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    LA Auto Show: 2013 Toyota RAV-4



    November 28th, 2012

    Drew Dowdell

    Managing Editor - CheersandGears.com

    At the 2013 LA Auto Show today, Toyota revealed their all new 2013 RAV-4 mid-size crossover. With a focus on fuel efficiency, the RAV-4 sports a host of power train changes. The first and largest difference is the the lack of an available V6. Power comes from a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder producing 176 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 172 ft. lbs. of torque at 4,100 rpm. The 4-speed auto of the previous car is now upgraded to a 6-speed automatic feeding power to the front or all wheels. A short first and second gear allow for enthusiastic around town driving while fifth and sixth gears are both overdrive for more fuel efficient highway cruising. Front wheel drive models are EPA estimated at 24mpg city and 31mpg highway while all-wheel drive models get a 22mpg city and 29mpg highway EPA rating.

    All-wheel drive models feature a lock mode at speeds below 25 mph allowing the rear wheels to get a full 50% of available torque when needed. Above 25mph, the system switches back to standard AWD mode.

    Aside from the all new styling, current RAV-4 owners will most likely notice the switch around back from a side hinged rear door to a more conventional left gate.

    As one of Toyota's best sellers, the 2013 Toyota RAV-4 is somewhat the standard bearer of the market, but Toyota has some stiff competition from the new Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Kia Sorento, and Ford Escape. Can Toyota maintain their position as a leader in this segment?

    Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on twitter as @Cheersngears

    Toyota Press Release on Page 2


    All-New 2013 Toyota RAV4 Makes World Debut at Los Angeles International Auto Show

    LOS ANGELES (Nov. 28, 2012) –The all-new 2013 RAV4 crossover SUV made its world debut today at the 2012 Los Angeles International Auto Show. Toyota’s fourth-generation RAV4, the world’s original crossover sport utility vehicle, arrives early next year.

    With a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, new six-speed transmission, two-row seating for five, and a host of available in-cabin technologies, RAV4 offers a nuanced balance of performance and all-around capability, including class-leading cargo capacity, striking design, class-leading eight standard airbags, and a compelling array of standard features. RAV4 will be available in three well-equipped grades: LE, XLE and Limited.

    Performance, Handling, and Efficiency

    For 2013, RAV4 will provide a number of powertrain technologies that help deliver an engaging driving experience. It will feature Toyota’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which will produce 176 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 172 ft. lbs. of torque at 4,100 rpm. The optional V6 of the previous-generation RAV4 will be discontinued.

    Replacing the previous four-speed automatic will be a six-speed transmission with Sequential Shift. First and second gear ratios will be optimized for around-town performance. To keep engine revs lower at highway speeds and enhance fuel mileage, fifth and sixth gears will be overdrives.

    RAV4 front-wheel-drive models have received EPA- estimated fuel efficiency ratings of 24 mpg city/31 highway, while all-wheel-drive models are EPA-estimated at 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway. A new Eco mode is designed to promote more efficient driving thus helping to enhance fuel efficiency.

    The new RAV4 will provide its active owners a more dynamic drive, with new technologies like a Sport Mode with Dynamic Torqu Control AWD, enhancements in suspension performance, and optimized electric power steering. The spring rates have been enhanced, and the shock absorbers have been optimally tuned to help the vehicles handling characteristics.

    RAV4 has a MacPherson strut front suspension, double-wishbone rear suspension and four-wheel disc brakes. The LE will ride on 17-inch steel wheels, XLE will feature 17-inch alloys, and Limited will be equipped with 18-inch alloys.

    In both front- and all-wheel drive RAV4’s Sport Mode sharpens shift timing, throttle response and steering response. When down shifting the RAV4 six-speed automatic transmission in “S” Mode, engine revs rise with a clearly audible “blip,” adding to the driving experience.

    In RAV4 with AWD, Dynamic Torque Control AWD has additional benefits. When turning into and through a corner, power is sent to the rear wheels to help enhance cornering performance, detecting steering angle and lack of yaw rate in Sport Mode (and detecting lack of yaw rate in Normal and Eco Mode).Dynamic Torque Control has three different drive modes: Auto, Lock and Sport. In Auto Mode, RAV4 delivers power primarily to the front wheels under most driving conditions, switching automatically to AWD only when needed. By only engaging the rear axle and delivering power to the rear wheels when needed, Auto Mode helps enhance fuel efficiency and reduce drivetrain wear.

