Monday, August 20, 2018

2019 Buick Envision Premium II AWD Review

The 2019 Buick Envision has new styling cues, a generous number of features for the price, and an attractive interior trimmed in high-quality materials. It slots between the smaller Encore and the larger three-row Enclave in Buick’s lineup.

This weekend, we drove the top-trim 2019 Buick Envision Premium II with all-wheel drive. This model is powered by Envision’s newly-updated turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. With this powertrain, the Envision is similarly priced to luxury crossovers like the Lincoln MKC and Volvo XC60.

What’s New For 2019

The 2019 Buick Envision comes with refreshed exterior styling, and packs a host of mechanical and technological upgrades. The 2.0-liter engine gets a significant bump in torque (up 35 lb-ft. to 295 lb-ft.) and is now mated with a nine-speed automatic.

Inside, there’s a new wireless charging pad, greater visibility from the rearview camera, faster-acting seat heaters, and an in-vehicle ionizer for better air quality.

Features & Options

The Envision Premium II AWD ($43,600) comes standard with three-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings, heated rear seats, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

The Premium II trim also gets LED headlights, front parking sensors, automatic wipers, a larger driver information display, a seven-speaker Bose premium audio system, a 110-volt household power outlet, a forward collision alert system, and a lane departure warning and intervention system. Additional features include automatic high beams, wireless charging, an automated parking system, navigation, heads-up display, an extendable thigh support for the driver’s seat, and ventilated front seats.

The Driver Confidence package ($1,545) adds adaptive cruise control, a top-down parking camera system, and a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking. Aluminum 19-inch wheels ($1,895) and Panoramic sunroof ($1,495) rounded out the options. Total MSRP including destination: $49,925.

Interior Highlights

Steeping inside the new Envision reveals a contemporary cabin with quality materials for the entry-level luxury buyer. The well-cushioned front seats are supportive for long drives, and the cabin is impressively quiet at highway speeds. We especially like the heads-up display making it easy to keep our eyes on the road.

Buick’s IntelliLink is easy to use and the inclusion of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto makes operation even easier. Wireless charging is another nice addition. The eight-inch infotainment touchscreen sits high on the dash with easy-to-read graphics.

Interior storage is generous, with plenty of large bins and pockets to hold your personal items. In the back, there’s plenty of space for three adults, and the slide/recline function kept our passengers comfortable this weekend. The Envision is a bit narrow, which you can feel in the rear seat. There’s 26.9 cubic feet of space behind the rear seat, and 57.3 cubic feet with the rear seat folded flat, numbers that contradict its exterior size.

Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs

This Buick Envision tester came powered by the fun and confident, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 252 horsepower. It comes mated to a new nine-speed automatic, sending power to all four wheels.

The turbo engine with all-wheel drive gets 20/25 city/highway and 22 combined mpg.

Driving Dynamics

The turbocharged engine delivers solid power and we felt it as soon as we pressed on the gas pedal. It’s enough to merge onto highways, and powered us up I-70 west of Denver at altitude without issue. Even with the bigger 19-inch aluminum wheels, there’s not much road noise.

Envision’s strength is its excellent ride. We felt composed on the choppy dirt roads leading to our house. The all-wheel drive system on gravel roads offered plenty of grip, and we’re confident it would do the same in ice and snow. The system sends power to the rear when traction is needed, then splits it between the rear wheels for better cornering and control. We pushed it hard around the tight mountain corners and the Envision handled them with ease. 

Conclusion

The 2019 Buick Envision is certainly worthy of a look as the automaker continues to evolve. It comes with a generous number of features with an attractive interior trimmed in high-quality materials. It’s easy to maneuver around town, has a decent amount of cargo space, and offers all-weather capability.

Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy

2019 Buick Envision Gallery

2019 Buick Envision Official Site.

Photos: Buick.



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Friday, August 17, 2018

2018 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet: Win On Sunday, Sell On Monday!

The 2018 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet is the Mustang to end all Mustangs, and maybe the muscle car to end all muscle cars. The now most powerful Mustang Cobra Jet in history hits 150 and covers a quarter-mile in the mid-eights.

