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2021 Toyota Highlander XSE

2021 Toyota Highlander XSE

Toyota gives the Highlander a meaner mug and subtle performance gains

Toyota is bringing an armada of trucks and SUVs at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, including the Highlander XSE that’s infused with enough sporty characteristics that make us wonder if Toyota’s deliberately trying to jolt some life into what otherwise is a family-oriented three-row crossover. To be clear, the Highlander XSE is not a special edition Highlander; it’s a new trim level that comes with significant visual and performance upgrades that you normally don’t see in a Highlander. If this is Toyota’s attempt to catch our attention with the 2021 Highlander, consider our attention’s caught. The Toyota Highlander XSE will go on sale in the fall of this year as a 2021 model. No pricing details have been revealed, but Toyota did say that the Highlander XSE will slot between the XLE and Limited trims. With the Highlander XLE starting at around $40,000 and the Highlander Limited starting at $44,000, expect the Highlander XSE to start at $42,000.

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2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD

2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD

Classic off-roader style and capability, now with modern tech

First introduced back in 1995, the Toyota Tacoma is currently in its third generation. With nearly a quarter century of history behind it, the Tacoma nameplate is well-established as one of the most unbreakably rugged and reliable vehicles on the planet, and now this mid-size pickup is headed for a refresh for the 2020 model year. The latest Tacoma is framed as the “best-equipped ever,” and in TRD guise, it looks to mate its traditional off-roading chops in the rough stuff with newfound comfort and tech appointment in the cabin. However, considering the latest third-generation made its debut back in 2015, as well as a major influx of competition throughout the segment, does the 2020 Toyota Tacoma TRD still manage to keep pace?

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2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD

2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD

The Japanese giant comes out with an off-road version of its successful compact crossover

Toyota had an eventful time at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show. It was not just the Sequoia getting honored with the TRD Pro badge, or Toyota presenting the 2020 Tacoma. The automaker revealed the TRD Off-road version of the RAV4. Toyota’s trusted compact crossover was beefed-up and launched with more off-road capability. Does the RAV4 TRD Off-Road make a compelling case for itself as an ’off-roader"?

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2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro

2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro

Toyota decides to give the SUV another push by making it go rough and tough 18 years after its inception

Toyota has been jacking up its trucks and SUVs and slapping them with the TRD Pro cadge for a long time now. The ’TRD Pro’ suffix is a privilege of sorts these days, and the vehicles that are honored with it go on to become big. Seeing mainstream Toyota vehicles injected with TRD DNA are a blessing. At the Chicago Auto Show, the Japanese giant decided to add one more model to its lineup that included the Tundra, Tacoma, and the 4Runner. Toyota teased the new addition to the TRD Pro family a few days before the Chicago Auto Show commenced and people took wild guesses to figure out which model had been drugged. But Toyota dropped a bomb when the vehicle happened to be the age-old Sequoia SUV. Well, the rest is history.

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2020 Toyota Tacoma

2020 Toyota Tacoma

The best-selling mid-size truck has upped the ante to continue sitting on the throne

Toyota launched the 2020 Tacoma model at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show. Although its sibling, the Sequoia TRD Pro, stole its thunder at the, one cannot sideline the Tacoma. After all, it is the best-selling mid-size pickup truck currently on the market. The 2020 Toyota Tacoma does not bring a lot of changes to the table; mechanically or cosmetically. Do you think there is enough to differentiate it from the 2019 model and keep up with the rising competition?

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2019 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition

2019 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition

Luxurious Off-Roader Toyota Land Cruiser Celebrates Its 60+ Years In The US

Toyota simply loves to celebrate important dates with heritage editions of its cars. Especially ones involving the almighty Land Cruiser (per my humble opinion the best vehicle on Earth, like ever). Revealed ahead of the official live debut at the Chicago Motor Show next month, the Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition celebrates 60+ years of the Land Cruiser in the US. Although the Land Cruiser 200 is a decade old, it is still very much at the pinnacle of luxurious world of off-roaders. The Heritage Edition did gain a few interesting differentiating touches, but in essence, it is still very much the same body-on-frame truck with a two-speed transfer case and selectable low gear that it was a decade ago.

During its ten year tenure on the market, Toyota celebrated a number of anniversaries and important dates with the Land Cruiser 200. In 2013, Toyota said that the “Land Cruiser is the Luxurious Descendant of A Proud 50-Year Off-Road Heritage” In 2014 Toyota said that the “Land Cruiser Luxury SUV Doesn’t Look A Day Over 50” In 2016 Toyota mentioned that the “Land Cruiser Celebrates 60th Year in America with Ultimate Capability and Luxury” And, finally, in 2019 - “Land Cruiser Heritage Edition Celebrates 60+ Years as SUV Icon”

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2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

More spicy sauce for the Taco Supreme

Toyota’s 2019 updates to its trio of TRD Pro models brings some impressive upgrades to the Tacoma. Headlining the features is the new Desert Air Intake, a high-rise snorkel that not only looks awesome but sucks in cleaner air from higher above trail. The suspension is also updated Fox Racing Shocks and a handful of cosmetic changes keep the truck fresh.

