Rumors are starting to grow around the 2015 Toyota Tacoma and what changes are in store. With new competition coming to the market, are these changes good or to little too late?
Let’s be clear that most of these rumors have to do with the pending 2016 CAFE requirements that are going to cause a large wake. With that in mind, the first rumor is that the late in 2014, the Tacoma will get a 2.0L turbo engine This new engine is of the smaller displacment breed (think EcoBoost) and should provide increased fuel economy.
While a more fuel efficient engine with turbochargers makes sense, testing and real world experiences haven’t measured up. There is also the reluctance by Toyota to use them. Toyota’s chief engineer for the Tundra and Tacoma, Mike Sweers, has repeatedly said he can’t find the increased fuel economy that people say they get.
There is also the sense that the 2015 model will simply be a “mid cycle update” than a true ground-up change, as there simply hasn’t been time to integrate the Tacoma and Hilux (or Tacoma and Tundra) platforms. The integration of these platforms is widely expected and will take place in the near future. The simple reason is that there are so many economical benefits to building off of one platform it is hard for automakers to avoid doing it.
Another big rumor is that Toyota will discontinue the regular cab version of the truck. The truth is that a regular cab isn’t a big seller and they can build the larger cabs for about the same price. The lack of a big price savings plus fuel economy standards on a regular cab truck together could very well spell the end to this option.
Lastly, there is speculation that a new transmission is on the horizon. Most competitors have been adding more gears to improve fuel economy and Toyota will soon be forced to join the fray to keep up. It is likely that future Tacoma and Tundra pickups will share an eight-speed transmission in all engine sizes including the V-6. While this many gears may seem unnecessary to some consumers, the computer controlled automatic transmissions will efficiently use them to achieve better fuel economy.
What do you think? Which rumor makes the most sense and which one(s) do you think will come true?