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Archive for the ‘Toyota Tacoma’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Truck Starts to Climb a Rock with Just the Torque From its Starter Motor

Pure-bred off-roaders are pretty wild machines, clawing their way through crazy terrain that looks more like the moon than anything you’d expect to find a car on. Enabling this capability is the right combination of mechanical bits, as evidenced by the Toyota featured above, which manages to mount a steep slab of granite through the torque of its starter motor.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Chuck Norris is Tough and So is the New Toyota Tacoma Pickup, Apparently

We all have our favorite Chuck Norris jokes, but apparently, we all forgot about the power of his autograph. That’s right; it’s been scientifically proven that Chuck Norris’ signature can turn random objects into all-conquering superheroes. Take a look at what happens to the Toyota Tacoma once it got bestowed with Chuck’s perfectly legible John Hancock.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Ups the Ante With 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro

Toyota is giving its TRD Pro trio – Tundra, Tacoma, and 4Runner. – a mild update for the 2019 model year. The changes are mostly minor but help keep the already capable vehicles fresh in customers’ minds. That’s definitely needed considering how hot the off-road pickup segment is getting.

Continue reading for more on the 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.

The Taco Supreme


Toyota Ups the Ante With 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro - image 766130
“Toyota has injected its 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro with more of the secret sauce”

Toyota has injected its 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro with more of the secret sauce. The truck’s most noticeable new feature is, of course, that snorkel. Toyota’s lawyers likely stopped the term from being used in an effort to avoid lawsuits of waterlogged Tacomas, but that’s the common term used for this raised air intake. Toyota officially calls it the TRD Desert Air Intake. While perhaps counterintuitive, the name is actually fitting. A snorkel is also good at grabbing clean air that’s above the dirt and dust that generally fills an engine bay when off-roading. This helps extend the life of the engine’s air filter and thereby maintaining better performance through better breathing and ultimately the potential for longer engine life. Sand and dirt will wreak havoc on an engine’s internal components, after all.

Aside from the optional TRD Desert air Intake, the 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro gets a few other exterior upgrades. The front skid plate has been upgraded with red lettering within its stamped TRD logo. The standard TRD cat-back exhaust now has a Black Chrome tip.


Toyota Ups the Ante With 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro - image 766125
“Of course, the Tacoma TRD Pro keeps its headlining feature: the 2.5-inch Fox Racing Shocks and upgraded suspension components”

The 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro’s interior retains all the appearance upgrades found on the previous model. There is a TRD shift knob and TRD Pro logos on the floor mats and front seat headrests. Toyota’s Entune infotainment system with navigation and the App Suite come standard here, as does the premium JBL Audio system.

Of course, the Tacoma TRD Pro keeps its headlining feature: the 2.5-inch Fox Racing Shocks and upgraded suspension components. The shocks use 46mm pistons for strength and have eight bypass zones along its travel. Five of the zones are for compression and three are for rebound. Basically, the more compressed the shock becomes, the harder it fights being compressed. This gives the shocks a smooth, supple ride over normal bumps and protects the truck from bottoming out on larger bumps and even jumps.

The front shocks work alongside coil springs inside a MacPherson strut-style arrangement. Out back, the Fox shocks complement leaf springs shared with the Tacoma TRD Off-Road model. For 2019, the Tacoma TRD Pro keeps its 16-inch black alloy wheels wrapped in 265/70R16 Goodyear Wrangler Kevlar All-Terrain tires. The wheels have more offset than the Tacoma’s standard wheels, giving the TRD Pro an extra inch of track width.


Toyota Ups the Ante With 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro - image 766137
“For 2019, the Tacoma TRD Pro keeps its 16-inch black alloy wheels wrapped in 265/70R16 Goodyear Wrangler Kevlar All-Terrain tires”

Nothing changes with the Tacoma’s powertrain, either. The 3.5-liter V-6 comes standard and offers 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but a six-speed automatic is optional.

While most enthusiasts would gravitate toward the manual, the automatic does add handy off-road features that include Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control. The Multi-Terrain Select gives the driver more control over the engine and transmission tuning, along with added control over the traction control and ABS system thanks to drive modes. Crawl Control is basically a low-speed cruise control for off-roading. It not only maintains a certain speed but also sends power to whatever wheel needs it most based on traction.

