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
The Tacoma Dynasty rolls on! Rebuilt inside and out with an all-new powertrain and enhanced suspension tuning, America’s best-selling mid-size pickup for ten years running retains its throne on the mountaintop for dirt stomping adventurers. For decades, Toyota truck owners have come to expect the toughest, most durable pickup in the segment. The all-new Tacoma carries on a legacy of off-road victories and over seven million compact and mid-size Toyota trucks sold since 1964. It is, inside and out, the best Tacoma ever.
“For more than 50 years adventure-seeking Americans have relied on Toyota trucks to take them places, on and off-road,” said Bill Fay, group vice president & general manager, Toyota Division. “The all-new homegrown Tacoma is a tough truck designed, developed and built for lifestyles of the young and young-at-heart.”
The new 2016 Tacoma was partly developed by the Toyota engineering team at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Starting with the frame, they added high strength steel to help enhance rigidity and overall strength. Ultra-high strength steel was integrated into the body shell using a new hot stamping process that reduces weight.
To create a truck to meet the needs of active drivers on a variety of tamed and untamed surfaces, the suspension was fine-tuned to help deliver a smoother on-road ride, while making it even more capable off-road.
Get Your Motor Running
The new Tacoma will feature two engines. A 2.7-liter DOHC four-cylinder with VVT-i that will produce 159 horsepower and 180 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm. EPA estimated city/highway/combined mpg for the 4×2 with an automatic transmission is19/23/21. Estimated fuel efficiency for the 4×4 with a manual transmission is 19/21/20 and 19/22/20 for the automatic.
For added performance, Tacoma offers an all-new V6 with a segment-first 3.5-liter Atkinson cycle with VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing with Intelligent Wider Intake) equipped with Toyota’s D-4S technology, featuring both direct and port fuel injection. The new V6 will generate 278 horsepower, an increase of 42 HP over the previous V6, and 265 lb.-ft. of torque at 4600 rpm. Estimated city/highway/combined mpg for the 4×2 automatic is 19/24/21. The estimated mpg for the 4×4 manual is 17/21/19 and 18/23/20 for the automatic.
Both engines will be paired with a new six-speed automatic transmission with electronic shift delivering quick and easy shifting. The V6 can also be mated to a new six-speed manual transmission and the four-cylinder to a five-speed manual. The new powertrain makes the Tacoma more powerful and fuel efficient than ever before.
When equipped with the V6 Tow Package, the new Tacoma can tow up to 6,800 lbs. (per the SAE J2807 tow standard), an increase of 300 lbs. over the previous V6.
2016 Toyota TACOMA Limited
Doing It With Style, Inside and Out
Serious, yet fun! This is the Toyota truck design DNA. The Tacoma and Tundra are amazingly capable trucks that are designed to reflect their capability. The Tacoma shares big brother Tundra’s more chiseled face, with a hex grille. From there, Tacoma expresses its own identity.
Inspired by desert racing, CALTY designers in Newport Beach, Calif. and Ann Arbor, Mich. helped make the new Tacoma all about recreational action and athletic agility. To achieve this, the new Tacoma’s wheel flares are strong and muscular for greater wheel travel and the high-lift image reflects its purposeful capability. Four new wheel designs range from 16 to 18 inches.
The front end portrays an aggressive attitude with its bold upper grille and a taller, more muscular hood. Mounted high above the redesigned front bumper sit slim, high-tech headlights that feature projection beam lamps with available LED Daytime Running Lights.
From behind, the new locking tailgate emphasizes Tacoma’s wide stance and tough image. The tailgate features an integrated spoiler for improved aerodynamics and a stamped Tacoma logo. The tailgate also adds an easy lowering feature, which allows it to slowly retract, preventing it from slamming down. For the first time ever, Tacoma will offer available an available factory-installed tri-fold hard tonneau cover for securing gear when you’re away from the truck.
