My boat and trailer weigh 2,200lbs. I’m wanting to downsize from a 3/4 ton to a smaller truck like the Toyota Tacoma with a 4cylinder. The towing capacity is listed at 3,500 lbs. When I include two people (together=230lbs.), gear, am I pushing the limit? Would I be wiser to a 1/2 ton 6 cylinder?
A four cylinder Tacoma should be able to easily tow 2,200 pounds. You might prefer more power from a V6 when towing though. Make sure you test drive both. If you have the money for the V6 I would go with it. I have never liked towing with a four-banger.
I am actually considering a Tacoma for my next purchase because I mainly ride motorcycles and need a tow vehicle to drop them off for maintenance. However, my trailer and motorcycle come to about 1,200 lbs., so I think it might be easier for me to get away with a four cylinder Tacoma.
Agree as I’ve had and towed with both motors, 2.7 four and 4.0 6 cylinder.
If your buying new…the 4 cyl auto only comes in 2wd. 2wd tows a little easier as does the auto.
My 4 cylinder Tacos manuals were just OK towing up to 2K in any condition. After that, my v6 4.0 auto 4runner is more economical when you need to consider highway speeds. The truck 4 will handle it, but the economy between the two is negligible w/o load and highly favors the v6 with ANY substantial load. Throw EPA estimates out when load/working trucks.
If you do much towing and/or have 4wd and/or automatic. ALL favor the excellent more economical under load v6 unless you spend the vast majority of your time on the highway, commuting with light loads in 2wd with a manual. Only then is the 4 SLIGHTY more economical. Neither will win any mileage awards but still, each is best in class IMO.
I see folks towing boats going 75-80 mph on the interstates. If you have a long drive with the boat hooked up and like to bomb along at high speeds get the bigger motor. If you can live with towing at 55 to 60 mph with a downhill run getting up to 65 or 70 then you can live with the 4 cylinder.
The frame and body of a Tacoma are sturdy enough to make a safe tow vehicle.
You’ll be within the limit even with two people. You should be okay in that respect. Personally, would opt for the V6, but that’s just me. Though it should be mentioned that the I4 gets about 3 MPG better than the V6 in a 2WD truck and 1 MPG better in 4WD models, so if you’re getting a 4WD model there’s isn’t as much as a MPG penalty.
Also working for you new is all newer Tacos come with limited slip so unless you go off road, 4wd isn’t necessary, even for snowy roads. The 2wd v6 is one of Toyota’s quickest vehicles…and I’d recommend it highly for your use.
My 4Runner with this v6 motor does well over 20 mpg with 5 ugly guys with golf gear and luggage for a week traveling at 70 plus mph.
What are you driving now? The money you save in gas probably won’t pay for the new truck any time soon, if at all. BTW, an F-150 with the V8 and auto transmission gets only 1 MPG less than the Tacoma V6 w/ auto, yet almost doubles the towing capacity.
I would like to thank everyone who replied to my question. Your replies were most helpful, and appreciated. I’m thinking the taco/4 might be a bit light for my towing needs, which is regrettable since the world needs less oil usage.
You’re welcome…but don’t get us wrong, the Toyota 4cyl is a great little motor and the best 4 cyl non diesel truck motor made IMO. It’s excellent off road in the short bed and good low end torque…but as you’ve decided, it isn’t enough when bigger motors may be MORE economical when towing heavier loads.
Best of luck…