Tacoma MPG


Old 02-13-03, 07:20 AM
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Tacoma MPG

I'm looking at a 2000 Tacoma sb stan-cab, 2wd, 5sp man, 2.4L 4banger, 33K miles, near-mint condition.

Truck runs good other than a chirpy clutch (sounds like a throwout bearing, no suprize at 33K miles - covered under 5yr factory warranty).

My big question is on MPG. My choir director at church told me his bro-in-law has a 2000 Tacoma 4cyl w/manual trans and is getting like 14-15 Mpg around town. Even with a bad driver, this sounds pretty dismal. Most Tacoma owners tell me their 4cyl gets about 25-30mpg. Choir director seemed to think it was related to the transmission or gearing, but wasn't sure. His bro is trying to get rid of it under the Lemon Law.

I looked at Alldata.com and found nothing under 2000 that mentioned a fuel mileage problem.

And as far as lemon laws are concerned, other than CarFax (which I did with no negative results) how can I check to see if this truck is a "lemon"? I've seen the consumer comments at Edmunds.com and they either say "LOVE the truck" or "HATE the truck"- either a 1 or a 10, lol. Doesn't sound like Yota to make a low-quality truck....


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Old 02-13-03, 08:12 AM
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You won't go wrong with it in any regard, but it's light duty in all aspects versus a comparable domestic of the same vintage/class.

Sounds like a problem. 14 to 15 mpg is kind of low unless it is a 4WD model.
Old 02-13-03, 10:35 AM
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I am currently driving this truck today and tracking it's useage. Had just under half a tank, with a 15g tank, so I'll just do the math and hope that the gas gauge is accurate enough.

The guy with the bad mileage has a 4cyl but I don't think it's a 4wd, and even then it should be closer to about 20. I'm told by Tacoma owners that they get 25-30 mpg on 2wd 4cyls so 15 is whacky. Keep my fingers crossed.

If anyone has experience or a link to info about any recent Tacoma fuel mileage problem, let me know. I really like this truck- looks well maintained and has a decent price.

Old 02-14-03, 02:44 AM
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Toyota Info you want

Toyota's sixth-generation pickup finally got a proper name of its own--Tacoma. The all-new model ha a driver-side airbag, and featured aggressive new styling, both inside and out. Propelling the new Tacoma were three engines--two 4-cylinders and a V6. The new engines included a 142-horsepower dual-overhead-cam 2.4-liter, a 150-horsepower dual-overhead-cam 2.7-liter, and a 190-horsepower dual-overhead cam 3.4-liter V6. The Tacoma also rode on a redesigned chassis and suspension and came with rack-and-pinion steering in place of the previous recirculating ball system. Also, 4-wheel ABS was now optional on all Tacoma models. The 4WD models were visually differentiated from 2WD models by a distinct grille treatment and an elevated chassis.

Year-to-Year Changes

1996: For '96, Toyota's Tacoma pickup is provided with a new off-road package that includes a locking rear differential. The new unit is available only on regular-cab 4WD models with a manual transmission. On 2WD models it includes a rear differential locking system, 31-inch tires on alloy wheels, and a tachometer. On 4WD models, Toyota charges a little more, but adds bucket seats, a center console, and 4WDemand, the more sophisticated of Toyota's two 4-wheel-drive systems.
1997: For 1997, 2WD models get a new grille and flush headlights. Also, the base 2.4-liter engine gains a new ignition system and a more sophisticated sequential multi-point fuel-injection system.

1998: Tacoma finally gets a passenger-side airbag, and the SR5 models get a new name--Limited.

1999: Seatbelt pretensioners topped the short list of changes for '99.

2000: Intermittent windshield wipers became standard, and models with ABS now had daytime running lights. Four-wheel-drive trucks got numerically higher axle ratios for quicker takeoffs.

2001: New for 2001 were 4-door Double Cabs with four front-opening doors and a 60/40 folding rear bench seat. All models got a restyled front end with a raised hood and prominent grille. Also added for 2001 was a new S-Runner model--a manual-transmission V6 PreRunner Xtracab with stiffer springs, premium shock absorbers, color-keyed exterior, and special interior appointments.