Toyota has not released pricing for the 2019 Tacoma TRD pro, but it’s expected to only rise slightly. The 2018 model starts at $41,520. Choosing the automatic (which also brings the handy off-roading features) adds $2,000 to the price. We’ll bring you updating pricing as Toyota releases it closer to the truck’s arrival in showrooms in the fall of 2018.

References

Toyota Tacoma


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro – Driven - image 706490

Read our full driven review on the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.


2016 Toyota Tacoma - image 609397

Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota Tacoma.


maker logos - image 762150

Read more Chicago Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 741755

Read more Toyota news.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Ups the Ante With 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro

Toyota is giving its TRD Pro trio – Tundra, Tacoma, and 4Runner. – a mild update for the 2019 model year. The changes are mostly minor but help keep the already capable vehicles fresh in customers’ minds. That’s definitely needed considering how hot the off-road pickup segment is getting.

Continue reading for more on the 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.

The Taco Supreme


Toyota Ups the Ante With 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro - image 766130
“Toyota has injected its 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro with more of the secret sauce”

Toyota has injected its 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro with more of the secret sauce. The truck’s most noticeable new feature is, of course, that snorkel. Toyota’s lawyers likely stopped the term from being used in an effort to avoid lawsuits of waterlogged Tacomas, but that’s the common term used for this raised air intake. Toyota officially calls it the TRD Desert Air Intake. While perhaps counterintuitive, the name is actually fitting. A snorkel is also good at grabbing clean air that’s above the dirt and dust that generally fills an engine bay when off-roading. This helps extend the life of the engine’s air filter and thereby maintaining better performance through better breathing and ultimately the potential for longer engine life. Sand and dirt will wreak havoc on an engine’s internal components, after all.

Aside from the optional TRD Desert air Intake, the 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro gets a few other exterior upgrades. The front skid plate has been upgraded with red lettering within its stamped TRD logo. The standard TRD cat-back exhaust now has a Black Chrome tip.


Toyota Ups the Ante With 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro - image 766125
“Of course, the Tacoma TRD Pro keeps its headlining feature: the 2.5-inch Fox Racing Shocks and upgraded suspension components”

The 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro’s interior retains all the appearance upgrades found on the previous model. There is a TRD shift knob and TRD Pro logos on the floor mats and front seat headrests. Toyota’s Entune infotainment system with navigation and the App Suite come standard here, as does the premium JBL Audio system.

Of course, the Tacoma TRD Pro keeps its headlining feature: the 2.5-inch Fox Racing Shocks and upgraded suspension components. The shocks use 46mm pistons for strength and have eight bypass zones along its travel. Five of the zones are for compression and three are for rebound. Basically, the more compressed the shock becomes, the harder it fights being compressed. This gives the shocks a smooth, supple ride over normal bumps and protects the truck from bottoming out on larger bumps and even jumps.

The front shocks work alongside coil springs inside a MacPherson strut-style arrangement. Out back, the Fox shocks complement leaf springs shared with the Tacoma TRD Off-Road model. For 2019, the Tacoma TRD Pro keeps its 16-inch black alloy wheels wrapped in 265/70R16 Goodyear Wrangler Kevlar All-Terrain tires. The wheels have more offset than the Tacoma’s standard wheels, giving the TRD Pro an extra inch of track width.


Toyota Ups the Ante With 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro - image 766137
“For 2019, the Tacoma TRD Pro keeps its 16-inch black alloy wheels wrapped in 265/70R16 Goodyear Wrangler Kevlar All-Terrain tires”

Nothing changes with the Tacoma’s powertrain, either. The 3.5-liter V-6 comes standard and offers 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but a six-speed automatic is optional.

While most enthusiasts would gravitate toward the manual, the automatic does add handy off-road features that include Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control. The Multi-Terrain Select gives the driver more control over the engine and transmission tuning, along with added control over the traction control and ABS system thanks to drive modes. Crawl Control is basically a low-speed cruise control for off-roading. It not only maintains a certain speed but also sends power to whatever wheel needs it most based on traction.