    In Lock Mode at lower speeds, RAV4 essentially has a full-time AWD system with power delivered to all four wheels. At speeds below approximately 25 mph in Lock Mode, up to 50 percent of engine power is sent to the rear wheels, enhancing traction and helping RAV4 “dig” through sandy or muddy conditions. Lock Mode reverts to Auto Mode when vehicle speed passes approximately 25 mph.

    As on the front-drive RAV4’s, Sport Mode sharpens shift timing, throttle response, and steering response. In RAV4 with AWD, Sport Mode has additional benefits. It can provide smooth and nearly instantaneous torque transfers between the front and rear wheels to help enhance cornering performance. Under certain conditions, Sport Mode can automatically deliver up to 50 percent of engine power to the rear wheels.

    In Sport Mode, the AWD system also can apportion power based on input from the steering angle and yaw rate sensors of the Vehicle Stability Control system. When turning into and through a corner, power is sent to the rear wheels to maximize traction available at each of the four corners of the vehicle. Under braking in a straight line in Sport Mode, power delivery to the rear wheels can be momentarily suspended to best leverage the benefits of ABS and VSC.

    Exterior Design & Body Structure

    The new RAV4’s design achieves strong proportions while conveying the agile and fun character. Sophisticated and dynamic, the exterior features a progressive silhouette, with a sleek-sloping roofline and an aggressive character line. The new RAV4’s interior has a premium, sophisticated look with soft-touch accents and driver-centric controls.

    RAV4 pursues the design goals defined by Toyota President Akio Toyoda, with aggressively sculpted front and rear fenders and boldly proportioned taillights that define RAV4’s athletic presence.

    In a significant break with its heritage, RAV4 will switch from its side-hinged rear door to a convenient roof-hinged liftgate with a space-saver spare tire will be stored under the cargo floor. Standard on the Limited grade will be a one-touch power rear liftgate with driver-selectable memory height settings.

    As on other recently introduced Toyotas, RAV4 engineers paid special attention to aerodynamics, the most obvious detail being small vortex generators molded into the taillight cases and near the base of the A-pillars. Less obvious are the aerodynamic undertrays beneath the passenger cabin that help smooth and control airflow.

    Following body-engineering principles debuted in the 2012 Camry and 2013 Avalon, RAV4’s body structure will include high-strength steel to help achieve several significant goals, including a robust and stiff platform that enhances steering and handling precision, and a body structure that is both strong and light. RAV4 engineers used several grades of high-strength steel to form key structural components in the roof, rocker sills, floor, engine compartment and door frames. The weight savings were in part invested in sound deadening materials and an acoustic windshield, helping to create a quiet passenger cabin.

    Interior Design & Packaging

    The new RAV4’s dash panel is driver-centric and asymmetrical, with primary and secondary controls all within easy reach. On the passenger side, the sculpted dash panel creates a sense of airy spaciousness.

    RAV4’s dash panel and gauges all feature Clear Blue illumination, which provides crisp visibility in most ambient light conditions, and a unified, coherent appearance at night.

    RAV4 will come standard with a manual tilt/telescope steering column, with the LE and XLE featuring a urethane steering wheel. The Limited grade will have a leather-wrapped steering wheel. All RAV4 steering wheels will have controls for audio, Bluetoothâ hands-free phone and audio, and the Multi-Information Display (MID).

    All RAV4’s will have driver and front passenger seats with high seatbacks and a slim back, enhancing rear-passenger knee room. The RAV4 LE driver’s seat is six-way adjustable, including seat height.

    The RAV4 XLE driver and front passenger will ride in premium bucket seats with sport bolstering, providing ample support of the lower hips, lower torso and shoulders during cornering. The XLE will have premium fabric with French stitching on the seats and portions of the dash panels.

