I traded in my 2004 Tacoma and ordered this 2011 Tacoma with the exact options I wanted. This broke a vow I once made to myself many, many moons ago to never buy a new vehicle because of the initial depreciation, but I had a good year, and my old 2004 Tacoma was getting up there in years, if not in miles. To my surprise, the dealer accepted my first offer, no haggling, which of course immediately triggered the thought that I paid too much, ha. But I told myself up front that if they accepted my offer, I would buy the truck. I was prepared to walk away because there was nothing wrong with my old Tacoma which only had 40K miles on it. I think making the offer on the last day of the year may have helped.
I got an "SR5 Value Package," with a decent stereo, plus the "Baja" alloy wheels. I also got them to throw in OEM black step bars (my old truck had Westin step bars which I loved, but Westin has not caught up to the 2011 models yet). Also, a hood guard, spare tire lock, and a few other extras. The interior feels more like a car than a truck. I have the same Access Cab (or XTRA Cab, depends on who you ask) as before with the little jump seats in the back that put your knees up by your ears, but now the truck has two small suicide doors in the back for much easier access. I wasn’t expecting those and that was a pleasant surprise when the salesperson popped the back doors open.
Bobby Rahal is the best Toyota dealer around here. There are pictures of him racing Indy cars all over the dealership. I met Mr. Rahal back in the late 80’s when I was working the Miami Grand Prix as president of the Sports Medicine Club. There are two other Toyota dealers between my house and Bobby Rahal but his reputation is head and shoulders above the rest, so I made the 28 mile drive. Rahal gives free annual state inspections, free loaner cars, and Toyota throws in all the scheduled maintenance for the first two years.
Truck on the showroom floor before I drove off. Good feeling until you realize that in an instant the vehicle is transformed from "new" to "used." Ha. This hood guard was a little "skimpier" than on my 2004 Tacoma.
Auto, 4 cyl. The 4WD has evolved to the flick of a switch on the dash, on the fly.
Alloy Baja wheels. This option was the only "sticking point" in my negotiations with the dealer because of their cost, but I eventually got them included as part of the deal without any increase in the final price.
Small "suicide" doors in the back are a new feature not present on my 2004 Taco. A huge improvement in access to the back.
Nice work space - a passenger seatback table.
I thought this feature was gimmicky at first but I like it and now consider it a valid safety feature. When the truck is put in reverse, a camera in the tailgate provides an image in the rear view mirror. Here is the view from inside my garage. The clarity and detail is surprisingly good.
OEM step bars, good quality.
Cargo net hooks onto two of four adjustable tie down cleats that lock into place anywhere along the length of the bed. I ordered this for when I go grocery shopping.
The truck is noticeably bigger and beefier than my 2004 Taco. My first impression is that I like the size of my old Taco better. Also, some of the interior trim is more light-weight and a little chintzier than my '04. However, overall there have been noticeable engineering advances. The ride and handling are better, and the engine is the same size but has better torque. I like having power windows and locks. The stereo has six speakers including two hidden ones in the ceiling, but is surprisingly anemic, not enough power. At least the sound that is there does not distort at the maximum level.
I haven’t given up on Z’s yet. In fact, I made two flights in 2010 to look at Z’s but the results were disappointing. Hang on to what you got if you like your Z cuz a good, clean example of a TT is A LOT harder to find than when I bought my ’92 TT back in 2001. I haven’t seen a TT in our local paper for over a year. Used to spot them all the time.