Toyota has not released pricing for the 2019 Tacoma TRD pro, but it’s expected to only rise slightly. The 2018 model starts at $41,520. Choosing the automatic (which also brings the handy off-roading features) adds $2,000 to the price. We’ll bring you updating pricing as Toyota releases it closer to the truck’s arrival in showrooms in the fall of 2018.

References

Toyota Tacoma


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro – Driven - image 706490

Read our full driven review on the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.


2016 Toyota Tacoma - image 609397

Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota Tacoma.


maker logos - image 762150

Read more Chicago Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 741755

Read more Toyota news.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Teases TRD Pro Lineup Ahead of Big Debut at Chicago Auto Show

Toyota has just dropped a massive teaser of the 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro in anticipation for its big debut at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. There, Toyota will be announcing updates to the entire TRD Pro lineup, which includes the Tundra, Tacoma, and 4Runner.

Currently, the only solid lead we have is the dusty image Toyota released of the 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro. The glaringly obvious change is the snorkel mounted along the passenger-side A-pillar. It’s a big deal as it makes Toyota the only automaker to make a snorkel part of a production vehicle in the U.S. While we don’t know if the raised air intake will be an option or actually standard equipment, we’re definitely leaning toward the former. It’s worth noting, however, that Mopar does offer a snorkel kit for the Jeep Wrangler that can be installed by a Jeep dealership.

Technicalities aside, the snorkel will likely give the Tacoma TRD Pro a deeper water fording depth and should help to keep the air filter cleaner thanks to its higher, more dust-free location. Of course, Tacoma owners will have other components to worry about getting wet. Generally, things like computers, electrical connections, and interior bits don’t like getting wet.

Other updates to the TRD Pro lineup could include improved suspension systems, new wheel and tire combinations, updated traction management systems, and even new interior accents. Currently, TRD Pro models receive interior changes like TRD-branded shift knobs, floor mats, embroidered headrests, and other small niceties.

We will know way more come this Thursday, February 8. Toyota will have its press conference at 9 a.m. CST.

References

Toyota Tacoma


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro – Driven - image 706490

Read our full driven review on the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.


2016 Toyota Tacoma - image 609397

Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota Tacoma.


maker logos - image 762150

Read more Chicago Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 741755

Read more Toyota news.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Teases 3 Special Editions For Chicago

Toyota is gearing up for a busy weekend at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show that includes debuting a new lineup of off-road vehicles. The Japanese automaker released a teaser photo of its Chicago attendees, and we can clearly see that the three models are the Tundra, Tacoma, and 4Runner. It’s hard to make out the specifics because of the distance of the vehicles in the photo, but it is believed that all three models will come to Chicago sporting new off-road packages.

It’s hard to make out what the Tundra, Tacoma, and 4Runner are sporting, but if they are carrying new off-road packages, expect it to be an updated version of Toyota’s current TRD Pro package. Each model is eligible to get the package so that’s another sign that they’re all going to be sporting some new version of the package when they all show up in Chicago.

For those who need a refresher, the current TRD Pro Series package offers a series of upgrades to the standard components that are already included in the Tundra, Tacoma, and 4Runner. Depending on the vehicle, the package includes either a one- or two-inch lift with unique suspension tuning, upgraded off-road tires, special TRD exhaust tips, skid plates, and a handful of cosmetic additions. From the looks of it, all three models are also wearing different grilles compared to their standard counterparts. That’s another suggestion that there could be more offerings included in the new TRD Pro Series package.

Outside of these new digs for Toyota’s incumbent off-roaders, there’s also growing momentum within the company that another off-road SUV could be in the pipeline. Toyota has been mum on this plan, but rumors have been quick to identify the FT-4X Concept that debuted at the 2017 New York Auto Show as the possible inspiration behind this new SUV. Could it be possible, then, that the recently deceased FJ Cruiser will get a successor after all? We’ll find out soon enough.

References


2014 Toyota Tundra - image 491988

Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota Tundra.


2016 Toyota Tacoma - image 609409

Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota Tacoma.


