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Pickup Truck of the Year Walk-Around: 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD

Dec 7, 2015
Photographers: Truck Trend Editors
Redesigned from the ground up, the 2016 Toyota Tacoma enters our Pickup Truck of the Year fight with a few little tricks up its sleeve. Although it looks very similar to the outgoing Tacoma, it shares just a few bits of engineering with its predecessor. Its structure features lots more high-strength steel than before, and Toyota invested a significant amount of resources into crafting a nicer, quieter interior. All that adds up to a much nicer place to spend time on the highway, closing the gap between the old Tacoma and the very refined Colorado and Canyon pickups.
However, Toyota was able to preserve the Tacoma’s unique blend of off-road readiness and driving fun. The butt-on-the-floor seating position remains, as does the shallow dash and wide windows. As such, the Taco still feels very much like the useful, approachable pickup it’s always been.
Of course, we had a few complaints. No height adjustment in the driver seat meant our bums got tired after just a few minutes of highway driving. Additionally, the stability control interfered off-road far too much for our liking, especially since we’d switched them “off.” We hope Toyota will offer a full-off setting soon, at least for when the Taco’s innovative terrain management and crawl control systems are engaged.
Even so, we’re left with the same fun-to-drive Tacoma we’ve always liked, and its eager, playful nature and rugged styling had more than a few fans within our crew. It’s a great sophomore effort for Toyota’s midsize pickup.
2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road V-6 4x4

Engine: 3.5L/278hp/265-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve V-6
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Axle Ratio: 3.909:1
Curb weight: 4,501 lbs
Wheelbase: 127.4 in
Length x Width x Height: 212.3 x 75.2 x 70.6 in
GVWR: 5,600 lbs
Total Payload: 1,175 lbs
Tested Payload: 1,100 pounds
GCVWR: 11,360 pounds
Trailer Weight: 6,400 pounds
Tested Trailer Weight (75% Max Rating): 4,845 pounds
EPA City/Highway/Combined Fuel Economy: 18/23/20 mpg

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