Video: Little Toyota Tacoma Fights a MASSIVE Dodge! Does It Stand a Chance? Baby Yota Ep.7

baby yota dodge ram 2500 diesel toyota tacoma

Our ‘Baby Yota’ (2002 Tacoma) project truck will battle a Dodge Ram Cummins!

This episode of our Baby Yota series focuses on the pros and cons of driving a small off-road truck, versus a huge, heavy-duty truck – off-road. Our Baby Yota project truck is a 2002 Toyota Tacoma standard cab, short-bed 4X4. It has a 2.7-liter, four-cylinder engine hooked up to a four-speed automatic transmission. It’s not powerful (at all) and it is wearing old tires.

In time, we hope to build Baby Yota up to a respectable off-roader and overland vehicle. This will take some work, but we have to be creative as we have a limited budget. Once completed, the project truck will be posted on to be auctioned off. We will donate all of the proceeds to Mountain States Children’s Home.

Kase van Rees‘ 2005 Ram 2500 (aka “Moose”) comes with a 16-valve Cummins diesel and a five-speed manual transmission. Unlike the Baby Yota, Moose has already received over $10,000 worth of updates and modifications. It’s a brute.


As strange as it may be, both of these trucks are pretty rare, especially the tiny Toyota Tacoma. For years, the off-road Toyota crowd has turned these little trucks into serious off-road vehicles. Why? They are very lightweight, maneuverable, and have a reputation for reliability. Had we found a five-speed manual, folks would offer top dollar for it.

The Dodge Ram is a bit of a rare bird as well. One that has a manual, 4X4 a clean cabin, and a rust-free frame – rare in Colorado. As it sits, the Dodge Ram weighs almost double the Tacoma’s curb weight. Then again, it makes about twice the power with towing and hauling numbers WAY more than double.

Still, this is about going off-road.

There is a massive difference between a jackrabbit and a Buffalo. Both can bound over obstacles, but the approach to trailblazing is completely different. In this video, Kase and our friend David talk about the differences between these two trucks off-road.

Which one would you prefer?

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.