2014 Toyota 4Runner - image 503880

Read our full review on the 2017 Toyota 4Runner.


maker logos - image 763348

Read more Geneva Motor Show news.


maker logos - image 741755

Read more Toyota news.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport – Driven

The Toyota Tacoma has been a mainstay in the compact and mid-size pickup segments for more than 30 years. Even before the Tacoma name, the Toyota pickup impressed hard-nosed Americans with innovation, durability, and performance. Those traits continue today with the third-generation truck. And like any proper truck should, Toyota offers the Tacoma with several cab, bed, trim, and drivetrain combinations. Generally speaking, there is a Tacoma for everybody.

If I were a single man who didn’t need room for car seats and kiddos, the Tacoma Access Cab would be a tempting acquisition. I’ve never really been a big fan of extended cab trucks, favoring the roomier crew cab (double cab in Toyota’s case) over the cramped quarters behind the front seats of an Access Cab. However, a week behind the wheel of a 2017 Tacoma Access Cab has changed my mind. There’s enough room for smaller people and plenty of room for groceries. Better still, the Tacoma’s six-speed manual transmission won my heart thanks to its more engaging driving experience over the automatic.

Continue reading for my full thoughts on the 2017 Toyota Tacoma.

Exterior

  • Access Cab has four doors & four seats
  • Optional Tonneau cover keeps cargo dry
  • Optional bed extended is extremely handy
  • Bed-mounted 110-volt power outlet
  • TRD Sport includes faux hood scoop
  • 17-inch alloy wheels

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756172
“The TRD Sport trim is basically a street-biased package opposite of the TRD Off-Road option”

The third-generation Tacoma debuted for the 2016 model year and has remained unchanged. Nevertheless, its appearance is still fresh and remains the most athletic offering in the current mid-size truck lineup. That is thanks, in part, to the aggressive headlights, chrome grille, bulging fenders, and on the TRD Sport, its faux hood scoop.

The TRD Sport trim is basically a street-biased package opposite of the TRD Off-Road option. The two TRD trims cost the same money but offer different variations on the same theme. While the TRD Off-Road comes with underbody skid plates, all-terrain tires on 16-inch wheels, and a locking rear differential, the TRD Sport rolls on 17-inch wheels with all-season tires, lacks the off-road equipment, and adds the hood scoop and front air dam.


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756132
“My tester also has a few optional extras, including the $650 hard tonneau cover and $300 bed extender”

My tester also has a few optional extras, including the $650 hard tonneau cover and $300 bed extender. Both proved extremely practical over the week of evaluation. The three-part, hard tonneau cover folds easily for hauling larger items and the bed extended also acts as a cargo divider when flipped into the bed.

I hauled an older, 70-inch projection-style TV in the bed and was able to remove both the tonneau cover and bed extender with ease. The tonneau cover simply requires one 12-mm bolt to be removed and the entire cover lifts off the truck. Built-in buckles and straps secure the three panels together to prevent it from unfolding during removal. The bed extender pulls out of its base when held at a roughly a 45-degree angle.


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756170
“The black vinyl graphic is supposed to emphasize the shape of the hood and scoop while adding some flair to the truck’s overall appearance”

The Tacoma’s bed also has tons of tie-down options. The composite bed has D-rings bolted to the floor in all four corners and the slidable bed cleats allow for even more tie-down options. My truck also had the $120 rubber bed mat. This kept things from sliding around and proved especially handy with the TV.

The bed comes standard with a nifty 110-volt power plug for running household equipment, making the Tacoma really handy for tailgating. The bumper also includes the standard four- and seven-pin wiring connectors for trailer connections.

Another interesting – though less functional – option is the $129 hood graphic. The black vinyl graphic is supposed to emphasize the shape of the hood and scoop while adding some flair to the truck’s overall appearance. In practice, I’d have to agree with Toyota’s description; the graphic is kind of neat.

Interior

  • Bright Orange cabin accents
  • Cloth seats have orange contrast stitching
  • Foldable rear jump seats
  • Under-seat storage in back
  • Sliding rear window
  • Qi wireless phone charger
  • 7.0-inch Entune infotainment system

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756143
“The interior's controls, driver information screen, and Entune system are all typical Toyota”

The Tacoma’s interior, like the exterior, hasn’t changed since 2016, but it still looks fresh. Its controls, driver information screen, and Entune system are all typical Toyota, so there are no surprises for anyone familiar with any other Toyota product.

