Posts Tagged ‘toyota’

2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro Review

2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro Review 17

by TractionLife.com

     Toyota’s 4Runner is now in its fifth generation, which is quite a remarkable feat in this day and age, but what sets it apart from the majority of sport utility vehicles out there is the fact that it is one of the few that can still tackle the rough stuff with aplomb.

And for something smaller, the all-new 2019 RAV4 and its new rugged look and attitude will undoubtably make the 4Runner a proud older sibling.

2018 Toyota 4Runner Design

Most of the manufacturers have decided to focus their design and engineering dollars towards making their utility vehicles more civilized, with the goal being to maximize comfort, road handling and convenience.

In short, most of the 4Runners former rivals have been neutered to the point that they perform more like station wagons and minivans than adventure vehicles.

Toyota however, has remained keen on maintaining its stranglehold on this segment of the market, one characterized by active individuals who need a safe and roomy vehicle that is able to transport all their toys and gear to the slopes, mountains, or remote fishing hole.

2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro Review side view
In short, most of the 4Runners former rivals have been neutered to the point that they perform more like station wagons and minivans than adventure vehicles. Unfortunately, TRD Pro buyers must make do with five seats, as the seven seat configuration is only available on the Limited model. Pic: Russell Purcell

The 4Runner features a body-on-frame design complete with a solid rear axle and one of the most capable (and proven) four-wheel-drive systems available. As a result, the five or seven passenger 4Runner is rugged and robust enough to plough through just about anything the adventurous consumer may ask it to do.

Unfortunately, TRD Pro buyers must make do with five seats, as the seven seat configuration is only available on the Limited model.

4Runner TRD Pro Off-Road Features

Our test unit was the top-of-the-line TRD Pro model, which comes equipped with beefier Bilstein high-performance shocks (with remote rear reservoirs), TRD -tuned front springs, and a more aggressive tire. Other TRD Pro goodies include a lever-type 4WD selector, 4-Wheel Crawl Control, Multi-Terrain Select, rear differential lock, automatic disconnecting differential, Multi-terrain ABS, 17-inch matte black aluminum wheels with TRD centre caps, black TRD badging, a TRD-stamped aluminum front skid plate, hood scoop, and a unique Heritage Toyota grille.

Interior upgrades include special black Softex seats with red stitching, TRD Pro shift knob, TRD floor mats, and Optitron instrument gauges.

Also see: 2017 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro Review     

2018 4Runner TRD Pro Engine, Performance, and Handling

Under the hood resides Toyota’s 4.0-litre V6 engine mated to a five speed transmission. In an era when the majority of vehicles for sale feature at least six gears this might seem like a detriment to the model, and it is marginally when it comes to fuel efficiency, but the upside of this transmission is that it is one of the most robust and reliable gearboxes available in the automotive realm. 

2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro engine
Under the hood resides Toyota’s 4.0-litre V6 engine mated to a five speed transmission. Power is sufficient with 270-horsepower and 278 lb.-ft of torque, although acceleration when the vehicle is laden with a full complement of gear and passengers is constant, but far from brisk. Pic: Russell Purcell

Power is sufficient with 270-horsepower and 278 lb.-ft of torque, although acceleration when the vehicle is laden with a full complement of gear and passengers is constant, but far from brisk.

The part-time four-wheel-drive system on the TRD Pro allows for increased efficiency in every day driving, but when the pavement comes to an end, or the driver decides to travel off the grid, he or she can manually select Low4 or High4 settings based on vehicle speed, purpose and terrain.

4Runner TRD Pro Driving Impressions: On the Road

The TRD Pro rides relatively smooth while traveling on city streets and cruising on the highway, but the quality and engineering of the Bilstein shocks and TRD springs is revealed as soon as you venture onto rough roads, mogul fields or loose rocks.

The suspension takes hit after hit as the vehicle’s 17-inch alloys clamber over obstacles and debris without major drama, allowing the driver to maintain control of the vehicle and passengers to remain largely isolated from disruptive jolts and jarring forces.

