2016 Toyota Tacoma: Easy Loading
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on November 1, 2016
You buy a pickup to haul stuff. That's the idea, at least, unless you're hoping that Pickup Man is true. But I have to say that our 2016 Toyota Tacoma is especially handy for moving bulky and/or dirty items. Why? Because it's easy to load said items into the Tacoma's bed.
We measure test cars in various ways, and the results can be illuminating. With the tailgate lowered, the cargo load height for our 4WD Tacoma's short bed is 32.25 inches (from the ground to the bed floor). Most full-size 4WD trucks we've measured are in the 35-inch range. A 4WD Chevy Colorado checks in at 34.5 inches.
The Colorado's bed sides are taller by about 3 inches, too. If you're pulling gear out of the Tacoma's bed from the side of the truck, it's going to be a little easier to bend over and grab it.
You also get a bunch of features that Dan pointed out in his "Eight Great Bed Features" update. I particularly like the adjustable cargo tie-down cleats and the bed's composite construction. Our Tacoma's damped tailgate release is another nice touch.
We don't yet have numbers for the new Honda Ridgeline, unfortunately. It could very well win the battle of easy loading. And our Tacoma, being a short-bed variant, is relatively limited in how much stuff it'll hold. Still, most of the time I just need a truck for light-duty hauling, and the Tacoma works out great for that.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor