2016 Toyota Tacoma: Monthly Update for March
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Edmunds normally tests a long-term vehicle for 12 months before either selling it or returning it to its automaker (depending on how we obtained it). Our 2016 Toyota Tacoma debuted back in January 2016. So one might wonder: Why is it still here?
Well, we did buy our Tacoma, and it's not unheard of for Edmunds-owned long-termers to stay longer than 12 months. We've also got a story idea kicking around that requires our Tacoma to linger longer. Like a veteran bullpen relief pitcher, it's still hanging around and contributing in limited fashion. Based on the comments this month, though, I don't think many of my co-workers will be heartbroken when we finally do sell it.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
There's not much to report unless you consider a new all-time mpg low (14.3 mpg) to be newsworthy. Don't buy a Tacoma TRD Off-Road V6 if good fuel economy is a priority, that's for sure. We added about 1,000 miles in March, bringing us close to 24,000 miles on the odometer.
Average lifetime mpg: 18.3
EPA mpg rating: 20 combined (18 city/23 highway)
Best fill mpg: 21.3
Best range: 369 miles
Current odometer: 23,920 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"Driving this thing makes me miserable. The grabby brakes make me feel like a novice driver, the transmission gearing isn't even remotely matched with the engine's power delivery, and the whole thing sounds nasally, with the exhaust noise replicating what you get from a cheap aftermarket muffler. And to top it off, the audio-nav interface looks outdated and isn't terribly intuitive — it's also the only head unit option on all trim levels! Amazing to think that I was considering buying a new Tacoma before we got our long-termer. I can't even live with it for a weekend." — Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor
"Though it pains me to concede Mike Magrath is right about something — anything — I'm remembering his assessment from long ago, comparing our former long-term Chevy Colorado to our then-upcoming long-term Tacoma. Mike touched on one area of the Tacoma that can't be discounted, at least when judged against the Colorado/Canyon twins: playfulness.
"We know the Taco is fun in the dirt. That's just an immutable law. But it's even fun on a particularly jaunty freeway section I drive regularly. It's this sort of long, sweeping, off-camber uphill left-hander that banks into a downhill section, with an expansion seam near the top that briefly unsettles a car and can give you a sense of the rear suspension you're working with.
"The Taco with an unweighted bed is especially fun on this section, as the rear kicks up a bit while the front end digs in, drags the rest of the truck with it, and the shock wobbles dissipate as you continue down to a flatter pitch. The Tacoma's got a little rodeo in it, which I can't say I remember about the Colorado. Different truck, different tool." — Dan Frio, Automotive Editor
"Our Tacoma, depending on angle and oncoming wind speed, develops wind whistle from the side windows at highway speeds. Other drivers have noticed this before, and it's happened on my drives a half-dozen times or more. It's consistent. It's a quick hum, as if a tie-down strap overhead were just a little loose. It doesn't linger, but it's annoying. You expect modern cars, even trucks, to be immune to this sort of disturbance." — Dan Frio