The 2016 Toyota Tacoma continues to set the bar for mid-sized trucks

2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited 4x4 Review

It's easily better, just not echelons better

By: Wade Thiel

Web2Carz Senior Staff Writer

Published: December 21st, 2015

The Toyota Tacoma has been a dominate force in the midsized truck segment for a number of years. Now, GM has reentered Chevy Colorado and the GMC Canyon into the mix to give the Tacoma a run for its money, but many mid-sized truck owners will still turn to the Tacoma first. When they do, they may not look elsewhere, because the 2016 Tacoma does almost everything right.

On our recent drive of the new Tacoma, we realized that GM may have a harder time in the mid-sized pickup market than they thought.

  • Exterior: Tougher and stronger

    The first thing we noticed about the Tacoma is that it looks a little more like we want a truck to look. It's taller, meaner and tougher looking than previous versions of the pickup while still easily identifiable as a Tacoma. In short it's a much more attractive truck than we're used to the Tacoma being.

    • The updated exterior makes the truck feel more truck-like
    • The Tacoma's tall stance make it look like it's ready to take on what you throw at it
    • Tacoma looks learner than its competition while still exuding an air of strength
    • Despite the changes, there's no doubting this truck's a Tacoma

  • Interior: Attractive, spacious and comfy

    The interior of the truck is very comfortable and spacious, at least in the front seat. The rear seats, while comfortable could feel cramped for larger individuals. The seats work great for long trips, making those weekend getaways even more enjoyable.

    • Comfortable seats both up front and in the rear
    • Rear seats could use a tiny bit more leg room
    • Sunroof is great for sunny weather
    • Infotainment system controls easy to master
    • Quiet ride both in the city and on the highway

  • On The Road: A hard worker that'll never quit

    We have no doubt that the Tacoma would perform flawlessly for mile after endless mile, but we feel the engine could be more powerful. Toyota improved the power plant for 2016 by adding the new 3.5-liter V6, but we still feel it could use a few more horses. However, it performed wonderfully on our test drive.

    • Smooth drive while still feeling like a truck
    • Ride height is high enough to easily see everything but not so high you feel like you're in a wannabe monster truck
    • Easy to park and drive in the city and everywhere in between - including off road

  • Final Impressions: The continuation of a great truck

    The 2016 Tacoma is a continuation of the rich reputation it has built. Much of the vehicle is new, and while it's an improvement over previous version of the pickup, it's still a Tacoma. This is a good thing. We don't want the Tacoma to change too much. It's defined the mid-sized truck segment for quite a while and set the bar high. Having said that, the new Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon, which we drove earlier this year, is quite a contender and competing with a truck of that caliber is a tall order. Toyota will need to build on the Tacoma's progress over the years to compete with the new contenders in the mid-sized pickup market.

  • Price and Specifications:

    Engine: 3.5-liter V6

    Transmission: Six-speed automatic

    Drivetrain Layout: Front-engine, four-wheel drive

    Power Output: 278 hp / 265 lb-ft of torque

    Fuel Economy (mpg): 18 city / 23 highway

    Base Price: $37,820

    As Tested: $40,020 (incl. $900 destination)

    Options on our test vehicle: 50 State Emissions, Tonneau Cover, V6 Tow Package: Class IV Towing Receiver Hitch, ATF Cooler (Not Available on Manual Transmission), Engine Oil Cooler, Power Steering Cooler, 130-Amp Alternator, 4 & 7-Pin Connector w/Converter, and Trailer-Sway Control (TSC)

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• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2016 Toyota Tacoma, click here: 2016 Toyota Tacoma.