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  1. Toyota isn't immune to the falling sales of passenger vehicles as more buyers trend towards trucks and SUVs. In the first ten months of this year, cars are down 11.1 percent. Meanwhile, trucks are up 7.7 percent. This has the Japanese automaker considering dropping some models. "We are taking a hard look at all of the segments that we compete in to make sure we are competing in profitable segments and that products we sell have strategic value," said Jim Lentz, Toyota's North America CEO after the automaker reported an increase in quarterly profits. Unlike Ford which is revamping its lineup to changing consumer tastes, Toyota isn't planning to "abandon passenger cars," instead "scrutinizing offerings in some areas, such as convertibles or coupes." No mention was made of the models on the chopping block, but we have a possible few candidates. Yaris: Sales have dropped 38 percent this year Prius C : Not big a seller and hasn't really been updated aside from the 2018 model Pruis C we reviewed last month. Lexus RC: Sales down 52 percent so far in 2018 Lexus GS: Been long rumored to be heading to the gallows View full article
  2. Toyota isn't immune to the falling sales of passenger vehicles as more buyers trend towards trucks and SUVs. In the first ten months of this year, cars are down 11.1 percent. Meanwhile, trucks are up 7.7 percent. This has the Japanese automaker considering dropping some models. "We are taking a hard look at all of the segments that we compete in to make sure we are competing in profitable segments and that products we sell have strategic value," said Jim Lentz, Toyota's North America CEO after the automaker reported an increase in quarterly profits. Unlike Ford which is revamping its lineup to changing consumer tastes, Toyota isn't planning to "abandon passenger cars," instead "scrutinizing offerings in some areas, such as convertibles or coupes." No mention was made of the models on the chopping block, but we have a possible few candidates. Yaris: Sales have dropped 38 percent this year Prius C : Not big a seller and hasn't really been updated aside from the 2018 model Pruis C we reviewed last month. Lexus RC: Sales down 52 percent so far in 2018 Lexus GS: Been long rumored to be heading to the gallows
  3. William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2018 Toyota Prius C Four

    When Toyota introduced the Prius C back in 2012, it served two purposes. It was the entry-level model for then growing Prius family (Prius, Prius Plug-In, and Prius V). Plus, it was part of a small group of vehicles that could achieve almost 50 mpg if driven efficiently. But Toyota really hasn’t made any changes to the Prius C since it was launched, only making minor changes to the feature set for the past few years. Meanwhile, the rest of the Prius lineup has undergone significant changes with models either being dropped (Prius V) or being redesigned (Prius). For 2018, Toyota has decided to take the Prius C out of its deep freeze and make some changes. But is that enough considering larger hybrid models return higher fuel economy figures, and are slightly more expensive? The answer is no. Toyota has given the Prius C a much needed exterior update with a revised front end (new hood shape and slimmer grille), crossover-esq design touches (black wheel arches, faux skid plates, and a set of roof rails), and a set of 15-inch alloy wheels. The Prius C is one of the few Toyota models that come in a number of vibrant colors like the Tangerine Orange on this tester. It did make it look like a giant Jack-O-Lantern, but it also gave this small model some personality. The Prius C’s interior design is a bit odd. While it lacks some of the craziness found in the standard Prius (see the Storm Trooper inspired center console and stack), there are some decisions that left me scratching my head. For example, there is a storage shelf behind the steering wheel. I not sure what you can put in there aside from spare change or snacks to eat while on the move. Almost all of the materials used in the Prius C are hard plastics. Usually, I would be giving this pass considering it is a subcompact vehicle and this one of the sacrifices needed to meet the low price. But this particular Prius C has an as-tested price of $26,479. For that price, I do wish Toyota had stuck some soft-touch material to ease some of the pain on the wallet. The manual adjustments weren’t the smoothest and it took me a few days to find a position that didn’t have me constantly fidgeting around. This is disappointing considering the seat itself is nice to sit on with soft padding and decent support for long trips. In the back seat, headroom is surprisingly good due to the tall height of the roof. Like other subcompacts, the Prius C’s rear legroom is on the tight side. All Prius Cs come with a 6.1-inch touchscreen with Toyota’s Entune infotainment system. Higher end models like my Four tester come with navigation. The screen is a bit on the small side, which makes it hard to hit some of the touchscreen buttons. At least the screen is easy to read and bright. One slight disappointment is the slowness of the system. Compared to other hybrid vehicles, Entune is a few ticks slower when going through the various screens. The Prius C’s hybrid powertrain is comprised of a 1.5L Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder, 45 kW electric motor, Nickel-Metal Hydride battery pack, and a CVT. Total output is rated at 99 horsepower. If your driving takes place mostly in urban areas, then the Prius C is a fine car. At speeds under 45 mph, the powertrain gets the vehicle moving a decent clip. But there is a fair amount of buzzing coming from the engine and CVT. On rural roads and highways, the limited performance of hybrid powertrain makes itself known as the model records a 0-60 mph of over 12 seconds. Passing is best done when there are no vehicles appearing in your