The 2018 revival marks the 50th anniversary of Ford’s legendary performance car.

Winning Mentality

In 1968, Ford produced 50 lightweight Mustangs with a 335-horsepower, 428-cubic-inch V8; six are shipped to Holman Moody and Bill Stroppe for NHRA competition. Shortly thereafter, the Mustang Cobra Jet appeared at the NHRA’s 1968 Winternationals in Pomona, California. As Al Joniec pilots one of the six to victory, East Coast Ford dealer Bob Tasca coins the phrase “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.”

40 years later, in 2008, a supercharged 5.4-liter dual-overhead-cam V8 is introduced for the Mustang Cobra Jet, M-FR500-CJ. Unlike the original, these do not have VINs, so they are not street legal. However, they were the first Stock Eliminator car to touch the eight second range at an NHRA National Event.

The Mustang Cobra Jet emphases how traditional and Motorsports engineering teams maximize the design and performance of Mustangs. Photo: Ford Motor Company.

Power & Performance

The 2018 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet sports a 5.2-liter V8 with a 3.0-liter Whipple supercharger. Power comes through a nine-inch solid rear axle, while two-way coil-over shocks with adjustable ride height, and a four-link rear suspension with antiroll and panhard bars keep the Cobra Jet planted.

A low-drag disc brake system from Strange Engineering is standard, plus an NHRA-certified safety roll cage, FIA-certified seats, and anniversary-themed racing wheels.

“From the very first Mustang Cobra Jets dominating the 1968 NHRA Winternationals to our modern-day racers, the Ford Performance Parts team continues to build on Cobra Jet’s success at the track over five decades,” explained Eric Cin, Global Director, Ford Performance Parts. “This has inspired generations of Mustang fans to create their own performance machines for the street.”

In Person

Expect the 2018 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet this weekend at the 2018 Woodward Dream Cruise. From there, it will travel to Ohio for the 50th Anniversary Ford Performance Cobra Jet Reunion at Summit Motorsports Park.

Pricing & Availability

The new Mustang Cobra Jet is available in either Race Red or Oxford White with an MSRP of $130,000. Production is limited to 68 cars, in honor of the Cobra Jet’s 1968 debut. Orders are currently open.

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.

Photos & Source: Ford Motor Company.



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2019 Honda Civic Gets New Nips & Tucks

The 2019 Honda Civic slides into showrooms, complete with updated styling, a new Sport trim, and additional safety tech. Honda is putting the children of carpet proprietors (particularly the red kind) through college as they highlight the 10th generation Civic. The automaker has averaged a new variant every four months over the past three years.

Furthermore, Honda and Urban Science retail sales data shows that the Civic is one of the top-selling cars in the United States, and the most popular car for the under-35-year-old crowd for eight of the past nine years.

Styling & Performance

Honda says the Civic’s design is one of the most well-liked attributes among loyal buyers. Styling updates include a new piano black upper fascia wing, full-width front splitter, restyled lower fascia, bumper, and lower grille, and a wider stance overall. Chrome treatments include side pod accents and an additional accent on the lower rear bumper.

The Touring gets new 18-inch rims while the Sport and Si trims receive model-specific styling treatments.

The Sport trim features a high-revving 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC VTEC engine, mated to either a CVT with G-Shift Control or a six-speed manual transmission. Sport models receive a seven-inch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2019 Honda Civic Coupe Sport. Photo: Honda North America.

Safety & Security

For 2019, Honda Sensing is either standard or available on all Honda cars and light trucks. Honda Sensing includes Collision Mitigation Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Pricing & Production

Honda has not announced pricing at this time. All 2019 Honda Civic models sold in the U.S. are produced in Greensburg, Indiana and Alliston, Ontario. The Civic’s 1.5-liter engines are produced in Anna, Ohio and Alliston, Ontario.

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.

Photos & Source: Honda North America.



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Thursday, August 16, 2018

2019 Chevy Tahoe & Suburban Premier Plus Special Editions: Large & In Charge

You know the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, right? About the size and weight of a WWII destroyer, they are pretty much as big and conspicuous as an American machine can get these days if it wasn’t made under a DoD contract.

