Posts Tagged ‘tacoma’

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.


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.


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.


Top Japanese Cars Coming to the 2015 Detroit Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, January 10th, 2015

The 2015 Detroit Motor Show opens doors next Monday. It’s the first major automotive event of the new year, so it’s a big one for enthusiasts everywhere. As you continue reading, we’ll quickly review every Japanese car you should look out for at the show next week.

2016 Acura NSX

2015 Honda Acura NSX

Perhaps the most highly anticipated car coming to the show, Japanese-made or otherwise, is the next-generation Acura NSX supercar. And this won’t just be a concept either, but a full-fledged production-spec model ready for dealership floors.

However, while you might assume that we know a lot about it because it’s a production model, the exact opposite is true. All we have are four darkened teaser images, similar to the one shown above, and a vague statement by the supercar’s chief engineer and project leader, Ted Klaus:

“After three years of intensive development work we are excited to reveal this next-generation supercar — the Acura NSX — to the world. We’ve developed a human-centered supercar that responds to the will of the driver and that builds upon the NSX heritage.”

The one thing we do know is what will lie beneath the hood. Acura promises a twin-turbocharged sport hybrid powertrain with three high-performance electric motors to help deliver power to the wheels. Other than that, we’ll just have to wait and find out next Monday.

2016 Lexus GS F

2016 Lexus GS F

Even though the Lexus GS F is also an extremely high performance model that will make its official debut in Detroit, for some reason there’s markedly less excitement for Lexus’ amped up saloon than the Acura NSX. Perhaps it’s because we’ve already seen a full suite of teaser images, thereby removing any mystery from the reveal…

Or, perhaps it’s because of the car’s naturally-aspirated 5.0L V8 engine with 467hp, which is borrowed directly from the Lexus RC F. Obviously, 467hp is a ton of output by any normal standards, but not when compared to the GS F’s competitors. The BMW M5, the new Cadillac CTS-V and the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG all offer anywhere from 100 to 200 more horsepower, with the best of the bunch being Cadillac’s 640hp 6.2L V8 behemoth, which can zoom from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds.

2016 Lexus GS F two-tone interior

Still, the new GS-F should not be counted out. Because of Toyota’s expertise with carbon fiber thanks to their previous LFA project, the car comes in at 200 to 500 pounds less than competitors, which means it can go faster with less power. Plus, it’s reported to continue the trend of truly top-notch driving dynamics from Lexus. On top of that, Lexus has once again proven their prowess for designing interiors, as you can see in the image above.

Infiniti Q60 Concept

2016 Infiniti Q60 Concept Preview

The next car to keep an eye out for, which we covered just earlier this week, is the new Infiniti Q60 Concept. You can read more about the upcoming concept here, but the short version is that this low-riding coupe is expected to compete with the BMW 4 Series with a plush interior, class-leading aerodynamics and probably the same 3.0L V6 engine that we’ve seen in the Infiniti Q80.

2016 Nissan Titan

2016 Nissan Titan spy shot

Finally, a non-sports car! Both Japanese pickups have remained relatively under wraps compared to the sports cars above, but the one thing we know about Nissan’s new Titan is that it’ll be powered by a custom-developed 5.0L V8 Cummins diesel engine. In order to appeal to the patriotic pickup niche, Nissan has put a heavy emphasis on the fact that their pickup is 100% American-made… Conceptualized in California, developed in Michigan, road-tested in the deserts of Arizona and built in the Midwest of Mississippi.

2016 Toyota Tacoma

2016 Toyota Tacoma

Alongside the Nissan Titan will be another new Japanese pickup truck, albeit a smaller mid-sized model, to compete with the likes of Chevy’s new Colorado and the new GMC Canyon. Again, Toyota has remained completely tight-lipped about the new model, but we do know what it looks like thanks to the numerous photos leaked ahead of the reveal.

We’ll find out exact powertrain specs when doors open next week, but we’re setting the bar pretty high after Toyota boldly claimed that the new Tacoma will be “better in every way” than the previous generation, which they point out was the best-selling midsize pickup for the past 10 years.

Other Possible Japanese Cars Coming to Detroit

Now, there are a couple other Japanese cars that aren’t totally confirmed for debut at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show, but that we highly suspect will make an appearance. Those cars include:

2016 Nissan Maxima – We know that the new Maxima will come sometime in “early 2015”, and all initial reports lead us to believe that Detroit will be that time. The car should showcase Nissan’s new design language, along with a more spacious interior and a possible new hybrid powertrain borrowed from the new Pathfinder.

2016 Lexus RX Facelift – The other Japanese car that we expect to see – but can’t absolutely guarantee that we will – is the facelift for Lexus’ 2016 RX crossover. Again, we really know nothing about this other than the fact that Lexus promised two new cars at Detroit, and this is the only other likely candidate.

