2016 Toyota Tacoma: Midsize Truck, Big City
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on August 17, 2016
Over the last few months with our long-term 2016 Toyota Tacoma, I've noticed quite a few reader comments about the price of this truck. In general, the comments have focused on the comparison between midsize trucks like the Tacoma and more capable full-size pickups.
The general sentiment seems to be that with a truck like the Tacoma, you're paying a very similar amount for a truck with less space, less hauling capability, similar fuel economy and a lower tow rating. And sure, in some cases this is true. Equipment levels aren't the same, but for the roughly $35k we spent on our Tacoma, you can get a Silverado, Ram 1500 or Ford F-150. Spend just a little bit more and you'll have a bigger, badder truck that's also nicely equipped. So why go with the midsize Taco?
Because this is a truck you can actually live with in the city.
Full-size trucks don't work well in parking garages, crowded mall parking lots or tight city streets with heavy traffic. In fact, I have to bust out my tape measure on any full-size test truck before I even think about bringing it home. My personal garage has a height restriction and so do most places around Los Angeles.
The parking garage pictured here has a height limit of 6'4". I can safely say that I use a parking garage with a roof this low at least once a week. Depending on wheel/tire size and suspension specs, some fullsize trucks simply won't fit. Trucks like our old long-term F-150 and Ram 1500 would make for a tight squeeze in there, scraping their antennas along the roof at the very least.
But get a Tacoma and you'll rarely come across that problem. Even with our TRD Off-Road Tacoma, things fit just fine. We're living with a truck that's much easier to maneuver, and one I've never worried about crashing into concrete roofs with.
Hey, if you've got the wide-open skies of Texas or the starry endless voids above you in Montana, go for a fullsize truck. But if you want a truck with reasonable capability that you can still live with in a crowded city, midsize is where it's at.
Travis Langness, Automotive Editor @ 12,050 miles