In Colorado, snow storms create situations where you are sure to bond with neighbors and strangers alike while determining how best to shovel your way out of knee-deep snow. The 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport 4×4 Double Cab just happened to be my test truck during one of these storms.
When it was time to dig the truck out, I bundled up and headed out with my shovel. I saw a mound of snow glimmering in the sunlight, with only slivers of the Barcelona red metallic body shining through. Everybody else was digging out their respective vehicles, so I started digging too. In the background I heard wheels spinning from every direction. Eventually, neighbors started moving from vehicle to vehicle offering assistance and giving people tips on how to do it faster. Good samaritans were out in force. But somehow in my mind it became a competition on who could dig their vehicle out the fastest.
So I chatted a little bit, but made sure not to leave my duties for too long. I took advantage of the fast defrost system while I continued to clear the area around the 17-inch machined alloy wheels with P265/65R17 tires — all four of them. Slowly but surely, the full Tacoma started to reappear before me. The truck, featuring a 3.5 liter V6 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, is capable of towing 3,500-6,400 pounds, but it was doing all the work it needed to do that day by serving as a heater, melting the snow off the hood and the gray grille with smoked finish and chrome surround.
I could see the windshield and I could see under the truck. The short bed was full of snow, but I wasn’t worried about that. Once I cleared enough space to even notice the 9.4 inch ground clearance, I decided it was time to exit the parking space. So I climbed into the cabin, buckled in and took hold of the comfortable shift and put it in gear. I was eager to plow through the neighborhood and test the Star Safety System’s vehicle stability control, traction control and anti-lock brake system and airbag protection, to name a few.
I put the truck in reverse and hit the gas. I heard the spinning, but this time it was me.
And so they came. The neighbors and strangers started directing me to turn the wheel this way and that way. After about five minutes of turning the steering wheel to and fro, and going no where, I remembered the four-wheel drive option. I turned it on.
I backed out with no problem. They were happy to help. Then, I told them what I had just remembered. They stared. I smiled. I won.
2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport 4×4 Double Cab MSRP: $33,730; Combined City/Highway 20.