Either way, you can clearly see that the 2015 Detroit Motor Show is going to be a big one for Japanese automakers. The three major Japanese brands each have multiple new cars making debuts, so you’ll definitely want to stay tuned next week to get the full reveal for each of the cars above.

Until then, thanks for reading!


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.


Toyota Bringing 15 New Concepts to the 2014 SEMA Show

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

The Specialty Equipment Market Association’s (SEMA) annual motor show is always a great place for automakers to show off their latest and greatest aftermarket innovations. With the show opening doors later next week, automakers have begun building hype for the new cars they’ll showcase at the event.

Toyota in particular looks to make a big impact at this year’s SEMA show. If you’ve been following Toyota’s newsroom for the past 24 hours, then you’ve been under a constant assault of press about all the new cars and concepts that Toyota plans to bring to the show. And remember, these new concepts come in addition to the Scion iM Concept that we’ll see towards the end of next month in LA.

We have a lot of concepts to get through, so let’s get to it!

2015 TRD Pro Trucks for Baja 1000 Race

2015 TRD Tacoma

Toyota will bring their trio of specially augmented TRD Pro trucks to the motor show, which will be competing (sort of) in the 47th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, which is a notoriously treacherous 1,000 mile-long desert race. We have the TRD Tacoma pictured above, and the TRD 4Runner pictured below.

2015 TRD 4Runner

We say the TRD Pro trucks will “sort of” compete in the Baja 1000 because technically these will be chase trucks, which means they’ll follow the primary race car – the Tundra TRD Pro Desert Race Truck – and help make repairs/support the driver when needed. Still, it’s a grueling task that the TRD Pro Tacoma, 4Runner and Tundra will face together next year.

New Toyota FT-1 Concept

2015 Toyota FT-1 Concept

We’ve already seen the first Toyota FT-1 Concept make its rounds through most of the major auto shows throughout the year. So, Toyota’s brining a fresh iteration of the sports car to the SEMA event. Whereas previous versions have been depicted in a bold black and red, the SEMA car will come in a subtler and classier graphite and saddle color palette. Not much more to say about this one, but it sure looks cool.

DUB Edition Sienna & Yaris

2015 Toyota Yaris DUB Edition

In collaboration with DUB Magazine, Toyota will bring a specially augmented wide-body Yaris and Sienna to the SEMA event next month.

2015 Toyota Sienna DUB Edition

Noteworthy modifications to the DUB Editions include, obviously, the wide fender flares that make the cars appear so much stockier. You’ll also find a lowered suspension, TRD Big Brakes, a custom paintjob outside, and lux carbon fiber accents with all-around better materials for the interiors. You’ll also find a booming DUB audio package, which includes 12 speakers and six amps in the Yaris, and half that for the DUB Sienna.

Mobile DJ Sienna:Remix

2015 Toyota Sienna Remix

As a fitting follow-up to the DUB Edition show cars, Toyota will also partner with West Coast Customs and SiriusXM to bring the well-named DJ Sienna to the SEMA show. As you can see, the car gets its name from the enormous sound system strapped to its roof. Housed in the system are four booming 12” subwoofers and 24 coaxial speakers with five amps and a bunch of other cool technology. There’s even a built-in DJ booth inside the Sienna:Remix with a direct plug-in system.

In other words, this really is a mobile DJ station… Made from a Sienna minivan. Who knew?

See all of these concepts and more at the 2014 SEMA Show which will open from November 4th to 7th next week.


Toyota Debuts New TRD Pro Series at 2014 Chicago Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, February 8th, 2014

Toyota TRD Pro series

Last week we looked at teasers for Toyota’s new TRD Pro Series of off-road vehicles. This morning, with the grand opening of the 2014 Chicago Motor Show, we now have full specs for the entire TRD Pro Series.

As you continue reading, we will go through each of the three performance-tuned trucks and SUV to see what’s so special about these new upgraded vehicles.

First, though, let’s quickly go over why Toyota has chosen to unveil this TRD Pro Series at this particular time. As it happens, 2014 is the 35th anniversary of Toyota Racing Development, or TRD, so it’s an important year to give Toyota’s many loyal fans something special. Each and every vehicle listed here has received a plethora of enhancements and upgrades from the TRD team. It’ll be tough, but we’ll do our best to cover the most important upgrades for each vehicle.

2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

First up, we have the new and improved Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. This one gets new 18” black alloy wheels with Michelin ORP tires, along with 2” of additional wheel travel in the front and 1.25” in the rear. In fact, the entire front of the vehicle has been lifted 2” for additional off-road clearance. The shocks have also been made more resilient with overall less cavitation, while the springs have been loosened for “improved ride quality over harsh terrain”.

