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The Adaptive Suspension On The 2019 Toyota Avalon Works Wonders

The Adaptive Suspension On The 2019 Toyota Avalon Works Wonders

High-tech stuff at a surprisingly low price point

In the race to pack in as many gadgets and features as possible on new vehicles, automakers are gravitating towards adaptive suspension systems as a means to bridge the gap between sporty handling and a comfortable ride. It’s not always an easy balance to find, which means these systems are usually relegated to pricey models from Europe - unless you’re talking about the 2019 Toyota Avalon, that is.

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The 2019 Toyota Avalon's Interior Looks Fantastic

The 2019 Toyota Avalon’s Interior Looks Fantastic

Looking snazzy without paying an arm and a leg

The Toyota Avalon brings a lot to the table for its latest fifth-generation changeover, tempting buyers with a premium approach that’s befitting of Toyota’s flagship four-door. Part of the formula is a redesigned interior, and all told, it’s quite the looker.

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Test Drive: The 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Has Some Surprising Punch

Test Drive: The 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Has Some Surprising Punch

Electrons for the win

Toyota recently gave me an opportunity to drive the latest fifth-generation Avalon mid-size sedan, and suffice to say, I was impressed. There’s a lot to like about this “attainable premium” four-door, but the thing that really grabbed me was what happened when I put my foot down while behind the wheel of the hybrid model.

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The New BMW Z4 (and Probably the Toyota Supra) Will Debut This Summer!

The New BMW Z4 (and Probably the Toyota Supra) Will Debut This Summer!

We’ll have to wait a few more months for the new Z4 to arrive

The new BMW Z4 is going to make its debut sometime in the summer of this year, quelling the uproar over the roadster’s surprising absence at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. The word for months had the Z4 penned to make its debut in Geneva, but the show arrived with no signs of the roadster. Now we know why. The German automaker didn’t say when the car will have it’s world debut, opting only to say that it’s going to have a “dedicated event” before it heads to the Paris Motor Show in October.

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Mercedes-Benz X-Class Vs. The Competition

Mercedes-Benz X-Class Vs. The Competition

‘Ze Germans reimagine the pickup segment, but how does it stack up?

Mercedes-Benz just made quite the splash when it dropped the new X-Class. Framed as the first truly “upscale” pickup truck, the X-Class intends on redefining the midsize segment with unprecedented levels of luxury and refinement. It might seem like a strange combination to mate luxury with pickups, but as Mercedes points out, “the number of pickups for private use is increasing. They are no longer viewed purely as workhorses.” As such, the X-Class aims to broaden the pickup’s buyer appeal, seeking out folks like “land owners and farmers in Argentina, business owners and building contractors in Australia, families with an affinity for premium products in Brazil, trend-conscious individualists in South Africa and Great Britain as well as sporty adventurers in New Zealand and Germany.” Sounds like quite the collection of buyers. But here’s the thing – is the X-Class really all that revolutionary?

To find out, we placed it alongside some of its biggest competition, including the Toyota Hilux, the Volkswagen Amarok, and the Ford Ranger. And, since its possible Merc might bring the X-Class stateside eventually, we threw in the GMC Canyon Denali as well. Read on for all the specs and info you need, and let us know in the comments how you think the X-Class stacks up.

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2016 Toyota Highlander Review

2016 Toyota Highlander Review

Toyota’s family hauler gains distinction

Since 2000, the Toyota Highlander has enjoyed a comfortable top spot as a nondescript suburban do-all, adept at hauling families, tackling snow days and offering better road manners than the average SUV thanks to its Camry-based underpinnings. Reliable and useful, but not particularly exciting, was the recipe.

Has that changed, though? The latest Highlander, redesigned in 2013 and tweaked again for 2016, is larger, bolder and more luxurious than its predecessors. The new Highlander has curb presence, and the eye-catching design is just the beginning. The spacious interior would look equally at home in a Lexus product, and Toyota’s added items like an available panoramic glass roof for additional "wow" factor. A longer wheelbase provides additional room for third-row passengers, and the Highlander has grown into a viable minivan alternative.

Though rarely the darlings of enthusiasts, family-sized crossovers like the Highlander are important volume vehicles for manufacturers like Toyota. Not only does the Highlander fill an important midsize niche for the marque, but it also serves as a representative of the brand (and, by extension, Lexus) through which buyers my graduate to other Toyota products in the future. That’s why the Highlander’s upgraded style is significant: it’s not enough to just be a competent vehicle these days. The key to success is to bring ’em back for more.

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2016 Toyota Tacoma

2016 Toyota Tacoma

Is this the world’s toughest pickup?

Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge sewed up the full-size pickup truck market long, long ago, and the American manufacturers’ expertise in that arena has never been disputed. When it comes to smaller trucks, however, that’s Toyota’s market, and it has been ever since the first indestructible Hilux was bolted together in 1964. Like the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado, Toyota’s Tacoma carries on a long and proud tradition of reliable, hard-working pickup trucks. While there’s been some argument as to if Toyota’s full-size Tundra is a success or not, the Tacoma has remained a perennial best-seller.

