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The past few months at the Cheers & Gears Detroit Bureau has seen some midsize sedans make a second appearance. One has gone the eco-friendly route, another came with some added zip in its sporty model, and the last has undergone some significant changes. The three sedans in question are the Hyundai Sonata Eco, Toyota Camry XSE V6, and 2016 Mazda6.

 

Now if you want to know what we thought of these vehicles originally, you check out our reviews here.

 

2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport
2014 Mazda6 Grand Touring
2015 Toyota Camry SE Hybrid

 

Next: 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco


 

The current Hyundai Sonata is a bit head scratcher. When the new model was shown last year at the New York Auto Show, it looked like Hyundai dropped the ball. While the automaker had made a number of improvements in terms of the interior and the engine, the big item of the exterior design was somewhat forgotten. The sleek shape had been changed for something a bit more conservative. This has caused sales to slump and Hyundai to order a refresh a year sooner than expected.

 

But even with these problems, is there a Sonata model that can stand above the rest? As we found out earlier this year, it isn’t the Sonata Sport 2.0T as it has a number of problems with being sporty. Let’s see if the Hyundai Sonata Eco can do it.

 


2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco 5


What makes the Eco different from other Sonata models is under the hood. Hyundai employs a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder with 177 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Aside from this and an Eco badge on the trunk, it looks like the standard Sonata. But the Eco doesn’t drive like the standard model. With the torque arriving at 1,500 and continuing towards 4,500 rpm, this means the Eco’s has power readily available when you’re leaving a stop and continues onwards. Power comes on smoothly and linearly. The only downside to this powertrain is the dual-clutch transmission stumbles a bit due to slow shifts and occasional juddering. It should be noted that Hyundai has made some improvements to the DCT since we’ve driven the Sonata Eco, and the improvements are noticeable when we drove Tucson with this transmission.

 

The other difference between the Sonata Eco and other trims comes in the form of fuel economy. The EPA rates the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco at 28 City/38 Highway/32 Combined. This is slightly better than the standard Sonata with 25 City/37 Highway/29 Combined. My week of driving saw an average of 33.4 MPG, slightly above the combined figure.

 

In the ride and handling department, the Sonata Eco is quite a comfortable car as the suspension keeps most bumps from reaching the interior. Road and wind noise are kept to acceptable levels. Those who want a bit of sport should look towards the Mazda6 as it offers the driver a bit more information and enjoyment on the curves.

 

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco starts at $23,275, about $2,125 more than the base SE model. Considering what comes standard - a power drivers seat, backup camera, five-inch touchscreen radio, and a chrome front grille - the Eco is quite a good value. Our test Eco came with the optional tech package which adds $4,100 to the base price. But the package transforms the Eco into a handsomely loaded model with such features as blind-spot monitoring, dual-zone climate control, eight-inch touchscreen with navigation, leather seats, heated front seats, and push-button start.

 

The Eco may be the best all-around trim in the Hyundai Sonata lineup. Not only does it offer impressive fuel economy for a midsize sedan, it comes well equipped and boasts a price tag that will not make you wonder if you spent too much. For many, it might be the right sedan.

 

 

Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Sonata Eco, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

 

Year: 2015
Make: Hyundai
Model: Sonata
Trim: Eco
Engine: 1.6L Turbocharged, Direct-Injected Four-Cylinder
Driveline: Seven-Speed Dual Clutch, Front-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 178 @ 5,500
Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500 - 4,500
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/38/32
Curb Weight: 3,250 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, AL
Base Price: $23,275
As Tested Price: $28,310 (Includes $810.00 Destination Charge)

 

Options:
Tech Package - $4,100
Carpet Floor Mats - $125.00

 

Next: 2016 Mazda6 Grand Touring


 

Small changes can make a big difference to a vehicle. No one is a bigger believer to this mantra than Mazda. A classic example is the CX-5. When it launched in 2013, the crossover drew me in with its sharp looks and impressive handling dynamics. But the 2.0L four-cylinder was a bit of a let down as it was a bit underpowered for the vehicle’s weight. Mazda went back and installed a larger 2.5L four-cylinder for the CX-5 and it made a world of difference in overall performance. So imagine taking this idea of making small changes and doing it to another vehicle. Mazda has done that with the 2016 Mazda sedan. Let see what the changes are and if they make the 6 an even better sedan.

