2016 Toyota Tacoma

300-tacomaabsolutely! AUTO REVIEW | By Steve Kursar –

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup truck is all new inside and out, yet it retains a familiar quality that fans of the best-selling truck will appreciate. The front fascia has a new grill and rear tailgate that features the stamped Tacoma logo. But the truck’s profile is remarkably similar to the previous model. Don’t be fooled though, this third generation Tacoma is more capable, loaded with technology and better fuel economy.

The first Toyota Tacoma appeared on United States highways back in 1995 as a compact pickup and grew to mid-size stature when the second generation truck debuted in 2005. The Tacoma is by far a more popular Toyota truck than its larger, full-size brother the Tundra.

The newest Tacoma is all about toughness and capability. All models now get the same higher, tougher suspension package that used to be reserved only for 4×4 models, a good indicator as to what Toyota wants to do with the new truck. The 2016 off-road versions are decidedly beefier, and gone is the single cab, low suspension trim that was popular with pickup buyers looking to save some money.

The base 2016 Tacoma gets the 159 hp, 2.7 liter four-cylinder engine that carries over from the previous generation model with no changes. It’s a proven, time-tested engine that is mated to a new six-speed automatic transmission delivering EPA estimated fuel economy numbers of 19 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. The new Tacoma does get a new, sophisticated 278 hp, 3.5 liter V6 engine to replace the venerable 4.0 liter. A lot of serious Toyota engineering went into giving this
powertrain the ability to deliver 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway – even better fuel economy than the smaller four-cylinder engine.

The interior is completely redesigned to keep you connected hands-free through the Entune system and to keep your devices wirelessly charged with the iQ wireless system. There is also far more insulation, a multi-layer acoustic windshield, a sound-absorbing headliner and a floor silencer pad to make for a much quieter ride. Every new Tacoma comes standard with a GoPro camera mount affixed to the windshield.

The new 2016 Tacoma is sure to win over new buyers looking for a smaller truck that’s easier to maneuver than a full-size pickup, yet is still capable of hauling a serious load and going off-road with ease.

Follow Steve Kursar at  KursarOnCars.