Thanks for the post. I think that I get the V6 Tacoma Extend cab 4x4 for $25K out the door or the V4 for $23K out the door. I thought Toyota were more expensive than the domestics, but after looking they aren't that much cheaper. The domesitc would be the better buy used.
Since I was also going to use the truck as my daily commuter, I was looking at the compact just for the reason of better gas mileage. Plus I'll only do occassion hauling/light duty stuff. Looking at this truck aslo becoming my hunting rig
I'm thinking about buying my first truck. Need something reliable for weekend driving and hauling from Home Depot, etc. I'm looking at the Tacoma and Nissan - both extended cabs. What's the best value for the price? Any suggestions and/or feedback?????
This is just my personal opinion - yours may be totally different. But I wouldn't choose either one. I don't like the styling of the new Nissan Frontier, even though I used to own a '88 Nissan Hardbody that I finally sold in 2000, with 290,000 miles on the original engine. The only reason I sold it was that the 4 banger with an auto didn't like my new home in the mountains - I burned out 2 trannys in a year. We looked at the new one and didn't like it.
I ended up buying a 2000 Tacoma ext. cab and I hate it. The seats are very uncomfortable if you drive for more than an hour (my daily commute is an hour and a half). Now, having said that, it has gone 63,000 miles in 19 months with only two problems - a tranny problem that disappeared and a weird radiator problem, radiator replaced under the extended warranty. It gets 28 mpg on my mostly highway commute, and the 5 speed coupled with a 4 banger has enough oomph to get up steep freeway grades faster than many cars - I can usually keep it at 70 mph if I downshift to 4th, while many other cars can only do 50. It handles nicely around 75. And as soon as I can afford to (it is depreciating faster than I can pay it off) I will get rid of it.
At the moment I'm really undecided what to replace it with (since I can't afford to dump it yet, I'm still thinking about it). I'm thinking of a FordRanger/Mazda pickup, a full sized pickup or a Forester (a 4x4 would mean that I wouldn't have to drive my now getting elderly Wrangler in the winter just to get out of my driveway - I can keep it for just weekend wheeling).
Sounds like a great truck! What's your gas mileage? I've always wondered what the V-10 really gets.
Out of curiosity, why did you choose the V-10 over the diesel? I've been thinking of getting a 3/4 ton truck, but was thinking more in terms of the diesel. What made you choose the V-10 over the diesel?
an '02 F250 Crew, lariat package, diesel. Almost 20 mpg. of the lot with 50 miles on it...should just get better from here on out. Owned 2 weeks, put 1500 miles on, some pulling last weekend (load of hay - 120 miles) - wonderful!
'01, F350 XLT, CC, LWB, 4x4, Auto, V10. 3.73 ls rear end. 11-12.5 mpg highway, ~10 mpg city, towing (~9500 lbs) 7-8 mpg. All time best ~15 mpg but not very often. Not my daily driver, but it's so powerful and I find it so much fun to drive that I make up a lot of excuses to user the truck when car would suffice.
I don' t tow all the time, don't like diesel exhaust, or fuel odor, didn't want to worry about extra diesel maintenance, and I'd have to own the truck about 20 years before I have enough miles on it to ammortize the $4k price difference of the PS diesel. So, for me the V10 was hands down choice. It was a $35K truck, I didn't buy it for the mileage.
the current issue (Sept/Oct 2002) of Truck Trend has a nice article about women and their pickups. It features a very good friend of mine (Andi Vogt, although the article misspelled her last name) and her Cummins-powered Ram 2500.
The 3.9L V6 EPA is 16 city, 21 highway with the standard 4-speed automatic transmission.
The 4.7L V8 (287cid) in the 6010 GVW Club Cab with 5-speed automatic transmission is 15 city, 20 highway EPA.
The EPA ratings are derived from a fixed driving cycle test that's used to judge all measured vehicles. The reason why the small difference in EPA ratings between the V6 and 4.7 V8 in the Dakota is in part due to the newer designed 545RFE, 5-speed transmission. It is more reactive and effective thereby providing increased performance and gas mileage.
Also, you will note across the manufacturers of trucks that there is not a great difference of gas mileage between various power plants in the same truck. The manufacturer's of trucks assume that the person who bought one will be using it for it's intended capabilities. To ensure that the vehicle can perform adequately under load the engine/drivetrains are tailored to a level of performance. For example, on a number of trucks the smaller engines get higher numberical axle ratios, which will provide more power from the weaker engine but also decrease gas mileage.
I looked at a number of trucks the past year or so and finally ended up with a Dakota Club Cab Sport Plus. It has the 4.7L engine, 545RFE auto, 6010 GVW package (comes with the large off-road tires), and 3.55 axle ratio. My worst gas mileage -- strickly around town, lots of short trips, stop & go -- has been 15.7 mpg. The best highway has been 21.87 mpg. My to-date average is 17.6 (2900 miles). Both Tacoma and Frontier owners that I know are getting better overall, around 18-20, but I can assure you that the 4.7L V8 in a Dakota is vastly more powerful and faster than both.
Comparatively, I, or I should say my body, found the Dakota to be the most comfortable of the mid-size and small trucks. Without having the actual dimensions in front of me, the Dakota seems roomier than a Tacoma, and even more so than the Frontier. I and my passengers have been very comfortable on long drives. My Dakota is also very quiet.
I drove the Tacoma and I liked it. The Tacoma did not meet my fitness of purpose, however. I needed a truck that I could fit a large ATV into and the Dakota was the only one under a full-size pickup that had the width and the length with the tailgate up. I thought the Tacoma had more than enough power. I remember the seats being stiff, bellowy and a little snug. I didn't think in my test drive they were uncomfortable, but I only drove the vehicle 20 miles.
I really would have liked to buy a Nissan truck, but the Frontier just was too small. Even the 4-door version was out of the running. They ride stiffer and are not as quiet. I've had one Nissan product and it was the best and most reliable vehicle I've ever owned ('93 Sentra). Others I've known have had the same result, car or truck.
Reliability would not necessarily be in the Dakota's favor if based on their 19 year history. Since 1999 they have improved significantly, however. The engines are strong (albeit, torquey) and durable. Intake manifold leaking (V6 and older V8) has been fixed and has not surfaced as a problem on the new 4.7 engine. The manifold is a different design anyways. There's been some concern about automatic transmissions. However, in my personal survey of 31 Dakota owners, only one reported a transmission problem and that was a manual transmission. At a check of the three local transmission repair shops over an 11 month period, I saw only two Dakota's in for transmission repairs and they were both manuals as well. (There were lot's of S10s and Explorers, however!)
I would bet that the Tacoma would be more reliable and the Frontier even more so. However, I don't believe that Toyota trucks have the same level of reliability as their cars. We own a Toyota Avalon and have occasion to be at the dealer's. I've noticed that the majority of service work seems to be on the trucks. In fact, I've seen two Tundra's there getting new transmissions under warranty! Brakes seem to be another problem for Tundra's, and Tacoma owners have a number of complaints as well. I have yet to discover one quality or assembly problem with my Dakota. Others that have purchase a Dakota in the past few years seem to be reporting far less problems. Of course on this subject its like rolling the dice. Our Avalon has not been a stellar vehicle and a good friend of mine who has a Tacoma has really had some major quality issues.