2016 Toyota Tacoma: What We Don't Like

Toyota Tacoma Limited 22 II

It's clear that Toyota has done a solid job of improving just about every aspect of the midsize 2016 Tacoma when compared to the long-neglected previous generation. In fact, it's been 10 years since this pickup truck has had anything more than a styling refresh. But what motivation did Toyota have? The Tacoma has been the dominant player in an anemic segment, that is until GM took a huge gamble and built a dedicated plant to produce two new midsize pickups. However, even with all the improvements to the new 2016 Tacoma, there are some issues we're surprised still exist.


Door-Slam Still Sounds 'Tinny'

Admittedly, this is typical of just about every small vehicle sold on the planet. Thinner body materials in the doors of smaller pickups will not sound as solid as the doors of a bigger, heavier truck. Still, this is the place where the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon stand head and shoulders above Nissan and Toyota. We should note that this "tinny" sound does not necessarily affect crash- or crush-test results.


Still Has Drum Brakes

Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road 39 Drum II

Toyota seems entrenched on this one. Several engineers spent a good amount of time explaining how the performance they're getting out of the simpler drum-brake design allowed them to put time, effort and money into other new features that really needed the upgrades. Still, the drum brakes did not look good during the Crawl Control sand exhibition.


No TRD Pro Announced Yet

This definitely falls under the category of teasing. Chalk it up to a good marketing strategy to include a strong four-wheel-drive package on an aging platform — that's what we got last year when the TRD Pro (4x4 shocks, springs, wheels, tires, and style) was introduced for the final year of the previous-gen Tacoma. Considering how good the Crawl Control Multi-Terrain System is on the 2016 model, the new TRD Pro better be amazing when it debuts.


New V-6 Engine Will Take Getting Used To

Toyota Tacoma SR5 18 II

The power characteristics of the new Atkinson-cycle engine, in combination with the all-new super-smart six-speed transmission, will take some getting used to. Yes, it is quite advanced and will provide power and better fuel economy, but investing in this type of high-performance engine may be exactly the wrong engine for a work-duty load hauler. We'll have to see how the engine handles customer abuse before making our final assessment.


Steering Feels Numb and Slow

We know dialing in steering feel and responsiveness is more art than science (and we know Toyota is a company better at science than art), but we were hoping for a better on-center feel from the new truck. Although better on the 4x4 Access Cab model we drove, the Double Cab longbed felt numb during most of our drive on two-lane mountain highways; it also offered a horrible turning circle.


Needs Better Tire Choices

Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road 21 II

We have strong praise for the off-roading abilities of both the standard 4x4 setup as well as the conquer-any-mountain Tacoma TRD Off Road trim, but the tire choices — especially for the TRD versions — seem horribly inadequate for dealing with anything serious. We understand that when tire-choice trade-offs need to be made, they'll likely skew toward less aggressive treads and harder compounds, but Toyota certainly could have offered more than several types of all-season tires.


Weight Savings Where It Counts

Although there was some discussion about the added use of high-strength steel in the frame and ultra-high-strength steel in body panels, it did not seem like the issue was too important to the engineers. The gross vehicle weight rating is up slightly, and payload and towing capacities are up too, but the Colorado feels, sounds and looks more solid, and both its gas engines provide more power. Being lighter doesn't mean you have to go smaller with your powertrains.

Manufacturer images


Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport 41 II



I must side with Keith. There is no doubt in my mind that a Chevy Colorado is comparable to a Toyota Tacoma so far as dependability and reliability is concerned, the same can be said regarding Ford reliability. Toyota built it's reputation on reliability and it is still the most reliable on the road. Look at resale value, Chevy and Ford can't hold a match to it.

Any interest on a story about original tires, performance/durability and best replacements in variety of categories?

The V6 is NOT an Atkinson cycle engine. The compression ratio is the same 11.8:1 as the 2gr-fse V6 from which it was based.
It is a regular engine, that can really retard the intake valve timing to boost mileage.
The 2gr-fse has the ability to adjust the intake valve timing from 31 to 71 degrees after Bottom Dead Center.
So how much later can this engine retard its intake valve timing?

Enough with the tinny non-load hauler Tacoma. I have owned many full size F150 and mid-size Tacoma trucks. I currently drive a 2014 V8 F150 with the 355 limited slip. It is great. I bought it with intentions of buying a camper. Daughter went to college. No camper. Buying a new 2016 Tacoma as soon as I can. The tinny Tacoma suits my needs. In one year I have only hauled 2 sets of tires in the Ford. I have a difficult time finding safe roomy parking. I sold my Prerunner when I bought the Ford. As great as it is I, mr average homeowner consumer, cannot justify the solid big truck with poor mpg with selective parking. I missed my Tacoma 1 week after I bought the Ford. Unless they change the tow rating the new Tacoma should still be able to haul a lighter camper with ease. That is what most consumers require.

