1997 Toyota Tacoma Standard 2.4 4 cylinder from North America


Good performance, economical, and reliable


Exhaust heat shield was replaced 3 years after new, under warranty.

Changed shocks at 120000 miles.

Change oil and filter every 5000 miles. Also fuel filter every 50000 miles.

Replaced air filter with performance after market filter. It improved gas mileage 2-3 miles/per gal. And gave the engine more pep.

Changed battery about 5 years ago.

General Comments:

The truck is super reliable, with good power. And after replacing the stock rims with wider ones, it handles a lot better.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th February, 2011

1997 Toyota Tacoma SX 2.7 4 cylinder gasoline from North America


If you can stop the rust, it will never die


Where to begin? This truck has been a dream since day one. Nothing mechanical ever really gave me problems.

I did go through three exhaust systems in 2 years, but that had a lot to do with a sloppy mechanic forgetting to put on mounts or heat shields.

It has the standard annoying dash rattle, but that can be drowned out by the radio.

The brakes were constant squeakers and squealers, but every time I brought it in for a brake job, they just cleaned them off and I was on my way.

The clutch survived towing a 3500 pound trailer and 25,000 miles of pizza delivery in a hilly area.

Four wheel drive (manual hubs) never failed.

The universal joints dried out regularly but a shot of grease every month is not a big deal.

Always started on the first turn over, even with a nearly dead battery. No smoke, no leaks.

Sadly what killed it was rust. The frame did not show any signs of serious cancer on the outside, but when I brought it in for brakes (probably shouldn't have) this week the dealer discovered that the frame had rusted from the inside-out, and the truck has been condemned. I'm truly heartbroken by this news as I am sure I would have made the 300,000 mile club. The 4 cylinder engine is BULLETPROOF.

General Comments:

A little slow, but what Yota isn't?

A killer off-road - made the Jeeps and Broncos look like sedans.

The interior was quite cramped and has very little storage space.

Pulls a trailer with no problem.

Carries 1000 pounds like nothing's in it.

The seats get a little uncomfortable, some more room to recline them would have been nice.

Overall the best truck I've owned. Did everything I needed it to and consistently got me 23 mpg.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th April, 2008

19th Apr 2008, 20:27

I hear you on that. I also own a 97 Tacoma with a little under 102 k. It's been with me for 8 years and 80 thousand miles; never giving me a lick of trouble except one dead battery. Given the basic tune up and an 02 sensor, the mileage has reached 25.4 highway.

I'm sorry to hear that rust has taken its toll. Where do you live? I'm in Northeast Ohio, the area that yearly gets 2 feet of snow dropped on it with each storm, and even then the only rust is a little on the hood from rocks that chipped the paint.

Fantastic truck, would buy another one.

1997 Toyota Tacoma 2.4 liter 4 cylinder from North America




It needed a battery once... in 2006. Other than that, I am just now (March 2008) giving it the full on plugs, wires, distributor cap, etc. and it's needed an O2 sensor for a couple years.

But aside from a drastic gas mileage cut (anywhere from 10-14 city, down from the 23 it usually gets), it never failed to start, even in the coldest Ohio winters.

General Comments:

This has been the BEST vehicle I have ever owned, driven or been affiliated with in any way in my 19 years on earth.

I have an extended cab and a long bed, and even still that 4 cylinder gets up, goes and stays there.

Gas mileage (when running right) is about 22/23 city, and its even achieved 34 on the highway.

In its current state of needing general maintenance and such, it's about 20 highway.

As I stated, it has never left me stranded, no matter what the weather. It starts on the first try and purrs like a kitten.

It's surprisingly comfortable. I'm a big guy, and I never have to fiddle around for comfort.

But it is a truck, and it hauls whatever you ask it to without a peep.

If you can pick one of these up with low enough miles affordably, you definitely have a vehicle that will run, and run, and run. And will put up with an incompetent teenage girl who can't drive long vehicles through bank parking lots (my genius sister), and old guys who don't pay attention to other vehicles at the gas station. (hooray for insurance). This truck will be with me and my family for many, many years to come.

Basically, to sum it up. if you're looking for an economical truck to drive and sometimes haul with, this is the truck for you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st March, 2008

11th May 2008, 15:39

On May 21st I will probably no longer be driving her anymore. The frame rust recall has worried me enough to get it checked out. And in trying to change the fuel filter (a grade a pain in the ass) I noticed that my frame wasn't looking so hot. So I tapped in with a wrench and rust fell with a cloud of dust. Granted it's 11 years old and dealt with the salt of Ohio winters, so that probably didn't help. But after only 102,000 miles I feel it's a shame to send this beauty on to another place.

Heed my warning, if you own a 95-2000 Tacoma, GET IT CHECKED. My buddy just had the frame on his 2000 snap when loading it up with wood.

13th May 2008, 16:50

This frame rust issue is a concern for me too. Mine has over 216,000 miles on it so far. But... I live in California, so perhaps it hasn't rusted at all. This makes me wonder if I should be doing some investigating of the frame. I almost hate to take it in because they might take it away from me!

22nd May 2008, 17:59

She failed the inspection on a quick visual glance. The guy said he estimates about 70 percent of the frame to be rust and rot through. So back to Toyota it goes I guess. It feels like a death in the family, seeing as every even that shaped me into an adult has gone down with her. I just hope they fix it and resell it, so someone else can make life long memories like I have.

Has anyone heard of a 97 Tacoma passing?