Ladies and gentlemen, pop the champagne! The new Toyota Tacoma 2016 has finally arrived! That’s right, after a few minor setbacks, the latest edition of the legendary mid-size truck is here! A lot of speculation has been circling around the web, but now, with the official release, we can have a look at the real picture. And even though I’ve been to a lot of Auto Shows and have seen the new truck with my own eyes, up until now nobody knew about the real powertrain specifications, including the engine(s), transmission, torque and fuel-efficiency.
The good news is that the Tacoma has finally been properly upgraded and modernized – yep, it’s been a long way coming, but now we have it. Today we will discuss the new Toyota Tacoma fuel economy and also conduct a detailed inspection of the whole powertrain set-up, including the long-awaited Atkinson-cycle engines. The technology is not new to the automobile industry – Toyota has been successfully applying it ever since the very first Prius back in 1997. But, a hybrid and a pick-up truck are two entirely different things, and making this tech work in Tacoma was one of the hardest tasks for the company’s engineers.
The 2016 Toyota Tacoma: Treasures Under The Mighty Hood
The 2016 Toyota Tacoma will provide a choice between two engines: the first one is a 2.7-lit 4-cylinder. It’s good for 159 HP and 189 pound feet of torque at 4K RPM. As for transmission, buyers will have a choice between a 5-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic transmission. The second engine – which is a far more interesting set-up – is the brand-new Atkinson-cycle motor. It’s as strong as 278 horses, and that’s 42 mightier than the V6 from the 2015 edition. Torque is also impressive – 265 pound feet at 4.6K RPM. The engine can be paired to either a 6-speed automatic transmission, or a 6-speed manual one. As for towing, the V6 engine can pull as much as 6,8K pounds. This is a small but – nevertheless – still an increase over the last year model (in 300 pounds, to be exact).
The Atkinson-Cycle Engines
Before we dig into the Toyota Tacoma fuel economy details – the EPA-estimated MPG – let me tell you a bit about the Atkinson-cycle system, just so that you have some idea in your head of how this complex yet very effective powertrain works – how it ticks, as a good buddy of mine likes to say. Toyota claims that the 2016 Tacoma will be the most powerful and the most fuel-efficient Tacoma ever, so, a lot of drivers all around the world are eager to jump on the driver’s seat and test this new edition of the best-selling truck. First of all, let me just tell you that the latest Atkinson engines are already incorporated into the brand-new 2016 Toyota Prius and are believed to 12 to 14% more fuel-efficient than a regular gasoline engine.
New School Vs Old School
You might already know that the basic Otto cycle gasoline engines work with an intake-compression-power-exhaust cycle; it’s a pretty reliable set-up but it can’t really squeeze all the juices out of the compression cycle. Atkinson-cycle engines, on the other hand, are able to employ all of the energy that’s “trapped” in the piston cylinder – pretty succesfully, I have to say. This mechanism isn’t actually that complicated – the impressive results are achieved because the air intake valve is left open for a bit longer, which creates a shorter compression stroke. And thus, by using the entire length of the piston cylinder, the Atkinson-cycle engines are able to outrun the gasoline ones in terms of efficiency. Toyota’s own D-4S technology is yet another big new thing for the 2016 Tacoma, which uses both port and direct fuel injection to get the best combo of efficiency and power.
Toyota Tacoma Fuel Economy – The Best In The Class
So, with the Atkinson-cycle engine as the head of the powertrain system, the 2016 Toyota Tacoma has the best tool set for providing best-in-class fuel economy without using diesel or a turchocharger. Got you all worked up for this new tech, huh? Well, that’s because it IS that great. It took Toyota 18 full years to befriend the Atkinson cycle with a rebel like the Tacoma – it’s one thing to successfully use this technology in a hybrid car; but to make a truck “understand” and smoothly work with an experimental system like that is something entirely different. But today, with the release of the 2016 edition, the company is finally ready to take Toyota Tacoma fuel economy to the next level.
Toyota Tacoma Fuel Mileage – The Numbers
Ok, back to the subject. The V6 engine with 2-wheel drive and the automatic transmission is good for 24 miles per gallon on the highway, 19 mpg in the city, and 21 combined. If you decide to go with four-wheel drive and a manual transmission, you’ll get 21 mpg hwy, 17 mpg city and 19 combined. The combination of 4WD (four-wheel drive) and the automatic transmission will return 23 hwy/18 city/20 combined. And that’s roughly a 10 percent improvement in fuel-efficiency for the six-cyl engine of the legendary Tacoma truck. And suchwise, the 2016 Tacoma model is an almost identical match for the 2016 Chevy Colorado in terms of fuel-efficiency.
The 4-cyl engine, on the other hand, has 23 hwy/19 city/21 combined as the average mpg stats for the 2WD and the automatic transmission. The four-wheel drive with the manual transmission returns 21/19/20 and the 4WD with the automatic transmission has an average of 22/19/20. By the way, with the 4-cyl Tacoma manages to overrun the Chevy Colorado with the same set-up, so now it’s an official draw in fuel-efficiency (in case you were comparing).
So, that’s the 2016 Toyota Tacoma fuel economy for y’all. Some fans of the off-road experience might say that fuel economy is not that important when it comes to trucks and that it’s never been about counting MPGs. True, but a little bit of efficiency won’t hurt, right? These days you gotta make a minivan as powerful as an SUV and a truck as efficient as a sedan in order to survive on the market. What do you think about the 2016 Toyota Tacoma? Will it be able to once again dominate the market, or are the days of this legendary truck’s glory far behind? Share your thoughts in the comments and, if you already own a 2016 Tacoma, tell us about your first-hand experience. Ok, that’s it! Be well, be safe, and drive Toyota trucks!
Be sure to watch this video 2016 Toyota Tacoma MPG Fuel Economy: