Review: 2016 Toyota Tacoma
The latest edition of the Toyota Tacoma is redesigned with a new V6 engine for greater off-road performance and an enhanced interior. It is an excellent option for those looking to invest in a mid-size truck.
Refined V6 engine, quick touchscreen interface, improved ride, reputation for longevity and toughness, excellent off-road capabilities, long list of optional upgrades.
Low V6 acceleration times, no seat height adjustment, tight headroom, more expensive than similar mid-size trucks.
The tried-and-tested Tacoma is well established in the world or mid-size trucks and comes with the option to choose from 29 different versions to match the needs of demanding drivers. A four-cylinder, 159-HP 2.7-liter engine is standard while an optional upgrade includes the V6, 278-HP 3.5-liter. It has a choice of four-wheel or rear-wheel drive and comes with either manual or automatic transmissions. The 2016 Toyota Tacoma looks and acts in many ways like a muscled-up edition of last year’s model. Overall dimensionally, this truck has not been supersized – its size and configuration is basically the same as the 2015 model. Inside the truck, the cabin has received an upgrade with finishes and bezels that no longer appear bargain basement.
Similar to earlier models, the Tacoma is manufactured with a choice of access cab and double cab styles with short or long bed versions (generally 5-6 ft). The access cab style includes compact fold-out seats, which are basically more useful for holding cargo while the larger double cab is built with full-size rear seats with enough space to accept up to 5 passengers.The most noticeable change to the 2016 Toyota Tacoma is what has taken place under the hood. Even though the V6 is smaller than last year’s model, the 278-HP 3.5-liter is able to provide better smoothness and passing power, though the torque is slightly down at 265 pounds per feet. The V6 models include a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission. The automatic for instance gives quick shifts, well-spaced gears, and its up and downshifts are nicely damped.
One of the main attractions of the Tacoma is its off-road potential and the 2016 model has received a variety of upgrades to this hardware. It has a built in multi-terrain select system which isn’t that dissimilar to systems already installed in various Land Rover and Ford models. Use this system to quickly adjust the driving performance on different terrain (slick rock, sand, mud, etc.) and change the braking and throttle to improve traction. Plus, other features include crawl control, hill-start assist, locking rear differential and electronic limited-slip. The 2016 Toyota Tacoma has a choice of models including Basic SR, Limited, TRD Off-Road, TRD Sport, and SR5. For improved entertainment, the different models are equipped with hardware like a Scout smartphone-based navigation system, GoPro mount at the rearview mirror, and the latest in touchscreen audio. Plus, these upgraded models include other features like dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, a moonroof, Qi wireless charging, a four-panel folding tonneau cover, and locking damped tailgate.