Friday, January 16, 2015

The midsize truck segment is suddenly seemingly exploding with new vehicles worldwide, even here in North America. Not only will the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon be available very soon, Toyota is already testing a replacement for its aging Tacoma and Honda has promised a Ridgeline replacement within the next 18 months. Also, the recently shown Nissan Navara is said to portend the future of our Frontier. Here's some more fresh evidence from Europe of this pickup boom with the next generation of its venerable Hilux in testing.

Thanks to Top Gear and sometimes the evening news, the Hilux has built a reputation of being able to go just about anywhere. According to out spy shooter, this particular pickup was spotted during hot weather testing in southern Europe. Interestingly, a Volkswagen Amarok was along for the ride as a benchmark. Because the VW tends to offer a bit more comfort than the generally utilitarian Hilux, this could indicate Toyota is considering taking the new truck in a slightly comfier, more refined direction.

Compared to the current model, this camouflaged tester sports a narrower front grille and headlights. The hood scoop is also absent here.

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

2016 Toyota Tacoma shows its face ahead of Detroit debut

Here's your first full look at the 2016 Toyota Tacoma ahead of its debut at next week's Detroit Auto Show. No details have been released just yet, but at first blush, the revised Taco looks to be a much-needed step forward for the Japanese midsize pickup.

We like the chiseled, modern face of the new Tacoma – it's pretty clean, not to mention rugged and handsome. The body sides almost look carried over from the current pickup (they very well could be), and around back, there's a new tailgate with badging stamped into the sheetmetal, as well as some fresh new taillamps. We can't yet see inside the Tacoma's cabin, though we expect it to have been thoroughly refreshed, as well – that's the place where the current truck really shows its age.

As we said, Toyota hasn't released any other details, but the badging on this truck shows a V6 engine lies underhood. A four-cylinder option makes sense, as well – especially if the Tacoma wants to adequately compete with the recently launched (and well-liked) Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins.

We'll know soon if this Tacoma is a fully baked, all-new model, or if its just a thorough refresh on an existing (and old) truck. Stay tuned.