2020 Toyota Highlander - Driven
Last year, the Toyota Highlander was in its final model year of a generation that wasn’t great even when it was new. This three-row crossover lacked the spaciousness, slick driving manners, extra-easy ergonomics, modern infotainment, and upscale interior details of the latest competitors. Yet by a healthy margin, it outsold every other seven-seat vehicle in the country. Buyers were drawn to a trusted name, and even if the competition might have been more impressive, loyal customers didn’t find enough wrong with the Highlander to try their hand with, say, a Mazda CX-9 or Kia Telluride. Now, there’s a new Highlander, and it’s time to see where Toyota has made marked improvements.
2020 Toyota 4Runner Venture Edition
With a manufacturing facility sitting deep in the heart of the state, Toyota is always a lock to be in attendance at the Texas State Fair. Past years have shown the automaker debut models like the Toyota 4Runner Nightshade Edition to go with SX versions of the Toyota Tundra and Toyota Tacoma.
This year, Toyota is returning the to the fair with a more functionally inclined special edition model called the 4Runner Venture Edition. The exclusive touches are mostly of the cosmetic variety, but there’s enough of them in the 4Runner Venture Edition to go around to pique the interests of prospective owners of the special edition SUV. The Toyota 4Runner Venture Edition is already available for order so if you’ve got an eye for a new roof rack, among other things, you can buy Toyota’s latest special edition SUV for a tidy sum of $45,405.
2019 Toyota LC70 Land Cruiser by PCOR
Have you heard of the Patriot Campers? Well, these guys are magicians. If you haven’t heard about them, here’s a little brief. The company was born in 2013, but it has already taken over the world by storm. Patriot Campers is an Australian company that has diversified itself into many branches. The company’s trailers are quite famous amongst camping enthusiasts. Patriot Campers even works on creating off-road beasts. The PCOR – Patriot Campers Off RoadRoad – division handles the mods on SUVs and trucks. A staple within this is called the Supertourer, wherein the company works on the Ford Ranger, the Landcruiser 200, and the Ram truck, apart from the LC79. The company recently posted a video on YouTube where they show us a custom-built LC79 right before its handover. Will this particular LC79 be any different from the other Supertourers?
2020 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro
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.
2019 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition
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”
2018 Toyota Hilux Gazoo Racing
The toughest truck on earth – the Toyota Hilux - received a cool Gazoo Racing rework for Brazil. Introduced at the Sao Paulo Motor Show, the Toyota Hilux Gazoo Racing represents something one may even consider a Ford Ranger Raptor competitor. Yet, aside from being really cool, the Toyota Hilux Gazoo Racing introduces the whole GR brand in Latin America. Introducing it with a popular truck is only expected.
Nope, as I have said numerous times before, we in the U.S. do not have access to the Hilux. Not even to special versions like the Invincible 50 I wrote about only days ago.
2018 Toyota Tundra PIE Pro
Pizza chain Pizza Pie is once again digging into its bag of marketing gimmicks with the introduction of the Toyota Tundra PIE Pro. Built in collaboration with Toyota, the Tundra PIE Pro is, quite seriously, a zero-emission pickup with a robotic pizza-making factory in the truck bed. Unfortunately, the Tundra PIE Pro is nothing but a concept, dashing our hopes and dreams of one day seeing this creation pull up in our homes with a fresh pan of Pizza Hut’s finest.
2018 Toyota Tundra for Kevin Costner by Working Complete Customs
A unique Toyota Tundra showed up at the 2018 SEMA Auto Show with Kevin Costner’s imprints all over it. The Hollywood A-lister hooked up with Toyota to build a custom Tundra Platinum that embraces Costner’s love for adventure and the outdoors. The one-off, custom-built creation is the ultimate adventure truck, fitting for a man whose famous for his love of the outdoors. They don’t make them as rough and tough as Kevin Costner; turns out, Toyota — and Working Complete Customs of McKinney, Texas — was up to the task of giving him a ride that suits his personality.
2018 Toyota HiLux Invincible 50
50 years have passed since the introduction of the first Toyota HiLux. The Japanese company is celebrating this wonderful achievement with the production of the limited-edition HiLux Invincible 50 which will be available in the U.K. from the 1st of November.
The new HiLux Invincible 50 comes with an assortment of upgrades that dramatically improve the looks, increase its capabilities, and once again demonstrate the “tough as nails” character of the most badass truck in the world.
