What is the scariest thing a car segment can imagine? A new model that enters the segment would be the most frightening thing for many vehicle models as long as it is a great model. Pair that with the fact the new model is from a company was a leader for many years and instead of simply offering one model, they offer two. Such was the case when GM showed up in the mid-sized truck segment with the GMC Canyon and the Chevrolet Colorado. By coming back into the mid-sized truck class, other models that were long overdue for remodels were now highlighted as needing attention, which includes the Toyota Tacoma.
Thankfully, Toyota took action quickly and has redesigned the Tacoma to offer a new generation starting in 2016. This new Tacoma will offer a new style with a larger and bolder gill and a blockier front end with a much more squared- off hood line. There will be four new wheel designs ranging in size from sixteen to eighteen inches in size.
Under the hood of the new Tacoma will be a fuel-efficient 3.5-liter V6 Atkinson engine. This new engine is related to the one that currently powers the Highlander Hybrid giving the Tacoma a great new choice. The base 2.7-liter inline four-cylinder engine will continue for 2016, but is expected to offer a bit more fuel efficiency than before. Both engines will be attached to a new six-speed automatic transmission to give the best performance and fuel efficiency and the V6 engine can be had with a new six-speed manual transmission as well.
Taking a page out of the Ford playbook, Toyota will offer the Tacoma with two cabs and five different trim levels. These two cabs will be the Access Cap or the Double Cab with the five trim levels being the SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and Limited all offered in 2WD or 4WD. The frame and suspension have both also been updated to improve the overall ride quality of the truck and give better off road capability. Another cool addition is the option for shoppers to purchase a tri-fold tonneau cover while the tailgate adds a new easy-lowering feature.
A really cool feature that has been added is the standard offering of a GoPro mount near the rear-view mirror in all Tacoma models. The new interior will also have a soft-touch feel to it along with an updated touchscreen audio control system and even have some optional premium features such as a power moonroof, push button starting, leather seating, dual-zone climate control, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alerts along with the Qi wireless charging.
Competition breeds improvements and causes many, regardless of the realm to need to reevaluate what they have to offer and change their game for the better. You can see just how the Tacoma has improved when its released to dealers in the 2016 model year, which will surely make the mid-sized truck segment the most competitive it has been in a long time.