SEMA360

Toyota Tacoma, Supra builds deliver two different types of extreme adventure

The Papadakis Racing Rockstar Energy Drink GR Supra is just one of the extreme builds Toyota is showing off during SEMA this year.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.

SEMA isn't being held in the long rooms of the Las Vegas Convention Center. This year, specialty equipment makers are showing off their goods online in an event called SEMA360. Toyota is taking the opportunity to unveil six new builds, four of which they have already revealed.

"When SEMA decided to go virtual, we knew we wanted to be a part of it because when we commit to something at Toyota, we see it through no matter what, and this year is no exception," said Ed Laukes, group vice president – Toyota Division Marketing. "For 2020, we're celebrating pure performance, both on and off road. Supra and Tacoma are legendary brands with legendary performance, so it made sense to use them to set the stage this year."

Here's what they brought.

4WD Toyota Owner Magazine Overland-Ready Tacoma

4WD Toyota Owner Magazine Overland-Ready Tacoma

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.

From Toyota: "Seizing upon overlanding's growing popularity, the 4WD Toyota Owner Magazine editors dreamed up their own version of the ultimate rig with heavy duty features that align with Toyota's 'go anywhere and push your journey forward' ruggedness and reliability. This build, based on a Tacoma TRD Off-Road pickup, is a full-on outdoors lifestyle machine fitted with a Magnuson Superchargers Roots-type blower and is capable of carrying adventurers with room for their bikes, kayaks, and camping and hiking gear."

Ornamental Conifer GR Supra

Ornamental Conifer GR Supra

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.

From Toyota: "This bold project features one-of-a-kind, eye-catching artwork by Ornamental Conifer, the moniker for British artist Nicolai Sclater who is art director at Race Service, the Los Angeles creative agency and culture hub connecting people who share a passion for car and pop culture. Inspired by enthusiasts' GR Supra builds, Sclater started with a beautiful canvas, a 2021 GR Supra 3.0 Premium in Turbulence Gray, adding expressions like 'True to Form' and 'Lightning Response' as nods to past and present Supra attributes. Meticulously working with enamel paint and brushes, Sclater hand painted every letterform and graphic, a painstaking tribute to the lost art of sign painting."

GReddy Performance Formula D GR Supra

GReddy Performance Formula D GR Supra

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.

From Toyota: "Built by Ken Gushi Motorsports and GReddy Performance, driver Ken Gushi currently drives the No. 21 GR Supra in the 2020 Formula Drift Pro class. The build focused on three goals: efficiency, simplicity, and impact. As with all race cars, engineering a design that facilitates efficient and quick repairs can be the difference between winning and losing. The simplicity mandate pared down the package to only things needed in a pro drift racer, resulting in a simple and clean race car. Finally, impact – how the package resonates with drifting fans and accentuates the GR Supra's already stunning design – provides the visual and performance 'wow' factor fans enjoy."

Papadakis Racing Rockstar Energy Drink GR Supra

Papadakis Racing Rockstar Energy Drink GR Supra

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.

From Toyota: "Built by Papadakis Racing, the 2020 GR Supra with its powerful B58 inline six-cylinder engine proved to be an excellent foundation for the organization's latest racing project. Driven by 2015 Formula Drift champion Fredric Aasbo, the No. 151 GR Supra enjoys tremendous notoriety thanks to the nine-episode YouTube series that documented the build and earned more than 14 million views. Aasbo and the 1,033-horsepower GR Supra are currently in contention for the championship in the 2020 Formula Drift Pro class."

Teaser: GR Supra Sport Top

Teaser: TRD Sport Trailer

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The Ascent got updated styling and fresh tech.

Subaru

Subaru's lineup is full of useful, adventure-ready vehicles, but most are not accommodating for full-size families. The Ascent solved that issue for the automaker a few years ago, and has been a popular family option since. It got a mild update for 2023 with a facelift and new tech. The Ascent comes in five trims: Base, Premium, Onyx Edition, Limited, and Touring. It's expected to go on sale in fall 2022.

The Subaru comes with a new front fascia design that adds a new grille and aggressive styling up front. Lower air ducts help improve aerodynamics, and in higher trims the components come with chrome trim. The SUV's C-shaped taillights got a refresh as well, and now feature a sharper shape to better match the vehicle's overall styling.