    The Limited will have the same premium driver and front-passenger bucket seats found in the XLE but will also come equipped with an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat with memory, plus heaters in the front seat bottoms and seatbacks with two temperature settings and driver power lumbar. All RAV4 Limited seats are trimmed in high-quality, breathable SofTex with French stitching. SofTex also covers the center armrest, and portions of the door and dash panels.

    All RAV4’s will feature 60/40 split/fold second-row seats that recline several degrees to enhance passenger comfort.

    In contrast to 2013 RAV4’s compact exterior dimensions, the cargo area is deeper, larger and easier to access than in the previous generation, with just over 38.4 cu. ft. of cargo capacity behind the rear seats. With rear seats folded, RAV4 class-leading maximum cargo capacity of 73.3 cu. ft.

    Privacy glass, Daytime Running Lights (DRL), cruise control, power side mirrors, power door locks and power windows are standard on all RAV4s. RAV4 XLE and Limited feature dual-zone automatic climate control, integrated fog lights, power moonroof with sliding sunshade and heated outside mirrors with turn signal indicators.

    In-Cabin Technology, Audio

    Standard on all RAV4 models is a Display Audio with a 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen. Significant for this market, RAV4’s Display Audio includes a standard backup camera and Bluetooth connectivity. When shifted into reverse, the audio display will show the image of what the backup camera captures. The image will include an overlay of positioning lines representing the parking space and approximate distance to obstacles.

    XLE and Limited will offer an available GPS Navigation and Entune™ multimedia system with satellite radio and advanced voice recognition. The Limited grade will also offer an available JBL® GreenEdgeÔ Premium Audio with 576-Watts of maximum power, 11 speakers, and GPS Navigation and Entune.

    The Limited grade will offer an available Blind Spot Monitor system (BSM). It can be turned off with a dashboard switch. When the system detects a vehicle in the adjacent lane, it alerts the driver with a blinking light indicator in the side mirrors. If the turn signal is on when there is a vehicle in the blind spot of the driver’s intended lane, the indicator on the corresponding mirror will warn the driver with a solid light.

    The available Blind Spot Monitor incorporates Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), which uses the Blind Spot Monitor radar sensors at the lower rear bodywork of the vehicle. When backing up, the RCTA senses vehicles approaching from either direction and provides an audible warning combined with a flashing indicator in the appropriate outside mirror.

    Safety

    All 2013 RAV4s will have a class-leading eight standard airbags. Like every Toyota, RAV4 will feature the Star Safety System, which includes Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Brake Assist, an Anti-lock Braking System and Smart Stop Technology.

    2013 RAV4 PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS

    POWERTRAIN

    2.5-liter four-cylinder engine

    Horsepower: 176 @ 6,000 RPM

    Torque: 172 lb.-ft. @ 4,100 RPM

    Transmission: Six-speed ECT-i

    Drive System: Front- and All-Wheel-Drive

    EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (inches)

    Overall Length: 179.9

    Overall Width: 72.6

    Overall Height: 65.4

    Wheelbase: 104.7

    Ground clearance: 6.3

    Wheels: 17-inch steel wheels (LE)

    17-inch alloy wheels (XLE)

    18-inch alloy wheels (Limited)

    Tire Size: 17-inch: 225/65R17 (LE and XLE)

    18-inch: 235/55R18 (Limited)

    Towing Capacity: 1,500 lbs.

    INTERIOR DIMENSIONS (inches)

    Head Room: 39.8 (Front)

    38.9 (Rear)

    Leg Room: 42.6 (Front)

    37.2 (Rear)

    Shoulder Room: 57.3 (Front)

    55.4 (Rear)

    Hip Room: 54.3 (Front)

    48.9 (Rear)

    Cargo Volume: 73.3 (Behind first row)

    38.4 (Behind second row)

    Seating Capacity: 5

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      Contrast this with the Tacoma which feels more like a bucking bronco. You’ll able to tell how smooth or rough various roads are as the suspension will transmit a good amount of the surface into the seats due to the Tacoma retaining a solid-rear axle. Put a heavy load into the bed and the ride does smooth out. This is ok if you’re coming from an old pickup truck. Not so much if you’re coming from a sedan or crossover. Road and wind noise are very apparent at speeds above 45 mph.
       