You know what the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban need? More stuff!

Hence, the creation and availability of the Tahoe and Suburban Premier Plus Special Editions.

Large & In Charge

These SUVs are already big mothers, tipping the scales at 5,600 lbs. and taping in at 17 feet long. And that’s the Tahoe, the “little” one of the pair. The Suburban tips the scales at 5,800 lbs. and is a whopping 18 feet long. But that wasn’t enough, oh no. You want more? Of course you do. You’re American!

You get GM’s 6.2-liter V8 moving all that steel down the road. Said plant is part of the new RST 6.2-liter Performance Package. All Tahoe and Suburban Premier Plus Special Editions, as well as RST Premier models with the optional 6.2-liter Performance Package, come with Magnetic Ride Control. The Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission continues the trend of automatic boxes with a large number of ratios.

Chevy Tahoe and Suburban RST. Photo: Chevrolet.

Power & Performance

Now, about that drivetrain. The available 6.2 puts out 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft. of delicious torque. It features three state-of-the-art technologies: direct injection, Active Fuel Management, and continuously variable valve timing. Not bad for a truck motor. Chevy says this makes the most of power, torque, and efficiency across a broad range of operating conditions. So be it.

That 10-speed auto box gives you smaller steps between each “gear” ratio so power under acceleration is maximized. The final drive is a 7.39 overall gear ratio spread with a lower numerical top gear ratio. Therefore, this new transmission reduces engine revolutions at highway speeds for better fuel economy on those long runs.

The Magnetic Ride Control is an active suspension system that “reads” the road every millisecond. It decides what damping changes to call for in the electronically-controlled shock absorbers in about 10 to 15 milliseconds. Result: improved cornering and a more comfortable ride while cruising. Pretty fancy for a giant station-wagon/half-track.

GM’s 10-speed automatic provides smaller steps between each gear ratio. As a result, power and fuel economy improve. Photo: Chevrolet.

Styling & Connectivity

The 2019 Chevy Tahoe and Suburban Premier Plus editions feature Black/Mahogany-colored leather front seats, heated and ventilated, of course, with a Jet Black trim surround. The premium two-tone interior and the mammoth 22-inch polished wheels make their first appearance in Chevy’s full-size SUV lineup. Other flashy features include the gold “bowtie” logos, chrome nameplate badging, a nifty heads-up display, and an eight-inch diagonal cluster.

The cross rails, chrome power steps, exhaust tip, and a Chevrolet-branded cargo organizer are thrown in for good measure. Also for good measure is the standard 4G LTE WiFi hotspot including a 12-month data plan.

Ergo, connectivity is not a problem.

Pricing & Availability

Cost. Well, the 2019 Chevy Tahoe Premier Plus starts at $74,100, while the Suburban Premier Plus starts at $76,900. Yes, that’s about 20-thousand more than a new Corvette, but, I hear you; spouse, kids, vacation, soccer practice. Sacrifices must be made.

If you’re interested, they can be ordered from Chevy dealers now, with production beginning mid-August. No word on when you can expect delivery.

Additional Discount

But hey, if you want to shave a little off the bill, check this out. Both of the Premier Plus models are available to Costco members at GM supplier pricing. The fine print, though, is how this exclusive Costco deal is only available on 5,000 vehicles, and you must be a Costco member by October 1st and take delivery between October 2nd and January 2nd 2019.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. His forthcoming new book The Future In Front of Me, The Past Behind Me will be available soon. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz

Photos & Source: Chevrolet.



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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Ford Employs Video Game Tricks To Enhance Vehicle Manufacturing

During the early and mid-nineties, my cup of video game magazines overfloweth. The era of Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, followed by the Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn, and the immortal PlayStation chronicled within their pages. With Neo Geo, 3DO, and virtual reality, it’s all the ingredients of a youth spent in fear of sunlight.

To put it another way, I had a good childhood.

Movement & Motion

Between the cheat codes and secret levels revealed in those back-in-the-day publications, articles about the video game industry’s new advancements where common. I remember seeing a football star hooked up to wires and pads to replicate his movements for a new Madden-ish game.

