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As right as a new Ford truck debuting at the 2015 Detroit motor show feels, it would appear that the Toyota Tacoma is the true king of the hill – at least in terms of sales in North America. The best-selling mid-size (no, really) truck in America will go head to head against the Nissan Frontier and GMC Canyon.

Sharing its design cues with the current Toyota 4Runner, the new Tacoma sports a bold, upright front grille flanked by redesigned headlights with projector beam lamps and optional LED daytime running lights (DRL). Moving along, flared wheel arches help pump things up visually along with a range of 16- to 18-inch wheel designs.

At the back, the Tacoma’s aggressive outlook is further complimented via a new locking tailgate which features an integrated rear spoiler. The tailgate incorporates an “easy lowering” feature which slowly lowers the tailgate instead of allowing it to slam down.

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A tri-fold hard tonneau cover is available on the 2016 Toyota Tacoma for the first time – allowing owners to safely stow away their belongings. On the inside, a “handlebar” design theme is featured on the instrument panel, supposedly for a more “driver-focused” experience.

Interior quality has been improved with “soft-wrapped trim” and metallic accents helping to set a more upmarket ambience. Optional onboard equipment include Qi wireless charging, smart key with push-start button, power moonroof and blind spot monitoring system with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

If that sounds a tad underwhelming, note that the new Toyota Tacoma comes as standard with a GoPro camera mounted next to the rear-view mirror. Five grades for the Tacoma will be available in both 4×2 and 4×4 configurations – SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and the range-topping Limited.

Powering the Tacoma range are two engine options – a 2.7 litre, four-cylinder engine and a 3.5 litre, Atkinson cycle V6 with direct and port fuel injection. While both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox, the V6 adds on the option of a six-speed manual transmission.

In the TRD Off-Road variant, the Multi-Terrain Select feature enables the driver to select between three modes – loose rock, mud or sand – with the system then regulating wheel spin by adjusting throttle and brake pressure to provide the appropriate amount of traction.

Additional off-road tech are available in the form of an automatic limited slip and locking rear differential, hill start assist, active traction control, Clutch Start Cancel and Crawl Control. The latter allows for a creep mode to be activated at speeds of up to 8 km/h – allowing the driver to focus on steering while the system takes over acceleration and braking.

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Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road