Sounds like my 1978 Chevrolet full size Blazer with a 400V8. My engine and drivetrain are still going strong. If you go with a full size you can take it almost anywhere. I have the usual rust and spot welded replacement panels which are cheap. I repainted it factory black. Keep your older one... the new ones cost too much.
I'd go with a Ford Ranger. Excellent truck. I'd leased a '98 with the 3.0 V6 motor and it was just as reliable as a Japanese truck yet it's a Ford so it cost much less. The few times something did go wrong on the Ford the parts and labor were SO much cheaper then the foreign guys. Stay away from the Chevy S-10, and for god sakes look your next truck over with a fine-tooth comb before you buy it. Just because it's a certain make, year, or model doesn't guarantee its gonna be reliable. If a truck's been abused or neglected, its not gonna matter who made it or how good the "reputation" is.. its gonna cost you.
I definitely would go with a Ford Ranger. I've owned several, including a '92 that I took off road and really drove hard over very rough terrain. It was just a 4-cylinder, 2-wheel drive XLT base model, but it was built like a tank and never even developed any squeaks or rattles.
One of my buddies had an old '88 4-wheel drive Ranger that he went hunting in and he really dogged it. He gut well over 200,000 miles on it without a problem. I'm sorry you fell for ad hype. Two of my friends did the sane thing and bought used Camry's. Both had major problems within a few months.
This site is about Tacoma's, not Ford Rangers. If you want to talk about those, go to the Ford Ranger area of this site.
"Toyota quality" has become an oxymoron. Recent safety issues, poor customer service, and a lack of reliability have made Toyota a far less desirable vehicle than domestic competition. I looked at Tacoma, was NOT impressed, and bought a domestic. The build quality is better and the customer service is great. As for lasting 3 trillion miles, I could care less. I trade every 5 or 6 years, and no vehicle has problems in that period of time (well, except Toyota, apparently). I prefer a well built and comfortable vehicle that rides and drives well. The Tacoma was none of that.
Can you REALLY tell me that the new Tacoma isn't comfortable, or well built? You obviously are biased towards other brands; I doubt you've ever been within 10 feet of a new Tacoma, much less driven one. If you HAVE looked closely at one, and still wrote that comment, then you have no idea what you are looking at when you shop for vehicles. But I think that comment came from someone who just wants to badmouth a Tacoma. Why? Are you stuck in a Ford Ranger and mad about it?
I also did not like Toyotas springy ride and cramped interior and ended up with a full size domestic. The small gas mpg loss is worth having a much more comfortable ride.
My friends who own Tacomas tell me they only get about 17mpg highway with their V-6's. That sounds really bad, considering that my best friend's full size supercab GMC with the V-8 gets 19 highway. My 3.0 Ranger gets 23-24 highway, which I consider very good. I like the styling of the Prerunner SR-5's a lot, but I'm hearing way too many comments about Toyotas having lots of problems and recalls for really serious safety issues. `It seems the quality has really gone down. I just read that Ford now rates higher than Toyota in reliability.
Most of my friends who have bought used Toyotas have been very disappointed and felt they had been taken. The false hype about them lasting longer than domestics ends up causing a lot of innocent people to be out money they really can't afford. Any Toyota (car or truck) with over 75,000 miles on it is VERY iffy. I'd stay with the more reliable domestics. Any Ford or GM truck is good for at least 300,000 miles, and if they should need repairs (not likely) they are WAYYYYYY less expensive.
I have no idea how expensive repairs are on Rangers. Not one of the 4 we've owned since 1992 ever required ANY repairs.
The day a Ford or GM truck is good for 300,000 miles on one drivetrain, I'll be the president of Jupiter. 300,000 FEET maybe, not miles.
Yes, and they all get 50 mpg and never need oil changes. The more you people post stuff like this the more it's obvious you're covering up, especially since many of the Ranger reviews DO talk about repairs, like any car.
So I have since sold this Toyota after 5 years of ownership. I put up with all its problems, and fixed what was needed. In the end, I put another (3rd) power steering pump on it, the transfer case went out and was replaced, the head gasket had been blown and was leaking into the water jacket and the motor, even before the head gasket problem was seriously underpowered.
After purchasing this Toyota, I definitely learned never to buy the first generation of anything. Too many problems occur in the first couple years of production of a new model.
On the positive side, it did get around well in the mountains. I put 32s on it and loafed down to 3 PSI regularly and never blew a bead. The pickup as a whole, to me, wasn't worth the $8500 I paid for it at the time. While it did do many years of service for me, too much time and money went into new parts.
My advice, if you have the choice to buy a newer Tacoma, or older Toyota pickup, do it. The 95 year models have too many problems.