2016 Toyota Tacoma Video Review

Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport 13 II

The challenge with a vehicle like the all-new 2016 Toyota Tacoma is to write about all the new technology and upgraded features without droning on like an encyclopedia. Unfortunately, given how much of this midsize pickup is new, it's almost impossible to touch on all the changed features. That's why we break our coverage into several stories about driving impressions, fuel economy, and trim packages and pricing. We've also distilled some of 2016 Tacoma's most impressive features into a short video just in case you don't have time to go deep.

We can't wait to get one of the new Tacomas and put it up against the GMC Canyon, which won our 2015 Midsize Challenge, but that will have to wait until we've covered several more new-truck debuts. Stay tuned, because the Truck Wars are heating up again. And if you want more details, check out our separate stories on pricing, fuel economy, and our full review and drive impression

Cars.com photo by Mark Williams

Video produced by Matt Avery



@ Mark Williams
That traction control,was developed by a small Western Australian start up, that in turn was bought by Toyota

Will this Tacoma 4WD system allow it to be flat towed?

@Robert Ryan.
Not what Mark Williams was talking about in the video.
KDSS is a linked mechanical type system.

What he was talking about is the interface which lets interact with the computer adjusting the parameters for the software traction control, based upon terrain.

Mark Williams body language and head shaking in this video seem to suggest that he doesn't believe the 2016 Toyota Tacoma is that great. In the sales pitch it he seems to be saying "no, this is not true", "we cannot accept that what Toyota is saying is true."

I agree with Tom, you can tell he has some grudge against Toyota in the articles he writes for every Toyota product. Not just Toyota, I can tell it on the GM and Dodge ones, but its more subtle. The Toyota articles are blatant

Then the Ford articles get all this fluff to buff them up.

There is a "grudge" because Toyota brings nothing to the table. The new Tundra was a cosmetic refresh. The last new Taco was 10 long years ago and the new Taco is a nice refresh at best. At the end of the day there is not a lot to love about either truck, and it seems like Toyota doesn't understand truck customers.

There is no grudge, it is the facts. This is not a new truck, it is an upgrade, a first step, with a lot of room for improvement.

I'm completely disappointed in the new tacoma. Not that I would buy a new midsize anyways, but maybe used at some point. But this just doesn't seem like that much of an improvement over the old tacoma.

seems to me that the new colorado has easily leap-frogged tacoma as the best midsize truck with the best value, but that's hard to say without actually driving them.

By the comments above, the F150 isn't new either since '04 until the '15 model. In the auto manufacture world, new means anything that is revised more than just headlight, grill and tail lights is new.

It is evident Mark don't like toyota and phrases ford. It was obvious from day one when he tool over after Mike left to ford. This is Marks opportunity to shine in ford eyes and hopefully get a job at ford. What better way than to kiss up on a site you edit.

At least the F-150 is all new for 15, but the Taco still isn't.

In the auto world there is not just new. There are upgrade/refresh and then there is new. 04 F-150 was new, 09 F-150 was major upgrade, 15 was new. The 2016 Taco is an upgrade.

Mark bashed the F-150 when it first debuted more than the other trucks. Pro-Toyota guys are too sensitive and hate Ford so this explains their hatred for anything Ford.

Call it bias or call it the facts. But Toyota trucks, even though they have their followers (oxi) will never get the praise Ford does because Toyota still does not understand truck buyers.

It is not a new truck but that is Toyota's style. That is how Toyota does product cycles as they have to look at return on investment for all of the changes. They also run longer generations. After the launch of the 2nd Gen Tundra which was a big difference from the 1st Gen Tundra done all at once they decided to make incremental changes instead all at once. By making incremental changes every little change added every year keeps it fresher. Take the 14 Tundra it got new safety tech, exterior and interior. 15 Tundra got TRD Pro. Now the 16 Tundra will get new colors for TRD Pro, the larger fuel tank option and ITBC option for the 5.7L. The 17 Tundra could follow the 2016 5.7L Lexus LX 570 and gain the 8-speed auto. When manufactures make changes every year they are considered design changes even if they are small ones.

