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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Chicago 2019: 2020 Toyota Tacoma

      A small refresh arrives just as the Ranger begins to hit dealers


    With the new Ford Ranger beginning to arrive at dealers and the Jeep Gladiator just around the corner, Toyota decided it was time to give the Tacoma a bit of a refresh.

    All Tacomas feature updated grille designs, new wheels, and redesigned taillights. TRD Pro models feature new 16-inch wheels that are lighter than last year's model and LED headlights. Toyota has upgraded the infotainment system that now gives the ability to use Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa. The base SR gets a seven-inch screen, while SR5 and higher use an eight-inch screen. A 10-way power adjustment driver's seat is standard on certain Tacoma trims.

    Toyota equips all Tacomas with their Toyota Safety Sense P - includes adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, automatic high beams, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. TRD Pro models get a surround view camera system.

    Not seeing any changes is the engine lineup. The base remains a 2.7L inline-four producing 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Optional is a 3.5L V6 with 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come teamed with a six-speed automatic, while the V6 does have the option of a manual.

    No word on pricing or launch window.

     


    2020 Toyota Tacoma Positioned to Continue Segment Leadership with Host of New Upgrades

    • Electronically Power Adjustable Driver Seat Added to Most Grades
    • Upgraded Multimedia with Android Auto, Apple Carplay, Amazon Alexa Compatibility, Available 8” Touchscreen
    • New Grille and Wheel Designs on Most Grades
    • TRD Pro Features Unique Sequential LED Headlight, New Wheel, Standard Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) and Multi Terrain Monitor (MTM)
    • Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) Standard on Limited

    CHICAGO, February 7, 2019 – With competition in the midsize pickup segment heating up, the Toyota Tacoma says, “Bring it.” The Tacoma has been America’s best-selling midsize pickup for 14 years running, and the 2020 models introduced at the Chicago Auto Show are the best-equipped ever.

    A perennial award winner for segment-leading value, the Tacoma line boosts its appeal for 2020 with revised styling, expanded multimedia tech, added comfort and convenience features and, for the TRD Pro, additional off-road tech. 

    The third-generation Tacoma pickup, with a design inspired by Toyota’s legendary desert race trucks, continues the model’s tradition of working hard and playing hard. With more than 30 configurations in six model grades available, there’s a Tacoma for every need: work-ready SR; high-style, high-value SR5; athletic TRD Sport; adventurous TRD Off-Road; ultimate off-road TRD Pro; and top-of-the-line Limited.

    Nearly all 2020 Tacomas debut a new front grille design and new or updated wheel, each tailored to the specific grade. Inside, a new 10-way power adjustable driver seat with power lumbar support adds comfort on all grades SR5 and up. A new multimedia system now includes Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility. The SR will feature an upgraded 7-inch touchscreen, while SR5 grades and higher will feature a larger 8-inch touchscreen display. A new LED bed lamp is also available to brighten nighttime functionality while consuming less energy.

    Changes Across the Board

    While every Tacoma will receive the upgraded audio system and larger touchscreen display, specific changes unique to each grade are not to be overlooked. 

    The Tacoma SR workhorse gets its share of updates in 2020, including a new grille design and intermittent wiper. Out back, the taillights are revised with a new dark housing. The LED bed lamp is an available option. SR will feature a larger 7-inch touchscreen with new multimedia system that features Android Auto, Apple Carplay, Amazon Alexa and SiriusXM capability, and more. 

    Tacoma SR5 is fitted with a new grille design, a new 16-inch dark satin wheel color, darker taillight housings, and an updated fabric design on the seatback. SR5 will also offer an available LED bed lamp and DRL headlight option. 

    For Tacoma TRD Sport, a new grille and 17-inch wheel highlight the changes. It also adds Passenger Smart Key entry, chrome taillamp inserts, and new LED fog lamps. A new LED DRL and LED headlight is available, as is the new LED bed lamp. The new Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) is available on Sport grades, and it provides views around the truck for easier, safer maneuvering in tight situations.

    Tacoma TRD Off-Road will feature a new front grille design, LED foglamp, chrome insert taillamp and Passenger Smart Key entry. To provide a better view of the terrain under the vehicle, Multi-Terrain Monitor (MTM) is available. A new LED DRL and LED headlight is an available upgrade, as is a LED bed lamp. TRD Off-Road also comes standard with TRD-tuned Bilstein shocks, locking rear differential, Hill Assist Control (HAC), Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control. 

