The Toyota Tacoma mid-size pickup truck sees a significant redesign for 2016 with a strengthened frame, all-new exterior styling, a revised interior with more available tech features, two new transmissions and a more-modern V-6 engine. The 2016 model year brings the most extensive changes the Tacoma has seen since 2004.
With the release of the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size trucks, Toyota's segment-sales-leading Tacoma faces renewed pressure to court buyers. While it rides on the same platform as the previous truck, the 2016 model gets additional high-strength steel for better rigidity and a lower curb weight.
The 2.7-liter four-cylinder base engine carries over, although it comes mated to a new six-speed automatic transmission that promises to improve fuel economy. A 3.5-liter direct-injection V-6 running on the Atkinson combustion cycle replaces the old model's port-injected 4.0-liter and comes paired with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. As of April 2015, the EPA has not yet tested either engine's fuel efficiency.
The truck's exterior retains its basic dimensions while gaining all-new styling featuring a prominent hexagonal grille and LED daytime running lamps. Toyota drops the single-cab configuration, leaving buyers with the choice of an extended cab or crew cab.
On the inside, the Tacoma's center stack sees a full redesign and now incorporates a standard touchscreen display for infotainment, climate control and available navigation plus a windshield mount for GoPro cameras. Other features include keyless ignition and a wireless smartphone charging point plus a household-style power outlet mounted in the bed.