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Road Test Evaluation

Acceleration with the base engine feels brisk, particularly with the manual transmission. The 2.7-liter 4-cylinder in 4WD models has marginally more horsepower and torque, but feels more taxed in all driving situations. Tacomas with the 3.4-liter V6 have strong standing-start acceleration with either transmission. The 2001 test 2WD automatic V6 PreRunner Double Cab did 0-60 mph in a respectable 9.7 sec. And we averaged 16.1 mpg with 4WD and manual transmission, 19.4 with 2WD and automatic in our tests of V6 Xtracabs. Ride quality is poor. Tacoma pounds over bumps and bounds over dips in the pavement. Handling is nothing special either, but at least the brakes work well. Inside, the Tacoma feels rather spartan. There is enough room for two adults to stretch out in front, but the rear area, like in all compact pickups, is best left to cargo and not people. Controls are well-arranged, but are a bit on the small side--especially radio controls. Visibility is excellent and noise levels are only marginally higher than in comparable Ford or Chevy compact trucks. Tacoma's payload ratings are competitive with anything in this class, but even with the 3.4-liter V6, towing limits fall short of the Ranger and S-Series by about 1000 pounds. Note also that Tacoma has only a single 6.2-foot cargo bed length; while nearly all competitors offer a regular-cab model with a cargo bed of 7 or 7.5 feet.

Value for the Money

The only advantage a Tacoma might have over domestic compacts would be in reliability. This is one case where we would shop the competition despite Toyota's reputation.

Each vehicle report contains one rating table for a representative model. We rate in seven key areas: Performance, Fuel Economy, Ride Comfort, Interior Noise, Passenger Room, Cargo Capacity, and Insurance Costs. These ratings are given taking into account the "world" of vehicles, not a vehicle's standing in a particular class. In the ratings table, "1" is the lowest rating and "5" is the highest rating.

Consumer Guide Road Test Ratings
representative model year
1996 Toyota Tacoma SR5 Ratings
Performance 3
Fuel Economy 2
Ride Quality 3
Quietness 3
Interior Room 3
Cargo Capacity 2
Insurance Costs 4
Total 20

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Specifications Toyota Tacoma crew cab Toyota Tacoma ext. cab Toyota Tacoma reg. cab
Wheelbase, in. 121.9 121.9 103.3
Overall Length, in. 202.3 203.1 184.5
Overall Width, in. 70.1 66.5 66.5
Overall Height, in. 67.5 62.0 61.8
Curb Weight, lbs. 3430 2745 2560
Cargo Volume, cu. ft. -- -- --
Standard Payload, lbs. 1674 1759 1914
Fuel Capacity, gals. 18.5 15.1 15.1
Seating Capacity 5 5 3
Front Head Room, in. 38.8 38.4 38.2
Max. Front Leg Room, in. 42.8 42.8 41.7
Rear Head Room, in. 37.8 35.5 --
Min. Rear Leg Room, in. 33.8 27.2 --
Specifications Key: NA = not available; "--" = measurement does not exist.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests a vehicle's crashworthiness in front collisions. Their ratings suggest the chance of serious injury. 5 = 10% or less; 4 = 10-20%; 3 = 20-35%; 2 = 35-45%; 1 = More than 45%.

NHTSA Crash Test Results 1999 Tacoma reg. cab
Crash Test Driver 2
Crash Test Passenger 3

Powertrain Options and Availability
Standard powerplants included 2.4-liter and 2.7-liter 4-cylinders, plus a 3.4-liter V6. The smaller 4-cylinder is standard on 2WD models, while the 4WD models offer the 2.7-liter unit. The new V6 is available for both configurations. The 2.4-liter dual overhead-cam 4-cylinder offers 142 horsepower at 5000 rpm and 160 pounds-feet of torque at 4000 rpm. The larger 4-cylinder boosts output to 150 horsepower at 4800 rpm and 177 pounds-feet of torque at 4000 rpm. Finally, the Tacoma's V6 delivers a lusty 190 horsepower at 4800 rpm and 220 pounds-feet of torque at 3600 rpm.

Engines Size liters/
cu. in. Horsepower Torque EPA city/hgwy Consumer Guide Observed
dohc I4 2.4 / 144 142 160 5-speed manual: 23/28

4-speed automatic: 22/25

5-speed manual: 20.1

4-speed automatic: --

dohc I4 2.7 / 163 150 177 5-speed manual: 17/21

4-speed automatic: 18/21

5-speed manual: --

4-speed automatic: --

dohc V6 3.4 / 207 190 220 5-speed manual: 19/23

4-speed automatic: 19/22

5-speed manual: 19.2

4-speed automatic: 16.7
Old 02-14-03, 08:21 AM
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anyway....back to fuel mileage.

15 mpg around town doesn't sound entirely impossible. Oversize tires? Driving with a brick strapped to your foot? Shifting the gears properly? Driving around town in a low gear? Rear axle ratio? Off road package? Maintenance?

Too many driver and vehicle related variables.

25-30 mpg on the city loop sounds whacky.
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