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2016 Toyota Tacoma Review

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma ranks near the top of its class on the strength of a great reliability rating and solid safety scores. It also has a powerful V6 engine option and a well-built interior.

Pros & Cons

  • Great off-road performance
  • Excellent reliability score
  • Upscale, high-tech interior
  • Tight rear seats
  • Meager four-cylinder engine




Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Toyota Tacoma Overview

Is the 2016 Toyota Tacoma a Good Used Truck?

The 2016 Tacoma was fully redesigned, and it's a pretty good used truck. In addition to great safety and reliability scores, it has good overall performance for the class. It can't tow as much as some rivals can, but models with the V6 engine have lively acceleration, decent gas mileage, and composed handling. All models come with features like a rearview camera and a touch-screen infotainment system, and the redesign resulted in a high-quality, quiet cabin. The 2016 Tacoma is worth a luck for any used truck shopper – just be sure to skip over models with the anemic four-cylinder engine or the Access Cab (which limits rear passenger space).

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 22 Toyota Tacoma reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of automotive industry experience combined. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Toyota Tacoma?

Prices for the 2016 Tacoma range from about $23,500 to almost $36,000, with the average price landing around $30,500. These figures are based on the nearly 2,000 listings for the 2016 Tacoma on our site. Prices will fluctuate depending on each vehicle's features, mileage, condition, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Toyota Tacoma Cost to Own?

The 2016 Tacoma is right in line with its competitors when it comes to ongoing costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance. You can expect to pay around $25,500 over five years for these expenses. The 2016 Chevy Colorado's five-year costs are about the same. By comparison, the 2016 GMC Canyon will save you a couple hundred dollars over that time frame, while the 2016 Nissan Frontier will cost you several hundred more. The full-size 2016 Toyota Tundra’s upkeep costs are about $5,800 more than the Tacoma’s.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Tacoma?

The Toyota Tacoma was fully redesigned for 2016 and belongs to the same generation as the 2018 model. Major changes in this generation include the new-for-2017 TRD Pro model and advanced safety features that were introduced and made standard for 2018, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and pedestrian detection.

If these features are important to you, your only choice will be a new model. They'll be included with the 2018 Tacoma (MSRP $25,200). If you don't care about the new tech features, you may be better off with a used model. You’ll likely get a higher trim for less money.

Read about the new Toyota Tacoma »

There are several new compact trucks that have base prices far less than even the low end of the 2016 Tacoma’s prices. These include the 2018 Nissan Frontier ($18,990), the 2018 Chevrolet Colorado ($20,200), and the 2018 GMC Canyon ($21,100). The Colorado and Canyon (which are nearly identical) only have two seats in their base trims. These models are geared more toward work applications, though they do come with standard features like a touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The standard Nissan Frontier has four seats and some creature comforts, like a rearview camera, Bluetooth, and a USB port. That may be an appealing option if you'd prefer to buy a new truck, but still don't want to pay a lot. If you decide a new truck is better for you, check out the current car deals and our Best Price Program, which may narrow the price difference between used and new.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Toyota Tacoma?

According to J.D. Power, the 2016 Toyota Tacoma has a reliability score of 4.5 out of five. That's a very good score – and the same as the 2016 Nissan Frontier’s rating.

Read more about Tacoma reliability »

2016 Toyota Tacoma Recalls

As of this writing, four recalls apply to the 2016 Tacoma. The first involves a dealer-installed accessory hood scoop that may detach, creating a hazard on the road. The second is in regard to a crank position sensor that may malfunction, potentially causing the engine to stall and increase the risk of a crash. Another involves the rear differential, which is prone to leaking; driving with little oil in that part may cause the vehicle to seize up and the driver to lose control. Lastly, incorrect bolts in the driver's knee air bag may loosen over time and increase risk to the driver in the event that the air bag is deployed. Before purchasing a used Tacoma, make sure these recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Toyota Tacoma safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Toyota Tacoma Is Best?

The Tacoma was fully redesigned for 2016. Aside from the introduction of the TRD Pro trim, the 2017 Tacoma is pretty similar to the 2016 model. The 2018 Tacoma adds lots of standard active safety features, which are also available for the first time. Still, you can likely save thousands of dollars by choosing a 2016 Tacoma over a new model.