Tacoma’s tough exterior is complemented by an interior that conveys a sport truck image reflecting an athletic, go anywhere, off-road feel. Once inside, drivers will notice a sporty design theme in the instrument panel for a more driver-focused experience. Soft-wrapped trim and metallic accents set the stage for a high-quality look and feel that is a starting point for an array of available premium features. Among them are:
- Qi wireless charging
- Smart key with push-button start
- Leather-trimmed seats
- Power tilt/slide moonroof
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- Enhanced touchscreen audio
- Blind-spot monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
In addition to offering more premium features, Toyota engineers also made the new Tacoma quieter than ever. To accomplish this, all seals were enhanced and a multi-layer acoustic windshield and sound-absorbing headliner were added. Finally, a floor silencer pad helps to further reduce road noise.
Interior storage is maximized in Access Cab models with fold-up rear seats and under-seat storage. Double Cab models feature 60/40 split rear seats with adjustable headrests and under-seat storage.
Making the Grades
The new Tacoma will be available in 29 configurations in two cab types, the extended Access Cab and four-door Double Cab. Each cab will be available in both 4×2 and 4×4 configurations.
Tacoma will now be available in five model grades, each with its own personality and unique look. Tacoma grades include:
- Work-ready SR
- Iconic SR5
- Athletic TRD Sport
- Tough-as-nails TRD Off-Road
- Top of the line Limited
The two TRD grades are inspired by Toyota Racing Development’s more than 35-year history in desert off-road racing and a heritage of vehicles that have helped off-road enthusiasts conquer the toughest terrains in the most remote locations around the globe. Tacoma buyers will now have the opportunity to capture their global adventures on video as every Tacoma will come standard with a GoPro® mount located near the rear-view mirror.
The Access Cab models ride on a 127.8-inch wheelbase and have a 73.7-inch-long bed. The Double Cab is offered in two versions: the 127.4-inch wheelbase with a 60.5-inch bed or 141.0-inch wheelbase with the 73.7-inch bed.
Both bed styles are built to take punishment with a composite inner bed made from a sheet-molded composite (SMC) deck and tough, durable walls that are 10-percent lighter than steel. The bed deck features two-tier loading and an integrated deck-rail utility system with four standard adjustable tie-down cleats. The deck rail system is compatible with Genuine Toyota Accessories, including a fork-mount bike rack, a cargo divider that locks into the rails to help keep cargo from sliding around the bed, and mini tie-downs with hooks that also help to secure cargo in the bed. An available 120V/400W power point further extends the bed’s utility.
The new Tacoma will be available in eight exterior colors including three new colors: Quicksand, Inferno, and Blazing Blue Pearl. Additional colors include: Super White, Silver Metallic, Magnetic Gray, Black, and Barcelona Red.
Inside, all Tacoma models will feature a four-way driver’s seat with lumbar support and four-way adjustable front passenger seats. The SR and SR5 grades are equipped with fabric-trimmed seats with a fun and youthful look. Seating for the TRD Sport and Off-Road grades are uniquely upholstered with embossed fabric that conveys a dynamic and rugged feel. The premium Limited grade features a rich, yet sporty leather trim. Interior colors include:
- SR: Cement Gray
- SR5: Cement Gray; and Black with Caramel or Red colored seat stitching, dash and door accents.
- TRD Sport and TRD Off Road: Graphite and Black with Orange colored seat stitching and accented instrument panel ring.
- Limited: Hickory leather-trimmed interior.
Traveling Off the Beaten Path
All Tacoma 4×4 models are equipped with 4WDemand part-time 4WD with an electronically controlled transfer case and Automatic Limited Slip Differential (Auto LSD). Tacoma TRD Sport models are equipped with sport-tuned shocks. TRD Off-Road models include an off-road tuned suspension equipped with Bilstein® shocks.
Tacoma off-roading adventures will reach new levels of fun in the TRD Off-Road grade thanks to the addition of incredible technology. A Multi-Terrain Select system (automatic transmission only) allows the driver to choose between different types of terrain such as loose rock, or mud and sand. Each input regulates wheel spin by adjusting throttle and brake pressure to provide maximum traction on almost any terrain.
Additional off-road technology includes Locking Rear Differential, Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Clutch Start Cancel (manual transmission only), Active Traction Control, and Crawl Control. Engaging Crawl Control allows the driver to select a speed of 1-5 mph. The Crawl Control system takes over the acceleration and braking, allowing the driver to focus solely on steering.
All Tacoma models are equipped with a coil-spring double wishbone front suspension and stabilizer bar and leaf spring rear suspension with staggered outboard-mounted gas shocks. Brakes are power-assisted ventilated front disc and rear drum brakes with a tandem booster.
