2016 Toyota Tacoma Preview

Jeff Youngs | Jan 13, 2015
  • Completely redesigned, inside and out
  • 4-cylinder or V-6 engines with 6-speed transmissions
  • Locking tailgate, optional tri-fold tonneau cover
  • Available Multi-Terrain Select technology
  • New safety and infotainment features
  • Go Pro video camera mount comes standard


Claiming that it has been building the best-selling midsize pickup truck for the past decade, Toyota has unveiled a redesigned 2016 Tacoma, one available in extended- and crew-cab format and in SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, and Limited trim levels. Designed and engineered primarily in Michigan and California, the new Tacoma is said to be stronger, more powerful, more fuel-efficient, and more technologically advanced than ever.

Exterior Features

Inspired by desert racing, the 2016 Tacoma's design features a hexagonal grille, taller hood, what Toyota describes as "strong and muscular" wheel flares for improved wheel travel, and a locking and damped tailgate stamped with "TACOMA" lettering. A tri-fold tonneau cover and LED running lights are available, along with four different wheel designs ranging in size from 16 in. to 18 in. in diameter.

Interior Features

Toyota says the new Tacoma's cabin is designed around a sport-truck theme with a "handlebar" design element, soft-touch interior materials, and metallic trim. An acoustic windshield, floor silencer pad, and a sound-absorbing headliner aim to reduce interior noise.

Optional Features

Depending on the version, the new Tacoma is available with a next-generation touch-screen infotainment system with a 7-in. color display, navigation system, premium audio system, and Qi wireless device charging. Additionally, the Tacoma offers a 3-prong electrical outlet, keyless passive entry with push-button engine starting, leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, power sunroof, and more.

Under the Hood

A 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine will be standard for the new 2016 Tacoma, paired exclusively with a new 6-speed automatic transmission. The optional engine will be a new direct- and port-injected 3.5-liter V-6 employing Atkinson-cycle combustion technology to improve fuel economy. A 6-speed manual gearbox is available with this engine, with a 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters available as an option.

Toyota has not announced horsepower and torque figures for either engine, and says only that the Tacoma will be more powerful and fuel efficient than the outgoing truck. Toyota also expects the Tacoma to deliver an improved ride quality on pavement while returning a more capable off-road performance.

Bolted into a new body and frame using plenty of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel, the powertrains are accompanied by a number of additional drivetrain technologies. Highlights include an automatic limited-slip and locking differential, hill-start assist, Active Traction Control, and a clutch start-cancel feature for the manual transmission. Multi-Terrain Select technology is also available for the Tacoma, tuning the powertrain for varying types of road surfaces, and a Crawl Control system is available, operational at speeds under 5 mph and managing the drivetrain in difficult off-roading situations while the driver concentrates on steering.


Toyota has confirmed that it will offer a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert for the new Tacoma, and that the automaker's Star Safety System of technologies will come standard.


Expect the latest versions of Toyota's Entune infotainment systems to be available for the new Tacoma, with different size touch screens, features, and capabilities, depending on the trim level and selected system. Navigation will be an option, as will a premium sound system and Entune App Suite smartphone integration and services.
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