    Tacoma Limited’s look is more premium than ever with a new grille design, 18-inch alloy wheels, standard LED DRL and LED headlamps, and chrome taillamp inserts. It also received the upgraded Smart Key operation on the passenger door. The new Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) is standard equipment on Limited-grade Tacomas.

    Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), standard on every Tacoma grade, includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Sway Warning System, Automatic High Beams and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).

    Tacoma TRD Pro: More Trail-Capable Than Ever

    For 2020, the Tacoma TRD Pro, one of a series of Toyota trucks and SUVs infused with ultimate capability by Toyota Racing Development, returns with a revised look and new

    features. New sequential LED/DRL headlamps, 16-inch wheel design and black-insert taillamps headline the exterior changes. Rigid Industries LED fog lights come standard for improved visibility on and off the highway. Newly available Army Green is the TRD Pro exclusive color for 2020, which will be offered along with Super White, Midnight Black Metallic and Magnetic Gray Metallic. 

    Inside TRD Pro, a new 10-way power seat adds comfort, and the multimedia system is upgraded with the new 8-inch touchscreen display, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, among others. For added convenience, Smart Key functionality now extends to the front passenger door. 

    High-tech trail assistance comes to the fore with the new Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) + Multi Terrain Monitor (MTM). The driver can select front, side, or rear views for improved visibility. When the going really gets rough, under vehicle terrain view can help the driver avoid potential unseen obstacles.

    In other respects, the 2020 Tacoma TRD Pro continues with its roster of hardcore capability. A new 16-inch wheel is added to the mix, which is 4.188 lbs. lighter than the previous version. To complement the changes, TRD updated the tuning of the Fox 2.5-inch internal bypass shocks and front and rear springs. Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Kevlar-reinforced tires stand up to rough terrain.

    The Tacoma TRD Pro comes standard with 4WDemand part-time 4-wheel drive with an electronically controlled transfer case and an electronically controlled locking rear differential. Automatic transmission-equipped Tacomas also further off-road capability and driver confidence with Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Multi-terrain Select, and Crawl Control.

    With standard power moonroof and, on automatic transmission models, JBL Premium Audio, there’s no leaving luxury behind when the pavement ends.

    Tacoma by the Numbers

    Tacoma Access Cab models ride on a 127.4-inch wheelbase and have a 73.7-inch-long bed. The Tacoma Double Cab style is offered as a 127.4-inch wheelbase with a 60.5-inch bed or 140.6-inch wheelbase with the 73.7-inch bed. All models use an inner bed made from a sheet-molded composite (SMC) deck and tough, durable walls that are 10-percent lighter than steel.

    The 2020 Tacoma offers a choice of two tough powertrains. The 2.7-liter DOHC 4-cylinder with 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque, and an available 3.5-liter V6 with 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. Both are teamed to a 6-speed Electronically Controlled Automatic Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i), and the V6 can also be paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. 

    V6-powered Tacomas come standard with the Tow Package – which includes Class IV receiver hitch, automatic transmission fluid cooler, engine oil cooler, power steering cooler, 130-amp alternator, 4 & 7-pin connector with converter, and Trailer-Sway Control. When properly equipped, the Tacoma can pull up to 6,800 lbs. (per the SAE J2807 tow standard).

    The Tacoma is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (TMMTX), in San Antonio and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Baja California (TMMBC), in Baja California, Mexico.

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    8 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    It looks mostly the same

    Exactly.. I'm not sure why they needed a teaser pic for this but it is what it is.. I still like it and the small updates are welcome. 

    Is this really just NOW getting CarPlay and AndroidAuto?

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    2 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Exactly.. I'm not sure why they needed a teaser pic for this but it is what it is.. I still like it and the small updates are welcome. 

    Is this really just NOW getting CarPlay and AndroidAuto?

    yep.  I thought Toyota was going to skip Android Auto all together, but they seem to have reversed their position on that. 

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    3 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    That's kind of a disappointing update for a company who released a teaser pic. 

    I agree, almost as if they are just trying to mimic what GM has already done for their various off road tweaks and give an impression of new but not really new, just a polish job on the existing pig or as they say putting new lipstick on a pig.

