Category: The Right Spec

By on December 1, 2021

2022 Toyota Tundra

Thanks to Toyota’s glacier-like design cycle, a new Tundra is something most of us will experience only a few times in our adult lives. How long was the last generation around? Well, George W. Bush still had nearly three more years in the White House when the XK50 Tundra was unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2006. Yeah, it’s been a minute.

All that changed when the curtain dropped on the ’22 Tundra earlier this year. While the mighty and burly TRD Pro has gotten a lot of the press (and most of the promotional photos), there are actually about half a dozen trims on offer, some of which can be layered with options and packages.

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By on November 10, 2021

All-new 2022 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Trailhawk

Our fancy-pants Managing Ed. is currently enjoying the sunny and rocky environs of Moab, sampling different variants of the new-for-’22 Jeep Grand Cherokee. His impressions will appear on these digital pages in due time but, until then, let’s examine what might just be The Right Spec of this popular SUV.

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By on November 4, 2021

22 Kia K5 front

While hammering away at his keyboard in preparation for publishing this post, it dawned upon your author that The Right Spec for any new vehicle these days is – thanks to the chip shortage and a myriad of other supply problems – whatever resides on the lot. Or at least doesn’t have an exorbitant markup placed on its sticker.

Why are we profiling a family sedan this week? Because there are still swaths of Americans, believe it or not, who’d rather have this type of machine in their driveway than yet another SUV to add to the line of vehicles in the school pick-up line. And as for why the K5, in particular, was selected – well, let’s just say we hope to start an argument in the comments.

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By on October 29, 2021

22 Chevy Colorado ZR2

GM’s mid-sizer showed up as a contestant in the Ace of Base series a couple of years ago, back when the four-banger could be paired with a manual transmission. Chevy has since quietly removed that option from its order sheet, leaving cheapskates frugal shoppers with a fistful of automatic transmission.

An advantage of these Right Spec posts? The ability to venture beyond the bargain basement. Despite its second-rung status in the Chevy Truck pecking order in terms of size, there’s no shortage of trim configurations for this bowtie pickup. Throw in a trio of body styles plus a few engine choices, and the decision tree grows quite a number of branches.

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By on October 20, 2021

2022 Honda Civic Hatchback

We’ve covered the Civic sedan on these digital pages in the past, noting improvements in several areas over its predecessor save for one detail – a manual transmission. Honda gets it right with the ’22 hatch variant, offering a six-speed stick in this body style.

Sure, the build-n-price tool isn’t officially live on Honda’s site as of this writing but there’s no lack of information about this model on their media site. Which is the best bang for your Honda hatchback buck?

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By on October 8, 2021

2022 4Runner front

With every mainstream automaker on the planet seeking to pad their bottom line with tasty SUV profits, the number of jacked-up wagons on offer is truly dizzying. Most of them are car-based, of course, including several in Toyota’s own wheelhouse – witness the mystifying Corolla Cross introduced this year.

This makes the 4Runner something of a glorious throwback. Perched on its toes and looking out into traffic with a lantern jaw, this SUV may be old as the hills but is enjoying some of its most robust sales to date.

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By on September 24, 2021

2022 Chevrolet Tahoe

In terms of sales, the Tahoe/Yukon and its larger cousins are the beyond-dominant leaders in the full-size SUV category. Blame (or thank) a robust fleet program that places these brutes in the hands of most security forces across our nation. If you spy a black Tahoe or Suburban parked outside your home … well .. you’ve seen the movies.

This is, in this author’s opinion, part of the cosplay when private individuals buy them for schlepping their family back and forth to school or the soccer game. For the 2021 model year, GM imbued these machines with a dose of new style and more efficient packaging; for 2022, they’ve upped the availability of certain powertrain combinations. It’s the latter that has made Tahoe a great candidate for today’s post.

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By on September 17, 2021

2022 Subaru BRZ

Yes, I know – we covered the Toyota GR 86, this car’s fraternal twin, just two weeks ago. But with both companies making a play for enthusiast dollars, it’s smart to see if the same conclusions we drew for the Big T also apply to the Exploding Galaxy.

