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Old 04-25-2013, 08:23 AM   #1
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2013 JKU V. Toyota Tacoma 4X4

I've really been leaning towards getting a 2013 JKU Sport S Package. Yesterday I test drove a Tacoma 4X4 and found myself surprised that I really liked it. I know they're apples and oranges. Wondering if any of you are/had been in the same situation as me. I'm assuming the ones that were, now have a Jeep since it's a Jeep forum.

As much as I love these new Jeeps, I just have a few concerns as this will be my only vehicle and expect to have it for some time. My concerns are:
Safety (the Jeep doesn't have side air bags); dealing with cross-winds on the highway, reliability and long-term fit and finish.


Thoughts?

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Old 04-25-2013, 08:26 AM   #2
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Both reliable. Just depends if u want a little pick up or a badass jeep. If u want a good 4x4 capable of extreme 4x4ing. Orrrr a little pick up. If u were to get the jeep. And do a little modding to make it your own you wouldn't regret it. But just depends what u want it for

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Old 04-25-2013, 08:37 AM   #3
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How's the Toyota look with the top down? How's it look with the doors off? How's it with the windshield down? Ohh! Just saying
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:49 AM   #4
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Order one with front side airbags (you can get them on the Sport S, Sahara and Rubi, but not on a base Sport).

Add Ace Rock rails, and you should be pretty good from a side impact standpoint.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:52 AM   #5
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i've had several different cars over the years. '99 nissan 4x4 frontier. '88 toyo LC. '01 VW jetta. '03 toyo sequoia. '03 bmw 5 series wagon sport.

they all had their pluses and minuses. but none of them compare to what i get with my jeep. none of them.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:17 AM   #6
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My current ride is a 2011 TRD OR 4DR Tacoma, pretty much loaded w nice Leer topper + bed rug.

I purchased it new and planned to start building it up this year after the 3 year expired. Bottom line, if you want to carry four adults and have something to haul some camping gear around and wheel some fire roads and such, Tacomas are excellent trucks. It's also fine for hauling a few hundred pound of mulch and other household chores as needed.

I began to consider what I wanted to do with the Taco while keeping it tame enough for a DD. That's when I gave up and ordered a Rubicon.

Here's are my reasons, some very subjective:

-In spite of the fact it's a truck, the back won't carry much weight, and it won't comfortably tow all that much. It's a good compromise, but if I ever really need a truck, I will buy a bigger one. I learned my lesson on that. Always buy more truck than you think you will need. Today's half tons get the same MPG as the mids. I suggest anyone who needs a truck (hauling and towing) should buy a big damn truck.
-I had a Jeep (XJ). I've always loved Jeeps. I want another. I should have purchased a YJ back in the day and been done, or a TJ when they came out, but I always ended up being talked out of it.
-Modding up a Tacoma is more expensive, and when done, it's still a tail dragger, unless you go wild on it. Then it isn't very tame any more.
-I have owned both motorcycles (dirt and HD) and a convertible (S2K), the Tacoma is so perfectly sanitary, it drives me insane.

It's a very good vehicle, but I no longer want mine.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:20 AM   #7
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I have both. The Tacoma is totally competent for the same kind of stuff you'd do with a stock Wrangler. Other than both being 4wd, I dont really see them filling the same niche. Just from what I read here, I will be amazed if the Jeep is half as reliable.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:25 AM   #8
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Bar, I did exactly what you did, had almost the same concerns..minus the side airbags. Here is MY conclusion:

Reliability: Sorry Jeep but Toyota has a better track record for reliability.
Payload: Sorry Jeep but Toyota can tow more, plus it has a bed.
Off-Road capability: The tacoma can actually go off-road.
Ride: I would say On-road, I test drove a TRD (Turd) package and they felt similar (JKU)

Now if this is all you care for, then get the tacoma, it will fit you better.

BUT if you want:

A vehicle that always makes you wonder "where is that noise coming from?", "how can I find a way to make more money for mods" or the feeling of that smile when you get behind the wheel or the infamous Jeep wave, then a Jeep better suites you.

