By on January 12, 2015

2016-Toyota-Tacoma-10

Following both Nissan and Ford, it’s now Toyota’s turn to show off its latest truck offering at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, the 2016 Tacoma [Live photos now available – CA].

Power for the redesigned pickup comes from either a 2.7-liter four-pot or a 3.5-liter Atkinson cycle V6 with the automaker’s D-4S tech, which has both direct and port fuel injection. Both engines come with a standard six-speed automatic, but you’ll need to go for the V6 for the optional six-speed manual.

Five trim levels are available for the Tacoma: SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and Limited. The TRD Off-Road trim, in particular, comes with an array of features, including: hill start assist; automatic limited slip and locking rear differential; clutch start cancel for manual transmissions; active traction control; and crawl control. All trims can be had in 4×2 and 4×4 configurations, and all have Toyota’s Star Safety System standard.

Other features available include a high-strength steel frame for better rigidity and strength; ultra-high strength steel body shell; power moonroof; smart key and push-button start; extensive NVH reduction; locking tailgate; standard GoPro camera mount; and wheel options ranging from 16 to 18 inches in size.

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87 Comments on “NAIAS 2015: 2016 Toyota Tacoma Debuts...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    Except for the console shifter I really like the interior.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnnyFirebird

      It has a lot of FJ Cruiser to it. I’ve always liked mid-size trucks (I had an ’08 Sport Trac that I loved, except for the too-short bed). On the “maybe!” list for my next vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      The cat poop brown seats do not go well with the blue exterior.

    • 0 avatar
      insalted42

      I will say, it seems to be one of Toyota’s better executed (read: not so plasticy) interiors in recent memory. But I still fail to see why anyone would choose the Tacoma over the Colorado/Canyon.

    • 0 avatar
      mingo

      The GoPro mount is a gimmick – and one can achieve the same thing by attaching a flat GoPro adhesive mount to the windshield-, unless there’s also a USB power socket near it would make a perfect dashcam mount. My experience with GoPro has shown me that the battery barely lasts 2 hours, and seeing that the camera is not within easy reach of the driver, means you turn it on and leave it on. I know GoPro has a wireless remote control, but it’s battery life is even worse than the camera.

      Adding a USB plugin socket next to the camera mount would make this gimmick very useful for a dashcam.

    • 0 avatar
      Occam

      What’s up with the “disguise an automatic as a manual” fad. This is a pickup – why does it have an auto shifter that is masquerading as a stubby stick-shift from a roadster?

      I get that a lot of things in cars are about looks – fake vents, “dual” exhaust that splits behind a single cat, etc., but people don’t want to drive manuals; why do they want to look like they’re driving manuals? If it doesn’t have an H-pattern, just put it on the column out of the way, or give it a Chrysler knob.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    I think it looks like the fish from Super Mario Bros 3.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    I like it. Look forward to seeing it in the metal.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Yeah, my #3 son already told me he’s going to trade his 2008 Tacoma for this model. I imagine that there are lots of other Tacoma aficionados out there who will be doing the same.

      Long overdue!

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I don’t understand the appeal of the Tundra or Tacoma.

        They’re both ugly, they aren’t any more fuel efficient nor capable than F Series, GM twins or RAM, the interiors are as boring as any other trucks…

        I don’t follow trucks closely, and follow Toyota & Nissan trucks even less.

        Can someone clue me in on a truly significant, meritorious reason why anyone picks a Tundra or the Nissan Titan over the RAM, F Series or GM twins?

        • 0 avatar
          frozenman

          It is very clear that you do not understand trucks or their design language. The value of your comments of late are not up to your usual level if insight and wit and that is a shame,IMHO.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Who are you addressing, FM?

            If me, my question was a genuine one, prefaced by the disclaimer that I don’t & haven’t followed Toyota or Nissan trucks and was therefore asking to be educated (literally) as to where their appeal stems from.

        • 0 avatar
          salmon8ter

          Real simple: the Toyotas last forever and keep their value. The GM twins look terrible and even worse in person with long big front overhang, almost no tire clearance. From behind, they look really narrow and disproportionate. The center stack was designed in the 90s.

        • 0 avatar

          There’s a number of reasons why people buy Tacomas, but if you are going to award – or withhold – your judgment of them being “meritorious”, there’s not a whole lot of reason to list them, is there now?

        • 0 avatar
          jrmason

          First, you can’t compare a Tacoma to an F series or Silverado or Ram. It is in a class of its own (until the return of the Colorado but given the track record of the old Colorado I still say its in a class of its own).
          Perfect for anybody who doesn’t need a full size or perhaps can’t afford the parking space of the larger trucks. Perfect for back country 4 wheeling, hunting and fishing. I owned a handful of Yota pickups from the early to late 80s and that little truck went places in the Snowy Mountain Range my friends had never been in a pickup. They were and still are awesome little trucks that take a ton of abuse.

        • 0 avatar
          slance66

          I don’t understand the Titan. But the Tundra appeals to Toyota loyalists. The Tacoma is really a different animal, more practical size and has proven to be virtually indestructible. Glad to see GM competition forced them to finally update it.

        • 0 avatar
          mik101

          I know they’re different sized trucks, but my Dads 06/07 Sierra (I forget which year) and his 2010 F150 were nothing but problems, whereas my cousins Tacoma hasn’t had a single problem. Plus resale value.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Standard go pro mount?! Sold! Ha.

    Beyond that, looks good, should keep sales up and help fend off the GM twins.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I find it odd that you can’t have an I-4 with a stick…

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I’m just happy the manual is still around.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s a shift (please pardon the pun). Before, the manual was a poverty spec, although a buddy of mine has a 2011 with a v6 and manual. Now it’s an enthusiast spec, and poverty spec (with springs below the axle) appears to be gone completely.

    • 0 avatar
      jrmason

      Not sure why anyone would even opt for the 4 cylinder unless it was strictly an urban dweller. Even in a small pickup I wouldn’t want anything less than a mid sized 6 cylinder. My experiences with Yota are from 20 years ago but there was very minimal difference in fuel economy between the 2 engines because your foot was always in it with the 4 bangers.

      I was die hard Toyota until my needs for a 1 ton came about and that is the only reason I don’t own one today. Nothing on the market can hold a candle to the reliability of the Tacoma. This is the truck you buy if your looking to hang on to something for the next 15+ years.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    The mount for a GoPro camera is a nice touch, especially if it is a standard item.

    * No manual transmission will be available on the entry level access cab with the 2.7 liter, four cylinder.

    Hmmmm, that’s not good.

  • avatar
    STRATOS

    Cars and trucks look so generic these days,like they are afraid of being different from other manufacturers.

  • avatar
    emeshuris

    Very nice, it’s always funny how the taco is packaged. For example, I want dual zone climate, but all of the off road goodies. So I always end up with the limited version, currently I have the 4runner. So sad. I don’t need leather, retractable running boards, would rather have the trail with dual zone.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    The stick is an option?

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Yes, 6MT remains on the V6.

      This new Otto/Atkinson cycle V6 has piqued my interest. The NX200t and RC-F have the same ability but I don’t know how it has improved real world mileage. The black overfenders and no lower air dam on the front bumper of the Off Road package looks great. I also like that most of the 4Runner trail edition goodies carried over… though, no mention of KDSS. Swap out the ugly wheels for some 4Runner TRD Pro wheels and give me a topper. I’ll take it in white with the 6MT.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        I got that, but the article listed it as an option with the auto standard which makes me wonder if it is simply poorly worded or will one have to pay more for the stick or will the auto bee one of those old school “delete options” maybe.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Overall nice, addressed the core issues across the board – like the interior. The reach for the infotainment screen looks a little long for the driver – but that could be a product of the camera angles and the lens.

