by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Our long-term 2016 Toyota Tacoma has been in our fleet for some time now, but we're still finding it pretty useful and, therefore, using it a lot. This month, we added well over 3,000 miles to the odometer, most of which were acquired during a trip to Portland, Oregon, to pick up a motorcycle and a shorter, unladen road trip to and from San Diego.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing
Where Did We Drive It?
April was another busy month for our 2016 Toyota Tacoma, with nearly 2,300 miles added to our double-cab TRD Off-Road 4x4 at the hands of at least four editors. Beyond our typical baseline level of commuting, the miles came from two road trips: a 1,100-mile midweek run to Yosemite and the central California coast and a 400-mile overnight trip to Borrego Springs that included some off-road exploring in the Anza-Borrego Desert state park and the Ocotillo Wells off-road recreation area.
by Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing
Where Did We Drive It?
Just over one year has passed since we added our 2016 Toyota Tacoma to the long-term test fleet. We know it pretty well by now and it has some quirks, but it stays active nonetheless. The truck spent a portion of this month as a city dweller before breaking free on a road trip to the snow.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Our one-year test of our 2016 Toyota Tacoma is nearing its end. Yet December was one of our truck's busiest months thanks to a few road trips. Editor Cameron Rogers drove from Southern California to Las Vegas and back, and I loaded up the Tacoma for 1,000 miles' worth of holiday-related driving. Want to know what happens when you put a family of five in a Tacoma, pack the bed full of presents and luggage, and then drive hundreds of miles ... in the rain? Fun times, let me tell you. We also posted Dan Edmunds' full report on using the Tacoma to its fullest off-roading potential this month.
Specific highlights and commentary from the 2,500 miles we put on our Tacoma this month follow.
by Alistair Weaver, European Correspondent on August 31, 2016
For most Europeans, the idea of travelling over a thousand miles in ten days in a pickup truck would sound like a punishment. Put simply, we just don't get why anyone would want to chug around in a utilitarian tool with leaf springs and an open bed. American culture might have convinced us to spend five dollars on frothy coffee (thanks Starbucks), but we don't do truckin'.
Maybe that's why the Edmunds editors threw me the keys to the 2016 Toyota Tacoma for a sojourn from L.A. to San Francisco and back, via Yosemite National Park. I've been Edmunds' European Correspondent for more than a decade and it was time for a fresh injection of Americana, with a Japanese twist.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on August 25, 2016
I know it's there, but I keep forgetting about it. Our 2016 Toyota Tacoma pickup has a factory-installed Go-Pro mount bonded to the top edge of the windshield. It's easy to overlook because this unobtrusive bit of plastic is positioned high up on the glass where it's out of sight, out of mind.
It's just a clip, the receptacle half of a standard Go-Pro mount, the part you would stick to your motorcycle or bicycle helmet. The camera and the mating half of the buckle-style snap are not included, of course, but anyone who owns a Go-Pro has those.
Count me in that group.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on August 19, 2016
There are plenty of little things I like about our 2016 Toyota Tacoma. Most of them have to do with its simplicity. You get a lot of that in a truck.
One thing I always appreciate is a well laid out climate control system. As you can see, the setup in the Tacoma is dead simple. Perfect for a truck, and perfect for most situations.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on June 21, 2016
It isn't large (OK, it's large compared to a Fiat 500 or a first-gen Taco truck, but it's not as big as a Tundra) but our long-term 2016 Toyota Tacoma has a few storage tricks up its sleeve. Specifically, the rear seats have these useful little cubbies behind each seat. Just pull the strap on the seat, the seat leans forward and there are hard, plastic storage areas.
by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor on May 30, 2016
When an editor begins rating cars for Edmunds.com, we are trained to take note of the smallest shortcomings, whether that be an errant noise in the cabin, an unsightly panel gap or poorly engineered cup holder. We do this not to be annoying nitpickers, but rather to identify things that could possibly be irritants or cause issues for a long-term car owner down the road.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on May 26, 2016
A couple of the new trees in my front yard are growing quickly, and I needed to re-stake them. So I pointed our 2016 Toyota Tacoma pickup toward the nearest Home Depot for a pair of tree stakes.
The rack they were stacked on said they were 8 feet long, which I should have expected, but didn't. Our crew cab Tacoma rides on the standard wheelbase, which means it has a 5-foot bed — 60.5 inches, if you want to split hairs. My new stakes were destined to hang out more than 2 feet.
I first loaded them in straight. It could have worked, but I wasn't a fan. Then I put them in diagonally, which was better from a hanging-out-the-back standpoint but introduced a side overhang that had the potential to snag a lane-splitting motorcyclist.
Then I had a third idea, but it wasn't perfect, either. I went with it anyway.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on May 24, 2016
It isn't perfect, but I generally like the EnTune touchscreen audio system in our 2016 Toyota Tacoma pickup. It's clearly better than the touchscreen systems that the Honda Pilot and Civic use, and one of the main reasons boils down to a feature that the Honda systems lack: physical volume and tune knobs.
