2016 Toyota Tacoma

Overall Score: 8.5 / 10
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$23,660 - $38,180

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2016 Toyota Tacoma Overview

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma has been newly redesigned, and critics report that it has some of the best off-roading abilities in its class. Additionally, with its responsive infotainment system and well-organized center stack, the Tacoma performs well in our compact pickup truck rankings. However, the Tacoma is less fuel-efficient and has a lower maximum towing capacity than some class rivals.











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Pros & Cons

  • Great off-road prowess
  • Responsive infotainment system
  • Above-average predicted reliability
  • Limited front-seat headroom
  • Below-average fuel economy

Notable for 2016

  • Fully redesigned

Toyota Tacoma Research and Awards

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma has a score of 8.5 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 15 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.


Overall: 8.5
Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 7.7
Safety: 8.9
Reliability: 3_5

2016 Toyota Tacoma Pictures

2016 Toyota Tacoma Review

By Cody Trotter May 11, 2017

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma has been newly redesigned, and critics report that it has some of the best off-roading abilities in its class. Additionally, with its responsive infotainment system and well-organized center stack, the Tacoma performs well in our compact pickup truck rankings. However, the Tacoma is less fuel-efficient and has a lower maximum towing capacity than some class rivals.

The Tacoma's base price of about $23,700 is a bit higher than what you'll pay for some class rivals. Regardless of which trim you choose, you'll have your choice of cab and bed styles, transmission, options packages, and more, so you could end up adding as much as $8,000 or so to your bottom line. A fully loaded Tacoma will cost you in the neighborhood of $40,000, which is in line with other compact pickups.

The Tacoma has one of the highest predicted reliability ratings in the class, and Toyota backs the Tacoma with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Tacoma Performance

Powerful V6 Engine

The Tacoma’s four-cylinder base engine won’t get your blood pumping, and if you ever want to take it off road, opt for the V6. The V6 is substantially more powerful and a better choice for off-road adventures. The V6 also affords the Tacoma a better towing capacity.

Speaking of towing, the Tacoma has a maximum towing capacity of 6,800 pounds and a maximum payload rating of 1,620 pounds. The payload rating is comparable to what you'll get from some compact pickups, but the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon can each tow nearly a half-ton more than the Tacoma.

The Tacoma may also let you down at the gas pump. With the four-cylinder engine, it gets an EPA-estimated 19 mpg in the city and 23 on the highway. While that may not seem terrible for a truck, only the Nissan Frontier is less fuel-efficient. The Colorado, Canyon, and the reintroduced Honda Ridgeline all get around 19 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway.

Off-Road Dream Machine

The Tacoma will certainly not disappoint when the pavement ends. It's a capable off-roader, and the TRD Off-Road trims will put class rivals to shame.

TRD Off-Road trims feature Bilstein off-road-tuned shock absorbers, and those with an automatic transmission are available with a Multi-Terrain Select system that lets you choose different driving modes depending on what kind of terrain you're conquering. There are other off-road-oriented features as well, such as crawl control and a two-speed transfer case.

Composed Ride

Like most trucks, the Tacoma might jostle you a bit over uneven pavement, but its ride is generally smooth over all but the worst road conditions. The Tacoma corners well, and there's minimal body lean when taking curves. The steering is responsive, and the brakes have plenty of stopping power.

Read more about performance »

Tacoma Interior

Quality Materials, but Cramped Cabin

The Tacoma utilizes soft-touch materials throughout the cabin, despite it appearing and feeling like a rugged truck. However, other trucks in its class feel a bit more upscale, such as the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon

The Tacoma comes in your choice of two cabs. Access cab models, which have small rear-hinged doors to gain entry to the rear seats, seat four. Double cab models, with four proper doors – two in front and two in back – seat five. It can be hard to find a comfortable driving position, and if you choose to get a moonroof, you may find the front seats short on headroom as well.

The rear seats in Access cab models are so small that they're only really suited for carrying extra cargo. Double cab models have more rear-seat room, but there's still less space than you'll find in competitors' back seats.

Flexible Cargo Bed

The Tacoma offers two different bed lengths, depending on which cab you get. Access cab models come with a 6-foot bed, and Double cab models are offered with either a 5- or 6-foot bed. The bed is wide enough to haul 4-foot-wide items like sheets of plywood, and it's deep, allowing you to load more stuff without it spilling over the edges. The bed also features movable tie-downs, making it easy to secure your cargo.

Useful Features

The Tacoma is the clear choice in this class if you want off-road performance, and it even extends the adventurous spirit to some of the features it offers. One unique feature that comes standard in the Tacoma is the GoPro windshield mount, which allows you to mount a GoPro camera on the truck to capture your outdoor exploits.

