Toyota 4runner Vs Toyota Land Cruiser Vs Toyota Rav4 Trd Off-road Suspension Flex Test

Toyota 4Runner vs Toyota Land Cruiser vs Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road Suspension Flex Test

As I sit down to write this, it's dawning on me that I have owned all three of these vehicles at one point or another. The Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road is the one that currently shades my driveway. You've seen it before. Twice.

But I actually brought my wife and newborn daughter home from the hospital in a 1996 Toyota RAV4, a four-door model with a manual transmission, lockable center differential and a Torsen rear differential. It may have looked like a hiking boot, but it handled like a rally car on my dirt road commute, which was so utterly deserted I could fully exploit the route's numerous corners and float over its perfectly-shaped jump.

2020 Honda Ridgeline Suspension Deep Dive | How It Works

2020 Honda Ridgeline Suspension Deep Dive | How it works

Many have their doubts about the Honda Ridgeline's unibody structure and independent rear suspension. Not me. I once drove the latest Ridgeline generation to Racetrack Playa, a geological wonder you may have read about in Death Valley. The trip there was a tooth-rattling 54-mile out and back journey on a badly washboarded dirt road, but thanks to its carlike unibody structure and independent rear suspension doing a better job sucking up the washboard at speed, the Ridgeline survived the trip much better than two off-road package trucks that tagged along. It may have returned with one slightly leaky rear shock, but the Tacoma TRD Off-Road and Nissan Titan XD Pro-4X suffered dramatic explosive failures of their rear shocks and irreversible heat damage to their front ones.

The Ridgeline's suspension has no equal in the pickup world when it comes to on-road ride and handling, and unlike the weird first generation's compromised bed, the new one's is longer and wider than any other midsize crew cab. It's got that trunk and two-way tailgate, too. By all accounts it's a great truck if you can admit you'll never take it to Moab. But Death Valley surprised me. Much like that original generation, the 2020 Honda Ridgeline is actually quite well-suited to some off-highway situations. Let's see if we can figure out why.

Toyota 4runner Trd Off-road Suspension Flex Test | How Does Kdss Work And What Does It Do?

Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road Suspension Flex Test | How does KDSS work and what does it do?

You've seen this particular Toyota 4Runner before because it was the subject of the first Suspension Deep Dive I wrote for Autoblog. It's still hanging around my driveway and available to make the occasional repeat appearance because, well, it's mine. I chose the TRD Off-Road for a couple of reasons, some of which will come into play on my Flex Index ramp.

First, it's the only model other than the TRD Pro that comes with a push-button locking rear differential, electronic crawl control and multi-terrain select. Second, it can cost as much as $10,000 less than a TRD Pro, particularly if you're content with cloth seating and no sunroof, as I am. I used some of the money I saved to buy the third item: an option called KDSS, the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System. Importantly, this clever option can only be fitted to a TRD Off-Road; it's not even available on the TRD Pro.

Toyota Recalls Select 2019-2020 Rav4s Due To Faulty Suspension Parts

Toyota recalls select 2019-2020 RAV4s due to faulty suspension parts

Toyota has issued a recall for certain 2019-2020 RAV4 and RAV4 hybrid crossovers due to the risk of defective suspension parts. In total, 9,502 vehicles might have cracked lower suspension parts that lead to a dangerous situation. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) posted campaign No. 20V286000 on May 20, 2020. The recall states that "the front lower suspension arms may have cracks, which may result in the suspension arm separating from the front wheel assembly." Furthermore, a recall documents states, "if a vehicle is driven frequently with rapid acceleration and deceleration over its lifetime, an involved front lower suspension arm can eventually separate." Rapid acceleration and deceleration seem like pretty common occurrences in cars.

2021 Acura Tlx To Use Dedicated Platform And Wishbone Front Suspension

2021 Acura TLX to use dedicated platform and wishbone front suspension

Acura claims the 2021 TLX will be the "quickest, best-handling, and most well-appointed sport sedan in Acura history." The experts at Autoblog won't be able to put that statement to the test for several months, but all signs thus far are positive. After showing off the rear of the car a week ago, Acura just released a new teaser of the front fascia. Along with the photo, Acura announced the upcoming TLX will use its own brand-exclusive sports sedan platform and will have a double wishbone front suspension.

Before the 2021 TLX's digital unveiling that will take place, May 28 at 1:00 p.m. EST (10:00 a.m. PDT) on Acura.com, Honda's luxury branch has slowly been releasing enticing tidbits about the all-new four-door. The teasers show the car will look very similar to the beautiful Type S Concept, and a Type S performance variant will use a powerful turbocharged 3.0-liter V6.  

