The new Tacoma just got back from a muddy romp around its namesake town in Washington state.
Now time to shower up and hit showrooms nationwide as the best-selling mid-size pickup truck for 10 years running!
The 2016 update is a big revamp by Tacoma standards, but is very light versus a normal Toyota mid-cycle refresh. It just so happens that the truck’s already-long product cycle was effectively frozen for a few years during the financial crisis.
But buyer demands, CAFE requirements and, most of all, fresh competition has spurred Toyota to take its Tacoma into the workshop.
Out it came with a new V6 engine boasting 278 horsepower and better (but still dreadful) mileage stats, updated cabin tech, and a very mild exterior refresh. Everything about the new Tacoma is a double down on the old truck’s strengths: its rugged build a favorite for off-roaders, its low price a keen choice for small businesses, and its mid-size dimensions making it parkable in one try.
The new 2016 Tacoma will therefore still appeal big-time to its loyal buyers. Perhaps because the trucks last so long on the roads, however, it is important to bring in new shoppers to the fold for 2016 more than ever.
The Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon manage to beat the Tacoma on base and optional V6 horsepower. The GM twins also sport a new diesel engine option for 2016. So competition is actually pretty steep after years of Tacoma and Frontier battling for a declining market. The Chevy arrival and rebranding of all compact trucks into mid-size models also makes them more acceptable for “real” truck guys to consider.
What they’re finding is that losing the “Real” trucks in favor of a Tacoma makes life better for everyone, and still gets the work done easily.
How will the Tacoma compete with the fresh, quick and fun Colorado?
All new TRD Sport and TRD Off-Road trim lines will take in more than half of Tacoma sales in 2016 — with cool segment-first LED lights front and rear, more macho design details, and more comfort and tech features inside.
From base SR and SR5 trims with a base price of about $25,000, you can bump the new Tacoma close to $38k with all the snazzy new options on the loaded Limited trim.
On the style and desirability front, the 2016 Tacoma definitely merits a fresh look — especially on the LED-wearing TRD and Limited trims.
The best way to manage expectations, we’d suggest, is an enhancement of the current truck versus a dramatic pivot.
The new Tacoma hits stores in early Fall as a 2016 model-year. We’d say October 15th/Nov 1st is a good ballpark for the new Tacoma to be in stores. Tech specs and pricing by trim are included below, plus 99 new Tacoma photos.
2016 Toyota TACOMA SR5
2016 Toyota TACOMA TRD Sport and TRD Off-Road
The All-New 2016 Toyota Tacoma Mid-Size Pickup is Ready to Rock on … and Off-Road
- New V6 Engine, Transmission and Suspension Tuning
- Most Powerful and Most Fuel Efficient Tacoma Ever
- Legendary TRD Off-Road Toughness
- Assembled in North America
- Value Pricing
August 17, 2015