2016 Nissan Titan XD

2016 Nissan Titan XD

Episode 3539
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

After hauling up our Drivers’ Choice Award for Best Pickup, the Nissan Titan XD looks to wow us again. This time, running on tried and true V8 gasoline power.

The original 5.0 liter Cummins turbo diesel V8 was a torque-y and stout mover that impressed us mightily. A tow rating of 12,300 pounds impressed us, too.

This time, we’re cruisin’ in the 5.6 liter “Endurance” V8, a naturally aspirated gasoline engine carried over from the current gen, and also smaller, Titan. Although some reengineering bumps horsepower way up to 390, and torque to 401 lb-ft.

Compared to the diesel, there’s a penalty on tow rating, of course. But at around eleven hundred pounds less weight, it’s not as much as we expected. Max payload on the other hand, is actually up about 500 pounds.  

The lighter gas engine also makes it feel a little more nimble on its feet.

On sale now, the 2016 Nissan Titan XD, with V8 Gasoline power, starts around $36,000.       

Specifications

  • Engine: 5.6 liter
  • Horsepower: 390
  • Torque: Starts around $36,000
2025 RAM 1500

2025 RAM 1500

Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

It’s rugged, it’s refined, it’s the RAM 1500! We traveled to Austin, Texas to jump into the driver’s seat of the updated 2025 RAM 1500, including all the trim levels that we are used to seeing from ram: Tradesman, Big Horn, Lone Star, Laramie, Rebel, Limited Longhorn, and Limited. But, we have an all new name to add to the list: Tungsten! Tungsten is top tier when it comes to comfort and luxury, with quilted leather upholstery. Massaging seats and even a suede headliner! And as luck would have it, this is where we spent the bulk of our drive time!

The second you lay eyes on this truck, you can tell the exterior styling is sleeker and smoother. The R-A-M badge is more prominent and has been lifted to increase its presence. You’ll also see 8 unique grill designs depending on the model, along with new lighting, updated wheel options and color choices.

The base engine remains the 3.6-liter Pentastar v6 with an e-torque mild hybrid system. But there is an elephant in the room, or rather, under the hood, that must be addressed. And that’s the new 3.0-liter twin turbo inline-6 Hurricane engines that are replacing the HEMI V8. We can hear the moans and groans from here, but honestly, after driving it in the Jeep Grand Wagoneer and now in this 2025 RAM pickup, we’re here to say… this Hurricane-six kicks asphalt!

That loud HEMI growl may be gone, but what you gain in power and acceleration makes up for that in an instant. We tried out the 420 horsepower 468 lb-ft standard output engine as well as the 540 horsepower 541 lb-ft High Output version. Both deliver amazing performance while also improving fuel economy. And when using this truck for more trucklike purposes, there is a maximum payload of 2300 lbs and maximum trailer tow of 11,580 lbs. All three engine options are paired with an 8-speed torqueflite automatic transmission.

“So the twin turbo on this feeds one turbo, each, into a set of three cylinders. And with these smaller turbos, they spool up faster, which means a lot less… if not next to zero turbo lag which is a really great feature when you have to get up to speed quickly.”

2025 RAM pricing starts with the hard-working Tradesman at $40,275 and tops out with the Tungsten trim level at $87,155, plus destination fee.

RAM has put their best foot forward early this year, and we hear that RAM will have more exciting announcements for us in the near future! Until then, keep it locked right here, on MotorWeek!

2024 Toyota Tacoma 2

2024 Toyota Tacoma

Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

If you’ve been a devout MotorWeek viewer as of late– and really you should be– you’re probably aware of just how many midsize pickup trucks we’ve driven recently.

A long running staple is the Toyota Tacoma, now looking to defend its title as a best seller with an all-new generation. We witnessed the 2024 Tacoma’s big reveal in Hawaii earlier this year, and now we’re back from Southern California with some First Drive impressions.

At a time when consumers may feel limited in their options, the Tacoma remains a very configurable truck. I’m looking at the pricing sheet now, and I count 21 individual combinations– and that’s before including any hybrid models, so we’re just looking at regular i-FORCE units, their grades, cab styles, box lengths, transmissions and power distribution. It’s a lot to go over, so please bear with me. Let’s start with the basics.

