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2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Minor improvements prevent the Tundra TRD Pro from getting cold

Toyota has upped the ante with its Tundra TRD Pro for the 2019 model year. The off-road package receives a mid-cycle refresh that includes both cosmetic and suspension upgrades. The move is completely understandable considering how hot the off-road segment is getting these days.

It’s important to understand the Tundra TRD Pro’s place in the market. It competes most directly with the Ram 1500 Rebel, both of which fall short of the Ford F-150 Raptor’s outright ownership of the high-speed desert racing niche. But while Ford is busy making the Raptor an extremely capable but very expensive upgrade to the F-150, both the TRD Pro and Rebel are more obtainable for the everyman. In other words, the Tundra TRD Pro might not match the Raptor’s off-road performance, but it’s also far less expensive.

Nevertheless, Toyota’s 2019 updates push the Tundra TRD Pro beyond what it was capable of from 2015 to 2018.

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

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The Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Gets More Capable for 2019

The Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Gets More Capable for 2019

Upgrades shocks, more wheel travel, and Exterior mods take center stage

The biggest member of Toyota’s TRD Pro trio, the Tundra TRD Pro, is getting similar updates as the Tacoma and 4Runner TRD Pros for 2019. This includes updated Fox Racing Shocks and a few cosmetic changes to keep things fresh. The 2019 Tundra TRD Pro can easily be picked out thanks to its new secondary hood scoop and new 18-inch BBS forged-aluminum wheels.

As with its TRD Pro stablemates, the Tundra TRD Pro will arrive in showrooms in the fall of 2018. Toyota hasn’t released pricing yet, but here at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, we’re getting our first look at the truck. Keep reading for the details.

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

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Toyota Ups the Ante With 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro

Toyota Ups the Ante With 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro

New TRD Desert Air Intake joins the options list

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.

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2019 Toyota Avalon

2019 Toyota Avalon

Upscale touches, extra equipment, and a new everthing help the next-gen Avalon feel even classier

First introduced in 1994, the Toyota Avalon is the Japanese brand’s full-size sedan offering, seeing sales in North America, Puerto Rico, and the Middle East. Since its debut at the Chicago Auto Show back in the ’90s, a total of four generations have come and gone, and now, there’s a brand-new fifth-gen heading for the dealer lots. First making the scene at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, the 2019 Avalon is framed as “attainable premium,” or “mid-premium,” and Toyota hopes it’ll entice customers with an upscale, comfortable four-door package that won’t break the bank. Truth be told, the sedan bodystyle (especially full-size sedans) can be a hard sell these days, as consumers usually fulfill their seating-for-five requirements with some kind of high-riding SUV or crossover. Despite this, Toyota is confident the 2019 Avalon will be an exception to the rule thanks to its extensive list of upgrades, which include a variety of luxurious touches and technology enhancements that almost lend it a feeling of “Germaness” on the surface. Dig deeper, though, and you’ll find the Avalon stays true to its Japanese roots, with unique charactersitics throughout, as well as a hybrid option for those looking for extra dollars saved at the pump.

The new Avalon will go on sale later this spring, but until then, read on for the details.

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The New Toyota Avalon Is Basically A Grille On Wheels

The New Toyota Avalon Is Basically A Grille On Wheels

Would you like some car with that front end?

I remember when Lexus first came out with its enormous “spindle grille” feature, thinking to myself “well, that won’t last very long.” Now, here we are some seven years later, and the ginormous intake hasn’t receded in the slightest. In fact, it’s actually growing, and not just in size, either. The rest of Toyota’s lineup seems to be infected with enlarged grille syndrome, as is evidenced by the recently debuted 2019 Avalon that just dropped at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.

This grille is simply massive. It stretches between the ends of the bumper like one of those giant rubber dam things that dentists use for root canals. The whole front end of the car is basically grille. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll take a strikingly assertive, arguably ugly design over something boring any day of the week. But I can’t help but take a step back and shake my head when I see this thing, like I just walked into the world’s biggest ball of twine or something. I mean, what the hell is the point.

