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    Toyota unveils the 2013 Toyota Avalon



    Drew Dowdell

    Managing Editor

    Cheersandgears.com

    April 5th, 2012

    Toyota today unveiled the 2013 Toyota Avalon at the New York Auto Show. The Avalon moves to the new Corporate face of Toyota as seen on the Camry while also moving to the new Camry platform introduced late last year.

    Toyota calls the styling on the Avalon bold and sporty... which we will leave that judgement up to you. The host of suspension and performance improvements are detailed in the press release on page 2.

    2013 Toyota Avalon 032


    The Sensational New 2013 Toyota Avalon Makes World Debut at the 2012 New York International Auto Show

    NEW YORK, (April 5, 2012) – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. revealed the all-new 2013 Avalon premium mid-size sedan today at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. The new Avalon is re-conceived for the premium mid-size sedan segment with a progressive and emotionally styled exterior design.

    When it arrives to dealerships late this year, the new Avalon will offer improved dynamic performance, a greater degree of refinement, and a highly spacious, comfortable interior experience with an abundance of outstanding convenience technologies.

    The new 2013 Avalon is the result of a North American-focused design and engineering effort. The new sedan’s dramatic exterior and interior design was conceived by a youthful and talented team at the Calty Design Research Inc. facilities in Southern California and Michigan. The car’s engineering development was principally led by a passionate and dedicated group based at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Continuing a North American focused theme, the 2013 Avalon will be assembled at Toyota’s facility in Georgetown, Ky. True to the future product mission set forth by Toyota Motor Corporation President, Akio Toyoda, the new Avalon’s more stylish, bold, sporty exterior design and luxurious interior styling are matched by an enhanced dynamic package, a combination that foreshadows the more compelling and passionate nature of future Toyota products.

    Enhanced Avalon Dynamics

    In addition to its stunning design, numerous structural and chassis improvements were made to the new Avalon to enhance the ride quality, straight-line stability and handling. The body structure gains improvements in torsional rigidity thanks to additional and strategically placed welds, improved body bracing, and high-strength steel in key areas in order to provide a stiffer chassis and optimize suspension performance. The new Avalon suspension relies on MacPherson struts with advanced valving and rebound springs to balance handling and agility with ride comfort. Coil spring rate and front and rear sway bar stiffness was increased from the current model to help improve body control and body roll. The Avalon’s electric power steering (EPS) system has been tuned to help deliver enhanced controllability and vehicle agility while also realizing superior linear stability.

    The new Avalon offers three distinct drive modes that help tailor dynamic performance to the driver’s needs. The drive modes - Normal, Eco, and Sport -are made available through driver-selectable switches. In Sport mode, throttle response is enhanced and steering effort is weighted from center to offer a sportier character. Eco changes throttle response and A/C power usage to help improve fuel economy. Steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters help provide a sportier drive while in the D or S Mode, where the revised throttle helps improve shift response to help maximize engine power and vehicle performance.

    Dynamic Exterior Styling

    The new Avalon’s dynamic exterior styling defines a sleek and expressive profile that helps communicate a sense of motion for the vehicle even when it is at rest. The beltline has been lowered to accentuate a strong stance. Compared to its predecessor, the new Avalon is a bit more compact yet displays better proportions with a longer, sloping roofline, flared front fenders, and reduced front and rear overhangs, lower vehicle height, and reduced body-to-tire gap. New 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheel and tire combinations fill the wheel well to enhance the vehicle’s dynamic exterior expression.

    Key exterior design elements include the square Double-eye PES (Projector Ellipsoid System) headlamps with HID (High-Intensity Discharge)and elegant DRL (Daytime Running Lights) feature available that provide excellent night time visibility while helping define a narrower, more taut and muscular exterior expression. A wider, more assertive grille design provides a bolder front perspective. At the rear, high-performance LED combination tail lamps are adopted which are more integrated with the revised rear-body styling. The dual rear tailpipe outlets further the more cohesive design theme.