 


2016 Mazda6 Grand Touring 5


The outside get some minor changes such as the grille slats draped in chrome and a longer chrome bar that runs underneath the grille. The big changes for the 2016 model are for the interior as Mazda has taken the interior from 3 and placed it into 6. The new dash brings forth improved materials to make it look and feel more premium, along with Mazda’s new infotainment system. This system is a massive improvement over the older one in terms of performance and overall usability. However, Mazda’s system has an odd problem with the navigation system as it shows you traveling on a different road a few hundred feet away than the one you are currently on. Now the system does correct itself, but it takes up to half a minute.

 

One other change for the 2016 Mazda6 is the optional i-Eloop system. This is a regenerative braking system that recycles the kinetic energy that is moving the vehicle into electricity that is stored in a capacitor. The capacitor then feeds that power to various electronic components to help reduce the load on the alternator and improve fuel economy. Now Mazda says the system delivers up five percent better fuel economy. This shows in the 2016 Mazda6’s fuel economy numbers of 28 City/40 Highway/32 Combined, slightly better than the 26 City/38 Highway/30 Combined on the 2014 model. So does it make a difference? Most likely as my average for the week in the 2016 model was 31 MPG, three MPGs higher than the 2014 model.

 

Aside from all of these changes, the Mazda6 is still one of the best driving midsize sedans on sale. The 2.5L Skyactiv-G engine gets up to speed at a quick rate, while the six-speed automatic is one the fastest and smoothest shifting transmissions on sale. Mazda also hasn’t changed the fun-to-drive characteristics we loved in our original road test of the 6. One item we wished Mazda would work on is noise isolation. Road and wind noise were very apparent when driving the 6 on the expressway.

 

The 2016 Mazda6 shows the little changes can take a sedan that is considered by many to be one of best and make and make it that much more.

 

 

Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the 6, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

 

Year: 2016
Make: Mazda
Model: 6
Trim: Grand Touring
Engine: Skyactiv-G 2.5L DOHC Four-Cylinder
Driveline: Skyactiv-Drive Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 5,700
Torque @ RPM: 185 @ 3,250
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/40/32
Curb Weight: 3,250 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Hofu, Japan
Base Price: $30,195
As Tested Price: $33,395 (Includes $820.00 Destination Charge)

 

Options:
GT Technology Package - $2,180
Door Sill Trim Plates - $125.00
Cargo Mat - $75.00

 

Next: 2015 Toyota Camry XSE V6


 

Can a Toyota Camry be sporty? Before you start writing comments saying no and telling me that I’m crazy, it is a legitimate question. Consider Toyota’s pledge a couple years ago where it pledged to make their vehicles more engaging. So far, Toyota’s vehicles have looked more exciting. In terms of making them more engaging with driving, it has been mixed. The Avalon Hybrid we thought was a good driving vehicle, while the Corolla S wasn’t. So with that in mind, let us see how the sportiest Camry, the new XSE fares.

 

The 2015 Camry went through a substantial refresh with most of body being changed - aside from the roof. It’s quite dramatic when compared to the previous model. The Camry XSE gets some unique tweaks to make it stand out further such as new mesh grille insert, 18-inch wheels, and dual-exhaust ports. The changes do make the Camry XSE stand out, but it also makes the XSE look like it's trying a bit too hard. Inside the XSE features a number of changes that we delved into our Camry Hybrid SE review including the revised dash with stitching. The only differences for the XSE is a set of faux-suede seats and red stitching. It would be nice if Toyota could do something more to differentiate the Camry XSE from other Camry models in the interior like some new trim pieces specific to the XSE.

 


2015 Toyota Camry XSE V6 5


Power for the XSE comes in the form of a 2.5L four-cylinder as the base, with a 3.5L V6 as an option. Our XSE tester came with the optional V6 which packs 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet. No matter which engine you pick, a six-speed automatic comes standard. The V6 is quite the surprise as it pulls very strong through the rev range and will cause the front wheels to break loose if you aren’t careful with the accelerator. Toyota should also be given some credit for building one of the smoothest and quietest V6 engines on sale. The six-speed automatic shares the smooth characteristics of the engine. Fuel economy for the Camry V6 is rated at 21 City/31 Highway/25 Combined. I saw an average 24 MPG for the week.

