From a time when trucks didn’t have leather dashboards
The Toyota Tundra is essentially defined by its smooth and powerful V-8 engine and Toyota may be keen to keep it that way. Compared to its full-size competition, the Tundra isn’t going to win the ride and drive contest but Toyota’s legendary reputation for durability and retaining value proved overly convincing for nearly 120,000 customers last year.
The allure for big sales gains can undo the decades of a well-earned reputation for a vehicle. Even as the market shifts towards more car-like crossover vehicles, the Toyota Tacoma maintains its focus on off-road capability and top-notch reliability. Those qualities thankfully continue the with the 2018 model though it’s not without compromise.
The all-new BMW M5 is loaded with advanced mechanical and electronic systems that make it an amazingly capable and adaptable sports sedan. Though not for me, the car’s absolute performance will surely earn it a spot among the M5 greats.
The Jetta is all new for 2019 and moves to VW’s latest platform shared with the Tiguan and Atlas. This translates into shared chassis parts and engineering effort. VW isn’t holding onto the savings though; an impressive interior and segment-unique features grant the Jetta with a greater sense of value over the previous generation.
Toyota’s appropriately named Adventure trim brings a hearty spirit for the outdoors to the RAV4 line-up.
We all love to get away and sometimes this involves navigating along unmaintained road simply to get to a secluded trailhead or camping spot, and while we may wish we could spend all of our days in nature, reality often demands a level of practically, efficiency, and commuting comfort in our vehicles.
Queue up the RAV4’s Adventure trim with style and hardware upgrades that seek their influence from the off-road and adventure-proven 4Runner and Tacoma.
For 2019, the Santa Fe Sport becomes simply the Santa Fe, while the larger seven-passenger 2018 Santa Fe will become the Santa Fe XL.
The previous generation Santa Fe Sport never became the sales success that Hyundai needed and together with sharply declining car sales, Hyundai needs this new model to succeed and help turn things around for the brand.
Now on sale, pricing ranges from $26,480 to $39,780 for everything Hyundai is willing to throw on it.
These three new new models indicate VW’s current brand direction which involves a simplistic notion of recapturing what it was was, a value oriented, strong European car brand for the people. In the US, the VW sedans went from hippie-practical, to modern-chic, and most recently, large and bland. This most recent era brought increased sales but it also demonstrated what the brand was willing to sacrifice: its brand loyalists. But at that time, it could rely on the diesel to provide the European flair and its efficiency – especially on the highway – even compared favorably to the hybrids available at the time. The emissions were a different story and as the smoke continues to clear from the diesel-gate, VW is forced to redefine itself and do it now. As VW commits to an electric future, its latest unveilings of new sedan models each have significant impact in their respective ambitions.
It’s not terribly difficult to misplace the Chicago Auto Show on the calendar.
Slotted in-between Detroit and the Geneva Show, where the European brands like to make their debuts, was there much newsworthy coming from this year’s Chicago show?
Well, yes in fact, Toyota announced details on its second-generation of TRD Pro models, and Hyundai revels its hybrid and plug-in versions of the Sonata.
Taking a refinement pen to its current design, the exterior looks much more modern and sophisticated. All around are thoughtful details and segment-first equipment while each trim gets additional unique styling touches. There is no doubt that the Ram team asked a lot of “why not?” and “how about this?” during this redesign.