Should I trade in my Tacoma?

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FireOnTheMountain
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Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:25 am

Hello all,

So I have been grappling with this moral dilemma for quite some time. Nearly everything about my lifestyle is environmentally conscious, except for my truck :(

I own a 2008 Toyota Tacoma, V6, manual transmission and get a maximum of 25 mpg on the highway and thats driving like a tortoise which I am known for doing just to keep the fuel consumption down (not a money thing, an enviro thing).

I would like a car somewhat mountain savvy, sleeps 1 comfortably and descent mpg (mid to high 30s). Don't really want a Honda RAV or CRV or Ford Escape but I know they are not too bad. Was looking at an Impreza or Golf GTI. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Dare I go Prius??? Thanks a lot.

Yours Truly,

-A Lost Polar Bear

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Bean
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Re: Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Postby Bean » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:55 am

An Impreza hatch or Crosstrek with the CVT can push mid-30s on the highway. The new Forester with the CVT can do I think 32mpg on the highway.

If it's really about energy use and emissions, keep your old truck running until the wheels fall off and the body rusts away to nothing. The energy required to build a Prius will more than offset any energy savings you'll get from increased fuel efficiency.
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Re: Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Postby pills2619 » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:15 am

yup beans is right on with that statement. To be a proper looking environmentalist, especially if you want to stand up to the rules of boulder environmental standards its not really about being environmentally friendly, its more of a look, cause if you look good then you feel good and then the earth is all good. So don't go buy a new car but I would recommend a 4 cylinder Subaru Outback. You can pick up a 2001 for around $5000 and they are the perfect mesh between a car and a truck when it comes to Colorado trailheads. It gets pretty good mpg and has more than enough room to sleep in the back. I also think that CVT's are unreliable, to much going on but they have the right idea now they just need to realize the most practical way to implement something like that is with a gas motor powering an electric motor that only needs one gear and can be continually optimized by simply changing the engine speed. Much less difficult than dealing with a transmission. God imagine the days when your transmission, the most bs annoying thing on any car is replaced with a clean simple electric motor. Aptera Motors has had the right idea from day one but I think that until its also an airplane many people will not want to drive that thing around. The Subaru will probably be the only thing that comes close to the reliability you see with a Toyota.
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Re: Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Postby Cruiser » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:43 am

Don't feed the trolls... =;
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Re: Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Postby pvnisher » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:09 am

As has been stated, the most environmentally conscious thing that is possible to do is to drive existing vehicles.

Sidetracking a bit, but you know how lots of people recycle? But not that many do the more important of the three "R"s... Reduce, reuse, recycle.

In that order. Recycling aluminum or glass takes quite a bit of energy. Yes, less than mining and refining the raw materials, and certainly better than tossing it in the landfill, but we'd be better off if people used less to begin with, or reused/repurposed the material without recycling it. Recycling is the least efficient thing to do.

In your case, you want to "reuse" your existing vehicle rather than replace it with a new one. The marginal gains in efficiency are far offset by the energy and emissions required to manufacture a new vehicle.
The whole Cash for Clunkers thing, purported to be environmentally-friendly, was actually net-negative for the environment (but positive for auto manufacturers, and possibly the economy as a whole, if you want to dive into that messy argument, which I don't, and am immediately sorry I brought up).
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Re: Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Postby aleugers » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:13 am

I had a 2008 Impreza hatchback and it was pretty small. I don't think you'd be able to sleep back there. I could do road trips or camping with the back piled to the roof with the back seats laid down and one passenger but it was cramped. The ground clearance and transfer angles weren't the best either. I'm thinking a GTI would be the same just without as good of snow traction. I traded it in for an Xterra. I'd keep the Tacoma.
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Re: Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Postby Dave B » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:16 am

It's also important to note that, globally, transportation (that includes private and commercial road, air, rail and maritime travel) amounts to ~13% of total greenhouse gas emissions.

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Even if every single car on the road was instantaneously swapped for a Prius the combustion emissions alone (not accounting for manufacturing and delivery) would only drop to ~8% (sorry, couldn't find the source but heard this number at a scientific conference last year), so swapping a 25 mpg for a low-mid 30s mpg car will have an immeasurable effect.

Besides, tacos are the s**t.

EDIT to add: I'm am quite surprised this thread has already made it this far with out a political ad-hominem.
The mountains - whose summits reach or exceed arbitrary thresholds for elevation and prominence - are calling and I must go.

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Wyoming Bob
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Re: Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Postby Wyoming Bob » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:35 am

Trade in a Tacoma . . . what am I missing?
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IMG_0302.jpg (125.56 KiB) Viewed 855 times

(I quit worrying about the yellow light about 125k ago)
Last edited by Wyoming Bob on Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Postby Scott P » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:51 am

An Outback has more room and ground clearance than an Impreza, if that it a concern. I get in the low 30's with our Outback, but I live out in the Middle of nowhere where city traffic doesn't exist, so if you live in the city it will likely be less.

Not everyone has to do this, so everyone, please don't start a big argument/debate over this:

If the environment is your concern, I suggest looking into the Carbon Offset program with the Nature Conservancy:

http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/urgentissues/global-warming-climate-change/help/carbon-offset-program-frequently-asked-questions.xml

You can offset carbon emissions with various nature projects. Nature Conservancy was also voted one of the best and most accountable charities by several charity watchdogs and the above is just one of the things that they do. All their books are open record.

I've been to many of their various projects and have been quite impressed.
Last edited by Scott P on Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Postby TallGrass » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:51 am

You could explore "hypermiling" with your Tacoma such as doing things to lower it's wind resistance, various shells/covers, keeping it tip top tune-wise, finding tires with lower rolling resistance, seeing if they make a taller rear end (gear ratio), and so on. Unless you drive at 9.9/10ths capability, the latter shouldn't affect getting to trail heads as more truck can't make up for less driver (e.g. a lot of 2WD vehicles get up the 4x4 Nellie Creek Road to Uncompahgre). There are some HMing things like white-lining that I'd pass on, but plenty of other tips and techniques that simply reduce or stop common but wasteful habits. In a similar vein, reducing trips, efficient loops, avoiding peak traffic times, and so on reduce gas use by reducing miles traveled.

Lastly, consider a bicycle with cargo baskets (folding ones from Wald are nice, Bell's seem to fail) for some errands or commuting. If you live rural and work in the city, you could always toss the bike in back, do city errands on the bike, and then toss it back in the truck to drive home.

WyBob, ever run the code to find out why the check engine light is on? Sometimes it can be a bad O2 sensor or the like which will reduce mpg.
Last edited by TallGrass on Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Postby jaymz » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:56 am

Keep in mind also that you're not necessarily making the environmental impact of the Tacoma "zero" - someone else is eventually going to be driving it around. Unless you know how much that person will drive, what sort of vehicle they'll be replacing, etc., it's quite a stretch to assume that YOU replacing it will have a positive overall environmental impact.
Coming from someone who's always wanted one, keep the Tacoma!
(...or give it to me if you really feel that guilty :mrgreen: )
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Wyoming Bob
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Re: Should I trade in my Tacoma?

Postby Wyoming Bob » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:02 pm

TG, had mechanic take a look and had it out for a bit, then back on, point well taken given we have a mileage anniversary coming up and checking the code might be the perfect gift. Good :idea:
Thx!
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