      But the Tacoma does redeem itself when it comes to off-roading. Thanks to 9.4 inches of ground clearance, flexible suspension, and loads of off-road tech (hill start and descent control to name a couple), the Tacoma can tackle a trail with no issue. Thanks to winter storm during our week in the Tacoma, we were able to put the four-wheel drive system to the test. Fitted with a set of Michelin off-road tires, the Tacoma went through deep snow with no issues. It should be noted that if you’re serious about taking a Tacoma off-road, then you should look at the TRD Off-Road which adds new shocks, meatier off-road tires, the Multi-Terrain Select system that varies the traction control system for different conditions, and crawl control that modulates the brakes and engine when dealing with some treacherous obstacles such as a steep hill. 
      The Canyon isn’t as capable off-road. For one, it is about an inch shorter in terms of overall ground clearance. Second, the front air dam which is used to improve overall aerodynamics hampers off-road performance. A key example of this comes in approach angle. The Canyon only has an 18-degree approach angle while the Tacoma has either a 29 or 32-degree approach angle.
       
      Value:
       
      Both of these test trucks make a strong case for going with one of the lower trims. The 2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited Double Cab starts at $37,820 for the four-wheel drive model. With options, the as-tested price came to $41,024. Yes, you do get a lot of standard equipment such as blind-spot monitoring, dual-zone climate control, navigation, heated seats, push-button start, and a JBL audio system. But you can get a fair amount of those features as options on the SR5 and the two TRD models. One other thing to consider. The Toyota Tacoma is one of the best vehicles to retain its resale value. Kelly Blue Book says the Tacoma will retain 73 percent of its resale value after three years.
       
      The Canyon SLT has a slightly lower base price of $37,450. But it is the more expensive of the two with an as-tested price of $44,365. A fair chunk of the price comes from Duramax diesel which will set you back $3,730. For the as-tested price, you can get into a decently equipped full-size truck. Again, the lower trim SLE gets most of the equipment from the SLT as options for a slightly lower price.
       
      Final Thoughts:
       
      If you’re expecting me to say the GMC Canyon is better than the Toyota Tacoma or vice-versa, then you’ll be surprised at what I’m going to say. Both of these trucks are good choices in the midsize truck class. The choice comes down to what are your desires and needs. For example, if you’re coming from passenger sedan into your first truck or planning to do some towing, the GMC Canyon and sister Chevrolet Colorado are what you should go for. On the opposite end, the Tacoma is perfect for those who want something to tackle the trail or need a V6 with a bit of punch.
       
      2016 GMC Canyon SLT Crew Cab
      Cheers: Fuel economy of the diesel, barely any wind and road noise, smooth ride
      Jeers: Price, GMC Intellilink still has some bugs, fair amount of turbo lag
       

      Album: Review: 2016 GMC Canyon SLT Crew Cab Diesel
      11 images 0 comments
       
      2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited Double Cab
      Cheers: Very capable off-road, V6 feels quite punchy, clever features in the bed
      Jeers: Rides like an old school truck, difficult to find a comfortable seating position, fair amount of road and wind noise
       

      Album: Review: 2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited Double Cab
      10 images 0 comments
       
      Disclaimer: GMC and Toyota Provided the trucks, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
       
      Year: 2016
      Make: GMC
      Model: Canyon
      Trim: SLT 4WD Crew Cab Short Box
      Engine: 2.8L Turbodiesel Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 181 @ 3,400
      Torque @ RPM: 369 @ 2,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/29/23
      Curb Weight: 4,698 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Wentzville, MO
      Base Price: $37,450
      As Tested Price: $44,365 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
       
      Options:
      2.8L Duramax Turbodiesel Four - $3,730
      Bose Audio System - $500.00
      8" Color Touchscreen with GMC Intellilink and Navigation - $495.00
      Spray-On Bed Liner - $475.00
      Copper Red Metallic Pain - $395.00
      Driver Alert Package - $395.00
       
      Year: 2016
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Tacoma
      Trim: Limited 4X4 Double Cab
      Engine: 3.5L Atkinson Cycle V6 with Dual VVT-i
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 278 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 265 @ 4,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/23/20
      Curb Weight: 4,480 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: San Antonio, TX
      Base Price: $37,820
      As Tested Price: $41,024 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
       
