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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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The Toyota Tacoma, Tundra, and 4 Runner Just Got a Little More Outdoorsy

The Toyota Tacoma, Tundra, and 4 Runner Just Got a Little More Outdoorsy

These include the Nighshade Package and Trail Editions across four products

Toyota created a buzz before the 2020 Chicago Auto Show kicked off by announcing it’ll bring “sporty and outdoorsy, with a touch of nocturnal mischief.” to the show. Toyota teased the Tacoma’s front passenger side lower fascia in a teaser image leading to the auto show, but now we have all the scoop. The company has brought along Trail and Nightshade editions for a handful of its vehicles.

The Trail Editions are introduced on the 2021 models of the Tacoma, Tundra, and the 4Runner. They are aimed at folks who prefer rugged vehicles for a “sporty and outdoorsy” lifestyle. The Trail Edition will be based on the SR5 trims on all three vehicles. They will be offered in special exterior colors that include Army Green, Cement, Midnight Black, and Super White, and also receive black badging to distinguish from the regular SR5 trims. On the inside, Toyota has upholstered the vehicles in black seats with tan contrast stitching. All-weather floor mats also come as part of the package. The Tacoma Trail will come with stuff like:

Dark Gray 18-inch TRD Off-Road wheels Kevlar All-Terrain tires Front fascia grille borrowed from Tacoma Limited A 115-volt power outlet in the bed Lockable bed storage that doubles up as a cooler as well Limited to 7,000 Tacomas

As for the Tundra Trail, you receive:

Chrome grille from the 1794 trim Special Edition exclusive wheels Lockable bed storage-cum-cooler like on the Tacoma Trail Limited to 5,000 Tundras

The 4Runner Trail will be equipped with:

Dark Gray TRD Off-Road wheels Yakima LoadWarrior Rooftop Cargo Basket Custom 40-quart Cooler Sliding Cargo Tray Limited to 4,000 4Runners

Toyota has also blacked out a few more models in its portfolio. Currently, the company offers the Nightshade package on five of its products – 4Runner, Camry, Corolla, Corolla hatch, and Sienna – on the SE trims. Now, Toyota has added the Tacoma, Tundra, and Sequoia to the range as well. The Limited trims of these three vehicles will be treated to the Nightshade package. Customers can have the Nightshade package on these new vehicles in Midnight Black Metallic or Magnetic Gray Metallic exterior shade. Toyota offers this package on the Tacoma in Super White shade, too. The common package details across the three models include:

Black Leather Seats Blacked-Out Front Grille Black Mirror Caps Black Door Handles

Apart from this, the Tacoma Nightshade also receives:

Dark Smoke 18-inch Wheels A Black Exhaust Tip Black Fog Light Bezels New Grille Insert Design Offered in Windchill Pearl shade as well Limited to 5,000 Tacomas

On the Tundra, the company offers black wheels and black exhaust tip. Other than the two standard exterior shades, you can order it in Windchill Pearl, or Super White as well. Toyota will only make 5,000 examples of this one. As for the Sequoia, it receives darkened chrome "Sequoia" badging, body moldings, lower grille, and fog light surrounds. The SUV with the Nightshade package can be had in Blizzard Pearl shade as well. The company has limited the production to 2,500 examples for the Sequoia Nightshade.

Toyota hasn’t revealed the pricing for any of the Special Edition vehicles, but we don’t expect a major increase in any of them. The company also hasn’t announced when these vehicles will be available.

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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 Hilux Gazoo Racing

2018 Toyota Hilux Gazoo Racing

Toyota Hilux GR Sport Is Like A Ranger Raptor Moment Only For Toyota

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.

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The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Is A Surprisingly Good Off-Roader

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Is A Surprisingly Good Off-Roader

Go for the Adventure grade, and you’re sitting pretty, no matter the terrain

It seems like there’s no shortage of “off-road ready” crossovers on the market these days - or at least that’s the impression you might get glancing over all the PR fluff. But while glory shots on top of a mountain might look good, the actual capability of these machines doesn’t always live up to the hype. Fortunately, Toyota can both talk the talk and walk the walk, as I find out firsthand after the Japanese automaker flew me out to Carmel, California for a stint in the new 2019 RAV4.