Granted, the styling actually does its job, as it certainly makes the Toyota stand out from the crowd. Indeed, just one glance is more than enough to confirm the car’s origin. However, I’m worried scientists will start pointing their telescopes at it thinking they just discovered a new black hole.

What do you think of the new front end on the 2019 Toyota Avalon? Let us know in the comments.

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2019 Toyota Avalon Gets More Aggressive, Boasts New Tech at Detroit

2019 Toyota Avalon Gets More Aggressive, Boasts New Tech at Detroit

The Avalon moves from sleepy to sultry

Toyota has undoubtedly heard cries from customers and journalists alike bemoaning its boring sedans. But no more. The 2019 Avalon is following in the 2018 Camry’s footsteps by going sporty. The new Avalon ditches the dull styling for some excitement as it moves into its fifth generation.

Toyota calls the Avalon its “mid-premium sedan” and has packed the car with loads of luxury features, more technology like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and made its Toyota Safety Sense P suite of active safety systems even more powerful. Improved powertrains include a reworked 3.5-liter V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission, along with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with Toyota’s newest hybrid system and CVT transmission.

There are four trim levels available: the XSE, Touring, XLE, Limited. Hybrid models come in XLE, Limited, and XSE grades.

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2018 Toyota Camry XSE Denny Hamlin

2018 Toyota Camry XSE Denny Hamlin

2006 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Rookie of the Year can work on the side in the aftermarket scene

The Toyota Camry is a lot of things. Flashy isn’t one of those things. That’s the usual narrative surrounding America’s top-selling model, but just because the Camry has been pigeon-holed as a certain type of car, that doesn’t mean that it can’t spread its wings every so often and break out of its own house, especially when you get someone like Denny Hamlin involved. The 36-year old NASCAR racer may drive a race-spec Toyota Camry in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, but at the invitation of Toyota, Hamlin’s trading in his race overalls for a chance to design his own custom Toyota Camry. The result is this stand out piece of work.

Hamlin’s Camry may not be the quintessential Camry upgrade, but it looks the part of one. It has a wide range of custom features, ranging from fancy graphics, shiny wheels, and a wide-body conversion. And, those are just on the exterior of the sedan. Instead, Hamlin’s influence is clearly evident, particularly in the choice of colors the 2016 Daytona 500 winner picked to stamp his personalized touches on the four-door ride. All told, the Hamlin-designed Camry makes up one of the handful of custom-tuned Camrys that are on display at the 2017 SEMA Auto Show. It may not have the visual presence that Rutledge Wood’s Camry has, but it certainly qualifies as the most dynamic build among all the Camrys that were designed by Hamlin’s peers. At the very least, it’s the one that I’d like to have for myself.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Toyota Camry XSE Denny Hamlin

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2018 Toyota Camry Rutledge Wood

2018 Toyota Camry Rutledge Wood

Former Top Gear USA presenter gets a crack at customizing America’s top-selling model

Racing analyst and former Top Gear USA presenter Rutledge Wood is known for his affinity with plaid T-shirts. He’s also known for having a deep-seated passion for the automotive industry. So, when Toyota was looking for individuals to take the lead in building custom Toyota Camrys for the 2017 SEMA Auto Show, Wood’s name inevitably turned up. So Toyota tapped him to work on his own custom version of the Camry, and the result is a car that reflects the man’s boisterous personality.

I’m not one to pass judgment on something I know little about at this point, but I can tell all of you that Wood’s work on the Camry is the most impactful of the bunch. It’s certainly the most colorful of all the custom Camry’s we’re seeing at SEMA, and the story and the process behind its creation involves the use of certain techniques that you can expect from someone like Rutledge Wood. He may be the only non-NASCAR driver to get a chance at customizing a Camry for this year’s SEMA, but all told, Wood vindicates Toyota’s decision to tap him with a creation that has as much going for it as some of the Camrys that were customized by actual NASCAR racers.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Toyota Camry by Rutledge Wood

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2018 Toyota Land Cruiser

2018 Toyota Land Cruiser

An old favorite gets some modern updates

The Toyota Land Cruiser is about as iconic as vehicles come, so it’s a big deal when something changes. For 2018 in global markets, the Land Cruiser is getting a few appearance upgrades and a redesigned dashboard – both in an effort to keep this go-anywhere, three-row SUV flying off showroom floors. Toyota debuted its updated Land Cruiser at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show ahead of its on-sale date later this year.

