Last post on Oct 02, 2002 at 3:10 PM
You are in the Pickups - Archived Discussions
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger
#1153 of 1840 Response to the poll
May 14, 2002 (7:12 am)
First let me say that my wife and I like to occasionally do some "mild" or "light" 4-wheeling. We've been 4-wheeling since we moved to Colorado in 1985, and probably average 2-3 4-wheel adventures a year.
Second, Colorado doesn't seem to believe in snow removal in the winter to any degree. Big storms create havoc on the streets. Therefore, owning at least one vehicle with 4-wheel drive is almost a necessity if one desires to reach their place of employment every day. Employers don't like to hear "I'm staying home cause I can't get to work due to the snow."
Third, we like to own a pickup for hauling stuff (no towing), but find that a small truck meets our needs better than a full-size.
So, we have an on-going requirement for a 4-wheel drive, small pickup. For many years, all we bought was Toyotas, the last being a 1999 Tacoma SR5 with TRD. At that time (aside from the locker), the rest of the TRD package looked like things I wanted my truck to have. Big wheels & tires and better shocks. In the eight months owning that Tacoma, I NEVER engaged the locker and didn't see myself ever engaging it. Did I buy the wrong truck? I didn't think so at the time.
My PERSONAL OPINION is that Toyota has developed the current Tacoma as primarily a 4-wheeler, at which it excels. The flip side of the coin is that the Tacoma is no longer a very good general-purpose truck, and that purchasers pay MUCH more for the off-road capabilities the Tacoma provides.
So, if you are a serious off-roader, and do LOTS of really narly four-wheeling, the Tacoma is a good choice. Although you could surely build a better and cheaper 4-wheeler by purchasing an older vehicle and customizing it to meet your precise requirements.
But if you want a good, all-around small truck for thousands less than its Tacoma equivalent, the Ranger is a better investment. Our new Ranger meets our needs MUCH better than that Tacoma did, with a HUGE savings. Did I buy the right truck this time? Only time will tell....
On the topic of LSDs vs. lockers: I'm much happier with my LSD in the Ranger than with the locker in the Tacoma, as the LSD provides substantially better traction on wet, icy or gravel roads, where a locker CANNOT be engaged and the Tacoma is left with only an open axle.
It sure seems to me that this topic constantly gets bogged down in an endless debate about off-roading, which the majority of small pickup buyers will seldom, if ever use their trucks for.
Thanks, stang, for pointing this out ONCE AGAIN!
May 14, 2002 (8:32 am)
stang, rickc5 and scape, I just don't understand your logic with this TRD/locker vs. Ranger/LSD debate. The Tacoma is available with an LSD just like the Ranger, which negates any advantage the Ranger has over the Tacoma in that department. Why can't you understand this????
If you're like rickc5, either a Tacoma or Ranger with the LSD and softer suspension would be ideal. In fact, if his needs were mine, I'd probably go get a Subaru AWD wagon - it excels in the snow, can haul stuff, and is much more usable as a people hauler.
But for the small percentage of people like me who have a REAL need for a REAL 4x4, the Tacoma TRD simply can't be beat. It's like having a modern day Jeep Scrambler with a locker and all its off-road prowess, but with a bigger bed and much better build quality/reliability.
Read and reread this until it sinks in: "The Tacoma offers the LSD for those not interested in the locker." Repeat as necessary!
May 14, 2002 (9:21 am)
Or is the "fact" that the Tacoma comes with a Limited Slip new? It's either a brand new introduction, because there is not a single Toyota site I can find that backs this up. This includes dealerships, toyota.com, and any other sites I came across.
I think you are wrong, or at least the 2002 Tacoma brochure says nothing about a Limited Slip. Perhaps you are thinking of the Tundra?
Also I'm not debating anything here about the LSD/Locker. I would say it's more of a clarification or discussion of both differential's benefits and applications. I'm not the one saying "Hurrah Hurrah, locker can do everything, it's all I ever need". I'm saying a locker is great is you just want to off-road, while the LSD is great when you want traction on slippery on-road conditions (ice, rain, etc). Or if you want to turn or go faster than 20 mph, and still have traction. The Locker isn't made for speed or turning, the Limited slip isn't made for one wheel getting up in the air. Which do you think would be most beneficial to most people?
