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Three nifty changes to the back of the 2016 Toyota Tacoma

The 2016 Tacoma is all-new, but some of its important updates ride in back.


When Toyota planned its latest update to the Tacoma designers faced a difficult task. Many owners loved the simplicity of the classic Tacoma and wanted that aspect to continue. Others just as enthusiastically wanted a more modern Tacoma to compete with the new trucks from GM. In the end, Toyota struck a good balance and the truck’s sales have remained robust. We’ve already explored the drivetrain improvements Toyota made, but during a recent off-road session at the Monticello Motor Club we realized it is the back of the back end of the Tacoma where some important changes lie.

One must-have addition to the Tacoma was a locking tailgate. Tailgates without locks are at risk of theft and locking the tailgate can also help keep contents secured. So all new Tacomas now feature locking tailgates.

Another tailgate improvement is dampened motion. Older pickups have tailgates that can slam down when opened. The new Tacoma’s lowers slowly. This adds safety, but also gives the truck a more quality feel.

Just inside the tailgate is a new 115-volt AC power source. This is intended to power small LCD TVs, lighting, or to act as a charge port for tools. All pickup truck owners love to tailgate at football games and other events, and the Tacoma’s AC power outlet makes the truck an even better place to hang around.