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 03-31-2008, 17:34 Post: 152637
kwschumm



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In January of 2007 I bought a Toyota Tacoma, to replace an aging Ford Ranger, and thought I'd post a review. This truck is an "Access Cab" which is 4 door with the small rear door that provides easier access to the storage area and tiny seats behind the front seats. It is equipped with a smooth running V6, 5 speed automatic, and 4WD with the base AM/FM/CD radio, electric windows and door locks, intermittent wiper controls, trailer package and fog lights.

Looks are subjective but I think it's one of the nicest looking trucks on the road. To me the Access Cab looks the best of all Tacoma models. The full 4-door crew cab model looks a little awkward to my eyes.

Overall it's a nice truck to drive but it's really sort of a pseudo-truck. It's been rock solid reliability wise, no troubles at all. In 22k miles it averages 19-20 mpg in a 50/50 mix with moderately aggressive driving and it spends about 10% of the time in 4WD driving on gravel logging roads. Best measured mileage has been about 22mpg but this truck has never been on an all-highway trip. Worst has been 17.5mpg.

The quality of materials is very disappointing. The sheet metal is very, very thin. The tailgate is downright flimsy - these have been known to bend just by sitting or stepping on them when they're open. I bought a "Tail Gator" which is
a steel panel that adds much stiffness to the tailgate. Without reinforcement most of these will probably bend on trucks that are actually used for carrying anything. Supposedly as a running change Toyota has reinforced these in later models but the gate is so light it doesn't inspire any confidence.

Interior materials are also sort of cheap. The hard plastic door and dash panel surfaces are coated with paint that scratches very easily. The softer plastic surfaces with molded in color are so soft they scratch with a light brush of a fingernail. The armrests buckle when leaned on (I'm 220 lbs and imagine they would buckle for anyone over 150 lbs or so).

It has a composite bed that seems very rugged. Advantages are light weight for better mileage and it won't rust. On the downside it's long term durability is a bit unknown.

It drives and handles very well with a couple of exceptions. It wanders quite a bit in windy conditions and there really is an amazing amount of road noise for a modern vehicle (and this is with all-season luxury SUV tires).

In summary, it's probably the best mid-size truck out there but it leaves me feeling disappointed. I wish Toyota would come out with a smaller truck that gets better mileage and has better material quality. The Ranger seemed more rugged but it was a mechanical disaster.

Pros:

- Superb performance, plenty of power
- Very smooth engine and transmission
- Excellent reliability
- Solid, very stable in 4WD on gravel roads
- Reasonable mileage for a mid-size truck

Cons:

- Wanders like a motor home in crosswinds
- High road noise
- Poor quality of materials

Nice touches:

- Lots of interior storage pockets
- Tiny rear seat design is very well thought out
- Passenger seat folds all the way down
- Storage pockets in bed
- Built in bed rails (convenient for light loads)
- Oil filter is on top of the engine, easy to get to.

Nits:

- Drivers seat is uncomfortable on longer trips
- Speedometer reads about 5% fast
- No intermittent wipers on base model
- No bed light
- Lack of illumination on many dash controls
- Sun visors are very poor. Why does Toyota make their sun visors so thick a garage door opener won't fit on them? They also don't rotate far enough down so anybody over 5'8" will have to duck down to see traffic lights when stopped at an intersection.
- No indicator that fog lights are turned on
- Unlike other Toyota models, the Tacoma alloy wheel option buys a steel spare wheel
- There are no lockable compartments anywhere on the truck
- Clock is invisible any time the sun is shining
- Telescopic wheel has very limited range
- Power ports should power items with ignition off
- An oil pressure gauge would be nice






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 03-31-2008, 18:01 Post: 152638
auerbach



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 2007 Toyota Tacoma Review

You say the odometer reads 5% fast. If by this you mean it reads 105 miles after you've gone 100, your mileage-based warranty is short-changed, and you should have a look at

www.odosettlementinfo.com






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 03-31-2008, 18:09 Post: 152639
kwschumm



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Quote:
Originally Posted by auerbach | view 152638
You say the odometer reads 5% fast. If by this you mean it reads 105 miles after you've gone 100, your mileage-based warranty is short-changed, and you should have a look atwww.odosettlementinfo.com



Thanks, I knew about the Honda class action suit but haven't heard anything about one for Toyota. In fact I have not verified that the odometer does also read fast so I edited my review to remove that claim. It probably does read fast but needs to be verified. When the tires get replaced I'll go up one size which should correct the error.

BTW, I heard somewhere that the NHTSA allows a +/- 5% error on speedometers (not sure about odometers). Anyone know about this?






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 04-01-2008, 08:04 Post: 152644
auerbach



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 2007 Toyota Tacoma Review

Some years (or maybe decades) back, auto makers argued that installing a slightly "optimistic" speedometer was in the service of safety, so the regulators would likely have accepted that.

You ought to send your fine review to
carsurvey.org






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 04-01-2008, 18:51 Post: 152660
cutter



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 2007 Toyota Tacoma Review

Loved the 2000 Tacoma I had, fun truck and great ground clearance. I think they made a mistake when they made them larger, too much competition out there in that size range and they gave up the advantage of a compact truck.






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 04-01-2008, 20:53 Post: 152665
kwschumm



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Originally Posted by cutter | view 152660
Loved the 2000 Tacoma I had, fun truck and great ground clearance. I think they made a mistake when they made them larger, too much competition out there in that size range and they gave up the advantage of a compact truck.



I absolutely agree and would rather have the earlier model. They really need to bring back the simple and rugged compact truck.






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 12-23-2008, 23:20 Post: 158839
kwschumm



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FYI, the manual for this 07 Tacoma 4wd says that snow chains should be used on all four corners. Only one problem - they don't fit on the front. With about 1/2" of clearance between the front tires and the upper control arms there is no way a chain will fit. Who was the bonehead who wrote that manual. EW? Was that you? Wink yeah right






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 12-24-2008, 07:33 Post: 158841
cutter



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Probably something got messed up in the translation, perhaps it was supposed to say, "do not run chains on all four".

I ran chains all the way around on most of my prior Jeeps, they had plows. This new one, although there is no plow, has plenty of room for chains. So I swapped Toyota reliability for wheel well space..hmmmm. Could be the reason for the buyback process I am currently going through.






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 12-24-2008, 07:55 Post: 158842
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 2007 Toyota Tacoma Review

Ken, are the tires the right size?






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 12-24-2008, 09:30 Post: 158848
Murf

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 2007 Toyota Tacoma Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwschumm | view 158839
With about 1/2" of clearance between the front tires and the upper control arms there is no way a chain will fit.



Ken, I suspect you would be fine with the 'cable' style tire chains. See below.

They don't take up much space.

Best of luck.






Link:   Cable style tire chains. 

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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Toyota Pickup Trucks Forum

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