 

Now Toyota has made a number of improvements to the XSE to make it sporty such as firmer shocks and springs, new bushings, and a revised ­electric power steering system. So does it make a noticeable improvement to the Camry’s handling? Somewhat. The changes to the suspension do help in terms of body control. But the steering feels a little-bit rubbery and doesn’t provide any increased weight from the standard Camry. At least the Camry XSE provides a somewhat smooth ride.

 

The big problem for the Camry XSE is the value proposition. The base price of the Camry XSE V6 starts at $31,370 and includes LED headlights, a seven-inch touchscreen with Toyota’s Entune infotainment system and navigation; power seats, and dual-zone climate control. However, our test vehicle was fitted with a number of options such as blind-spot monitoring, a JBL audio system, radar cruise control, and lane-departure warning which caused our as-tested price to be $35,768. Considering what you get and how the model doesn’t live up to its sport pretensions, it makes us question whether or not the XSE is worth it.

 

While the XSE is a step in the right direction for in terms of making the Camry a bit more sporty, we think Toyota could have gone a little bit farther in this regard. Also, the value for money equation doesn’t quite work for the Camry XSE. It is a good effort, but Toyota needs to do a bit more work.

 

 

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

 

Year: 2015
Make: Toyota
Model: Camry
Trim: XSE V6
Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-Valve w/Dual-VVTi V6
Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 268 @ 6,200
Torque @ RPM: 248 @ 4,700
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/31/25
Curb Weight: 3,480 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY
Base Price: $31,370
As Tested Price: $35,768 (Includes $525.00 Destination Charge)

 

Options:
Entune Premium JBL Audio with Navigation - $805.00
Technology Package - $750.00
Blind Spot Monitor with Rear-Cross Traffic Alert - $500.00
Remote Start - $499.00
Special Color (Ruby Flare Pearl) - $395.00
Four Seasons Floor Mat Package - $325.00
Illuminated Door Sills - $299.00


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Nice update on these 3 sedans, I still find all 3 to be boring in the design department, interiors are just ok. Not sure what it is about these 3 sedans but they just lack passion and do nothing for making me want to test drive one. It would be interesting to see the long term on a Mazda 6 as coworkers who have the new 2016 model has had it back in for multiple things breaking including the electric system on the drivers seat.

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Nice update on these 3 sedans, I still find all 3 to be boring in the design department, interiors are just ok. Not sure what it is about these 3 sedans but they just lack passion and do nothing for making me want to test drive one. It would be interesting to see the long term on a Mazda 6 as coworkers who have the new 2016 model has had it back in for multiple things breaking including the electric system on the drivers seat.

 

Can I be honest for a moment? Is there any midsize sedan that has passion? I would argue that the Mazda6 is the most passionate of the bunch since it has a distinctive look and is one of the best driving models in the class. (I can't say anything about reliability though since I only get vehicles for a week - Mazda, could you hand over a 6 for a few months? ;-)

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Nice update on these 3 sedans, I still find all 3 to be boring in the design department, interiors are just ok. Not sure what it is about these 3 sedans but they just lack passion and do nothing for making me want to test drive one. It would be interesting to see the long term on a Mazda 6 as coworkers who have the new 2016 model has had it back in for multiple things breaking including the electric system on the drivers seat.

 

Can I be honest for a moment? Is there any midsize sedan that has passion? I would argue that the Mazda6 is the most passionate of the bunch since it has a distinctive look and is one of the best driving models in the class. (I can't say anything about reliability though since I only get vehicles for a week - Mazda, could you hand over a 6 for a few months? ;-)

 

Point well made, :P Your right what mid size sedan that the masses can own really has any passion. It would be great to get one for a few months. I would submit the request to Mazda and see what they say. :D

So in your opinion how does these three stack up against what Ford, GM and Chrysler / Dodge has?

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Every time they redesign the Camry, it essentially catches up to the outgoing generation of midsizers. I've seen several 2015 Camries up close and the build quality and body complexity is where the class was in 2012-2013. That doesn't sound like a big stretch, but consider that the 2012 Camry was already a redesign, one that barely caught up to the 08-10 vehicles like the Malibu, Fusion, and Sonata both in interior and exterior design.

 

Having driven a 2014 SE V6 extensively, I know how much the underpinnings of the "new generation" Camry are lacking dynamically. The car sells on a Toyota reputation for quality and innovation that no longer exists. The V6 remains the best part of the car, but dates back to 2007. Surely if Toyota cared about its product, they could have designed two new engines since then.

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I Had a rental 2014.5 Camry SE 2.5 and was shocked at the abysmal interior quality and the fact it died right in my driveway with a low battery that couldn't start the car the following morning. Apparently this very rental car was to Toyota before for this exact issue and they couldn't find the problem. Luckily I had a battery charger on hand to get the car going and back to the rental agency. Inside the passenger side A-pilar molding plastic piece was coming apart due to a broken plastic clip, the center dash vents popped out onto my drink going over a set of hearty railroad tracks, the cloth seat material was some of the cheapest sand paper like crap i have ever sat in and actually caused a skin rash on the back of my legs on a long trip! That black and painted on fake silver was more appropriate for a 18k Corolla, not a 26K Camry! Haven't driven a new 2015 yet but several interior touch points still feel really cheap starting with the wafer thin headliner, the carryover garbage seat material and the flimsy cup holder divider which always pops out if you have an oversized drink in there.

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We had a 2014 Mazda 6, the first year of the 'current' gen model. 

 

When we got it there was a rattle in it.....took it to the dealership and they took care of it right away as a Technical Service Bulletin was out on in.  Other than that, 50,000+ miles later and not a single problem.

 

That was a huge relief coming off our our 2008 Saturn Vue before it, which had a remarkable list of things that broke or just weren't right that required well over 10 trips to the dealership (seriously, it was like 12 or 13 times we were back while still under warranty)

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      All Tacomas feature updated grille designs, new wheels, and redesigned taillights. TRD Pro models feature new 16-inch wheels that are lighter than last year's model and LED headlights. Toyota has upgraded the infotainment system that now gives the ability to use Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa. The base SR gets a seven-inch screen, while SR5 and higher use an eight-inch screen. A 10-way power adjustment driver's seat is standard on certain Tacoma trims.
      Toyota equips all Tacomas with their Toyota Safety Sense P - includes adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, automatic high beams, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. TRD Pro models get a surround view camera system.
      Not seeing any changes is the engine lineup. The base remains a 2.7L inline-four producing 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Optional is a 3.5L V6 with 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come teamed with a six-speed automatic, while the V6 does have the option of a manual.
      No word on pricing or launch window.
       
      2020 Toyota Tacoma Positioned to Continue Segment Leadership with Host of New Upgrades
      Electronically Power Adjustable Driver Seat Added to Most Grades Upgraded Multimedia with Android Auto, Apple Carplay, Amazon Alexa Compatibility, Available 8” Touchscreen New Grille and Wheel Designs on Most Grades TRD Pro Features Unique Sequential LED Headlight, New Wheel, Standard Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) and Multi Terrain Monitor (MTM) Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) Standard on Limited CHICAGO, February 7, 2019 – With competition in the midsize pickup segment heating up, the Toyota Tacoma says, “Bring it.” The Tacoma has been America’s best-selling midsize pickup for 14 years running, and the 2020 models introduced at the Chicago Auto Show are the best-equipped ever.
      A perennial award winner for segment-leading value, the Tacoma line boosts its appeal for 2020 with revised styling, expanded multimedia tech, added comfort and convenience features and, for the TRD Pro, additional off-road tech. 
      The third-generation Tacoma pickup, with a design inspired by Toyota’s legendary desert race trucks, continues the model’s tradition of working hard and playing hard. With more than 30 configurations in six model grades available, there’s a Tacoma for every need: work-ready SR; high-style, high-value SR5; athletic TRD Sport; adventurous TRD Off-Road; ultimate off-road TRD Pro; and top-of-the-line Limited.
      Nearly all 2020 Tacomas debut a new front grille design and new or updated wheel, each tailored to the specific grade. Inside, a new 10-way power adjustable driver seat with power lumbar support adds comfort on all grades SR5 and up. A new multimedia system now includes Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility. The SR will feature an upgraded 7-inch touchscreen, while SR5 grades and higher will feature a larger 8-inch touchscreen display. A new LED bed lamp is also available to brighten nighttime functionality while consuming less energy.
      Changes Across the Board
      While every Tacoma will receive the upgraded audio system and larger touchscreen display, specific changes unique to each grade are not to be overlooked. 
      The Tacoma SR workhorse gets its share of updates in 2020, including a new grille design and intermittent wiper. Out back, the taillights are revised with a new dark housing. The LED bed lamp is an available option. SR will feature a larger 7-inch touchscreen with new multimedia system that features Android Auto, Apple Carplay, Amazon Alexa and SiriusXM capability, and more. 
      Tacoma SR5 is fitted with a new grille design, a new 16-inch dark satin wheel color, darker taillight housings, and an updated fabric design on the seatback. SR5 will also offer an available LED bed lamp and DRL headlight option. 
      For Tacoma TRD Sport, a new grille and 17-inch wheel highlight the changes. It also adds Passenger Smart Key entry, chrome taillamp inserts, and new LED fog lamps. A new LED DRL and LED headlight is available, as is the new LED bed lamp. The new Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) is available on Sport grades, and it provides views around the truck for easier, safer maneuvering in tight situations.
      Tacoma TRD Off-Road will feature a new front grille design, LED foglamp, chrome insert taillamp and Passenger Smart Key entry. To provide a better view of the terrain under the vehicle, Multi-Terrain Monitor (MTM) is available. A new LED DRL and LED headlight is an available upgrade, as is a LED bed lamp. TRD Off-Road also comes standard with TRD-tuned Bilstein shocks, locking rear differential, Hill Assist Control (HAC), Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control. 
      Tacoma Limited’s look is more premium than ever with a new grille design, 18-inch alloy wheels, standard LED DRL and LED headlamps, and chrome taillamp inserts. It also received the upgraded Smart Key operation on the passenger door. The new Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) is standard equipment on Limited-grade Tacomas.
      Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), standard on every Tacoma grade, includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Sway Warning System, Automatic High Beams and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).
      Tacoma TRD Pro: More Trail-Capable Than Ever
      For 2020, the Tacoma TRD Pro, one of a series of Toyota trucks and SUVs infused with ultimate capability by Toyota Racing Development, returns with a revised look and new
