2016 Toyota Tacoma: Monthly Update for July 2017
by Jason Kavanagh, Senior Road Test Engineer
Where Did We Drive It?
Our long-term 2016 Toyota Tacoma's voyage in Death Valley and subsequent suspension issues happened several weeks ago. But due to the lead time of video production, you're only hearing about them now. In the meantime we had to keep a lid on the trek, so as not to spoil the surprise. So while the Death Valley trip is technically old news, we're going to make it official in this month's update.
For more insights into why the Tacoma's shocks went limp so readily, our own Dan Edmunds shared his thoughts here. Suffice it to say that you will probably learn something you didn't already know.
That's not all. Our Tacoma spent a portion of July with an editor who lives in a faraway land called Fresno, otherwise known as the farming capital of Central California. It also went for a hike in some local mountains, where it once again was subjected to the rigors of off-road use. Nothing as severe as Death Valley, but what is?
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
The Tacoma has been delivering real-world fuel economy that's barely above its city rating, and July's 19.2 mpg result after 1,740 miles didn't change anything. In fact, with as many miles as the truck has now, the chances that its lifetime fuel economy will budge significantly are minuscule.
Average lifetime mpg: 18.6
EPA mpg rating: 20 combined (18 city/23 highway)
Best fill mpg: 25
Best range: 455.7 miles
Current odometer: 31,865 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"My favorite hike can be found at the end of a 2-mile unimproved dirt road that winds up on one of San Fernando Valley's tallest mountains. Over the past 10 years, I've made the trip countless times and in a slew of different vehicles, including my own lifted 4WD Tahoe. Never have I driven anything that seemed as eager to get dirty as our Tacoma. The truck enjoyed every rut and patch of scree. Crazy as it sounds, driving this thing in the dirt was actually more enjoyable than on Interstate 405, and for the first time, I can say I understand why people treat the Tacoma so reverently. Get this thing off the pavement and it becomes way more fun." — Matt Jones, senior consumer advice editor
"It's an usual experience driving our Tacoma on a long highway drive. The issues you might expect for a pickup, such as a choppy ride or uncomfortable seating, don't really manifest as problems. Our Tacoma is pretty smooth, and I've found seat comfort to be good enough. Instead, the Tacoma's V6 is the problem. Its relative lack of low-end power, exacerbated by the transmission's need to downshift for even slight rises in the roadway, gets truly annoying." — Brent Romans, senior editor
"I was in Hawaii for vacation this month. One thing that stood out to me from a car-watching standpoint was all the number of new-generation Tacomas on the road. There are a lot of them. In comparison, I saw just a couple new-gen Chevrolet Colorados and not one new Honda Ridgeline. While I know our staff prefers driving our long-term Ridgeline, it would seem Hawaiians like the Tacoma. Interestingly, the Tacoma is also outselling the Ridgeline almost 2-to-1 nationally through the first half of 2017."— Brent Romans
"Our Tacoma's sound system has respectable sound quality for a base six-speaker setup. In particular, I'm impressed with the system's bass output. It's nice to have if you're cranking up the volume for hard rock music. Toyota offers a premium JBL system on the Tacoma, but you could very well be satisfied with just the base system." — Brent Romans