    Addressing the dated engines and tranny was the most important thing. The Atkinson cycle V6 should get good economy – but might be a tad – sluggish – need to see HP/torque numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      From what I’ve read, it will run on otto when needed and atkinson when needed. The NX200t and RC-F have the same tech. It is basically a super wide angle VVT. It shouldn’t be sluggish at all.

  • avatar
    AmcEthan

    why is there such a need for a midsize truck to be this big? can we just go back to s10/ranger/dakota size? they were big enough, had enough power, and got good enough mileage for a midsize truck. whats the big deal about having a big “small” truck? my dakota has a higher tow limit, and towing capacity and is way smaller. lets just go back to that size. no more obese cars and trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The S-10 and Ranger were not midsize trucks. The Dakota was the first.

      Also, crash standards.

      • 0 avatar
        AmcEthan

        they could still make it meet crash standards and keep it small. there is no reason why they couldnt. and the s10/ranger/dakotas are about the same size. we have one of each. only a couple inches difference in them.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      “why is there such a need for a midsize truck to be this big?”

      It’s a commercial need. Midsize trucks are big because big sells and small doesn’t.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        So you can choose from “huge” and “gigantic”, sounds like a win to me.

        • 0 avatar
          AmcEthan

          the people who want to choose between “huge” and “gigantic” probably do it because they are neither.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I wasn’t implying innuendo, I was being very serious. Where I live parking spaces are limited and while something the size of (gen1-2) Dakota fits reasonably well, a few of the monster truck half tons frequently jam other people in their cars. I’m not aware of any damage but its only a matter of time before someone’s car gets accidentally hit by the old men in aircraft carriers. This is beyond stupid to offer something so large as a standard half ton and for the small truck to merely be the size of the previous generation. Where are the Federales and Greenpeace on this one? I can’t get a real full size car anymore, but I can get oversized CUVs, minivans, and half tons with beds I could land a plane on?

          • 0 avatar
            emeshuris

            Man, quit crying, you don’t like it? Don’t buy it.

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            I use my 8ft bed almost daily as do everybody I know that has a work truck. They may be useless in your area but I can assure you they are very much appreciated around here.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        There is an assumption that small doesn’t sell. Since there are no “small” trucks, there is no proof either way.

  • avatar
    celebrity208

    The following based on foggy memories of college courses and impatient google searching: Is the listed 3.5L the full displacement of the piston’s travel or only that part of the displament that occurs when the intake valve is closed? Mazda’s old miller cycle engines were listed with the smaller of the two displacement calcualtions but I don’t know what the convention is among Toyota and Ford for their Atkinson cycle engines.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      This is the 2GR-FSE, the same engine that’s in a variety of RWD Toyota products (all Lexus in the US). It’s just a variant of the older port-injected 2GR-FE. 3.5L is the full displacement.

      I wonder if they’ll be putting this one into the 4Runner as well, replacing the 4.0L 1GR-FE.

  • avatar
    carve

    I’m excited about the new engine. The Tacoma and 4runner are great vehicles, but fuel economy flat out sucks…F-150 like. Hopefully this’ll make a big difference. All engines aught to run on Atkinson-cycle under light load.

  • avatar
    sproc

    “All trims can be had in 4×2 and 4×4 configurations”

    Am I missing something? What’s the point of a 4×2 TRD Off-Road?

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “Prerunner” style that is popular in California. Think Baja 1000. Toyota’s been doing this for a while, locking rear diff on a extended cab 2wd truck with the higher 4×4 springs. You’d be surprised just how much a locking diff on a single powered axle can save your bacon. Id’ love to see someone make a FWD sedan with a front locking diff for emergency snowed in parking lot use.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @gtemnykh, yes please. A switch on the dash that only operates below a certain speed so you don’t destroy anything. In my teen years I spent many hours on two wheel drive lawn and garden tractors that had manual rear diff locks. You could certainly get out of some hairy situations with them, even with turf tires.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        This would be amazing. FWD cars with proper winter rubber do alright, but slogging through snow drifts at low speed just begs for both drive wheels putting power down. But as some B&B pointed out to me when I was car shopping, you want the diff open on the highway.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    It still looks mostly the same or something from about 12 years ago!

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Interior looks like the 4Runner — still the same cheap stuff, just with New and Blocky styling.

    The new V6 is the best news. That engine is a huge upgrade over the old 4.0. The boat anchor gas guzzler 2.7 stays, but at least there’s a good step-up option, and fuel economy with the V6 probably will be just as good as with the 2.7.

    I’d probably buy one if I were in the market for a midsize pickup because of the V6/manual combo. But the Colorado looks like the nicer truck overall.

    • 0 avatar
      jrmason

      If by nicer you mean the first to be in the scrap heap, I agree 100%.

      • 0 avatar
        salmon8ter

        100% agreed. Saw one in person and it’s worse than the pictures. Narrow and disproportionate. Long and bulky front overhang. Tires practically hits the fenders, no clearance or suspension travel.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        GM isn’t the maker that’s had chronic rust problems on pickup frames. Just sayin’.

        • 0 avatar
          jrmason

          Nope. They’ve been the maker of 4x4s that have junk front ends before 75k miles and body panels and an electrical system not far behind it.
          Even during the worst years of Toyota, you could pick up a classifieds and find a 250k+ mile truck within driving distance of you that was still in sound mechanical condition. By that time the S10 owners had long given up and sent em to the scrap yard. 1st gen Colorado’s arent much better.

          Toyota has long since fixed their frame and body issues so its an irrelevant point in today’s market.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            @jrmason – Stop drinking the Toyota cool-aid. I had a Toyota truck for 11 years 197K. Toyota trucks are hardly the bullet proof vehicles people like you make them out to be. They have their problems like any other truck. I refer to the 2004 GM 2500HD still parked in my driveway as my never say die GMC. I’d have never said that about the Toy, because that left me stranded on a few occasions. After 11 years w/GMC no comparison between what truck is holding up better and has run with less issues. Don’t get me wrong, the Toy was a good little truck and when I bought the best compact truck on the market period. If I had to do it over, I’d go the same route. Still, save me the fanboy BS that the Tacoma is something special & unique in the reliability department. It isn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            Got news for ya, one trucks track record doesn’t make or break a brand but tens of thousands do. Just because you had a truck break down over 11 years and 200k miles don’t mean squat. Maybe you don’t know how to service your vehicles for all I know, and to be honest I could care less. If you don’t like em, nobodys forcing you to buy one. One things for certain, if GM had the same success as Toyota they never would have discontinued their compact truck segment. They couldn’t compete with Toyota before and they’re not going to compete with them now.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            Your right a sample size of 1 does not a trend make. But I can tell the difference between something that failed because it was designed poorly and an outlier.

            For example. I knew after the 1st MN winter that the starter was woefully undersized and wimpy. Any wonder I replaced it before the truck was 10 years old. BTW, how do you maintenance a starter?

            I could go on for a quite awhile about all the poorly designed stuff on that Toyota I had fix or work on over the 11 years I owned it. Stuff I’ve never touched on my 2004 GMC. Because the GMC is built better.

            As a former Mfg. Engineer I’ll tell you something. Toyota’s strength has never been design or engineering. They got where they are today because they manufacture better than anyone else.

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    So…. Manual V6 Prerunner going to be an option or still just 4×4 only?

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    So where’s the 7 pin connecter on back next to the receiver hitch? That doesn’t come standard?

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      There’s something next to the license plate that could easily be a tow connector, or a place to *put* one.

      (Why would it be standard?

      Most light tow rigs use 4 pin still, as far as I know.

      The base F150 only has a 4 pin, after all, and it’s a full-size.)

