2016 Toyota Tacoma Review
2016 Toyota Tacoma Review
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Toyota Tacoma model years
Toyota Tacoma types
- Double Cab
- Access Cab
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Efficient V6 engine can tow up to 6,800 pounds
- more off-road-capable than any other compact pickup
- attractive interior has easily understood controls
- truck bed packed with useful cargo management features
- top-level engine can be paired with a manual transmission
- resale value second to none.
- Unconventional legs-out driving posture
- telescoping steering wheel may not pull back far enough for some
- cab stands higher than rivals
- fuel economy optimized shifts of automatic transmission make the V6 feel sluggish at times.
The 2016 Toyota Tacoma has been completely redesigned.
Looking for a midsize pickup that can do it all? You should definitely check out the 2016 Toyota Tacoma, a go-anywhere truck that combines an efficient V6 engine with a truck bed loaded with clever cargo-management features. We're especially partial to the TRD off-road version and its unrivaled off-highway capability. Let's see which one is right for you.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2016 Toyota Tacoma SR 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.12 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$188/mo for Tacoma SR
Avg. Compact Truck
For more than 20 years now, the Toyota Tacoma has been a very popular alternative for shoppers who feel regular full-size trucks are just too big or too expensive. It's no surprise, then, that the redesigned 2016 Toyota Tacoma hasn't drifted far from the proven formula. If you liked the long-running previous-generation Tacoma, you're going to like this one, too. But Toyota has also made some notable improvements that burnish the latest version's appeal.
The new 2016 Toyota Tacoma bears a clear family resemblance to the larger Tundra, although its dimensions are largely unchanged from the outgoing model.
One thing you won't find in the 2016 Tacoma lineup is the venerable handyman special, a.k.a. the regular-cab 4x2 stripper with dinky steel wheels. Regular cabs were ousted last year, leaving only the extended cab and crew cab body styles on the roster, and for 2016, all rear-drive Tacomas share the raised suspension and ground clearance with their 4x4 brethren. Capable off-road performance is still part of the 4x4 Tacoma's repertoire, though, as the TRD Off-Road model (with the automatic transmission) inherits the Crawl Control system from the 4Runner and Land Cruiser. All Tacomas even get an integrated GoPro mount so owners can record their adventures (and misadventures). Other additions for 2016 include a revamped interior design with Toyota's latest touchscreen interfaces, a standard lockable damped tailgate and an available tri-fold hard tonneau cover.
Under the hood, the outgoing Tacoma's base 2.7 liter four-cylinder engine carries over unchanged, but the noisy and somewhat coarse 4.0-liter V6 has been replaced by a smoother and more fuel-efficient V6. Derived from the 3.5-liter V6 found in many Toyota products, the Tacoma's version boasts 42 more horsepower than last year's V6. Both engines are offered with a new six-speed automatic transmission, and 4x4s are available with a manual gearbox as well. Tacoma 4x4s also get a redesigned transfer case and a beefier rear axle.
Put it all together and you're looking at a pretty desirable choice for a midsize pickup. That said, you should still take a look at the vastly improved General Motors twins, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. For taller drivers, they're likely more comfortable to drive, and V6 performance is stronger, though the Colorado and Canyon aren't as capable off-road as the Tacoma. The General will also be adding a diesel option to both trucks for 2016, which should give them a huge advantage in fuel economy. There's also the Nissan Frontier to consider, but it's overdue for a redesign and brings up the rear in terms of refinement. Overall, we'd say the redesigned 2016 Toyota Tacoma is well-positioned to retain its throne.
Performance & mpg
The 2016 Toyota Tacoma comes with either a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine (SR and SR5 only) or a 3.5 liter V6. Both rear-wheel-drive (4x2) and four-wheel-drive (4x4) configurations are available. All 4x2 Tacomas get a six-speed automatic transmission, while 4x4s can be had with the automatic or one of two manual transmissions (five speeds for the four-cylinder engine, six speeds for the V6).
Tacoma 4x4s have low-range gearing. Manual-transmission TRD Off-Road models also get a special mode that allows the truck to be started in gear without depressing the clutch, thus eliminating clutch slippage and rollback while stalled going uphill.
All 2016 Toyota Tacomas offer 9.4 inches of ground clearance, even 4x2 models. The TRD Off-Road 4x4 seen here is a serious bushwhacking machine.
The 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine is rated at 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. EPA fuel economy ratings are 21 mpg combined (19 city/23 highway) for the 4x2 automatic, 20 mpg combined (19/21) for the 4x4 manual and 20 mpg combined (19/22) for the 4x4 automatic.
