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  1. #1
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    OT: Tacoma Double Cab vs 4Runner

    I am in the market and am a little on the fence between a double cab Tacoma and a 4Runner- probably in the 06-09 price range. If I go with the 4Runner, I'd probably go with a V8 as I've heard there is little difference in MPG and the engine/ tranny is nicer/ will last longer. The 4Runner also has leather available with a few other "upscale" options that the Taco doesn't.

    I have two small kiddos and am a little concerned that the Taco's rear seats will feel too small in time.

    However, I really like the idea of not needing a rack and just putting bikes/ board/ gear in the bed of the truck. Would possibly end up getting a topper eventually, so might go with a hitch rack for those times, but otherwise, using the bed for gear/ hauling would be nice.

    Leaning towards the Tacoma, but thought I'd throw it out there to the masses. Anyone have one or the other? Thoughts/ regrets/ advice?

    (no need to suggest other cars [Frontier, etc], sticking with the Toyotas).

  2. #2
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    That's a tough one, but I'll weigh in since I've had this discussion with a friend who has a runner while I have a taco. He enjoys being able to lock up more stuff in the runner, carry more people (my taco is just xtended cab, not 4 door) and get to the back without getting out of the car.

    I like being able to not worry about getting the interior dirty when I throw stuff in the back. More storage space. I can sleep in the back (which the wife tells me I'm too old for but who is she kidding). I swear my truck is better off road than his. Plus IT"S A TRUCK!!!! You don't feel so bad about beating it up as you would the glorified station wagon

    Cons about the taco though is, I still use a hitch rack because it's easier than putting bikes in the back with or without a topper because it prevents them from getting beat up and I don't have to take the wheels off. I have very little storage space. The topper never feels secure because the locks are cheap and the windows are easily broken into. Lastly, visibility sucks with a topper and is much better in the runner and yes, his interior is way nicer.

    Either way, toyota makes a worthy product and you'll be happy.

  3. #3
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    I would lean towards the 4runner personally- i have a 97 (well its hers now) with 240k but with a roof box plenty of room for long trips- dog in the back.

    But for my work i need a truck so had a taco- now have a tundra plenty of room-


    dont wheel much so cant weigh in there i just know that the 4runner is a pretty kick ass suv
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bipolarbear View Post
    ... being able to lock up more stuff in the runner, carry more people (my taco is just xtended cab, not 4 door) and get to the back without getting out of the car.

    I like being able to not worry about getting the interior dirty when I throw stuff in the back. More storage space. I can sleep in the back (which the wife tells me I'm too old for but who is she kidding). I swear my truck is better off road than his. Plus IT"S A TRUCK!!!! You don't feel so bad about beating it up as you would the glorified station wagon ...
    I'm without a truck as of about 2 months ago after getting my first of four in 1993. All Toyotas BTW.

    I don't have kids, so the passenger problem isn't something I can shed much light on. I would think you need to really check out the back seats on the 4-door Taco compared to the 4runner to know how much that would be a downside. The beds on those 4-door Tacos look really short, don't think you'll be sleeping comfortably back there unless you're Danny DeVito's height.

    I miss being able to put something really smelly like my chain saw, gas, etc back there. Dump runs, going to the lumber yard to get some drywall or other big stuff, etc. I always had a topper (well, except the Tundra which I only had for about 18 months--had a truck camper but no shell).

    Bikes in the back under the shell worked out really well for me. I would cable-lock them to the tie-downs, because shells are trivially easy to break into. I had a 2x6 with fork mounts bolted to them (like these: http://www.probikekit.com/us/saris-t...ork-mount.html) to keep the bikes stable. It was cool when you had to drive through rain or snow for a whole day. Hitch racks give them a nice road grime bath. The big new-ish 4runners seem to have quite a bit of room behind the back seat, so you could maybe get two back there with front wheels off.

    In my opinion, look seriously at the Taco if you want to be able to do the truck-specific stuff. Putting lots of cargo in (packing the back of a 4runner won't be like packing the bed of a truck), putting dirty cargo in, etc.

    Also, I haven't had one of those Toyota 4 liter v6 motors (my T100 had the 3.4 and it was a trooper), but I hear they are really pretty nice. I had the lexus V8 with 5 speed auto in my '06 Tundra. Everybody said that they were really pretty good on gas, but I never found that to be true. Yes, Tundras are a little bigger than 4runners, but they frankly aren't much heavier. I never did better than 18 mpg. It was super smooth, and lots of power, but I'm quite sure you'll put more gas in a v8 4runner than one of the base engines. Unless you plan to tow something over 1000 lbs, I'd stick with the 6.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  5. #5
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    I sold my Toyota pickup a couple of years ago and really miss it. I am tired of having to borrow a pickup or trailer to tow behind my wife's SUV (Explorer) when I want to haul lumber, appliances, grass and leaves, dirt, toys, etc. Also, our minivan had more cargo space than the SUV.

  6. #6
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    I asked myself the same question when I bought my SUV a couple years ago. I ended going that way because we need to commute in it 4 or 5 days a week, and I didn't want to have to drive and park a larger vehicle around town. Now that we're trying to get serious about some landscaping, etc, we're looking into a little utility trailer for around town.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  7. #7
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    The 4runner can have full time 4wd if that makes a difference for you in the winter months.

  8. #8
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    I can't speak to the 4runner.

    I have an '05 dbl cab TRD and the kid/dog/wife all did fine last week all
    the way to Taos and back sitting in the back seat.

    For bikes,
    the downside is that my bikes wheelbase is longer than the bed.
    I'm not into racks and usually just throw it in the back and lock
    it down to a tie. It still works but doesn't lay as flat as I would like it to.

    I also don't find the bed very useful for hauling dirt or heavy stuff since it
    sits higher up than my little 2wd '98 reg cab taco. I don't like throwing bags of
    cement up that high. Bikes also fit better in the back of the 2wd taco. <- It get's
    30+mpg too. IMHO the 2wd is the best bike tote. I got mine for under $4K.
    Great beater truck so I don't trash the TRD. I haul gravel/soil/concrete and all kinds
    of crap with the little 2wd and it does just fine.

    But for a single vehicle for kids/camping/boarding/fishing/hunting I think the dbl cab
    works great at keeping smelly stuff out of the cab. Probably getting a topper this
    summer to keep gear a little more secure and dog out of cab. Like the TRD power
    too. Getting over 20 mpg. Better than our little gas guzzling Liberty.

  9. #9
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    2wd is kewl

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    ... my little 2wd '98 reg cab taco. I don't like throwing bags of
    cement up that high. Bikes also fit better in the back of the 2wd taco. <- It get's
    30+mpg too. IMHO the 2wd is the best bike tote...
    This was my last Toyota truck:



    Not a Taco, a Hilux. Bought this '91 in 1994 with 30K miles on it for my ex-wife to use for her landscaping business. We split 5 years ago, but at the end of 2010 she let me know she was thinking of selling it and gave me first right of refusal.

    It's a tough little fscker, and I not only hauled mucho stuff in it, but even 4-wheeled it a fair amount. On a long steep climb in 1st gear you could keep it going pretty well as long as nothing made you slow down too much so you could keep the R's up. It would just keep bouncing over stuff and go on up there, but if you lost momentum you had to back it on down.

    I finally sold it this winter because the cramped seating position was giving me a chronic knee issue. I need an extra cab so I can have the seat back far enough for my leg length.

    But yeah, 2wd 22RE 4-bangers get over 30 mpg, sometimes 35. And that bed is nice and low. Last fall I went up into the hills to get some BFRs to use for landscaping, and I was able to deadlift some whoppers up that far. No way I could have loaded them into a 4wd.

    EDIT: Not that this post has a danged thing to do with what the OP is asking about. But why not hijack the thread into a "check out my yota" party.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  10. #10
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    Get a real low mileage 1997 Tacoma Xtra Cab V6 4WD. I got 18mph around town and 23 on the highway. I miss that truck. Yes, a backseat usable for storing stuff, maybe not kids.

    Compared to the newer larger V6s and V8s, don't know about their mpg. I'm just saying that '97 was the best vehicle I ever owned. I sold it about 2 years ago. It always had a topper on it so it was my ghetto 4Runner.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  11. #11
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    I've got 04 double cab with 120,000 miles, topper with Yakima bars. 11 yr old in the backseat, 5 bikes on top and the bed for gear and whatnot. Toyota now has the option of a longer bed with the doublecab.

