Posts Tagged ‘small pickup trucks’

Next-Gen 2016 Toyota Hilux Spied Ahead Official Launch

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Toyota Hilux spy shot profile

For at least the past year, we’ve been hearing rumors that Toyota wants to launch an all-new eighth-generation model of their Toyota Hilux pickup. Today, we finally have confirmation (albeit unofficial confirmation) that the 2016 Toyota Hilux, which should go on sale anytime now, will be the model to get the next-gen treatment. The news is confirmed by the spy shots seen in this post, which were originally posted on a Spanish automotive Facebook page called Terranismo.

To us, these leaked images confirm that the 2016 Toyota Hilux will be an all-new pickup rebuilt from the ground up. The model seen here is clearly in line with Toyota’s semi-recently overhauled design language. The front-end clearly boasts the most changes…

Toyota Hilux spy shot

From these pictures, we can make out new, thinner headlights (similar to the 2016 Tacoma) and a substantially restyled chrome grille. In fact, Toyota has added more chrome throughout the rest of the exterior too, from the door handles to the newly designed alloy wheels to the mirror caps.

In addition, the Hilux’s exterior is generally more muscular and looks to be slightly longer than the outgoing model. We expect that the extra length may indicate Toyota’s attention to a more spacious interior, which is what we’re going to talk about next.

Toyota Hilux spy shot interior

Inside, we only have one blurry picture of the front dash to work with. However, from that one picture we can see that Toyota has likely put even more attention into the cabin than they did into the body. That huge touchscreen you see on the center console indicates that the 2016 Toyota Hilux will offer drivers a much more comfortable and car-like interior… One that’s not nearly as utilitarian as the decade-old outgoing model.

In fact, if you look closely, the touchscreen almost looks detachable from the dash. This could indicate a new tech. feature, or it could just mean that this is a picture of an early model that hasn’t had the touchscreen fully integrated yet. Either way, we’re excited for this new compact pickup truck to hit the market… It’ll be available everywhere except the US, Canada and Japan (and Korea).

Toyota Hilux spy shot under wraps

Oh, and while we don’t have any actual pictures of what lies beneath the hood of this silver off-road beast, Terranismo reports that the truck will be offered with at least three engine options at launch. Interestingly, all of them are diesel-powered. The smallest is a 2.4L turbocharged diesel that outputs 148 hp. You will also be able to get the 2.4L tuned up to 165 hp, presumably as a more expensive trim option. Then, the top of the line will get a 2.8L single turbocharged diesel with 175 horsepower and a lot more torque. Terranismo also hints that a twin-turbo version of the 2.8L could come as a variant, but that it likely won’t be available for 2016.


Isuzu D-Max Blade Pickup is Here to Stay

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

2015 Isuzu D-Max Blade Pearlescent White

In 2014, Isuzu introduced a special edition version of their D-Max pickup truck called the D-Max Blade. The truck launched with the tagline “Even nightmare jobs are no match for a pick up professional,” which makes a lot more sense after you watch the intro video below:

The tagline isn’t really relevant to today’s article, but we really liked that little short and have been looking for an opportunity to get it into a blog post since the special edition truck made its debut at the end of last year. So, there you go.

The Isuzu D-Max Blade was a huge success for the small Japanese automaker, Isuzu. In fact, it was enough to set a sales record for the 2014 model year – they managed to sell a full 5,500 units last year, and had to build twice as many D-Max Blades as planned to satisfy customer demand. So, they’re listening to demand in 2015 and beyond… The D-Max Blade will now be a permanent addition to Isuzu’s UK lineup, with deliveries starting later this month.

Even without the special Blade edition, the D-Max is a great truck. It doesn’t have the biggest engine in the world with a twin-turbocharged 2.5L diesel under the hood which only outputs 160 horsepower. However, don’t let the low power fool you – with 295 lb-ft of torque, this truck can tow a full 3.5 metric tons, which is about 3.8 short tons for our US readers. If it’s hauling you need, the D-Max can handle up to 2,345 lbs.

2015 Isuzu D-Max Blade Cosmic Black

On top of that, the D-Max gets excellent fuel economy with a manufacturer estimated 38.7 mpg combined. Four-wheel drive is standard, and the powertrain can be mated to a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic for a bit extra

The D-Max Blade is set apart by the unique ‘Shadow’ style front grille, the black mirror caps and door handles, and of course you can’t miss those 18” ‘Shadow” alloy wheels fitted with Pirelli Scorpion Zero tires. The Blade is available in either Cosmic Black or Pearlescent White.

2015 Isuzu D-Max Blade interior

The interior is even better with Blade-only piano black accents, bespoke scuff plates, a 6.1” Pioneer touchscreen, a booming 8-speaker audio system, and of course the rear backup camera. You’ll also get built-in satellite GPS, heated leather seats and special Blade floor mats.

All in all, we love to see smaller Japanese car makers finding success with innovative offerings. The Isuzu D-Max Blade isn’t the biggest or the strongest pickup in the world, but it’s the perfect example of an automaker giving customers what they want. We hope the Blade continues to boost Isuzu sales in 2015 and beyond, but sadly the model will only be sold in the UK.


Detroit Debut of 2016 Nissan Titan & Toyota Tacoma

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

To wrap up our coverage for the 2015 Detroit Motor Show, we’re going to showcase the two new Japanese pickup trucks that hit the stage at the event.

