James Flammang
Contributing Editor - October 12, 2015

2016 Toyota Tacoma OVERVIEW

All-new for 2016, the third-generation Tacoma follows a predecessor that has been the most popular compact pickup on the market. Attracting an intensely loyal following, Tacoma is a large compact (near midsize, sometimes dubbed right-sized), targeting shoppers who shun the familiar “bigger is better” approach to truck-buying.

Toyota says 29 distinct configurations are available, promising good fuel-efficiency, so there should be a Tacoma to suit just about anyone. More athletic in appearance than before, the 2016 Tacoma replaces a model that lasted 16 years.

What's New for 2016

The 2016 Tacoma is totally redesigned, considered all-new. A new 3.5-liter V6 is available, along with the previously-offered 2.7-liter four-cylinder. The six-speed automatic transmission also is new. Suspension tuning also has been revised.

Toyota Tacoma

Choosing Your Toyota Tacoma

Tacomas come in two cab configurations: extended Access Cab, with two rear-hinged back doors and fold-down seating for rear occupants; and Double Cab, with four full-size doors and a conventional back bench.

  • Five grades (trim levels) are offered for each cab style.
  • Tacomas may have either rear-drive or four-wheel drive.
  • Double Cab models may have either a short (60.5-inch) or long (73.7-inch) cargo bed.
  • Access Cab comes only with the long bed.

A new 3.5-liter V6 offers 42 more horsepower than its predecessor: 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. The 2.7-liter four-cylinder makes 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet. The four-cylinder with automatic gets a fuel-economy estimate of 19/23 mpg city/highway, while the V6 manages 19/24 mpg in the same configurations.

Tacomas get a new six-speed automatic transmission, but the V6 can mate with a six-speed manual, while the four-cylinder engine teams with a five-speed manual.

  • Peak towing capacity is 6,800 pounds with V6 and the optional towing package.
  • All models get a GoPro camera mount for the rearview camera, ready to take photos of off-road excursions in a Tacoma.


Each Tacoma grade has a unique appearance, and SR is considered the “work-ready” model. Starting at $24,200 with a four-cylinder engine, rear-drive, and Access Cab, it’s the most affordable Tacoma. Standard equipment includes fabric-upholstered seats.


Toyota calls this version its “iconic” model, including Entune Audio Plus with a 6.1-inch touchscreen Connected Navigation Scout GPS Link App, and SiriusXM All-Access Radio.

TRD Sport

This is the choice for “athletic” trucking, according to Toyota, inspired by Toyota Racing Development and aimed at enthusiasts. Entune Premium Audio adds an Integrated Navigation and App Suite. Seats are upholstered with embossed fabric.

TRD Off-Road

For enhanced off-roading, a new Multi-Terrain Select system has modes for various driving condition, including mud, sand, and ice, altering throttle and braking to boost traction.


Topping the line, the Limited gets leather seat upholstery and a premium JBL audio system with six speakers.

CarsDirect Tip

Like other pickups, a Tacoma can get expensive in a hurry by overdoing the option list. Space is ample in the Double Cab, which is the obvious choice if you expect to carry two or more passengers for any distance. Not everyone will be satisfied with an Access Cab. The strong V6 is a better bet than the overtaxed four-cylinder.

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