Toyota’s 2016 Tacoma has new updates to the V6 engine, has new transmissions, has a new interior, and a new exterior. There are fixes, corrections and updates everywhere one looks. However, look through the new rims at the rear of this truck and you will not see disc brakes.
This absolutely horrifies some Tacoma fans. Of course, the Tacoma in their driveway has drum brakes. Still, many see it as a backward-leaning technology. Something that has been surpassed by newer technology and is simply a no-brainer on a new truck. Were this a sports sedan, sports car, or even a sporty mid-size we would agree that drum brakes do seem out of place, but on a truck, not so much.
Trucks are very heavily weigh-biased in front. With no cargo in the bed, a pickup does not use the rear brakes very much to stop the vehicle. The front discs do much of the work, in fact, almost all of the work. Even with brake force distribution technology the front brakes are carrying most of the burden. Aaron Cole at TheTruthAboutCars asked Mike Swears, Tacoma’s Chief engineer, about the rear drums. Swears, said, “Discs are great when it comes to ventilating heat from heavy towing, but we’re not hearing that need from Tacoma owners.”
This being an opinion piece, I will give you my six great reasons why I would prefer rear drums on a Tacoma. The first two reasons are the rear calipers on my (used) 1979 Toyota Celica Supra. Both froze, and I had almost no money back then to deal with it. The second two reasons are the two brake calipers at the back of my 2007 Toyota Highlander, both of which froze last year and were replaced at about the cost of the complete Supra when it was young. The last two reasons are the two rear calipers on my Lexus 2010 IS 350C. They were replaced last week after I had determined they were frozen. I am smarter now, and I have a Lexus extended warranty. Otherwise, I would have shelled out $1308.04 according to Lexus if I had wanted new Lexus calipers.
Tacomas are supposed to be one of the most reliable vehicles in Toyota’s fleet. Take the drums. Smile.
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