    Modern Interior Experience

    Design elements enhancing comfort, convenience and technology help create the luxurious experience that will prove tempting to buyers of the next Avalon. The 2013 Avalon offers a modern, spacious, premium interior highlighted by abundant rear seat legroom, while featuring a myriad of available features. Beyond mere dimensions, the new Avalon’s interior design enhances the cabin’s sense of spaciousness and comfort. The front seat’s hip point has been lowered by 10 millimeters (0.4 inches) to help create improved headroom. The new power front seat design with increased side bolstering is more supportive and offers an expanded range of downward adjustment. In addition, the structural components of the sunroof and the headliner design have been optimized to help increase the cabin’s roominess. A concave dash panel design, located in front of the passenger, helps create an expansive feeling. While the rear overhang has been reduced by 1.7 inches, the luggage compartment capacity is 16.0 cubic feet, an increase of 1.6 cubic feet as compared to the outgoing model.

    The Avalon’s premium interior attains a high level of refinement by reducing wind, engine and road noise inside the cabin. The resultant interior is even significantly quieter and more comfortable than the current Avalon and it creates an ideal environment to enjoy conversation, music or Toyota’s available multimedia system, Entune™. Sound absorbing materials have been strategically placed around the cabin and body structure while not inhibiting a reduction in overall vehicle weight. The windshield and front side-glass panels utilize acoustic glass that helps control sound intrusion into the cabin. Reductions in wind noise have been realized by optimizing exterior shape, specifically cowl and louver sealing, outer mirror shape and position, and wiper-blade position, which have all been developed to dramatically reduce wind noise generation. Exterior gaps and steps have also been minimized to reduce wind noise around the door glass areas.

    The new Avalon’s interior utilizes premium materials and a high degree of craftsmanship to offer an upscale experience. Rich, supple leather trims the steering wheel, shift knob, and seat upholstery helping add visual and tactile appeal. Hand-crafted, decorative stitching is adopted for the steering wheel, and soft-touch materials on the dash panel and door trim elevate the vehicle’s sense of tactile luxury. Smoked chrome-metallic accents are applied to the instrument panel, center console, door panel, and steering wheel surfaces to help add distinction and exceptional feel. Available push-button controlled soft white ambient lighting illuminates key regions of the interior to help convey the sense of luxury. The new Avalon’s center console includes a convenient console tray that is ideal for the storage of electronic hand held devices. The new Avalon’s console area is equipped with a USB port, AUX input terminal and three 12-volt power outlets to help facilitate device interface and charging.

    The new Avalon will offer innovative technologies such as advanced capacitive touch switches with positioning and sensitivity that makes them ideal for vehicle system controls. Other premium in-car technologies include three color display screens that support the multi-information display, the audio/navigation interface, and the climate control panel. An easy to use Display Audio system with 6.1 inch touchscreen is standard on the new Avalon; while a JBL Synthesis Premium Audio system, HDD Premium Navigation with 7” screen, dynamic radar cruise control, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and a three-zone air conditioning system are also on the list of available features and equipment.

    Safety

    Like all Toyota models, the new Avalon will feature Toyota’s Star Safety System™ standard, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, and Smart Stop Technology brake-override system.

    The new Avalon helps to prioritize occupant safety with a best-in-class10 airbags system. A Pre-collision system is also available that is designed to “sense” an impending frontal collision and can help mitigate damage. A variable ratio brake pedal is adopted that varies the initial and final pedal effort ratios to help realize excellent brake pedal feel.

    In addition to a rearview monitor, Avalon offers an available Blind Spot Monitoring system which is designed to help detect vehicles behind the outer mirrors and to help alert drivers in addition to a new Rear Cross Traffic Alert system (RCTA) that can alert drivers of cross traffic when they are backing up.

    Key Dimensional Comparison

    2013 Avalon

    2012 Avalon

    Overall Length

    195.3 in. (4960 mm)

    197.6 in. (5020 mm)

    Overall Width

    72.2 in. (1835 mm)

    72.8 in. (1850 mm)

    Overall Height

    57.5 in. (1460 mm)

    58.5 in. (1485 mm)

    Wheelbase

    111 in. (2820 mm)

    111 in. (2820 mm)

    Front Tread

    62.6 in. (1590 mm)

    62.2 in. (1580 mm)

    Rear Tread

    62.2 in. (1580 mm)

    61.6 in. (1565 mm)

    Front Overhang

    38.8 in. (985 mm)

    39.4 in. (1000 mm)

    Rear Overhang

    45.5 in. (1155 mm)

    47.2 in. (1200 mm)

    Curb Weight

    3,497 lbs. (estimated)

    3,616 lbs. (Avalon model)

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    Yuck... Personally I think the Impala blows this out of the water. Even the LaCrosse, which has been around for a few years now looks much better than this thing IMHO...

