The Toyota Tacoma hasn’t changed all that much since 2004, but it hasn’t had to. The market for small and midsize trucks has been in a steady decline since the early 2000s, so it didn’t take much for the Tacoma to hold its position as the top-selling truck in its class. That changed when GM announced it would be bringing its latest version of the global Colorado to the U.S., and Toyota got to work to ensure it didn’t lose any ground. Enter the 2016 Toyota Tacoma, which was officially unveiled today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Toyota reengineered every aspect of the Tacoma to make it tougher and more capable than ever, starting with a stronger frame, a more versatile suspension tuning and new powertrain options. A 2.7-liter four-cylinder is still the base engine, but the 2016 Toyota Tacoma will now be able to upgrade to a 3.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine to maximize fuel economy. No power figures are available, but Toyota promises that the new Tacoma will be more powerful and more efficient than the current model.

Customers can get either engine with Toyota’s new six-speed automatic transmission, but, in a rare move these days, the V-6 engine will also be available with a six-speed manual gearbox. For comparison, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon only offer a manual transmission with the four-cylinder engine, and availability is limited even further to just the lowest trim levels of these trucks in two-wheel drive only. Off-road enthusiasts will appreciate the addition of Toyota’s Crawl Control that makes it easy to drive up and over just about any terrain.

Exterior styling is on par with what we’ve come to expect from Toyota trucks and SUVs with a wide, blocky stance and polarizing looks. This starts at the front end where the new grille looks like it was inspired by a hungry robot monster, while the rear end design was inspired by the current Tundra with “TACOMA” lettering stamped into the tailgate.

A total of five trim levels will be offered from the base SR to the go-anywhere TRD Off-Road and finally the luxury-themed Limited. Regardless of which trim is chosen, all 2016 Toyota Tacoma models will come standard with a GoPro mount that can be found near the rearview mirror. The new Tacoma will be offered with options that include push-button start, leather seats, and wireless smartphone charging.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Toyota Tacoma .

Why it matters

Despite little positive action in the midsize truck market for the last decade or so, this segment has heated up over recently. Starting with the introduction of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, Toyota now aims to maintain its top-selling status in this market with the all-new 2016 Toyota Tacoma. Oh, and don’t forget that Nissan is still planning on bringing a diesel-powered Frontier to market in the near future. This is definitely a great time to be in the market for a small pickup truck.

Press Release


  • Toyota Tacoma Rebuilt Inside and Out
  • New Engine, Transmissions and Suspension Tuning
  • Legendary TRD Off-road Toughness
  • Best-selling Mid-Size Pickup for 10 Straight Years
  • Designed, Engineered and Assembled in North America

DETROIT, January 12, 2015 - - Whatever the terrain, Tacoma is king of the hill. Rebuilt inside and out with an all-new powertrain and enhanced suspension tuning, America’s bestselling mid-size pickup for ten years running is Lord of the Rigs for dirt stomping adventurers.

With a legacy of off-road victories and over seven million units sold since 1964, Toyota revitalizes the midsize truck segment with the introduction of the all-new 2016 Tacoma.

“For the past 50 years adventure-seeking Americans have relied on Toyota trucks to
take them places, on and off-road,” said Bill Fay, group vice president & general manager, Toyota Division. “The all-new homegrown Tacoma is a tough truck designed, developed and built for lifestyles of the young and young-at-heart.”

Built from the Ground Up
The new 2016 Tacoma was primarily developed by the Toyota engineering team at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Starting with the frame, they added high strength steel to enhance rigidity and overall strength. Ultra-high strength steel was integrated into the body shell using a new hot stamping process that reduces weight.

To create a truck to meet the needs of active drivers on a variety of tamed and untamed surfaces, the suspension was fine-tuned to help deliver a smoother on-road ride, while making it even more capable off-road.

Get Your Motor Running
The new Tacoma will be powered by a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine and an all-new, segment-first 3.5-liter Atkinson cycle V6 equipped with Toyota’s D-4S technology, featuring both direct and port fuel injection.

Both engines will be paired to a new six-speed automatic transmission with electronic shift delivering quick and easy shifting. The V6 can also be mated to a new six-speed manual transmission. The new powertrain makes the Tacoma more powerful and fuel efficient than ever before.