You could also save even more by shopping in the previous generation, but know that you won't get the benefits of the redesign. These benefits include revamped interior and exterior styling, a newly available 278-horsepower V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, and a 300-pound increase in towing capacity. Among the last few years of the prior generation, there are some changes to note: the Entune touch-screen system was made standard in the 2014 Tacoma, so some models prior to that may not have that feature. That model year was also the last to offer a Regular Cab body style. Starting with the 2015 Tacoma, all models have two rows of seats.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Tacoma »

Which Used Toyota Tacoma Model Is Right for Me?

You can find the 2016 Toyota Tacoma in two body styles (a four-seat Access Cab and a five-seat Double Cab), two bed lengths (5 feet and 6.1 feet), and five trim levels (SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off Road, and Limited). Available drivetrains are some combination of a four-cylinder or V6 engine; a five-speed manual, six-speed manual, or six-speed automatic transmission; and rear- or four-wheel drive.

The Tacoma SR trim has a 6.1-inch touch screen, a USB port, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, and a limited-slip rear differential. The Toyota Tacoma SR5 adds navigation, satellite radio, cruise control, and remote keyless entry. The Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport adds a 7-inch touch screen and proximity keyless entry. The Tacoma TRD Off Road trim adds Bilstein shocks, a locking rear differential, and additional traction control modes. The Tacoma Limited (Double Cab only) adds heated front seats, leather upholstery, rear parking sensors, and blind spot monitoring.

The Tacoma SR trim offers the best value in the lineup, thanks to its many standard features. It’s also the most versatile, as each engine, transmission, and drivetrain configuration is available in the SR trim.

See 2016 Toyota Tacoma trims and specs »

What Does Toyota's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Toyota offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 85,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Toyota provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty on all its certified pre-owned vehicles, and it extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the initial sale date or 100,000 miles. Each CPO Toyota must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like a CarFax vehicle history report, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Toyota warranty page carefully.

Toyota’s CPO program is about average for an affordable carmaker, according to our research. Hyundai and Kia both have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Tacoma?

The 2016 Tacoma has better safety scores than most of its rivals. From the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Tacoma earned the highest rating of Good in all five crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2016 Tacoma four out of five stars overall. That includes four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests, and five stars in the side crash test.

The Tacoma is available with a few advanced safety features. All models have a standard rearview camera, and you can find other models with driver assistance tech like rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

See Tacoma safety scores »

2016 Toyota Tacoma Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Toyota Tacoma or 2016 Toyota Tundra?

The 2016 Toyota Tundra is a full-size truck that is far more capable than the Tacoma. Its potent V8 has a 10,500-pound towing capacity, and you'll get more passenger room and the option of an 8-foot bed. However, average prices for a 2016 Tundra are about $5,600 more than a Tacoma. The Tacoma and Tundra are evenly matched when it comes to safety features and a user-friendly infotainment system. The Tacoma comes out on top for its great off-road ability, higher fuel economy, and much better reliability rating. If you're looking for a daily driver that can do some light work, save money and go with the Tacoma. The only reason to pick the more expensive Tundra is if you need ample passenger space and half-ton muscle.

Which Is Better: 2016 Toyota Tacoma or 2016 Chevrolet Colorado?

The 2016 Chevrolet Colorado trails the Tacoma a smidge in reliability ratings, but both trucks' ratings are excellent. Otherwise, the Colorado comes out on top in areas where the Tacoma disappoints – and even where it excels. The Colorado is more comfortable and offers a roomier interior, and all 2016 models have an infotainment system with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Chevy also boasts higher fuel economy estimates and a very efficient diesel engine (22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway). Its towing capacity tops out at 7,700 pounds. Because of its overall combination of quality and value, we named the Colorado our 2016 Best Compact Truck for the Money. The Colorado is better than the Tacoma based on its performance and interior accommodations, but both of these trucks are a good buy.

Which Is Better: 2016 Toyota Tacoma or 2016 Nissan Frontier?

The 2016 Tacoma beats out the 2016 Nissan Frontier in pretty much every way. It even matches the Nissan's excellent reliability score. The Tacoma gets better V6 fuel economy than the Frontier, and it has a nicer interior quality and more advanced safety features. Both trucks offer good off-road abilities and tow ratings of over 6,000 pounds, but they also have similarly cramped rear seats. The Frontier’s average price is thousands of dollars less than the Tacoma’s, but the Frontier’s extremely bare-bones base model doesn’t match up well with the base Toyota. Unless you're on a strict budget, stick with the Tacoma.

Compare the Tacoma, Colorado, and Frontier »

2016 Tacoma Performance

How Does the 2016 Toyota Tacoma Drive?

The Tacoma comes with a standard four-cylinder engine that makes 159 horsepower. A V6 that generates 278 horsepower is available. Rear-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard; four-wheel drive and either a five-speed or a six-speed manual transmission are available. The four-cylinder engine feels gruff and short on power, whereas the larger V6 has lively acceleration.

The 2016 Tacoma has a comfortable and composed ride, and it maneuvers well thanks to its refined suspension and steering. That said, the Tacoma’s ride quality can’t quite match the smoother experience of the Chevrolet Colorado. The Tacoma excels off-road – especially in the TRD Off Road trim, which adds a locking rear differential, Bilstein shock absorbers, additional traction control modes, and crawl control (a low-speed form of cruise control).

Does the 2016 Toyota Tacoma Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2016 Tacoma's best fuel economy estimates (19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway) come from the V6 engine with the six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Mileage drops as low as 17/20 mpg city/highway with the V6 engine, six-speed manual, and four-wheel drive.

The 2016 Nissan Frontier has similar mileage estimates, but other compact trucks with a diesel option – like the 2016 Chevy Colorado – are much more efficient.

2016 Toyota Tacoma Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, a V6-powered 2016 Tacoma can tow up to 6,800 pounds. That beats out the 2016 Nissan Frontier (6,500 pounds), but it's not as much as the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado can tow (7,700 pounds). The full-size 2016 Toyota Tundra can pull up to 10,500 pounds.

Read more about Tacoma performance »

2016 Tacoma Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Tacoma Seat?

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma seats four in Access Cab models and five in Double Cab models. Access Cab body types have half-size rear suicide doors that provide entry for back-seat passengers, but those models' folding jump seats are uncomfortable and legroom is very tight. The Double Cab’s bench seat is much more accommodating, thanks to an extra 8 inches of legroom. The front bucket seats are comfortable, but the driving position is hindered by limited steering wheel adjustments. Taller drivers may also be tight on headroom in models with a sunroof.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Toyota Tacoma?

For securing child safety seats, Double Cab Tacoma models have lower anchors on each of the rear outboard seats, as well as three upper tether anchors in the second row.

2016 Toyota Tacoma Features

The 2016 Tacoma impresses with quality cabin materials and a crisp dashboard design. It is also very quiet when driving on the highway. All models have a 6.1-inch touch screen, a USB port, Bluetooth, voice recognition, and Siri Eyes Free support as standard. The infotainment screen reacts quickly to inputs and features simple menus. Other features you may find include dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, navigation, a larger 7-inch screen, a JBL sound system, and an app suite with support for Pandora, iHeartRadio, Yelp, and more.

See 2016 Toyota Tacoma specs »

Read more about Tacoma interior »

2016 Toyota Tacoma Dimensions

Toyota Tacoma Cargo Space

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma is available with a 5-foot short bed or a 6.1-foot long bed. Payload capacities range from 1,120 pounds to 1,620 pounds, depending on the drivetrain and body type. A locking tailgate and eight tie-down cleats are standard, and some models have a 120-volt outlet located in the bed. The Tacoma's bed is deeper than in previous models, and there is sufficient width to haul full sheets of plywood.

2016 Tacoma Length and Weight

Toyota Tacoma Access Cab models are 17.7 feet long, and Double Cab models are 18.8 feet long. Curb weight ranges from 3,980 to 4,480 pounds, depending on the model.

Where Was the 2016 Toyota Tacoma Built?

The 2016 Tacoma was assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in San Antonio, Texas, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Baja California, Mexico.

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