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        If your gonna offer a factory receiver hitch it only makes sense to put a 7 pin connector next to it. Pointless IMO to have one and not the other. Electric brakes on trailers is hardly a rarity these days. That’s why most trucks currently come from the factory already wired for an electric brake controller. And with now you can even order/buy them with a factory controller.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          If you’re doing even half-serious towing, sure.

          But if you’re doing half-serious towing, you’re not buying a Tacoma, you’re buying a class 1 or larger truck.

          (I say this as someone with an F250, mind you, that has a 7 pin and factory brake controller, and occasionally tows a trailer with a brake controller.

          I agree completely that there’s a big market for trucks with a 7 pin and controller … I just think it’s a pretty significantly different market than the *Tacoma*.

          The 2015 Tacoma has a tow rating up to 3,500 pounds, just like any number of compact SUVs and even wagons.

          That’s not “serious towing”, and it’s not in the land of “really wanting a brake controller for reals”, nice as it is as gravy.)

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            That’s a 5K pound hitch and even the still compact Tacoma that was introduced in ’95 was rated to tow 5K. So I am sure you can option the this one to tow at least that. Most 4 place open snowmobile trailers have electric brakes on both axles. Surge brakes aren’t much on snowy/icy roads. Loaded your not looking at much more than 3K. Most pull behind campers 3K lbs or heavier are gonna have electric brakes. All things you should be able to tow behind this truck. There is definitely a need for a 7 pin connector on a truck this size.

  • avatar
    Speedygreg7

    Is that a standard Double DIN radio slot? Great! Maybe I can swap the Entune crap for a good old fashioned radio and CD player. Will I be able to get it with an actual keyed ignition too? That would be great.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I’m more excited about this truck than i was with the first release of pictures. I’m starting to like the looks. The interior is okay. Typical Toyota.
    Blowing donuts on a flat muddy field is funny.

    Is that a city dwellers idea of off-roading?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I think the new Tacoma will be a huge seller. Lots of Tacoma fans have been bemoaning Toyota for keeping the current model this long. I’m certain my #3 son will be the first in line to trade off his 2008 and get a 2016 4-door 4X4.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Looks a lot better than the Ford, but I’m unsure of both its exterior and interior sizes. It needs to be no larger than the old model outside, but needs more leg room for the driver inside.

  • avatar
    JayDub

    I’d hit that.

  • avatar
    redav

    I’m most interested in knowing if it changed dimensions. The previous Tacoma is about the absolute limit for length I could fit in my garage.

    I also want to know if it is available without the touch screen. Seriously, why do they insist on putting those things in trucks?

    • 0 avatar
      slance66

      I’m asking myself the same question. Looking at a 4Runner at 190 inches. A Colorado is around 210″. Wondering about this Tacoma, which is a definite upgrade. I’m also wondering when the 4Runner will get a more modern engine/tranny combo like this.

  • avatar
    Dan

    The biggest fly on the old Tacoma in my book was the uncomfortable seating position due to the high floorpan. From the interior shots that doesn’t seem to have changed much, if at all.

    Not enthusiastic whatsoever about the powertrain. I know Toyota has the CAFE gun to their head just like everyone else. But all of this newly complex and expensive and then they run Atkinson and chop 500cc off to knock response and driveability right back to, probably below, where they started? If CAFE gaming and another $2000 under the hood is a given then I’d prefer forced injection torque and a smooth 8 speed to go with it.

    This is likely a preview of the next 4Runner powertrain. I would have bought the current 4Runner if its powertrain had sucked less. Looking like I won’t buy the next 4Runner either.

    On the upside the interior looks pretty good for people whose legs fit in it, more attention to NVH is always good, they didn’t go full Zamboni on the front fascia, it still has big upright glass.

    And it doesn’t look manga catfish for a change.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    I liked the current Tacoma but this new one looks great but it reminds me a bit of the face of I he Subaru Outback, which isn’t bad at all. Sharp interior. Looking much better than the Chevy Colorado…

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