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Impressions: 2016 Tacoma

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Impressions: 2016 Tacoma

Old 01-11-2016, 08:36 PM
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Impressions: 2016 Tacoma

Picked her up Saturday.

White base model SR 4x4 with the convenience package. 2.7L four cylinder and 5 speed manual transmission.

Having owned many Toyotas over the years, including first gen Tacomas, my initial feeling is that Toyota did an absolutely fantastic job in designing this truck.

Understand also that I am generally critical about cars in general. I like things a certain way, and am a purist at heart - liking older vintage 4x4s and sports cars - lets say a 1980 Toyota 4x4 and Air-Cooled 911 are near the top of my list. Newer cars tend to annoy me or cause me to stare disdainfully at them for a variety of reasons.

With that said, the first thing I really like is the driving position, hard to describe, but high up with good visibility. Feels good.

Next, the overall feel of the truck is solid It just feels well put together. I dig the styling, and while I owned only first gen Tacos in the past, I like the more modern look of this truck - though truthfully I would love a return to the 1980 Toyota 4x4 style, but Ill take what I can get.

The interior is fantastic, with the fit and finish feeling top notch. The dash design is outstanding IMO; simple, elegant and just very functional without excess. Nice lines and good visibility out the front. The touchscreen audio system, and I suppose the base one since its on my SR, with steering wheel controls and bluetooth calling/voice commands etc is great. Not something I really thought I cared about, but it is really pretty darn good. Simple, passable sound, and easy to use. Climate control buttons, are simple, no-nonsense and functional. Yes, I wish the 4WD was engaged with a damn lever, but fine Ill use the stupid button. Ha.... Seats are very comfy, especially compared to my first gen taco seats, the rear seats and layout are great, lots of room back there. Now I just need to figure out how to disconnect the damn seatbelt chimes.

The headlights are awesome. Projector beams, they have a very clean beam pattern, and are very bright based on what I am used to. Big fan, and yes you know, of course the guys over at Tacomaworld have already installed HID bulbs in these lights, and they look fantastic. I think 150 for the pair? Also dig the daytime running lights/parking lights.

I have the 2.7L 4 and out here in Jackson, I routinely drive over the mountains at altitude. This engine will not win any races, thats for sure, and I need 3rd, and even 2nd to get over the mountains when it gets steep, but what the heck, its a truck. Everywhere else, power delivery is smooth and plenty fast. The 5 speed manual, is clean shifting, and thank you thank you thank you Toyota for keeping it around with the 4wd and little 4cyl. Such a joy to drive it. This relative of the 22re likes to rev and seems happiest between 3 and 4k.

The driving experience is top notch. Granted, I was coming from a 1992 Saab turbo most recently (which I loved dearly and almost cried when I left it at the dealership), but coming back from Bozeman where I purchased the truck, I was just very impressed with the general feel and dynamics of this vehicle. Structurally, it is super tight feeling. I was pretty much smiling the entire time driving it back, ha. The suspension soaks up bumps well, though this is just on snowy and icy roads so far. No trail work for her yet, but its coming. Good steering feel, I would prefer a bit more weight, but overall Toyota did a good job. The pickup bed is awesome, along with the bed tie downs and other functional storage and attachment points back there, the slow drop tailgate is cool...not sure why I want it ha, but I like it.


Well, those are first impressions. This truck will hopefully be my partner in crime for a long time. Still needs to be trail tested, but from this man's opinion, Toyota hit a home run with this truck.

Last edited by IB Nolan; 07-11-2016 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:57 AM
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I must say I am surprised with your assessment. Most of the write-ups I have seen have been pretty negative. I personally like my 2016 so far. My setup is a little different than yours (SR5 DCLB) but I got the truck for the heritage, the practicality and the value. The last thing I want to keep running into is forums with a bunch of people talking crap about my new truck. So, thank you for your positive share on your first impression. Oh, and I concur. I think it is a great truck.

Last edited by TRD On Road; 01-13-2016 at 06:58 AM. Reason: Final thought
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by TRD On Road View Post
I must say I am surprised with your assessment. Most of the write-ups I have seen have been pretty negative. I personally like my 2016 so far. My setup is a little different than yours (SR5 DCLB) but I got the truck for the heritage, the practicality and the value. The last thing I want to keep running into is forums with a bunch of people talking crap about my new truck. So, thank you for your positive share on your first impression. Oh, and I concur. I think it is a great truck.

Yeah, Ive noticed that too...I havent owned a second gen , only first, but I think Toyota did a great job here.
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Old 01-15-2016, 07:10 PM
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.....

Last edited by GodwinAustin; 01-21-2016 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 03-28-2016, 01:29 PM
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Just adding the GodwinAustin's already thorough assessment of his new Tacoma.

I have the TRD Sport Double Cab 4x4 with the 3.5 V6. So far I am pleased with the performance and capabilities of the truck. Aside from the much criticized late RPM peak in torque and horsepower, the new engine provides the power you need on demand. I am coming out of a 4.7L V8 Tundra to my Tacoma and I find it amazing that losing two cylinders only cost me 4HP and zero torque. Literally, the only difference is the RPM range at which that power and torque is available.

Driveability is great! The ride is extremely smooth on the road (almost like driving a sedan), but the off road capabilities are what you expect out of a Toyota. It's almost like the truck knows what you're driving on and responds accordingly. It snowed the first week I owned my truck and I tested in about 6" of snow in 4WD as well as 2WD. It outperformed my expectations in the snow - especially in 2WD! It grabbed slippery surfaces extremely well and stopped on a dime even when I was mashing the brakes trying to get it to skid.

The size of the truck is perfect for a mid-sized truck - especially for somebody like me that likes the comfort and security of a full-sized truck. While the interior is smaller than my 2005 Tundra double cab, the design of the truck makes it "feel" bigger than what it is, yet it still drives and handles like a mid-sized truck. The back seat is adequate for a small family, but can cramp taller passengers. I have a one year old that rides in a full car seat and a four year old that rides in a booster seat and both of them and their seats fit in the back seat adequately. Getting them seated and buckled up isn't an issue either.

The negatives that I have experienced so far are mostly limited to the engine and economy. My BIGGEST complaint (and this is just something that I'll need to get over) is how the engine sounds. With Toyota's "Atkinson Cycle" engine, it makes noises that a person like me would typically consider to be "bad" or indications of something not running properly under the hood. At idle the engine has a "tick" that sounds like a poorly adjusted valve or an exhaust leak. There are actually two different "ticks" - one is due to the "Atkinson Cycle" (I use quotes because it isn't a true Atkinson Cycle engine) and Variable Valve Timing (VVT) allowing a portion of the air/fuel mixture to re-enter the intake on compression stroke and the other tick is due to the engine's self cleaning cycle. Like I said, I'll just have to figure out a way to get over it, but it may take some time given my engine knowledge. The other negative is the fuel economy. I believe the sticker states 19 City/24 Highway - I pretty much drive a 50/50 city to highway ratio and on 6 fill-ups I have gotten 19.3, 17.9, 16.6, 17.1, 18.8 and 17.2mpg averaging out to only 17.8 mpg. My latest tank average of 19.3 mpg came after a granny footed the entire tank. Not that fuel economy is a major issue for me, I just don't like being lied to. Plus there are V8's out there that get similar or better fuel economy.

The other day I finally got a chance to tow something! I have a 18' Tidewater center console that weighs in at 2,022lbs plus a 600lb trailer and it was loaded with 38 gallons of fuel and a bunch of gear so it would have probably tipped the scales at about 3,100lbs as towed. It was about half the towing capacity of the truck and it towed it like a champ! Acceleration was good, maintaining speed wasn't an issue at all and I couldn't tell any noticeable difference in braking over braking without the trailer. The on board fuel economy computer let me know quickly that fuel economy suffers greatly while towing. I got about 10.5mpg over a 50 mile highway haul at 65mph. I did notice that the instant fuel economy was much better at about 40mph - maybe around 15-16mpg which I think is reasonable. But overall, the towing experience was great!

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Like I said, overall I am please with the truck so far. If I had to do it all over again, I would still buy it.
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Old 04-17-2016, 02:16 PM
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Kawazx636, I'm anxious to try towing my 2,200 lb camper soon. Part of the reason I got the 2016 Tacoma (TRD Off Road double cab) was to replace my 2001 4Runner which wasn't a very good tow vehicle here in the mountains of Colorado. It was all I could do to keep my speed above 30 mph on some of the passes.

Did you install a brake controller? The manual says there's a quick connect for a brake controller but I must be blind since I can't seem to see it. The only open connection under the dash appears to be the OBD scanner port.

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Old 04-19-2016, 11:27 PM
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No brake controller yet, but honestly for what I have towed so far it definitely wasn't needed. I forgot that I was even towing the boat on several occasions!
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:52 AM
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Yeah, I'm hopping the increased HP over my old 4Runner makes it feel like I'm not towing, too. Unfortunately, I really need the brake controller solely because I live in the mountains. I usually go over two or three 9,000 ft - 12,000 ft mountain passes to get to where ever I camp and using the camper trailer's brakes is essential for safety. Sadly, I can't find the connector under the dash.

I may just go to the service dept at my dealer and have them find it.
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Old 11-02-2016, 12:04 PM
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I have the same setup as the OP, stick shift and white, just bought the 2017 last week, and although it's pretty slow, I really like it, even more than my 92 4runner and 93 hilux, and that's saying something, because I LOVED the 4runner.
I've only ever had 5 speeds, and I test drove the 2.7 with an automatic, and I'm very glad I insisted on a manual trans.
Living in TN, I also encounter some pretty steep hills, and I'm pretty happy with how well the truck gets around compared to my tired old 4 cylinder wrangler lifted on 33's.
The jeep will continue to be my wheeler, but the Taco rings th daily driver bell pretty loudly, so much so that I actually have to think about whether I'd rather ride the motorcycle to work today....

Over all I agree with just about everything the OP said, and I'm very glad I spent my hard earned on another Toyota 4x4

Last edited by thechief86; 11-02-2016 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:07 PM
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I like mine. I think it's a lot like Kawazx636's except it's Super White and I have stock tires. There's no "What did you do with..." thread here. I've put on a Tyger tonneau cover. $168 from Amazon, took 20 minutes to install and it did not leak during Hurricane Matthew. It's gone up in price since I bought it, still worth it:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I accidentally got the stupid Toyota floor liners. I would rather have got Weathertechs. I have done quite a bit of highway driving. Last fill up I got 23.7 mpg's. I drive about 5 above the speed limit and use cruise control when I can. I'm wondering what the mpg hit is if I take off the lower plastic valence? It looks wonky.

Today I took off the dealer license frame and the stick on dealer emblem. Also took off the V6 emblem. Tomorrow it's supposed to be 86 degrees so I'll take off the Tacoma emblems on the sides. The 3M emblem tape is coming off easily while it's new.

What is everyone doing with oil changes? I get free maintenance for two years but they don't include an oil change with the 4,000 mile check up. I'll have them do the transmission TSB and update the radio software but what else? I'm getting the oil changed somehow.

On that note, I found a deal on a case of 10 OEM oil filters, $37.50 delivered:
https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Scion...oyota%3Atacoma

Last edited by Nervo19; 11-02-2016 at 07:23 PM.
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