A similar approach for the assembly line will reduce physical stress for workers. Employees at Ford’s Valencia Engine Assembly Plant, in Spain, are using a special suit with body tracking technology. The idea came about after engineers attended a trade show demonstration on how robots mimic human movement. In sports, “player motion technology” records how athletes move, helping developers tailor those movements to the screen.

“It’s been proven on the sports field that with motion tracking technology, tiny adjustments to the way you move can have a huge benefit,” explained Javier Gisbert, Production Area Manager, Ford Valencia Engine Assembly Plant.

How It Works

The skin-tight suit has 15 tiny “movement tracking light sensors” connected to a wireless detection unit. The system tracks how the person’s head, neck, shoulders, and limbs move. Four specialized motion-tracking cameras, similar to those usually paired with computer game consoles record movement. The cameras, placed near the worker, produce a 3D skeletal character animation.

Ergonomists then use the data to help employees align their posture correctly, and ultimately, design workstations that better fit them. The pilot system, created by Ford and the Instituto Biomec├ínica de Valencia, involved 70 employees in 21 work areas. Ford is considering implementing the technology throughout the company’s other facilities.

“For our employees, changes made to work areas using similar technology can ultimately ensure that, even on a long day, they are able to work comfortably,” Gisbert added.

Ford’s Valencia Engine Assembly Plant builds the Transit Connect and 2.0-liter EcoBoost Duratec engines.

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan. He studies mechanical engineering at Wayne State University, serves on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation, and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.

Photos, Video & Source: Ford Motor Company.



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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

New Survey: People Still Love Driving Despite Onset of Autonomous Tech

I love to drive. You could say petrol and diesel runs in my veins. Whenever I need to clear my head or gather inspiration, I grab the keys and go for a spin. It’s not just about mobility, freedom, and independence; driving, at least for me, is simply a way of life. Traffic, potholes, and speed cameras be damned!

Imagine my surprise when I perused over the Why Driving Matters survey commissioned by Hagerty. The survey revealed that millennials, once thought to be less interested in vehicle ownership, are still passionate about driving their own cars, despite the impending arrival of autonomous vehicles.

Hagerty commissioned the survey in response to the rapid development of autonomous vehicles. The mixed poll of a thousand U.S drivers consisted of roughly 35 percent millennial, 26 percent Generation X, and 31 percent baby boomer.

People Still Love Driving

Ready for the juicy bits? Here are the results:

  • 59% said driving is a form of stress release.
  • 61% said it’s often a positive emotional experience.
  • 70% of respondents consider driving as “time for myself.”
  • 79% of all respondents from ALL generations are still passionate about it.
  • 81% said learning to drive a car is a rite of passage worth preserving; and
  • 85% said it’s an important part of American culture.

Think Americans are the only ones? In a similar survey conducted by Telegraph Motoring and AXA Insurance more than eight years ago, nearly seven out of 10 respondents in the United Kingdom said they still enjoy driving despite rising levels of congestion, astronomical fuel prices, punitive car taxes, and incessant speed enforcement.

It is safe to assume people from all over the world are not fully inclined to pass on the driving chores when full autonomous vehicles become commonplace. In fact, Hagerty’s survey also revealed that more than 85 percent of people will always want the option of driving a car themselves. Perhaps more surprising is the fact that 79 percent aren’t willing to see driving disappear anytime in the near future. 66 percent said automated and human-operated vehicles could co-exist peacefully.

Protecting The Love

Hagerty has launched an initiative to organize and amplify the voices of car lovers by hosting a series of town hall discussions to engage the public and the media on the importance of driving. Autonomous vehicles and their impact on society was one of Hagerty’s first such town hall discussions, with Wayne Carini of Chasing Classic Cars and former General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz as panelists.

“One of our goals will be to work with policymakers so that years or even decades from now when the bulk of cars are fully autonomous, the act of driving is protected,” explained McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty. “We also want to facilitate the discussion about what driving looks like in the future – will driving someday be mostly a suburban activity? Will there be driving parks or experience centers? Will cars that drive themselves increase interest in the analog experience of driving yourself at times? We suspect so, but now’s the time to have those conversations.”

