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    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro CrewMax

      It is old, but still has some tricks.

    The Toyota Tundra holds the title of being the oldest full-size truck, coming in at thirteen years without any sort of redesign. On one hand, this makes the Tundra a very reliable and dependable truck. On the other hand, the Tundra isn’t able to fully compete with the likes GM, Ram, or Ford with their more modern designs and hardware. But there is one exception to this where the Tundra can be a good alternative to the Detroit Three, and it comes in the form of the TRD Pro.

    • Color can do a lot to a vehicle such as making an older model look modern or highlighting some of the polarizing elements of a design. This Army Green paint, which is new on all TRD Pros for 2020 makes the Tundra look younger and a bit more aggressive. 
    • Inside, you can tell that the Tundra is getting up there in age. The design hasn’t changed much and material quality cannot even compare to the likes of GM and Ram’s trucks. But I like the large buttons and knobs for various controls. Not only does it make it easier to find, but it means you can have a set of gloves on and easily control various aspects.
    • One key improvement for 2020 is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto being added to the Tundra’s Entune system, which gives drivers another choice in their infotainment choices.
    • The Crewmax model seen here is huge. Step into the back seat and you might think you entered a limo with an endless amount of head and legroom on offer. I do wish the seats had a little bit more padding.
    • Only one engine is available on the 2020 Tundra; a 5.7L V8 with 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. This is teamed with a six-speed automatic and four-wheel drive.
    • This engine provides plenty of thrust and provides an engine burble that you might expect from one of the Detroit three’s V8 trucks. The automatic is very smooth when changing gear and seems to where it needs to be in any situation.
    • The downside to this V8 is fuel economy. The EPA says TRD Pro CrewMax will return 13 City/17 Highway/14 Combined. I saw an average of 14.2 mpg during my week of a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. Maybe a couple more gears for the automatic could improve this.
    • Toyota has kitted the Tundra TRD Pro with some serious off-road chops; Fox internal bypass dampers for all four corners, TRD springs that increase wheel travel, and a set of Michelin LTX off-road tires. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to try it off-road. But other reviewers who have taken it off the beaten path report the TRD Pro is very capable. 
    • What I can report is the changes to the suspension makes for a surprisingly comfortable ride.
    • This suspension does mean you will experience a fair amount of body roll when cornering, but that is to be expected with a truck like this.
    • My Tundra TRD Pro CrewMax starts at $52,780. With some accessories and destination, the price climbs $55,020.
    • The Tundra is getting long in the tooth as evidenced by the interior and poor fuel economy from the V8 engine. But the TRD Pro helps freshen the Tundra a bit and makes a compelling option for those who plan on spending more time off the beaten path.

    Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Tundra, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2020
    Make: Toyota
    Model: Tundra
    Trim: TRD Pro CrewMax
    Engine: 5.7L DOHC 32-Valve i-FORCE V8
    Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 381 @ 5,600
    Torque @ RPM: 401 @ 3,600
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/17/14
    Curb Weight: N/A
    Location of Manufacture: San Antonio, TX 
    Base Price: $52,780
    As Tested Price: $55,020 (Includes $1,495.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Chrome Tube Steps - $535.00
    Stainless Steel Door Edge Guard - $140.00
    Door Sill Protector - $70.00

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    LOL 14 MPG average?  NOPE.

    Plus it continues to irk me when I see US flags and other patriotic stickers on foreign vehicles.  Should be a white field with a red dot, not our dear old Stars & Stripes on there.

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    2 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    LOL 14 MPG average?  NOPE.

    Plus it continues to irk me when I see US flags and other patriotic stickers on foreign vehicles.  Should be a white field with a red dot, not our dear old Stars & Stripes on there.

    Well, it is built in San Antonio Texas.  At the same time, I see no reason to actually BUY a Tundra.

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    On 7/22/2020 at 4:01 PM, balthazar said:

    $55K? For a toyoter??

    >>"On one hand, this makes the Tundra a very reliable and dependable truck. "<<
    Does it?

    Yep, it does. That V8 is still old school with none of that annoying DOD tech that seems to fail on the other trucks to save a little fuel. To start/stop tech which is still quite annoying.... or even turbo engines.

    Less stuff to break. 🙂  Still an ugly truck though......

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    On 7/22/2020 at 1:19 PM, ocnblu said:

    LOL 14 MPG average?  NOPE.

