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2016 Toyota Tacoma’s unique new drivetrain and more will keep it a winner

Toyota’s new Atkinson Cycle engine, 6-speed transmissions, and many small changes will keep Tacoma ahead of the pack.


Today Toyota revealed the all-new 2016 Tacoma mid-sized pickup right in the heart of the US auto industry at the Detroit Auto Show . The new Tacoma features a unique new V6 engine to replace the aging 4.0 liter V6 that has fallen behind competitors’ power. The V6 Tacoma also gets new 6-speed automatic and 6-speed manual transmissions. The tailgate is now locking and has soft-down lowering. The inside of the Tacoma is new and has many modern touches.

2016 Tacoma’s New Drivetrain
Toyota is leaping ahead with a new 3.5 liter engine that will run on the Atkinson Cycle. The Atkinson cycle differs from the Otto cycle almost all cars use in the way that it allows the air in and out of the engine. Popular on all hybrids, this design saves fuel. However, it also limits power in most cases. Here, Toyota tells us to relax. The new 3.5 liter V6 will have more power than the outgoing engine. A new 6-speed automatic adds a gear that should also boost fuel economy. A 6-speed manual will also be offered. The base engine is still a 2.7-liter four cylinder. This engine also gets the 6-speed automatic. The initial press information did not specifically answer the question as to whether the base 2.7 would still be available with a 5-speed manual. We reached out to Toyota and confirmed that indeed it will be.

2016 Tacoma Trims Will Seem Familiar but Have New Features
On SR, SR-5 and Limited trims a new front air dam has appeared that will help save fuel along with other aerodynamic improvements that are less visible. Toyota’s TRD Sport and TRD Off-road trims will be perfect for those want a rugged truck. The Off-Road trim will come with Terrain Select to allow the user to tune the truck’s traction and stability control and other systems to the conditions. A Crawl Control setting will allow the driver to traverse tough terrain feet-free to concentrate on steering the vehicle in tricky spots.

2016 Tacoma Interior
The inside of the new Tacoma is also new. Qi wireless charging will keep the driver’s phone topped off. A new moon roof is available. Safety and convenience features like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are now available. Every Tacoma now also comes with a Go-Pro camera mount near the rear-view mirror.

2016 Tacoma vs. 2015 Chevrolet Colorado
The new 2016 Tacoma should enable Toyota to keep its number one spot in the mid-sized segment. A position it has now occupied for ten straight years. Since the launch of the new Colorado a couple months back, the Tacoma has actually increased in sales. In December it outsold the new Colorado by a three to one margin.

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