2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro Review rear view
Ground clearance is a healthy 9.8 inches, while the departure and approach angles (26 and 33 degrees respectively) are impressive for a stock vehicle of this type. Protector plates help protect both the transfer case and the fuel tank. Pic: Russell Purcell

During my week with the 4Runner I travelled up above the snowline on largely unserviced fire roads and through over foot deep snow without missing a beat. Traction remained constant as the suspension sought to keep my wheels and tires on the ground while the four-wheel-drive system kept me moving forward.

I also explored the mud flats and forest trails surrounding Stave Lake (B.C.), and came away from the experience amazed at just how adept Toyota’s multi-terrain management program really is. It proved equally capable of taming mud, sand, snow or rock, combating slippage and wheel-spin and inspiring driver confidence.

Ground clearance is a healthy 9.8 inches, while the departure and approach angles (26 and 33 degrees respectively) are impressive for a stock vehicle of this type. Protector plates help protect both the transfer case and the fuel tank.

2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro logo
The Cavalry Blue hue of the paint garnered countless comments and lots of raised thumbs, but it was the TRD Pro’s predictable handling and mountain goat-like abilities that captured my attention. Pic: Russell Purcell

The Cavalry Blue hue of the paint garnered countless comments and lots of raised thumbs, but it was the TRD Pro’s predictable handling and mountain goat-like abilities that captured my attention. I was most in awe at how easily the vehicle descended precarious slopes. Toyota’s CRAWL control system provides a safety net of technology to give you the confidence needed to navigate your way through treacherous terrain with relative ease. We make better choices when we are free from stress and allowing this system to regulate speed and braking allows the driver to concentrate on steering the 4Runner down the safest path.

2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro Interior

While the cabin may seem dated with regards to the look, feel, and function of many of the switches and accessories, it is well constructed, comfortable, and spacious. Visibility is quite good due to the abundance of tall windows, and there is a back-up camera. Unfortunately a blind-spot monitoring system is not available.

2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro Interior
Visibility is quite good due to the abundance of tall windows, and there is a back-up camera. Unfortunately a blind-spot monitoring system is not available. The cabin may seem dated with regards to the look, feel, and function of many of the switches and accessories, it is well constructed, comfortable, and spacious. Pic: Russell Purcell

TRD Pro Review Takeaway

While the Toyota 4Runner in any flavour may be missing many of the creature comforts and safety systems consumers now expect at this price point, in TRD Pro guise it is outfitted to take its occupants to places and adventures where other vehicles fear to tread,  and this is what sets it apart in the SUV category.

2018 Toyota 4Runner Technical Specifications:

Price (MSRP): C$45,440.00; C$52,920.00 (TRD Pro)

Price (as tested – Canadian $): $54,832.50 Includes TRD Pro Package ($7,480.00); Federal A/C tax ($100.00); Environmental tire handling fee ($16.50); Environmental filter handling fee ($1.00); OMVIC fee ($10.00); Freight and PDI ($1,785.00)

  • Type: Four-wheel-drive 5 or 7 passenger mid-size SUV
  • Engine: 4.0-litre DOHC 24-valve V6                          
  • Transmission: 5-Speed automatic 
  • Horsepower: 270 @ 5,600 rpm 
  • Torque (lb.ft): [email protected] 4,400 rpm
  • Brakes: Four-wheel ventilated discs
  • Towing capacity: 2,268-kg (5,000 pounds)
  • Fuel economy (L/100km): City 14.3; Highway 12.0 

This post 2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro Review appeared first on TractionLife.com by Russell Purcell.


2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE Review

2018 toyota camry se review blue sideview

by TractionLife.com

Editor’s note: all photos of the 2018 Camry SE non-hybrid model

Toyota’s hybrid models have become so numerous in its lineup and popular in the marketplace that these gas-electric vehicles are practically a brand apart from the company’s conventional gasoline-fueled models.