So I'm saying they are both good, for their intended application. One off-road and one on-road, even thought both can help in the opposite situations.
May 14, 2002 (9:26 am)
I would have to agree with stang, the percentage of off-roaders is quite small. I myself don't offroad, although I think it be fun to get into. As someone who is shopping for a compact pickup, I really have to disagree with rickc5 about his statement that the Tacoma is no longer a good general purpose truck. I'm not really sure where he's coming from on that. As for the locker vs. LSD thing, this has to be the most over-debated topic in here. (and the most pointless) All I care is that the truck I buy has some type of traction enhancement. The locker is intriguing to me because it's unique - no one else has it. I have LSD on my rig now, and it works just fine.
As for the original question again - no I'm not an offroader, but I would most likely but an off-road package. I like getting the beefier tires and shocks, and the traction enhancements. (be it LSD or locker) Also, as I stated in an earlier post, it's very difficult to find a 4x4 truck where I live that doesn't have the off-road package.
May 14, 2002 (9:46 am)
I'd almost be willing to bet money that when they say limited-slip differential, they were actually referring to the locker. I'd also be curious to hear more about the "power door licks" they list on that site.
If you can provide evidence from Toyota that the LSD is an option, then I'll believe it.
#1161 of 1840 About this poll -- to everyone...
May 14, 2002 (10:57 am)
Stang ---> I agree alot with what you said. However, you are missing my one and only point - for people that buy the truck for off roading purposes more so than towing and/or on-road performance, the locker is best. I said many, many times that, for everyday use, the LSD is best, no question. There are times on the road where I would have liked to have had an LSD, but there have also been times when the locker was the difference between being stranded for many hours. I am, needless to say, happy with my decision.
There IS a distinct difference between the people who need a locker and the ones who need an LSD. Those that need the locker HAVE to have one -- point, blank, period. Scape, the one who has been saying no one knows about a locker, does not need one.
Sure, I understand there are some people who buy trucks, even 4wds, and should have an LSD, no a locker. But at the same time, Stang, I question the rationale of your saying that some people buy the locker-equipped TRD package just b/c that is the truck that has the right options. That makes little sense and is a poor excuse. Its their fault and they are the ones who know about as much about when to use a locker as Scape.
And no Stang, you aren't the only one who will see 10 years of service from their truck.
Rick ---> Hehe, I think anyone could have told you that for on-road traction in ice and snow, the locker was not for you. Don't feel bad, too many were miseducated just like you. The LSD was the thing for you, sure.
Just a quick question for ya'll, especially Scape: When the Jeep Rubicon comes out with factory front and rear lockers, will you then say that it sux because most people "don't really off-road?" That is, to me, the same as what you have been saying here. Again, real off roaders are built, not bought, but come on -- where will the idiocy stop?
May 14, 2002 (11:39 am)
"you are missing my one and only point - for people that buy the truck for off roading purposes more so than towing and/or on-road performance"
How can I be missing that point, if I agree with it and have said essentially the same thing in post #1126? Here's an example "I'm saying a locker is great if you just want to off-road, while the LSD is great when you want traction on slippery on-road conditions"
"Stang, I question the rationale of your saying that some people buy the locker-equipped TRD package just b/c that is the truck that has the right options."
If you define "some" as a certain percentage that is not as great as "most" but not exactly the "smallest" or "least" amount, but somewhere in the lower middle, then Yes. Just drive by any mall. See the clean underbody that has never seen dirt, or the side rails that have never touched a plant or stick.
I'm not saying it's the right options for the soccer mom and family. Just some people are just trying to buy a macho ride, even if the wife only uses it to pick up kids.
Again some, not all, not most, but certainly not only just a few.
BTW, I just e-mailed a local dealership about the LSD in a Tacoma...
They replied "Yes the Tacoma is avaliable with the limited slip differential. The locking diff. is the same as limited slip."
I have just gotten off the phone too. Asked him what he meant, he said they are both used for the same thing. After a little further probing, it is only the Locker that is sold on the Tacoma. The salesman, the article writer, and Plutonious got confused on the differences between the Limited Slip and a Locker. (And that is not the first time too).
Don't believe me? Check Toyota.com, your local dealership, or any Toyota brochure (2002).