Toyota Land Cruiser Vs Lexus Lx 570 Suspension Flex Test | Measuring Suspension Articulation On An Rti Ramp

Toyota Land Cruiser vs Lexus LX 570 Suspension Flex Test | Measuring suspension articulation on an RTI ramp

There's no need to explain the Toyota Land Cruiser, one of Toyota's earliest successful products. The 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition celebrates some 60 years of popularity of a vehicle that has survived the segment's "mall wagon" phase and the rise of crossovers. Its already-sterling reputation has received an additional recent push from the rise of overlanding — an outdoor pastime that has always existed but only recently got a press agent.

By comparison, the Lexus LX is a more recent development. Debuting in 1996, the LX 470 was little more than an 80-series Land Cruiser with cladding, a Lexus badge and a higher price. The amount of styling differentiation and luxury specialization has increased over the years to the point that the newest LX 570 actually seems like a completely different vehicle.

2020 Acura Nsx Suspension Deep Dive | How It Works

2020 Acura NSX Suspension Deep Dive | How it works

The Acura NSX has been a special car as long as I've been in the business. The first one came out in 1990, the same year I started my career in automotive engineering. I vividly remember driving one briefly back then when we brought one in for benchmarking. I'd drive it again 22 years later when my previous employer bought a used 1991 example for a long-term test. Reader interest was sky-high and the car was still gorgeous, but the march of time and automotive engineering had clearly left it behind.

Then, in 2016, a second-generation NSX emerged, and it was packed with bleeding-edge thinking. It has a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, but this new NSX is a hybrid with an electric motor-generator sandwiched between the engine and its nine-speed DCT transmission. Two more electric motors – one for each wheel – power the front axle. There they can add traction, regenerate electricity under braking and dole out hyper-accurate levels of torque vectoring.

2020 Mazda Mx-5 Miata Suspension Deep Dive | How It Works

2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata Suspension Deep Dive | How it works

Full disclosure: I'm a longtime Miata fan. And by longtime I mean since mid-1989, the year I obtained, through a series of fortunate connections, one of the three original Chicago auto show display cars. But this was no blatant attempt to butter up a journalist – I barely knew how to spell the word. At the time I worked for the Department of Defense and was racing SCCA showroom stock on the side.

It was destined to be a racecar. I was assured it'd be quick, but doubts surfaced when I arrived at Mazda's dealer training center to pick it up. "Oh, it's that cute Elan-looking thing," I probably said. But my mind was utterly changed when I eyeballed its double-wishbone suspension and other cleverly engineered features hiding beneath its skin. In subsequent years of racing – and eventually restoring – that car, I spent uncountable hours being impressed by it.

2020 Subaru Outback Suspension | How It Works, Ground Clearance

2020 Subaru Outback Suspension | How it works, ground clearance

The 2020 Subaru Outback is a completely redesigned car. It has a lot to offer in terms of new convenience features, and the driving experience is much improved. A good deal of that comes from chassis improvements, and indeed a lot of work went into making the body shell and suspension subframes more rigid so the suspension attachment points could be more robust and stable.

Don't let all of that rigidity talk make you think the ride itself is stiff. It isn't. Any suspension tuning engineer will tell you that a stable platform is necessary even if a smooth ride is the goal. Rigid attachment points make it easier to control ride motions and road imperfections within those components designed for that very job – the springs, dampers and suspension bushings.

2020 Toyota Supra Suspension | How It Works

2020 Toyota Supra Suspension | How it works

The new 2020 Toyota Supra is amazing, and by now its bold styling has begun to grow on me. It helps that the first one I drove proved to be an absolute blast on a tight and technical circuit, and this yellow example I've got now shows it to be a pleasant and compliant daily driver –– even on some pretty terrible broken concrete roads in my Southern California neighborhood.

Much of this, of course, has to do with the underlying BMW-ness of this car, which rides on a shared platform and is built at the same Austrian plant that assembles the BMW Z4 convertible. That said, Toyota deserves a lot of credit for solid choices when it comes to the Supra's distinct suspension tuning.

