6 months ago I made one of the better decisions I’ve made in my life. That decision was to sell my perpetually broken 2016 Jetta and buy a truck. Of course, the entire time I owned the Jetta I was shopping for trucks to replace it with. But that is besides the point. 6 months later, I’ve put 14,000 miles on it. I started with 46,000 and now it’s at almost 60,000.

A week after buying it, the truck took us from my home in Virginia on a road trip that hit Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee and everything else in the way. It drove on the beach in Florida, took on the streets of New Orleans and served as a workbench for working on a family friends ‘86 Toyota truck in Mississippi. After returning to Virginia, it took my family and I down to south Georgia for Christmas where I got it absolutely plastered in red clay and it racked up highway miles.

It’s had its bed stacked with mulch, it’s taken me to the shooting range, been loaded with fishing gear after a stressful afternoon multiple times, had 5 people crammed into the bed. At points, it’s had Georgia clay, North Carolina mud and Virginia salt on it at the same time. Coming from someone who has only owned German cars in the past, this truck has made me realize what a great tool this thing is. It’s safe to say I’ve gotten my use out of it and I will continue to do so.

Engine 7/10

The 4.0 V6 may be old and unrefined for a 2014. But it gets the job perfectly. It’ll do 0-60 in 6 point something seconds. It has 236 HP and is supposed to get 16 city and 21 highway. If you keep it under 2k it’s easy to get that. The engine itself is pretty noisy and doesn’t sound all that great, but it gets the job done. My truck also has the towing package, which means a better battery and alternator amongst a few other things. It may be unrefined, but who the fuck cares it’s a truck.

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Transmission 8/10

No complaints here. It shifts fine and responds fairly quickly.

Toys 8/10

For a truck, the sound system is pretty damn good. My truck has the slightly better entune system, but the audio quality is clear and everything is very functional. However, it does not have a trip computer or compass. I don’t particularly care about these things though.

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Ride 7/10

It rides like a truck. It’s pretty harsh, again this is not a thing I care about.

Reliability 10/10

It’s a Toyota truck that’s been proven to be extremely reliable. My truck is CPO, but I highly doubt I will have any major problems regardless.

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Happiness 10/10

I’ve got this one asshole who constantly asks me why I bought a truck and how inefficient and bad for the environment is. My answer is always “because I can, why the fuck do you care?” I bought a truck because I live a lifestyle that having a truck is very beneficial to and I like trucks. I don’t give a shit what other people think because I didn’t buy it for the environment, or for other people.

My plan is to get a lift, bigger wheels and tires, take the running boards, roof rack and the tonneau cover off and get a toolbox.

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My Tacoma has been a great companion and vehicle. I love it for what it is and while it isn’t an Audi or Volkswagen, it’s allowed me to do things I can’t do in an Audi or Volkswagen and being able to do the things I love doing in a vehicle I love has made me feel closer to it than any vehicle I’ve ever owned. It’s parallel parked in Washington DC, down washboard dirt roads in the Florida panhandle and the alignment is still perfect and it still gets me where I need to go. I haven’t abused it, I’ve used it right.

Would I buy another Tacoma? Probably not. I don’t like the 3rd gen and the 3.5.