By Bob Long
Toyota has pretty much dominated the midsize truck market in recent years. As a matter of fact half of the midsize trucks sold in the U.S. are Tacoma’s. It’s no wonder why. The Tacoma has a solid reputation based on excellent capability, reliability and an inherent tough demeanor. Yet new rivals have been introduced in this once-stagnant segment, and now the Tacoma faces tough competition from the refined Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, as well as the Nissan Frontier. For 2016, Toyota has built upon what Tacoma fans like about the truck, while improving key features like fuel efficiency, noise levels in the cab, and overall refinement. It all comes to market wrapped in bold, attractive new styling.
The Toyota Tacoma is highly versatile, with proven off-road capability and the best payload capacity in its class. Buyers can choose from two engines, two cabs, two bed lengths and 2- or 4-wheel drive, plus the new Tacoma is much easier to park in a garage than a full-size truck. For 2016 Toyota’s midsize truck is essentially all new, with new styling, a new V6 engine and transmission, a more refined and quieter interior, more capability, and new features.
I recently drove a 2016 Toyota Tacoma V6 Double Cab, backed by the all-new 6-speed automatic transmission. The new drivetrain offers more power while also improving fuel economy. Acceleration is strong and steady, although far from fast. Acceleration from 0-60 seconds will take you in the high 7 second range. Overall it is a clear improvement in power over the 2015 model.
Changes to the suspension plus tweaks to the frame make the 2016 Tacoma feel more planted and more stable on-road. Handling feels better, and the ride is comfortable and compliant. The brakes, still discs in front and drums in the rear, feel confident and strong.. The cabin is much quieter, and has a fresh new look. However, whether you opt for the SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road or Limited, you will not be getting power seats as they are unavailable. Off-road, the new Tacoma is tough and highly capable, and the optional Crawl Control and Multi-Terrain Select make trail adventures a breeze.
With optional Crawl Control, with the truck in low range, you set the system’s speed, and it manages acceleration and braking. All you need to focus on is steering. Multi-Terrain Select automatically matches the type of ground you want to cover (snow, ruts, etc.) to the proper transmission, throttle and brake settings.
There are hidden spots underneath the back seats that serve as good places to stow small items you’d rather keep out of view. If you want a flat cargo area in the cabin, fold down the rear seats. The seatbacks are flat and covered in plastic, creating a home for not so clean gear.
The Toyota Tacoma is highly versatile, with proven off-road capability and the best payload capacity in its class. Buyers can choose from two engines, two cabs, two bed lengths and 2- or 4-wheel drive, plus the new Tacoma is much easier to park in a garage than a full-size truck. The Tacoma is not the most fuel-efficient truck in its class, nor does it offer the best towing capacity.
Recently I drove a 2016 Toyota Tacoma V6 Double Cab, backed by the all-new 6-speed automatic transmission for a whole week.. The new drivetrain offers more power while also improving fuel economy.
The Tacoma gets an all-new modern refined interior for 2016, with new, high-quality materials, new seats (and a new seating position) and a bevy of cool available features. Items like push-button start and a moonroof option are segment firsts. There’s also a handy multi-information display, where you can look at fuel economy, outside temperature, and even off-road info, such as the trail mode the Tacoma is in and the angle the Tacoma is at when on a steep hill. The new Tacoma also comes with a new version of Entune, the connectivity and entertainment control center, and Qi wireless charging.
Exterior styling wise you can tell this is still a Tacoma, new styling cues like LED daytime running lights and an exterior design inspired by Toyota’s off-road race history set it apart from past trucks. There are five trim levels – SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and Limited –each of which gets different front-end styling. The bed is still composite-lined and contains two useful storage bins, but is now deeper so it can carry more cargo. The tailgate is damped for easier opening and locks for added security. My test truck had the excellent optional 3-piece hard tonneau cover.. This a first time offering straight rom the factory. My test truck also had the optional towing package.
Sticker price with options was $40,020. Standard equipment includes a rearview camera, a basic version of Entune connectivity, an automatic limited-slip differential, eight airbags, a lockable tailgate, adjustable tie-down cleats in the bed, 16-inch wheels, and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. One exclusive on all 2016 Tacoma trucks, however, is a mount for a GoPro camera and I though a journalist had left behind from another test drive..
My test truck ah such creature comforts including push-button start with Smart Key, leather seats, Entune with a full App suite, a JBL sound system, and heated seats.
Under the Hood was a 3.5 liter V 6 putting out 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque.It is not the smoothest V-6 in the marketplace but gets the job done. EPA numbers for my test vehicle came in at 28 city a 23 Mpg highway.
Toyota has taken a good truck and made it better If like Tacoma’s you are going to love the all new 2016 model.
Front Engine-4 X 4
JBL audio system
Factory Tonneau cover
New Creature comforts
No available power seats
Engine Refinement Could be Better
Fuel Economy also could be better
Scale 1 low-10 High
Exterior Styling 6
Interior styling and quality 6
Fuel Economy 6
Audio System 8
Navigation System 8