BestRide takes a close look at a Toyota Tacoma after one year of media pool abuse.
The 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4X4 Double Cab in my driveway has been put through the ringer by dozens of media people.
It arrived brand-spankin new in our region’s fleet almost a year ago, and now it has 12,200 miles on the odometer. Normally, we would not do a second-take on a vehicle that we have already reviewed, but the Tacoma is special.
The Tacoma has long been the top vehicle in America for resale value. NADA’s 2014 spotlight on pickup truck value retention said the Tacoma retained 80.7% of its value after three years. That implies that the Tacoma is a long-lasting and reliable vehicle.
With 2017 model year Tacomas now on dealer lots, let’s look closely at how this 2016 model year truck held up.
A close scrutiny of the paint reveals that the Inferno Orange has held up well. If there are signs of oxidation, we can’t find it. The windshield is not even pitted, though that may be entirely luck. This Tacoma was tested in winter conditions. We did that testing here at BestRide, so we know it saw snow, slush, sand, and salt. The paint up front is chip-free.
The tires are about one third to one half-worn by our estimation -and worn perfectly evenly. No cupping or uneven tread depths at all. That means that this truck kept its alignment.
Inside, the driver’s seat shows some creasing, but there is no sign of thread wear or any shine yet on the cloth. The seats are not stain-free, but we’ll chock that up to a lot of coffee drinkers in the media pool (guilty!)
In case you are not in the club, Tacoma followers know the one area of concern with these trucks is the frame rot that plagued some older Tacomas in the past decade. Toyota has been replacing those frames at no cost, and customers are either pleased or displeased, but either way, Toyota took action when it happened- both times. You wouldn’t know there was a problem looking at this Tacoma.
The frame looks solid on this truck, and the rust one can see on the bushings seems to be just surface discoloration. The Tacoma was chosen by the New England Motor Press as the 2016 Winter Vehicle of the Year in the midsize pickup category. It was this very truck that the judges drove.
One area where many cars suffer abuse is just behind the grill. This Tacoma looks new in that area. We never noticed before, but there is a lot of aluminum down there. Maybe that’s why it looks so good?
Drive this Tacoma TRD Off-Road around town and it is completely squeak and rattle free. That includes over the broken roads and gravel driveways in our area. Set the truck on a straight path and then let go of the wheel and it keeps on truckin’ straight down the road. Pretty impressive given its high-clearance, softly sprung suspension. Stab the brakes and this truck still grabs the pavement, just like day one, and there is no pulling to the side, which might have indicated a frozen caliper.
Our Tacoma’s engine sounds like it did on day one. There is no pulley noise or bearing whine.
The floor mats are a little dirty, but there is no sign of wear.
We looked everywhere we could on this truck, and there’s little sign of significant wear after a year of being beaten up by a slew of different drivers in snow, summer heat, and at at least one off-roading event Toyota used this truck in. Maybe we are only seeing the good in this truck, but with the highest resale value in the land, a lot of other folks must be seeing it too.
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