When I started this blog it was all about Jeeps but let’s be honest, they are not the only off-roading vehicles out there. Recently, I’ve been looking more in-depth at Toyota Tacomas and one of my first questions was about what mileage you can get out these models.
So how many miles can a Toyota Tacoma last? Looking at an average across ten of the highest milers recently on sale on Auto Trader, the number of miles that a Toyota Tacoma can last came out at 378,823 miles. In some instances, mileages were over 400,000 so let’s take a deeper dive into the data below.
Analysis of Toyota Tacoma mileages on Auto Trader
One of the ways I could have researched Tacoma mileage would have been to speak to dealers or poll some owners. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to that sort of data so I went on AutoTrader.com and simply searched for all Tacomas across the US, then sorted by highest mileage. I then picked the top 10 vehicles in terms of mileage to get an idea of what mileage to expect.
I have summarized the data in the table below.
The average came out at 378,823 miles but the highest mileage was 467,591, that’s nearly an unbelievable half a million miles. Only two models though currently on sale on Auto Trader were above 400k miles, a 2008 V6 and an earlier first generation 1998 V6.
Digging a bit deeper, at the time of my research there were actually 29 Tacomas on sale that had over 300k miles so I think its safe to say that 300k-400k miles are possible in these trucks.
The average age of these 10 models that I looked at was 15 years (2005) models and the range was 1998 to 2011 models. In terms of price, just under $9k seemed to be the average but you could pick a 2002 model up for under $5k.
Do First Generation Models Last Longer Than Second Gen?
Fist generation model spanned from 1995 to 2004 in the US market with second generation models being manufactured between 2005 and 2015. Looking at my research, most of the models were second generation models with only 3 models being earlier first generation versions, which stands to reasons considering some of these first generation models would be 25 years old by now. The model with nearly 500k miles is a second generation model, so nothing to say that the first generation models can last longer than the second gen.
With high mileage vehicles, I would always suggest investing in a budget friendly vehicle code scanner. Older vehicles typically throw up a few fault codes, so with a scanner at least you know what these are and can search for the codes online. The great thing about these scanners is that you can reset most dashboard warning lights, and you may get lucky and the lights might not return. A great scanner that we have used in our workshop is the Foxwell NT301 OBD2 scanner. Its not the cheapest but definitely worth having if you have an older car and want to fault find yourself rather than paying for expensive auto shop diagnostics.
Can the V6 Last Longer the 4 Cylinder?
It’s not as easy to say if the 6 cylinder engines are any more reliable than the models with 4 cylinder engines. The popularity of the V6 models and the number currently on sale skews the results, but its safe to say that if you are looking to buy a high mileage 4 cylinder model, then the research shows that either the first or second generation models have achieved over 300,000 miles.
Do 4×4 Versions Last Longer Than 2WD Models?
2 wheel drive models were not as popular as the 4×4 version, so again data is somewhat limited. Still, some of the 2WD drive models (both 6 and 4 cylinder) did feature in the top 10, so you should have no major concerns if you are considering a 2WD model.
What to Look for When Buying a High Mileage Tacoma
Toyota Tacamos are pretty solid vehicles but you still need to be aware of some specifics to look for when buying high milage models in particular. Here is what I found to be the most common issues.
Timing belts are always a risk area when it comes to buying a used vehicle with high mileage as if they’ve not been replaced at the correct schedule and subsequently snap, you’re likely to be in a whole heap of trouble. The only Tacoma to have a timing belt were the V6 first generation models (2000-2004), all other models (in the US) featured a timing chain, which if well lubricated, should in theory last the lifetime of the engine.
The factory schedule for the timings belt replacement on the 3.4 litre V6 engine (code 5VZ-FE) is 90,000 miles or every 9 years, so if you are looking at a high mileage Tacoma, then you should be seeing receipts for a few timing belt changes to put your mind at rest. As with all timing belt replacements, it’s a good idea to get the water pump, thermostat and all 3 accessory belts changed at the same time.
When you get to over 300k miles then it is worth looking a replacement clutch (if it’s not had one already), although when looking at owner’s experiences, some have the first replacement at 150k miles while others have gone on to see 200k+. When it comes to clutches though, a lot depends on how the vehicle is driven and what it’s been used for (towing for example).
During my research, I found nothing major to say that Tacomas got through consumables, such as brake pads and discs at an accelerated rate compared to other similar vehicles. If you are buying a high miler, then unless it’s incredibly cheap, it will be worth checking for items such as pad/disc wear, tyre tread depth and any obvious corrosion to brake lines or the exhaust system.
Check out our other Toyota reliability guides: