2016 Toyota Tacoma Still Has Rear Drum Brakes and Here's Why (Video)

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

That screeching noise you’re hearing around the 20-second mark in the video below? That’s the 2016 Toyota Tacoma’s front brakes screaming through sand as the Tacoma digs itself out of a self-inflicted pit using its clever crawl control.

We asked Tacoma Chief Engineer Mike Sweers last week why the new Tacoma didn’t have discs in the back (unlike the new Tundra) and he pointed specifically to that piercing wail — and that most owners don’t need them anyhow.

“Towing is No. 22 on the reasons why Tacoma buyers are looking for a new truck. Discs are great when it comes to ventilating heat from heavy towing, but we’re not hearing that need from Tacoma owners,” Sweers said.

Fair enough.

Sweers pointed further to heat retention, cost and that gawd-awful sound as reasons why engineers kept the drum brakes on the rear of the Tacoma.

We’ll have a full review of the Tacoma’s stopping power — and going power — next week.

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4 of 85 comments
  • Kosmo Kosmo on Aug 12, 2015

    Screw the rear brakes, TTAC's upcoming review of the Tacoma better include the V6/6MT or the Hypocrisy Police are coming!

  • Ryoku75 Ryoku75 on Aug 12, 2015

    Its amazing how far engines have evolved but yet carmakers are still using drum brakes. In 1966 you could buy up-market family sedans with discs all around, theres no reason why drums should still be a thing.

  • Fred Fred on Aug 12, 2015

    My 1999 Silverado had rear disc brakes. Twice the parking brake didn't release fully and wears out the rear brakes. What ticks me off about GM is that even tho 2000 they changed to drums they won't acknowledge the defect. So I don't use the parking brake if I don't have to. Curiously my 1965 Elan has a similar problem, but I only adjust them to work when I go for a safety inspection. My other 2 rear disc brake cars, SVO and Audi A3 didn't have any such problems. I should check up on the TSX before it's too late.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Aug 17, 2015

    FWIW I'm driving an SUV to destruction (carefully). The factory rear brake shoes lasted 215K miles. Am approaching 300K miles in about a year? There isn't alot going on back there to generate wear and heat. Drums work just fine for that application. Now if I was driving a rear engined vehicle where the brake bias was more 50/50 or if I was driving a track car - I'd worry about having discs in the back. Perhaps if I was driving a heavy duty pickup with a gooseneck trailer heavily loaded then I'd worry about rear discs. I like good brakes more than any other feature of a vehicle.