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By on September 9, 2021

2022 Infiniti QX60

Fresh off the line for this model year, the new QX60 turns Infiniti’s offering in the brutally competitive luxury crossover segment from a long-in-the-tooth ride to a modern new whip with screens and tech galore. Snicker if you will at my choice of mentioning those two features off the top, but customers spending in excess of 50 large on a rig like this tend to be entranced by those items.

There is a quartet of trims on tap for the 2022 QX60, all of which are propelled by the same engine and transmission combo. Our man Tim had the chance to sample a top-shelf trim in the tony environs of Napa Valley, but is that the one to get? Let’s break down the options and find out.

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By on September 3, 2021

When Toyota and Subaru shacked up nearly a decade ago to birth the 86/BRZ twins, our enthusiast community rejoiced at the bundle of joy. Here was an affordable, rear-wheel-drive coupe on skinny tires that was designed to make its driver grin – both on the way to work and at the autocross course.

The next-gen car, called the GR 86 in Toyota showrooms, builds on the nimble chassis while bumping its displacement for more (and more accessible) power. There are but two trims – base and Premium – plus the choice of a manual or automatic transmission. You know our answer to the latter, so let’s figure out which trim is more appealing to the fun-seeking gearhead.

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By on August 25, 2021

2022-santa-cruz

One of the last things your author thought he’d be writing were the words “Hyundai pickup truck” as they relate to a real-world vehicle one can buy right off the showroom floor. Until this year, the only relationship we’ve had with such a vehicle is after a knackered old Elantra caught the business end of a Sawzall.

But build it they have, with Tim handing down his verdict after a First Drive earlier this month. As per usual on such events, all the testers were a top-rung model with the most expensive powertrain. But is that the way to go if you’re seeking a unibody trucklet for work and play?

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By on August 17, 2021

2022 Jeep Wagoneer

Jeep has decided to jump in the expensive end of the SUV pool with the truck-based Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. By now you’ve read Tim’s reviews of the brutes and had time to make up your mind if Jeep is on the right track or not with its ‘different lengths of sausage’ approach to styling. Hey, it works for Audi.

Drilling down into the minutiae of trims and features is always fun. Let’s see if we can parse The Right Spec from the maze of options on offer in this segment’s newest player.

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By on August 13, 2021

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz

Our own Tim Healey recently found himself behind the wheel of Hyundai’s new trucklet, where he proclaimed it to be an all-around performer while tooling around the tony environs of Palo Alto. Whether he stopped into Tesla HQ for Elon’s take wasn’t mentioned and doesn’t matter.

What does matter is the Santa Cruz starting price, anchored at the end of a swimming pool that’s usually filled with commuter cars and small hatchbacks. Its sticker does climb to nearly 40 grand when all the option boxes are checked, however, leaving us with the question of finding the right balance of price and features

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By on August 5, 2021

Corolla Hatch 2022

It might surprise readers to learn that the writing staff at TTAC do not spend the majority of their time in gullwinged supercars or week-old BMWs. We do occasionally put down the jar of Grey Poupon and clamber aboard practical cars – y’know, the type which people actually buy.

The humble Corolla is likely at or near the top of the list made by shoppers who want simple transportation. Your author knows more than a couple of people for whom Corolla could actually be a parallel for the term ‘default car’. This series examined the Civic a couple of months ago, so it’s only right we do the same for the other popular machine in this segment.

We’ll return to six-figure hypercars next week.

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By on July 29, 2021

 

2022 Defender 90

There are more than a few readers looking at this installment of The Right Spec and opining that the best way to spec a Land Rover – any Land Rover – is to not do so at all. Given some, uh, challenges that have befallen early adopters of the rebooted Defender, they may have a point.

Nevertheless, this thing turns more than a few heads and stylists in Coventry certainly got it right when putting pen to paper (or mouse to screen, as it were). For 2022, the Defender’s base price has jumped a bit; but, as we’ll see, the best models are much further up the food chain.

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