2016 Toyota Tacoma: 8 Great Bed Features
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on April 25, 2016
The bed of a pickup truck is what makes a pickup truck a pickup truck. On that basis, the 2016 Toyota Tacoma is a pickup truck among pickup trucks, or words to that effect.
There's a lot to like back here, is what I'm saying, and much of it is standard. All of it comes gratis on all Tacomas except for one item that is exclusive to the TRD and above.
Let's take a brief tour of eight things that make a Tacoma's bed pretty great.
All Toyota Tacomas of any stripe get the following:
1) Composite bed — this has been a Tacoma feature for some time, and it works. There's no paint to rub off, no bedliner to buy, no protective textured coating to apply. The load face of the tailgate matches, too. We liked the Line-X spray-in bedliners we added to our Colorado, Ram 1500 and Ford F-150, but products like those still represent an extra expense that Tacoma buyers can avoid.
2) Protective fender and tailgate toppers — the upper edges of a bed are subject to all sorts of dings and dents during the course of loading and hauling, but the Tacoma literally has this covered. Not necessarily unique these days, but part of a complete package.
3) LED bed lighting — you can't see it here, but the center high-mount stop lamp (aka CHMSL or third brake light) at the top of the cab has LED lights built into the same housing. Open a door or flick on a switch in the cab and you've got light.
4) Squared-off fender wells — the fender tops are flat, and they line up with a molded ledge that goes all the way to the back. A pair of 2x6 notches are provided, and all of this makes it possible to fit a stable platform with room for sub-floor storage.
5) Fixed tie-down points — there are four of them, which is fairly standard. The stout front pair are ready to secure heavy items up against the cab while the rear pair are d-rings positioned low down where they're better able to secure the corners of a tarp.
6) Deck rails with four moveable cleats — these give you lots of options to tie down just about anything, anywhere. Use your imagination.
7) In-bed storage bins — these storage bins protrude into the hollow between bed and fender where they won't intrude into the cargo area. They're just about the right size for things like gloves, ratchet straps, bungee cords or some rope. They'll even hold the slide-out hitch ball that fits in your trailer hitch. You'll find one on each side of the bed. They don't lock, but in our experience they're not a likely theft target.
There is but one item that is not standard across the board. It comes standard on TRD and above, but is not available on the SR or SR5:
8) Power outlet — This 120-volt, 400-watt outlet has the capacity necessary to power cordless drill recharging equipment, work lights or a portable camping fridge. The passenger-side storage bin shrinks to make room, but it's a good trade.
Looking at the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, neither comes standard with #1, #4, #6, #7 or #8. An extra-cost accessory a tie-down system is available and GM offers an optional spray-in bedliner, but now we're talking real money. As for the rest, it's simply not there.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 6,389 miles