TOYOTA TACOMA (2016-21)

The new Tacoma was officially unveiled at the January 2015 Detroit Auto Show with United States sales launch following on September 10, 2015.

The truck has a new exterior profile taking styling cues from the 2014 model year 4Runner SUV and the 2014 model year Tundra pickup, with a larger grille and new projector-beam headlamps. The tailgate and bed were redesigned and featured a debossed Tacoma logo as well as an infused spoiler. New character lines were also observed on the truck as well as an air dam in front of the vehicle.

Toyota offers a 2.7 liter I4 engine paired with a 5-speed manual (MY2016-17) or 6-speed automatic transmission, and a 3.5 liter V6 engine paired with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The 3.5 V6 can run on a simulated Atkinson cycle using VVT-iW, and feature Toyota's D-4S system which allows it to switch from port injection to direct injection based on driving conditions. The 2.7 liter delivers 120 kW (161 hp) of power at 5200 rpm and 246 N⋅m (181 lb⋅ft) of torque at 3800 rpm, while the 3.5 liter delivers 207 kW (278 hp) of power at 6000 rpm and 359 N⋅m (265 lb⋅ft) of torque at 4600 rpm. EPA-estimated city/highway/combined mpg for the 4x2 automatic is 19/24/21 and 18/22/20 for the 4x4 automatic. Based on the SAE J2807 tow guidelines the Tacoma can tow up to 6,800 lb (3,100 kg) with the added tow package. In addition to this, Toyota updated the truck's frame by adding more high-strength steel in order to increase the truck's rigidity and to drop weight. The body is also constructed using ultra-high-strength steel that was integrated using a new hot stamping process that reduces weight. Toyota also updated the suspensions, rear differentials, and rear axle to improve the truck's road manners while still keeping it off-road capable.

The truck is available in 6 trims: base SR, mid-level SR5, TRD Off-Road, TRD Sport, Limited, and range-topping TRD Pro. The truck is offered in Access Cab and Double Cab configurations with long or short bed sizes. The Regular Cab model was not carried over for the new generation pickup. The interior of the pickup has been changed as well. Using a handlebar theme, Toyota made the interior of the Tacoma more luxurious and added a larger touchscreen display as well as a new instrument panel. Soft-touch materials also replaced the previous generations hard plastics. A leather option was added. Toyota has also used an acoustic windshield, better insulated doors, as well as more weather stripping to reduce road and wind noise. For the first time Toyota will offer dual climate control in the Tacoma.

Unlike the 2nd generation models, the steering wheel controls (as of 2016–2017) have reduced functionality, and therefore impaired convenience when attempting to browse phone Contacts / Favorite Contacts. The steering wheel D-pad controls are no longer linked to the Entune system for the purposes of browsing and selecting contacts. Instead, the driver must rely on voice controls, or reaching over to make adjustments to the Entune system to browse and select the appropriate contact in order to place a phone call. Furthermore, D-pad controls no longer offer the ability to scroll through lists of songs during USB or Bluetooth music playback. The driver must use the touch screen to select new albums/artists/songs. These limitations were removed for the 2018 model year onward.

The TRD Off-Road trim models feature an all-new terrain select mode which allows the driver to choose between different types of terrain such as, loose rock, mud, and sand. Toyota also announced a new CRAWL mode that will allow the driver to steer the truck in tough terrain while the truck manages braking and acceleration by itself. In addition to this the truck also features a moon-roof, key-less entry, Qi Wireless phone charging capability, easy lower tailgate, blind-spot monitoring system, backup camera (standard) and a mounted GoPro holder (standard).

Toyota also introduced a TRD Pro version in late 2016 for the 2017 model year, which comes with FOX-patented Internal Bypass shocks, TRD Pro catback exhaust, TRD Pro skid plate, Rigid Industries LED fog lights, and heritage inspired 'TOYOTA' grille. The 2017 model year TRD Pro was only available in the double cab short bed configuration, with either a manual or automatic gear box in Barcelona Red Metallic, Super White, or Cement. Black leather with red accents and stitching is the only available interior option. For the 2018 model year TRD Pro, Midnight Black Metallic and Cavalry Blue are new available exterior colors, with Barcelona Red Metallic and Cement discontinued.

The Tacoma's transition to its third generation took place while the segment is growing. In 2014, the San Antonio plant built 105,796 Tacomas and the Baja plant built 71,399 for a total of 177,195. In 2015, the San Antonio plant built 110,911 and Baja built 82,328 for a total of 193,239 built. In 2016, 191,673 Tacomas were sold in the US and Canada (along with 115,489 Tundras also built in San Antonio) and, with the mid size segment up overall, the San Antonio plant was running costlier extra Saturday shifts to keep up with demand, running at 125 percent of projected plant capacity. The 2016 and 2017 model year double-cab short-bed Tacomas are currently made in Tijuana (VINs starting in 3) and all other Tacoma configurations are made in San Antonio (VINs starting in 5). Toyota USA announced it intended to increase production at the Tijuana plant in 2018 from about 100,000 to 160,000 Tacomas.

For the 2020 model year, the Tacoma received a facelift.

In addition to the exterior facelift, there were new added technologies inside. These include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa capability. On the SR5 model and higher, there is a power-adjustable driver’s seat and on the Tacoma Limited Double Cab, there’s a new Panoramic View Monitor for 360-degree bird’s eye views of the truck’s immediate surroundings.

In January 2021, the Tacoma TRD Lift Kit was made available as a dealer-installed option for 2020 and newer Tacoma models. The kit includes Bilstein shocks fitted with TRD red dust boots and "Tuned by TRD" graphics. Total frame ground clearance increases by 1.7 inches with the suspension lift kit.