Built from the ground-up, the new Tacoma borrows the brand’s TNGA-F global truck platform, shared with the full-size Tundra pickup, as well the Sequoia and Land Cruiser utilities. Buyers can select between a two-door “XtraCab” model with a six-foot bed, or a four-door “Double Cab” flanked by either a six- or five-foot bed.

Toyota is planning to offer eight grades total, starting with the base SR and moving up to the TRD Pro and the new Trailhunter. Those top trims come standard with an i-Force MAX hybrid powertrain; but, all the Tacos on our platter were of the non-hybrid variety, so we’re gonna focus on those today. Hybrid or not, the foundation of the powertrain is a turbocharged 2.4-liter i-FORCE inline-four, available with various power outputs.

The base SR is the lowest with 228 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque. The higher grades will output 278 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque when paired with the new eight-speed automatic. Max towing on the regular i-FORCE is up to 6,500 lbs; though, the base SR is at 3,500 lbs.

“So, needless to say, the new Tacoma is still a very configurable truck. So, with the different beds, with the different cabs, and with the different powertrains.

For example, I’m in the PreRunner right now. What’s interesting about the PreRunner- so, it’s got that four-cylinder and it’s got the extra power out of it mated to an eight-speed automatic; but, instead of going with the new suspension, it still has the leaf springs in the back. On top of that, it’s two-wheel drive only. So, if you wanna try and find something that’s not quite, you know, all the way at the top, you don’t want all the, uh, all the new stuff; you want something that’s still very much a truck, maybe it’s because you’re a budget conscious buyer, maybe you just want a truck that does truck-things and that’s it. You can probably find a grade of the Tacoma that’ll work for you.”

But that’s not all– Tacoma still offers a six-speed manual, and with this transmission the 2.4-liter makes up to 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed was easy enough to drive with little ambiguity in the pattern. The clutch was a little high in engagement, but easy to sus out and not much of a lower body workout. Though I will say, the new automatic was my preferred transmission. It’s smooth, quiet and puts the power down no problem– great for daily cruising and plenty capable on the trails.

As expected, the Tacoma can be equipped with four-wheel drive, useful for any off-road excursions, as are the various assistance features. Multi-Terrain Select works in 4-High and 4-Low, allowing drivers to mitigate wheel spin on various surfaces. CRAWL Control acts as an off-road cruise control of sorts, and Downhill Assist Control does exactly what the name suggests.

But one of the more substantial upgrades, be it for overlanding or not, is the new coil spring multi-link rear suspension. Now, good ol’ leaf springs are still standard on base offerings, but the coils serve as a worthwhile upgrade where applicable. They were a bit smoother on SoCal’s mountainous roads, and provided good articulation on the trail; however, I should note spending time in a leaf-spring Tacoma was far from uncomfortable, and about as agile as one could ask from this setup. For a more luxurious ride, the Limited comes with new Adaptive Variable Suspension.

By now you’ve been able to judge the new exterior vibes for yourself, so let’s move inside for a better look.

The cabin on base models is about what you’d expect; that is, cloth-trimmed seating with minimal frills. But it isn’t stripped down, as Toyota has outfitted an 8-inch infotainment screen as standard. Stepping up a few grades means plusher materials and more tech. For example, the standard 7-inch digital gauge cluster grows to 12.3-inches and the touchscreen gets beefed up to a 14-inch display. Heated and ventilated seats are available, and Toyota Safety Sense 3.0 is standard across the board.

Alright, I’ve said a lot of numbers and talked about a lot of different ways to build this thing; so, to avoid it all blending together like one big “Taco in a bag,” let’s wrap up. And what better way to do that than with pricing?

A 2024 Toyota Tacoma starts at $32,995; that’s for an SR XtraCab 4×2 and includes Toyota’s $1,495 processing and handling fee. All other i-FORCE grades fall somewhere between there and the top-trim Limited’s $53,595 starting price. A couple of notable mentions– the PreRunner starts just shy of $40,000, and the TRD Off-Road starts just over $43,000– and that’s with the manual. Add about a grand for the automatic. Expect these midsize pickup trucks to arrive on dealer lots December 2023.

Our official Road Test is just around the bend, and we’ll also have more on the upcoming i-FORCE MAX hybrid models soon. But in the meantime, drive safe and stay tuned to MotorWeek.