The V6's output jumps up to 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. EPA estimates for a V6 4x2 Tacoma (automatic) are 21 mpg combined (19/24). A V6 4x4 Tacoma returns 19 mpg combined (17/21) with the manual (18 mpg Double Cab) or 20 mpg combined (18/23) with the automatic.
In Edmunds performance testing of two TRD Off-Road Double Cab V6 models with the automatic, we recorded an average acceleration time to 60 mph of 8.3 seconds, which is slower than the four-wheel-drive Colorado V6. A TRD Sport Double Cab V6 we tested hit 60 in a slightly better 8.2 seconds.
Four-cylinder Tacomas can tow a maximum of 3,500 pounds, while V6 models can handle between 6,400 and 6,800 pounds, depending on driveline and cab configuration.
All Tacomas come with active front headrests, front-seat side airbags, driver and passenger knee airbags and full-length side curtain airbags, as well as traction and stability control and antilock brakes with brake assist. Unlike most pickup trucks, the Tacoma still uses drum brakes at the rear. A blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert is optional on TRD models and standard on the Tacoma Limited.
In Edmunds brake testing, a TRD Off-Road Double Cab V6 needed 135 feet to stop from 60 mph, a disappointing early result that's partly due to this trim level's trail-busting tire specification. A subsequent testing of a different TRD Off-Road Double Cab V6 resulted in a much better 124 feet. A TRD Sport Double Cab V6 with less extreme tires stopped in 130 feet. For reference, our best-braking Colorado needed just 123 feet.
The Tacoma's 3.5-liter V6 engine is noticeably smoother and quieter than its 4.0-liter predecessor, and it feels sprightly enough in real-world driving, especially at higher rpm. In our acceleration tests, though, it trails the old V6 to 60 mph despite its extra 42 horses. We expect that testing the manual-transmission version will yield further insight, but for now, the numbers don't lie -- the V6-powered GM twins are significantly quicker from zero to 60. Also, the automatic transmission tends to hunt between gears on freeway inclines, making it more of a chore than expected to keep up with traffic.
The 2016 Tacoma's cab is better insulated than ever before, giving the truck a more serene ride on a variety of surfaces. While the TRD Off-Road's suspension and 16-inch tires are optimized for rough terrain, we like the way it soaks up the bumps on pavement, too. On a brief drive, a Limited model felt noticeably firmer with its 18-inch tires and road-tuned suspension setup, though certainly not uncomfortable. Either way, we applaud the Tacoma's steering, which offers a pleasant build-up of effort and good centering. Off-road, the Tacoma is ready for just about anything with its 9.4 inches of ground clearance and 29- or 32-degree approach angle, far surpassing the GM twins' 8.4 inches and 18 degrees, respectively.
After a remarkable 11 years on the market, the old Tacoma was certainly showing its age from behind the wheel, so we're pleased to see some contemporary design flair in the new truck's dashboard. As expected, most of the materials seem to have been selected with durability in mind, not luxury, but there are some inspired choices here and there, including trim-specific dash inserts ranging from rubber (TRD trims) to simulated leather (Limited). We're also happy that the user-friendly nature of the control layout hasn't changed. The very responsive touchscreen interface (measuring either 6.1 or 7.0 inches) sits front and center, with glove-friendly climate control knobs and secondary switches beneath.
The 2016 Toyota Tacoma's interior has been modernized and stylized, but the control layout remains straightforward and easy to master.
The Tacoma's front seats are distinguished by their low mounting position and lack of height adjustability. Even if there were such adjustability, it wouldn't be very useful, as there's already limited headroom for taller occupants. Another unfortunate Tacoma trait is the comically short range of its telescoping steering wheel -- it seems to come out about an inch, which is a couple inches short of satisfactory for long-legged drivers.
The Tacoma Access Cab's scant backseat space is best for children, but the Double Cab's rear quarters are adult-friendly, featuring adequate legroom and an agreeably angled seatback. Both cabs feature a folding rear seat, and the entry-level SR Access Cab can be ordered with a Utility package that deletes the backseat entirely. Out back, the Tacoma comes standard with a plastic-lined bed as well as four adjustable and four fixed tie-down cleats, with a handy bed-mounted power outlet available on some models. The tailgate is both removable and lockable, and if you open it and let go, it won't slam down; damped hinges lower it gently to bumper level.
2016 Toyota Tacoma models
The Toyota Tacoma is a midsize pickup truck available with two cabs: the extended Access Cab (with small rear-hinged back doors) and the Double Cab (a larger crew cab). Access Cab models come exclusively with a 127.8-inch wheelbase and a 73.7-inch long bed. Double Cab models are offered in short- (127.4-inch) and long- (141-inch) wheelbase versions, the former with a 60.5-inch short bed and the latter with the long bed.
