Posts Tagged ‘midsize pickups’

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma Has Not Lost Its Touch

Posted by Stephen On Monday, January 11th, 2016

Something’s happened to the pickup truck market in the US. They used to be rugged, bare-bones, powerful machines that can get a job done. When you look at what’s on the market, are you left scratching your head? You should be – what we see today is not what should be there.

Instead, we see expensive, high-riding, luxury vehicles built for consumers who won’t carry anything more than a couple of groceries in an oversized bed. OK, that last statement might be a little biased. At any rate, pickup trucks are not what they used to be.

(Which may have many outside the US scratching their heads as to how a utilitarian vehicle like a truck can make the leap to being a luxury vehicle. It certainly is rather odd.)

It’s a nice breath of fresh air to find out the 2016 Toyota Tacoma has not lost touch with the roots of pickup truck history. About the only other truck that hasn’t done that is the bare-bones, commercial-grade Ford F150.

Don’t get me wrong, the truck still looks sleek. On the outside, it looks just like every other luxury pickup truck you might see in any car lot. When you look under the hood, that’s where you see that the Toyota Tacoma has not lost touch with what made pickups such great vehicles.

The Toyota TRD Sport Double Cab reviewed outfitted with four-wheel-drive, brake assist technology, 17-inch alloys, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, and a 7-inch touch-screen with navigation. It’s nice to see that they still include a tow package and the tonneau bed cover.

Don’t worry, it can still compete with everyone else – especially with the Premium and Technology Package for an additional $2360. This adds dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, heated front seats, a moonroof, automatic headlamps and blind spot monitoring.

Now, this is still a midsize pickup, which means that it has a V-6 engine, not a V-8. Still, it still packs 278 hp and 265 lb.-ft. of torque. It doesn’t do much when you compare it to a V-8, but for Toyota’s smallest truck, it packs more than enough heat to meet the mark.

The interior is still lined with rental-grade plastics and cloth seats with the classic zigzag pattern. Like we said, it’s not a $40,000 luxury truck. However, it is an honest truck that will still bounce with every bump on the road – and that’s just the way you like it.


Nissan NP300 Navara Pickup Officially Revealed, w/ Video

Posted by Stephen On Monday, June 16th, 2014

After two weeks of teasers, Nissan has finally pulled the curtain off their next-gen Navara midsize pickup truck. For two weeks we’ve waited, twiddling our thumbs in anticipation, and now we can finally have both images and videos of Nissan’s next contribution to the international pickup segment. Take a look for yourself below:

2015 Nissan NP300 Navara

Unfortunately, we’ll warn our US readers up front that this new Nissan NP300 Navara platform will not make it into the States. At least, not for several years. While the new Navara is expected to launch everywhere from the UK to Thailand by the end of this year, Nissan America is holding off on a new version of their Frontier pickup.

Why?

Because as we stated in our original preview article, the next-gen US-exclusive full-size Nissan Titan pickup is expected to debut at next year’s Detroit Auto Show. Frankly, Nissan North America doesn’t want to launch two brand-new pickups at the same time – it’s bad for business.

But, let’s get back to the truck at hand… Watch the video below to learn what’s new with the next-gen Navara:

Clearly, there’s a lot to be said about Nissan’s new ruggedly handsome pickup.

To start with, it features an all-around more modern silhouette with curvier front- and rear-end styling than the outgoing model. Traits like Nissan’s new V-motion chrome grille, a shortened front clip, new slanted LEDs, a lower roofline and a higher beltline all help create an image that’s both tough and refined. The ‘smooth’ trend continues in the rear where the bumper and taillights have been slightly redesigned for a more modern look, while a blacked-out B-pillar helps keep the look feeling open and unrestrained.

Unfortunately, we don’t have any specific measurements to help you compare the current Navarra with this new one. Nissan has said that they’ll offer a variety of different body types, bed lengths and powertrain options from market to market, while the same King and Crew cabins will be available on all models. However, Nissan has stated that the new Navarra is both wider and sturdier than the outgoing model, complete with bigger tires for rigorous off-road driving.

Inside, the new Navarra gets a plethora of new technologies and designs, which we think are best illustrated through Nissan’s second promo video, embedded below:

And here’s an image that offers a closer look at the interior styling:
2015 Nissan NP300 Navara interior

As you can see, the new Navara has a much more SUV-feeling interior than the current one. Nissan says that they worked very hard to give customers exactly what they wanted, and you can see that their efforts have really paid off. Roomy, modern and comfortable are all words you could use to describe this truck.

Beneath the hood, you’ll find that default Nissan Navara comes with improved versions of the same two powertrains found in the outgoing model. The first is a 2.5L four-cylinder DOHC diesel with either 161hp or 188hp depending on trim. The second is an in-line 2.5L four-cylinder gas engine with unspecified output. However, while the engines remain the same, Nissan estimates the new Navarra is 11% more fuel efficient than the current one. This is mostly due to a lower curb-weight and more efficient engine technology.