70 percent of respondents said they consider time in the car as “time for myself.”

Car Lovers Unite!

We spoke with Lauren Witt, a Detroit-based Automotive Product Specialist involved with numerous consumer-focused ride-and-drive programs for global automakers. She knows firsthand how people react behind the wheel and is taken back by Hagerty’s survey.

“Honestly, I’m happy to see so many people still enjoy driving. It actually surprised me a little bit to see some of the percentages,” Witt said. “The thrill you get when you’re behind the wheel of a performance vehicle or an off-road vehicle is something that can’t be duplicated.”

In Hagerty’s survey, 85 percent of respondents said driving is an important part of American culture. Another 81 percent consider it a rite of passage, something Witt understands.

“I believe that going through driver’s training and getting your license is important for young adults. It not only teaches them a skill but also teaches them responsibility,” Witt explained. “For most, it is their first step towards freedom and adulthood.”

“As a child I could not wait to drive. I counted down the days until I got my driver’s license. Then when I was 17 my dad taught me how to drive a stick. So for me driving really was and is an experience and skill I love and take pride in,” she continued.

81 percent said learning to drive is a rite of passage and worth preserving.

Finding Balance

Autonomous cars may save lives, but Hagerty’s survey shows most people are still innately passionate about being behind the wheel. Witt believes that passion is not likely to disappear, even with the onset of full autonomy.

“I don’t think it can replace the love of driving but I think it can provide a new appreciation for a different type of experience,” Witt said. “I think it’s amazing the type of technology that has been developed in the automotive industry, and I’m excited to see what happens in the future with autonomous vehicles. But it could never replace the feel you get when actually driving a car.”

One problem with autonomous vehicles is how to keep those who love driving involved.

“That’s a tough one,” Witt acknowledged. “The best way would be to provide an autonomous or non-autonomous mode. It could be a tricky thing to balance.”

Cadillac’s Super Cruise can automatically steer, brake, and keep the car positioned on the highway in certain, optimal conditions. Photo: Cadillac.

A Car Enthusiast’s Perspective

We sought the opinion of Peter Heffring, CEO of Formula Experiences at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia. He is the man behind one of America’s top race car driving experiences, and we were able to get a taste of it recently. We asked Heffring how his passion for driving started and what led him to create Formula Experiences.

“I started going to track days 30 years ago but took up racing in 2012. Driving at high speed is the most intense mind/body experience and requires complete mental and physical focus – you completely forget all your troubles behind the wheel,” Heffring explained. “This love of racing and driving at such high speed was core in creating Formula Experiences. My hope is everyone can have this experience to stimulate their senses and feel alive.”

Hagerty’s survey revealed that 71 percent of respondents said driving is often fun even when they’re not driving for fun. This holds true whether behind the wheel of an everyday vehicle or track-tuned race car. What is so unique about it that people still find joy in the act of driving? For some, like Heffring, it’s simply the thrill.

“On the track, you are free to explore both the car and your limits. The unique part of driving a race car is that they have a far higher safety limit at speed, so everyday drivers can experience going faster in a race car and feel completely safe,” he said. “Our race cars, for example, are open cockpit with no artificial controls. It is you and the car with hurricane force winds, screaming engines, and the raw visceral feel from every movement of the car!”

Emotional Connection

In Hagerty’s survey, 61 percent said driving is a positive and emotional experience, something we have likely all experienced in our own cars.

“For many, it could mean freedom from everyday life, especially on a track, an open highway or winding mountain road. Driving is definitely part of our culture as we have so many amazing roads across America, and being able to drive is a huge milestone for many,” Heffring explained. “Driving connects the mind and body, brings the senses to life, and gives you the freedom to explore.”

Witt believes the love of driving will remain, although Heffring is on the opposite side of the fence.

“Unfortunately, yes,” he said when asked if autonomous cars will replace the love of driving. “For those that love driving, there is power and freedom in controlling the vehicle that will be lost.”

Photo: Alex Hartman for Sense Media.