2020 Toyota Tundra Trd Pro Drivers' Notes | Suspension, Engine, Interior

2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Drivers' Notes | Suspension, engine, interior

The 2020 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is crawling into the new year with some worthwhile upgrades, but it's still the same truck we've known for a long time. Now, you can enjoy Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or Amazon Alexa on the 8-inch infotainment screen as you blast through muddy trails while taking advantage of those Fox Racing shocks, TRD springs and all-terrain tires. All the added tech is great, but the addition of Army Green to the color palette in 2020 is hands-down the best part of this year's Tundra TRD Pro. It makes the already imposing truck look even more aggressive. We love it, and we're sure truck buyers will, too. There's nothing distinctive under the hood of the TRD Pro, as it's blessed with the same 5.7-liter V8 found in any other Tundra. It makes 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque and channels that through a six-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive is standard for the TRD Pro, and it accomplishes an impressively terrible 14(!) mpg combined. Unfortunately, that's about all we could manage with our week in the Tundra — using the right pedal is dangerously addictive with the TRD dual exhaust bellowing out its battle cry behind us.  Toyota loads the TRD Pro up with most of the features you might want as standard equipment, so it has a steep starting price at $54,275. With that high price, you get the 18-inch BBS forged wheels, LED headlights, TRD Pro leather-trimmed interior, JBL premium audio system and Toyota's full suite of driver assistance systems that includes niceties like adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert and auto high beams among other features. Our truck only had a few accessories on it that brought the final price up to $55,020. Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore: The Tundra TRD Pro sounds great. The 5.7-liter V8's note funneled through the dual exhaust has character. It's low and there's a bit of rumble and growl in there. An angry thrumming was produced when I jabbed the throttle. It's forceful. Sometimes, I'd put the pedal about a quarter of the way down, let the revs build and then accelerate harder while jockeying for lane position. It sounds menacing throughout the band. The black chrome treatment is slick, too. TRD trim does a lot of material and cosmetic things for Toyotas of all shapes and sizes, and the sound the Tundra makes is one of my favorite results.  While I'm focusing primarily on the sound TRD gave the Tundra, I was impressed with the effect Toyota's performance arm has on the entire truck. The suspension is sprung nicely for both on and off-road dynamics, and the TRD Pro Army Green color makes this thing look the part of an enforcer. It's subtle and tasteful, yet in command.

The @Toyota Tundra TRD Pro in Army Green. I like it. TRD trim does some cool things for the Tundra. And the exhaust tuning sounds really good. @therealautoblog pic.twitter.com/Djb5j2bAqs — Greg Migliore (@GregMigliore) December 17, 2019 Assistant Editor, Zac Pamer: Toyota is finally getting around to adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto into its infotainment systems, and this deserves some recognition. The 2020 Tundra is one of those models and it's about time as Toyota has been one of the last holdouts for implementation of the technology. It worked great on our Tundra TRD Pro tester, connecting instantly and working flawlessly the whole time. However, that's where the good stuff ends on this infotainment system. Toyota's software is still slow and behind most of the others out there. The graphics look dated, and there aren't any standout features to speak of. The interior design is similarly behind the times. The red and black TRD Pro flourishes are nice and plenty noticeable, but it doesn't fix the generally boring overall look and hard plastics. Stepping out of a new Ram 1500 and into this truck's interior will make you wonder why the Tundra costs so damn much. In a TRD Pro, some of it is forgivable because of its intended purpose as an off-road truck. Other Tundras, not so much. We've seen plenty of evidence to show a redesigned Tundra is coming, so wait it out if a competitive interior is top of mind. The current TRD Pro excels at being fun to drive, but these other sore points are where the American competitors have it nailed.

The BEST color for the Tundra TRD Pro: Army Green. pic.twitter.com/vk6EGSxWfD — Zac Palmer (@zacpalmerr) December 20, 2019 Associate Editor, Joel Stocksdale: The Tundra is an old truck, and that shows through in its stale interior and less refined driving experience compared with the latest crop of full-size pickups. That being said, there are some perks to it, some of which might be a by-product of its age. For instance, the visibility is so good, it makes this truck feel smaller than it is. The hood is lower relative to your seating position, and the pillars are nice and thin. It's a welcome change from the competition that can be nerve-wracking in tight spaces if it weren't for loads of cameras. Also surprising was the fact that the Tundra feels nimble for a big truck. Body roll is limited and the steering is quick and accurate. There's even some feedback. This is countered by a stiff, truck-like ride, but it was worth it to me. With that throaty exhaust growl, it almost felt sporty. Sure it's not the segment leader, but the Tundra still has its strong points.