The Tacoma is offered in five trim levels: SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and Limited.
The SR model comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, a cargo bed rail system with fixed and adjustable tie-downs, a bedliner, a sliding rear window, full power accessories (windows, locks and mirrors), air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, a GoPro windshield mount, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, voice controls, Siri Eyes Free (for Apple phones), a 6.1-inch touchscreen interface and a six-speaker audio system with a CD player, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack.
Options specific to the SR include the SR Convenience package, which includes cruise control and remote keyless entry. If you spring for that package, 16-inch black alloy wheels can be added as well. Four-cylinder Access Cab models offer a Utility package, which deletes the rear seat and sliding rear window, removes the two rear speakers (reducing the total to four) and replaces the standard body-color door handles, bumpers and mirror caps with black plastic pieces.
The SR5 model adds the SR Convenience package's items plus foglights, chrome exterior accents, variable intermittent wipers, rear privacy glass, a color trip computer, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with phone and audio controls, satellite radio and the Scout GPS Link navigation app (requires a compatible smartphone).
SR5 options include the SR5 Appearance package, which bundles 16-inch silver alloy wheels, body-color over-fenders and an auto-dimming rearview mirror (V6 models only). An expanded version of the Appearance package adds rear parking sensors and an upgraded infotainment bundle with a 7-inch touchscreen, the Entune App Suite, HD radio and an integrated navigation system.
The TRD Sport model adds LED daytime running lights, unique exterior trim (including a hood scoop), 17-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned shock absorbers, a bed-mounted 120-volt power outlet, keyless entry and ignition (automatic transmission only), a wireless phone charger, a leather-trimmed shift lever, special upholstery (shared with the TRD Off-Road), the auto-dimming rearview mirror and the SR5's optional upgraded infotainment bundle.
TRD Sport options include a Premium and Technology package that adds automatic headlights, a sunroof (Double Cab only), dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, rear parking sensors and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. On Double Cab models with the automatic transmission, this package can be ordered in conjunction with an upgraded JBL stereo with a subwoofer.
Next up is the TRD Off-Road model, which adds its own rugged body trim (without the TRD Sport's hood scoop), special 16-inch alloy wheels, Bilstein shock absorbers and chin-spoiler delete (to improve the truck's off-road ability). All TRD Off-Road Tacomas share an electronic locking rear differential, and the Crawl Control system (essentially cruise control for off-road maneuvers between 1 and 5 mph) is further added if you select the automatic transmission. Options mirror those of the TRD Sport.
At the top of the line is the Limited model, which comes exclusively as a Double Cab. It gets 18-inch alloy wheels, unique exterior and interior trim, leather upholstery and the contents of TRD twins' optional Premium and Technology package (including the JBL stereo).
A hard lockable tonneau cover and a towing package (V6 models only) are offered as stand-alone options for all trim levels.
3.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4 out of 5 stars
Fun, Solid Vehicle On-road and Off
2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road 4dr Double Cab 4WD 6.1 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
As stated in the vehicle details, I purchased a 2016 Tacoma TRD Off Road with the 6ft bed and have around 500 miles on it. My buying experience (my first time buying a new vehicle) was regrettably long and stress-filled and, in the end, I ended up having to special order the truck I wanted. However, now that I have my Tacoma, I couldn't be happier with it and would really recommend … this vehicle to anyone looking for a capable, dependable truck but don't want to have to deal with the overwhelming size or poor gas mileage of a full-sized. The primary purpose of my Tacoma is commuting (17 miles each way) and it really is a dream to drive on pavement. I've noticed that, with the softer-sprung Bilstein shocks and higher sidewall tires, my Tacoma really soaks up normal the small road "chatter" and easily handles the bigger bumps as well. There is also none of the bone-jarring or harsh pounding that you normally get with a pickup truck when you hit bumps or potholes. Fuel mileage has been exceptional as well, as I've been getting anywhere between 18-20mpg in-town and 20-24mpg on the highway, if I keep speeds at or under 70mph. For once, the EPA ratings weren't exaggerated. I've taken my truck off road once and, in my experience, it certainly lives up to its reputation. The "road" that I took it on was more of a snowmobile trail that included muddy washouts and bony/rocky sections and the Tacoma ate up everything I threw at it. I was a bit worried about the seating position and lack of adjustability with the front seats and steering wheel but the Tacoma is actually a lot more comfortable than I was expecting. I'm 5'8" with a fairly small frame and the seats and interior fit me perfectly. The "legs-out" driving position that gets so much flak from reviewers is actually how I normally drive so it was no problem for me. I will end with a word of caution and advise for those looking to buy a 2016 Tacoma: before buying this vehicle, have your dealer check the transmission fluid level because it is likely going to be low. Many, many people have been complaining about harsh shifting, especially when slowing down or going from Reverse to Drive. It's been discovered that a lot of units, especially those who have bought models with the optional Tow Package, are being shipped from the factory with low levels of tranny fluid. It's assumed that the factory techs aren't taking into account the extra transmission fluid cooler that comes installed with the Tow Package, which adds volume to the transmission system, thus requiring more fluid. Before I purchased my vehicle, I had my dealership check the ATF levels and they discovered that it was low by a little over a liter. They topped off the fluids and I have not had any problems with the transmission.
