I have a cousin. Well, I have a few, but I’m only going to talk about this one specific cousin. Why? Because he’s a rad surfer who needed a new ride, he takes gnarly photos, and is just one rad dude. Oh, and he’s my cousin. Bruh, enough with the surfer speak.
A while ago, my cousin Colin sent me an email asking if I could help him through the process of finding the perfect truck for him. After talking to him and figuring out his needs, I suggested that he look into either a Dodge Ram 2500 with the Cummins turbodiesel I6 engine, or a Toyota Tacoma. He decided that the Toyota Tacoma was the best choice for him. The Ram is a perfectly good truck, but it was just far too big and heavy-duty for what he needed.
About a month later, he contacted me saying he had found the perfect truck. It really was the perfect truck. It looked like it had just rolled off the dealership floor. Sure, it had some scratches and dings in the bedliner, but at least the previous owner used it like a truck. Who cares if there are some digs and scratches in the bed?
The engine runs like a top, it has plenty of power, and the whole truck overall feels brand-new. Everything works perfectly for him, and it will only be an amazing truck for him to use as an off-road expedition vehicle, as well as a great truck for him to use for his photography needs. Oh, and it will be big enough for home improvement projects and all of his surfboards. You can’t beat that.
The Toyota Tacoma is a wonderful platform for just about any off-road platform. Why? It’s rock-solid, has a lot of power that can be easily accessed by just about any driver. Think of it as a pickup truck version of the Jeep Wrangler. You can slap big tires on it and hit the trails. That’s literally all you need to do. The bed is big enough to hold vast amounts of cargo, and is big enough for the owner to sleep in it. It’s also compact enough to drive it around in a big city, which is exactly what the previous owner did with it.
Here’s the specs on a 2006 Toyota Tacoma 4×4.
The 4.0-liter V6 is powerful. It makes 236 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. That’s more than enough to move a 3,500-ish pound truck. My cousin’s truck has the optional five-speed automatic (a six-speed manual came standard). While it would be fun to drive a Tacoma with a stick shift, it most certainly wouldn’t in Los Angeles. Believe me, I drove stick for a summer there. It wasn’t fun, nor was it pretty.
Back to his truck! The interior isn’t as nice as something in, say, a Buick, but it’s a truck. It’s not meant to be nice. It’s a truck. It’s meant to get dirty, so why be nice? Many modern trucks have nicer interiors than my dad’s Buick Enclave! The ride is comfortable. It feels like a car, albeit a bit stiff on choppy roads. But, that’s to be expected with any truck. It’s hard to get a smooth ride when there’s no load in the bed. It’s not to say that it’s impossible, it’s just prohibitively expensive for an automaker to do it for hundreds of thousands of trucks. That being said, the ride is amazing for a truck. Most of the time, you won’t even notice that there’s a bed behind you. Backing up, there’s visibility for miles. The hood is short, and you have what might be one of the most commanding views of the road. Who doesn’t want to feel like the Supreme Ruler of the Road?
It has high mileage on it, at 153,000, but these trucks last well over 400,000 miles, so it’s broken in! According to the previous owner, most of those miles were on the highway. Considering the pristine shape the truck is in, I believe it.
Overall, he has a smoking hot truck! Would I recommend a Tacoma to a prospective truck buyer? Of course I would. It behaves like a truck in all the ways that you want it to, yet is docile and easy to drive for any kind of driving you might do. The Tacoma is a great truck for somebody who wants a daily driver that they can use for some light towing/hauling or home improvement projects over the weekend. The Tacoma gets about 20 mpg combined, and can get up to 25 mpg on the highway. Why? Because the engine is powerful enough that the truck doesn’t have to work hard to get around. 20 mpg is pretty good for a truck, let alone one that’s nine years old.
I had mentioned that he takes gnarly photos. Check out his Instagram account at https://www.instagram.com/blackurchin/
He’s got a website he’s almost done setting up right now (blackurchin.co), but he has another website with a lot of absolutely breathtaking photos. https://colinericphoto.smugmug.com/
If you were wondering if that little bit about his photos is sponsored by him, it’s not. He has no idea that I’m telling the whole wide world about how good of a photographer he is. I just want to get the word out about one of the most rad photographers out there. Oh, and I’ve heaped enough praises about the Tacoma for one day. Well, maybe I haven’t, but I’ll cater to your good side.
If I’ve helped you find a car, and would like me to feature it, I’d love to! I’m always here to help people find cars. I love doing all the research, helping find the right car, and then watching the lucky buyer come out of the dealership or from where they met the seller with a big goofy grin on their face. I get a big goofy grin as well.