Toyota 4runner Trd Off-road Suspension Deep Dive

Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road Suspension Deep Dive

The 2020 Toyota 4Runner represents the 11th year of a fifth-generation design that debuted as a 2010 model. So it's not new, but that also doesn't stop it from being more successful than ever. Sales have been on the rise every year since, with a notable spike in 2015 after it got a minor facelift and a freshened dashboard. There were welcome tech updates for 2020. However, nothing much has changed on the mechanical side in all of that time. Why is that? The answer has two parts. The competition has morphed into crossovers, leaving the 4Runner as one of the last truck-based SUVs standing. It's also legendary in its own right when it comes to off-road performance and durability. Instagrammers and Overlanders, as well as those who follow Overlanders on Instagram, seem to be magnetically drawn to it. The one that best encapsulates this vibe is the TRD Off-Road (known as the Trail before 2017), a thoughtfully-equipped model that occupies the second rung in the price ladder. There's no doubt the TRD Pro is a nice piece, but the TRD-Off Road is far less expensive, much easier to find, and it still has the same locking rear differential, Crawl Control, and the Multi Terrain Select traction control optimization system. Sure, you won't get the Pro's knobbier tires and tricky shocks, but you can replicate both in the aftermarket and still have a good chunk of money left over. And the TRD Off-Road offers a potent option you can't get on the Pro: KDSS, the Kinematic Dynamic Suspension System. Let's take a deep dive into the suspension of a 4Runner TRD Off-Road with KDSS. The 4Runner's front suspension is very similar to that of the Toyota Tacoma, the dearly departed FJ Cruiser and even the Lexus GX. All of the parts aren't necessarily interchangeable, but they all use a double wishbone layout with coil-over shocks that is functionally the same. It takes five links to locate a wheel in space, but each use of an A-shaped wishbone counts as two. Front suspensions obviously need to turn, so the fifth link is always the steering linkage (yellow arrow). This one is mounted ahead of the front axle, a position that is generally thought to be superior. It's also easy to execute when the engine is mounted longways, as it is in trucks and truck-based SUVs like the 4Runner.   The upper wishbone is mounted high, a position that reduces the load on the arm and its bushings, and makes it easier to optimize steering and camber geometry. Here the pivot axis is angled steeply down toward the rear, an arrangement that produces an anti-dive effect that works against the tendency for nose-dive under braking.   The lower wishbone (yellow) is hard to see here because every system wants a piece of it. The coil-over shock (green) bolts to it after it necks down to sneak past the driveshaft, but the elephant in the room is the massive and weird-looking front stabilizer bar (red) running along the front edge. Most 4Runners (and all Tacomas) have a smaller front stabilizer bar that loops over the top of the steering to connect with the open hole (blue) in the steering knuckle via a linkage. But this 4Runner has KDSS, which features a larger bar that runs along the front of the lower wishbone and is attached to it directly with an unusual bushing and clamp arrangement. You want KDSS whether you're going off-road or not. The system is essentially a pair of fatter stabilizer bars that are better at suppressing body roll (and upset stomachs) on winding roads. But such high roll stiffness is usually terrible off-road, where wheel articulation is king. The magic of KDSS is that it can sense these situations and let the bars go limp and effectively "disappear" at the opportune moment without driver intervention. The direct bolt-on mounting we see here is central to the way it works.   Normally, stabilizer pivot points are fixed rigidly to the frame and the links that connect to the moving suspension elements are out on the free ends. But you can switch that around if you attach the bar ends to the suspension directly. Here the KDSS stabilizer bar's pivot points are floating on links, with an entirely rigid one on the passenger side (yellow) and a hydraulic cylinder (green) on the driver side. The hydraulic side stays rigid on paved roads, and that holds the bar's pivot axis firmly in space so the stabilizer can offer twisting resistance to counteract vehicle roll in corners. Moguls and other lumpy off-road terrain causes the cylinder to go limp, and that allows this corner of the bar to move up and down freely. This action destroys the bar's ability to generate any roll stiffness, which is a boon to off-road wheel articulation. The end result is the same as the push-button stabilizer bar disconnect system on the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, but the method is entirely different and there's no button to push. But it's more than that. The ability to disconnect a stabilizer bar means you can mount a fatter one in the first place, and that's why a KDSS 4Runner corners flatter on winding roads and is better able to handle, say, a rooftop tent than a non-KDSS 4Runner. That same KDSS 4Runner will also articulate better when driven off-road despite its bigger stabilizer bars. There are downsides. KDSS costs $1,750. It comes with a front skidplate that hangs down a little more to allow for the expanding motion of the front strut. There's also a limit to how much you can lift a KDSS 4Runner. Estimates vary, but 2 inches seems to be the maximum.   