Like you I test drove both but in the end I ordered a Jeep unlimited because to me it is more than a mode of transportation... it's a way of life.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:33 AM   #9
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from a purely rational point of view the Tacoma hands down is the winner. It can do more day in and day out then the wrangler. If you are going to modify either one to be a rock crawler hard core off road vehicle then the wrangler hands down. If you are looking at a nice vehicle to hit the back roads for camping etc they are both great in stock form. Cool thing about your choice is that they both are good choices. For what I do I would be happy with either one. I have a new jku 13 but after 6 months the coolness of being able to pull the top off has kind of faded.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:40 AM   #10
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I sold my 4-dr Taco and bought my commuter DD Ford Focus and '13 JKUR. The Taco is a nice truck, and versatile, but it just wasn't...fun.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:56 AM   #11
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Off-Road capability: The tacoma can actually go off-road.
I guess we all have our ideas of what off-road is. I take my TrailBlazer off road all the time in some people's eyes but I just call it going to work or visiting family and friends.



No one asked the OP what is needed out of whatever vehicle is picked. That is the only way someone can deside what is best for them. And also need to decide if any mods are going to be done and if so to what extent.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:04 AM   #12
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I should have elaborated a bit more on intended use besides being a daily driver:
- eventually pull a small camper
- haul bigger dog around
- long road trips
- no off-roading that I can foresee but could see taking it on dirt roads/fire trails.
- need something that does well in the snow
- hauling stuff like lawn mower to get fixed, small home improvement materials, small landscaping projects
- love the old school stick shift
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:10 AM   #13
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I sounds like a Wrangle would not be to practical for you. Unless you had the space and were willing to buy a small trailer for hauling small things around.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bar01 View Post
I should have elaborated a bit more on intended use besides being a daily driver:
- eventually pull a small camper
- haul bigger dog around
- long road trips
- no off-roading that I can foresee but could see taking it on dirt roads/fire trails.
- need something that does well in the snow
- hauling stuff like lawn mower to get fixed, small home improvement materials, small landscaping projects
- love the old school stick shift
Both would work, but I think the Tacoma would be better suited for your particular needs. Can you get it in a stick?

If you are not going to off-road a Wrangler, you really have to accept all of its faults as a pure SUV. I don't off-road my Wrangler...so it is pretty blah as an (overpriced) everday SUV.

But, the top does come, it is an American icon, and it is built in the USA. I use it more as an all season motorcycle.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WatchThis! View Post
I guess we all have our ideas of what off-road is. I take my TrailBlazer off road all the time in some people's eyes but I just call it going to work or visiting family and friends.
Very true, the perspective thing is funny. It hit me when I first started watching Moab vids. As a dirt biker, watching trucks navigate obstacles seemed tedious -two spotters, stopping and backing up, trying lines 3 or 4 times unsuccessfully and taking 5 minutes to clear an obstacle I could cover in 15 seconds on a single cylinder bike.

I have come to appreciate it, but I'm not sure I will ever overcome the perspective that its all going down in ultra slow motion after 20 years of offroad motorcycles.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bar01 View Post
I My concerns are:
Safety (the Jeep doesn't have side air bags); dealing with cross-winds on the highway, reliability and long-term fit and finish.
Sport S Wranglers can be ordered with side airbags. I'm not sure what that does to their safety ratings as compared to a Tacoma.

Highway crosswinds are indeed a bigger deal when you're driving a vehicle shaped like a brick that has a lot of ground clearance. But it's not as if wranglers are undrivable on the highway. I commute 70 miles per day in a wrangler with 2.5" of lift, and have never felt concerned. Test drive and decide whether it's a problem for you.

Reliability can be a problem with any individual vehicle, though certain brands are certainly less *likely* to give you problems. The odds are probably more on your side with a Toyota, though there are plenty of folks who will swear their Toyotas have been nothing but problems while their jeep never failed. Either way, you take your chances.

As to fit and finish, wranglers have come a long way recently. I personally like the old, blocky, no-nonsense interior of my 2010. Again though, this is a personal decision you have to make. Test drive them and see what you think of the fit and finish.