Future Considerations

Autonomous vehicles will inevitably enhance road safety, but where is the balance between safety and freedom?

“Full autonomy is going to save lives, make commuting easier, and unclog cities,” Hagerty explained. “But these survey results also indicate that people, including millennials, are always going to want to drive themselves when they want to. It is clear people don’t want to lose the joy, freedom, and control that comes with having their hands on the wheel.”

“Being in control of the car is a different dynamic,” Witt added. “I’m excited to see what happens in the future with autonomous vehicles, but would love to continue to see people share and voice their love for driving – hopefully that will preserve this skill and experience for future generations.”

Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine. 



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Monday, August 13, 2018

2018 Toyota Tundra Limited CrewMax Review

Even though it hasn’t had a major overhaul since 2007, the 2018 Toyota Tundra gets a minor refresh. Tundra deals in a very competitive environment with the top-selling Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Nissan Titan, and Ram 1500. The current generation Tundra was revised for 2014 but still brings some attitude, although the theme for 2018 is safety.

This weekend, we drove the top trim Toyota Tundra Limited CrewMax.

What’s New For 2018

All 2018 Toyota Tundras get refreshed styling this year and the Toyota Safety Sense driver assist package. This package includes a plethora of safety technology.

Features & Options

The 2018 Toyota Tundra Limited CrewMax 4X4 ($45,300) comes standard with perforated leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, 20-inch alloy wheels, 10-way power driver’s seat with memory, heated front seats, power vertical rear window, and fold-up rear seats. Safety features include forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning, auto high-beam control, and adaptive cruise control.

Our Tundra Limited tester came with the optional Limited Premium package ($1,850) adding an anti-theft alarm, front and rear parking sensors, a blind-spot monitoring system, and rear cross-traffic alert. It also included premium JBL audio and navigation. Total MSRP, including destination: $49,123.

Interior Highlights

Tundra’s seats are big and roomy, but we thought they could use a bit more cushioning. Controls are large, logically arranged, and easy to figure out. We could even change the radio station without the owner’s manual. The central console is huge and as a result, perfect for working in the field because it can easily hold a laptop.

We had an “on the go” lunch in the truck this weekend and stored plenty of snacks in the center console. 

The big CrewMax offers seating for five with leg space for taller riders in every seat. The backseats fold up easily with one pull of the handle, opening up to a large cargo area that’s ready to carry those bigger work items. Toyota opted for the folding seats over the tilt and recline feature so you can carry tools or other valuable items you’d prefer to have inside and not in the bed.

Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs

A 5.7-liter V8 provides 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft. of torque. The engine is standard on Limited, Platinum, 1794, and TRD Pro trims, while all Tundras equipped with the 5.7 come with a tow package.

EPA fuel economy estimates are 13/17 city/highway and 14 combined with four-wheel drive. 

Driving Dynamics

The 5.7-liter V8 impresses, thanks in large part to its generous torque output and smooth-shifting six-speed automatic. We had no problem passing slower traffic. On the open road, Tundra gives the driver a feeling of confidence and security with its size, commanding view of the road, and 20-inch wheels.

Ride quality is reasonably comfortable, though rough pavement and the dirt roads leading to our house produced impacts beyond the normal range. During our urban driving, the Tundra handled well in heavy city traffic. The rear backup camera came in handy as we parked the longer CrewMax.

Tundra’s theme for 2018 is safety. This tester was loaded with extra tech to keep the big truck safe in traffic. The front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring system, and rear cross-traffic alert all worked well. We heard the alarms go off as we approached potential danger in heavy Denver traffic this week. The truck is long, and has the potential for accidents in the city and it’s worth the extra $1,850.

Those looking for something smaller can opt for the Toyota Tacoma.

Conclusion

The 2018 Toyota Tundra Limited CrewMax is a capable full-size pickup, and when equipped with the extra safety technology, it can keep you secure when driving in the city. For those using it for hunting, camping or as a serious construction work vehicle, it’s highly capable.

Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy

2018 Toyota Tundra Gallery

2018 Toyota Tundra Official Site.

Photos: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (additional models and trim levels shown)



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