The Tundra TRD Pro also gets a new stainless steel dual exhaust system that Toyota says exhibits a manly “throaty rumble sound”. Design-wise, the exterior of the TRD Tundra gets a new front grille, new TRD Pro stamping around the bed and doors, and exclusive color-schemes of Black, Super White and Inferno Red (applies to the other TRDs too).

Inside, the Tundra gets a new shift knob and floor mats (again, this is included in all the vehicles listed below), along with a new seat color and red stitching unique to the Tundra TRD Pro.

2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

Toyota’s compact pickup gets new TRD-tuned springs and that same decreased spring rate we saw in the Tundra. But, instead of 18” wheels it gets 16” black beadlock-style wheels, and BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires. However, the Taco TRD Pro only gets 1” of additional wheel travel in the front, but 1.5” in the back, while the front of the vehicle still gets an overall 2” lift. The TRD Tacoma also gets a 1/8” thick stamped silver skid plate, and a TRD Cat Back Exhaust system.

The Tacoma also gets the same TRD Pro badging throughout, both interior and exterior. However, unlike the Tundra, the Taco gets a nice little hoodscoop to go with its revised grille and bumper.

2015 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

Just like the littlest bear in the tale of Goldilocks, the Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is juuuuuuust right. It’s got new 17” black alloy wheels, 1 inch of extra wheel travel on both front and back, and a 1” higher ride overall. It still gets the same shock treatment as the others though – it’s got the upgraded remote reservoirs of the Tacoma and Tundra TRDs that allow for improved heat management and cavitation control (in other words, it rides smoother over the kind of rocky terrain seen in the image above).

Unlike the Taco and the Tundra, the TRD Pro 4Runner keeps the same exhaust system as the original. However, it makes up for it with perhaps the best new grille of the bunch… Just look at how aggressive that front clip is. What a beauty!

Of course, it also gets the same TRD-badged shifter and floor mats, and all the TRD badging around the exterior too. It also shares the Tacoma’s hoodscoop for that little bit of extra edge.

All in all, Toyota has done an excellent job of making each off-road vehicle in the TRD Pro Series feel substantially more rugged without taking away from the overall thrust of each vehicle.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more coverage of the 2014 Chicago Auto Show!


Toyota Sells the Most Midsize Pickups in 2012 in the US

Posted by Stephen On Friday, March 1st, 2013

The beginning of the year is typically the time where data-enthusiasts sit down and tally up stats for the previous year. 2013 is no different, and for PickupTrucks.com that means delving into sales figures for each pickup truck segment (courtesy of RL Polk). Their most recently published analysis focused on midsize pickup truck sales during 2012 in the US.

So, who sold the most midsize pickup trucks in 2012?

The surprise is ruined because the answer is in the title – Toyota. More specifically, the Toyota Tacoma (or the Toyota Taco’ for short) was the best-selling midsize pickup truck in the US. And by a long shot, too… The Tacoma sold almost 3x as frequently as the second place Nissan Frontier. In fact, the Tacoma took over half the sales in the US’ entire midsize pickup segment – 133K out of 241K total sales.

In case you don’t feel like visiting PickupTrucks.com for the full story, here’s a break down of the top 5 best selling midsize pickup trucks in the US during 2012:

Toyota Tacoma – 133,477 units sold
Nissan Frontier – 50,566 units sold
Chevy Colorado – 21,224 units sold
Ford Ranger – 15,662 units sold
Honda Ridgeline – 13,476 units sold

As a funny side note, only one Hummer H3T was sold throughout the entirety of 2012. I bet they got some serious incentives!

But I digress. You’ll see that three of the top five best-selling midsize pickup trucks are Japanese made. For this particular segment it seems as if Japanese manufacturers have figured out what works.

At least, for now.

It’s important to note that two of the major American manufacturers have neglected the midsize pickup segment for the past few years. Both the Ford Ranger and the Dodge Dakota are on the way out, and the stats for 2012 reflect the absence of these previously top-tier contenders. Even on the way out, the Ford Ranger managed to sell a not-too-shabby 15,662 units.

Still, that’s not to say that the Toyota Tacoma doesn’t deserve its place at the top. Quite the opposite. Taco’ drivers across-the-board praise the midsize pickups’ excellent drivability both on- and off-road. The four-door truck also has a very appealing exterior design with large-lipped wheel wells, a large grille, and sweeping clean-cut lines across the length of the body.

Taking the trophy for best-selling midsize pickup truck in the US during 2012 is definitely a great accomplishment for Toyota, no doubt. Still, keep in mind that compact/midsize pickups make up only about 15% of the total pickup truck market. It’s the smallest segment, and the Ford F-Series is still the best-selling pickup both state-side and internationally.

None the less, congratulations Toyota! And for any of you interested in a stellar midsize pickup, the Toyota Tacoma is the way to go in 2013.