Best toyota tacoma set up?

I'm looking for a new pickup. I've been driving a 99' Ford F350 and want something smaller and gas. So far I'm leaning toward a Toyota Tacoma or possibly a ford ranger. Extended cab and 4x4 are both must haves for me no matter what I get and I would also prefer a lift. My friend told me that his buddies 85' 4 cylinder Tacoma has no guts. Also he said that automatics make it worse. Would a V6 from 95-2002 have problems with being gutless? Would a manual or automatic affect this as well? What would you recommend? Thank you for all answers.

1 Answer

  • 5 years ago
    Best Answer

    i would get the 96 & up platform. not a 95.5 taco. the 96 and up tacos have coil atop plug configs for the VZ block (V6). more effieciant, lower routine maint costs, and less to go wrong in regards to ignition issues.

    and those 5VZ engines have noteably more torque than hp. which is great for 4x4ing.

    "Would a V6 from 95-2002 have problems with being gutless?"

    arguable. with a lift kit of say 3-4" or more, bigger wheels/tires to support the lift, w/o highly modding the I4's, it would be guttless driving on streets. should be negledgable in 4x4 mode. gearing in 4 low, would not be effected. IMHO.

    i'd go with the V6. best all-around. especially for open road driving. with either an auto or manual trans, the I4 would require a lot of manual control/down shifting to maintain cruising speeds due to the added rotating mass that comes with a lift kits need for larger wheels/tires.

    upgrading brakes are not an issue with larger wheels/tires. toy over engineered those to acept mods. to a point.


    auto trans vs manual?

    personal choice there. auto in a 4x4 with the A340E it will rob power/torque. on the open road, not so much as it's soleniod shifted/conrolled by the ecu (noted by the "E"). for serious 4x4ing/control, the 5 sp manual is a must. and, w/the V6 and manual trans, one can feather, so to speak, the throttle and choose the best rpms ranges resulting in possibly better hwy *cruising* mpgs. taking advantage of a larger radius wheel/tire combo.

    for instance, i get about two mpg's better than oem V6/manual trans with the larger wheel/tire set up on *flat open hwy* roads. going up hill and such, yup, mpg's will drop.

    lift kits themselves do not detract from mpg's. as they relieve under carraige drag and air presures.

    it's the rotating mass of the larger wheel/tire combos the effect mpg's. but you can take advantage of that, as i explained, under certain road conditions.

    starting in 97, for the V6 only, was the introduction of the trd package. it employed a locker rear diff. i'd go for that.


    toy nut, old fart, retired/resting wrench.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.