Ultimately, wranglers are never going to be as comfortable or as well-handling as other vehicles that are designed more specifically for onroad use. You've got to decide if the other benefits offered by a wrangler (top down, doors off, offroad capability, modifiability, etc.) are worth it to you.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:29 AM   #17
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I bought a Taco TRD back in '06 (or '07) whichever. It was when the current style was introduced. I liked it ALOT. Didn't love it. Many of the same reasons as stated earlier, not really big enough to do the things that you need a truck for, but then again an open bed is easier to put stuff in than an enclosed cargo area. It was a great alternative to the minivan for hauling family around (4 door version). To me it felt like a 4WD Camry with a bed. Reliable, quiet, easy to drive and kinda boring.

I went through 2 other vehicles since that time, before buying the JKU.

Jeep is much more of a lifestyle... yada yada and unlike other convertibles, it's not a chick car or pr!ck car.

Get the Jeep.

edit* That's what my heart told me. I'm at the stage in life where my vehicle can be more of a personal statement than a practicle one. If you're not at that point, the Tacoma is a solid choice. You won't need any excuses for buying one.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:31 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bar01 View Post
I should have elaborated a bit more on intended use besides being a daily driver:
- eventually pull a small camper
- haul bigger dog around
- long road trips
- no off-roading that I can foresee but could see taking it on dirt roads/fire trails.
- need something that does well in the snow
- hauling stuff like lawn mower to get fixed, small home improvement materials, small landscaping projects
- love the old school stick shift
Get the Toyota. A JKU can do all of that well except the hauling and trailering (depending on trailer size) and probably wouldn't be as comfortable for long drives. The Toyota is a pickup and that seems to be the core of what you want. A Jeep is something else.

Like others have said, a Jeep is a way of life, a lifestyle and something that brings the kind of smile to your face every time you drive it that no ordinary vehicle can. Some of us even just enjoy looking out our windows at our Jeep in the driveway or parking lot. "It's a Jeep thing." And a Jeep is a platform that you personalize as yours with whatever mods tickle your fancy and express your individuality. None of these things were in your needs inventory. With that in mind you should get the Toyota.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:35 AM   #19
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Wait... hold on! I want to love what I drive (grin) and not get bored with it. Hence the worry about the Tacoma getting tiresome. It may not but don't know that for sure.

I need to go test drive them both back to back this weekend.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:39 AM   #20
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If it comes down to having an open truck bed or an SUV body, I've found an 8x10 trailer to be the compromise so I could get the 4X4 with T-Tops a.k.a. JEEP WRANGLER
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:08 AM   #21
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LOVED my '06 Tacoma Quad Cab 4x4... but LOVE my JKU now too.

Toyota with the longer wheelbase should be better for towing a camper. Jeep with shorter wheelbase not so much, but it's doable. I am meeting up with my buddy that tows a pop up trailer with his 2 DR JK on Monday.

Toyota's long wheelbase on the 4 door is LONG. Long enough to make you worry when going over obstacles. I had numerous close calls with high-centering it. Jeep would be much better for this with the shorter wheelbase. Not a problem on most dirt roads.

Tacoma got better gas mileage. Jeep has more fun factor with the ability to remove the top.

Jeep is better for camping where I live because my gear is inside the cab instead of outside in the bed getting ridiculously dusty from the dry dusty roads of the Southern Sierra Nevada mountains (my stomping grounds). Having a fine, silty layer of dirt on ALL my gear to clean off when I got to a camp site sucked. A tarp probably would have fixed that I guess.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:21 AM   #22
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I had Tacoma's and love them. The IFS will give you a more comfortable ride and with a mild lift and tuned off road suspension you'll be able to whip it around like a Baja contender. I used to traverse on and off sidewalks at high speed easily, striking fear in my passengers.

I got a Wrangler unlimited last year simply because I've always wanted a Wrangler. No regrets.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:21 AM   #23
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Both will have great resale value and reliability. Both have tons of aftermarket parts. If you gonna haul stuff then go with the Tacoma.

Well unless you want to get the JK8 lol!

I was deciding on a JK or FJ last year but I went with the JK because you can remove the doors and roof to change up the outdoor experience.

