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2020 Toyota 4Runner Venture Edition

2020 Toyota 4Runner Venture Edition

You won’t have any problems gearing up for the outdoors with this SUV

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.

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2018 Toyota Tundra for Kevin Costner by Working Complete Customs

2018 Toyota Tundra for Kevin Costner by Working Complete Customs

This is one Toyota Tundra that was built to thrive in the elements

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.

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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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2015 - 2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro – Driven

2015 - 2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro – Driven

The ultimate 4Runner

The 2015 – 2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro is Toyota’s most rugged and capable SUV. Thanks to some clever engineering in the Toyota Racing Development labs, the 4Runner enjoys a truly hard-core off-road version that usurps even the venerable Trail Edition 4Runner. Heavy duty Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs, thick coil springs with a 1.0-inch suspension lift, upgraded wheels and tires, and a tank-like front skid plate makes the TRD Pro a natural in the dirt. All the same off-road tech on the 4Runner Trail Edition carries over to the TRD Pro, too. This includes the electronic locking rear differential, manual transfer case, and Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select system.

A unique front grille with the blocky T-O-Y-O-T-A lettering sets the TRD Pro apart, along with TRD Pro badging on the C-pillars and bespoke TRD Pro wheels and all-terrain tires. Things inside aren’t much different than other 4Runners, beside a TRD gear shifter and some like-branded floor mats. So how does the TRD Pro handle everyday life and the sandy trails of Central Florida? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full review.

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2017 Toyota FJ by ICON

2017 Toyota FJ by ICON

Modern tech meets classic Toyota iron

Jonathan Ward has been working with Toyota FJs for well over a decade. His company, Toyota Land Cruisers (or TLC for short), specializes in buying, restoring, selling, and servicing Toyota SUVs ranging from the venerable FJ40 up through modern stuff like the FJ Cruiser. In fact, TLC was contracted by Toyota to build the first three FJ Cruiser prototypes ahead of its 2005 debut. But TLC isn’t Ward’s only operation. ICON has gained quite the notoriety in recent years by building high-dollar, custom vehicles for discerning customers. The bread-n-butter of ICON’s menu is the original Toyota FJ.

ICON offers four versions of its FJ series, aligning with the original FJ models produced by Toyota from 1960 to 1983. The FJ40 is the iconic, two-door Jeep CJ competitor, the FJ43 offers two doors with a longer wheelbase, the FJ44 uses the 43’s wheelbase but adds four doors, and the FJ45 is a two-door pickup variant. Each FJ ICON builds is for a specific customer looking for a rugged and reliable vehicle that’s built well enough to tackle daily driving. We’re taking a deep dive into ICON’s FJ lineup here, so keep reading for specifics.

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2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro – Driven

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro – Driven

A week with the Taco Supreme

Toyota has a long history with mid-sized, high-riding pickups in America. Many might remember Marty McFly’s 1985 Toyota truck with its tube bumpers, lifted suspension, alloy wheels, and black paint job. While most of these trucks have rusted into the history books, their spirit lives on in Toyota’s modern Tacoma – and no more so than with the Tacoma TRD Pro. This lifted truck with its blacked-out wheels and bold grille give it a flair for the past, while still answering the trends of today.

I had the chance to spend a week with the 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, which came dressed in Super White and built on the Double Cab platform. I spent an extensive amount of time driving the highways and surface streets surrounding my Central Florida home. And of course, I sampled the deep, sandy ruts of trails running through wooded landscapes that appeared untouched since the Spanish Conquistadors landed in the 1500s.

The Tacoma TRD Pro attracted a lot of attention during its stay in my driveway, and it’s no wonder. The Tacoma is the best-selling mid-size pickup in the U.S. these days, outselling the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier, and Honda Ridgeline. There’s something about the truck that snags people’s interest. Most comments tended to focus on the black-on-white color scheme and the blocky TOYOTA grille.

So what’s it like living with the Taco Supreme? It’s spicy… but sometimes not in a good way. Keep reading for the explanation.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

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