2016 Toyota Tacoma: Monthly Update for November 2017
by Rex Tokeshi-Torres, Vehicle Testing Technician
Where Did We Drive It?
Our long-term 2016 Toyota Tacoma was rejuvenated after we installed new Bilstein shocks. We should have done it a few months ago because the new shocks seem to have resolved a couple of our nagging issues with the Tacoma, including the extreme nosedive under braking. The Bilsteins have also improved the truck's ride quality.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
We did some off-roading with the Tacoma this month, so fuel range and fuel economy did not fair so well. In fact, there were a couple of occasions when we had to fill the tank after going less than 200 miles, with one of those fill-ups indicating a 13.1 mpg average. That mark took its place as our lowest mpg per fill-up to date.
Average lifetime mpg: 18.6
EPA mpg rating: 20 combined (18 city/23 highway)
Best-fill mpg: 25.0
Best range: 455.7 miles
Current odometer: 40,155 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"After doing a fair bit of off-roading in our Taco and getting a chance to sample its near miraculous crawl control, I have come away with a new level of hatred for this engine-transmission combination ... on road. If the Taco had the 3.8-liter V6 and eight-speed combination out of the Colorado, or even the powertrain of the Camry, the Toyota would completely dominate this class. Instead, it uses its own boat anchor of a combination and feels like it's fighting with one arm tied behind its back." — Kurt Niebuhr, photo editor
"It will come as no surprise when I say that my road bike fit in the bed of our Tacoma. But I can at least comment on how easy it was to get the bike in and out of the truck. I was able to load it in the bed by lifting it onto the tailgate, then guiding it in from the side of the truck. With the bike lying on its side, you have to tilt the front wheel so that it faces up. This way the tailgate can close. When it was time to remove the bike, I found it easier to stand in the bed then set the bike on the ground as I hopped off. Overall, it was a painless way to get my bike from one place to the other." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"Our Tacoma came standard with a smart key system for keyless entry and start. Put your finger on the small ridges near the door handle, and the vehicle unlocks. Problem is, it's only there for the driver. If you want to open the door for a passenger, you'll have to pull out the key and unlock the truck with the remote. I'm not expecting the unlock ridges to be on all doors, but having it on the front two would be a nice." — Ron Montoya
"Another Android update, another issue with the audio system. It seems to be my life story when it comes to Toyota's infotainment system. I will say that it's infuriating when you can't use the steering wheel or the radio controls to skip forward to the next track. If this was my truck, I would have upgraded to an aftermarket radio a long time ago." — Rex Tokeshi-Torres, vehicle testing technician