Optional on V6 models is a Class IV towing receiver hitch with transmission oil cooler with water and air cooler, 130-amp alternator (manual transmission only), 4- and 7-pin connector, and Trailer-Sway Control.
All Tacoma SR grades come standard with the base Entune Audio system. The system features the Entune Multimedia Bundle, which includes:
- 6.1-inch touch-screen display
- AM/FM CD player
- six speakers
- auxiliary audio jack
- USB 2.0 port with iPod® connectivity and control
- advanced voice recognition
- hands-free phone capability
- phone book access and music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology
- Siri® Eyes Free
- Integrated backup camera display
Tacoma SR5 models will come standard with Entune Audio Plus, which adds a 6.1-inch high-resolution touch screen display, Connected Navigation Scout GPS Link App, SiriusXM All-Access Radio (includes 3-month complimentary trial), HD Traffic and Weather (in major metro areas).
Entune Premium Audio leverages the user’s smartphone to provide a richer in-vehicle experience with fully integrated access to navigation, entertainment and information services. The Entune Premium Audio and Entune Premium JBL® Audio systems feature engaging mobile apps, including Destination Search, iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable®, Pandora®, Yelp, Facebook Places and Slacker Radio plus real-time traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports and stocks. Access to Entune services is subscription free.
Entune Premium Audio is standard on TRD Sport and TRD Off-Road grades. It adds Integrated Navigation and App Suite, the Entune Multimedia Bundle with a seven-inch high resolution touch screen with split display, Entune® App Suite, HD Radio, HD predictive traffic and Doppler weather overlay, AM/FM cache radio, and Gracenotes album cover art.
At the top of the line, the Tacoma Limited comes standard with the Entune Premium JBL Audio system, which adds six JBL speakers and 1 subwoofer, providing excellent sound quality.
The Tacoma offers plenty of choices when it comes to individualizing a truck, yet Toyota makes it easy by offering nine core packages: SR Utility Package, SR Convenience Package, four levels of the SR5 Appearance Package, and three levels of Premium & Technology Packages.
The SR Utility Package is for Tacoma owners looking to create a work truck-type configuration as it removes the rear seats for added utility space and adds black door handles, black mirror caps, black rear bumper, and a fixed rear window.
The SR Convenience Package adds cruise control and remote keyless entry.
The SR5 Appearance Packages bundle styling, technology and comfort features, including 16-inch silver alloy wheels, color-keyed overfenders, rear parking sonar, Entune Premium Audio, and more.
The Premium & Technology Packages bundle comfort and technology features including Dual Zone Climate Control, heated front seats, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, auto-headlamps, power tilt/slide moonroof, Entune Premium JBL Audio, and more.
Toyota dealers offer a wide array of accessories, including TRD performance components, that expand Tacoma’s utility, comfort and driving fun.
Standard on all Toyota models is the Star Safety System™, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and Smart Stop brake override technology (SST).
Every Tacoma has standard three-point seatbelts for all seating positions, driver and front passenger Advanced Airbag System, driver and front passenger knee airbags, and front and rear Roll-sensing Side Curtain Airbags.
Standard active headrests for the front seats move up and forward almost instantly in the event of certain rear-end collisions to help reduce the distance between the occupant’s head and the headrest.
Additional standard safety features include a Tire Pressure Monitor System (with individual tire location alert on most grades). A Class IV towing receiver hitch (V6 only) with transmission oil cooler with water and air cooler, 130-amp alternator (manual transmission only), 4- and 7-pin connector, and Trailer-Sway Control.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the 2016 Tacoma 4×2 will range from $23,300 for the SR Access Cab with a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission to $34,745 for the Double Cab Limited 3.5-liter V6 with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The MSRP for the 2016 Tacoma 4×4 will range from $24,825 for the SR 4-cylinder engine with a five-speed manual transmission to $37,820 for the V6 Limited with the six-speed automatic.
The MSRP for the Tacoma does not include the delivery, processing, and handling (DPH) fee of $900. The DPH fee for vehicles distributed by Southeast Toyota (SET) and Gulf States Toyota (GST) may vary.