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Best Used 2016 SUV for Fuel Economy

Best Used 2016 SUV for Fuel Economy

Who said these big boys can’t run efficiently?

The market trend is quickly shifting from sedans to crossovers and SUVs. However, SUVs have two major cons when compared to their segment counterparts - high retail price and poor fuel economy. Even though they are a practical choice thanks to additional cabin and cargo space, it’s a little difficult for everyone to afford an SUV. So why not go for a used SUV instead? You don’t take the depreciation hit that first owner does, and since SUVs are built to last a lifetime, you can get an almost-new SUV at half the original price.

Now that we’ve planted this seed in your head, let’s have a look at the best used SUVs from 2016 with high fuel efficiency.

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Toyota Assists In Dino Bone Dig

Toyota Assists In Dino Bone Dig

A pair of Tundras and a Land Cruiser are helping haul serious dinosaur bones

Toyota is lending a helping hand to a team of paleontologists from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis who are surveying an undisclosed site in northern Wyoming. The team of scientists, led by world-renowned paleontologists Dr. Phil Manning and Dr. Victoria Egerton, are in the area looking for fossilized dinosaur bones. Toyota is supporting the expedition by lending a pair of Tundra pickups and a Land Cruiser to help carry the scientists, their gear, and whatever fossils they dig up.

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Chuck Norris is Tough and So is the New Toyota Tacoma Pickup, Apparently

Chuck Norris is Tough and So is the New Toyota Tacoma Pickup, Apparently

They don’t build pickups better than Chuck Norris

We all have our favorite Chuck Norris jokes, but apparently, we all forgot about the power of his autograph. That’s right; it’s been scientifically proven that Chuck Norris’ signature can turn random objects into all-conquering superheroes. Take a look at what happens to the Toyota Tacoma once it got bestowed with Chuck’s perfectly legible John Hancock.

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Jekyll And Hyde: Toyota's New RAV4 Is A Hit And Miss Proposition

Jekyll And Hyde: Toyota’s New RAV4 Is A Hit And Miss Proposition

One looks great while the other looks like wants to bite your head off

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 has been unveiled at the 2018 New York Auto Show, and it arrived in Manhattan in two different trim levels: the RAV4 Adventure and the RAV4 That may be understating it a little, but we can all agree that, for better or worse, Toyota’s hot-selling SUV received two sides of a complete makeover. We’ll let you be the judge if you think Toyota did well with the new-look RAV4, but in our minds, one design hit the mark while the other missed it completely.

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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 Sequoia - Driven

2018 Toyota Sequoia - Driven

An aging, lumbering beast that somehow wins hearts with its old-school vibes

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.

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What it's Like to Daily Drive the 2018 Toyota Sequoia

What it’s Like to Daily Drive the 2018 Toyota Sequoia

Piloting this lumbering giant through the urban jungle

Open the heavy door, use the running board to climb inside, sit atop a leather seat with a wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel in hand, and gaze over the world like a king riding his chariot. That’s what it’s like getting into the driver’s seat of the 2018 Toyota Sequoia.

Despite its age, the Sequoia isn’t bad to drive. Its 381-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8 offers plenty of pep, especially with its 401 pound-feet of torque and a 4.30 rear axle ratio. The sprint to 60 mph takes only 6.7 seconds and its top speed is capped at 115 mph. The Sequoia might share much of its architecture with the Tundra pickup, but Toyota ditched the solid rear axle and leaf springs in favor of an independent suspension with airbags. The front suspension uses MacPherson struts between the double wishbone control arms. The Platinum trim even comes with adaptive dampers with Sport, Normal, and Comfort modes.

Continue reading for more information.

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