deal.

As far as the bed, it's 100% plastic bolted to the frame in certain spots. I don't carry bikes in the back often (I use my trailer), but I've never had a problem w/ tying a bike or two in there and having them stay. I know lots of guys that do the same. The sliding ties have never failed me even though I don't usually carry my bikes back there. Don't get me wrong, I have carried bikes in the back.

40k hard miles on the 07 and it hasnt missed a beat.Tow with it weekly and use it like a truck.My 1st toyota and I love it.I was worried about the "plastic" bed but ive hauled dirt bikes,12 inch block, etc, no problems.

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I would recomend getting a 05 and up much better. Also there is a thread on here how to install extra tiedowns in the box. (a must have for hauling bikes).

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with mine 08 I can pull my camper and 14' enclosed motorcycle trailer all at once. :busted:

I would recomend getting a 05 and up much better. Also there is a thread on here how to install extra tiedowns in the box. (a must have for hauling bikes).

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with mine 08 I can pull my camper and 14' enclosed motorcycle trailer all at once. :busted:

Until you retract the trailer's jacks, that is.:moon:

Bumpstops, meet axle.:p

i have a '98 tacoma w/the3.4L and 4wd and it has always been very reliable. i have towed 3 dirtbikes at a time, 2 softails at atime, 2 sleds. thanx for the headsup on the frame issues w/this year.

The tie downs were a little scary at first but we tried to break them with out a bike and no luck so were good to go. Also you can fit 2 bikes pretty easy

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had an 02 and had no problems. tons of power and never get stuck if you have 4x4

04 and below had 3.4l V6. 05+ has a 4.0. Also you can get a TRD supercharger. By the way, the 3.0 v6's weren't that bad once you replaced the head gaskets with aftermarket gaskets. A 3.0 is what I run in my rockcrawler.

I have a 2005 access cab with the base 4 cyl. and automatic. Plenty of power for my recreational needs. No problem hauling 2 bikes, 2 adults and all the gear over Donner Summit (7,000 feet elevation) at 65 MPH. Bed is large enough for 3 bikes with the tailgate down, but expect to load a lot of the gear in the cab if you have more than 2 bikes in back. Mine gets a consistent 25 MPG commuting, but it drops almost 2 MPG climbing the Sierras with bikes in the back. Makes up for it on the return trip, though. Ride is nice, loaded or empty. The bed rail tiedowns do flex, but I haven't had anything come undone. I would definitely buy another.

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