    Plus it continues to irk me when I see US flags and other patriotic stickers on foreign vehicles.  Should be a white field with a red dot, not our dear old Stars & Stripes on there.

    It is built in US and I know personally couple veterans that drive them.  It is what they sacrificed earned people right to buy whatever they want (especially if it is built in US) and put any f@cking stickers they want to on their truck. 

    On 7/22/2020 at 4:01 PM, balthazar said:

    $55K? For a toyoter??

    >>"On one hand, this makes the Tundra a very reliable and dependable truck. "<<
    Does it?

    Yes it does.  More reliable than F-150 and Silverado based what I hear from my coworkers that drive trucks.  Old but reliable V8 and electronics that are way less glitchy.  Not necessary better but they are more reliable.

    Edited by ykX
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    1 hour ago, ykX said:

    It is built in US and I know personally couple veterans that drive them.  It is what they sacrificed earned people right to buy whatever they want (especially if it is built in US) and put any f@cking stickers they want to on their truck. 

    Yes it does.  More reliable than F-150 and Silverado based what I hear from my coworkers that drive trucks.  Old but reliable V8 and electronics that are way less glitchy.  Not necessary better but they are more reliable.

    When your dated like a baby boomer, in a baby boomer's eyes it might seem more reliable, but clearly it is stuck in the past. I have seen just as many on tow trucks as I have seen fords or GM. 

    Would be interesting to see the average age of buyers for these trucks.

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    While some folk may quibble with the definition of 'reliable', I can't ignore all-too-common examples of toyoter engineering/ quality/ reliability  like this

    tac.jpg

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    10 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    While some folk may quibble with the definition of 'reliable', I can't ignore all-too-common examples of toyoter engineering/ quality/ reliability  like this

    tac.jpg

    You should find even older pictures to prove your point.  My co-worker Silverado rusted so bad he could not pass inspection.

     

    27 minutes ago, David said:

    When your dated like a baby boomer, in a baby boomer's eyes it might seem more reliable, but clearly it is stuck in the past. I have seen just as many on tow trucks as I have seen fords or GM. 

    Would be interesting to see the average age of buyers for these trucks.

    I am in 40s and my colleagues are in early 50s.

    Few after having Silverado or F-150 with numerous electrical or reliability issues swore next one will be Tundra.  As a matter of fact I have two co-workers, one with 2014 F-150 and another with 2014 Tundra.  F-150 had and still has a lot of electrical issues, stereo doesn't work right, backup camera stops working, windows refuse to go up etc, etc.  Tundra had absolutely no issues at all.

    Edited by ykX
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    3 hours ago, ykX said:

    It is built in US

    Honestly...

    Big PHOQUING deal that its built in the US...

    It REALLY means nothing...

    3 hours ago, ykX said:

    I know personally couple veterans that drive them.  It is what they sacrificed earned people right to buy whatever they want

    Sure!   Americans...Canadians...are FREE to buy what they want.

    So are German and Japanese folk. These people are FREE to buy whatever they want too.

    Oh...please stop with this bullshyte argument insinuating that ONLY Americans have fought  for their freedoms for their people to be free.

    France, Britain, Greece and many many many....many many many....many many other nations and tribes and clans over the hundreds of thousands of years humans have been roaming the phoquing planet have fought oppressions of all  kinds JUST to be free... 

    3 hours ago, ykX said:

    (especially if it is built in US) and put any f@cking stickers they want to on their truck. 

    Yeah but....really though.

    Where is the REAL American pride?

    Germans and Japanese in Germany and Japan ALL buy cars that are OWNED by German and Japanese firms...   These people are TRULY proud to be...   They believe in their engineering.

    I guess anything engineered in America is crap?  

    THAT is what you believe?

    Look at the last 150 years, including 2020, and YOU tell ME with a straight face that America sucks in engineering stuff.   

    Made in America by a foreign company means absolutely NOTHING...

    Toyoter (and evidently that dumb rag of a mag consumer report) has BRAINWASHED you into thinking all kinds of stupid things....)

    3 hours ago, ykX said:

    Yes it does.  More reliable than F-150 and Silverado based what I hear from my coworkers that drive trucks.  Old but reliable V8 and electronics that are way less glitchy.  Not necessary better but they are more reliable.

    Case in point...

    All those frame rusts, all those engine slugs, all those runaway cars...and Consumer Reports, nor yourself...have ANY hatred towards Toyoter, but you loathe GM?

    You ARE free to think what you wanna think and buy what you wanna buy... 

    I aint here to change your mind about NOTHING.  I dont care!

    But...Im letting YOU know...I aint falling for YOUR bullshyte argument...

    And Im calling you out on it...

     

    Edited by oldshurst442
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    It looks pretty sweet and that's half of what matters in a vehicle. 

    1 hour ago, balthazar said:

    While some folk may quibble with the definition of 'reliable', I can't ignore all-too-common examples of toyoter engineering/ quality/ reliability  like this

    tac.jpg

    "common", look how old that truck is. That wasn't made this decade.

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    @oldshurst442 What are you rumbling about? 

    If something means nothing to you it doesn't means it means nothing to other people.  Yes, Toyota is Japanese company, but Tundra is designed and built in US giving jobs to thousands people in US.  On the American Made index Tundra is rated at #16 while F-150 is rated #44, SIlverado is at #77.

    And BTW those frame rusts everyone comes back to all the time were happening 20 years ago.  That argument is long gone.  

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    30 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

    Given how old the Tundra is, it still looks good.   Don't see them often here, maybe more common on the West Coast..

    Yup, plenty of the Turda out here. Plenty of the old Toy Pickups with frame issues too.

    image.png

    This is a pic from Pittsburg where they salt so heavily to insure making you have to buy a new auto every 4 to 5 years I guess. :P 

    image.png

    New England talking about how fast the frames rust out due to the salt exposure.

    image.png

    2004 Toyota Tacoma has the frame rust out in 2016. 12 years. I have never seen this on a Ford or GM truck before. But I do get that everything rusts out.

     

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    Those are all old ones, though...and Tacomas, not Tundras.  The thing I see here in NE Ohio is a lot of cab and bed rust out on 10-20 yr old Rams, Fords and GM trucks...frames probably rusty also. 

    Rusty framed Tacomas from 15-20 years ago have no relevance on what they are building now.

    Edited by Robert Hall
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    • No one said how old the picture I posted was.

    • Yes, they rusted out / broke in half / had to be scrapped a decade ago. But it speaks to the Company that such a occurrence could even happen on their watch. That catastrophic structural failure may not mean much to hardcore loyalists (??), but coupled with the sixty million other vehicles recalled in a decade & a half... that paints a pretty damning portrait.

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    9 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    • No one said how old the picture I posted was.

    • Yes, they rusted out / broke in half / had to be scrapped a decade ago. But it speaks to the Company that such a occurrence could even happen on their watch. That catastrophic structural failure may not mean much to hardcore loyalists (??), but coupled with the sixty million other vehicles recalled in a decade & a half... that paints a pretty damning portrait.

    Rusty framed Tacomas from 15-20 years ago have no relevance to what they are building now.

    Just like the ignition recall on old vehicles has no relevance to what GM is building now. 

    Edited by Robert Hall
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    The warranty campaign covered up to 2012 vehicles. That's 8 years ago, not 20. [How old is the current tundra's frame?]

    No; a single event doesn't necc mean anything RE a current, different product. But a monsoon of problems, deficiencies, engineering cost-cutting and recalls over 20 years speaks loudly to a corporate mindset / SOP. Plenty of choices out there, not worth the risk on a mediocre appliance.

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    5 minutes ago, balthazar said:


    No; a single event doesn't necc mean anything RE a current, different product. But a monsoon of problems, deficiencies, engineering cost-cutting and recalls over 20 years speaks loudly to a corporate mindset / SOP. Plenty of choices out there, not worth the risk on a mediocre appliance.

    Unfortunately, exactly same thing and even more can be said about GM and Ford products.  

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    47 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    What issues was the Tundra having? All I saw was pictures of the Tacoma. 

    None that I know of...just people stirring up shit...

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    5 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

    None that I know of...just people stirring up &#036;h&#33;...

    That's what it looked like to me. 

    fOrEiGn tRuCk bAd

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    26 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    That's what it looked like to me. 

    fOrEiGn tRuCk bAd

    Sales of Tundras and Tacomas are also SAD compared to the domestics.  Remember that too.

    BTW: Do modern Tacomas have that frame damage issue that 10-20 year old ones do?

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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
  • Posts

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    • It is a great way to shrink the number of underperforming dealers.  Hopefully, all the ones who took the opt-out are the smaller dealers that Cadillac no longer needs.  Anyone knows how many dealers are with other luxury marques?
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