      Options:
      Tonneau Cover - $650.00
      V6 Tow Package - $650.00
      5" Chrome Oval Tube Step - $535.00
      Carpet Floor Mats w/Door Sill - $209.00
      Mudgaurds - $140.00
      Bed Mat - $120.00


      Click here to view the article
    • By William Maley
      It seemed for a time that the midsize truck was a dead vehicle driving. If you wanted one a few years back, you only had the choice of the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma. All of the other midsize trucks had disappeared due to pricing and fuel economy figures being very close to full-size trucks, causing many buyers to go with the larger option. But the midsize truck has been enjoying a resurgence thanks to General Motors introducing the latest versions of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon into the U.S. This, in turn, has caused automakers to reconsider this class with Toyota introducing a ‘redesigned’ Tacoma last year and news coming out that Ford readying a new Ranger towards the end of this decade. GM hasn’t been resting on their laurels either. Last year saw them introduce a diesel engine that gives the Colorado and Canyon best-in-class towing numbers.
       
      A check-up in the midsize truck class was needed. Over the past few months, we spent some time in the 2016 Toyota Tacoma and GMC Canyon with the diesel option. Here is what we found out.
       
      Exterior:
       
      First up is the Toyota Tacoma which doesn’t look that much different from the previous model we drove back in 2013. The design brief for the 2016 model must have something to the effect of ‘if it ain’t broke, why fix it’ in terms of the overall shape. But that isn’t to say Toyota hasn’t made some changes to the design. The front end gets a larger grille, new headlights, and a more aggressive front bumper. Around the back, the tailgate has the ‘Tacoma’ name embossed.
       



      The GMC Canyon takes some ideas from the full-size Sierra in design. The front features a large chrome grille and rectangular headlights with LED daytime running lights. Our truck came fitted with a set of 18-inch wheels finished in what GM calls ‘ultra-bright chrome’. The rest of the truck is similar to Colorado in terms of the cab and bed design. I have to admit I prefer the Colorado over the Canyon in terms of design. The Colorado just stands out slightly more due to its more distinctive front end. 
      In terms of beds, both trucks came with their short bed option - measuring about 5 feet. Those needing a bigger bed can option a 6-foot on both trucks. But it should be noted that the Tacoma Limited only comes with the 5-foot bed option. If you want the longer bed, you’ll need to drop down to one of the lower trims. As for bed features, both trucks feature a dampened tailgate and adjustable tie-downs on the bed rails. But the Tacoma begins to pull ahead as it features tie-downs integrated into the floor, storage compartments, and the option of a 120V/400W outlet.
       
      Interior:
       
      Like their full-size brethren, midsize trucks have been seeing a noticeable increase in terms of interior design and materials. Sitting in either truck, you’ll be impressed with the amount of soft-touch materials and the small design touches throughout the interior. Between the two trucks, we would say the Tacoma is the sharper looking with dash inserts that match the color of the seats and silver trim running around various parts. As for the dash layout, both trucks feature a simple layout with controls within easy reach.
       



      In terms of seating, the Canyon and Tacoma offer seating up to five. But the Canyon is the most comfortable of the two trucks. The front seats provide the right balance of comfort and support. For 2016, GM has added a height adjustment for the power seats. This little addition makes finding a comfortable position that much easier. As for the back, there is a decent amount of headroom. Legroom varies on how tall the passenger sitting up front is. It ranges from decent to nonexistent. 
      The Tacoma, on the other hand, is a comedy of errors. First off, the front seats are mounted quite low and cause you to think that you’re sitting in a bunker. This wouldn’t be an issue if you could adjust the height, but the Tacoma doesn’t offer that. Making matters worse is the tilt and telescoping steering doesn’t offer enough range in terms of its adjustments. As I wrote my notes about the Tacoma, “instead of the truck fitting around you, you have to fit around it.” The back seat is best reserved for either small kids or cargo. An average size adult like your’s truly will find barely any head and legroom.
       