  12. #12
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    T100

    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy View Post
    ...Compared to the newer larger V6s and V8s, don't know about their mpg. I'm just saying that '97 was the best vehicle I ever owned...
    I had a '97 T100, same motor, 3.4 V6. It was the best vehicle I ever owned.

    I think the mid 90's may have been the pinnacle of engineering for japanese trucks that were going to be used as trucks. My '06 Tundra was nice, but it wasn't a truck the way my T100 was a truck. I hauled a 4400 lb trailer with that T100 5-speed. Pulled over many a high pass and through many a desert wash. 4-wheeled it all over the damned mountains and deserts.

    The new ones do have some technology things that make them nice. High efficiency automatics, 5 and 6 speed automatics, motors that make more power with less fuel consumption--but man, I wish I had never sold my T100.

    [snif]
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  13. #13
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    no brainer

    2005 4 door taco with 20 month old twins in the backseat. plenty of room back there, even for g-ma in between the seats.

    get a truck cap with tinited windows and lock your stuff in there. yes, the bed is too short for a bike to lie flat with both tires on; take off the front and you're good to go; or get a rack!

    bought my leer cap with all the fixins for $1800.

    Wife has a 4 runner. Not big enough for camping gear and the family. truck is the way to go unless all you do is visit the mall and shop.

  14. #14
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    just get the long bed double cab.. the short bed is somewhat useless for sleeping in and once you put bikes in, there isn't much room left...

  15. #15
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    I had an 06 Tacoma, TRD 4 door short bed, bought my wife a same year 4runner, both with the 4.0 (loads of power!!). The rear seats are almost identical in fit & leg room, so you decision should not be based on that. What I will warn you about is, the 4runner has about 3-4" less leg room in front that the Tacoma. Now, if you are under 6' tall with average length legs, you will be fine. I am 6'-1", 32"inseam & even with the drivers seat all the way back my legs are still slightly bent. I adjust the for aft to make the seat lean back to get a comfortable fit on long drives. I sold my Tacoma a year after I had it, as I went from a full size to the Taco & hated the short bed & IMO crappy suspension. Plus I was used to throwing landscaping materials, cement, shuttling DH rigs, etc... & the Taco fell way short. Only gas guzzling HEMI power for me!

  16. #16
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    Dude, it's been almost a week and you haven't pulled the trigger... wtf?

    Just get whatever is the most comfortable and convenient for moocher friends when you're driving them to rides...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josie7 View Post
    just get the long bed double cab.. the short bed is somewhat useless for sleeping in and once you put bikes in, there isn't much room left...
    I have a long bed double cab Frontier, so quite similar. Plenty of room inside, for sure; you basically have a car interior.

    The downsides are the vehicle is super long. If you want a hitch rack, even longer. Parking lots are a chore. My truck also gets shitty mileage, can't imagine the Taco in this configuration does much better. Lastly, if you want a manual transmission, Toyota doesn't make this configuration in a manual. It's also really hard to find, not many of them out there.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagwhan View Post
    I have a long bed double cab Frontier, so quite similar. Plenty of room inside, for sure; you basically have a car interior.

    The downsides are the vehicle is super long. If you want a hitch rack, even longer. Parking lots are a chore. My truck also gets shitty mileage, can't imagine the Taco in this configuration does much better. Lastly, if you want a manual transmission, Toyota doesn't make this configuration in a manual. It's also really hard to find, not many of them out there.
    Honestly, I don't know why some just don't go for a full size truck.. an F150 extra cab has similar space in the back seat and gets almost as good gas mileage with the 4.6 liter..

  19. #19
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    Awesome input kids - thanks

    Josie- I've looked at the f159 and they're sweet. A little worse in mpg, a little worse in safety ratings, a little worse in handling ratings... Add all of those little things up and I'm sticking with the Toyota.

    Thought about the long bed, but I've heard some similar issues as Bagwhan- super long, horrible turning radius, worse mpg, louder, etc.

    I'm pretty sold on the taco. Of other car is also an SUV, so

    Like others, I also am a previous owner. Had an 86 22re single cab with a topper, sliding glass... Built a full cabinet/ drawer/ bed system in the back and had racks up top- even had a bike repair stand permanently mounted to the side of the thing. Manually locking hubs, chrome bumpers, 4 on the floor. Lived out of that thing on and off for a few years. It's still probably the only car I've ever owned that I really regret selling.

