Filed under: Truck , Toyota , New Car Reviews The Toyota Tundra is the automotive version of off-brand Cheerios: it doesn’t dominate the market, and it’s not the first model people think of when they hear the term “pickup truck.” Ford , General Motors and Ram dominate the segment with vehicles that offer ridiculous levels of towing and payload capacities and models loaded with luxury items and primed with tech-rich engines. The off-brands, meanwhile, are led by the Tundra, which while still accounting for six-figure sales (112,732 units in 2013, up from 101,621 in 2012), sits well behind the F-150s and Silverados of the world. After our first drive of the revamped 2014 Tundra , we came away thinking this truck is a total underachiever, aimed at placating Toyota loyalists and doing little to win over new customers. But everybody deserves a second chance, and we thought a week’s drive in a different environment might lead to a different – or at least a more fully realized – opinion. While the Tundra might not be an industry leader, it still makes it on many truck buyers’ shopping lists. So, should you consider this off-brand pickup truck? To find out, we borrowed a top-of-the-line Tundra Platinum for a week. Read on to see what we found. Continue reading 2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum 4×4 2014 Toyota Tundra Platinum 4×4 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Feb 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Chicago Auto Show , SUV , Truck , Toyota , Off-Road With a rich history of creating off-road worthy trucks and SUVs and a somewhat bland impression of its brand overall, Toyota has wisely created a line of TRD Pro Series vehicles to spice up its showrooms and newly engage customers. Debuting at this year’s Chicago Auto Show before rolling into dealers this fall, the TRD-tuned vehicles include the 4Runner , Tacoma and Tundra , all with added rough-road gear and amped-up looks. The TRD Pro Series trucks might end up, in many cases, as lifestyle accessories for outdoorsy types, but that doesn’t mean they’re all show. TRD springs and Bilstein dampers are set up for off-road performance, while skid plates will protect the softish underbellies of these would-be rock-crawlers. The trio all get lifted over stock height, as well, with two-inch gains for the Tundra and Tacoma (lovingly referred to as “Taco Supreme” in the Toyota press release), and an inch-and-a-half rise for the 4Runner. We detailed all of the changes to the Pro Series vehicles in our original announcement post , and you’ll also find more granularity of information in the Toyota press release below . Before you dive in, however, be sure to take in our set of live, action-packed images from the Chicago Show floor. Continue reading Toyota demos its TRD Pro Series line [w/video] Toyota demos its TRD Pro Series line [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 07 Feb 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Chicago Auto Show , Truck , Toyota , Design/Style , Off-Road To the general public, Toyota is often thought of as a maker of bland but dependable cars, crossovers and SUVs that get their owners and a whole herd of whatever from Point A to Point B. Generally speaking, they’re fuel efficient, comfortable and affordable. What the general public may not realize, however, is that Toyota enjoys a very strong history of going off road, too. The legendary Land Cruiser arguably established the trend, helping explore remote parts of the globe, while various guerilla warfare outfits and world military branches have unwittingly joined up with the boys from Top Gear to help cement the Hilux pickup’s reputation for invincible performance. Now, though, Toyota is launching a new line of trucks and SUVs in the US that are even more explicitly targeted at hitting the trails. Meet the TRD Pro Series. Featuring the 4Runner , Tacoma and Tundra , each Pro Series vehicle features TRD-tuned springs with Bilstein shocks, a TRD front skid plate, a TRD shifter, black wheels, branded floor mats and a “TOYOTA” grille badge, the latter of which harkens back to classic models. TRD Pro Series vehicles will be offered in the new Inferno paint color shown above, as well as Black and Super White. The Tundra benefits from softer TRD springs that also provide a two-inch lift and a better ride in the rough, while the truck itself rides on 18-inch wheels with Michelin ORP tires. Each truck gains an extra two inches of wheel travel in front and 1.25 inches in back, while a TRD dual exhaust should generate a nicer sound than the trucks’s standard V8 engine.
Filed under: Budget , Hybrid , Minivan/Van , Sedan , Truck , Recalls , Safety , Toyota When we reported yesterday on Toyota’s stop-sale order of certain 2013 and 2014 models due to an issue with the fabrics on models with heated seats not conforming to flammability regulations, one of our many questions was how many vehicles were affected? More importantly, how many of those cars have already found homes? Kelley Blue Book has the troubling statistics. Every 2013 and 2014 Avalon features heated seats. 6.2-percent of 2013 and 4.5-percent of 2014 Camry sedans, meanwhile, were sold with heated seats. That doesn’t seem as bad as 100-percent of the larger Avalon, until you consider the Camry’s huge volume – the 5.6-percent average still accounts for a lot of cars. Sienna minivans are heavily affected as well, with a total of 37-percent of 2013s and 46-percent of 2014s fitted with butt warmers. The stop-sale only affects 7-percent of 2014 Corolla models, but like the Camry, that number is rather misleading due to the sheer volume of cars Toyota moves. You can see the entire breakdown of percentages by clicking on the inset image. According to Karl Brauer, a senior analyst for KBB, this problem comes at the worst possible time.
Filed under: Minivan/Van , Sedan , Truck , Safety , Toyota , Luxury Toyota has issued a stop-sale order on six of its core models due to concerns about the flammability of certain seat fabrics. The issue rests not with the cloth and leather covers themselves, but with a piece of seat heater beneath them that fails to meet US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for flame retardancy. There have been no reports of fires or injuries from the affected cars, which include some of Toyota’s biggest volume sellers. 2013 and 2014 Camry , Camry Hybrid , Avalon and Sienna models equipped with heated seats are included in the stop-sale, as are 2014 Tundra pickups and Corolla sedans. The exact number of vehicles with the non-compliant materials are still being tabulated, according to The Detroit Free Press . According to a Toyota spokesman, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been notified, although it remains to be seen if a recall will be issued. Outside of a full recall, though, it’s unclear how Toyota will deal with vehicles equipped with the flammable materials that have already found homes. In the meantime, Toyota is reportedly developing a fix for those vehicle still sitting on dealer lots. UPDATE : John Hanson, National Manager, Environmental, Quality, and Safety Communications for Lexus, has confirmed to Autoblog that no Lexus models are affected by this seat fabric issue. We have not yet heard back from Scion, but we’ll update this post as soon as we do .
Filed under: Truck , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , Off-Road Toyota may be expanding its pickup truck production at its San Antonio, TX factory following calls from dealers for more Tacoma and Tundra models, according to a new report from Automotive News . The San Antonio plant is currently able to produce 250,000 trucks on two shifts with overtime, while a secondary facility in Tijuana, Mexico can build an extra 50,000 Tacomas. Despite this capacity, and the fact that Tundra is a slow seller relative to the full-size trucks from Ford , Ram and Chevrolet / GMC (not to mention the Tacoma being part of a segment with diminishing sales), Toyota franchisees apparently can’t get enough of the trucks. “Dealers are telling us they could sell more Tacomas and Tundras,” said Bill Fay , the general manager of the Toyota Division. “We are evaluating our footprint and capacity.” According to AN, Toyota has moved over 248,000 trucks through November. Whether the Japanese brand will expand, though, remains an open question. “We have 2008 and 2009 fresh in our minds, when the pickup market dropped from 2.5 million to 1.1 million,” Fay told AN. “But we also need to be flexible for three years down the road from now.” With the launch of the restyled Tundra resulting in 101,744 units sold so far in 2013 and Fay predicting 137,000 Tundras finding a home in 2014, Toyota faces a difficult decision – short dealers who are aching for more trucks or make a big investment and risk a low return. Toyota mulling more Tundra, Tacoma capacity in TX originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 Dec 2013 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .