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Old 12-02-2017, 02:24 PM   #1
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Taco vs F150

I just got home to Salt Lake after picking up my new 19 in Chilliwack. Managed to find good weather windows for the passes and had a safe trip back. By the way, thanks to all on this forum that helped put together my build sheet!

The issue: I have a 2016 Tacoma sport with the towing package and I was somewhat disappointed with the performance and the gas mileage. The trailer was dry and virtually empty except for some bedding. I was averaging 10-12 mpg on the trip back. The real pain besides the cost is having to stop every two hours for gas. Up the bigger passes I had to use fourth gear and listen to the engine whine and watch the semis pass me on the left. Also, with two people, a topper, WDH and a fully loaded trailer I have about enough payload left over for a couple of packages of paper towels in the back. And I want to travel with my 17ft canoe.

I was wondering what kind of mileage other folks are getting with the F150. I am especially interested in the 3.5L ecoboost option. My son regularly gets 25 MPG on the highway (not towing) which is better than the Taco. If I were going to trade up this would be the time while the Taco still has low miles and good value and I might be able to find a 2017 F150 languishing on some dealers lot.

Thanks for your thoughts
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Old 12-02-2017, 02:39 PM   #2
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If your son has an F150 EB , why not borrow it for a drive.

My F50 is a 3.5 EB but it's a 2012, they've changed to a nicer tranny since my 6 spd. I get 12-13.5 towing the 5.0TA. I also only get 15-17 NOT towing.

Your 10-12 mpg sounds about right, with the weight of a 19 you might look at the smaller EB.
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Old 12-02-2017, 03:10 PM   #3
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Unfortunately (for me) My son lives in California so that is not an option.
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Old 12-02-2017, 03:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinnyberry View Post
I just got home to Salt Lake after picking up my new 19 in Chilliwack. Managed to find good weather windows for the passes and had a safe trip back. By the way, thanks to all on this forum that helped put together my build sheet!



The issue: I have a 2016 Tacoma sport with the towing package and I was somewhat disappointed with the performance and the gas mileage. The trailer was dry and virtually empty except for some bedding. I was averaging 10-12 mpg on the trip back. The real pain besides the cost is having to stop every two hours for gas. Up the bigger passes I had to use fourth gear and listen to the engine whine and watch the semis pass me on the left. Also, with two people, a topper, WDH and a fully loaded trailer I have about enough payload left over for a couple of packages of paper towels in the back. And I want to travel with my 17ft canoe.



I was wondering what kind of mileage other folks are getting with the F150. I am especially interested in the 3.5L ecoboost option. My son regularly gets 25 MPG on the highway (not towing) which is better than the Taco. If I were going to trade up this would be the time while the Taco still has low miles and good value and I might be able to find a 2017 F150 languishing on some dealers lot.



Thanks for your thoughts


Towing my 2017 5.0 TA with my 2016 F150, 2.7 EB. Supercab from CT to Canadian border thru Vermont and New Hampshire I got 15.5-16.5 mpg towing on highway (easily cruising at 60 mph) and still got 14.5 on secondary roads. Most of the trip I had a full fresh water tank as well as our normal stuff. The truck has a 3.55 axle ratio. On a trip to Jersey shore not towing the truck got 21 mpg. The motor rarely exceeds 3000 rpm. The truck and trailer work great together. Hopefully we will get a chance to see how it works thru real mountains in 2018, think it'll do ok.


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Old 12-02-2017, 03:29 PM   #5
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For me a Taco is a one of my favorite foods in Mexican cooking and has the uncanny ability to cause flatulence.
A Ford F150 is a great American made vehicle that has excellent towing abilities

Both useful but hardly interchangeable

I have a 2014 Ram 1500 Hemi V8 truck and if I was going to tow an Escape 21 ( Which is highly unlikely) , I would trade up to a Ford F150 EB with the towing and payload packages.
I never liked the feeling when towing of " The tail wagging the dog"
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Old 12-02-2017, 03:29 PM   #6
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What have they done to the 2016 and later Tacoma's? On paper they are rated as 278 horsepower and 265 pounds torque. That is 42 more horsepower than the earlier models v6 which is rated at 236 horsepower and 266 foot pounds of torque. Less horsepower and one whole foot pound more of torque. And one more gear in the newer transmission too.
Does the Atkinson cycle motor affect towing that much?

I have not heard much complaining on the Tacoma forums about earlier Tacoma's but noticed they do not really like the newer one for towing.

I have a 2013 but can't really compare as I also have the TRD supercharger. We went that route with a previous trailer to resolve listening to a rv trailer salesman and buying to big of a trailer. It was either that or take it in the shorts trading in an 8 month old pickup. Sad thing is we quickly got rid of the trailer as it was new junk. Rubber roof bubbles, side wall delamination, tires just barely sufficient for an empty trailer ect. I think I should take a ride and pat our Escape
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Old 12-02-2017, 03:35 PM   #7
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Just about any modern 1/2 ton truck from Tundra, Titan, Ram,GMC or Chevrolet in addition to Ford can provide a comfortable upgrade. The Tacoma, a great truck maybe a bit undersized. It may surprise you but a larger v-8 in thee trucks do not have to work 1/2 hard as the smaller 6 cyl motors and with proper rear end and transmission economy is available. I avg 15 mpg towing over the past 10,000 miles this year. Not towing is closer to 20 with 5.7/8sp/3:21 rear.
Hecht, my 5.0 Mustang GT is avg 22 mpg over 3K miles and just getting broken in.
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Old 12-02-2017, 03:45 PM   #8
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What have they done to the 2016 and later Tacoma's? On paper they are rated as 278 horsepower and 265 pounds torque. That is 42 more horsepower than the earlier models v6 which is rated at 236 horsepower and 266 foot pounds of torque. Less horsepower and one whole foot pound more of torque. And one more gear in the newer transmission too.
Does the Atkinson cycle motor affect towing that much?

I have not heard much complaining on the Tacoma forums about earlier Tacoma's but noticed they do not really like the newer one for towing.

I have a 2013 but can't really compare as I also have the TRD supercharger. We went that route with a previous trailer to resolve listening to a rv trailer salesman and buying to big of a trailer. It was either that or take it in the shorts trading in an 8 month old pickup. Sad thing is we quickly got rid of the trailer as it was new junk. Rubber roof bubbles, side wall delamination, tires just barely sufficient for an empty trailer ect. I think I should take a ride and pat our Escape
I have read on several tacoma forums that the newest generation of Taco's are designed more for the off road crowd then for towing or commuting. It is often hard when reading a forum devoted to a single brand of vehicle to decipher what is fact , opinion , cheerleadering or just plain old BS.
I will admit that most of the Taco's I see in my area are driven by twenty something males with their hats on backwards , attempting to tear up the forest and throw mud everywhere .
Probably not a very accurate picture of all Taco owners !
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Old 12-02-2017, 04:01 PM   #9
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I have read on several tacoma forums that the newest generation of Taco's are designed more for the off road crowd then for towing or commuting. It is often hard when reading a forum devoted to a single brand of vehicle to decipher what is fact , opinion , or just plain old BS.
I will admit that most of the Taco's I see in my area are driven by twenty something males with their hats on backwards , attempting to tear up the forest and throw mud everywhere .
Probably not a very accurate picture of Taco owners !
And here they mostly drive lifted ford and dodge pickups with oversized tires.. 20 somethings with Tacomas are rare.
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Old 12-02-2017, 04:16 PM   #10
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And here they mostly drive lifted ford and dodge pickups with oversized tires.. 20 somethings with Tacomas are rare.
I agree , Tacoma's in my area are also extremely rare .
We have an off road mud track a short distance from our cabin and when they hold races in the Summer I see Tacoma's
On the open road , I may see one or two every 6 months.
We live in a rural area ( Farming , Mining , Logging) so most of the trucks are full size and used for work .
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Old 12-02-2017, 04:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Just about any modern 1/2 ton truck from Tundra, Titan, Ram,GMC or Chevrolet in addition to Ford can provide a comfortable upgrade. The Tacoma, a great truck maybe a bit undersized. It may surprise you but a larger v-8 in thee trucks do not have to work 1/2 hard as the smaller 6 cyl motors and with proper rear end and transmission economy is available. I avg 15 mpg towing over the past 10,000 miles this year. Not towing is closer to 20 with 5.7/8sp/3:21 rear.
Hecht, my 5.0 Mustang GT is avg 22 mpg over 3K miles and just getting broken in.


I agree you can get a very good tow vehicle from a number of manufactures that are out there. Do not agree that you need a V8 under the hood to do it. The F150 sets the standard for payload and towing and it's not with the v8 motor (which is a tried and true motor) it's the 3.5 EB. That motor not only makes more power it does it at lower rpms. If they put that motor in a mustang you'd be looking at its tail lights, and it would get better mileage to boot.


