2016 Toyota Tacoma: Performance Tested
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on February 8, 2016
Like many trucks, our long-term 2016 Toyota Tacoma shouldn't be judged by its on-road performance alone. The Kevlar-sidewall tires, skid plates and beefed-up suspension are no help here, but there is a reason we chose the TRD Off Road over the TRD Sport.
While we've briefly tested the Taco's off-road capabilities, it's time to see how it performs at the track.
Vehicle: 2016 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab TRD Off Road
Driver: Carlos Lago
Drive Type: Four-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed automatic
Engine Type: Naturally-aspirated V6
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 3,456/211
Redline (rpm): 6,100
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 278@ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 265 @ 4,600
Brake Type (front): One-piece discs with two piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): Drum
Suspension Type (front): Coil spring double wishbone with stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Leaf springs with staggered outboard-mounted gas shocks
Tire Size (front): 265/70R16 112T
Tire Size (rear): 265/70R16 112T
Tire Brand: Goodyear
Tire Model: Wrangler A/T Adventure
Tire Type: Standard All Season with Kevlar sidewall
0-30 (sec): 3.3 (w/ TC on 3.5)
0-45 (sec): 5.6 (w/ TC on 5.8)
0-60 (sec): 8.1 (w/TC on 8.4)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 7.8 (w/TC on 8.0)
0-75 (sec): 11.7 (w/TC on 12.1)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 16.03 @ 89.78 (w/TC on 16.23 @ 88.99)
30-0 (ft): 31
60-0 (ft): 124
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.66 (0.67 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 1,900
Acceleration: This V6 is strong through the powerband, but the performance feels great from 4,500-6,000 rpm. The transmission is happy to keep engine parked right in that sweet spot during acceleration runs. The engine is loud, which is acceptable for a truck, but at these speeds the sound has more of a whiney, metallic quality that isn't too appealing.
Best acceleration achieved by hitting the ESC button and holding the brake while applying full throttle. The engine speed won't go above 2,000 rpm doing this, but it's enough to cut 0.2-second off 0-60 mph acceleration. Releasing the brake at this speed causes the tires to bark, but that's all the drama this truck makes on acceleration runs. The transmission has a manual mode, but it didn?t help during acceleration runs. It's slow to react to shift requests and the Tacoma cuts engine power if the engine grazes its 6,000 rpm redline. The transmission does not auto-upshift in manual mode.
Braking comments: You have to expect a certain level of dive/pitch when it comes to a panic stop in a truck and the Tacoma is no exception. The first stop took 123 feet and extended to 132 feet after five back-to-back stops. The ABS is quiet but you notice some shuddering. Stops still feel stable and require no steering corrections. The Tacoma didn't generate odor or fade, though the pedal did get firm. I did notice some brake odor during the following acceleration runs, but no major degradation of braking performance.
Skidpad: The stability control intervenes continually around the skidpad. You can hear and feel the front brakes cycling and grabbing to keep the Tacoma on its path. Pressing the ESC button illuminates the tell-tale "ESC off" light in the dash, but the system continues to intervene regardless, evident by negligible 0.01-average g difference between ESC on and off runs. While the ESC prevails, it isn't harsh or penalizing. It keeps the truck on its intended path with confidence and makes it easy to direct and steer. You're still facing constant push, but that's expected of a truck ? Carlos Lago
Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant