Today, smack dab in the heart of American truck country, Toyota took the wraps off of the much anticipated 2016 Toyota Tacoma. We had seen a couple images earlier, but the big news is the drivetrain and interior changes that fans are going to love.
Toyota’s new 2016 Tacoma is moving away from the older V6 it has used since before the internet to a state-of the art 3.5-liter V6. This new engine will operate on the Atkinson cycle rather than Otto cycle. We could dive deep and explain why this cycle is used on almost every hybrid, but suffice it to say that it changes the way the engine breathes in a way that saves fuel. The engine also features Toyota’s D4-S fuel delivery system which incorporates both port and also direct fuel injection depending upon the driving situation. Normally an Atkinson cycle engine sacrifices power, but Toyota promises more power than ever before. That won’t be hard since the outgoing V6 had only 236 hp. About 100 less than the best V6 engines on the market.
Saving fuel is the big theme with the new 2016 Tacoma. The current 2015 Tacoma’s base 4-cylinder fuel economy was recently eclipsed by the Chevy Colorado’s V6. Embarrassing? Sad? Pathetic? State it however you like. Toyota’s new V6 will very likely be more fuel efficient by a huge leap. Part of the fuel economy gain will come from new 6-speed transmissions. Both a manual and also automatic 6-speed will be available. More gears equal less gas. The 2.7-liter, 4-cylinder engine carries over but will also get a new 6-speed automatic transmission.
The new 2016 Tacoma exterior changes besides the body styling which you can see for yourself, include a locking and slow-lowering tailgate. These are both now standard in the truck segment. Toyota is also going to offer a factory-direct tri-fold bed tonneau cover to keep contents safe.
Inside, the changes are more dramatic. Toyota is offering a moon-roof which fans are already buzzing about. Every Tacoma will come standard with a Go-Pro camera mount on the rearview mirror. More amenities, that will be optional, include Qi wireless phone charging, a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, leather trim, enhanced touch-screen audio, and smart key with push-button starting.
Trims above the base SR will include SR-5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, and Limited. The TRD versions will have an array of performace equipment available such as automatic limited slip and locking rear differential, active traction control, feet-free crawl control for speeds up to 5 mph, and hill start assist.
All Tacomas are built in North America. Tacoma has been the top-selling mid-sized truck for 10 years straight. In its first two months in the US market, the Chevy Colorado has been outsold by the 2015 Tacoma by about 3 to 1. Both NADA and Kelly Blue book rate the Tacoma highest in resale value. The 2016 Tacoma is built to ensure that it has a chance to keep that strong history alive.