Your Guide to Toyota Trucks: Models, Years, and Issues When Buying Used

Your Guide to Toyota Trucks: Models, Years, and Issues When Buying Used

The Toyota brand is known worldwide for making high-value, fuel-efficient vehicles with long-term resale value and durability. It’s a brand that drivers trust, and that goes for pickup trucks as well as their other cars and vans. Toyota is regularly recognized for delivering quality, reliability, and performance in its vehicles.

When you’re in the market for a pickup truck, Toyota trucks compete with the best. Check out Toyota’s pickup truck models to find a truck that’s reliable and powerful, and one that comes with all the modern tech features drivers have come to expect.

In the first part of this guide, we’ll share tips and tricks on shopping for a used pickup truck, including ways to get a great deal and still find a truck that’s in great shape. In the second part, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between the Toyota Tacoma and the Toyota Tundra to help you compare the two competing products.

How to Shop for Used Pickup Trucks

How to Shop for Used Pickup Trucks

While the cost of buying other used vehicles has finally begun to fall, the value of a used pickup truck has continued to increase, driving up costs even for those who are hunting for a bargain by buying used.

However, savvy buyers can further cut expenses by considering the option of purchasing used car parts when refurbishing their pickups, maximizing savings without compromising on quality.

That said, you can still save a significant sum of money by restricting your search to used models. Here’s how you can shop smart for a used pickup.

1. Search Online for Private Sellers

Buying a truck from a private seller is one of the best ways that you can get a great deal on a used vehicle. Private sellers are normal individuals who want to sell their vehicles on their own instead of accepting a lower rate by trading in at the dealership.

They might be selling their truck because they upgraded to get a new one, they’re moving and can’t take the vehicle with them, or they’re cutting some of their household expenses like auto insurance.

Get more listings from private sellers and dealerships on It’s one of the leading marketplaces for used vehicles listed by both private sellers and dealerships.

You can find tons of listings for different brands, and it’s a great way to search for listings from further afield. If you live in a high-cost city, traveling a bit for a used vehicle can yield major savings.

2. Compare Dealership Listings

Compare Dealership Listings

Not everyone wants to deal with the extra steps involved in buying from a private seller, such as registering the vehicle under your name and paying the sales tax yourself.

Not only will a dealership usually handle these things, but they also typically run used vehicles through their service departments to make sure everything is in good working order.

You can still find a bargain at a dealership, though. Most dealerships list with online classifieds, giving you a chance to compare bargains and save before you even set foot at the dealership.

3. Get the Truck Inspected

Any time you buy a used vehicle, it can make a lot of sense to get the vehicle inspected by an independent mechanic whom you trust.

It’s one of the most commonly ignored pieces of advice about buying a vehicle because it does take a bit of extra time, inconvenience, and expense, but it’s a step that can save you thousands of dollars down the road.

A pre-purchase inspection should flag any major issues with the vehicle. It’s worth doing for any vehicle that you’re not buying new. A private seller will likely want to accompany you, and a dealership may even send a salesperson with you to the inspection, but it’s always worth getting done.

Toyota Tacoma vs. Toyota Tundra: Choosing the Right Truck for You

Toyota is one of the most trusted and recognizable brands in the auto sector, and you’re not going to go wrong shopping Toyota.

The basic question you have to ask when you’re choosing between these two models is whether you’re in the market for a midsize or a full-size truck. Let’s take a deeper dive into the differences between these two.

Why Buy the Toyota Tacoma

Why Buy the Toyota Tacoma

The Tacoma is Toyota’s midsize, compact truck, making it a great option for anyone in the market for a light-duty truck that can handle itself off-road.

For a newer vehicle, third-generation Tacomas are a great bet. The third-gen Tacoma launched in 2016, bringing a stronger and lighter frame and body to the lineup and fixing the issues with rust that plagued the ill-fated second generation.

A second-generation Tacoma can still be a good deal, but there’s one important issue you need to know about.#

For those seeking optimal performance on and off the road, upgrading to high-quality shocks can significantly enhance the driving experience of both third-generation and second-generation Tacomas alike. Exploring options like the 10 best shocks for Toyota Tacoma 4×4 can further elevate the vehicle’s handling and stability, ensuring a smoother ride in various terrains.

What to Watch For: Tacoma Frames

The Toyota Tacoma is a quality truck with a lot of loyal fans for a reason, but if you are buying a pre-2011 model, there’s one big thing you need to be aware of: the infamous Toyota Tacoma frame recall.

There was an issue with Tacomas made between 2005 and 2011 where leaf springs above the rear axle were prone to fail due to rust and corrosion. This led to a recall of about 690,000 Tacoma trucks in the United States alone, all of which had their frames effectively replaced.

If you’re buying a model from this era, you want a truck that has its frame warranty replaced. It may also be worthwhile asking if the previous owner had any other work done while the truck was stripped down to replace the frame.

Why Buy the Toyota Tundra

The Tundra is Toyota’s full-size truck, and it’s Toyota’s answer to the titans of the pickup world like the F-150 and the Silverado 1500. The Tundra is for drivers who need big towing capacity, a bigger bed and cab, and a bigger payload.

Let’s go through some quick specs for the model. All Tundra trims have four-door cabins, unlike the smaller Tacoma, making it a better fit when you’re driving the family around. There are three bed lengths in the 2024 model: a 5.5-foot short bed, a 6.5-foot bed, or the extra-long 8.1-foot bed for major hauling needs.

New Tundra models are restricted to turbocharged V6 engines, although older models used to come with the classic V8 engine. However, the newer, smaller engines still have more power than their predecessors.

When it comes to towing and payload, the 2024 Tundra is rated up to 12,000 pounds, and it has a 1,940-pound payload capacity. While the transition to turbocharged V6 engines has been a notable change, Toyota has been proactive in addressing any potential issues with their 3.5 V6 engine, ensuring that the 2024 Tundra maintains its reputation for durability and reliability.

Older models are just as tough, and buying one can show you just how Toyota came to be known for its durability and reliability. If you’re in the market for a used truck, go online to find better deals from dealerships and private sellers.

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