    3 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    That's kind of a disappointing update for a company who released a teaser pic. 

    I feel this is just a response to GM off road packages more than anything to do with the Ranger. Just a different shade of color / LipStick on a pig. 🤷‍♂️

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    1 minute ago, dfelt said:

    I agree, almost as if they are just trying to mimic what GM has already done for their various off road tweaks and give an impression of new but not really new, just a polish job on the existing pig or as they say putting new lipstick on a pig.

    I don't think Toyota is mimicking anything GM does. 

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    On 2/24/2019 at 10:34 AM, caddycruiser said:

    This is the worst driving and worst performing mid size truck, when it used to be one of the best. The fact it got a new radio, and not internal gut improvements is the odd part.

    I've never had one for any distance. In fact, I've mostly had them off-road rather than on-road. 

    The Colorado and Canyon ride and drive nice, I just can't seem to get comfortable in the seats. 

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    On 2/7/2019 at 2:17 PM, smk4565 said:

    Those engines and transmission are ooooold.  How about an update Toyota, like using the 2 liter turbo from Lexus or the 310 hp V6 you already make.

    The 3.5L and 6spd auto in the Taco came out in 2016. I'm sure they were used in other Toyotas prior. 

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    On 2/7/2019 at 3:17 PM, smk4565 said:

    Those engines and transmission are ooooold.  How about an update Toyota, like using the 2 liter turbo from Lexus or the 310 hp V6 you already make.

    What's wrong with them? Do they suit the purpose of the truck?  Not everything needs to go to a 2.0T thanks.

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    Base 4cyl power in midsize pickups seems to vary quite a bit...the Ranger seems to have the most base power in the US market...2.3 Turbo w/ 270hp.  The Colorado has a 2.5 w/ 200hp, and Nissan Frontier has a 2.5 w/ 152hp, so the Tacoma is consistent w/ the Frontier in base power. 

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    2 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

    Base 4cyl power in midsize pickups seems to vary quite a bit...the Ranger seems to have the most base power in the US market...2.3 Turbo w/ 270hp.  The Colorado has a 2.5 w/ 200hp, and Nissan Frontier has a 2.5 w/ 152hp, so the Tacoma is consistent w/ the Frontier in base power. 

    Yeah,  the Ranger is the anomaly now, but in a good way. 

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    2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    That's the base engine. 

    Right, but why is the base engine so bad.  The Tacoma isn't a lightweight, they start at 4,000 lbs, if you have payload or towing, that is even more.  Toyota could put a turbo 4 as the base with 220 hp and a 310 hp V6 optional.   Or at least use the 2.5 liter four form the Camry that makes 200 hp, rather than some 159 hp unit from forever ago.

    2 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    The base engine in the S Class is 362hp/369tq though. 

    Thats 120 hp per liter, vs the Tacoma that makes only 64 hp per liter.

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    3 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Why IS that base engine so bad??

     

     

     

    That is a diesel with 297 lb-ft of torque.  But also sold in non-American markets where that sort of power is common.  If they did an American X-class it would have more power.  And perhaps X-class generation 1 is a testing ground to then do generation 2 on their own without Nissan/Renault and expand to the USA.  The A-class started as  dopey hatchback in Europe, how it is a nice looking little sedan.

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    The poorly tuned dynamics of these have never even lived up to the previous gen's 4.0L & 5-speed. Not one review praises the current Tacoma, and it usually brings up the back of the pack. Strange for sure, "for a Toyota". All the smaller trucks are interesting. This one, most of anything, needed a reset to the engine/transmission calibration and features.

    Steve Hammes reviewed it the best (as a previous gen owner):

