Not willing to be beat by Chevrolet, Toyota showed off the redesigned 2016 3rd Generation Tacoma at the Detroit Auto Show.
Unveiled today, during the Detroit Auto Show, the new Tacoma adopts much of the machismo exterior design found on Toyota’s larger, full-size pickup offerings (such as the Tundra and 4Runner). The front end is definitely eye-catching, if not exactly a beauty queen. Then again, pickup truck buyers aren’t usually too worried about turning heads or impressing valets.
Fuel economy is a concern, however, even when today’s gas prices remain so low. Toyota stated that the Tacoma’s available 4 and 6-cylinder engines are more powerful and deliver better economy, though the automaker wasn’t giving specific figures just yet. The base 4-cylinder is available only with a 6-speed automatic, strangely enough. Stepping up to the new Atkinson-cycle, 3.5-liter V-6 nets you a choice of 6-speed auto or manual – usually it’s the base engine that comes with a stick-shift option, but there you go.
Considering the GM pickup truck duo manages 26-mpg during highway driving (with the V-6), you can bet Toyota is eager to match or possibly exceed that mark.
Pricing will likely remain close to the current model, meaning a range of $21,000 to $30,000, depending on trim and options. According to Toyota, roughly 40-percent of Tacoma buyers opt for the more rugged (and pricier) TRD variants. That explains Toyota’s decision to also bring a Tacoma in TRD Off-Road trim onstage here at the Detroit show.
This trim level nets you the Multi-Terrain Select system, which monitors braking and wheel spin based on whether you’re traversing mud, rocks, or sand. A variety of other all-terrain features – like crawl control, hill descent control, and locking rear differential – are also available.
In terms of safety, the Tacoma is now available with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and blind-spot detection system. The cabin has also been improved with higher quality materials and extra sound deadening measures, meant to ensure a quieter, more relaxed ride.
The Detroit show has proven that Toyota isn’t about to release its grip on the lucrative midsize pickup truck market.