      features. New sequential LED/DRL headlamps, 16-inch wheel design and black-insert taillamps headline the exterior changes. Rigid Industries LED fog lights come standard for improved visibility on and off the highway. Newly available Army Green is the TRD Pro exclusive color for 2020, which will be offered along with Super White, Midnight Black Metallic and Magnetic Gray Metallic. 
      Inside TRD Pro, a new 10-way power seat adds comfort, and the multimedia system is upgraded with the new 8-inch touchscreen display, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, among others. For added convenience, Smart Key functionality now extends to the front passenger door. 
      High-tech trail assistance comes to the fore with the new Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) + Multi Terrain Monitor (MTM). The driver can select front, side, or rear views for improved visibility. When the going really gets rough, under vehicle terrain view can help the driver avoid potential unseen obstacles.
      In other respects, the 2020 Tacoma TRD Pro continues with its roster of hardcore capability. A new 16-inch wheel is added to the mix, which is 4.188 lbs. lighter than the previous version. To complement the changes, TRD updated the tuning of the Fox 2.5-inch internal bypass shocks and front and rear springs. Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Kevlar-reinforced tires stand up to rough terrain.
      The Tacoma TRD Pro comes standard with 4WDemand part-time 4-wheel drive with an electronically controlled transfer case and an electronically controlled locking rear differential. Automatic transmission-equipped Tacomas also further off-road capability and driver confidence with Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Multi-terrain Select, and Crawl Control.
      With standard power moonroof and, on automatic transmission models, JBL Premium Audio, there’s no leaving luxury behind when the pavement ends.
      Tacoma by the Numbers
      Tacoma Access Cab models ride on a 127.4-inch wheelbase and have a 73.7-inch-long bed. The Tacoma Double Cab style is offered as a 127.4-inch wheelbase with a 60.5-inch bed or 140.6-inch wheelbase with the 73.7-inch bed. All models use an inner bed made from a sheet-molded composite (SMC) deck and tough, durable walls that are 10-percent lighter than steel.
      The 2020 Tacoma offers a choice of two tough powertrains. The 2.7-liter DOHC 4-cylinder with 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque, and an available 3.5-liter V6 with 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. Both are teamed to a 6-speed Electronically Controlled Automatic Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i), and the V6 can also be paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. 
      V6-powered Tacomas come standard with the Tow Package – which includes Class IV receiver hitch, automatic transmission fluid cooler, engine oil cooler, power steering cooler, 130-amp alternator, 4 & 7-pin connector with converter, and Trailer-Sway Control. When properly equipped, the Tacoma can pull up to 6,800 lbs. (per the SAE J2807 tow standard).
      The Tacoma is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (TMMTX), in San Antonio and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Baja California (TMMBC), in Baja California, Mexico.
      Previous Page Next Page
      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Previous Page Next Page With the new Ford Ranger beginning to arrive at dealers and the Jeep Gladiator just around the corner, Toyota decided it was time to give the Tacoma a bit of a refresh.
      All Tacomas feature updated grille designs, new wheels, and redesigned taillights. TRD Pro models feature new 16-inch wheels that are lighter than last year's model and LED headlights. Toyota has upgraded the infotainment system that now gives the ability to use Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa. The base SR gets a seven-inch screen, while SR5 and higher use an eight-inch screen. A 10-way power adjustment driver's seat is standard on certain Tacoma trims.
      Toyota equips all Tacomas with their Toyota Safety Sense P - includes adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, automatic high beams, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. TRD Pro models get a surround view camera system.
      Not seeing any changes is the engine lineup. The base remains a 2.7L inline-four producing 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Optional is a 3.5L V6 with 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come teamed with a six-speed automatic, while the V6 does have the option of a manual.
      No word on pricing or launch window.
       
