For a while now, about five years, Toyota has had the midsize truck mostly to itself. Suddenly, things have changed, however, thanks to GM unleashing a pair of freshly redesigned pickups, the GMC Canyon and the Chevy Colorado.
Toyota plans to debut it's 2016 Tacoma midsize pickup at the upcoming Detroit auto show. Stepping up it's game against GM, Toyota said "Let's take it to the next level" in a statement. "The all-new 2016 Tacoma will be ready to once again set the benchmark for midsize pickup performance," Toyota followed. "Backed by a heritage of unwavering capability, an unbreakable attitude and new, rugged tech, Tacoma's off-road prowess is more formidable than ever."
The midsize segment has not seem much competition for nearly a decade. The market was mostly served by Toyota's Tacoma, and the Nissan Frontier, after Ram and Ford abandoned it. They claimed that there was weak demand since full size trucks were improving in the area of fuel economy.
Still, 230,000 midsize trucks were sold in 2013, 160,000 of them the Toyota Tacoma; and GM is wanting to share Toyota's piece of the pie.
The Japanese automaker has not said much yet about the redesigned 2016 Toyota Tacoma, but we are certain it will be comparable to Chevy in terms of interior comfort and increased efficiency. The Tacoma's transmission is certain to gain at least one more gear, up from it's current four and five speed options. We also suspect that direct injection will be added to it's V-6 engine. The base engine will likely be a 4-cylinder. Inside, creature comforts such as heated seats, touch-screen infotainment system and gadgets like USB ports are also likely.
With little competition, Toyota had little reason to up it's game. The 2015 Tacoma was utilitarian, with few creature comforts. It lacked many of the gadgets and gizmos that keep us comfortable, even the things we have come to find standard in most vehicles like automatic climate control, keyless entry, or even a roomy centre console. It is definitely due for an overhaul.
Toyota released only a teaser image of the new Tacoma. In it, we can see the left rear end of a 4x4 version, splashing through the mud. It appears more rugged looking than we are used to, and the name Tacoma is written across the tailgate. We also see plastic body cladding, vertical taillights and a body coloured rear bumper. That new tailgate is separated from the bumper with black trim, much like it's Tundra cousin.
Thanks to lower gas prices, the 2016 Toyota Tacoma is expected to be one of the highlights at the Detroit auto show.
The 2016 Toyota Tacoma will go on sale in 2015. No technical specifications or pricing have been made available yet.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca