Sneak Peek! 2016 Toyota Tacoma Breaks Cover!
Newest Midsize Pickup Brings Fight to GM’s Doorstep
Thanks to some excellent photography from our sister magazine Automobile, we were able to get a firsthand peek at the all-new 2016 Toyota Tacoma in advance of its official debut next week in Detroit. While the new Tacoma is an evolutionary redesign of the old one, we like what we see.
Up front, truck fans are no doubt relieved to see that early spy shots depicting a Highlander-esque front end have not translated into the production model. Instead, the Tacoma gets a large hexagonal front grille, somewhat similar to the one on the current Tundra pickup. The overall front-end graphic is similar to that of the outgoing Tacoma, but narrower headlights and some additional sculpting make the look fresh and familiar, and it’s undeniably a Toyota Pickup.
The Double Cab Limited model you see on these pages is in no way lacking for chrome trim. The shiny stuff accents the grille, fog light surrounds, mirror caps, and door handles, while the grey six-spoke wheels with polished pockets add some brightwork to the truck’s lower half. We wish the rounded-T logo wasn’t so prominent on the front grille, however.
The side of the truck benefits from some additional sculpting along the rocker panels, while aggressive wheel arches and fender flares add some visual interest. The greenhouse and roof look almost exactly the same as the old truck’s, but that’s no bad thing. The large windows and narrow pillars will be good for outward visibility.
If there’s one angle that looks like a distinct step backwards (at least on our Limited photo truck), it’s the rear view. The taillights look like the units on the current Nissan Titan, which wouldn’t be a bad thing, except they’re accented with chrome and a clear lens. These “Altezza”-style taillights were outdated when they were used on the 2005 Mitsubishi Raider pickup; they have no place in a modern piece like the Tacoma.
However, all is not lost in the rear, as the new Tacoma has a sculpted tailgate that looks tough and appropriately trucklike. The stamped “TACOMA” script looks nice as well, taking a page from the modern Tundra’s tailgate.
While we still don’t know much about what powertrains and suspension bits underpin the new Tacoma (nor have we seen anything but exterior shots), we’re confident that Toyota will improve on the formula it perfected in the first decade of the 2000s. While the outgoing Tacoma is outclassed by its new GM rivals, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, it arguably defined the midsize pickup segment when it appeared in 2005. Its combination of decent fuel economy for the time, a low price of entry, and Baja 1000-tested Toyota DNA have made it one of the most popular small pickups of all time, so consider us excited for the new one.
We’ll bring you more details as they come, but in the meantime, peruse our gallery of images here and let us know what you think of the new Taco.