2016 Toyota Tacoma: First Impressions — Better Ride, Touchy Brakes
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on February 1, 2016
Although there have been various versions of the 2016 Toyota Tacoma in the office over the last few months, I never managed to get behind the wheel. This weekend, I got my first chance to get acquainted with our new long-term Tacoma. Here's what I found:
The biggest takeaway from my commute home and various weekend errands? This Tacoma rides significantly better than before. I'm not convinced it's necessarily better than our Chevy Colorado, but this Tacoma is noticeably less jittery over freeway expansion joints compared to the previous model. It feels closer to a full-size truck in this regard, which is no small feat.
As much as I like the ride quality, I'm less impressed by the brakes. They stop well and all, but the pedal is too touchy for my tastes. They make it hard to stop smoothly in stop-and-go traffic. Hopefully this fades a bit as they break in.
At this early juncture, I'm on the fence about the engine and transmission. Although there's plenty of power once the engine is spinning, I wouldn't mind having a little more meat on the low end. I didn't have a chance to play with the transmission much so I'll reserve judgement for now. At this point it feels much like the Toyota automatics on prior Tacomas.
Overall, I like the refinements made to this truck. I found the previous model more agreeable than most, so I wasn't surprised with the mild redesign. We'll see how long that sentiment lasts.
Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor @ 1,402 miles