I agree with the advice about the automatic. However, except for
problems with the auto transmission, my non-modified, 3.0 L, V-6, 1995
SR5 4x4 Pick-Up (not Tacoma) with almost 130,000 miles has been the
most reliable and worry-free car I have ever owned. The automatic
transmission seems to suck a lot of the engine's power and sometimes I
have problems with it switching into overdrive on hot and long freeway
trips (over 30 miles in the summertime).
I bought the truck two years ago. Its tires are 32x11.5 BFG's, which I
am sure put a lot of wear on the automatic transmission; they are the
biggest size tires I have ever seen on these trucks without having
suspension modifications. They look good, but do not help with the gas
mileage. During my first year of ownership, I closely monitored the
gas consumption and averaged 15 to 17 mpg. That was probably 75 to 85%
freeway driving. Since then we moved, and I have let my wife drive it
(she has a shorter commute), she's not as big of a nerd as I am and
does not keep track of the gas mileage these days.
With the price of gas these days, I don't know if I would buy this same
truck right now. But if I were to buy a similar toyota truck, I would
be sure that it was not automatic transmission and that the tires were
not too big. I think if you go with the classic toyota 4 cyl and the
manual transmission, you will find that you have plenty of power to do
what ever you need to, and that you would get atleast 20 mpg.