I have a 2005 Toyota Tacoma 4X4. My rims are 14 inches and I would like to put larger tires on my truck. What are the best tires I can buy? I use it mostly for street but sometimes find myself in the snow or mud. In addition, I currently get around 19 miles per gallon. How will these larger tires effect my gas mileage?
Unfortunately what you mentioned isn't actually possible. A 2005 Toyota Tacoma CANNOT fit 14 inch wheels. It is physically impossible to get that size of wheel over the brake caliper. Even on the most basic model of 2WD, it was a 15" tire. 4x4 models almost always came with 16" wheels.
I would ask that you clarify your actual current tire size - it is most likely a 16" rim. Beyond that, the largest tire size you can put on the truck depends on if you have the TRD package or not and what you consider actually "fitting". Some have fit tires as large as 255/85R16 (33x10.5 - tall and skinny) without a lift, but the tires will rub against the frame at full left-right turns. A safe larger size is something in the 31 or 32 inch range. Start looking at a size like 265/75R16 (32") or 265/70R16 (31").
For tires, a solid tire for what you have mentioned is the BFG All Terrain T/A. They have a tread pattern that can handle a decent amount of off-road while still maintaining snow/ice on city streets and highway travel. One of the best all-around tires available from my personal experience.
Larger tires will affect your gas mileage. You can expect to loose a 1 or 2 mpg with a larger size. The actual amount depends on your driving and the type of tire you end up choosing. The more agressive the tread, the more resistance there is and the engine has to work harder. A mud tire with large lugs has a lot more resistance then a highway tire.
Another thing to consider is power loss. The larger the diameter of the tire, the slower the engine will run at highway speeds. While this may seem like a good thing, it means that the engine falls out of it's optimal powerband and the you may have to downshift more on hills. It also means that bigger tires = the truck being slower from a stand still. Fortunately the 2005 Tacoma with V6 engine has a lot of torque and can easily handle one or two inches of tires size increase and the loss of power will be minimal. If you decide to add a lift to the truck and go much bigger, you will find that you will need to regear the differentials to get your power back (not cheap).
If you want to learn more about what people have done with their 4WD Tacoma, check out the forum at (post your questions in the Newbie section first):
If you've a V6, I wouldn't go above a 33 X 12.5" with 15" rims. That's just personal experience with a 2002 V6 Taco.
Also remember that larger tires require more wheel well clearance than stock, and can be prone to rubbing.
Mileage will probably decrease, if marginally. Driving style accounts for a lot.
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