2016 Tacoma V6 2wd first test drive of the Atkinson Cycle engine!

mrbill1957mrbill1957 Member Posts: 823
edited October 2015 in Toyota
So, I made it to the dealer who had a fresh 2016 2wd drive in stock. Took off from the lot, not accelerating real hard but enough to expect the V6 to show!!. HUH, "is this the V6 or am I testing a I4 truck" was my first question to the salesman sitting next to me. " Yea, it a 3.5 V6, I can see it in the sticker" he said. The performance left me quite underwhelmed, and I'm comparing it to my 95 Tacoma I4!!! I'm almost willing to bet my 95 would keep up with the 2016 for at least the first 50 yards.

I got back to the dealer and left it running while I popped the hood. Yep, it looks like a true Atkinson cycle engine, no signs of a timing belt or chain. TICK TICK CLACK TICK did that thing have oil in it??? OK, it wasn't ready to throw a rod out the side of the block, but it definitely didn't sound like a modern V6 that I'm used to hearing.

It really left me wondering if the engine was running correctly. I'm going to wait a bit and try another test drive somewhere else to see if I drove a dud or that's the way the Atkinson Cycle engine is.

I'd be interested in readers opinions that have 2015 or older Tacomas with V6 engines on how the 2016s compare.



  • toddrosetoddrose Member Posts: 1
    Thanks for your candor in reviewing your test drive. Due to your assessment, I said to myself is there any validiity in what this person is saying. I went to the dealership shortly after reading this and also tested 6 cylinder Atkinson engine. I found your assessment to be spot on. Upon driving that v6 sport and not having the quicksand one I had made a deposit on in stock, the next day I drove the Ford 150. I bought the Ford 150 based on your review which motivated me to drive the 2016. I want to tell you thanks, as I know I made the right choice in getting the ford 150 ecoboost 3.5 for less than I would have payed for the Tacoma I ordered. The 150 is a rocket ship compared to that Atkinson v6. Maybe I can return the favor for you and do yourselve a favor and test drive the 150 with the 3.5l ecoboost. Btw the 2015 drove much better than the 16. I'm glad I waited on the 16, otherwise I would have never gotten that 150. Thanks again for the info.
  • kennedy1166kennedy1166 Member Posts: 1
    I just tried the atkinson v6 in a 4x4 crew cab. I have to say, if you're looking for a spirited acceleration, your not going to get that in this motor. I have to say that the 1990 nissan hardbody I owned (with a 4 banger) would probably do  just as well as this motor. 
    Don't get me wrong, the creature comforts are great. But, to pay addition money for the v6 seems to be a waste. I'd like to test a 2.7 I4 to see how well it drives. Probably not much different. The spec sheet for the v6 shows big hp and torque. Those numbers don't mean much if you can't use them when you need to do the occasional haul/tow job.
    I currently own a turbo diesel jetta, (I know people think there bad, but I like it), it will run  circles around what I test drove.
  • pgtacomapgtacoma Member Posts: 1
    One other aspect to be considered in the Tacoma’s initial performance is the utilization of an ECT transmission . When I test drove my V6 2wd, I initially had the same thought about being underwhelmed with the performance. I learned however that the “Electronically Controlled Transmission “ essentially learns your driving habits and adjusts over time so it’s not constantly searching for the right gear. I have about 500 miles on mine now and there is a noticeable difference in performance now that the transmission has calmed down. As far as the clikety clack goes, I’ve read that this is another development of Toyota’s that makes the engine comparable to a self-cleaning oven. When at speed you’ll notice the clickety clack is essentially gone, however once you begin to decelerate you’ll hear this noise again, which is the engine removing any carbon from the valves. I am trying to research this technology further and will post a link later when I find it. I 
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