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Old 12-02-2017, 04:35 PM   #12
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My FJ Cruiser had no issue pulling my 2012 Escape 19 with the older 4.0 motor and automatic with tow package. I recently looked at the 2017 Taco and questioned the spec's on the truck. It had if I recall a 4:91 rear end and the Atkinson cycle rear end and a 6 speed. I drove it and it did not feel like my FJ motor, something just did not feel right. Also no tow package. Having a truck with the integrated brake controller into the tow package spoils you, the truck brakes and shifts just right.
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Old 12-02-2017, 04:45 PM   #13
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My first thought when I saw the title of this thread was, there is no "versus" between a Tacoma and an F150. They're just not in the same league when it comes to towing.

Towing our 19 with an F150 2.7L Ecoboost, we average about 25.5 mpg not towing, 15.5 mpg towing. With the 3.5L, you can expect about the same, perhaps 1 mpg less at most. Add 4WD and drop that by 1 more mpg.

So, with a 3.5L Ecoboost and 4WD, maybe 13.5 mpg towing. Not much different than the Tacoma, but so much more capable of a truck. Passing will be effortless, and those mountain passes will be no issue. Another big factor is, your payload capacity will greatly increase. As for range, I highly recommend the 36 gallon fuel tank option. Having a towing range over 500 miles is quite nice. Yes, I'm a fan of the F150/EcoBoost but that's because I tow with one.
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Old 12-02-2017, 04:57 PM   #14
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The real pain besides the cost is having to stop every two hours for gas. Up the bigger passes I had to use fourth gear and listen to the engine whine and watch the semis pass me on the left.
If heavy trucks are passing you while climbing a grade, you probably needed to use (or let the automatic transmission use) 3rd gear instead of 4th. What road speed and engine speed was this?
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:00 PM   #15
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What have they done to the 2016 and later Tacoma's? On paper they are rated as 278 horsepower and 265 pounds torque. That is 42 more horsepower than the earlier models v6 which is rated at 236 horsepower and 266 foot pounds of torque. Less horsepower and one whole foot pound more of torque. And one more gear in the newer transmission too.
It's not just on paper - those values come from dynamometer testing. The issue is likely just that the increased power is available only at higher speeds, and many drivers are not willing to let the engine run fast enough to make that power available.

Quote:
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Does the Atkinson cycle motor affect towing that much?
The supposedly Atkinson cycle operation is just a setting of the valve timing adjustment, which is managed by the engine control computer. Under heavy load - towing or not - the engine is not likely to be using this mode.
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:16 PM   #16
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Granted many of the trucks that passed us were probably light and able to maintain ther 70 mph. We traveled at mostly 60-65, dropped to 50 on the passes. Is 4000-4500 rpm an acceptable tach reading for the Tacoma? I guess I can ask that on the Tacoma forum. I've been following this one so long I respect the feedback.
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:23 PM   #17
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Granted many of the trucks that passed us were probably light and able to maintain ther 70 mph. We traveled at mostly 60-65, dropped to 50 on the passes. Is 4000-4500 rpm an acceptable tach reading for the Tacoma? I guess I can ask that on the Tacoma forum. I've been following this one so long I respect the feedback.
I'm not that familiar, but if it redlines at 6K, then 4K seems fine to me. But, if I were wanting to tow at higher rpm's, I'd make sure the truck was equipped with a transmission cooler.
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:26 PM   #18
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My Taco has the tow package with bigger alternator, oil and transmission cooler. If 4k is OK maybe I just turn up the music
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:19 PM   #19
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Buzz that sucker

Don’t be afraid of 4,000 Rpm on those Toyotas. They’ll run there all day but fuel consumption suffers. I’ve pulled a lot of passes with the Highlander and she’s never gotten hot or given me a problem. 170,000 miles on a 2012 and pulling a 21 coast to coast, border
to border and then some.
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:25 PM   #20
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We have a 2014 with the 4ltr engine, we are currently on our way to Arizona towing a 21’ fully loaded. We are not close to the 6500lb towing capacity of the Tacoma. Yes the steep passes we take slower and tow mostly at 55 - 60 mph. The truck is averaging 11 mpg, the fresh water tank is 1/3rd full. The truck and trailer will move a bit when big trucks pass or high winds but nothing like a motor home would. Not sure about the newer Tacoma’s I like my 2014 fine, fits in the garage with room to spare, Ford, Dodge and Tundra are to big (garage is 20’). Trailer tires are rates for 81 mph if you want to go that fast look at a bigger truck, GMC Canyon with diesel might be a good option if you can afford it (I wish I could).:
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