The Land Cruiser’s reputation is rooted in reliability and its rugged dependability in off-road situations, often far from civilization. It makes sense, then, that Toyota boasts about the SUV being “easy to maintain and repair” right in its press materials. You won’t find that in a Land Rover’s press kit. While easy trail repairs isn’t the Land Cruiser’s best selling point in North America where customers view it as a status symbol, many of the 190 countries place an extreme value on making a round trip when leaving the house. Of course, the 2018 Land Cruiser is more than just reliable transportation. It offers plenty of luxury and creature comforts, too. Let’s check out what changes Toyota has made for 2018. Perhaps some of these will even make it to the U.S.-spec Land Cruiser, as well.

Continue reading for more about the 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser.

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2018 Toyota Sienna

2018 Toyota Sienna

A new exterior look could give the seven-year-old minivan an extended life on the market

The Toyota Sienna has been in its third generation since 2010. While models like the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Pacifica have since been updated and gone through generational shifts, the Sienna has soldiered on with relatively mild updates. In 2017, Toyota did upgrade the 3.5-liter engine and dropped the six-speed automatic for an eight-speed unit, but otherwise, it’s been pretty much the same van all this time outside of some minor changes to the exterior in 2015. Well, Toyota is bringing a revamped Sienna to the 2017 New York Auto Show, but it’s not a new-gen model. Instead, Toyota is adding new “swagger” with a new front fascia, new side skirts, some noise and vibration enhancements, and some additional technology like extra USB ports, an updated rear entertainment system, and a semi-digital instrument cluster.

But, don’t get it twisted. The Sienna may be pretty old, with the 2018 model year being the 8th year this generation is on the market, but it does pull its own weight as far as sales go. Sales have been well over the 100,000 mark from 2011 forward, with 2015 seeing 137,497 examples sold and 2016 accounting for 127,791 examples sold. That’s a pretty big deal considering the market it bursting with SUVs of every shape and size you can imagine. So, let’s see what these new enhancements do to liven up the third-gen Sienna and how it might help it stack up against some of the competition.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Toyota Sienna.

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2016 Toyota C-HR Concept II

2016 Toyota C-HR Concept II

Toyota will launch a small SUV aimed directly at the 2015 Nissan Juke. The 2016 Toyota C-HR concept that was shown at last year’s Paris Motor Show was supposed to be a preview of the upcoming car, although there were clearly a lot of non-production touches in that design. And though it still isn’t the official production version of the car, Toyota has just debuted a new C-HR concept for Frankfurt that is obviously much more practical than the Paris version. The design is still quite bold though, and Toyota says that it was made to gauge reactions from key demographics, i.e. European twentysomethings.

Enough of the elements form the Paris concept carry over that it seems Toyota really is serious about taking some real chances with this crossover. But that plan has been working pretty well for Nissan so far, so the segment is clearly one where customers are looking for something that really sticks out. The plan is for this to be a global vehicle, but Toyota has been very obvious about concentrating on Europe. Toyota’s stated reason for this is that Europe is the most demanding market for these kinds of vehicles, so if the C-HR can work there, it can work anywhere.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota C-HR Concept.

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2015 Toyota Avensis

2015 Toyota Avensis

Toyota launched the Avensis in 1997 as a replacement for the Carina E. Although the first-gen sedan was largely a revamped Carina with new styling, the Avensis proved a sales success for Toyota Europe. Redesigned in 2003 and again in 2009, the Avensis grew in size and advanced in terms of technology, power, and fuel economy, ultimately becoming a strong competitor for the likes of the Ford Mondeo, Mazda 6 and the Volkswagen Passat. At the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, Toyota launched the fourth-generation Avensis, a significantly improved iteration built on the same MC platform.

Redesigned to mirror the recent updates of the Corolla and Camry sedans, the new Avensis boasts a more modern and youthful appearance in the wake of Ford and Mazda launching redesigned mid-size sedans of their own in Europe. The drivetrain lineup is as diverse as it ever was, consisting of both gasoline and diesel engines, as well as manual and CTV transmissions. The revamp also brings noteworthy improvements in output and fuel economy, as well as a number of new creature comforts and tech features.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Toyota Avensis.

