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1996 Toyota Tacoma Regular Cab

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Consumer Reviews & Ratings

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 1582 Ratings for the 1995 - 2004 models.

Review this car
more rating details
  • Value
    9.4/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    9.1/10
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Per Page:  5 | 10 | 25

Best vehicle Ive ever owned

By on Monday, January 28, 2008

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

"I have an '01 Prerunner ExtraCab 3.4L V6 2WD and Ive put 118,000 miles on it in the past 7 years and never had any reliability problems whatsoever. I replaced the timing belt and spark plugs, as well as the front breakpads around 100k miles; but thats just routine maintenance. I got a new set of tires around 55k and 110k miles, I think the Wrangler AT tires I have on it now are very nice for the price (at Sams Club). I use this truck to carry my ATV and it fits snugly in the bed (350 cc is about as large as will fit back there). Im not a mud-a-holic, and I dont try to drive my 2wd truck into mud pits, but I do drive near the mud pits, so I can take my 4wd atv into them. Ive never gotten my truck stuck. Even with 2wd, Ive been able to pull a Dodge Ram Diesel out of the mud. Lightweight trucks have a definite advantage in the muddy terrain of Louisiana. Truck also hauls quite well for its size. This summer I pulled a trailer and bed full of furniture from Chicago to Austin, Texas in a straight drive, no problem. Mileage diped to around 12 or so mpg pulling the trailer, but thats to be expected. Normally mileage runs around 15-16 mpg in the city, around 18 on the hwy. I just put a flowmaster 50 series exhaust on, and put a K&N airfilter on it, so I might see 1-2 mpg better. I highly recommend the flowmaster 50 muffler, great sound, not too agressive fits the truck's personality. The only two drawbacks are fairly ordinary for this kinda truck: 1) it rides like a truck, not uncomfortable but not a luxury smooth ride either. The backseat on the extra cab is not a place a grown man would want to spend any time, but its good for hauling a medium amount of stuff like hunting supplies or groceries. 2) the rear end is very light, and can spin out on you in wet or icy conditions. Main things Id recomend to help that is just take it easy on the gas when in wet/icy roads, and dont accelerate too much into turns when the conditions are lousey. You could lug around 600 lbs of weight in the back to help that, but who wants to do that? Maybe a limited slip diff would help, but I dont have one of those so I couldn't say. Overall, its a great truck. I plan to keep it until it hits at least 200k miles, and I think it'd be nice to hit 250k miles on it, just because 1/4 million miles on a truck is a nice figure. I believe it will get me there."

12 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Dependable

By on Friday, January 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 203,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Reliability, Great Value!"

Cons: "body trim gaskets come loose on occasion"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Excellent Toyota model Tacoma 4x4 2002! With regular oil changes, tire rotations and general fluid checks my Tacoma is the most dependable vehicle. Super vehicle for utility and snow travels. Just the best."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Trouble free vehicle.

By on Wednesday, May 01, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 191,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Reliability, low cost"

Cons: "Payload capacity."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"No worries with the Tacoma, as the maintenance costs are VERY low. I purchased it new in '99. Mine is has 191k on it, still has the original clutch, A/C, & exhaust system. Only had to replace a leaking radiator, A/C evaporator, and a bushing in the starter (~$49) which I did myself. Other than normal maint (tires, brakes, oil changes, etc.), there are no surprises. Doesn't burn any oil at all after 191k! This is a great truck and will serve you well. My kids don't want to mess with a 5-speed so I'll keep driving it indefinitely. If you drive very carefully (glide up to stop lights, accelerate slowly), you'll get 28 mpg in the city. Best part- - the trade-in value has actually gone up over the last few years due to the cost of a new one & scarcity. The word is out how reliable these trucks are. There's nothing like low cost + great running/reliable transportation! Have fun!"

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

My First Truck

By on Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 146,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reliable"

Cons: "Cup holder covers heat lever - minor"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought new in 1997 never regreted the buy. Just changed the plugs and wires at 146,000. Bodywork still shines - when cleaned. Changed the oil and filter every 5,000. Hope to get another 146,000."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great Truck

By on Monday, January 24, 2011

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

"Fantastic truck!! I bought it used and never had any problems. Preformed routine maintenance which because of the prerunner package was slightly more than say a regular tacoma, but defiantly worth the extra buck. Its only downfall is the mpg. It has the 4.3L v-6 and my best highway was 20 which isn't terrible, but not great. Mine has over 130k and runs like its brand new. The seats are a little stiff and its a bit tight on the inside which is the only reason I give it a 4 on comfert. Overall it's the best truck I've ever owned out of 3 s-10's, 1 ranger, and a 90 tacoma."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Daily driver with 190k

By on Thursday, April 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 190,450

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "its worn out already. motor is still ok."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This truck is dependable and fun to drive. I just wish it wasnt so worn out already. Still good though. Toyota "oh, what a feeling.""

