Toyota Will Introduce Redesigned Tacoma At Detroit Auto Show
December 12th, 2014 11:09 AM Share
After over a decade without any substantial changes, Toyota is finally redesigning the mid-size Tacoma pickup for 2016.
Set to debut at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, the Tacoma’s updates are conveniently aligned with the introduction of the all-new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. While the GM trucks have a head start, the Taco is far and away the leader in the mid-size truck segment. And with the Nissan Frontier languishing on the market for a few more years, it’s likely that Toyota’s lead will only be extended.
Published December 12th, 2014 11:09 AM
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Interested to see how they've updated this truck. After sitting on this thing for a decade and increasing its asking price multiple times, one would hope Toyota had a formidable redesign just waiting to drop at the right moment. Right now it looks like the Colorado has the edge in refinement and driving dynamics, the Tacoma on offroad capability, and about equal towing/hauling capability. I think Toyota needs to retain those strengths while improving the interior and fuel economy.
The real updates the Tacoma needs isn't the skin, and although the interior needs more refinement for the class (e.g. technology, and more of what typical buyers want today) the real problem is the drive line. There is nothing inherently wrong with the bulletproof reliable 4 and 6 cylinder engines, and the 5-speed automatic that comes with the Tacoma today (I believe the manual is dead or on life support). The problem is they are woefully uncompetitive. The current engine offerings are trounced by other trucklets and indirect competitor SUVs / CUVs of similar size. They are trounced in refinement, horsepower, torque, and most importantly fuel economy. Five gears in an auto was pretty cool, 10 or 15 years ago, the competition has gone 6, 7, 8, 9, and soon 10 cogs. The Taco needs a far more refined drive line to improve fuel economy, decrease NVH within the class it competes in, and improve upon the power figures. My concern on this update as I'm a huge Taco fan, is judging by other Toyota "updates," the sheet metal and interior will get an overhaul, and the existing drivelines will soldier on. That won't be enough long term.
I really like the styling. Maybe the ride height is adjustable? Air bags!
I hope quality improves from the 2nd gen Tacomas, seemed like they had more premature component failures like wheel bearings and such than Toyotas of yore, and I've actually heard the frames are not as robust (albeit more rust resistant so far) than the 1st generation trucks. I test drove a 2014 Quadcab TRD truck and liked it a lot, It felt very closely related to my 1996 4Runner, for better or for worse. Much more so than comparing the 1996 4Runner to the 2014 4Runner, which had much more room in the driver's area and in general isolated the driver from the road a lot more. The Tacoma's interior seemed a bit cheesy compared to my 1996 vintage Toyota as well, but not bad. An update to engines transmissions is a good idea for the sake of MPG, but power and refinement wise I'd say they were fine already. Then again to me a truck is supposed to drive like a truck. I'd also like to add just how much more comfortable I felt piloting the Tacoma around on my test drive compared to the mammoth Tundra. The Tundra is sort of fun in its own way, like a huge battleship. But maneuvering around in the woods or backing up at a campsite, I'd take the Tacoma every single time.