And though the Prius is the poster child for these ultra-efficient cars and crossovers — there are seven sold at Toyota stores and six under the upscale Lexus banner — the latest version of the Camry Hybrid is a particularly important piece of Toyota’s hybrid puzzle.

Camry 2018: Next-generation model

There’s a lot riding on this car, as a recognizable name competing in a market segment suffering shrinking sales, thanks to crossovers and SUVs. Toyota says it put a lot of work into making this latest Camry stand out, mainly for the way it drives.

Toyota built this Camry on an all-new platform shared with a range of its other models that promises more engaging performance, but we’re not sure the Hybrid (even in its more performance-oriented SE trim – reviewed here) is the best way to demonstrate that.

2018 toyota camry se review headlight
Toyota’s hybrid models have become so numerous in its lineup and popular in the marketplace that these gas-electric vehicles are practically a brand apart from the company’s conventional gasoline-fueled models. Pic: Amee Reehal

New Camry Hybrid Power & Handling in Sportier SE Trim

The specs tell us the SE has a sport-tuned suspension, but this car’s ride is pretty much exactly as soft and cushy as we expected. We were more impressed with the powertrain’s responsiveness and power: The 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine works with an electric motor to make 208 hp, the most power a Camry Hybrid has ever boasted.

Acceleration is brisk, with plenty of electric-motor torque to boost city driving, and the gas engine’s higher-end power for highway acceleration. A continuously variable transmission once again leaves us cold, due to the way it allows the gas engine to drone in harder acceleration, but it does a fine job managing how the two power sources propel the car.

If you prefer a more laid-back pace, you’ll enjoy the Lexus-like quiet with which the Camry Hybrid gets up to speed.

Fuel Economy

Under my (generally) gentle right foot, the Camry Hybrid’s fuel consumption averaged 6.4 L/100 km in wintry city driving, against Toyota’s estimate of 5.3 L/100 km.

I had this car for a week-long loan, and it took me that long to get used to its brakes: they’re grabby at low speeds, a side effect of the way the Camry Hybrid’s regenerative braking system gives way to traditional friction brakes.

2018 toyota camry se review (3 of 10)
Acceleration is brisk, with plenty of electric-motor torque to boost city driving, and the gas engine’s higher-end power for highway acceleration. Pic: Amee Reehal

Toyota Camry Hybrid 2018 Interior Impressions

Generally speaking, the Camry is a comfortable, spacious car, but in SE form the Hybrid gets heavily bolstered front seats that feel narrow even to those of slim build.

Other quibbles include interior front-door pulls that are a long reach from where you’re seated when the doors are wide open, along with front seat-heater controls placed too far back on the central console. Technophiles may find it odd there is just one USB port in the entire cabin, which I can only assume is a nod to our tester’s wireless smartphone charging pad.

Our guess is you’re more likely to notice the Entune smartphone integration system, which is exclusive to Toyota and displaces industry-standard setups like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. That’s a shame, because it’s fussy and less intuitive to use than those better-known platforms.

2018 toyota camry se review interior
Technophiles may find it odd there is just one USB port in the entire cabin, which I can only assume is a nod to our tester’s wireless smartphone charging pad. Pic: Amee Reehal

2018 Camry Hybrid SE Price

From a starting price of US$27,800 / C$31,290, our Camry Hybrid’s MSRP swelled to US$29,500 / C$33,990 in SE trim, nearly $2,000 more than the previous version. If you’re expecting that extra money to buy you a car that lives up to the SE badge’s sporty pretense, you’ll be disappointed. But rather than misplacing their efforts to make it more entertaining to drive, they’ve improved on the things that were already good, making it clear the company knows its hybrid vehicles deserve all the attention they get.

Read past other Toyota Camry Reviews here.

For more info, pricing, photos visit:

Camry USA | Camry Canada

2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE Specs

  • Engine: 2.5L four-cylinder plus electric motor
  • Power: 208 hp
  • Torque: N/A
  • Transmission: Continuously variable automatic
  • Brakes: Four-wheel disc
  • Steering: Electric power-assist rack-and-pinion
  • Suspension: MacPherson strut (front); Double wishbone (rear)
  • Fuel economy, ratings (l/100km, city/highway): 5.3/5.0
  • Fuel economy, observed (l/100km): 6.4
  • Price (as tested, MSRP): US$29,500 in US; C$32,150 in Canada

This post 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE Review appeared first on TractionLife.com by Chris Chase.


