Tag Archives: macho

2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport 4×4 Double Cab

Dominant Toyota Tacoma a stylish, muscular pickup tacoma2

Trucks are macho, always have been. But as our society becomes more confrontational and in-your-face attitudes more commonplace it’s only natural truck styling sheet metal follows suit.

Today’s Toyota Tacoma will go toe-to-toe with any pickup in the attitudinal Olympics. Its fenders bulge like a body builder’s abs and its hood bulges like pecs gone wild. Muscular doesn’t begin to describe it.

That’s to be expected from the new, restyled 2016 Tacoma, the leading mid-size pickup in the U.S. market, the pickup that has been kicking sand in the faces of its competition for years. Market reports say Tacoma owns more than half of the truck sales in its segment.

And now, as if it weren’t already dominant enough, Tacoma is marking its territory with increased horsepower, better gas mileage and a quieter interior. Take that Nissan Frontier, Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon. Never mind that a few of those will tow more or still get better gas mileage, Tacoma is ready to rumble.

Let’s start with power, as that’s what most pickup owners are looking for, whether to tow, haul or simply impress their buddies and significant others.

tacoma1Tacoma features a 278-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 that uses the Atkinson cycle, technology that burns fuel more efficiently than a standard V6. Several Mazda engines use the Atkinson design. Tacoma’s torque is 265 foot-pounds and tow capacity is 6,400 lbs. Continue reading 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport 4×4 Double Cab

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2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Ltd. 4X4

Hefty Tundra ready to take on the Big 3’s Big Boys

Tundra is a big moose of a truck.
Tundra is a big moose of a truck.

Toyota needn’t worry about folks pooh-poohing their full-size (and then some) Tundra pickup as not manly enough, or strong enough to take on the Big 3’s big boys.

Heck, the tested metallic black Tundra CrewMax Limited 4X4 is nothing if not big. First, it’s U.S.-built in San Antonio, Texas, a state that’s the prototype for big, including attitudes. The new 2014 Tundra appears to be trying to out-RAM the Chrysler Corp,’s massive RAM pickup, and it easily outsizes the popular Chevrolet Silverado I tested a month or so ago.

The CrewMax Limited’s engine is Toyota’s 5.7-liter I-Force Flex Fuel direct-injected V8 that creates 381 horsepower. That’s 26 more ponies than the Silverado’s plenty strong 5.3-liter V8. Torque rating here is 401 and Tundra uses a 6-speed automatic to put that power in action.

But the 5-passenger Tundra CrewMax is a behemoth, a heavyweight in every sense. It needs that horsier engine to tote around its 5,850 lbs. That’s about 900 lbs. more than the Silverado Crew Cab I tested, although it was only 2-wheel drive. Not sure what end-of-the-world scenario Toyota is building this to endure, but that’s a lot of girth that helps explain my gas consumption for the week.tundra

The EPA rates this at 13 mpg city and 17 mpg highway. Ugh, that’s old school math, albeit the numbers weren’t helped by out below 10-degree nights much of this week. I got just 12.9 mpg while the tested Silverado got 17.9 mpg and was rated a much greener 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. Granted it was zero to 20 degrees the test week. Can you say frozen Tundra? Continue reading 2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Ltd. 4X4