Since 1964, Toyota has been one of the major suppliers of pickup trucks in the US and the Tacoma has been a leader in that section.
It’s been a while since the company upgraded its midsize pickup, but the 2016 Toyota Tacoma is finally arriving at dealerships in September and it is a 50% new vehicle.
While Toyota is still sticking to the existing platform, few tweaks dramatically improve the outlook and the functionality of the pickup truck. The broad strokes of the 2016 Toyota Tacoma are very familiar and resemble the old version, but every part of the interior and the exterior looks tweaked.
For starters, the sheet metal is changed, with the creases and beltline showing that Toyota is approaching the 2016 Tacoma in more high-lift ground clearance. The frame beneath the design is still the same 10 year old platform, but Toyota has added extremely high strength steel for support. The new steel is both lighter and stiffer.
The biggest change comes under the hood, where Toyota has placed a whole new engine and a lot of options for off-road driving and management technologies.
The previous version of the Tacoma came in 2005 and that was the eighth generation. For the ninth generation, Toyota has added new models to the lineup, which is now composed of SR, SR5, TRD off road, TRD Sport and Limited trims. If you add customizations, such as short or long bed, access cab or double cab and wheel drive options, there are more than 29 configurations that customers can choose from. The prices start at $25,385 for the base model and go as high as $37,820.
Under the hood, Toyota has placed a new 3.5-liter V6 engine that will probably be the favorite among the customers. There are other engine options, but the 278hp is smooth and crisp and powerful enough to maneuver through different conditions. The EPA ratings are 18mpg for city drive, 23mpg for highway drive and 20mpg for combined drive. A six speed automatic transmission is used for controlling the vehicle. Toyota has added optional manual transmission with six speeds.
Another huge change comes in the interior, where the company has placed the Entune infotainment system. The main element is the 7 inch display dashboard with both touchscreen capacitive options and physical buttons. On one side, customers get buttons for phone functions, with most functions under the “apps” tab.
All models feature the standard six-speaker audio system by Toyota, with the Limited trim having the JBL audio as an option. The TRD and the Limited trim also have Qi wireless charging as standard options.
The 2016 Toyota Tacoma is expected to be available in dealerships by September 10.