      2020 Toyota Tacoma Positioned to Continue Segment Leadership with Host of New Upgrades
      Electronically Power Adjustable Driver Seat Added to Most Grades Upgraded Multimedia with Android Auto, Apple Carplay, Amazon Alexa Compatibility, Available 8” Touchscreen New Grille and Wheel Designs on Most Grades TRD Pro Features Unique Sequential LED Headlight, New Wheel, Standard Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) and Multi Terrain Monitor (MTM) Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) Standard on Limited CHICAGO, February 7, 2019 – With competition in the midsize pickup segment heating up, the Toyota Tacoma says, “Bring it.” The Tacoma has been America’s best-selling midsize pickup for 14 years running, and the 2020 models introduced at the Chicago Auto Show are the best-equipped ever.
      A perennial award winner for segment-leading value, the Tacoma line boosts its appeal for 2020 with revised styling, expanded multimedia tech, added comfort and convenience features and, for the TRD Pro, additional off-road tech. 
      The third-generation Tacoma pickup, with a design inspired by Toyota’s legendary desert race trucks, continues the model’s tradition of working hard and playing hard. With more than 30 configurations in six model grades available, there’s a Tacoma for every need: work-ready SR; high-style, high-value SR5; athletic TRD Sport; adventurous TRD Off-Road; ultimate off-road TRD Pro; and top-of-the-line Limited.
      Nearly all 2020 Tacomas debut a new front grille design and new or updated wheel, each tailored to the specific grade. Inside, a new 10-way power adjustable driver seat with power lumbar support adds comfort on all grades SR5 and up. A new multimedia system now includes Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility. The SR will feature an upgraded 7-inch touchscreen, while SR5 grades and higher will feature a larger 8-inch touchscreen display. A new LED bed lamp is also available to brighten nighttime functionality while consuming less energy.
      Changes Across the Board
      While every Tacoma will receive the upgraded audio system and larger touchscreen display, specific changes unique to each grade are not to be overlooked. 
      The Tacoma SR workhorse gets its share of updates in 2020, including a new grille design and intermittent wiper. Out back, the taillights are revised with a new dark housing. The LED bed lamp is an available option. SR will feature a larger 7-inch touchscreen with new multimedia system that features Android Auto, Apple Carplay, Amazon Alexa and SiriusXM capability, and more. 
      Tacoma SR5 is fitted with a new grille design, a new 16-inch dark satin wheel color, darker taillight housings, and an updated fabric design on the seatback. SR5 will also offer an available LED bed lamp and DRL headlight option. 
      For Tacoma TRD Sport, a new grille and 17-inch wheel highlight the changes. It also adds Passenger Smart Key entry, chrome taillamp inserts, and new LED fog lamps. A new LED DRL and LED headlight is available, as is the new LED bed lamp. The new Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) is available on Sport grades, and it provides views around the truck for easier, safer maneuvering in tight situations.
      Tacoma TRD Off-Road will feature a new front grille design, LED foglamp, chrome insert taillamp and Passenger Smart Key entry. To provide a better view of the terrain under the vehicle, Multi-Terrain Monitor (MTM) is available. A new LED DRL and LED headlight is an available upgrade, as is a LED bed lamp. TRD Off-Road also comes standard with TRD-tuned Bilstein shocks, locking rear differential, Hill Assist Control (HAC), Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control. 
      Tacoma Limited’s look is more premium than ever with a new grille design, 18-inch alloy wheels, standard LED DRL and LED headlamps, and chrome taillamp inserts. It also received the upgraded Smart Key operation on the passenger door. The new Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) is standard equipment on Limited-grade Tacomas.
      Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), standard on every Tacoma grade, includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Sway Warning System, Automatic High Beams and High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).
      Tacoma TRD Pro: More Trail-Capable Than Ever
      For 2020, the Tacoma TRD Pro, one of a series of Toyota trucks and SUVs infused with ultimate capability by Toyota Racing Development, returns with a revised look and new
      features. New sequential LED/DRL headlamps, 16-inch wheel design and black-insert taillamps headline the exterior changes. Rigid Industries LED fog lights come standard for improved visibility on and off the highway. Newly available Army Green is the TRD Pro exclusive color for 2020, which will be offered along with Super White, Midnight Black Metallic and Magnetic Gray Metallic. 
      Inside TRD Pro, a new 10-way power seat adds comfort, and the multimedia system is upgraded with the new 8-inch touchscreen display, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, among others. For added convenience, Smart Key functionality now extends to the front passenger door. 
      High-tech trail assistance comes to the fore with the new Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) + Multi Terrain Monitor (MTM). The driver can select front, side, or rear views for improved visibility. When the going really gets rough, under vehicle terrain view can help the driver avoid potential unseen obstacles.
      In other respects, the 2020 Tacoma TRD Pro continues with its roster of hardcore capability. A new 16-inch wheel is added to the mix, which is 4.188 lbs. lighter than the previous version. To complement the changes, TRD updated the tuning of the Fox 2.5-inch internal bypass shocks and front and rear springs. Goodyear Wrangler All-Terrain Kevlar-reinforced tires stand up to rough terrain.
      The Tacoma TRD Pro comes standard with 4WDemand part-time 4-wheel drive with an electronically controlled transfer case and an electronically controlled locking rear differential. Automatic transmission-equipped Tacomas also further off-road capability and driver confidence with Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), Multi-terrain Select, and Crawl Control.
      With standard power moonroof and, on automatic transmission models, JBL Premium Audio, there’s no leaving luxury behind when the pavement ends.
      Tacoma by the Numbers
      Tacoma Access Cab models ride on a 127.4-inch wheelbase and have a 73.7-inch-long bed. The Tacoma Double Cab style is offered as a 127.4-inch wheelbase with a 60.5-inch bed or 140.6-inch wheelbase with the 73.7-inch bed. All models use an inner bed made from a sheet-molded composite (SMC) deck and tough, durable walls that are 10-percent lighter than steel.
      The 2020 Tacoma offers a choice of two tough powertrains. The 2.7-liter DOHC 4-cylinder with 159 horsepower and 180 lb-ft of torque, and an available 3.5-liter V6 with 278 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. Both are teamed to a 6-speed Electronically Controlled Automatic Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i), and the V6 can also be paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. 
      V6-powered Tacomas come standard with the Tow Package – which includes Class IV receiver hitch, automatic transmission fluid cooler, engine oil cooler, power steering cooler, 130-amp alternator, 4 & 7-pin connector with converter, and Trailer-Sway Control. When properly equipped, the Tacoma can pull up to 6,800 lbs. (per the SAE J2807 tow standard).
      The Tacoma is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (TMMTX), in San Antonio and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Baja California (TMMBC), in Baja California, Mexico.
      Previous Page Next Page
    • By William Maley
      We've been hearing for some time that Hyundai is planning an N version of the Tucson crossover. Some new details have come to light via a new report from Auto Express.
      According to sources, Hyundai is planning to launch a Tucson N as a swan song for the current model within the next couple of years. The model will be aimed at the likes of the Audi SQ5 and produce around 340 horsepower. 0-60 mph is said to take under six seconds. No mention of what engine will be used, or the various changes to the suspension and braking.
      Source: Auto Express
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