The front bump stop is a rubber chunk that gets squished into the lower wishbone. Those concentric cuts help to make the engagement a bit more progressive, but the specific reason for the pebbly texture escapes me. If I had to guess, I'd say noise reduction.   All 4Runners come with sizable front brakes that consist of ventilated front rotors and 4-piston fixed calipers. They employ an open window design, which means a routine brake pad change is a simple matter of removing a pair of pins (yellow) and pulling the pads straight out. As ever, you'll have to unbolt and remove the caliper if the rotor needs attention.   The rear suspension of the 4Runner uses coil springs and a solid rear axle located by five links. The FJ Cruiser used a similar arrangement, but the Tacoma looks totally different back here because it uses leaf springs. That prominent bellows indicates another KDSS hydraulic cylinder, but the spare tire is in the way and needs to be cleared out before we can see very much detail.   A five-link axle mounting system should have two links per side, but we can only see one of them (yellow) here. Both would be clearly visible if this were a Ram 1500 or Jeep Gladiator. Instead we see a prominent outboard-mounted shock absorber, a placement that makes them more effective and allows them to nestle up to the tires where they're less likely to be snagged by trailside rocks. They're also ridiculously easy to access if you want to swap them out.   Each side's elusive "missing link" can be found inboard of the coil spring and just above the axle housing. We're now up to four.   There are bump stops, and then there are bump stops. The blocky one (yellow) is the actual bump stop. Its cupped shape hugs the axle itself without need for a flat landing pad, and the small void is there to soften the initial blow. There's also a structure within the coil spring itself, but this is more of a rubber secondary spring (green) than a bump stop. This gives the rear suspension a dual-rate function that comes into play when the vehicle is loaded. Toyota engineers shy away from progressive coil springs because of durability and noise concerns, so they chose this route instead.   Link number five is easy to see with the spare tire absent. It's a lateral panhard rod that keeps the axle from moving left and right. The fixed end (yellow) is attached to the frame and the moving end (green) is connected to the axle. Longer is better here, because a big swing radius reduces the amount of left-right translation that will occur as the link moves through its arc. For the same reason, it's even more critical for it to start out level at rest. The slight rise apparent here will almost certainly disappear with a couple of people on board.   The KDSS rear stabilizer is hard to miss with the spare tire out of the way. As in the front, the bar ends are fixed to the suspension and the pivot points seem to float. The passenger side pivot link (yellow) is always rigid and the driver side link is a hydraulic strut (green) that can either be rigid or limp depending on whether the vehicle is cornering on asphalt or riding the moguls off-road. The fact that it's back here at all is unique because most stabilizer bar disconnect systems only work at the front. KDSS, on the other hand, actually needs to be present at both ends for it to work at all. When cornering, the front and rear KDSS struts are "in phase" and both experience either compression or tension at the same time. The pressure is balanced, and so the pistons within the struts don't move. Moguls put the system in "opposite phase" in which one end is in compression while the other experiences tension. This large pressure differential allows the struts to move freely. The bars wobble about like a table with a short leg, but they can't generate any roll resistance.   The rear brakes are of two minds. The primary stopping power comes from a solid disc and a single-piston sliding caliper. But the rotor also has a deep "hat" section (yellow) that indicates the presence of a drum parking brake.   The TRD Off-Road rolls on 17x7.5-inch aluminum alloy wheels and P265/70R16 tires. That translates to 31.5 inches tall in old money, but the combination isn't light. Lift with your knees. The 4Runner stands apart in a world that is increasingly dominated by crossovers. The suspension we just examined is a big part of its appeal, not only in concept but also in Toyota's dedication to the design details that make it a legitimate performer off-road. But the 4Runner will soon have company. The Ford Bronco will return this year, and all indications point to a layout that is similar to the venerable 4Runner. Will it stack up well against the Toyota? The answer is only a few months away. Contributing writer Dan Edmunds is a veteran automotive engineer and journalist. He worked as a vehicle development engineer for Toyota and Hyundai with an emphasis on chassis tuning, and was the director of vehicle testing at Edmunds.com (no relation) for 14 years.

Court Orders Suspension Of Ikata Nuclear Reactor

Court orders suspension of Ikata nuclear reactor

A Japanese high court has ordered the suspension of a nuclear reactor in western Japan after local residents filed for an injunction over safety concerns.

The Hiroshima High Court issued the injunction on Friday afternoon for the No.3 reactor at the Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime Prefecture. The plant is operated by Shikoku Electric Power Company.