I would normally start a car review with an item of trivia or history about the vehicle under review, or about the segment in general. This time I’m going to start by talking about the elephant in the room: the 2014 4Runner SR5/Trail front end. Yikes! I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when the attractive new 2014 Tundra pulled away revealing the 2014 4Runner, I was reminded of a woman I worked with in 1998. Drawn in by the promise of eternal good looks, she had her eyebrows surgically removed and lines tattooed on her face. The only problem was the tattoo artist (accidentally?) gave her a permanently surprised “eyebrows”. Oops. Perhaps the 4Runner also regrets going under the knife and that’s why the fog lamp slits make it look like it’s crying. What say the best and brightest? Click through the jump and sound off in the comment section.
We don’t just love pickup trucks in America, we practically worship them. The half ton pickup truck is an American icon embedded into our music, our entertainment and almost the core of our culture. If you haven’t owned or wanted to own a pickup truck, you’re probably a communist infiltrating American society and should be stopped. Despite inroads from the Japanese competition, the full-size truck market is a solidly American segment that isn’t just led by the big three, it’s dominated by them. In August, RAM took third place with 33,009 pickups sold in the US of A, more than three times the number four player: this week’s Toyota Tundra. Why is this gap so large when Toyota crushes the big three in so many other segments? Let’s explore that while we look at Toyota’s refreshed 2014 Tundra.
In response to your call for more reader-submitted queries, I realized I’ve had one right in front of me and have never thought to ask my fellow TTAC commenters. I have a 2006 Toyota 4runner with the amazing 4.7L 2UZFE V8 engine, currently with 90,000 miles. I purchased the truck with 55,000 miles. However, this motor seems to have a fairly common weakness. (Read More…)
Electioneering is redlining. One indicator: The Michigan Republican Party is protesting loudly against an improbable stunt: A Toyota Tundra will pull the retired space shuttle Endeavor to its final resting place at the California Science Center (CSC). This has the Reps up in arms: “”Barack Obama acts as if he single handedly built the U.S. domestic auto industry, meanwhile, a symbol of American greatness will be towed to its final resting place by a foreign competitor, forever cementing the image of a Toyota truck towing a retired space shuttle,” Matt Frendewey, director of communications for the Michigan Republican Party, told the Detroit News. (Read More…)
In news which will shock absolutely no-one, Business Week reports that Toyota and Nissan’s attempts to woo buyers of big pick-up trucks are failing (or failed, depending which way you’re looking at it). “The Big Three successfully beat back the Toyota incursion into the pickup market” said Brian Johnson, auto analyst for UK bank Barclays, “We had expected Toyota would do what they did with cars and take over the market. Their share gains have been frustratingly slow.” As with most things, the devil is in the details. Or in this case, the devil is in the market research. (Read More…)
We’re at a difficult phase in the global economy. Economists would have you believe that we’re out of recession and things are starting to look rosy. But just talk to someone like Peter Schiff and he’d have you believe that a second downturn is inevitable. It really is tough to say where the economy will go and it’s showing in the car market. USA Today reports that Toyota are looking at their 4Runner & FJ Cruiser models and wondering whether to build a new generation or not.
I was watching the classic British gangster film “The Long Good Friday” the other day. For those not in the know, it’s a story about how Harold Shand, the kingpin gangster of London, struggles to keep his grip in the London underworld when the IRA try to muscle in on his patch. I won’t spoil it for you, but suffice to say, it isn’t pretty. Shortly after watching the film, I came across an article in the Wall Street Journal detailing yet another Toyota quality problem. From Floormatgate to the 110,000 Tundras which allegedly rust prematurely, to this most recent headline, “Corolla and Matrix face U.S safety probe,” there’s clearly something rotten in Toyota City. Much like the aforementioned Harold Shand, Toyota built an empire on the foundation of quality and reliability, but now, subsidence and rot are affecting that foundation. The question for the Best and Brightest is this: Are Toyota in danger of losing their crown of quality and reliability in the minds of consumers? Or are these recent cases statistical outliers that car buyers take for granted?