2019 Toyota RAV4 Finally Shows Up with All-New, Adventure-Ready Attitude

2019 Toyota RAV4

Rugged looks with expected performance to match, the new RAV4 finally steps it up in a competitive field

New York, NY – This muscular, aggressively-styled RAV4 is unlike anything we would’ve expected when the covers came off at its 2018 New Auto Show debut – and that’s definitely a good thing for this fifth-generation model that’s been anything but bold since it first debuted back in 1994.

And certainly nothing like the outgoing 2017 model. 

More inline with the Subaru Forester, from what we can see, the all-new 2019 RAV4 finds a new 2.5L Inline-4 and Toyota hybrid system powertrains offering more power and better fuel efficiencies, according to Toyota.

Considering this is the Japanese automaker’s number one selling product, a proper redesign was long (long) overdue – and it appears the company actually listened to the market and what consumers have been yearning for: more adventure-seeker, less vanilla compact offering.

The new chiseled RAV4 with available 19-inch wheels sports a stronger nose leading into a more dynamic profile with bolder shoulders now.

Looks aside, we expect it to handle off-road duties; the RAV4’s sits on a new TNGA platform allowing for a lower, wider package; while the shorter front and rear overhangs will aid in RAV4’s ability to conquer the back trails with ease.

This post 2019 Toyota RAV4 Finally Shows Up with All-New, Adventure-Ready Attitude appeared first on TractionLife.com by News Editor.


Will the Supra Name Live On?

Toyota-FT-1-concept-silver-front-three-quarter

Ever since Toyota released a concept design that was to be the successor to the Supra, the auto industry has gone into a frenzy every time the concept rears its head. Acura came back with their NSX and Mazda doesn’t look like it’ll be reviving their RX7. So the only remaining Japanese supercar left untouched form the 90’s is the Supra. What we do know is that there is a production car in the horizons which is being jointly developed between BMW and Toyota which will revive the Supra. Only question left is whether the Supra name itself will live on.

The folks over at Toyota believes in bringing back the name as there is too much history to the Supra name to just let it die. A move in the right direction from Toyota was noticed when the company filed to have the Supra name trademarked in Europe.


New Toyota Supra

toyota supra

Those of us who grew up in the 90’s remember the infiltration of Japanese supercars which contended with the likes of those coming out of Italy and Germany. This included the Acura NSX, Mazda RX7 and the Toyota Supra. All of these vehicles have long been discontinued, but some have moved on to newer iterations. Acura recently released their all new NSX. Mazda made the RX8 which never lived up to the car that was the RX7. But only Toyota remains in producing a car as a successor to their dominating Supra.

The rumor mill surrounding an all new Supra has been circulating for a while and Toyota has not denied that they are working on something. When Toyota put out the FT-1 concept a few years back, it was beginning to pave the way ahead for a design concept for the new Supra. Now there are rumors that Lexus’ new engine might find it’s way into the heart of a new Supra. Again, all of this is speculation until we see something a bit more official. That powerplant will be a twin turbocharged six-cylinder engine which recently has proven to be a potent powerplant across many automakers.


GT86 Meets Ferrari 458

ferrari-engine-toyota

A Ferrari is designed to go around corners fast, and it is certainly not drifting through the corners. So what you have here is the closest thing to a drifting Ferrari. Pro drifter Ryan Tuerck took the heart of a Ferrari 458 and stuffed it into the belly of his GT86 creating one of the most unique and amazing mechanical creations for the drift circuit.

Drifters have long been stuffing big engines into the front of their drift cars. Supra motor swaps were eventually replaced by American V8s. Now they are tapping into a whole new category of engine conversions. The GT86’s light weight frame is a great doner to transplant a high power V8 into. Ferrari’s 458 4.5-liter V8 pumps out a very respectable 562 hp and 398 lb/ft of tire shredding torque.

One things for sure, we can’t wait to hear this car drift around the track.


Toyota Prius Gets Roof Mounted Solar Panel

Toyota_Prius_2016-2017_03

Toyota is looking to offer a roof mounted solar panel system which can help boost the vehicle’s fuel economy to as much as 10%. This is great news for those who buy a Prius who often have fuel economy as the number one deciding factor for their purchase. Toyota is looking to sell this as an option through their Japanese and European markets. However, the solar panel roof is not likely going to make it onto North American cars just yet.

The issue in the US specifically is around safety issues with a solar panel roof. Problem is there isn’t a way to manufacture the roof in such a way that prevents the glass roof and its photovoltaic cells from shattering in the case of an accident. Engineers are hard at work to develop a solution in hopes that one day the solar panel roof will see the light of day on a US destined vehicle.


Teased with More Possibilities of the Supras Return

toyota-ft-1-concept

News about Toyota and BMW’s partnership to create a new sports car is nothing new. To share in development costs, the two major manufacturers are sharing their development dollars in designing and producing a new platform which will underpin BMW’s Z4 and Toyota’s unnamed sportscar which we all think will be the next Supra.

Although powertrain details have not yet been shared, there’s a lot of buzz around Toyota moving towards hybrid power. The future powertrain could feature a complex hybrid system combining a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine sourced from BMW with a trio of electric motors.

Although news has been quiet for a while on any new developments of the Supra, there have been some small ticks of action happening that is leading us to think something might be coming soon. Toyota recently trademarked the name Supra in Europe for use on any vehicle. The automaker took similar steps back in 2014 in the US. So that can only mean that Toyota will want to revive the Supra name at some point for their own use.


Vintage Land Cruiser Pickup Restored to Perfection

1974-toyota-land-cruiser-fj45-pickup-1f

The old adage less is more is somewhat of a rarity these days; especially when it comes to cars. Automakers seem to be cramming every bit of technology into cars these days, from sensors that keep you in your lane, to in car entertainment that rivals some home theatre systems. Ne small electric or computer glitch usually puts your car out of commission for a while at the dealers while expertly trained technicians dig into the computer spewing out a wordy diagnosis that essentially is meaningless to the normal human being.

That’s what makes this 1974 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ45 a true gem of a car. First off, if there’s something that not needed or not functional, it’s not on the car. Next up, if you break down, all you’ll likely need are some simple tools to get you back up and running. No computer diagnosis, no digital gremlins, just simple good old trusty gasoline power.

This particular FJ45 has gone through a full restoration to bring it back up to better than factory condition. A true timeless beauty, and finished in a perfectly suited Sky Blue. The FJ40 is powered by a 3.9L carbureted straight-six which makes 125hp and 209 lb/ft of torque. Fast it isn’t, but a reliable work mule it is, and a pretty looking mule that is.


Toyota 86 Shooting Brake Concept

Toyota-86-Shooting-Brake

You mention station wagon, and the image it usually conjures up is a squared off family hauler packed to the ninth with camping gear heading off for a summer weekend from surburbia. Well, station wagons have come a long way, just ask the up and coming 604hp AMG E63 wagon, but nonetheless the demand is not improving. But interestingly, when you use a name like “Shooting Brake” in place of the station wagon nomenclature, there seems to be a bit more appetite.

Seen here is a concept rendition of Toyota’s 86 as a shooting brake which, to me, has huge potential. But don’t hold your breath as Toyota has no plans to put this more practical version of the 86 into production. The concept image shows a car with the same wheel base, but the roofline of the 86/BRZ has been extended to create the wagon rear section.

With some wishful thinking, one can hope that they may see a shooting brake 86 on the road some day. As a wagon fan myself, I appreciate the uniqueness of its functionality matched with the 86’s typical performance oriented character.


Older Posts »



Beyond Media, Inc.

65 queries in 0.280 seconds.