Toyota wants to protect the position it holds in the mid-size pickup segment with its long-popular Toyota Tacoma, despite the market shakeup likely to take place when the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and 2015 GMC Canyon arrive this fall. Our spy shooters caught the first images of a 2016 Toyota Tacoma test mule, which will receive a few slight revisions to combat GM’s new truck twins.
The 2016 Toyota Tacoma mule we spotted was a Double Cab model, and it was conducting hot-weather testing while pulling a trailer. Rumors are floating that the 2016 Toyota Tacoma will not be offered as a Regular Cab model any longer, and that Toyota will also yank the four- and five-speed automatic transmissions from production. Transmission options will likely include a six-speed automatic and a six-speed manual, the latter of which is featured on this 2016 Toyota Tacoma mule.
Underneath, we spotted a rerouted exhaust and a handful of modified parts, but by and large the next Tacoma will be familiar. Expect a reworking of the truck’s existing platform, rather than a brand-new design.
The 2016 Toyota Tacoma will, despite the minor alterations to its internal workings, receive refreshed styling and an updated interior to better compete with the well-appointed Colorado and Canyon pickups. The current Toyota Tacoma starts at $19,010 including destination, when equipped with a 159-hp inline-four in Regular Cab trim. At the other end of the spectrum is the new 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, which starts at $36,410 with a six-speed manual and a 4.0-liter V-6 making 236 hp.
Expect the 2016 Toyota Tacoma to hit showrooms within the next one to two years.