There has been a lot of anticipation surrounding the 2016 Toyota Tacoma. This redesigned midsize pickup has plenty of differences and similarities between the new and old models, putting forth quantifiable changes while retaining some familiarity. In this article, we will discuss the top five changes worth noting.
The 3.5-Liter V-6
The 1GR-FE 4.0-liter V-6’s exodus from the U.S. market continues, with the new, smoother running, and less vocally demonstrative 3.5-liter V-6 coded 2GR-FKS replacing it for 2016. The two V-6s are mechanically quite dissimilar, with the 278-hp, 265-lb-ft 3.5-liter grabbing a net 42-hp advantage and 1-lb-ft reduction. Torque and power peaks have shifted higher in the rev range—the V-6 redline jumps from 5,500 to 6,200 rpm—but estimated EPA fuel economy improves slightly.
People didn’t used to expect much from pickup trucks in terms of safety, save for the reassurance of heavy doors and the crush distance between the tailgate and the cab. Now, because of cleverer engineering and advanced software guidance, the best possible crash safety should be a given. To help in this area, the Tacoma’s cabin structure has been significantly reinforced, especially at the critical A- and (on the Double Cab) B-pillars.
A strengthened frame and body shell provide the solid foundation to appropriately manage NVH, and enhanced sealing and copious rogue-frequency-jamming materials collaborate to keep the interior quiet. You can drive a Jeep Wrangler to the local off-highway vehicle area; the difference in the Tacoma is you can simultaneously hold a reasonable conversation at speeds above 40 mph.
Tacoma’s box has increased in height, giving the truck more substantial proportions. The various bed widths haven’t changed from the 2015 model, and the lengths are extended by 0.2 inch, all while the box height has gone up 1.1 inches. Of course, the additional depth pairs well with the factory-offered tonneau cover and locking, damped tailgate.
Gross Weight Rating
Gross vehicle and gross combined weight ratings are the numbers that matter if you do a lot of hauling and towing. The GVWR is a flat 5,600 pounds regardless of engine, transmission, driveline, cab style, etc., an upgrade from the outgoing generation’s 4,900-5,500-pound ratings. GCWR is a uniform 11,360 pounds, up from 2015’s 7,500-11,100.
Knowing this, along with knowing that you will still be covered under an excellent warranty plan, makes the Tacoma an excellent choice for anyone looking for a midsize pickup to call their own. Toyota of Killeen would be more than happy to get you into one today.
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