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L Kenney

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L Kenney

My new Outback is being claimed by my wife and I’m looking for a clean used truck that will more easily car top my 10 ft jon boat and get me to fish and birds.  I don’t want a full size truck, in part for reasons of gas mileage and in part because I do a fair bit of city driving where parking is a hassle.  Extended cab is my preference, 6 foot bed, 2 WD with good clearance is all I need.   Toyota Tacoma PreRunners are an obvious choice.  But the new ones are huge and I’m unclear about what years have had problems.  Nissan Frontiers appeal to me for size and price but get the worst mileage of all the small trucks.  Chevy Canyon and the GMC equivalent seem to get good reviews but I’m in the dark about particulars and they seem a bit pricey.  Anybody got solid info on what should I be looking for and and what should I avoid?

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Jacquidog

I have a 012 Frontier crew cab 4x4, great of road,  lot of power,  gas mileage is terrible and the turning radius is very big. Have had 0 problems in 5 years. 

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sprocket

Tacomas come in 3 generations:

1995 - 2005 = 1st Gen

2005 - 2015 (2012-2015 are sort of their own thing for certain parts)

2016 - PRESENT = 3rd Gen

 

I have a 2006 that I paid under 20K back in 2010 - I would not be afraid to get another.  My truck is an Ex-Cab, 6' bed, 4 cyl manual and gets 22mpg - the 6 cyl gets 20 = I wish I had a 6 cyl. especially when hauling dirt.  I don't tow.

 

Your 10' tin boat is where I caution you - I have an extended cab and it only has a 6' bed...I don't really like hauling a 10' kayak in it let alone a tin boat - lots of overhang.  Makes me nervous for some reason.  A bed mounted rack would help but then you have to lift it, etc. - there may be some slick rig to get the boat up there but I'm sure it's not really inexpensive.

 

I'm highly opinionated about 2wd vs 4wd so you make your own decisions there.  If you think Tacomas are huge then I suggest you look at Suburbans and other full sized SUV's and adjust as required.

 

As a suggestion, go lurk around TacomaWorld.com BUT!  Don't read too much into the BS threads - Yes, there are a lot of known issues, etc with Taco's but there are a lot more threads similar to "What shot size" debates.  Keep your view at a high elevation - lots of weeds to get lost in over there...

 

good luck

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Brad Eden

Are you sure you don't have the small Toyota Tacoma confused with the behemoth Toyota Tundra? Certainly they upsized the Tacoma a little around 2007, at the same time they blew up the Tundra to its present size. The Tacomas are still pretty small and I thought generally the same size as the Nissan Frontier. I've heard the Frontier has a freakishly bad turning radius (as mentioned) , so much so that its a thing. Both Toyota and Nissan are dependable. IMO.

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E.Young

I have a 2010 Tacoma, access cab 6' bed, v6 4x4. I don't get the milage sprocket does, but it is just under 150k and it is as tight as it was when I bought it with just regular maintenance. Very dependable. I took like-kind vintage 4runner way up in miles and sold it running like a top with no issues. 

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Ruffs.N.Brooks

Love my Tacomas.  Perfect size and nice and comfortable.  Resale is huge, as well. 

 

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L Kenney

Brad:  Depending on the model, the 2017 Tacomas are up to 2 feet longer than the 2006s and almost 6" wider.   Frontiers are about 6" shorter than the Tacomas.  They all seem to me to be the size of the F150s I grew up with.  The Tundra is even bigger.  I'm guessing I'll find a decent lowish mileage 2006-2011 Tacoma Pre Runner.  No problems with rust out here in the Bay Area.

 

Sprocket:  I understand your concern about overhang with a boat in the truck bed.  For short runs it's ok.  Longer and I'll put it on a topper rack.   Not too bad if the aft cross bars are close to the rear of the topper.  If not, a horizontal bar between the fore and aft bars makes it relatively easy to get a boat on top from the side.

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NECarson

Try a leaf sprung Ford for bad turning radius... 

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snapt

Seconded the bad turning radius and worse gas mileage on the Frontier, I had an 08' that was a monster off road but never got over 16mpg. Drunk driver ended that truck's life. 

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crmartin

I have a 2017 Honda ridgeline.  good mileage, soft ride, 16k with no problems.  only complaint little ground clearance.

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WyomingArt

Another happy Tacoma driver here. 2005 TRD SR5 4 door.  No complaints but wish the bed was longer for carrying plywood and sheet rock. There is another thread on UJ about the increased size of newer pick ups.

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sprocket
12 hours ago, L Kenney said:

Sprocket:  I understand your concern about overhang with a boat in the truck bed.  For short runs it's ok.  Longer and I'll put it on a topper rack.   Not too bad if the aft cross bars are close to the rear of the topper.  If not, a horizontal bar between the fore and aft bars makes it relatively easy to get a boat on top from the side.

 

Yup - I getcha.

BTW - The Cali Taco guys can be a little nutty but there's a lot of good info on what to look for in used gen 2's on that board.  I'd worry less about miles and more about maintenance records and the TSB/Recall items - the frame especially...

 

If your tires touch dirt, get 4WD.  There, I said it.

 

Size - There are some - repeat some, dual cab long bed trucks that are larger.  Most ex-cab & dual cabs have the same frames, the bed sizes differ IIRC but it's worth knowing the differences if you're inclined to get a Taco.  Once you drive one for a bit you realize it's not really that large a truck, just lager than the Subi.

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Dogwood

Heads up on the funky Taco seats.

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JWP58

If you want power, and a normal brake pedal feel, get a post 2010 Nissan Frontier. Oh or if you don't want flat leaf springs (even unloaded) get the Frontier. If those things aren't important to you, get the Tacoma.

 

I've owned 3 Tacomas and 1 Frontier for reference.

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Jazz4Brazo

Have an 06 Tacoma 4 door 4X4 5 ft bed (bought it used with 6K miles for a very good price)...it used to have flat leaf springs but the frame recall fixed that as well (believe there is a TSB on the leafs but nonetheless the replaced frame comes with beefed up leafs)...overall happy but would have liked the 6 ft bed. .. good luck in your search!!

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