The Tacoma TRD Pro has been around since 2015 and jumped to the third-generation Tacoma for 2017 after skipping the 2016 model year. Now for 2019, the truck’s updates work to better align the Tacoma TRD Pro with the new and highly impressive Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and the upcoming Ford Ranger Raptor. While the Tacoma enjoys a fat sales margin over the Colorado, its lead has been dwindling. Once Ford’s new Ranger his the streets for 2019, Toyota will have a real fight on its hands. Read on to see how the 2019 updates prepare the Tacoma for a tough battle.

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

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2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

Minor upgrades keep the 4Runner competitive

The Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is one of the capable SUVs on the market today. While most SUVs have softened into crossovers with unibody chassis, the 4Runner continues its body-on-frame tradition matched with the even-more-capable TRD Pro suspension system. Yet, for 2019, Toyota is turning up the heat.

The 2019 4Runner TRD Pro gets upgraded Fox Racing Shocks that help better handle high-speed desert running while providing a civil ride around town and a new roof rack offers more storage for dirty gear. A few other changes inside and out help keep the 4Runner fresh as interest explodes for its main rival, the Jeep Wrangler.

Continue reading for more on the 2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro.

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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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2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport Package

2018 Toyota Tundra TRD Sport Package

More sport & added safety for Toyota’s aging Tundra

The current Toyota Tundra has been around since 2007 and has undergone only one update in the last decade. It was the 2014 model year that brought the upgraded styling and improved interior. Aside from that, the truck remains the oldest full-size pickup in the American market. Thankfully Toyota is giving the Tundra some attention for the 2018 model year, adding both new active safety systems and a new trim level – the TRD Sport.

These updates are a drop in the bucket compared to a full-scale update, but they certainly help keep the Tundra (and the 2018 Sequoia, which shares the updates) trekking in modern times. Of course, the off-road-focused Tundra TRD Pro is a newer development, but aside from its suspension, its bones haven’t changed. And keep in mind the Tundra’s competition: the perpetually updated Ford F-150, the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra, Ram 1500, and the all-new Nissan Titan.

Despite the updates for 2014, the Tundra continues to utilize the same underpinning from 2007. These include the C-channel frame, 5.7-liter i-Force V-8, and six-speed automatic transmission. Toyota Tundra head engineer Mike Swears says the 5.7-liter might not employ head-turning technology like turbocharging or cylinder deactivation, but the dual-overhead cam V-8 with variable valve timing is still an advanced engine with a clean reliability record. Reliability, after all, is what Toyota hangs its hat on.

So what are these changes all about? Keep reading for the full run-down.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Tundra TRD Sport Package.

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2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure

2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure

It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.

When it comes to compact sport utility vehicles, the Rav4 is definitely one of the standard bearers. But with so many Ravs out on the road, it might seem difficult to stand out from the crowd. Luckily, Toyota is offering a new specially upgraded Rav4 trim level called the Adventure. The Rav4 Adventure just debuted at the Chicago Auto Show alongside upgraded versions of the Sequoia full-size SUV and the Tundra full-size pickup truck, but unlike those other two models, the Rav4 Adventure doesn’t get speedy performance-themed bits and pieces from Toyota Racing Development. Rather, the Rav4 Adventure is focused on utility, practicality, good looks, and all-weather rugged capability. It’s aimed at “young families looking for fun in out-of-the-way places, ” which means biking, kayaking, snowshoeing – you know, all the usual active lifestyle stuff.

Visually speaking, the Toyota Rav4 Adventure is decked out with unique exterior styling enhancements. For example, the rear fenders are flared out, sitting high above unique 18-inch alloy wheels with a five-spoke design and a black finish.

Wrapping the wheels are tires sized at 235/55R18, while along the outer edges of the vehicle, you’ll find lower body protection pieces. Up front are dark headlight bezels, plus dark surrounds for the fog lights. A long matte-black stripe is found on the hood, while roof racks are standard. There are also the requisite Adventure special edition badges, just in case there was any doubt as to what you were driving.

The body panels of the Rav4 Adventure can be had in one of five individual exterior colors, such as Black, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Silver Sky Metallic, and Super White. There’s also a new addition to the color lineup called Ruby Flare Pearl.

Inside, you’ll find more unique features added exclusively for the Adventure model. These include exclusive trim panels, a leather-clad shift knob, a 120-volt/100-watt power outlet located in the rear cargo area, Adventure-badged door sill kick plates, and sturdy all-weather mats for the foot well and cargo area, also completed with the same Adventure badging.

Look for the Rav4 Adventure trim level to arrive in dealerships this coming September.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Rav4 Adventure.

