Just as good as they ever were; this includes millions of recalls, engine sludge, faulty brakes, transmissions, air bags, head gaskets, truck ball joints, run flat tires, and rotting frames... The list goes on and on.
You forgot to mention loud road noises, early water pump failure and a screwed up electric steering unit.
These are the problems we had with our late RAV4.
Toyota has fallen big time, all you have to do is Google the simple words "when did Toyota quality start to decline", and there are many sources of info. that tell you how, when, why and where. Even the president admits to it.
Actually the comment about Toyotas being as good as they used to be is probably true. They have always been cheap, poorly built crap at best.
If you find a late model, domestic full size used, I would jump on it. I have bought used ones within a few years old. If you find a low mileage one, drive it evenings and weekends. Use a small car for commuting to work. Or a crossover for close to work and family travel. They both get very good MPG. If you stay off big 4wd (needed hardly ever) it's a great buy. It might cost 80-100 to fill up once or twice a month.
If I were single, no kids, I might just own one car. My truck revolves around an average family home. You need room with 4 people, and we do a lot together. My wife isn't a big fan of any kind of pickup to start with. A nice Silverado or Ford F150 with nice amenities and car like ride is a plus. I only buy street tires for a quiet smooth ride.
If you have a crossover and a full size truck, you have the best of both worlds for family and outings. None of us are starving or forced to sell over gas prices. You may drive a bit less if that's a big worry, but at least you ride together. Being followed with 2 vehicles as a small truck owner was a waste.
I like walking out to either vehicle today without hesitation. Turn the key and we all go together. If you haven't ridden lately in new full sizes, you will be amazed how nice and comfortable they are to own and drive.
Here we go again with the recall claims. First of all, we are talking about Tacomas, and most of the recalls mentioned such as the sludging, and whatnot were for totally different models. Besides - if there are some who really want to try and make something out of recalls, then you really have no leg to stand on: Just last week the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asked Chrysler to recall some 2.7 million Jeeps over the potential fuel tank fire in rear-end collisions. Chrysler REFUSED to do so.
Just yesterday 15,000 Dodge Darts were recalled over engine controls. So Toyota had some recalls. So what else is new? Find me any automaker that HASN'T had any and maybe you'd actually have a point to make. Yes - some Tacomas that were in severely salty areas had some frame issues. So too have other truck manufacturers. The difference is that Toyota did the right thing and recalled them, and in addition to that, would either replace the entire frame in some cases, or offer to pay the owner TWO TIMES the current value of their truck. Go out and find any other truck manufacturer that has done this. You won't find any.
The result is that to this day, Toyota has the most loyal following for their small and medium sized trucks. Not just because of that, but despite the comments from some here, they are the best-made trucks money can buy. I know because basically anything else made by the other companies in this segment is a joke, and in fact, Ford stopped making their small and medium sized trucks entirely.
Also - the arguments being made that we all need to buy full sized trucks is completely subjective. I have no problem is someone wants to go out and buy a full sized truck. But don't come back and then criticize others who don't and get along just fine with a small truck. Of course small trucks work just fine for many, as mine has for 17 years so far.
Oh - and I go to yard sales a lot too, and so far I have always been able to haul off whatever it is I buy and do so while getting close to 30MPG. So I'll be thinking of some of you all shoving $100 worth of gas in those lovely full sized trucks you think everyone should have, next time I fill mine up...
The recalls are real. You may do fine, and maybe you ride solo the majority of the time. Your old truck at 17 plus years old is a consideration if one is shopping for one from that period. A newer late model shopper may find quite otherwise on issues.
Shoving 100 a month more is well worth it as you put it. We have a family. I don't see how you bring anything sizable, unless solo and still multiple trips. Is your vehicle primary a commuter vehicle or a truck? Most I know use trucks evenings and weekends. I have a 2004 with only 34000 miles on it. Combine as married and a secondary vehicle, and bundled with home insurance it's under $500 year.
I do not like driving trucks all the time. Small trucks were even worse, and ours sat a lot or was used solo. Cars or crossovers are far more desirable to drive daily. Smooth, quiet, and comfortable for average families with a variety of activities. I know my wife and my mother do not like riding in small bouncy trucks. Our new full size is actually more car like and better for an active family. I don't know if there any any lady reviewers on here now that would comment differently.
Again, if I were solo with my Lab, I could just go to the lake with a small one. But I see too many practical applications, utility, and am paying insurance as a truck. I still feel full size is a far better alternative. If it's a commuter driven purchase, maybe otherwise. But I do not see buying a truck for that purpose only.
I agree on the Chrysler and Jeep comments. I will not be buying any of them. Also no Toyotas made in the past 12 years as well.
I will highly recommend new Ford F150 as well as new Silverados. Excellent vehicles overall; styling, handling, people carrying capacity, utility, and the MPG is very respectable.
If you have to wait a little bit to buy one, it is very much worth the wait.