2016 Toyota Tacoma

2016 Toyota Tacoma

There’s no doubt that the old Toyota Tacoma was a truly impressive vehicle. It’s been on the market in its current form for over a decade, and yet it claimed a full 66% market share in 2014. However, while that’s certainly an impressive stat, Toyota knows that a big reason they’ve sold that many of their aging Tacoma trucks is due to a lack of competition. This year, that’s changed as GM has re-entered the compact pickup scene with two brand-new models.

Now, Toyota is updating their mighty Tacoma to maintain its status as the best pound-for-pound pickup in its class. Toyota says that the new 2016 Tacoma is the most powerful and fuel-efficient Tacoma ever… The ultimate lifestyle vehicle for today’s most active drivers.

2016 Toyota Tacoma on the road

With the Tacoma’s debut, Toyota revealed specific powertrain specs we’d been waiting for. The new compact pickup will offer drivers a choice between a 2.7L four-cylinder or a 3.5L Atkinson cycle V6, both of which will deliver power to the wheels via an off-road-ready six-speed automatic transmission.

But, the powertrains won’t be the only distinguishing factor between the Tacoma and its new American competition. Toyota has unleashed a bevy of new technology in the Tacoma to make it stand out from the crowd.

2016 Toyota Tacoma rear view

For example, this will be the first compact pickup ever to have what Toyota calls “crawl control”, which basically allows the truck to take over acceleration and braking while the driver devotes their undivided attention to steering through rough terrain.

Another new technology is the Tacoma’s multi-terrain system, which allows optimal throttle and brake responses depending on the specific off-road terrain you’re driving on. There are modes for rocks, mud and sand.

2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited

Finally, since there’s only so much aesthetic appeal that can be designed into a truck, Toyota has made sure theirs has an interior that truly stands out. From the new sound-absorbing materials in the roof and floor to the GoPro camera mount on the rearview mirror, every minute detail of the Tacoma’s interior serves a purpose, whether that be for fun, comfort or utility.

2016 Nissan Titan XD

2016 Nissan Titan XD

Moving up a weight class, the 2016 Nissan Titan is arguably just as impressive as the new Tacoma. Powered by a Cummins turbocharged 5.0L direct-injection V8 diesel, the new Titan XD will offer a hefty 310hp and 555 lb-ft of torque – enough to make this behemoth one of only two half-ton diesels on the market. The other is Ram’s EcoDiesel, which, as you can probably infer from the name, doesn’t offer near the same ‘oomph’ as Nissan’s new Cummins-powered pickup will.

2016 Nissan Titan XD woods

As you can see, the new 2016 Titan XD features a very rugged design with and an enormous front-end and eye-catching alloys.

2016 Nissan Titan XD interior

The interior is where things have really stepped up, though, with Nissan’s new NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats, a 12-speaker surround sound system from Rockford Fosgate, and of course Nissan’s latest Nissan Connect infotainment technology. You’ll also get standard safety features like Around View Monitor, rear-view display, and moving object detection.

All in all, both pickups look to be slated for success, but we’ll have to wait until later in 2015 to get full details on both models as neither automaker revealed fuel economy numbers or pricing.


Next-Generation Toyota Tacoma Coming to Detroit Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Friday, December 5th, 2014

The auto industry is so predictable sometimes. The 2014 LA Auto Show is barely out the door and we’re already getting news for the next major event in NA – the 2015 Detroit Auto Show in January. But, hey, we’re not complaining! Today we learned that Toyota’s first major premiere at the NAIAS will be the next-gen Toyota Tacoma.

2014 Toyota Tacoma

The current generation of the Toyota Tacoma has been on the market since 2004. So, it will be a full 11 years-old, which is veritably ancient in the automotive world. However, the first-generation lasted for nine years, so it seems that the Japanese automaker knows exactly how often they want to update their small pickup truck.

There’s no doubt that the current Tacoma needs an update, though. Even though it still leads the segment with a 66% market share, its growth has substantially slowed over the past few years to a 4.7% loss in 2014, although segment-wide sales aren’t much better. What’s more, Toyota isn’t just introducing a new Taco’ model; they’re also ramping up production of the pickup at their Baja California, Mexico manufacturing plant.

Toyota’s Senior VP of US Sales, Bob Carter, offered an explanation for the manufacturing increase to AN. He said that Toyota dealers all over the country have been requesting more of their small pickups, which leads him to believe that there is more to the market than the current segment sales would imply. He also believes that the cornucopia of new competitors coming to the niche in the form of the GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado, along with a new Honda Ridgeline planned for next year, only spell success for their investment and the segment overall.

Unfortunately, with all this talk of the small pickup market and the state of the current Tacoma, Toyota didn’t say very much about the next-generation model. All we know is that it will be a very, very big overhaul. And we know that production of the Tacoma is set to increase in April 2015, so that’s probably about when the new model will hit dealership floors.

2014 Lexus LF-C2 Concept LA auto show

Along with the Toyota Tacoma announcement, executives also revealed that Lexus will bring two new performance models to the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Our guess is that at least one of them will be a second iteration of the Lexus LF-C2 Concept we saw last month, but Carter was adamantly silent on any possible hints.