2023 Subaru AscentThe new front fascia design is more aggressive than before. Subaru

The Ascent's powertrain remains in place, which is a turbocharged 2.54-liter four-cylinder making 260 horsepower. It sends power to all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission that offers a simulated eight-speed manual shifting mode. Subaru's X-Mode driving mode comes standard, which alters throttle response and other vehicle behavior to maintain traction in slippery conditions. Torque vectoring, which allows the vehicle to shift torque between wheels that need it most, also comes standard.

A new Onyx Edition trim joins the Ascent line for 2022. It brings a standard 11.6-inch touchscreen with navigation, a Harman Kardon sound system, power seats, and a panoramic sunroof. The base Ascent comes with features such as 18-inch wheels, USB inputs, tri-zone automatic climate controls, three rows of seating, and a whopping 19 cupholders. Subaru also offers an optional Cabin Connect system, which allows the driver or front passenger to communicate to people behind them through the stereo using a front-cabin-mounted microphone.

2023 Subaru AscentThe Ascent's interior is available with great tech, such as an 11.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Subaru

Subaru EyeSight safety equipment comes standard with every Ascent. The system is improved for 2023 with a wider field of vision and new software. A new wide-angle camera joins EyeSight's existing two-camera setup to provide better pedestrian and cyclist detection when approaching intersections. Blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and lane change assist are available.

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Family-friendly three-row SUVs

Three of our favorite three-row SUVs for 2022

The Grand Cherokee L is available with two different powertrain choices.

Jeep

There are more three-row SUVs on sale than ever before, so it can be tough to make a choice between them. You need to balance space, performance, safety, and tech to make your decision, and doing your homework is important. To help you get started down the right path, we've selected three of our favorite three-row family haulers. These are SUVs that bring the latest features and excellent design features to help keep you and your family rolling. Let's get started.

2023 Toyota SequoiaThe Sequoia is all-new for the 2023 model year, and finally stands on level ground with its rivals.Toyota

Toyota Sequoia

Toyota gave the Sequoia a much-needed overhaul for the 2023 model year that brought it up to speed with its competitors. The thirsty V8 and outdated styling are gone, and in their place, Toyota installed a twin-turbo V6 with a hybrid system that produces 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque. A ten-speed automatic transmission and either rear- or four-wheel drive are available.

The Sequoia’s update brought a new infotainment system with a much more intuitive, fluid interface. It runs on a standard 8-inch or an optional 14-inch touchscreen. Toyota’s new software offers voice controls, standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and much more.

Inside, the Sequioa’s interior feels much more upscale and modern than before, and there’s plenty of room for the entire family and all their gear across its three spacious rows. Starting with the Limited trim, Toyota gives luxurious standard features, including heated and ventilated front seats, a larger touchscreen, a hands-free liftgate, and a heated steering wheel.

2023 Kia TellurideKia updated the ultra-popular Telluride for 2023 with refreshed styling and features.Kia

Kia Telluride

The Kia Telluride is easily one of the best family vehicles from the last ten years, and it offers great value on top of its functional characteristics. Kia updated the SUV for 2022 with a new 10.25-inch infotainment system and a highway driving assistance system.

The Telluride comes with a 3.8-liter V6 that produces 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. The SUV’s engine may not be the most powerful or thrilling, but it gets the job done and offers refined, smooth operation.

Kia equips the base Telluride with seating for eight, but the optional second-row captain’s chairs reduce capacity to seven. Interior fit and finish, materials, and styling are all far more upscale than the Telluride’s price tag would suggest, making the SUV an excellent family companion for longer road trips.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee LThe Grand Cherokee got a third row for the first time with the new L.Jeep

Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Jeep completely overhauled the Grand Cherokee for 2021 and added a new three-row “L” model shortly after. The new Grand Cherokee L features boxy, muscular styling that works with its stretched profile. Even with a new shape, the SUV is immediately recognizable as a Grand Cherokee.

Jeep offers two engines in the 2022 Grand Cherokee L. The base mill is a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is available that produces 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. Both come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and the V8 comes standard with four-wheel drive.

The L is more premium inside than most likely expect from a Jeep, but at the top end of the model line it’s deep into luxury territory, both on price and design. The Jeep is just shy of its competitors on interior space, but there’s still plenty of room for up to seven people. Top trims get luxury finishes like leather and woodgrain, and available tech like a rear-seat entertainment system helps keep everyone happy for the long haul.

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