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

This truck has been wonderful to me!

By on Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 266,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Cons: "The driver's seat belt doesn't retract very well"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have never had any problems with this truck and will keep it until it will not budge anymore. I recommend the Tacoma to everyone. You will not be disappointed."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

This little truck is the best

By on Friday, December 27, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 116,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "long lasting"

Cons: "no towing capacity"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This truck has lasted forever with no problems what so ever it will last till 300,000 miles easy and it gets great gas mileage 29 on the highway and 26 in town."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Wolf in sheeps clothing

By on Saturday, November 30, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 124,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "tough, dependable, worry free driving"

Cons: "rides rough, not many options available"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have a 2004 Tacoma quad cab v6 with the TRD package, of course its very reliable, but it's amazing how capable it is for a small truck. I am boarder line abusive to this truck and it just doesn't seem to matter. Regular maintenance, tires, batteries, ect. No out of the norm repairs."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

A keeper.

By on Thursday, July 18, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 144,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "reliability, durability, flexibility, capabillity"

Cons: "basic, but there's no bells and whistles to break"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Mine is a no frills version, but it is reliable, easy to drive, gets good enough gas mileage and is one of my top rated."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

SUCH a terrific value!

By on Friday, March 29, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 195,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Held value, low operating cost, always reliable"

Cons: "???"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This little truck has been the most reliable and always-ready vehicle I have owned in my car-buying history of 40 years. I got the 190 hp V6 and 5-Speed for off-roading and towing (up to 5k lb). It has never let me down, even when I overloaded it, climbed hills it should not have gone near and just beat the snot out of it. It has always happily come back for more. I am selling now - only because I got the 12 years newer version of the same truck from Toyota - but I am confident it will serve its next owner for at least another 100k miles!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Hands down the best vehicle I ever owned

By on Sunday, December 02, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 210,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought the truck new in 97. Spent 3 cold years in New England. Drove to the west coast, sent it to Hawaii. The truck has been to the top of mauna kea(14000 ft.). Sent it to California and drove it 100 miles a day for work. I put 16 x 7 rims on it, the handling is much better. Only basic maintenance ,oil,filters,tires,brakes, wipers, and 1 battery. The only time it didn't start was when the battery died, I pushed it, pop the clutch and went straight to buy a new one. It's not fancy but super reliable. Now I have a company truck so I don't drive it much. 210000 miles still runs like a champ and people still ask me to sell it. But if I did my 14 year old daughter would kill me. The only car I ever bought new and it will stay in the family for a long while."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

most reliable well-built vehicle I've owned

By on Tuesday, May 08, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 118,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "reliable, solid, holds its value"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I bought my truck in 2004. It's approaching 120,000 miles and running on all original parts except new belts and brakes. It has been a dream to take care of. I do all the regular maintenance myself - everything is easily accessible. The truck is easy on tires and the 4x4 option handles any situation the weather can throw at it. On average I get 20 mpg."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

running strong, great mpg's

By on Sunday, November 13, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 312,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"312,000 miles and even the auto trani is holding up yet, get great mpg's for a 4x4, light enough to nut get stuck put powerfull enough with the ect power to hold up to the big trucks, all around a great veheicle"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Excellent Truck!

By on Friday, May 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 227,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Worth the extra you pay for a Toyota"

Cons: "Cost a few thousand more than a Nissan"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Beside changing the oil, I only had to fix the air conditioning for $800 for the last 14 years. Awesome Truck."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Very dependable utility pickup

By on Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Economical to own"

Cons: "Lousy turning radius!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Only one significant repair during twelve years I have owned it. Right rear wheel seal break and leaking axle oil (grease) necessitated seal replacement and brake repair . . Approx $800. Two items of minor concern. I see no need for locking door over gas filler cap AND it takes about 40 acres to turn. Will not turn sharply enough for some tight parking lots"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

The Truck That Won't Quit

By on Sunday, August 25, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 160,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great gas mileage, plenty of power per lb"

Cons: "Small, no power windows"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I'm the second owner of this truck. I've put over 100,000 miles on it. hopefully I'll be able to put another 200K on the odometer. I've put this truck through everything. Hauling boat trailers, moving appliances, loading 6 buddies in the back and driving up a mountain. I get a solid 25 mpg, average, and the 2.4cyl just keeps eating up what I give it. Other than standard preventative maintainance, this truck hasn't required any major replacement parts and doesn't feel like it will anytime soon. Tacomas are built to last."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Excellent truck!