      Infotainment:
       
      The base Canyon SL and Canyon get a 4.2-inch color screen radio, while SLE and SLT trims get an 8-inch IntelliLink system. Our Canyon SLT tester featured the optional 8-inch IntelliLink system with navigation. General Motors has been improving IntelliLink/MyLink over the past few years in terms of overall stability. The system still stumbles in terms of performance and recognizing various devices plugged into the USB inputs. For 2016, GM has added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. We tried out CarPlay in the Canyon and found it to be slightly better than IntelliLink in terms of the iPhone-like interface and snappy performance. But like in previous GM models with CarPlay, we found various applications would crash and the system wouldn’t always see my iPhone. Since driving the Canyon, we have tried out CarPlay in vehicles other manufacturers and didn’t have any issues.
       
      All Tacomas feature Toyota’s Entune infotainment system. Depending on the trim, the screen will measure either 6.1 or 7-inches. Our Tacoma Limited tester came with the 7-inch screen. Entune might not be newest-looking infotainment systems on the block, but its simple interface and fast response times make it one of the better systems on sale. We also like how you can customize the home screen to provide various information such as audio and navigation. At the moment, Toyota hasn’t added Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to Entune.
       
      Powertrain:
       
      The GMC Canyon is the most well-rounded when it comes to powertrains. There is a 2.5L inline-four, a 3.6L V6, and the engine found in our tester, a 2.8L Duramax Turbodiesel four-cylinder. The diesel produces 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic and either two-wheel or four-wheel drive. When leaving a stop, you’ll find yourself wondering where that turbodiesel thrust is. Turbo lag is very apparent with this engine. Once the turbo does spool up, the engine delivers power at a smooth and immediate rate. The six-speed automatic provides quick gear changes. In terms of towing, GMC says the Canyon diesel with four-wheel drive can tow up to 7,600 pounds.
       



      For the Toyota Tacoma, you can choose from a 2.7L four-cylinder or a 3.5L V6. We had the V6 in our tester which boasted 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. The V6 can be paired with a six-speed manual or automatic, and either two or four-wheel drive. Our truck came with the automatic and four-wheel drive. On paper, the Tacoma trails the Canyon’s V6 (305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque). Out in the world, the Tacoma surpasses GM’s V6 partly due to it feeling more grunty at low rpms. You don’t feel that you need to give the Tacoma’s V6 more gas to get moving at a decent clip. The six-speed automatic delivers smooth gear changes, but we wished it would go through the gears quicker. Towing is rated at 6,400 lbs, about 600 pounds less than the Canyon with the V6. 
      Fuel Economy:
       
      The EPA rates the 2016 GMC Canyon four-wheel drive with the diesel at 20 City/29 Highway/23 Combined and the 2016 Toyota Tacoma V6 with four-wheel drive at 18 City/23 Highway/20 Combined. Our average for the week in both trucks were 25 MPG for the Canyon and 19.2 MPG for the Tacoma.
       
      Ride & Handling:
       
      No other midsize truck can come close to the GMC Canyon in terms of ride. Like the Chevrolet Colorado I drove last year, the Canyon’s suspension smooths over bumps and other road imperfections. You think that you’re riding in a sedan and not a truck. GM has done a lot of work in terms of sound-deadening for models equipped with the Duramax diesel. Thicker windows and more soundproofing means you’ll the clatter of the diesel engine when accelerating. The extra soundproofing also means the Canyon doesn’t have much wind and road noise coming inside.
       
      Contrast this with the Tacoma which feels more like a bucking bronco. You’ll able to tell how smooth or rough various roads are as the suspension will transmit a good amount of the surface into the seats due to the Tacoma retaining a solid-rear axle. Put a heavy load into the bed and the ride does smooth out. This is ok if you’re coming from an old pickup truck. Not so much if you’re coming from a sedan or crossover. Road and wind noise are very apparent at speeds above 45 mph.
       