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2015 Toyota Auris

2015 Toyota Auris

The Toyota Auris hit the global market in 2006 and quickly became known as a roomier version of the Toyota Corolla. The brand introduced a hybrid version in 2010, and an overall refresh in 2012. For 2015, Toyota has given the Auris a makeover from the ground up, focusing on design, sensory quality, safety, and powertrains. The exterior of the Auris was redesigned with a much sportier appearance similar to that seen on the Toyota Corolla. Inside, the car got a more premium ambiance, with a new instrument cluster with a digital display, new soft-touch surfaces, and a cross-over type rear with folding rear seats. Under the hood, it’s all about fuel economy with a host of engines ranging in size from 1.2-liters up to 1.6-liters and output somewhere between 89 horsepower and 130 horsepower. It won’t go fast, but you can grab one for less than $20,000 before taxes, options and delivery, and you’ll certainly see some fuel savings throughout the year.

All told, the Auris is simply a wagon version of the Corolla, but it’s surprisingly sporty and nice for a car that is generally slow. The hybrid version has been a big hit in the past, with it accounting for more than half of Auris sales in western Europe – that’s at least 200,000 more than any other hybrid on the market. Interested in hearing what all that buzz is about? Check out our full review of the third-generation Auris below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Toyota Auris.

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2014 Toyota FV2

2014 Toyota FV2

After making its original debut at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota’s FV2 concept has put on a world tour in the last few years, including stops at the Geneva Motor Show and Detroit Auto Shows. Even though this wild-looking, four-wheeled, super-sleek transportation pod is just a concept, it’s making the rounds as a product specifically designed to win over the public through sheer charm.

As an evolution of Toyota’s 2011 Fun-Vii concept, the FV2 (or “Fun Vehicle 2”) is meant to exemplify the Japanese carmaker’s “fun-to-drive” philosophy. It’s intended to enhance the relationship between a vehicle and its pilot, thus nurturing “aspects of trust and understanding, similar to those a rider will have with a horse.”

The FV2 is part of Toyota’s Heart Project, a line of research intended to create an emotional connection between humans and artificial intelligence. The Kirobo and Mirata communication robots are also part of this project, with the former making a trip to the International Space Station in August of 2013.

Using the FV2 as a concept platform, Toyota hopes the project will one day allow interactions between machines and humans that transcend simple commands and action through the use of expressions, gestures, and recollection of past events. Therefore, the FV2 was designed to learn as it is driven, picking up on the driver’s moods and habits to solidify its bond with the pilot.

This vehicle is every bit an expression of personality as it is a tool for transportation. While many fret over the possible disconnect presented by technology like autonomous vehicles, Toyota looks to forge ahead to a more connected future.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Toyota FV2.

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2016 Toyota Tacoma

2016 Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma has technically been around since 1995, though Toyota has been building a pint-sized truck since the mid 1950s. The classic Hilux truck that is usually associated with Toyota made its North American debut in 1968. The design morphed into that iconic square-body shape by its fourth generation, hitting streets in 1983. The fifth-generation Hilux, or as it was simply called in the U.S., the Toyota Pickup, saw upgrades to interior quality and power. Toyota’s U.S. truck business really kicked off with the 1995 Tacoma. An all-new design with a Camry-like interior, a stout pair of engines, and a robust four-wheel-drive system brought huge sales numbers to Toyota.

Finally getting a major upgrade for 2016, the third-generation Tacoma will compete against the still-fresh 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, the upcoming refreshed Nissan Frontier, and the possible renaissance of the Ford Ranger. Baring those trucks that aren’t at dealerships, the Tacoma already has a fight on its hands with the GM twins. Will the new Taco be enough to dethrone the award-winning Chevy and GMC? Keep on reading to find out.

UPDATED 01/12/2015: Toyota has released the preliminary details on the upcoming 2016 Tacoma. The truck is getting a new V-6 and transmission, along with updated suspension tuning and a completely restyled interior.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Toyota Tacoma.

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