2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited: First Look

1 Tacoma Limited

We had the chance to take a quick look at the all-new 2016 Toyota Tacoma Tuesday in advance of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week. We got special permission to show you what the new truck — and new Limited trim level — will look like.

Although we don't know much mechanically or structurally at this point, the overall look and feel is clearly not revolutionary. That probably makes sense given how long Toyota has been able to get away with so few changes during the last decade and still sell close to 150,000 units in 2014.

Most of the exterior design changes — we weren't allowed to get close enough to see the interior upgrades — are in the newly shaped and configured front grille and headlights, along the lower body panels between the fender wells, and in the tailgate. Both grille and tailgate seem to be clear attempts by designers to bring the new Tacoma more in line with the look of the half-ton Tundra: Note the hexagonal shape of the grille and the Tacoma name stamped into the tailgate.

We'll have specifications and details about the more significant changes to the Tacoma in the next few days, but for now we are very encouraged that Toyota is calling this an "all-new" Tacoma. That makes us think Toyota has done some significant work to the powertrain lineup, suspension tuning and overall cab quietness. From the looks of this double-cab short-bed 4x4 Limited, our guess is Toyota will likely stick with similar wheelbase/cab configurations as well.

Cars.com photos by Mark Williams


11 Tacoma Limited

10 Tacoma Limited frontside

3 Tacoma Limited face

9 Tacoma Limited headlight

4 Tacoma Limited side

5 Tacoma Limited rear

7 Tacoma Limited bed

8 Tacoma Limited bed detail

6 Tacoma Limited tailgate

11 Tacoma Limited stamp

2 Tacoma Limited



LOL serious Toyota

That was worth the wait.

If only Chevy had taken that bed design and used it in the new Colorado. What an improvement that would make.

Not much of a small or medium truck guy but it looks MUCH better than the old one.

Not too much of a change but I guess if it aint broken...... I think(hope) they have done a lot more on the inside and mechanically.


I like it but I hope that powertrain is updated

I knew they were going to use the same cab and just do a refresh on the exterior. Hopefully the drivetrain gets an improvement.

Is it just me or from the side view does it seem to have a lot of overhang behind the rear wheels? Almost seems like the rear axle is too far forward.

Overall it's just kinda meh....

Wait.... Are they serious!?

This is the same truck from 2005, with sheet metal ... They don't think people will actually think this is a new truck right?

I bet you sill has drum brakes at the rear.

Toyota is starting to treat the American consumer the same way VW is... Short changing us..and we all know how that went for VW after too many years of that bull

I do not like that look at all. The old one was better looking to me.

its a baby tundra now, yawn. with probably the same interior & powertrains that are gas guzzlers that made me buy a full size v8 4 years ago for less money. I'll just wait till the 8spd goes in the silverado with the 5.3 or possibly consider the baby Dmax in the colorado. Or maybe the 5.0 L Cummins in the New Titan will be worth a look ?? If this tacoma was in the low 20s i would consider it.

This is just ok, no more and no less. The Colorado/Canyon so far is the freshest and newest of any midsize truck. Toyota is satisfied to rest on their past reputation, no more and no less.

I see a moonroof, that's new. I'm guessing no diesel option. Would it kill Yota to be bold for a change?

Very different from the coming 2016 Hilux which is as big or bigger and may have dropped it's Petrol(Gas) engine

It looks like they finally put in a tailgate lock.
I bet I'll be able to get a good price on a 2014.

I wonder if Toyota will finally offer a fully box the frame, add rear Disc brakes and consider a Turbo Diesel with this minor upgrade to the Taco?? They only thing I see in the above pictures are good ground clearance and nice looking rims. The rest is blah!!!!!

So far,it's still lipstick on a pig.

Ah, I wished for too much in my previous comments. I copied a picture of the Autonews website and zoomed in on the rear wheel. Toyota are sticking with Drum brakes on the rear. How antiquated can one be!!! Bravo to GM for giving the New Colorado / Canyon a better brake system than Toyota.

It looks good. I wonder how much they changed mechanically? Hopefully a boxed frame too.

Something about it looks choppy and thrown together to me. Like it is not finished and this is a prototype. But maybe that's just because it's the same exact cab we've seen for ten years with a new front end and bed slapped on. I feel like the old and new design aspects of the truck's exterior clash.

...But on the positive side... I like the color?

Very proud GM did a better job with the (really) all-new Colorado.

Toyota, it's too early for April fool's jokes

I love the it's the same truck comments..... Y'all are probably driving f150s with the same cab, doors and frame since 04 or super dooty with the same cab and frame since 99! So ford can say it's new and y'all believe it but not ok for toyota to do it...... Really?

Looks like a new Ford Transit with a pickup bed,

Looks like a Ford Transit with a pickup bed.


Looks like a cosmetic refresh, just like the "all-new" Tundra from 2014, very disappointing.

While the front clip and rear look better than the current model, I'm still very disappointed. Is it just me or does the transition from the back of the cab to the front of the bed look like a complete miss match? I've seen test mules cobbled together with better tolerances between mating parts. Seriously, that vertical line between the cab and bed aren't even close to sharing the same contour! Something is suspect here or Toyota must think the average truck consumer is an idiot.

Aww, come on! This is weak sauce Toyota!

Yuck. That is dissappointing. Front end looks too big for the truck. And as mentioned the bed sticks way too far out over the rear wheels. That is just goofy. Definitely looks like they just slapped a new mismatched front end and bed on the old truck.

Looks like the wheel well humps go all the way to the front of the bed!

If this is anything like the "all new tundra" it will keep the 236hp V6 and 5 speed auto.

How sad.