I don't think Mark Williams is being really hard on it but you have to understand trucks don't mean nearly as much to Toyota as they do the Big 3. Toyota trucks are tightly managed so they return a profit. You DON'T compete head-to-head with the Big 3 in trucks if you want to make a profit. You have longer Gens, incremental changes, keep the price down and strictly manage inventory (fastest and slowest selling). http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2015/08/julys-fastest-and-slowest-selling-pickups.html


is upset 'GMC Canyon, which won our 2015 Midsize Challenge'

Ford only "brings something new to the table" because they HAVE to.

Their move to aluminum and turbocharged V6s were to improve MPG for CAFE, not to improve the end product for the customer. At no time ever, prior to 2012, was there a contingent of Ford customers asking for aluminum bodies or for V8s to be phased out. It was only after Ford imposed these movements on them that the fanboys started jumping onboard because they had no choice.

This is no different than their hydroformed boxed frames. They are cheaper to manufacture, but Ford promotes them as a feature and the fanboys eat it up.

The Ram's ecodiesel engine appears to have been designed for a car, but at least it is satisfying a large customer demand that actually existed. So even if Ram is just blatantly trying to get a return-on-investment on that engine, the customer is still getting something it was asking for.

I dislike Toyota as much as the next guy but there's nothing wrong with what they do. They have a product that sells well with a high customer satisfaction rate and are hesitant to introduce any major changes.

I'm sure if Toyota released a whole slew of new crazy features, sites like PUTC would love it because it gives them something to do, but that wouldn't mean the truck was actually any better.

Most of you fail to realize Toyota has never cared about best-in-class specs except for maybe the Prius. Toyota cares about quality and resale and that is why they dominate in those areas.

Toyota redefined the 1/2 pickup in 2007. If they didn't drop the 5.7 381 hp 6 speed auto, you'd probably still have that gutless 5.4/5 speed 5.7 hemi/4 speed, and 6.0/4 speed Vortecmaxx....

It maybe this

Toyota redefined the 1/2 pickup in 2007. If they didn't drop the 5.7 381 hp 6 speed auto, you'd probably still have that gutless 5.4/5 speed 5.7 hemi/4 speed, and 6.0/4 speed Vortecmaxx....

Posted by: John | Aug 17, 2015 4:15:08 PM

Really, 03 Ram had 345 horsepower 5 speed. Dodge started the Horsepower wars. 03 Toyota Tundra 240 horsepower 4 speed.

OMG, what a lousy design job! Please take a look at the double cab short bad where the rear door meets the bed. The bed doesn't have the same door crease to have a continuous flow unlike the shorter model (access cab) and double cab long bad that they do have it. I wrote to Toyota and sent pictures with the drag coefficient killer and eye sore design flaw and clearly didn't resonate with them. Too bad, anyways I've also mentioned to them about the need of a small torque-y and efficient diesel but clearly they don't listen to what we need. Luckily GM and Nissan listened, I'm sorry to say that since I own a Ford Explorer Sport-Trac that needs badly a replacement at 15 yo & 352,000 miles. Ford did let us down even more with no offerings at all in the mid size truck segment, talking about bad decisions.

@Gonzo, As revealed on the road map post on BOF today, there is a new Ranger and Bronco coming sooner than later. It will be on the Transit platform. It will not be the global Ranger. Stay tuned.

@hemi V8 but Toyota did it reliability, dodge/ram couldn't and still can't.

John you are so right! I agree.

I do think in the usual Toyota fashion of conservatism the new Taco is just a notch below it's competitors in offerings.

This Taco is nice and Toyota will retain the reigns of the midsize market in the US. But, as time goes by Toyota's hold will gradually diminish.

Most of what Toyota has on offer here is even standard in many base model global midsizers.

Toyota should of offered or suggested it will offer a small diesel in the Taco lineup, this would of sparked more interest.

This Taco I'd bet will be a very good competitor off road. Where the Colorado/Canyon will win out is on road performance. I do believe a comparison will show that the Colorado/Canyon are a much more refined vehicle.

But, Toyota has again produced a vehicle that is good and offers a least as possible to retain the biggest profits. This formula has worked for Toyota for some time.

Beautiful truck! This truck puts the Colorado to shame in terms of what it brings to the market. The Colorado is typically driven by older people who don't do off road. At best, the Colorado is a mall crawler designed for retired farmers to drive to church each Sunday morning.

This Tacoma shames the new GM twins. Why even the old Tacoma doubles sales of the GM twins; this even with GM having way more dealerships than Toyota.

Watch as Toyota decimates GM with the sales of this new truck.