My tester’s black cloth cabin is accented by a fun, orange halo ring around the dashboard and orange contrast stitching in the seats. Even the TRD shift knob has the orange accent.

As for the size, the Access Cab has seating for two up front and two more (small) people in back. The jump seats work great for small kids over short distances or even adults when the situation calls for it, but if hauling more than two people is on the regular agenda, I’d definitely recommend the Double Cab.


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756152
“Under the seats are small storage boxes, with the passenger side box housing the tire changing equipment.”

When it comes to hauling stuff other than butts, the jump seats quickly fold against the back wall and the headrests fold down, opening up the back window. Under the seats are small storage boxes, with the passenger side box housing the tire changing equipment.

Back up front, the Tacoma’s dash boasts extremely intuitive controls with three knobs for the dual-zone temperature control and fan speed. Three-level seat heaters get hot enough to fry an egg and retain the last-used setting. Down low, buttons for the blind spot monitoring, parking sensor, and Qi wireless phone charger sit by a USB port and 12-volt power port. The 4WD system’s knob sits by the HVAC controls, within easy reach, too, though it’s possible someone could accidentally select 4WD high range when meaning to turn the driver’s side heat up. Owners shouldn’t have that problem after a couple days, though.


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756142
“Entune might not be the latest or flashiest infotainment on the market, but it gets the job done”

As mentioned, the Entune system is similar to any other Toyota product, though that’s not a bad thing. Entune might not be the latest or flashiest infotainment on the market, but it gets the job done. Knobs make volume and tuning control super easy, and touch-sensitive buttons along the sides of the screen make quick work of navigating between menus.

As for the gauges, the white-on-black font is easy to read and the digital speedometer available in the driver information screen makes it even easier. Steering wheel controls include the five-way button pad for the driver information screen, a button for voice commands, radio volume and tuning, and phone controls for a paired Bluetooth device.

Drivetrain

  • 3.5-liter V-6
  • 278 horsepower at 6,000 rpm
  • 265 pound-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm.
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Part-time 4WD with electronic shifting
  • 17 mpg city / 21 mpg hwy / 18 mpg comb.

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756121
“The Tacoma comes standard with a 159-horsepower, 2.7-liter four-cylinder, but the vast majority come with the optional 3.5-liter V-6”

The Tacoma comes standard with a 159-horsepower, 2.7-liter four-cylinder, but the vast majority come with the optional 3.5-liter V-6. In fact, all the trims above the base SR come with the V-6. The engine uses an innovated D-4S fuel system with both direct and port fuel injection. Toyota uses the old-school port injection to help keep intake valves free of carbon build-up, while the direct injection is used for most of the fuel delivery. Variable valve timing is also included in the mix, as is Toyota’s interesting Otto/Atkinson combustion cycle system.

Basically the engine uses the Atkinson combustion cycle when under light loads, allowing for less fuel usage. When more power is needed, the traditional Otto combustion cycle kicks in and generates the extra oomph. What’s the difference? Well, the two cycles use different timing with opening and closing the overhead valves. The Atkinson cycle delays the intake valve from closing until the piston is already making its upward travel during the compression stroke. This ensures that every drop of fuel is used to its fullest potential. During the Otto cycle, the intake valve is closed before the piston begins rising. While slightly less efficient, the Otto cycle makes more power. Combined with the variable valve timing and lift, the 3.5-liter V-6 can be both a fuel-sipper and power-maker.


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756123
“My TRD Sport is EPA-estimated to achieve 17 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined”

The result is 278 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 265 pound-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm. And even despite its 4WD and manual transmission, my TRD Sport is EPA-estimated to achieve 17 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined. Sure, those are fantastic numbers, but they would undoubtedly be lower without the advancements inside the engine.

Speaking of that manual transmission, this six-speed unit feels like a traditional truck transmission. Its throws are long and its gear engagement soft. A mildly weighted clutch makes for easy in-town driving without leg cramps and a predictable engagement point makes for less chance for stalls. And though I quickly got used to the long throws, I kept wishing for a short-throw shift kit early in my testing. It probably didn’t help the Tacoma’s case that I had just gotten out of a Honda Civic Type R. Still, the gearbox is perfectly suited for the Tacoma and it made driving that much more fun.