Bought an early 2015 Colorado...can't wait to get rid of it. Fortunately, it is a company truck so will pawn if off on one of the other employees. It is a 4 x 4 Z71 Off Road. Yet the skirt below the front bumper is only 9 inches off the pavement. Not suitable for some of the ranch land I need to drive.

The designers today want to achieve a wedge shape so they jack up the rear end and make a very deep box. So now if I throw a chain in the back I nearly have to crawl in the box to retrieve it.

There is so much volume in the back, the only thing that would fill the box without going over weight would be mulch.
Need to tarp a load...good luck. Only four loops and they are not well placed.

Remote start...maybe 50 ft range. Requires a key and a fob. Unlock the truck with a key and you have about 15 sec to put the key In the ignition or the horn starts beeping.

Hundred degree day...good airflow on my right armVery little on my left. Gonna be out all day on the job, None of the drink holders Are large enough for an insulated container Or a big Slurpee.

The 2016 Taco is looking pretty good to me.

The reason Toyota went with drum brakes is because of off roading. I have always been a Ford fan but when I drove the 2016 Tacoma I fell in love with it! I know own it and am extremely happy with it, I have no complaints with it. Ps the 4x4 works awesome!

I don't get where the door slam on the 2016 Tacoma sounds tinny, When I close the doors on my new 2016 Tacoma the sound very solid, and everything else that is negative that is said about the new Tacoma is just the opinion of the reviewer...so I think your review is bias toward the two GM twins which will never equal quality of of Toyota!

If drum brakes are worse than disc brakes than why are they cheaper to replace and hold the wheels better than rear discs? If you can't change drum brakes very easily, then there's something wrong with you. I've never had a problem with my 03 Mazda B3000. Hell I ran those drums way past the turn point and not once did it bounce around while breaking like disc brakes will do if you don't turn them.

I have a new 2016 silver trd... I rides verrrry smooth.... so I don know what you guys are talking about.... I don't mind the drums cause on my 2006 I changed them twice in 372,000 km...
Gas Mileage however is appauling.. you would expect with a better motor and another gear anddd 10 years you get better mileage than what I get... which is basically a little better than my 10 year old Taco.
I spent 2500 dollars in 10 years in repairs on my 2006 Tacoma, so no one can say these trucks aren't built solid. The whole exhaust, tie rod ends, and steering components all original when I got 13,500 CAN for it when a girl T-boned me... that's right a 10 year old truck with 230,000 miles and the insurance gave me that. A ford or chev like that would have given me 3-5000 dollars. the resale value alone is worth buying a Tacoma.
Other than that the truck is very solid... and looks way sportier and toy like than any of the other trucks..in fact I parked beside a 2012 silver TRD and I couldn't believe how much better it looks then the prev gen. The Colorado looks like a car.... the canyon is more of a truck in my opinion.

just finished looking for small truck.toyota tacoma is the way to go.even the seating feels better.not in pressed with chev or gmc lot nicer interior etc.frank

When is Tacoma going to put a real bumper on, plastic is for Mattel. this is a truck!!

I have a 2016 Limited , so far it's the best truck I've ever owned, I half to admit GM offers a lot for the money, but nobody knows that both GM trucks are made by partner company ISUZU , both 1st and 2nd generation , even say's online partner company, salesman didn't know or won't admit it , I have worked on old to new ISUZU's being in a Government fleet service , they still look the same , if you dig you will find that GM is the biggest liar under a 1/3rd of there vehicles names from all kinds of companies going back as far as 1973 , My Toyota is built by Toyota , a lost art in today's auto's , as for the engine it says in the manual all testing was done with 92 octane , will run as low as 87 ok , I can tell you 92 makes a BIG difference . As for the doors I only can speak for my limited , they shut easier and quieter than my 2014 BMW 435i xdrive . Tires REALLY , I bet 25% keep the OEM tires , I will , this truck drives like a upper end car, sorry I'm 57. I'm stopping here because I'll keep going , P.S. every Tacoma sells like hot cakes , it's the #1 truck to steal also. TOYOTA forever!

Interesting comments from you all.

I briefly owned for a 10 months period of time a 2012 Tacoma, Access Cab, 2.7 L engine, 57,000 km. when purchased . I liked the truck on all aspects. But it needed 4,000$ of repair under warranty during those 10 months, on items mechanics usually never operate.

Had bought it as a second vehicle to be owned many years thereafther. Decided not to go over the warranty time with it considering past and current repairs.

Since I liked the truck, I bought the same new, year model 2016.
No issue so far and interesting updates: softer ride, better sound insulation, better gaz mileage, better audio system,
auto trans from 4 to 6 speeds, modern interior finishing, etc.

3,000 km so far. Very satisfied.

Robert P.

2016 tacoma has no power compared to the 2012 Tacoma very dispointed would not buy another one

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