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TRD Sport Package Brings Added Styling and Handling Upgrades to 2018 Toyota Tundra and Sequoia

TRD Sport Package Brings Added Styling and Handling Upgrades to 2018 Toyota Tundra and Sequoia

Finally! Updates come for the Sequoia and Tundra

Toyota joins every other automaker in the known universe by launching special edition versions of the full-size Tundra pickup and Sequoia SUV. It’s called the TRD Sport and it brings new grille treatments, upgraded headlights, black wheels, and a TRD on-road handling package, among other small changes. What’s more, the Sequoia is finally getting an updated gauge cluster that replaces the archaic piece that’s been present since 2008. Both vehicles are also getting Toyota’s full suite of active safety systems, which rounds out nearly all of Toyota’s lineup with TSS-P coming as standard equipment.

The new TRD Sport trim alights with the existing Tacoma TRD Sport, which is a street-biased package that compliments the TRD Off-Road package and hard-core TRD Pro package on that Tacoma. Unfortunately, Toyota has not released a TRD Off-Road or TRD Pro version of the Sequoia. Then again, the TRD Sport package is the first major upgrade in the current-generation Sequoia’s decade-long life, so it’s not surprising Toyota isn’t showing it a ton of love.

Beyond the suspension upgrade brought by the TRD Sport package, no mechanical changes are found for either the Tundra or Sequoia. Both still use the 5.7-liter i-Force V-8 with 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque, which mates to a six-speed automatic transmission. And as before, both Tundra and Sequoia can be had in RWD or 4WD, including TRD Sport models.

Want to know the details of Toyota’s TRD Sport package? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for more information.

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2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro

Toyota reunites the TRD Pro trio

Toyota debuted its TRD Pro series in 2014 with versions for the Tundra, 4Runner, and Tacoma. While the Tundra and 4Runner have soldiered on unchanged since then, the Tacoma underwent a generational change for 2016, losing the TRD Pro option along the way. Now the option is back, and more ready to hit the high-speed off-road course with a vengeance.

Introduced for the 2017 model year, the TRD Pro package expands from the Tacoma’s TRD Off-Road package on 4WD Double Cab Short Bed trucks. That means the TRD Pro series enjoys all the same off-road equipment as the already-rugged TRD Off-Road trim, while adding additional hardware for tackling terrain.

The Tacoma TRD Pro continues to use the new 3.5-liter V-6 developed for the 2016 Tacoma. Both a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic are offered here, making this one of the few vehicles to combine an off-road package with a manual transmission.

Hardware isn’t the only addition Toyota gave the Tacoma TRD Pro. Leather seats with embroidered headrests, the Entune infotainment system, TRD-branded floor mats and a shift knob, and the standard TRD Pro “TOYOTA” front grille, unique wheels, fender flairs, and TRD Pro badges.

Update 08/02/2016: Toyota has announced pricing for the Tundra TRD Pro. Check out the prices section below for all the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.

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2016 Toyota Corolla Special Edition

2016 Toyota Corolla Special Edition

Continuously produced since 1966 and now in its eleventh generation, the Corolla has not only become Toyota’s most popular product, but also the best-selling automotive nameplate in history. The model snatched that title from the Volkswagen Beetle back in 2013, with no less than 40 million Corollas manufactured up to then and plenty more since. With the 2015 Chicago Auto show right around the corner, Toyota decided to bring a number of limited-edition models to the event to accompany the refreshed Avalon, among which will be a Corolla Special Edition.

While Toyota hasn’t said what the special occasion is, the upcoming 50-year anniversary of the Corrolla nameplate makes sense. Based on the sporty Corolla S Plus trim level, the 2016 Corolla Special Edition will have a number of unique features as standard, most of which improve either comfort and functionality or add a slightly sportier flavor to the otherwise bland compact model.

Updated 07/17/2015: Toyota revealed prices for the 2016 Corolla Special Edition, which will be produced between August 2015 and January 2016 and will be limited to approximately 8,000 units. Prices will start from $20,635.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Toyota Corolla Special Edition.

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2016 Toyota Camry Special Edition

2016 Toyota Camry Special Edition

For the past 13 years, the Toyota Camry has been the best-selling car in America, thanks to a well-appointed interior, non-offensive exterior design, acceptable performance figures, and of course, bulletproof reliability.

But to stay at the forefront of vehicle sales for that long requires a constant cycle of refreshes. For 2015, Toyota rejuvenated the Camry by re-engineering nearly 2,000 parts, leaving “only the roof” unchanged. These alterations included new interior materials and equipment, an updated suspension, and revised exterior styling.

Now, Toyota is ready to debut a limited-production, special edition of America’s favorite four-door at the Chicago Auto Show next week. On top of the 2015 redesign, the Japanese automaker hopes to inject the Camry with “an extra dose of both aggressiveness and technology.”

Based on the new Camry SE, this special edition adds several new features to both the cabin and exterior, creating a Camry that, Toyota feels, should stand above the rest.

Updated 07/17/2015: Toyota announced prices for the Camry Special Edition, which will be produced between August 2015 and January 2016. Prices will start from $25,715 and Toyota will build only 12,000 units.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Toyota Camry Special Edition.

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