2,700 mile towing MPG report (Toyota Tacoma)

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Any reason the return leg (empty) couldn't have been done in 6th. Yes, do 5th says the manual and web, but it was only a 900lb tow. Even with some extra aero drag.
 

Speedbird001

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I am really surprised to see so many replies to this thread! On Tacoma forum there is always a-lot of towing threads, thought some here might find it good situational awareness, especially for those like me that very rarely tow long distance and moving company services or upgrading to full size is not a realistic option...

FWIW: Additional notes and answers to questions:
  • Current tires are Nitto Ride Graplers: SL but much more aggressive than the OE Goodyear Wanglers. Specs say the Nitro's at 49 LBs each are 39% heavier than the 35LB OE Wranglers. Width is -2% and diameter is +3.3%. I am positive the heavier and more aggressive tires had a noticeable impact on MPG. Exactly how much? Who knows? In my <600 miles of most city driving with them, I'd say ~ <1 MPG versus the OE 70 series Wranglers.
  • Inflated radius is 3.3% higher. I assume the odometer cannot compensate for this...The estimated MPG column on the right was from the "Fuelly" app, it does not factor the 3.3% difference between the OE 70 series tires and the current 75's. I only added the 3.3% for the trip grand total.
  • What I know for sure, based on 70k miles of owning the Tacoma (2/3 of that being straight highway (Pre-RONA). Highway speeds +60 MPH really kill the MPG. Commuting I can reliably average 20-21 IF I average ~55 and keep it under 60. Running 60+ the MPG drops 1-2 for sure. Using cruise control as I am want to do, consistently costs .5-1 MPG (I figure the CC is more aggressive than my foot)
  • I have tracked every single fill up with the Fuelly App. over the course of 4.5 years: 72,347 miles / 3,870 gallons / $9,180 with a 70/30 Hwy/City split: Average MPG is 18.8 MPG. Very close to the EPA 17/21 rating for this model (The worst of all Tacoma trims).
  • @Nick1994 : The 3.5L is OK, They say more efficient than the 4.0 (I never drove one of them to compare myself). The truck no doubt is not in any way fast. But it is fine by me above ~ 2,000 RPMs. Above 3,500 RPMs it sings, but that takes a conscious effort that I am still not used to. Personally, I do not care for the tune. (It has both direct and port injection that phase in and out based on some crazy matrix). I would gladly trade 20% off the top end, that I VERY rarely use for 20% more torque on the low end. From ~1,600 to ~2,200 RPMs it is a dog
  • @supton The trailer was an enclosed U-haul 5x8. Not heavy but a parachute for sure.
  • @Danno I did run 6th gear the whole way back. I am not surprised at all with the 18ish MPG given: an average of 5-10 MPH faster than the way down, a/c on full blast the whole trip and use of CC 99% of the time. This mirrors my past experience with the heavy MPG hit for exceeding 60-65 MPH
  • The first tank was run on 100% gas. All the other fill ups said up to 10% ethanol on the pumps. Looks like I got ~ +1 MPG on the 100% gas.
  • Estimate to move an equivalent volume with two of those load your own U-haul boxes was almost $3k, We still would have ended up flying there to complete the move so the approx total of $1,500 spent on: trailer rental, fuel, hotels and meals was clearly more cost effective.
 
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Nick1994

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  • @Nick1994 : The 3.5L is OK, They say more efficient than the 4.0 (I never drove one of them to compare myself). The truck no doubt is not in any way fast. But it is fine by me above ~ 2,000 RPMs. Above 3,500 RPMs it sings, but that takes a conscious effort that I am still not used to. Personally, I do not care for the tune. (It has both direct and port injection that phase in and out based on some crazy matrix). I would gladly trade 20% off the top end, that I VERY rarely use for 20% more torque on the low end. From ~1,600 to ~2,200 RPMs it is a dog
My dad had an 07' FJ Cruiser with the 4.0L and 6MT that I drove quite a bit. It was kind of a dog at lower RPMs too, it liked to sing.
 
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I'm with those who blame the 5th gear for MPG. With a trailer that small rolling in 6th would be a piece of cake, while getting 17-20 MPG.
 
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Mar 15, 2012
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I towed 6x12 UHaul with 97 Tacoma 4cy 5 speed sport. On the way there was 5th gear and lots of shifts on the way back. Brakes were my concern but fuel mileage was terrible especially when loaded. Fuel mileage was never good empty so I never bought another.
 
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