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    The taillights remind me of the last generation Sonata. The upper grille is vaguely Honda-ish. The 6-window fastback sedan profile seems to be the trend these days...so many similar rooflines.

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    I'm getting this wierd "XTS rip-off" vibe from the profile shots of the new Avalon.

    The front fascia, especially the lower grille, is also very derivative of recent Ford and Hyundai designs.

    I hate it.

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    WOW, The dash is a chop chop mess, the butt reminds me of Hyundia, The front screams Honda and the C or D pillar depending on how you want to classify it is a major blind spot that idiot lovers of Toyota will buy and ignor and end up hitting other cars.

    I find people who buy the Avalon and Camry tend to be just stupid of everything else around them. They seem to take no responsibility for checking over their shoulders and mirrors and doing a safe lane change. This car will sell and we will see plenty of bumps and broken body panels.

    Over all, not sure who the Hell at Toyota seems to have the handle on style, but this is a F+ for Failure.

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    It is less bland than before, but the only reason the old Avalon sold was because it was super boring and old folks liked it. The seniors might be a little put off by this.

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    Seems as though EVERYBODY'S jumping on the long-roof, 6-window, short deck sedan bandwagon.

    GM - XTS and Impala

    Toyoduh - Avalon

    Ford - Fusion and MKZ

    Audi - A7... the inspiration for all this, so soon after its intro?

    It seems way too coincidental... but everybody's out at once... corporate spying seems to be alive and well in design houses across the globe.

    My runaway favourites are Impala and A7. I'm especially proud of Chevrolet's hot new Impala.

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    Audi - A7... the inspiration for all this, so soon after its intro?

    I wouldn't give the A7 that much credit. The Impala has had the six-window glasshouse since 2000 or 1994, depending on how you look at it.

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    Audi - A7... the inspiration for all this, so soon after its intro?

    I wouldn't give the A7 that much credit. The Impala has had the six-window glasshouse since 2000 or 1994, depending on how you look at it.

    Yes, but the fastback aspect of the c-pillar flowing into the decklid is quite similar to the A7 and several other recent cars..

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    Paulie, just as you fall asleep tonight, you'll hear a whisper... "VERAAAANNNOOOOO....."

    answer the call, Paulie... ;)

    I like the Verano, but if I'm going to spend $26,000 on a car, I rather invest in a 2010 LaCrosse CXL. Remember, I'm 6'3". Granted when I sat in one I had very nice leg room, I still felt as though I was in a small car. The major thing enticing me about the Verano is that gas is $4.21/gallon, for 87 self-serve here.

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    Paulie, just as you fall asleep tonight, you'll hear a whisper... "VERAAAANNNOOOOO....."

    answer the call, Paulie... ;)

    Your just way too funny!!! :roflmao:

    The Verano is also a great vehicle for us big folks, Me being 6'6" tall if we wanted a small CUV, then this is great. But it is still a small auto.

    Edited by dfelt
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    i like this. like the Impala better, but still. this is ok for toyota.

    13 altima is a watermark in my opinion. 38 mpg, large car, 22 grand, all the stuff. looks good. style the camry and accord don't. low price, leases well. will be competitive or superlative mechanically.

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    While Datsun is an agreeable company, imo, the new Altima is too evolutionary when judged against the revolutionary sedans that debuted with it. Evolutionary may have worked since the first redesign of the breakthrough 2002 model, but that template is now at least 11 years old.

    Everybody else has gone all stark and FutureThink on us. They've blinded us with science, and my eyesight has been slow to recover, but I'm starting to see the light.

    Seeing the new Camry on the road, with it's squared-off, compact-looking body, it has grown on me. The new Fusion looks good, and this Avalon has planted a seed of approval in my brain that is beginning to sprout, which surprises me. I am ready to accept these new designs.

    The jar to the brain dealt by first sighting the 2014 Impala was the quickest to mellow into lurve, but the Avalon I now see as a cut-rate Audi A7, down to the shaver grille. There are worse cars to copy, imo.

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    camry and avalon are VERY distinctive = this works well for Toyota.

    Nissan's Altima being somewhat evolutionary will be a major plus for them. Nissan has established a very predictable design continuity with the Altima now since 03 or 04 and look at the sales go off the chart and it may not knock off Camry but I think the Accord has some trouble.

    Still not much digging the new Fusion, even if the MKz has grown on me.

    WAYYY too many sedans out there....

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      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
       

      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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