For 2016, the Tacoma gets a through update, with new styling and a new V6 engine. With new mid-size pickups from Chevrolet/GMC and Ford talking seriously about bringing the Ranger back, the reskin couldn’t be better-timed. The updated Tacoma hasn’t lost its edge or its muscle, and adventure is encouraged—to the point that Toyota installs a standard GoPro mounting point on the windshield near the rearview mirror.

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2016 Chicago Auto Show – Best And Worst In Show

2016 Chicago Auto Show – Best And Worst In Show

Winners and losers from CAS 2016, plus what went missing

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…

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2016 Toyota Prius – Driving Impression And Review

2016 Toyota Prius – Driving Impression And Review

If you gotta blow your nose, you’ll probably ask for a Kleenex. If you need a cotton swab, you’ll look for a Q-Tip. If it’s hybrid transportation you’re after, the Prius is the standard. Rightfully so – the Prius was the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, selling 3.5 million models worldwide since its introduction in 1997. But unlike hygiene products, hybrid technology has come a long way in the last two decades, and Toyota’s green icon is under pressure to evolve. Enter the fourth generation, which brings a new design, a new platform, tons of tech, and a compelling effort to broaden the appeal of this eco-conscious torchbearer. I was invited to southern California to try it out.

Los Angeles is a great place for a test like this. The Prius is hugely popular amongst the local population, especially celebrities, offering easy driving in crowded freeway traffic jams, and low emissions to curb air pollution. And in a town where you need a car to get anywhere, the high mpg doesn’t hurt either.

But Toyota says hybrids aren’t just about fuel efficiency anymore, and customers will no longer compromise to skip a trip to the pump. Conversely, the fourth-generation Prius aims to transform from something you should drive to something you want to drive. How does it stack up? Read on to find out.

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2016 Toyota Tacoma - First Drive

2016 Toyota Tacoma - First Drive

It may be needless to say, but the Toyota Tacoma is extremely important in the midsize truck category and has been for decades. Its contribution to the industry is undeniable and its yearly sales figures are impressive. Sadly, Toyota let the Tacoma get long in the tooth in recent years – letting it span from 2005 to 2015 nearly unchanged. However 2016 brings a heavy refresh that borders on the “all-new” term so loosely thrown around in the auto industry.

Why is Toyota’s newest pickup not considered all-new? Well the 2016 Toyota Tacoma’s frame is mostly a carryover piece, despite its strengthening, and the base four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual are indeed unchanged. Regardless of these nit-picky details, the 2016 Tacoma feels like a brand new truck.

Thanks for the refresh can be given to General Motors and its 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and 2015 GMC Canyon twins. Without these two trucks throwing wrenches into the midsize status quo, the Tacoma may have soldiered on unchanged. Now the newest player on the block, the Tacoma enters the market with an all-new V-6 engine, new six-speed automatic and six-speed manual transmissions, a welcomed exterior update and a very welcomed interior redo.

But are the changes enough to keep the Tacoma selling faster than the GM twins, or will the updates be lost against the ever-strengthening Colorado and Canyon? I drove one to find out.

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2016 Toyota Hilux

2016 Toyota Hilux

The long wait is over – Toyota has released an all-new version of its immensely popular Hilux truck. Set as a 2016 model, the pickup truck is said to still carry all the rugged reliability that makes a Hilux a Hilux, while adding more creature comforts and interior refinements. That should bode well with truck folks in the 180 countries the Hilux calls home.

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2015 Toyota Sienna Premium AWD: Driven

2015 Toyota Sienna Premium AWD: Driven

The stigma of the minivan over the years has gone from being smart, capable people hauler to "I wouldn’t be caught dead in one." Why is that?
Why do we shun a segment of the auto industry that’s probably the only segment that consistently makes sense? For some reason we’re okay with putting four-cylinder engines in muscle cars, adding 20 inch wheels to family sedans, or with BMW->https://www.topspeed.com/cars/bmw/index115.html] sacrificing functionality in the name of style with the X6, but we just aren’t okay with minivans. We prefer less-practical, less-versatile and less-roomy SUVs. We’re okay with stuffing third-row seats back there that 85 percent of people can’t fit in just so we can say that we’re not driving a minivan.

As a result of our turned-up noses, minivans have been axed from major manufacturer’s lineups over the past 10 years. Ford’s Freestar admittedly wasn’t its best effort, but it still was more practical (and cheaper) than an Explorer. The GM threesome of of the Saturn Relay, Buick Terraza and Chevrolet Uplander were likely even worse, but they held their own on the cheaper end of the minivan market. And Hyundai’s first minivan, the Entourage, didn’t even make it to a second generation.
But there has been one minivan that has consistently been the lesser of all the supposed evils, though: the Toyota Sienna.

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