Driving Impressions


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756149
“The steering is tight when in a turn, but there is some on-center vagueness, though no more than what is unusually found in a pickup”

Besides the extra fun had thanks to the six-speed manual transmission, the Tacoma is a hoot to drive. Especially when held in the mid-range, the V-6 offers plenty of punch and its optional TRD cat-back exhaust makes for a pleasing auditory experience. The steering is tight when in a turn, but there is some on-center vagueness, though no more than what is unusually found in a pickup. Throttle and braking inputs are commendable, with zero throttle tip-in or grabby initial bite with the brakes. Things just worked smoothly.

Body roll though a turn is certainly present, though I never had the gumption to push the Tacoma hard. Even without trying, the skinny Toyo tires start squealing long before the truck reaches its limits. That’s probably a safe thing. Brake dive is mostly managed, too.


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756129
“Even without trying, the skinny Toyo tires start squealing long before the truck reaches its limits”

The truck’s TRD Sport suspension includes MacPherson front struts and control arms up front with a solid axle held in place with leaf springs and shock absorbers out back.

The sprint to 60 mph takes roughly 7.5 seconds, which is perfectly average and fine for a mid-size pickup. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to haul anything with substantial weight or pull a trailer, so I can’t comment on those driving qualities. Still, Toyota says the Tacoma Access Cab V-6 will haul 1,275 pounds in the bed and tow 6,500 pounds with the optional Class-IV towing package.

Pricing


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756164

The Toyota Tacoma Starts at $25,200 for the base SR trim in 2018. According to Toyota’s build-and-price website, the 2018 version of my 2017 TRD Sport starts life at $31,895. Adding the optional 4WD moves the price to $33,810. Foregoing the optional six-speed automatic transmission saves $1,370. (Call that a win-win!) The hard tri-fold tonneau cover costs $650 and the Premium Package, which adds dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, and automatic headlights, costs $710. Interestingly, the Premium Package listed for $1,510 in 2017.

Other options on my truck include the $300 bed extender, the $395 paint protection film on the nose, the $120 bed mat, the $90 TRD engine air filter, the $129 hood graphics, the $799 TRD performance exhaust, the $208 carpet floor mats and door sill protector, and the $140 TRD shift knob.

Add in the $940 destination fee, and my Tacoma TRD Sport lists for $37,671.

The Competition

Chevrolet Colorado


2015 Chevrolet Colorado - image 532896

The current Chevy Colorado and its corporate cousin, the GMC Canyon, have been around since the 2015 model year. Like the Tacoma, they are offered in an extended and crew cab format with short and long cargo beds. Likewise, they come with a base four-cylinder, though a V-6 is the bread-n-butter engine. GM one-ups Toyota with a four-cylinder turbodiesel, however. Inside, the Colorado’s cabin is roomy and comfortable, while boasting the optional and highly praised 8.0-inch MyLink infotainment system.

As mentioned, the four-cylinder comes standard and is available with a six-speed manual gearbox. The 3.6-liter V-6, however, is only available with the six-speed automatic. The V-6 makes 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque. The other optional engine, the 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel, makes 181 horsepower and a very respectable 369 pound-feet of torque.

Pricing for the Colorado starts at $21,195 for the extended cab, long bed model with rear-wheel drive and the 2.5-liter four-cylinder. A comparable truck with the extended cab and Z71 Off-road package and powered by the V-6 starts at $34,595.

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado

Nissan Frontier


2016 Nissan Frontier - image 649408

If age doesn’t matter to your truck purchase, the Nissan Frontier might work. It’s been around for nearly a decade, yet still offers some competitive features. Its interior is very dated compared to the Tacoma and Colorado, but it’s lower price makes up for the difference. And like the others, it comes standard in an extended cab form and a crew cab is optional.

Power comes from either the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder or the volume-leading 4.0-liter V-6, which makes 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is available, as is a five-speed automatic. Nissan offers several trim lines ranging from fleet spec to well-equipped off-roader.

Prices start at $18,990 and range to upward of $36,000 for the range-topping SL grade. An extended (or King Cab in Nissan speak) with the off-road ready PRO-4X package starts at $33,030.