This is the truck that conquered everything and proved time and again that it is the only vehicle to be a perfect companion in a calm Swedish village, a tool in the remote parts of Mongolia, and a freaking war machine in Africa. It can do it all. Celebrating the 50th anniversary with a version like this is the least Toyota can do. Well, I have to tell you that this is not the only way Toyota is celebrating the HiLux anniversary. It actually unveiled a whole set of Invincible vehicles and provided a trim called the Invincible x.
This particular model - the Toyota HiLux Invincible 50 was created in cooperation with Arctic Trucks - an Island-based company famed for its extraordinary transformation of HiLux trucks into incredibly worthy off-road machines. You may have heard about this company as they’ve actually crafted trucks that the TopGear team used to reach the North Pole. They were HiLuxes too.
2019 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade Special Edition
For the last three-and-a-half decades, the Toyota 4Runner has been one of the go-to models for practical body-on-frame SUV adventure and outdoor cred. Now, the Japanese automaker is offering a new upgrade for the top Limited trim level. It’s dubbed the Nightshade Special Edition, and it adds a fresh coat of aesthetic appeal to the mid-size utility vehicle.
2018 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade Special Edition
Toyota has unveiled the 4Runner Nightshade Special Edition at the Texas State Fair. Based on the Limited variant of the 4Runner, the Nightshade Special Edition features aesthetic changes on the full-sized SUV. A series of black details highlight the changes, a lot of which give the 4Runner a darkened appearance. The 4Runner Nightshade Special Edition $1,740 to the 4Runner’s sticker price of $43,225.
2019 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro
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.
2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
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.
2018 Toyota Sequoia - Driven
The Toyota Sequoia is alive and kicking. You’re forgiven if you’ve forgotten, even despite Toyota giving the full-size SUV a slight update for 2018. The Sequoia’s sales pale in comparison to its rivals, and as such, there are simply fewer on the road. But that doesn’t mean the Sequoia is a bad SUV, right? We decided to have a look.
Our tester came decked out with all the extra goodies thanks to the range-topping Platinum trim. Of course, it also carried all the update Toyota gave it for the 2018 model year, including a new nose, a revised gauge cluster, and the now-standard Toyota Safety Sense-P active safety system. Beyond that, however, the 2018 Sequoia looks and feels nearly identically to the 2008 version.
It’s hard to believe the Sequoia’s second-generation is now a decade old. It harks back to Toyota’s major revamp of the Tundra pickup. It changed to a full-size truck for the 2007 model year and the Sequoia followed suit the next year. The Sequoia shares plenty with the Tundra, including its drivetrain and interior. Toyota did cater the Sequoia towards family usage with an independent rear suspension with available air ride rather than the Tundra’s solid axle and leaf springs. Yet despite the differences, the Sequoia still felt like a truck. In practice though, many full-size SUV customers were into that sort of thing. It fosters a sense of invincibility and a go-anywhere attitude. Well, so long as there’s a gas station close by.
Continue reading for our full review.
2018 Toyota Hilux
The Toyota Hilux pickup receives several new trims for the 2018 model year. These include three new SR cab-chassis variants, a new WorkMate grade for the 4WD Double Cab-Chassis, and the Hi-Rider option on 2WD trucks is now offered on the WorkMate Double-Cab, SR Extra Cab, and the SR5 Double Cab. What’s more, the availability of an automatic transmission expands from 12 models to 17 models. In other words, there are now more choices for customers.
This is the first change Toyota has brought to the Hilux since the current generation’s introduction in 2016. It comes in part as a response to changing customer wants as the expectation for higher comfort levels increase, while the need for work-grade trims holds steady. In fact, Toyota saw more than 60 percent of new Hilux sales have automatic transmissions – a first for the rugged pickup.
Continue reading for more information.
2018 Toyota Research Institute Platform 3.0 Autonomous Car
A few years ago, concept cars were mostly about futuristic design features and new technology. This is still available today, but most automakers are including semi or fully autonomous driving systems in their show cars. This technology is supposed to become a production feature in 2021, and everyone is racing to get there first. Toyota is among those companies, and it just introduced an update to the LIDAR-equipped Lexus that it showed off twice in 2017. It’s still built around the old LS600hL — the Japanese firm launched a new LS last year — but it’s now called Platform 3.0 and comes with numerous upgrades.
