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Gen I (95.5-2004) vs. Gen II (2005-) Toyota trucks

Just wanted to find out what other folks think about Gen I vs Gen II Toyota trucks. The reason that I am asking is because I bought a new Toyota Tacoma in 2000 and I thought I’d have it for 200,000 miles but it got bought back due to rust perforation and I found my self on the market for a used truck to replace it. The 2000 Toyota Tacoma was the first new car I ever owned, before that I drove hand-me-downs (Chevrolet Citation, VW Rabbit and a Ford Tempo) but when I was talking about getting a truck, every one said, go with a Toyota, which I did and it was a great truck. Fast forward 8 years to shopping for a used truck and much to my surprise, Toyota Tacomas have changed as of 2005- and for my needs- just seem like too much truck. I understand Toyota making it bigger i.e. for safety reasons, but is there more to it? I was also looking at a Honda Element which my friend has but when I drove one, it seemed like alot of extra cabin space to haul around and heat. Are there any more options on the market for something comparable to the smaller Tacomas or have people moved up to the bigger truck and fallen in love all over again? Some of my friends have moved onto Volvo wagons which are more comfy, similar cargo space but more expensive to repair.

I am not sure why, but all vehicles seem to get bigger as they progress through time and get redesigned. It just seems to be the natural evolution of automotive design. Maybe they are just following the competition.

Do you have specific needs that require you to own a truck rather than a car? A common substitute for a small truck is a retired police cruiser. Most are rear wheel drive and have decent towing capacity.

The only solution now to the smaller truck is the still available Ford Ranger. They ride just as stiff as the older Tacomas in 4wd. I will say, Toyota 2.7 is the best 4 cyl truck motor on the market.

Unfortunately I do need a truck because I am a sculptor and need a vehicle that can haul logs as well as pedestals and sculpture to set up shows- I bought a used 2001 Toyota Tacoma to replace my truck because I don’t like the new ones but where do I go from here, I wonder. I thought about an SUV but I dont need 4 passenger or 6 passenger capabilities just cargo space- I used to have a tonneau cover but my stuff got wet alot so I am going to put a cap on the truck I just bought and hope I dont lose too much mpg. I drive alot for shows in New England so gas mileage is important but I liked the small size of the first generation vehicles because I do shows in NYC and parking is an issue. Maybe a wagon is the logical next step…

Thanks I’ll keep that in mind. I’ve never had 4wd- but have heard good things about the Ford Ranger and I think I looked at the Dodge Dakotas back in 2000. The new Toyota trucks get better gas mileage than my old one- which was 5 speed- even though they are bigger and heavier vehicles- even the 4wd with V6- so the technology is impressive…

Or, buy a used Toyota and spray motor oil from a garden sprayer in the body cavities and exposed under carriage areas every two years and it will keep the rust at bay.

Do you think Fords rust out less often than Toyotas? I used to have to duct tape the holes in the body of my Ford Tempo to pass inspection. Vans are seductive to get for the cargo space and passenger space but my dad has had the Ford Winstar and also a Dodge minivan that I’ve driven but they’re so huge, and I dont need all that space all the time, which makes it inefficient to have to heat/cool the cabin year-round.

No…it’s a contrived problem by all auto manufacturers that can be slowed with proper maintenance. The oil treatment, should tome by a friend 30 years ago, who can still drive his 60’s VW Beetle in salt/snow country.
If weight isn’t an issue, a used Element.

Other thought…I’ve dumped my PU, kept my SUV for comfort and got an aluminum utility trailer (Thule) with car size tires and torsion bar suspension, a loading ramp and rated for over 2000 lbs. All this and weighing less than 250 lbs. itself.

If weight isn’t an issue, a used Element. Do you mean the weight of what I am hauling? I don’t need the half-ton capabilities of the pick up, come to think of it.