By on Monday, July 29, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 145,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "good MPG, handle well, easy to work on, dependable"

Cons: "somewhat sparse interior"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The Tacoma is one of the best vehicles I have ever owned. It is fun to drive and handles well. The 2RZ motor is easy to work with/overhaul- though you should be able to get 250k plus miles out of it with little to no problems. This truck was well-thought out and performs excellently. It gets great gas mileage for a truck, and despite being a small truck, it can hold a substantial amount of weight in the bed. I run loads of scrap metal weighing on average 800-900 pounds, and the truck hardly squats an inch. They hold value extremely well due to their longevity/dependability. I love this truck, and would definitely recommend it to anyone."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

1997 toy. truck

By on Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have own my truck from day one in 1997 and the truck just keeps on going and going.====I could never ask for anything more.====This has been one super ride and I just love it.=====mike=====115,000 miles later!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Best Truck I have owned

By on Wednesday, May 08, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 148,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great for hauling young kids and all your stuff"

Cons: "Entertainment system works good / no auxillary jac"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Have taken this from the mountains to the beach and back numreous times in 9+ years. Never had any major problems. Oil changes, Timing belt etc at 100,000 other than that has no problems. I have raised two young kids in the back seat. Definitely need bed extender for stuff like plywood sheets. Handles every day hauling and moving furniture great. I have never towed anything with it so I can't comment on it. Gas mileage isn't awesome 16-18 mpg in town and max 20 mpg on highway, but way better than a bigger trucks."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

best compact truck!

By on Monday, November 12, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Value, reliability, durability, capability, looks"

Cons: "jittery ride over rough roads"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The Toyota Tacoma is probably the best compact truck you could buy. They are known for their reliability and also their off-road capabilities. The engines in the Tacoma are bullet proof if taken care of and will last 100,000's of miles. It is basically average for a 2.7 to reach 300,000 miles. The 3.4 V6 is also a great motor, and its the one I own. My 1996 has only 85,000 miles so it has many years left. I have had to replace two things: An oxygen sensor(expected to go out and a cheap replacement) and the starter motor (not too uncommon for my engine and nothing major). You can't go wrong with a Tacoma and if your looking to buy one you must look at for one thing- frame rust. It is a known problem to affect only certain trucks. But it certainly doesn't affect all of them, its just something to look for near salty conditions."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

I will buy another!!

By on Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 186,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Changed timing belt, oil 5k, gas and go."

Cons: "Seats are not very comfortable but ride is good."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This has been the best vehicle I have owned. The higher purchase price has been well worth it. The truck has been very reliable. The front brakes just recently needed replacement at 185,000 miles. The clucth has yet to be replaced for the first time."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Great vehicle lost to defective frame

By on Monday, June 04, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "good looking, well built (xcept frame), fun"

Cons: "defective frame totaled it out"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

Does this truck look like it should be going to the crusher???

"This '98 is a gem of a truck. The big 4cyl gives suprising pep and it's fun to drive. Bought this off my parents about a year ago, with 70xxx original miles and in mint condition! After doing a 2" lift, the frame started to crack. Long story short, The 1995-2004 series manufactured in CA have defective frames. My parents ignored the notices sent in the mail as "warranty extentions" thinking they were trying to sell them something instead of realizing it was a recall. Now Toyota is in the process of making an offer to buy it back, and then they are gonna crush it! I doubt I'm gonna be able to afford a newer one, and I don't like the newer styles as much. So be sure to check your bottoms--ours was always dealer serviced and always passed local safety inspections, despite our direct inquiry about the rust on the frame. I can't belive this truck flew under the radar for 14 years. The only good thing is we found out about it before anyone got hurt."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Does this truck look like it should be going to the crusher???

207,000 and still going strong.!

By on Thursday, January 19, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 207,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "style, drivability, just a fun, pretty truck."

Cons: "seats could be a bit more plush, dash rattles."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought this truck used with 202,000 on it, had it painted (had some minor scratches and door dents) new tires and tinted the glass, It has never given me a minute of trouble in any way...the truck runs great, drives great, and looks great..still a head turner on and off the road! :)"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Economical and Dependable!

By on Friday, December 09, 2011

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,656

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Dependable, economical, so many uses,"

Cons: ""Dash rattle"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My experience is that it is a bread and butter truck. Very dependable and useful. It will destroys its competition. Understandably it holds its value well. Toyota can not be beat in the light truck market because its built a very dependable vehicle. I wouldn't buy another brand. Unfortunately, I have to sell this vehicle due to financial reasons but thankfully it is very easy to sell because so many people love this truck including myself. The only downside is the "dash rattle". I haven't been able to pinpoint this annoying sound. The drive-train and engine are superb. Its easy to maintain. All the parts on this truck are inexpensive. Love this truck! Thanks Toyota!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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