But Toyota's knobs are smallish, a bit slippery and — worst of all — they don't project far enough away from the touch-sensitive radio faceplate. In the course of using them your fingers skim the surface of the radio, which often leads to false contact with nearby touch-sensitive areas — especially when a moving car is jostling around. On the volume side, you might accidentally trip the number-six preset. On the tuning side, you'll trigger the fader and balance sub-menu.
This weekend I had an idea that's more of a proof-of-concept design change proposal than a permanent solution. It's a suggestion I'd give to the Toyota radio design team if I ever got five minutes of their time. And there's much to be gained because this is not just a Tacoma issue. Our Prius and Mirai have the same knobs, along with every single current Toyota that's fitted with the EnTune touchscreen audio system.
by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor on May 19, 2015
Whether you're out kicking up sand in the desert, climbing up mountain trails, or swimming through a sea of shopping mall traffic, it's important to be well-hydrated while driving your 2016 Toyota Tacoma. Or at least that's the subliminal message I received poking around the cabin the other day.
Pop quiz: Can you correctly guess the total number of cup holders in the Tacoma's cabin?
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on May 13, 2015
When my daughter slid into the back seat of the 2016 Toyota Tacoma the first thing she did is request a Bluetooth connection. Once that was established, she proceeded to complain about the lack of legroom. Is it really that tight in back of the Tacoma?
by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on May 6, 2016
I hate to stop for gas. Hate it. Takes time. Costs money. Yada yada. So I avoid it. Wait til the last minute. Or mile. Drives my wife crazy. My kids too.
And that's why I like cars and trucks that don't just suggest you go for some go-go juice but get aggressive about it. I like cars with bongs and beeps. Cars with bright lights and big messages. I like cars that grab me by the throat and scream STOP FOR GAS STUPID!
I like our long-term 2016 Toyota Tacoma.
by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on March 17, 2016
Toyota is the last major automaker with no announced plans to support Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. With this in mind, I was curious to see how the infotainment system in our long-term 2016 Toyota Tacoma handled voice commands.
What happens when you press the button? The first thing I saw on the screen was an option to train the system to recognize my voice. Of course I pressed it.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on February 10, 2016
One of the things that irked me about our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado was the simplistic way its 60/40 rear seat folded. The seatback simply folded down on top of the seat bottom, leaving a slanting surface that was a fair ways up from the ground. The seat bottoms flipped up to reveal a hidden bin, but the available space was laughably small.
I had forgotten most of this until I drove our 2016 Toyota Tacoma to a local store to pick up a few groceries. The Tacoma's rear seat folding strategy differs from that of the Colorado, and it's a difference that makes a difference.
by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on January 28, 2016
I got my first taste of our long-term 2016 Toyota Tacoma, so I set up my iPhone holder and pressed record. Vlog time!
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on January 26, 2016
My head moved as if on a swivel as I wheeled our 2016 Toyota Tacoma into the parking lot of my local Costco and scanned for the nearest open spot. As luck would have it, the first and best one I saw was alongside my truck's doppelganger.
Crew cab? Check. Magnetic Gray Metallic paint? Uh-huh. 3.5-liter V6? Present. Optional 2-inch receiver hitch? Ditto. Brand-spanking new with temporary tags and no license plate? Yes, even that, too.
TRD Off-Road? Hang on a second. That one's a TRD Sport.
Together they represent at least 40 percent of Tacoma sales. The two are identically-equipped as far as interior trimmings go. And they cost exactly the same when the cab, engine, transmission and drive-type selections match. The differences boil down to things we can see here in the parking lot — mostly.
The rear bumper end caps jump out immediately. They're chrome on our TRD Off-Road and painted body-color on the Sport. The fender flare difference is subtle, owing to the particular color of these trucks. They again match the body color on the Sport, but a TRD Off-Road wears textured and unpainted black ones that are more resistant to stone chips and better at concealing the "desert stripe" you get from driving on narrow brush-covered trails.
by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on January 14, 2016
The Toyota Tacoma has history. It's a workhorse with a reputation for reliability and durability that's known the world over. And it earned that reputation with the easygoing nature offered only in a smaller pickup. As midsize trucks go, it is the standard-bearer.
That reputation is one reason why the redesigned 2016 Toyota Tacoma isn't drastically different from the previous model. There's a new V6 and an improved six-speed automatic. The interior is updated to modern standards that were desperately lacking in the 11-year-old outgoing version. Dimensionally, however, the new truck is almost identical to the one it replaces. Its track width, wheelbase and suspension remain the same as before. It's still very much the same midsize truck it's always been.
That's a good thing in many ways, as we have always liked the Tacoma's rugged nature and considerable capabilities. Our initial drive of the redesigned model suggested that it was a slightly more high-tech version of the truck we already knew. We decided to find out if that was enough of a leap to keep it at the head of the class, so we bought a crew cab V6 of our own.