    Scrambler- Why do you think i posted the question about the seats? My kids will be plenty comf back there. Its you fools I'm thinking about . Yes. Almost a week... gotta sell what I have first . That will be done tomorrow. Then the shopping begins...
    ,

  20. #20
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    I don't think theres any difference in the back seat room, but check it out to be sure.

    The 4 Runner has a third row seat which may come in handy if you're hauling more than just the two ninos.

    I got the Taco and love it--can put my three kids in the back (ages 12 - 17) for anything short of a long road trip. With a blanket over the tailgate, I can (and have) haul four bikes and riders in reasonable comfort. As far as the usefulness of the bed goes, there are two bed lengths availavle--the Sport is longer than the Off Road. I would have opted for the longer bed, but it woulnd't quite fit in my garage and I liked the trim on the off road version better.
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

  21. #21
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    [QUOTE

    Scrambler- Why do you think i posted the question about the seats? My kids will be plenty comf back there. Its you fools I'm thinking about . Yes. Almost a week... gotta sell what I have first . That will be done tomorrow. Then the shopping begins...
    ,[/QUOTE]

    I call shotgun.

  22. #22
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    Wise words of advice from everyone. I had a taco, it was so-so, but it was a 98 and only an extended cab. I upgraded to the 06 tundra 4 door, love that truck.

    That said, PM me and I'll give you the contact for an auto broker that has saved everyone in the golden area thousands. The most pleasant experience to buy a car or truck. Cheaper than you can negotiate and all you do is tell him what you're looking for.
    Golden Bike Park Group

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by alshead View Post
    Awesome input kids - thanks

    Josie- I've looked at the f159 and they're sweet. A little worse in mpg, a little worse in safety ratings, a little worse in handling ratings... Add all of those little things up and I'm sticking with the Toyota.

    Thought about the long bed, but I've heard some similar issues as Bagwhan- super long, horrible turning radius, worse mpg, louder, etc.

    I'm pretty sold on the taco. Of other car is also an SUV, so

    Like others, I also am a previous owner. Had an 86 22re single cab with a topper, sliding glass... Built a full cabinet/ drawer/ bed system in the back and had racks up top- even had a bike repair stand permanently mounted to the side of the thing. Manually locking hubs, chrome bumpers, 4 on the floor. Lived out of that thing on and off for a few years. It's still probably the only car I've ever owned that I really regret selling.

    Scrambler- Why do you think i posted the question about the seats? My kids will be plenty comf back there. Its you fools I'm thinking about . Yes. Almost a week... gotta sell what I have first . That will be done tomorrow. Then the shopping begins...
    ,
    5 on the floor I went from an '87 Xtra Cab w/topper (same as your '86) to my '97 so I compare the two. As much as I loved the '87 I loved the '97 even more. I bought the '97 new and had it for 12 years and sold it with 120k on it. It was big enough for me and my tools and bikes and sleeping in the back, small enough that it was sort of like driving a car, had plenty o'power, had an automatic tranny which I got used to right away.

    But your backseat requirements pretty much rule that out. Just sayin', if in your searching you come up on a '97 with 10,000 miles (V6, Xtra cab, mine was automatic) or less drive it around just so's you know.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  24. #24
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    Just made the jump to a 4Runner after having trucks (Toyota, ford and Dodge) for years. Looked seriously at the Tacoma and really thought I was going to miss the truck but so far I haven't. Thought long and hard about it and came to the realization that although I did use the bed of my truck it wasn't that frequent. Love the 4Runner but as other's have said, you can't go wrong with the Tacoma. That said, at 6'6" the adjustable seats in the 4Runner gave me more room and now I can lock more stuff up on the inside.

  25. #25
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    I was actually in this same boat a month ago! I have a one year old and a three year old and wanted a vehicle they could grow into. And of course it had to be a Toyota. In my opinion if you are concerned about the backseat room, that is a valid reason to stray away from the Tacoma as the back seat can feel tight. Plus purchasing the V8 is one of the best decisions I've made for driving in the FR....

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