Toyota Tacoma grows bigger and better

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Toyota has been highly successful selling small pickup trucks in the United States since it introduced the Stout in 1964. The name was changed to Hi-Lux in 1969, and by September 1977 Toyota had sold a million trucks to U.S. customers.

The pickup’s last complete makeover occurred in 1995 when the Tacoma nameplate was introduced. For a decade the Tacoma has been one of the most popular pickups in the segment with only minor modifications and a few exterior styling tweaks.

Toyota Sequoia in a game of numbers

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

With little fanfare, Toyota has endowed its biggest sport utility vehicle with more horsepower and torque.

The large Sequoia, which has done battle with the Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Tahoe since 2001 and with the Nissan Armada since 2003, needed an injection of power. And darn if they didn’t sneak some in while we weren’t looking.

Toyota Corolla XRS adds a touch of rush

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Toyota Corolla is the world’s best selling car. That may be news to some people. But for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have owned a Corolla in recent times, that won’t come as a surprise.
They know about the compact car’s build quality, reliability, excellent resale value and good gas mileage. And consequently it should come as no surprise, too, that this year, J.D. Power and Associates named the Corolla the most dependable compact car sold in America.

Toyota’s 2005 Avalon has a new look and new energy

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

We sat in a press conference in Atlanta more than 10 years ago thinking what an idiotic decision. Toyota was heralding the addition of a full-sized sedan to its lineup of small and mid-sized cars and trucks.

The Japanese automaker was announcing a new car with a front bench seat option and a shifter on the column that would give it six-passenger space and go head-to-head with Buick, Chrysler and Mercury.

Suzuki Aerio SX is sure to win new friends

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Suzuki has always been a minor player in the U.S. auto market. The Japanese company over the past couple of decades is perhaps most known for its small sport utility vehicles and its partner relationship with General Motors.

For many people in the U.S., Suzuki is probably better known for its motorcycles. It is the world’s third-largest motorcycle builder.

tC moves Scion beyond Gen Y

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

Throw out the Gen Y rigmarole. This neatly designed and well-built Scion hatchback is a mainstream product. If it appeals to us it surely will appeal to anyone who is interested in a sporty two-door car with impeccable fit and finish that is fun to drive.

If we are going to hook a target audience up to the all-new Scion tC, let’s throw in a couple other market demographic types such as Generation X and the Baby Boomers.

Porsche Cayenne S goes anywhere with gusto

By Jim Meachen and Ted Biederman

He scratched his head in an “I don¹t believe it” posture as he walked around the Porsche Cayenne S in the parking lot of our townhome community. Our maintenance guy knows that Porsche has built sports cars for many years. And he knows that Chevrolet and Ford build trucks. He drives a pickup every day. And he probably knows that most automakers build some sort of SUV these days.