The Tacoma has a well-organized center stack, which is highlighted by Toyota's Entune infotainment system. It includes Bluetooth, allowing you to easily connect your phone, and Siri Eyes Free, which lets you can exchange texts and check emails with voice commands instead of fumbling with your phone and getting distracted.

The infotainment system's touch screen is very responsive, and the graphics are sharp. There are also physical buttons for audio functions like volume and tuning, eliminating the potential frustration of combing through touch-screen menus just to make one minor adjustment.

Music lovers will appreciate the sound quality from the available JBL audio system, and the Tacoma also features Qi wireless charging for compatible devices, letting you easily charge your phone on the way to work.

Read more about interior »

Tacoma Options, Trims, and Pricing

The 2016 Tacoma's SR (base) trim has a price of about $23,700, which is a few thousand dollars more than class rivals like the Chevy Colorado. There are four higher trims, with the highest being the Limited, which starts around $35,000.

No matter which trim of the Tacoma you choose, you may end up paying anywhere from $2,000-$6,000 more than the starting price, depending on whether or not you want four-wheel drive, a manual or automatic transmission, the Access or Double cab, and the 5- or 6-foot bed.

There are also a variety of options packages that range in cost from a few hundred dollars to about $4,400. Most of these packages add towing or styling accessories. However, a few add extra features.

Any package that includes the Premium & Technology add-ons will include comfort features like heated front seats and a power moonroof, as well as active safety features such as blind spot monitoring and a rear cross traffic alert. Some of the more expensive packages also include a premium JBL audio system and navigation.

See 2016 Toyota Tacoma specs and trims »

Tacoma Safety and Reliability

The Tacoma has a slightly higher safety score than class rivals like the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. It also has the highest predicted reliability rating in the class. Toyota covers it with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

The only standard driver assistance feature in the Tacoma is a rearview camera, but others are available. Rear parking sensors and a rear cross traffic alert help you keep a watchful eye when you're backing into or out of a parking spot. Blind spot monitoring can help you out on the highway or in heavy traffic by letting you know what's going on around your vehicle without having to take your eyes off the road.

Read more about safety »

Other Trucks to Consider

The Chevrolet Colorado has one of the highest towing capacities in the class. It offers a more powerful lineup of engines than the Tacoma, including a turbodiesel engine that gets one of the best fuel economy ratings of any truck. The Colorado's cabin is quiet and has excellent materials quality for a compact pickup. The crew cab model's rear seats are roomier than in the Tacoma as well. The Colorado also has one of the lowest starting prices (around $20,000) of any truck in the class.

The Honda Ridgeline is making a return for the 2017 model year, and it stands apart from its fellow compact pickups in several ways. It has the most versatile bed in the class, featuring a dual-action tailgate, a built-in trunk, and an optional built-in audio system for tailgating. The Ridgeline has an incredibly nice cabin, and both rows of seats have enough room for adults to ride comfortably. There are a ton of technology features, including the most driver assistance and active safety features of any truck in the class. However, the Ridgeline doesn't have the same towing and payload capacity as the Tacoma or other rivals, and it's got the highest starting price in the class by a considerable margin.

Compare the Tacoma, Colorado, and Ridgeline in more detail »

Details: 2016 Toyota Tacoma

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma is available in four-seat Access (extended) cab and five-seat Double (crew) cab body styles. Rear-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is optional. A 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine is standard, which can be paired with either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. A 3.5-liter V6 is optional and available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. There are five trim levels: SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, and Limited. The Tacoma is fully redesigned for the 2016 model year.

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma comes standard with a rearview camera, a windshield mount for a GoPro camera, and the Entune Audio infotainment system, which includes a 6.1-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, six speakers, Siri Eyes Free smartphone integration, and a USB port.

Optional features include navigation, a JBL audio system, proximity key, cruise control, Qi wireless charging for compatible devices, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power moonroof, rear parking sensors, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert.

See 2016 Toyota Tacoma specs and trims »

  • "The new Tacoma doesn't make as dramatic a splash as the Colorado and Canyon did in 2015, but it doesn't have to. It was already a strong competitor; Toyota worked on what needed to be improved, making a relatively old truck new again, and even more competitive." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "It's a smaller option for those who don't want or need the massive tow/haul/push/pull ratings of a behemoth pickup. Viewed in that light, the Tacoma is a shining star, and easily remains competitive with the new Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon." -- Autoblog
  • "The 2016 Tacoma makes big improvements in terms of styling and interior features, but our biggest takeaway has to be the truck's merits as a go-anywhere adventure vehicle. Simply put, the 2016 Toyota Tacoma is the most capable vehicle in the small truck segment." -- Left Lane News