2016 Toyota Tacoma: Better than ever

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma has been redesigned, with an exterior more similar to that of its Tundra sibling.

The Toyota Tacoma received a major update for the 2016 model year, including a refreshed interior and new exterior styling. The result is a truck that is great for work or play and presents a good-looking appearance.

The Tacoma now comes with only the access or double cab body styles, as the regular cab has been discontinued. Both offer two rows of seating, and if you select the double cab, you can also choose short or long bed lengths.

Under the hood, the 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine is still available from the previous model. It makes 159 horsepower. But also available is a new version of the V-6, a 3.5-liter engine that makes 278 horsepower and runs on the Atkinson cycle for greater efficiency. The main transmission is a six-speed automatic, which replaces the four-speed from the previous model. Some five- or six-speed manual transmissions will be available also, but those won’t be sold in large numbers.

Fuel economy is rated at 19 mpg city, 24 highway on the four-cylinder and 17 and 20 for the six-cylinder. Those numbers aren’t bad when you consider that the Tacoma is pretty powerful and, despite not being a heavy duty truck, can take on somewhat heavy duty chores.

The Tacoma has five trim levels including SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and Limited. Our tester was the SR5, and even though it wasn’t as fully equipped as those at higher trim levels, it still offered a number of convenient features. Standard features include tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, a 6 inch touchscreen with the audio system, USB port and Bluetooth connectivity. Available options include leather seating, navigation system and dual zone automatic climate control. For safety, a backup camera and six airbags are also standard.

Exterior styling now more closely resembles that of the Tundra, Toyota’s large truck. That’s a welcome change, because now the Tacoma looks more aggressive and powerful, as well as having some sporty styling touches. The Tacoma name is branded into the tailgate and with larger fenders up front, the truck has a beefier look.

Toyota was wise to revise the Tacoma. The midsize truck market has heated up recently thanks to a newly revised Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, and the Nissan Frontier remains a formidable competitor as well. Honda has redone its Ridgeline, so it will also be interesting to see how that truck will be received.

Pricing for the Tacoma starts at around $25,000 and ranges to just about $40,000. If you’re in the market for a truck that can handle a good size work load, but also is smaller and more fuel efficient that large trucks, the Tacoma deserves a long look.

Article Courtesy of: http://www.examiner.com/review/2016-toyota-tacoma-better-than-ever?

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