Time for a new Toyota Tacoma
Why has the Toyota Tacoma been the same truck for nearly a decade? Because nothing else has challenged its dominance in the midsized truck segment for that time. After the big three Toyota is the best-selling truck maker in the industry with a huge lead over Nissan. With no midsize offering from Ford or GM for several years the Tacoma was able to continually be the leader when its next competitor was the Nissan Frontier. This meant only keeping up with the new tech that was going in and Toyota could keep using the same platform and building the same truck over that time.
Now that we have already seen the Canyon and Colorado show up and take over the market Toyota knew it was time for a new Tacoma. With that in mind, Toyota offers us a new Tacoma that makes use of two different engines, a 2.7-liter four cylinder that offers 159 horsepower and 180 lb.-ft. of torque and a 3.5-liter V6 with 278 horsepower and 265 lb.-ft. of torque. There will be two transmissions offered, a six-speed automatic or manual with a five-speed manual offered on the 2.7L version. Even though these engines don’t sound like a lot, remember this is a much lighter weight truck than the full size offerings you may be used to.
Looking to the interior we see an all new dashboard design with a standard 4.2-inch display screen and a six or seven-inch offering that is offers as an option to choose. This helps make the truck feel more modern and with a complete redesign of the interior the truck looks great. The body color can even be brought inside and integrated into the dashboard to offer a very nice touch which ties the whole look together.
As we are used to, there will be five trim levels to choose from; SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and Limited. Moving up the trims will offer a truck that can go from a standard fare on up to near luxury. At the Limited trim you get leather seats with hickory trim and a JBL audio system. The TRD models have seats that offer black and orange stitching to look more fun. The Qi wireless charging, push button starting, sunroof, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert give the truck more tech than ever before, which is becoming increasingly more important in the modern automotive world.
The larger engine is the new offering for this truck. This engine replaced the old 4.0-liter V6 and is actually more powerful than the outgoing model while also being more efficient. Adding the 4X4 setup allows the truck to be a great off road choice, which it has always been. Many an adventurer have headed out in their Tacoma to far reaching places. The size of this truck and capability make it easy to find a remote location to make camp. In our all connected world you can use the GoPro mount on the dash to record all your adventures and let your friends see what you are cooking at your weekend campsite.
Getting in and taking a drive starts out feeling similar to the old model until you notice the lack of outside noise entering the cabin and the smoother ride when you hit rougher road patches. The Tacoma has been upgraded with a much better suspension and a noise cancelling cabin to give us a truck that is enjoyable to ride in and makes for a more comfortable place to be when the work day is over and its time the head home.
As you would expect with Toyota, even though this is a new generation model it’s not a complete overhaul. Toyota has been known for building on what they already do well instead of going a completely different direction. The Tacoma for 2016 will be a serious competitor in the market as it continues to offer a variation of models to choose from and some great features that make it a lot of fun to drive. At a price range that runs from the base of $24,200 to the top of $38,720 this is a highly affordable truck for you to drive and get all the fun you could want in the midsized truck class.