2016 Toyota Tacoma – TECH SPECS
A North American Story
Tacoma is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (TMMTX) in San Antonio and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Baja California (TMMBC) in Baja California, Mexico. Both facilities play a major role in carrying on Tacoma’s legendary reputation for quality, durability and reliability (QDR), which has been instrumental in establishing its segment-leading owner loyalty rating. It’s QDR has also helped establish Tacoma as the highest rated vehicle in its class in resale value for the past 10 years according to Kelley Blue Book. The all-new Tacoma builds on this tradition with enhancements in every aspect over the current Tacoma including, design, ruggedness, and performance in horsepower and fuel efficiency.
50 Years and Counting
Backed by more than 50 years of unwavering capability, an unbreakable attitude, and an off-road racing heritage, the all-new Tacoma is hungry for adventure and ready to tackle almost any challenge that it encounters. It is the ultimate tool for the outdoorsman that likes to get out there and go places.
Limited Warranty and Toyota Care
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation. The Tacoma also comes standard with Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.
2016 Toyota Tacoma – PRICING
|TACOMA||7122||SR5 ACCESS CAB 4X2 4-CYL AUTO LB||$25,385|
|TACOMA||7126||SR5 ACCESS CAB 4X2 V6 AUTO LB||$26,995|
|TACOMA||7128||TRD SPORT 4X2 ACCESS CAB V6 AUTO LB||$29,665|
|TACOMA||7146||SR5 DOUBLE CAB 4X2 V6 AUTO||$27,985|
|TACOMA||7148||TRD SPORT DOUBLE CAB 4X2 V6 AUTO||$30,765|
|TACOMA||7150||TRD OFF ROAD DOUBLE CAB 4X2 V6 AUTO||$30,765|
|TACOMA||7162||SR ACCESS CAB 4X2 4-CYL AUTO LB||$23,300|
|TACOMA||7170||SR5 DOUBLE CAB 4X2 V6 AUTO LB||$28,485|
|TACOMA||7172||TRD SPORT DOUBLE CAB 4X2 V6 AUTO LB||$31,265|
|TACOMA||7182||LIMITED DOUBLE CAB 4X2 V6 AUTO||$34,745|
|TACOMA||7185||SR5 DOUBLE CAB 4X2 4-CYL AUTO||$26,275|
|TACOMA||7186||SR DOUBLE CAB 4X2 4-CYL. AUTO||$24,130|
|TACOMA||7513||SR ACCESS CAB 4X4 4-CYL. M/T LB||$24,825|
|TACOMA||7514||SR ACCESS CAB 4X4 4-CYL AUTO LB||$26,375|
|TACOMA||7516||SR5 ACCESS CAB 4X4 4-CYL AUTO LB||$28,460|
|TACOMA||7540||SR5 DOUBLE CAB 4X4 V6 AUTO||$31,060|
|TACOMA||7542||TRD SPORT DOUBLE CAB 4X4 V6 AUTO||$33,730|
|TACOMA||7543||TRD SPORT DOUBLE CAB 4X4 V6 M/T||$32,100|
|TACOMA||7544||TRD OFF ROAD DOUBLE CAB 4X4 V6 AUTO||$33,730|
|TACOMA||7545||TRD OFF ROAD DOUBLE CAB 4X4 V6 M/T||$32,100|
|TACOMA||7559||TRD SPORT ACCESS CAB 4X4 V6 M/T LB||$31,320|
|TACOMA||7558||SR5 ACCESS CAB 4X4 V6 AUTO||$30,170|
|TACOMA||7560||TRD SPORT ACCESS CAB V6 AUTO LB||$32,950|
|TACOMA||7562||TRD OFF ROAD ACCESS CAB 4X4 V6 AUTO LB||$32,950|
|TACOMA||7566||TRD SPORT DOUBLE CAB 4X4 V6 AUTO LB||$34,340|
|TACOMA||7568||TRD OFF ROAD DOUBLE CAB 4X4 AUTO LB||$34,340|
|TACOMA||7570||SR5 DOUBLE CAB 4X4 V6 AUTO LB||$31,560|
|TACOMA||7582||LIMITED DOUBLE CAB 4X4 V6 AUTO||$37,820|
|TACOMA||7594||SR DOUBLE CAB 4X4 V6 AUTO
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.