I really thought the US would of received the new Hilux. You guys aren't. You are getting a rehashed Taco.

I hope it is at least is coming with the 2.8 ISF Cummins as some rumours have mentioned.

I don't know what gas engines Toyota has. A turbo 4 with a diesel?

@Big Al from OZ
It is what I expected, they can sell as many as they make and the basic architecture has paid for itself. If it is not broken do not fix it.
Current Hilux has the problem , way too old and all the competition will be turning with new models soon, not rehashed older models.
Brand spanking new Hilux by October this year

Pig, meet lipstick (applied with a paint roller). Jeff S nails it. This is a very long-awaited "stand-pat" move by Toyota.

GM made a fairly bold move with their new trucks, and only time will tell if Toyota's conservative stand-pat mentality or Gm's boldness wins.

For GM, Ford and Ram, pickups, vans and SUVs are huge business. Toyota, on the other hand, is a company that made its bones selling little 4 cylinder Asian sedans and coupes. I'm not very disappointed because frankly I was not expecting much.

Finally! It doesn't look stupid!

How come pickuptrucks.com isn't reporting on the 2016 Nissan Titan pics/videos other sites are showing? I'm anticipating the Titan more then this under achiever Tacoma.

All these "Same truck!" comments but the specs haven't been released yet until the upcoming auto show. Toyota already announced it would have a new engine. Do your research.

Still has better ground clearance and approach/departure angles than the GM twins even with that low hanging air dam.

Never know, it might get the Lexus 8 speed trans with a new updated V6

Looks like parts bin car headlights with black plastic to fill in the hole like the Jeep Grand Cherokee

It does look sharp. Way better than the current one. That said, full replacement bumpers just became more complicated, as there's no continuous horizontal break.
Looks like the rear drum brakes carry over, which is unfortunate.
The mules we saw had an open rear frame section. So it comes down to powertrain upgrades. Toyota just did a similar level refresh on the Tundra without addressing the engines and transmissions. That doesn't make me very hopeful. Otoh, the competition is cleaning their clock on fuel economy (both current trucks) and new econ regs are coming 2016.
Optimitically, I predict it will get the 3.5 V6 (with DI) and A760 trans. The cheap trucks will keep the same 2.7 and 4speed A340 trans. Lots of finger crossing that the new gasoline turbo will show up in the middle.

My biggest complaints with my 2006 are seating position and brakes. From that perspective, it seems to be the same for the 2016 model. Over-styled and under-improved unless the powertrain is something special. I won't hold my breath.
Alright Nissan; here is your chance.

Still using drum brakes?

If you look hard at the 6th picture down from the top, it sure looks like they are still using drums at the rear.
I just had my front brakes done at 130K miles for the first time. Didn't have to touch the rear drums yet. I guess that is saying something. Maybe drums are okay if they can improve the feel and feedback at the brake pedal, but I can't imagine them being better when towing or long descents.

Anyone noticed the new rear diff. Hmm... 8k towing... 29mpg hwy.

Hmm...... thoughts overall:

1. Mostly from the exterior seems to be new front and rear with nice looking new wheels but not a complete overhaul in design language

2. New nose is different enough to be called "new" but isn't super attractive to my eyes. The mini-grill opening between the large main hexagon and the blue bumper gives it a piggy face or maybe a "derp" face that I don't care for. Maybe if the blue lower bumper connected to the hexagon above it would break that up a little bit (the Honda CR-V went through this prior to the 2012 redo with an odd opening and protruding bumper)

3. rear end looks chiseled like most folks want in a truck and some noted tie down areas in the bed (which also looks like it may be a smidgen deeper which is a plus in my book)

4. camera angles were well sorted to hide any real info about a new rear axle/diff and also any changes to rear brakes (I do hope they move to disks and a stronger and more efficient axle/diff)

5. that little opening below the headlight looks exactly like the newer Jeep Grand Cherokees and I DO NOT LIKE IT. It just looks like a weird gap or hole from a distance. The close-up pic makes it seem almost functional for venting which I guess probably serves a purpose but I'd prefer not having a weird black rectangle where it looks like a piece is missing (to be fair I also DO NOT LIKE THIS on the Jeep). I do however like the projector lights. I hope this is standard and not something only on high-end models since visibility is key

6. although not seen I do hope that the interior is a stronger component. the Tundra while improved this past year still is behind the "big 3" and I hope the TACO isn't just a simple rehash but a genuine full redo with new styles and looks.

Overall thoughts are that there isn't anything so offensive to me that I would not consider it based on looks BUT there is also nothing that stands out enough to make me WANT this new truck.

Looking forward to seeing more details on interior, capabilities and powertrains on Monday.

You can see drum brakes in the rear in the pictures. I don't think the styling is very much of an improvement but like someone else mentioned maybe it's a prototype. Tow and hauling capacity have always been a week spot for this truck. I remember moving some dirt once and only able to fill the bed 25% before the suspension bottomed out.

Following the rumors over the last two years I think what were going to see next week is an overall weight reduction and MPG improvement. I'm actually hoping for a 4Runner update because I thing the quad cab Tacoma looks like balls (unless the offer a shorter bed).

I prefer the look of the Ranger and Colorado. Definitely evolutionary, not revolutionary.

I hope the new Tacoma is available with a stick in a 4WD version.

`The styling is fine, it's OK. My opinion the 95-04 Taco was the perfect size for a "small pickup" and good looking too. Now, the big question, what about a FUEL EFFICIENT powerplant?!?!? Seems pretty ridiculous that high performance luxury cruisers like Corvettes and Cadillacs get better mpg than these pickups. I guess we'll find out more in a couple of days.

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