The company’s Research Institute teamed up with more firms and departments than ever to create the third prototype, including CALTY Design Research in Michigan, Toyota Motor North America Research and Development, and Luminar. The latter has recently developed the most powerful LIDAR system on the market, which made its debut on this autonomous Lexus. Production of the
bound concept car is scheduled to commence this spring, but volume will be kept low, and all vehicles will be built for testing purposes only. Let’s find out more about Toyota’s most performant autonomous car yet in the review below.
Continue reading to find out more about the Toyota Research Institute Platform 3.0 autonomous car.
2018 Toyota Century
Introduced in 1994, the Avalon helped Toyota become a notable force in the full-size segment in the United States. At the same time, the Lexus LS achieved a similar status in the luxury market. However, the Avalon isn’t Toyota’s largest vehicle. While the Japanese-spec Crown is slightly shorter than the Avalon (by some three inches), the second-generation Century trumps even the latest Lexus LS in terms of length at a whopping 207 inches. Or at least it did until it was discontinued in October 2016. But only one year has passed, and Toyota is getting ready to launch the third-generation model at the 2017 Toyota Motor Show.
Longer and wider, the new Century has been redesigned from the ground up. But, interestingly enough, it retained the traditional boxy design of its predecessor, which makes it a classy, old-school limo that reminds of the 1990s. In a good way! Toyota also replaced the old 5.0-liter V-12 with a V-8 and added an electric motor for enhanced fuel economy. As usual, it’s equipped with Toyota’s most luxurious features and technology, but updated to modern standard compared to the 20-year-old second-gen model. Unfortunately, the Century remains a Japan-only model, so don’t get your hopes up seeing it on North American roads. Let’s have a closer look at what we’re missing.
Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Century.
2018 Toyota Land Cruiser
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.
2017 Toyota Tundra Platinum – Driven
The Toyota Tundra has been around since 2014 with nary a change. Before that, it was 2007 when the Tundra saw any action from Toyota designers – and that was the second-generation Tundra’s debut! Needless to say, Toyota’s full-size pickup is long in the tooth. But how does this decade-old pickup perform? To find out, I spent a week with the truck on familiar streets I’ve traversed plenty of times with the Tundra’s competition.
As mentioned, the current Tundra debuted in 2007 as an all-new, ground-up truck that replaced a much smaller pickup bearing the same name. Toyota had been accosted by consumers and journalist alike for not having a true full-size competitor. To much applause, Toyota delivered. The truck came with a powerful 5.7-liter V-8, three cab options, available 4WD, and payload and towing capacities that ranked well against Detroit’s Big Three.
The Tundra then lay dormant for seven years. A mid-cycle refresh came in 2014 bringing some new sheet metal and a revised interior. However, the powertrain, frame, and suspension remained unchanged. Fast forward, and the first major change is scheduled for 2018. Even that is limited to the TRD Sport trim and consists of new grille mesh, LED headlights, and some active safety systems. We’ll have to wait at least to 2019 or 2020 before Toyota finally brings an all-new model. But despite its age, the Tundra isn’t a bad truck. Here’s why.
2016 Toyota Sienna – Driven
The minivan segment might not be the most glamorous vehicle category, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more functional, practical, and economical ride when it comes to transporting seven of your closest friends and family. Yep, the minivan can haul people and their stuff in glorious comfort while making most SUV crossovers look cramped and poorly designed. Sadly, the minivan gets a bad rap. It’s pigeon holed as the mommy-mobile on it way between soccer and ballet, filled with Cheerio crumbs and at least one soured formula bottle lost in one of the dozens of cup holders.
Looking past that stereotype reveals a rather competitive segment, with hot players from Honda, Kia, Nissan, and of course Toyota. While each of these automakers have respectable offerings, it’s the all-new Chrysler Pacifica that has the minivan segment on fire in 2016. In light of this, we wanted a closer look at Toyota’s offering.
The Sienna has been around since 1998, undergoing three generational changes since then, with its most recent change being a mid-cycle refresh in 2014. Not much has changed since then, but the Sienna still provides a great place for seven or eight passengers (depending on seating configuration), decent fuel economy, and most of the modern tech folks expect these days.
Let’s dive in and see what the 2016 Toyota Sienna has to offer.
Continue reading for the full review