      But the Tacoma does redeem itself when it comes to off-roading. Thanks to 9.4 inches of ground clearance, flexible suspension, and loads of off-road tech (hill start and descent control to name a couple), the Tacoma can tackle a trail with no issue. Thanks to winter storm during our week in the Tacoma, we were able to put the four-wheel drive system to the test. Fitted with a set of Michelin off-road tires, the Tacoma went through deep snow with no issues. It should be noted that if you’re serious about taking a Tacoma off-road, then you should look at the TRD Off-Road which adds new shocks, meatier off-road tires, the Multi-Terrain Select system that varies the traction control system for different conditions, and crawl control that modulates the brakes and engine when dealing with some treacherous obstacles such as a steep hill. 
      The Canyon isn’t as capable off-road. For one, it is about an inch shorter in terms of overall ground clearance. Second, the front air dam which is used to improve overall aerodynamics hampers off-road performance. A key example of this comes in approach angle. The Canyon only has an 18-degree approach angle while the Tacoma has either a 29 or 32-degree approach angle.
       
      Value:
       
      Both of these test trucks make a strong case for going with one of the lower trims. The 2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited Double Cab starts at $37,820 for the four-wheel drive model. With options, the as-tested price came to $41,024. Yes, you do get a lot of standard equipment such as blind-spot monitoring, dual-zone climate control, navigation, heated seats, push-button start, and a JBL audio system. But you can get a fair amount of those features as options on the SR5 and the two TRD models. One other thing to consider. The Toyota Tacoma is one of the best vehicles to retain its resale value. Kelly Blue Book says the Tacoma will retain 73 percent of its resale value after three years.
       
      The Canyon SLT has a slightly lower base price of $37,450. But it is the more expensive of the two with an as-tested price of $44,365. A fair chunk of the price comes from Duramax diesel which will set you back $3,730. For the as-tested price, you can get into a decently equipped full-size truck. Again, the lower trim SLE gets most of the equipment from the SLT as options for a slightly lower price.
       
      Final Thoughts:
       
      If you’re expecting me to say the GMC Canyon is better than the Toyota Tacoma or vice-versa, then you’ll be surprised at what I’m going to say. Both of these trucks are good choices in the midsize truck class. The choice comes down to what are your desires and needs. For example, if you’re coming from passenger sedan into your first truck or planning to do some towing, the GMC Canyon and sister Chevrolet Colorado are what you should go for. On the opposite end, the Tacoma is perfect for those who want something to tackle the trail or need a V6 with a bit of punch.
       
      2016 GMC Canyon SLT Crew Cab
      Cheers: Fuel economy of the diesel, barely any wind and road noise, smooth ride
      Jeers: Price, GMC Intellilink still has some bugs, fair amount of turbo lag
       

       
      2016 Toyota Tacoma Limited Double Cab
      Cheers: Very capable off-road, V6 feels quite punchy, clever features in the bed
      Jeers: Rides like an old school truck, difficult to find a comfortable seating position, fair amount of road and wind noise
       

       
      Disclaimer: GMC and Toyota Provided the trucks, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
       
      Year: 2016
      Make: GMC
      Model: Canyon
      Trim: SLT 4WD Crew Cab Short Box
      Engine: 2.8L Turbodiesel Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 181 @ 3,400
      Torque @ RPM: 369 @ 2,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/29/23
      Curb Weight: 4,698 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Wentzville, MO
      Base Price: $37,450
      As Tested Price: $44,365 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
       
      Options:
      2.8L Duramax Turbodiesel Four - $3,730
      Bose Audio System - $500.00
      8" Color Touchscreen with GMC Intellilink and Navigation - $495.00
      Spray-On Bed Liner - $475.00
      Copper Red Metallic Pain - $395.00
      Driver Alert Package - $395.00
       
      Year: 2016
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Tacoma
      Trim: Limited 4X4 Double Cab
      Engine: 3.5L Atkinson Cycle V6 with Dual VVT-i
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 278 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 265 @ 4,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/23/20
      Curb Weight: 4,480 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: San Antonio, TX
      Base Price: $37,820
      As Tested Price: $41,024 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
       
      Options:
      Tonneau Cover - $650.00
      V6 Tow Package - $650.00
      5" Chrome Oval Tube Step - $535.00
      Carpet Floor Mats w/Door Sill - $209.00
      Mudgaurds - $140.00
      Bed Mat - $120.00
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