5 out of 5 stars
4th one is a charm
2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
To set the record straight , I have owned 5 Tacomas. One was away back in the 70s , but the modern Tacomas were 2009 , 2012 ,2015, 2016. I found the first 3 to be all pretty much the same, except as the years progressed the electronics became better with each truck. The gas mileage on each truck was almost identical for the first 3 modern trucks combined 16.5 mpg. I never reached 20 … mpgon any of them , city or highway. Thewinter months the mileage went down to 14-15 mph combined. I have owned 11 trucks in my life . Of them,6 American trucks , all needed to have work done under warranty( as much as $3000 worth ) . None of the Tacomas have needed anything done under warranty ( not counting a replacement for bad weather mats). The 2016 is great . A lot of people have criticized the engine for being sluggish and the transmission constantly shifting. compared to the 2015 , that is true, but I have realizedthat my mileage is almost 25% better with the newer 3.5 engine and 6 speed transmission. I am getting and average combined mileage of 21mpg, reached an alltime high of 24.7 on a trip last week. If I want better performance I use the 6 speed manual shift and it feels like a sports car, but use the 6 speed automatic for mileage . I have noticed that the truck has plenty of get up and go when you jump on it going 65 mph and wanting to pass. it gets up to 85 very quickly. As I mentioned before the electronics have developed as the models progressed. The JBL sound system in my Sport model is crazy good. Loud but clear. The new backup alert has saved me several times from backing into someone or something. Same can be said for the alerts in the mirrors when a car is beside you in your blind spot. I love the style of the new truck and the beefy look it has . I get compliments all the time on the appearance of the truck. With all the combined factors , I think I have the best truck of all the Tacomas. Maybe I am just lucky with the mileage, but the rest of the features make it a pleasure to drive. 10/14/17. I now have 21,000 miles and still love the truck. Mileage has remained about the same. Happy about my purchase 4/16/2018 I have had the truck for over 1 1/2 years .. I did take it in for a technical service concerning the shifting ( or lack there of ) at freeway speeds going up large grades. The truck would drop down into 4-5 gear and almost redline before shifting into 6th gear. I took it in under warranty and the problem was fixed with a computer adjustment. The mileage has stayed about the same but winter driving is at 15-17 mpg, but that is in large part due to a remote start and letting the truck warm up in cold weather. I still love this truck and hope to have it for many years. I am now at 28,000 miles 04/17/2020 I now have 58,000 miles on my truck. I still love the truck at this point. I have taken it in for a frame rust check under a service bulletin. No problems so far. My mileage has gone down some but it is due to putting on A/T. tires for winter driving. I have had no real mechanical problems with the vehicle since purchase.. I am hoping to keep this truck til I croak. Time will tell if that happens Update. April 2021. I still think the truck is great. I now have 68,000 miles and have had no real mechanical problems, just routine maintenance. Mileage has gone down slightly ,but that is due to running Lt truck all-terrain tires for 6 months of the year. I still get compliments all the time from strangers about how much they like the truck. See no reason to get rid of it any time soon 4/19 2022 My mileage is now 89,000 miles. I recently had to buy a new battery which lasted almost 80,000 miles and 5 1/2 years.. Also it finally needed new tires for summer travel. The originals lasted almost 65,000 miles. Very happy with tire and battery longevity. I had an alignment with the new tires and it drives like a new truck again. I am thinking about putting on new shocks ,struts this summer, as well as tuneup and coolant change. I really have not had any unexpected repairs for the past 5 1/2 years. It is nice to have no payments for the last year. Now I can catch up on normal routine things. How do I feel about the truck now. I still like it alot. I am not use to having a truck this long. I would put so many miles on them in 5 years that I would trade them in. I still may in a year or 2 and buy a new hybrid if they are within reason. I am more than satisfied with this truck. Very dependable. Will see what next year brings 10/20/2023 The truck now has 111,000 miles. At 100,000 ,I changed plugs, flushed and filled antifreeze, and put on Rancho 3" lift kits on front and back. They are adjustable for heavy loads or light. Very comfortable ride. I still change out winter and summer tires every 6 months. Mileage is averaging 19.8 in summer and 16.5 in winter. I haven't had any major problems with the truck that weren't normal wear and tear. I think someone backed into me in a parking lot, so I need to have my rear mirrors and backup sensors adjusted. Not cheap but required to be able to use. I am thinking about switching to a smaller truck at my age of 71. I may look into the new Stout that is suppose to come out in 2024. I could get use to 45mpg in their hibrid. I have to actually sit in one to see if my 6'2" fat ass frame could fit into it comfortable. If that does not happen ,I am still very happy with no car payments and my current truck
4 out of 5 stars
Well designed and built, but underpowered
Dave in Arkansas, 07/09/2016
2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited 4dr Double Cab 4WD 5.0 ft. SB (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Truck is solidly built. No rattles or squeaks, good audio, comfortable and quiet at highway speeds. However, the engine lacks low- end torque and this issue is exacerbated by very poor software mapping for the transmission. In an apparent effort to improve mileage, the transmission shifts quickly to keep the RPMs low as a result, the engine is always out of its powerband, making it feel … even more sluggish. You can overcome this annoyance to some degree by putting it in Sport mode, or selecting the ECT mode. But you shouldn't have to do this. It drives like a slug unless you're very aggressive on the throttle. At highway speeds, the transmission is always hunting for the right gear. The engine is very noisy at all speeds. This is apparently normal and is due to its injectors and Atkinson Cycle function. It sounds like a diesel with 500k miles on it. Very annoying and disappointing for a truck this expensive.
5 out of 5 stars
Stout little 4 cylinder 4x4
2016 Toyota Tacoma SR 4dr Access Cab 6.1 ft. SB (2.7L 4cyl 6A)
I just love my new truck. It rides and drive very nice, and its very quiet inside the cab. The four has plenty power and the ect button will give you more power. I just did not want to spend and extra 4000 dollars on the V6. My truck cost was right around 27000. If your not towing anything the four is fine. I would get a full size truck if I was spending over 33000, so why bother … with the V6. My mpg have been 22.5 with 2200 miles.
2016 Toyota Tacoma videos
[MUSIC PLAYING] SPEAKER 1: This is the redesign of the 2016 Toyota Tacoma, including a new V-6, a 3 and 1/2 liter V-6, which gives it around 200 horsepower. A bit more fuel efficiency. It has an automatic, but it's also optional with a six speed manual, although, only in some trims. The other engine, the base engine is a 2.7 liter four cylinder. Now, there's a lot of nice things that they've gone with this truck redesign and in some ways made it more capable. Multiple cab sizes, multiple bed options. Rear drive, four wheel drive. Pretty much your standard truck options and fair. But let's take a look inside to see what's different in there. Inside the new Tacoma there's a lot I'd like to show off, but unfortunately, I can't because we're at an auto show and there's no key so I can't fire up the entertainment system. And that's a bummer because this infotainment system is really fast reacting. We've tested it out a few times with test vehicles and really enjoyed how quickly it reacts to your requests and the general flow of the system. So we'd like to show that a bit more, but we can't where we're at now. Here's your gage cluster. Two analog gauges centered with a digital gauge. You have your transmission selector down here, your suite of buttons and stuff. Kind of the bummers that we've noticed with this interior layout is this stairwell doesn't offer a lot of telescoping options. That's it. Max down, max up. So the ergonomics can feel a bit weird to some body styles. The seat also can-- depending on the size of your body, we really recommend you sit in the truck before you decide you want one or not because it might be some what of an issue. Now, power options. You have a 12 volt plug here. You have wireless charging right here that activates if you have a case on your phone that is capable of wireless charging. And also more storage down here with an additional 12 volt power plug, as well. Now let's take a look in the back. Now, the back room is pretty decent for a compact pickup truck. My knees aren't touching the seat in front of me and my head is not touching the roof despite the fact that we have a sunroof. It's a nice option. To find out more about the Toyota Tacoma, be sure to visit edmunds.com.
2016 Toyota Tacoma Review
The redesigned 2016 Toyota Tacoma boasts a new V6 engine and interior along with even more available off-road performance. It's a great choice for a midsize truck.
2016 Tacoma Highlights
|Combined MPG||21 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$188/month|
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
|Max Towing Capacity||3,500 lbs.|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover14.7%