Beautiful job Toyota! Nice introduction as well.........not like the Colorado intro on a beach....

@TJ thanks for the info but it looks like is at the rumor stage and I would never ever buy a truck on unibody platform. Not to mention that the likelihood of having a a diesel engine is close to none.

It will be a small/compact truck. Uni-body will be fine for a compact truck. People who need the capability of a body on frame will buy a F series, not a compact truck. But even F-150s rarely see heavy work or payload. You need to look past what you think you want and look at what other buyers would be willing to buy (for different purposes). It is still a rumor but the guy in the know says it will be sooner than later.

Sorry, the guy was being sarcastic about the Transit platform. They will be on the global Ranger platform.

TJ/Gonzo, The Ranger is not coming back anytime soon, ie next year. 2019 MY maybe. We won't find out until the Ford/UAW talks over what new car or truck will fill the Michigan Assembly Olant. The Focus is leaving this plant for a replacement vehicle that is going to be built there. It may be the compact Ranger/Bronco but it is only a rumor so far.

They need a factory to build the Ranger. Focus is leaving in 2018. So this opens up for a 2019 Ranger at best. "We actively are pursuing future vehicle alternatives to produce at Michigan Assembly and will discuss this issue with UAW leadership as part of the upcoming negotiations."

Jason L,
Why not just import the Ranger from Sth Africa?

The vehicle would be more competitive if it was imported. If a vehicle like the Ranger was to be made in the NAFTA region why I would choose Mexico.

The Sth African Ranger is supposed to be of a high quality. The consumer would love a Ranger that can be had cheaper than a Colorado.

It is good to manufacture in the US, but the vehicles must be competitive with overseas competition. Sooner rather than later the US commercial vehicle market will lose it's protection and where will that leave the workers?

Ford has said in the past they have no intention of introducing a global Ranger in the US. I don't see Ford changing their minds unless sales of midsize trucks grow further. I would like a global Ranger but I would not hold my breath.

These new Tacos are sick!

Can someone explain to me what benefit there is to push-button starts? I've heard several manufacturers tout being "first in the segment with a push-button start" in whatever car segment happened to be in question at the time. What's so great about push-button versus key/fob and a knob/collar you turn on the stalk? Is it just because it makes the vehicle feel more upscale or something? I've never heard anyone tout some sort of safety benefit, so I'm guessing that's not the reason...

"Toyota redefined the 1/2 pickup in 2007. If they didn't drop the 5.7 381 hp 6 speed auto, you'd probably still have that gutless 5.4/5 speed 5.7 hemi/4 speed, and 6.0/4 speed Vortecmaxx...."

Haha, that's a good one. Toyota has had very little impact on the full-size market in retrospect, in part because they've been slower than the other 3 to evolve.

There's so much competitive tit-for-tat Between the Big 3 in the half/three-quarter/one-ton space that Toyota is barely an outside blip on the radar. You're talking about 3 truck lines that account for 2.2-2.5 million units sold PER YEAR, versus about 200k for the Tundra, and *maybe* 400k WITH the Tacoma (in other words, fewer than what Ram sells by itself). Toyota's iForce DOHC V8 wasn't some watershed moment for the industry. Nissan had a DOHC V8 of similar displacement a few years before, and theirs puts out almost as much torque to this very day (even if it's short 60+ HP). Plus, at the time Ford and GM were already well into their partnership building the 6-speed auto that they are replacing with a new 8/10-speed as we speak. Ford replaced the 5.4 in the F-150 with the 3.5 EB almost 5 years ago, and in fact they've expanded their EB line as they've lightened their truck. The Ram's Hemi still has the same power as Toyota's iForce while being "older", and Ram was first to market with an 8-speed. And you do realize the new F-150, on average, is around 1100 lbs lighter than a 1794 Tundra, right?

Toyota is by far the slowest to update their trucks (Nissan notwithstanding). But now you'll claim how reliable they are and how high their resale is (another half-truth), won't you?

Tom and John you guys are reading far too much into the presenter's body language. First off, he didn't shake his head much at all. His head-shaking over the interior clearly has to be related to the interior improvement. Why would he not like that about the new Tacoma? It's better than it was, probably by a large degree. He even talks about the ease of using the various knobs in detail.

Stop looking for anti-Toyota media conspiracies. Toyota fans seem to really have their backs up over the new model.

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