When Was the Toyota Tacoma Redesigned?
In the midsize truck segment, one model stands out above the rest. For years, the Toyota Tacoma has been a staple in its class. Customers have purchased the rugged pickup far more than its rivals, as it’s been America’s best-selling midsize truck for 17 straight years. Moreover, there’s plenty to like about it, but it’s starting to be a little outdated. A full redesign is rumored to be on the way for 2024 or soon after, but when was the last time the Toyota Tacoma was redesigned? How long did we wait for significant updates?
Toyota redesigned the Tacoma for 2016
According to Cars.com, the Toyota Tacoma was redesigned for the 2016 model year. Since then, virtually everything about the midsize truck has remained the same. Although minor refreshes and tweaks have changed it up, the 2023 Tacoma is largely the same as in 2016. For example, for the 2023 model year, the Tacoma received a few updates: new SR5 appearance packages and a few features were shuffled around trim levels. These minor changes have been common since the redesign in 2016, but nothing of significant value has genuinely been altered.
Nearly everything about the pickup changed when it entered the 2016 model year. As a result, the third-generation version became more popular than ever before. Unfortunately, the draw of those changes is starting to lose its appeal. Many reviewers have called recent model years “outdated,” especially on the inside. As a result, loyal fans are in limbo, waiting for the next big redesign to hit the market.
What changed about the 2016 Tacoma?
According to Car and Driver, with the last redesign, nearly everything changed with the midsize truck. Toyota renamed the PreRunner model as “TRD Sport,” the PreRunner name indicated that it was a two-wheel drive truck. Additionally, the “hardcore” off-roaders gained the name “TRD Off-Road” for the first time. Furthermore, some (now gone) features joined the lineup, like a standard GoPro camera windshield mount for all models.
Overall, the exterior design didn’t change a lot. It remained a 127.4 or 140.6-inch wheelbase, depending on the cab size. However, the automaker ditched the 4.0-liter V6 and replaced it with a 3.5-liter V6. The result is a 42 horsepower increase over the previous unit, up to 278 hp at 6,000 rpm. Contrarily, the new engine dropped a single lb-ft of torque to 265.
Although it’s lacking now, the new interior was a highlight after the last Tacoma redesign. C/D says it received a new silver structure around the instrumentation, a color keypad in front of the passenger with four circular vents, and loads of high-quality materials. Most of the changes to the interior were for a more modern look and feel throughout the front of the cabin.
Toyota Tacoma generations
The Toyota Tacoma was redesigned for the 2016 model year. However, that wasn’t the first time the automaker overhauled its best-selling midsize truck. Previously, the first generation ran from 1995 to 2004. For nine years, the model was a bit smaller and looked much more ’90s than the ones we see today. For the 2001 model year, it gained a Double Cab style and a rear three-seater for the first time.
Next, the second-gen Tacoma came for the 2005 model year and ran through 2015. With it came a more “muscular” styling, a longer wheelbase, a wider track, and midsize dimensions. The previous generation was closer to modern compact models than the midsize class. Engines gained more power, towing capacity reached 6,500 pounds, and new airbags became standard in 2009. Overall, the majority of the design choices from this generation are still present today. It would take a trained eye to tell the difference between a refreshed 2012 Tacoma and a redesigned 2016 version.
Will the 2024 Toyota Tacoma be redesigned?
Although the automaker has not made an official statement, most experts believe the 2024 Toyota Tacoma will enter a new generation. As with the other truck-based models in the lineup, the Tacoma is due for some design changes, powertrain upgrades, and more. Following the same track as the Tundra and Sequoia, the grille, other front-end features, and interior changes will likely be similar. Additionally, C/D expects it to get a hybrid version like its full-size sibling.
In conclusion, the Toyota Tacoma was last redesigned in 2016. For its third generation, the midsize truck didn’t change as much as many models do. Although it gained some upgrades and had a few refreshes over the years, it’s definitely ready to enter its fourth generation. Expect big changes to America’s most popular midsize pickup sooner than later.