The average as-tested price of the four full-size pickups in our most recent comparison test was $56,409. And that’s not even the half of it: The most expensive half-ton truck right now is the Ford F-150 Limited, which tops out north of $68,000. Hop inside that truck, and you’re greeted by stitched leather, eucalyptus wood trim, and a full-length panoramic glass roof. It’ll even massage your rear end as you tow your boat to the lake house for the weekend with your three kids in the humongous back seat.
While full-size trucks are moving further into luxury territory in their attempt to be all things to all people, mid-size pickups aren’t quite there yet. Even the newest examples of the breed, the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon twins and the recently redone Toyota Tacoma, still feel like work trucks at heart. That’s not meant as a slight, either—we appreciate an honest pickup and we had mostly good things to say about the TRD Off-Road–equipped Tacoma with a stick shift that we tested earlier this year.
But what happens when the down-and-dirty Tacoma gets gussied up? At first glance, you might think that the high-zoot 2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited we tested here is doing an imitation of an F-150 Limited or a Ram Laramie Limited. It has a chrome-trimmed exterior, flashy wheels, a leather-lined interior, and a relatively long list of features including blind-spot monitoring, push-button start, and a 7.0-inch infotainment screen with navigation and plenty of smartphone-integration functions.
Don’t be fooled by the snazzy trim: The Tacoma Limited is still more workhorse than show pony. You won’t find any eucalyptus wood inside, just hard plastics and some stitched panels on the dashboard that aren’t particularly upscale-looking. Yes, the seats are upholstered in brown leather, but the hides are stiff, the sort of leather that you won’t feel too bad about getting muddy. The cabin is functional, with a decent number of places to stash small items, and our truck was equipped with Qi inductive charging for compatible devices. The center-stack layout is purposeful, with easy-to-use knobs for the climate controls and infotainment system, and the simplistic gauges look chunky and industrial. Complete review on www.caranddriver.com, by Michael Simari
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