2016 Tacoma New Car Test Drive
Heralded by fresh styling, the 2016 Toyota Tacoma boasts a new cabin structure, a new V6 engine, new transmissions, retuned suspensions, improved noise insulation, and an improved feature set.
The more things change, the more they remain the same, however. Though redesigned, Tacoma's mission and concept is the same as before, that of a highly capable midsize/compact pickup with a high floor and low roof, and a reputation for durability. The Tacoma TRD Off-Road model continues as the hot setup for a rugged, highly capable off-road pickup.
A choice between four-cylinder and V6 engines remains. A 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine comes standard, rated at 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, with an EPA rated 19/23/21 mpg for a two-wheel-drive automatic. We think the four-cylinder is best used for basic work trucks. Its real-world fuel economy is not significantly better than that of the V6.
The new 3.5-liter V6 generates 278 horsepower, an increase of 42 over the previous 4.0-liter V6, and 265 pound-feet of torque at 4600 rpm. Fuel economy is improved: 2016 Tacoma V6 4×4 automatics are EPA-rated at 18/23/20 mpg City/Highway/Combined. The new V6 appears to maintain its performance off road, while revving more freely for improved passing-performance on the highway.
2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road models are the equipped with an off-road suspension, Bilstein shocks, and Multi-Terrain Select system. With their suspension travel, underbody protection, Crawl Control and other technology, there are few places one of these trucks cannot go. Just as important, their rugged construction and underbody protection offer durability for drivers who routinely drive over rough terrain. They excel at hauling a dirt bike into the back country or towing a drift boat over a boulder-strewn river bank. As an everyday vehicle, however, they are a bit rough.
While the styling has been completely updated, the 2016 Tacoma does not look like a new truck. It looks like it's been around for a couple of years.
Double Cab models feature a full-size rear seat, with underseat storage. Access Cabs have small fold-out seats that are better for cargo than people. Short Beds are about five feet long, Long Beds are about six feet long. Standard cabs do not exist.
The 2016 Toyota Tacoma comes with a choice of Double Cab or Access Cab versions, with a Short Bed or Long Bed, in SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, and TRD Sport and TRD Off-Road models. Two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive are available. Two engines are available, a 2.7-liter four-cylinder and a 3.5-liter V6. Prices range from $23,300 (MSRP, does not include destination charge) for a Tacoma SR Access Cab 4×2 four-cylinder automatic work truck to $37,820 for a Tacoma Limited Double Cab 4×4 V6 automatic with leather.