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Old 04-25-2013, 11:32 AM   #24
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Being a current owner of a Tacoma trd offroad and a 2005 jeep unlimited i must say they are two completely different vehicles!... Solid axle vs IFS, inline 6 vs v6, true offroading vehicle vs practical utility vehicle!...I personally like both that's why i own 1 of each...Decisions, decisions!!!!!
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:48 AM   #25
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I had on 03 trd 2door and loved it bought it new .then one day i drove my sisters lifted 08 and thought wow this is fun...never got that feeling with the toca. Yeh i wish i still had it for hauling stuff.but im happier with my 2010 rubi
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:58 AM   #26
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I like toyotas, we have a rav4, have owned a Tacoma and a camry. Very reliable but very boring. I enjoy driving the JKU so much more. I haven't had any issues either. Fit and finish is not as good from the start but that's not a big deal to me personally.

I think Tacoma still have rear drum brakes. Is it 1990? I can't see buying a new $30k vehicle with drum brakes out of principle...I think toyota is more worried about the stereo than functional (to me) upgrades. I thought about getting a Tacoma but decided on jeep and I'm happy. Gas mileage is similar. I love taking top and doors off!

I use a utility trailer for Home Depot runs and that works great for me.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:39 PM   #27
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What's an air bag? For that matter what's a seat belt? After 60 years of driving, we still buy our vehicles based on the most fun for our $.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:40 PM   #28
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The new Tacoma is pretty big and ungainly stock. It will be more reliable. I'd prefer to get a slightly older and smaller Tacoma. The JKU will be more practical with its interior room. I say get the JKU, especially if you like the size and interior room. If hauling kids and wife, get side airbags though. Maybe even get them for yourself.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:50 PM   #29
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I sold my 2005 Tacoma to get my 2012 JKU Rubi. I also have a 2008 Tundra. They all went off road, all are lifted. The Tacoma is very capable, and if you pair it with a nice suspension like Icon Vehicle Dynamics, it is golden off road. If you're not into big rocks, the Tacoma is actually better off road than the Rubicon, but less capable. My Rubi with AEV (which aims to really please on more bumpy washboard roads with remote-reservoir shocks tuned to the springs), still rides only half as good as the Tacoma, and even the Tundra, setup with ARB's Old Man Emu suspension.

As far as reliability and quality, both Tacoma and Tundra are hands down better in almost every respect. The pain quality, the interior, the engine, etc. That's not to say that the Jeep is a piece of crap, but I owned the Tacoma 7 years and it never visited the dealer. The Jeep has gone in for a head replacement, leaking tops, water pump, and it's been a year. The Tundra has been mine for over 5 years, and it has been to the dealer once, and that is because I nose dived it into a pit of mud, and the alternator was clogged. Warranty service, despite them finding the alternator literally clogged in mud. They said, its a 4x4, we'll fix it under warranty. Not sure Jeep would take that stance.

But ultimately, the badass factor of the Wrangler can not be beat. I would make the trade again, and I would purchase another Jeep any day. The issues are not any that will leave you at the side of the road stranded, just a few things to work through. I take many long off-road trips in the Jeep, ranging at least 2 weeks out at a time in the backcountry, and I have no concerns that it will leave me stranded. So, while I say that the Jeep is not as reliably, I don't mean that its a piece of crap that will leave you stranded. I just mean that things will wear out faster and need service.

Either way you go, I think you will be happy. Though, based on your intended use, the Tacoma will serve you better. But, the Wrangler is a vehicle that everyone should own at least once.
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:49 PM   #30
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When I bought my 13 Sahara I had two toyota 4x4s which were a 1999 and a 2009. I sold the 99 with 160k miles for 9000 dollars and paid the 2009 off. At the time I bought my Sahara the dealer offered me 18k on a trade in for the 2009 Tacoma.

Dealer said they would put it on their lot for 22k and most likely let it go for 20k. With that kind of resale I chose to keep the 2009 and still bought my Sahara with no trade in. Honestly I love my new Jeep however for longer trips I still drive my Tacoma.

The fuel mileage is much better and the comfort level is nicer also. The Tacoma is smooth and fast while still refined however after owning the Jeep I feel much more able off road in my Jeep. My Jeep just screams everything manly and I love the compliments on my lift/tire combo.

I was shocked to see that even with the high resale value of the Tacoma that the Jeep beats the Toyota on resale. As a pure investment either one will do you well. If it is a simple purchase for fun factor and after market goodies I would go with the Jeep. If daily comfort,gas mileage, and reliability are your concern the Tacoma will not dissapoint.

Good luck ....

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