    https://testdrivenow.com/2019-toyota-tacoma-video-review/

    Edited by caddycruiser
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    • By William Maley
      Back in the spring, I spent some time with two different Volvo 60 series models - the S60 Momentum and V60 Cross Country. I came away impressed with the work Volvo had done, picking Cross Country as my favorite. A couple months back, another 60 series model rolled up for a week long evaluation. This one is very different.
      Unlike most performance wagons that grab a bullhorn and shout for attention, the V60 Polestar goes for a more sedate approach. From afar, it looks like your standard V60. Get closer and you begin to see the small changes such as the lowered ride height, 20-inch grey wheels that cover up the massive gold brake calipers, and the two Polestar badges. Only changes for the interior are the Polestar logo embossed on the front headrests and gold seatbelts. Under the hood is Volvo's T8 powertrain. This is the 2.0L twin-charged four-cylinder paired with an electric motor on the rear axle to produce a total output of 415 horsepower and 494 pound-feet of torque. This setup also provides all-wheel drive. It is quite shocking (pardon the pun) as to how fast the V60 Polestar goes. Step on the accelerator and it feels like you have engaged warp drive as the two powertrains work together.  But there were times where the gas engine and electric motor didn't seem to be on the same page. There would be the odd delay or surging of the gas engine when driving around town in the hybrid mode. Hopefully, this is something that could be addressed with an update to the engine software. The other party trick of the V60 Polestar is the ability to run on electric power alone. This comes from an 11.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack underneath the cargo floor. Volvo claims a range of 22 miles on electric power alone, but I was able to stretch it out to around 23 to 25 miles throughout the week. Recharging took around eight to eleven hours if the battery was near or fully depleted.  For the week, I saw an MPGe average of 52.1. With the battery drained, I saw the average fall to around 29.1 MPG.  Volvo turned to suspension supplier Öhlins to develop something bespoke for the V60 Polestar. What was delivered is a special set of dampers that are manually adjusted by gold-colored aluminum knobs. You'll easily find the ones in the front by opening the hood - sitting on top of the shock towers. The ones in the back are slightly harder to find as they're located above the wheels in the wheel housing. This is something that feels like more of a talking point when showing off the wagon, not something you want to mess with unless you are knowledgeable on damper tuning. The V60 Polestar may be the best handling Volvo I have driven in quite some time. The Öhlins dampers do make a difference as they minimize body roll. But the dampers cannot fully hide the massive weight of the Polestar - tipping the scales at 4,522 pounds. This makes the wagon not feel as nimble. In terms of ride quality, the V60 Polestar does well on smooth roads. Take it on a road with a litany of bumps and potholes and the ride becomes very choppy. This is where I wished Volvo had gone for a computer-controlled damper system to make the ride slightly smoother. A price tag of over $68,000 is a bit much for a Volvo, but you need to take into consideration that you're getting everything as standard. That includes the premium B&O audio system, full LED headlights, Nappa leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, Pilot Assist, and more. The only option on our tester is the metallic paint. Despite the price tag and rough ride, I'm happy to see Volvo venturing out and doing some wild as the V60 Polestar. This vehicle is a prime example of having your cake and eating it by delivering excellent performance and efficiency in one package. The fact that this package is in a wagon shows this for someone who doesn't want to follow the Joneses and get a performance crossover. Would this be the 60 Series model I would buy? No, that honor falls to the V60 Cross Country I drove in the early spring. But the Polestar runs a close second. Disclaimer: Volvo Provided the V60 Polestar, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Volvo
      Model: V60
      Trim: T8 Polestar Engineered 
      Engine: 2.0L Twincharged DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder, Two AC Electric Motors
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 328 (gas), 46 (electric motor front), 87 (electric motor rear), 415 (combined)
      Torque @ RPM: 317 (gas), 111 (electric motor front), 177 (electric motor rear), 494 (combined)
      Fuel Economy: Combined MPGe/Gas - 69/30
      Curb Weight: 4,522 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Gothenburg, Sweden
      Base Price: $67,300
      As Tested Price: $68,940 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Metallic Paint - $645.00
    • By William Maley
      This week at the Cheers & Gears' Detroit bureau sees the 2020 Lexus RX 350L Lux come in for an interactive review. It has been some time since I last drove any version of the RX and it has gone some significant changes. The key one is the introduction of a three-row version - designated by the L at the end. Another welcome change is an introduction of a touchscreen for the Lexus Enform infotainment system.
      Power comes from a 3.5L V6 with 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Out the door, this RX 350 comes with an as-tested price of $63,540 with a $1,025 destination charge.
      Here are some quick thoughts,
      Acceleration isn't the RX's strong suit. The V6 moves the crossover at an adequate speed. The touchscreen makes a huge difference in overall usability with Enform. I find myself not screaming at it - both internally and externally. Third-row does eat up a lot of cargo space when up. I'll be trying to squeeze myself into the third-row along with other items throughout my week in the RX. In the meantime, drop off any questions you have.


      View full article
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