by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on December 29, 2016
There's nothing that compares to our 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road when it comes to price versus trail-busting performance. The TRD Pro should do as well or better, but it costs over $8,000 more than this truck. Chevy Colorado ZR2 pricing has not yet been announced, but it's likely to compete with the TRD Pro. And its wide-fendered, Raptor-esque bodywork might not be well-suited to the narrow trails that a TRD Off-Road can master.
But that test will have to wait. In this case, my wife and I simply hopped in the Tacoma for a weekend in Big Bear, a mountaintop resort town that sits just below 7,000 feet. Once we settled into our B&B, I persuaded her to join me in tackling Gold Hill Road, a Jeep trail that's fairly difficult and intended for modified Wranglers.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
With the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and the LA Auto Show happening around the same time, I spent two straight weeks in our long-term 2016 Toyota Tacoma. We're often limited to evaluating a vehicle on our comprehensive 120-mile test loop or driving it to and from the test track, so this was exceptional. I treated the Tacoma like I owned it.
Dan Edmunds also put in some seat time, taking the Tacoma up and over a mountain (more on that in an upcoming post), but I had the full spectrum of Tacoma experiences. I got stuck in gridlock traffic, roamed empty highways to see family and even got the chance to take it to my local off-road park. Here are the impressions from the entire month.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing
Where Did We Drive It?
Ever been to Joshua Tree National Park? Travis Langness drove our 2016 Toyota Tacoma there this month. It's a relatively short freeway drive with the crowded bustle of the L.A. basin on one end and desert camping and rock climbing on the other. You can get there and back on one tank of gas. The Tacoma works well for this sort of duty, with plenty of bed space for dusty gear and enough underbody clearance to get you most anywhere on the desert's network of washboard roads.
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.
by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor on August 17, 2016
Over the last few months with our long-term 2016 Toyota Tacoma, I've noticed quite a few reader comments about the price of this truck. In general, the comments have focused on the comparison between midsize trucks like the Tacoma and more capable full-size pickups.
The general sentiment seems to be that with a truck like the Tacoma, you're paying a very similar amount for a truck with less space, less hauling capability, similar fuel economy and a lower tow rating. And sure, in some cases this is true. Equipment levels aren't the same, but for the roughly $35k we spent on our Tacoma, you can get a Silverado, Ram 1500 or Ford F-150. Spend just a little bit more and you'll have a bigger, badder truck that's also nicely equipped. So why go with the midsize Taco?
Because this is a truck you can actually live with in the city.
by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor on July 21, 2016
When work dictated that I bring our 2016 Toyota Tacoma to the High Desert, north of Mojave, I did not argue. I'd been wanting to sample our Tacoma in a more appropriate environment ever since it showed up in our garage. And because I could, I strapped my 1976 Yamaha DT400 into the bed and took it along for the ride.
By the end of the day, I'd learned that one of these things has good low-end grunt and is light on its feet but generally awful, while the other is a little high-strung and unsurprisingly capable but has terrible brakes.
Place your bets.
by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on June 6, 2016
Despite a decade in the biz, I haven't exactly spent a lot of it off road. Perhaps it's because I don't like driving slowly, perhaps it's because I don't like getting dirty. Either way, getting a chance to take a 2016 Toyota Tacoma off road is a worthwhile experience, as unlike other trucks, its modus operandi seems to be venturing beyond where the pavement runs out. This is especially true of our TRD Off-Road trim level (shared with the test truck I also drove above) that benefits from a variety of features supposedly designed to help out experts and novices alike.
by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on May 16, 2016
Here it is fast and hard. I loved our long-term Chevy Colorado and up to this point I've hated our long-term 2016 Toyota Tacoma. I've hated the Taco's weird arms-out seating position, its touchy brakes and its lazy throttle response.
But here's the thing, I was wrong.
Not about the Colorado, great truck. I was wrong about the Tacoma. Like me, it's an acquired taste.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on April 4, 2016
Sedona, as you are likely aware, is more than just a current member of the Edmunds long-term fleet. It's also a town in Arizona, one that incidentally was named after the wife of its first postmaster, a man called Theodore Carlton Schnebly. My wife and I went there for vacation last week, accompanied by the long-term 2016 Toyota Tacoma. We left town as auspiciously as possible, taking rock-strewn Schnebly Hill Road (pictured above) to Interstate 17, and found ourselves bursting with impressions when all was said and done.
Here are three that stood out (plus bonus off-road video action!).
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on March 15, 2016
If you're buying a 2016 Toyota Tacoma you can choose either a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine or a new 3.5-liter V6, which replaces the Tacoma's previous 4.0-liter V6. The V6 is the obvious choice, mostly because if you're going to tow or haul, you'll want the extra grunt.
Having 278 horsepower is nice and all, but so far our Tacoma's V6 hasn't inspired me to do any Toyota "Oh What A Feelin'" leaps.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on March 4, 2016
Our long-term 2016 Toyota Tacoma is a midsize truck with serious off-road capability, and I like that. It seems to compromise some city-driving refinement though, and that I cannot abide. Don't get me wrong, the ride quality is okay for daily driving, but there's a big issue when it comes to the brakes.
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.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on February 4, 2016
The thing about off-road potential is that you can often simply look at a vehicle, or study certain fundamental specifications, and size it up pretty accurately. Ground clearance is a good one, along with the clearance angle triplets: Approach, departure and breakover. Tire size and the general knobbiness of the tread pattern are plain to see, of course. Gearing is invisible to the casual observer, but you can readily look it up.
One of the things you cannot see or easily look up is Ramp Travel Index, a measure of the maximum articulation of a given suspension. We had the same problem, so we built a 20-degree test ramp of our own. It was only a matter of time before we pointed our 2016 Toyota Tacoma up the ramp.
We did the same with our 2015 Chevrolet Colorado soon after we bought it last year - or tried to. But the Colorado scored a zero because its comically low and unexpectedly rigid chin spoiler frustrated our attempts to even drive up the 20-degree RTI ramp in the first place.
The story is quite different when it comes to the new Tacoma.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on February 1, 2016
Although there have been various versions of the 2016 Toyota Tacoma in the office over the last few months, I never managed to get behind the wheel. This weekend, I got my first chance to get acquainted with our new long-term Tacoma. Here's what I found:
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 Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on January 22, 2016
That didn't take long. I headed for the local mountains the very first weekend I got my mitts on the keys to our brand new 2016 Toyota Tacoma. And it was good.
No, it was excellent.
I'm talking about the TRD Off-Road suspension, which impressed me more than it had during my drive at last summer's launch event near Seattle. Here on my rougher local terrain, it was even better than expected at smoothing out awkward bumps and the sort of rough cross-grain erosion grooves you get on forest service fire roads that haven't seen a grader for a few seasons.
by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on January 21, 2016
I've seen the ECT Power switch in Toyota trucks since I was in junior high. I've driven plenty of trucks with the switch. And before this Tacoma, that switch has never made any discernable difference. Now that's changed.
The switch resides on the center stack of our 2016 Toyota Tacoma. I had driven the truck for a day or so before I even noticed it. Then I drove up the longest hill in my neighborhood. We live in the foothills of Orange County's Santa Ana mountains and the houses are built into some real inclines. The one in question rises 450 vertical feet in just over a mile.
Just enough, it turns out, to throw the Tacoma into shift-fits. Be careful how you say that.
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.