Doing It With Style Inside and Out
Serious, yet fun! This is the Toyota truck design DNA. The Tacoma and Tundra are amazingly capable trucks that are designed to reflect their capability. The Tacoma shares big brother Tundra’s more chiseled face, with a hex grille. From there, Tacoma expresses its own identity.

Inspired by desert racing, CALTY designers in Newport Beach, Calif. and Ann Arbor, Mich. made the new Tacoma all about recreational action and athletic agility. To achieve this, the new Tacoma’s wheel flares are strong and muscular for greater wheel travel and the high-lift image reflects its purposeful capability. Four new wheel designs range from 16 to 18 inches.

The front end portrays an aggressive attitude with its bold upper grille and a taller, more muscular hood. Mounted high above the clamp-shaped bumper sits slim, high technology headlights that feature projection beam lamps with available LED Daytime Running Lights.

From behind, the new locking tailgate emphasizes Tacoma’s wide stance and tough image. The tailgate features an integrated spoiler for improved aerodynamics and a stamped Tacoma logo. The tailgate also adds an easy lowering feature, which allows it to slowly retract, preventing it from slamming down. For the first time ever, Tacoma is available with a tri-fold hard tonneau cover for securing gear when you’re away from the truck.

Tacoma’s tough exterior is complemented by an interior that conveys a sport truck image reflecting an athletic, go anywhere, off-road feel. Once inside, drivers will notice a “handlebar” design theme in the instrument panel for a more driver-focused experience. Softwrapped trim and metallic accents set the stage for a high-quality look and feel that is a starting point for an array of available premium features, including:

  • Qi wireless charging
  • Smart key with push-button start
  • Leather-trimmed seats
  • Power moonroof
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Enhanced touchscreen audio
  • Blind-spot monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • And much more

In addition to offering more premium features, Toyota engineers also made the new Tacoma quieter than ever. To accomplish this, all seals were enhanced and a multi-layer acoustic windshield and sound-absorbing headliner were added. Finally, a floor silencer pad further reduces road noise.

Making the Grades
The new Tacoma will be available in five grades in both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations.
Each grade will have its own personality and unique look. Tacoma grades include:

  • Work-ready SR
  • Iconic SR5
  • Athletic TRD Sport
  • Tough-as-nails TRD Off-Road
  • Top of the line Limited
    The two TRD grades are inspired by Toyota Racing Development’s more than 35-year history in desert off-road racing and a heritage of vehicles that have helped off-road enthusiasts conquer the toughest terrains in the most remote locations around the globe. Tacoma buyers will now have the opportunity to capture their global adventures on video as every Tacoma will come standard with a GoPro® mount located near the rear-view mirror.

Traveling Off the Beaten Path
Tacoma off-roading adventures will reach new levels of fun in the TRD Off-Road grade
thanks to the addition of incredible technology. A Multi-Terrain Select system allows the driver to choose between different types of terrain such as loose rock, or mud and sand. Each input regulates wheel spin by adjusting throttle and brake pressure to provide maximum traction on almost any terrain.

Additional off-road technology includes Automatic Limited Slip and Locking Rear
Differential, Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Clutch Start Cancel (manual transmission only), Active Traction Control, and Crawl Control. Engaging Crawl Control allows the driver to select a speed of 1-5 mph. The Crawl Control system takes over the acceleration and braking, allowing the driver to focus solely on steering.

All Tacoma’s will continue to come standard with the Star Safety System.

A North American Story
Tacoma is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (TMMTX) in San Antonio
and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Baja California (TMMBC) in Baja California, Mexico.
Both facilities play a major role in carrying on Tacoma’s legendary reputation for quality, durability and reliability (QDR), which has been instrumental in establishing its segment-leading owner loyalty rating. It’s QDR has also helped establish Tacoma as the highest rated vehicle in its class for resale value according to Kelley Blue Book.

The all-new Tacoma builds on this tradition with improvement in every aspect over the current Tacoma including, design, ruggedness, and performance improvements in horsepower and fuel efficiency.

50 Years and Counting
Backed by 50 years of unwavering capability, an unbreakable attitude, and an off-road
racing heritage, the all-new Tacoma is hungry for adventure and ready to tackle almost any challenge that it encounters. It is the ultimate tool for the outdoorsman that likes to get out there and go places.

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