New for 2016
The Tacoma gets its most substantial update in years, with a new V6 engine, transmission, and suspension tuning, greater technology options, and refreshed styling.
Tacoma's Time to Shine
The Toyota Tacoma has been a mainstay of the midsize truck segment for decades, but that segment hasn’t received much attention in recent years. With buyers migrating to full-size trucks, the Tacoma hasn’t received substantial updates in some time. That changes for 2016, as the stalwart Toyota gets refreshed from nose to tail, offering a compelling reason to give smaller trucks a second look.
Powertrains and Performance
There are two powertrain options to choose from on the 2016 Toyota Tacoma, both of which should prove quite capable whether you use your truck for commuting, hauling gear, or tackling trails.
The base engine is a 2.7-liter four-cylinder, which produces 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. It’s offered with a six-speed automatic transmission with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, and there’s also a five-speed manual transmission option for four-wheel drive models.
With rear-wheel drive, the Tacoma gets an EPA-rated 21 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 23 mpg highway).* With four-wheel drive, it gets 20 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 21 mpg highway) with the manual,* and 20 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 22 mpg highway) with the automatic.*
New for 2016 is a 3.5-liter V6, with 278 hp and 265 lb-ft. This engine also features a segment-first use of the Atkinson cycle, in combination with Toyota’s D-4S system, which itself combines direct and port injection. Both features help improve efficiency.
Like the four-cylinder engine, the V6 can be paired with a six-speed automatic with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. There’s also a six-speed manual option for four-wheel drive models. Automatic-equipped V6 Tacomas are rated at 21 mpg combined (19 mpg city, 24 mpg highway) with rear-wheel drive,* and 20 mpg combined (18 mpg city, 23 mpg highway) with four-wheel drive.* Four-wheel drive models equipped with the six-speed manual are rated at 19 mpg combined (17 mpg city, 21 mpg highway).*
The Tacoma also offers legitimate off-road performance, with available features like a limited-slip differential, performance-tuned suspension, Hill Start Assist Control, Crawl Control, and the Multi-Terrain Select system, which adjusts different parameters depending on the terrain. When properly equipped, the V6 Tacoma can also tow up to 6,800 pounds.
Features and Trims
The 2016 Toyota Tacoma is a midsize pickup truck available in up to 29 combinations of cab, bed, and trim. There are two cab styles: extended Access Cab and four-door Double Cab. Access Cab models get a 73.7-inch bed, while Double Cab models get either 60.5 or 73.7-inch beds. There are also five trim levels, with prices starting at $25,385.**
Standard equipment on the base Tacoma SR includes a bed deck-rail system with four adjustable tie-down cleats, integrated tailgate spoiler, tilt/telescope steering column, steering wheel audio controls, integrated GoPro windshield mount, Entune Audio system with 6.1-inch touchscreen, Siri Eyes Free voice control, and more.
Upgrading to the SR5 nets all of the standard features from the SR, plus fog lights, a 4.2-inch multi-information display, leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth® controls, and other features.
The TRD Sport model incorporates all of the applicable standard features from the SR and SR5, along with LED daytime running lights, a 120-volt deck-mounted AC power outlet, 17-inch alloy wheels, Qi wireless phone charging, leather-trimmed shift lever, auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, and sport-tuned shocks. The TRD Off-Road builds on the TRD Sport’s capabilities with an off-road tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks, and other features.
The top Tacoma model is the Limited, which adds some model-specific trim features, as well as a power moonroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, heated leather seats, Entune Premium JBL Audio system with navigation, and more.
The 2016 Toyota Tacoma advertises its capabilities with a rugged exterior. Up front, there’s a bold grille and taller hood that give the Tacoma an in-your-face visage. The chiseled look of the front end is matched by the boxy wheel arches, and highlighted by available LED daytime running lights. At the back, there’s a new locking tailgate with integrated spoiler and a stamped “Tacoma” logo.
Like any Toyota, the Tacoma’s interior is durable enough to take years of abuse. But this isn’t just a Spartan work truck. The redesigned interior is just as inviting as any car’s, thanks to features like soft-touch trim, metallic accents, and a new 6.1-inch central display screen. There’s also a long list of optional convenience features, including Qi wireless phone charging, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a supplementary 4.2-inch multi-information display.
Standard safety equipment on the 2016 Toyota Tacoma includes Toyota’s Star Safety System, which bundles anti-lock brakes, stability and traction controls, and other features. Also standard is Hill Start Assist Control, active headrests, and a full array of airbags.
The 2016 Toyota Tacoma offers all of the capability you’ll ever need from a truck, in an efficient and easy-to-use package.
*2016 EPA-estimated city/highway mileage. Actual mileage will vary.
**Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prince, excludes the Delivery, Processing, and Handling Fee of $835 for Cars, 900 for Small/Light Trucks (Sienna, RAV4. Highlander Gas, Highlander HV, 4Runner, Tacoma and Venza), $1195 for Large Trucks (Tundra), and $995 for Large SUVs (Sequoia and Land Cruiser).