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Frontier

Conclusion


2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport - Driven - image 756175

The Toyota Tacoma, even with its smaller Access Cab, proved to be an excellent and fun daily driver thanks to its peppy V-6, six-speed manual transmission, 4WD, and TRD Sport suspension. The handy tonneau cover, bed extender, and cargo tie-down points were very useful during the week and are must-buy accessories in my book.

For those not wanting to hit the trail or tempt fate with getting stuck, the TRD Sport is a great street-biased alternative to the TRD Off-Road. While I’d be more included to get the TRD Off-Road, I know TRD Sport would handle 95 percent of the off-road I’d actually ever do. And the rest of the time, I wouldn’t suffer with loud tire growl and the extra weight I’d be lugging around with skid plates and rear differential locks. Still, it’s great to see Toyota offer both TRD packages at the same price. That allows customers to pick the truck that’s right for them without worrying about the price.

All told, it’s completely understandable why the Toyota Tacoma outsells the Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, and Nissan Frontier by a wide margin. Though the other trucks are highly competitive, the Tacoma just does so much really well. For that, it earns a gold star in my book.

  • Leave it
    • * Could be more fuel efficenct
    • * Cramped back seat for adults
    • * Options start to add up

PostHeaderIcon Small Pickups Fall Short of IIHS’ Top Safety Pick Awards

Modern trucks are vastly safer than older vehicles, yet the Insurance Institutes for Highway Safety continues to move the bar. As such, four variants of the most popular mid-size pickups fail to meet the independent agency’s highest rating for crash survivability and headlight performance. Eight pickups were tested, including both extended and crew cab versions of the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Toyota Tacoma, and Nissan Frontier.

Of the eight trucks tested, four did not earn the IIHS’ best rating of “Good” in the front small-overlap crash test. These are the extended cab version of the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, along with both cab configurations of the aging Nissan Frontier. The GM twins both earned an Acceptable rating, while the Nissan only earned a Marginal. The Frontier continued to score low in both the structural category and in the possibility of the driver sustaining lower leg and foot injuries. That’s not surprising considering the Frontier is 12 years old, having last been redesigned for the 2005 model year. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Toyota Tacoma Double Cab earned a Good overall rating and a Good rating in each sub-category except for an Acceptable rating in potential lower leg and foot injuries. Even still, the Tacoma lacks any front crash prevention systems, excluding it from the IIHS’ Top Safety awards. Only the GM twins offer any such system, and even it only alerts the driver rather than stopping the truck, earning it only a Basic rating. Lastly, not a single mid-size pickup scored better than a Poor rating in headlight performance. It is understandable, though, as the IIHS only began testing headlights for the 2017 model year.

Continue reading for charts of the IIHS ratings.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Colorado ZR2 vs 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

These are exciting times for truck enthusiasts who also like off-roading. The 2017 Ford Raptor is out, launching the second generation of Ford’s halo F-150. Toyota has its new-for-2017 Tacoma TRD Pro that’s based on the new-for-2016 Tacoma. And Chevy comes late to the party with its Colorado ZR2 – a production truck based on the concept version from 2014. These three trucks represent the upper crust of the pickup segment. It’s a prestigious group that’s focused on going fast over rough terrain while still conquering the daily commute.

The Raptor might be the premiere pickup, having birthed this niche segment back in 2010, but the Toyota and Chevy new-comers aren’t slackers. In fact, thanks to their smaller sizes compared to the full-size Raptor, these mid-size pickups are more agile and can fit down narrower trails. The famed Rubicon train in California, or instance, is too narrow for the Raptor’s immensely wide track. The Tacoma TRD Pro and Colorado ZR2, however, should have no problem traversing the tight terrain.

The Toyota and Chevy are also less expensive (or rumored to be) than the Raptor. That puts them basically in a head-to-head fight for customers. Typical things like design, features, and brand loyalty goes a long way in choosing which truck is best, but a more objective comparison should be made. That’s especially true for someone who’s ready to pull the trigger on a purchase.

That’s where this article comes in. We’re going to dive deep into the features and specs of both the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and the Chevy Colorado ZR2 in order to help you, the customer, make a better-informed decision.

Continue reading for more information.


