2016 Toyota Tacoma Real-World MPG Towing Test [Video]


2016 Toyota Tacoma
2016 Toyota Tacoma

The long-awaited 2016 Toyota Tacoma is purported to have a more powerful and more efficient 3.5L all-aluminum V6 engine. With 278 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, the new engine has 42 more ponies than the outgoing 4.0L, although it is down 1 lb-ft. The 3.5L engine also has the ability to switch from a normal four-stroke Otto cycle to an Atkinson cycle to obtain optimal efficiency for a given speed and load. The EPA estimates are 18 mpg in the city and 23 on the highway for our 4×4 tester with the TRD Off-Road package . To further increase fuel economy, Toyota replaced the previous Tacoma’s 5-speed automatic transmission with a lighter, smaller 6-speed automatic. A 6-speed manual gearbox will also be available for Tacomas with the V6.

Given that these are the first major changes to the Tacoma’s powertrain in quite some time, we decided this would be a perfect opportunity to see just how well the new taco would do in a real-world MPG towing test. Roman and Mr. Truck from mrtruck.com loaded up a trailer with 5600 lbs. (around 600 lb. tongue weight) and did a 100-mile loop at 70 mph. Total truck weight with three passengers and trailer was 10,740 lbs before filling up with gas. So what was the final mpg number for the new Tacoma with a trailer? Post your guess in the comments section and then watch the video below. Bragging rights will be awarded to the viewer with closest guess. In the near future we will be doing the same test loop without the trailer so stay tuned!

2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4×4 Double Cab

  • Engine: 3.5L V6
  • Power: 278 hp
  • Torque: 265 lb-ft
  • EPA fuel economy 18/23 mpg (city/hwy)
  • Measured weight w/ passengers: 5140 lbs
  • Measured gross combined weight w/ trailer: 10,740 lbs

Brian is an engineer by trade but his true passion is anything automotive. He wakes up every morning to search the web for the latest industry news. He enjoys taking his Tacoma 4×4 off-road in the mountains of Colorado where he spends his free time hiking, biking, and snowboarding with his wife and dogs near their Rocky Mountain home.