PostHeaderIcon 2016 Chicago Auto Show – Best And Worst In Show

The gates are open at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, and with those pesky journalists finally out of the way, the public can now enjoy all the vehicular goodness that North America’s “largest” auto show can muster. Special editions, refreshes, and brand-new models all dropped cover this year, with crossovers and SUVs served up as the main course, and new sedans and sports cars added as a tasty side dish. Picking winners and losers here is not exactly easy, but hey, this isn’t some elementary school talent show. Time to be ruthless.

There were a few clear standouts for Best In Show right from the start, but cutthroat competition to fill the remaining slots quickly followed. Picking vehicles for Worst In Show was also pretty tricky, but that’s why they pay me the big bucks.

So, without further ado…

Continue reading for the Best and Worst In Show at CAS 2016.


PostHeaderIcon 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Officially Unveiled

Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro-0

Over the past few weeks Toyota had been teasing us with images of a brand-new truck, and now at the Chicago Auto Show they have finally taken the wraps off the thing. It’s the new 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and it’s one badass pickup truck fitted with every off-road gear you can think of.

That said, Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is not your average mud plugger with no attention paid in it to style and comfort. The way this truck looks is a huge part of its appeal. The TRD Pro is based on Based on the Tacoma TRD Off-Road 4×4 Double Cab Short Bed and it comes, on the outside, with 16-inch TRD black alloy wheels with Goodyear Wrangler tires, TRD Pro aluminum front skid plate, Rigid Industries fog lamps, black bezeled taillights, and black TRD Pro badging.

Moving inside, you find the Tacoma TRD Pro has a lovely cabin featuring black TRD Pro leather-trimmed heated front seats with TRD Pro logo located in the headrest, 4-way adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and 4-way adjustable front passenger seat, Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite, TRD shift knob and floor mats, leather-trimmed tilt/telescopic steering wheel, Bluetooth, rear parking assist sonar, Blind Spot Monitor (BSM), and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA).

To be launched this fall, 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is powered by a 3.5-Liter V6 engine and boasts performance upgrades including FOX 2.5 Internal Bypass shocks tuned by TRD, TRD-tuned front springs with a 1-inch lift, TRD-tuned rear suspension with progressive-rate off-road leaf spring, 4WDemand part-time 4WD, and sport exhaust system.

Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro-1
Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro-2
Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro-3
Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro-4
Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro-5
Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro-6

The post 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro Officially Unveiled appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Action-Packed Ad Campaign for 2016 Toyota Tacoma

2016_Toyota_Tacoma_Mud_1

Toyota is dialing up their publicity efforts for the latest version of the Tacoma pickup truck. Life is getting harder and harder in this segment and 2016 Toyota Tacoma needs to appeal to a broader audience if it wants to remain competitive.

So Toyota teamed up with advertising agencies Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles and Conill to create a couple of action-packed ads for the new truck. Created in accordance with Toyota’s “Let’s Go Places” theme, the ads put a heavy emphasis on active lifestyle by including scenes with BMX racing, dirt bikes, ATV, snowboarding and snowmobiling.

But it’s not all mindless action. 2016 Toyota Tacoma ad campaign also features a tailored spot targeting the Latino market. With this one they are focusing on what matters to Latinos, so inevitably they talk about hard work, how they deserve to have a little bit of fun, and how the Tacoma can provide it.

“I’m totally pumped that Toyota is introducing an all-new generation of the Tacoma,” says Jack Hollis, group vice president of Marketing, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “Tacoma is already the top-selling midsize pickup in America, and the 2016 builds off the off-road heritage of the last generation, while giving guests the opportunity to take it along as they experience things as never before. I’m really excited for the road ahead.”

2016_Toyota_Tacoma_Mud_2

The post Action-Packed Ad Campaign for 2016 Toyota Tacoma appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon No Diesel Version For The Redesigned Toyota Tacoma

Toyota Tacoma and Tundra chief engineer Mike Sweers says the 2016 Tacoma will not be getting a diesel engine thanks to tightening emissions regulations and the lack of return on investment.

No Diesel Version For The Redesigned Toyota Tacoma originally appeared on topspeed.com on Monday, 23 February 2015 09:30 EST.

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