eyesight. EPA fuel economy figures for the Prius C are 48 City/43 Highway/46 Combined. The figures are disappointing when you consider the likes of the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq return higher figures - 54/50/52 for the Prius and 55/54/55 in the Ioniq. My average for the Prius C was 49.6 mpg, very disappointing when compared to the 60 mpg in the Prius and 62 mpg in the Ioniq Blue I have reviewed previously. The reason for the poor fuel economy showing in the Prius C comes down Toyota not making any changes to the powertrain since its launch in 2012. Handling in the Prius C is quite surprising with excellent body control and feeling quite nimble around the corners. The low-rolling resistance tires will complain if you decide to push it. Where the Prius C shines is in an urban area where the compact size and tight turning radius make it easy to navigate tight spots. Ride quality is about average with most bumps being smoothed over. One item to be aware of is the abundance of road and wind noise. Be prepared to crank the radio up to drown out most of the road noise. We come now to the Prius C’s big problem. The base C One begins at $20,630. My Four tester begins at $24,965, which already makes it a tough sell when you consider that the larger Prius Two is only $280 less and returns higher fuel economy figures. With a couple of options and destination, the as-tested price came to $26,479. Again, you can get into larger Prius or the Hyundai Ioniq that not only offer better fuel economy figures but more features for a similar price. Gallery: 2018 Toyota Prius C Four Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Prius C, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Toyota Model: Prius C Trim: Four Engine: Hybrid Synergy Drive: 1.5L DOHC 16-Valve VVT-i, Electric Motor, Sealed Nickel-Metal Hydride Battery Pack Driveline: eCVT, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 73 @ 4,800 (Gas); 60 @ 0 (Electric) Torque @ RPM: 82 @ 4,000 (Gas); 125 @ 0 (Electric) Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 48/43/46 Curb Weight: 2,530 lbs Location of Manufacture: Isawa, Iwate, Japan Base Price: $24,965 As Tested Price: $26,479 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge) Options: Special Color - $395.00 Carpet Floor Mats/Cargo Mat - $224.00
  4. The Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX 570 are part of an endangered species: SUVs designed with the purpose of going off-road. It may seem somewhat mad to describe most SUVs as not off-road oriented, but most buyers don’t really take SUVs off the beaten path. Automakers have responded in kind by providing a minimum four-wheel capability while improving on-road behavior. The Land Cruiser and LX 570 haven’t gone down this path as they have a small, but loyal owner base that would cry foul if Toyota/Lexus decided to do this. But as I found out during my week with them, Toyota and Lexus need to do some serious thinking about the future of these models if they want to keep them around. Exterior Both the Land Cruiser and LX 570 share the same boxy shape with a slightly angled front end, large area of glass, and a split opening tailgate. Where the two differentiate is in the details. Toyota plays it safe with a large rectangular grille and chrome bars that separate the front headlights. The set of 18-inch alloy wheels look somewhat small on the Land Cruiser, mostly due to the large size of the off-road tires. The LX 570 is very extroverted as evidenced by the front end styling. It features the largest version of Lexus’ spindle grille that gives it an intense look. A set of LED headlights with a unique lamp design sit on either side. Multi-spoke 20-inch wheels are standard and seem suited to fit the large size of the SUV. Interior Considering the $84k+ price tag of this Land Cruiser, it is slightly disappointing that Toyota went for a very utilitarian look. It doesn’t have the flash or elegance and you’ll find in competitors such as the Range Rover or Mercedes-Benz GLS. Material quality is what you expect for the price with an abundance of soft-touch plastic, leather upholstery, wood trim, and faux metal used all around. The Lexus LX 570 takes a different approach with the interior, feeling more like a real contender to the likes of the Germans and Range Rover. The dash design is very modern with a short center stack, a widescreen display for the infotainment system, and glossy wood trim. Both models have a button-ladened center stack, but I found the LX 570’s easier to use as the buttons weren’t tightly packed. Getting inside either SUV is somewhat tough due to the tall ride height. But thanks to doorsteps and pull handles, entering both models becomes easier. The front seats are some of best I have sat in, offering plenty of cushioning and support for any trip length. Power adjustments and memory come standard on both models. The second-row offers plenty of head and legroom for passengers. You can slide the seat to either increase legroom or cargo space. The third-row should only be used for small kids as there is only a minuscule amount of legroom. The lack of padding also makes third-row best for short trips. One quirk about the Land Cruiser and LX 570’s third-row is that the seats don’t fold into the floor. Instead, the seats flip towards the side. Not only does it make it slightly awkward to load cargo into either model, but it also makes for a small cargo area. Measurements for the two models are 16.1 cubic feet with all three-rows up, 44.7 with the third-row folded, and 81.7 with the second-row folded. For 2018, Lexus did introduce a two-row version that increases space by 5.8 cubic feet - bringing the total to 50.5 cubic feet. Infotainment Lexus has fitted one the of largest infotainment screens in the class into the LX 570. Measuring 12.3-inches, this allows for a split-screen capability where you can have various functions up at the same time. For example, you can have navigation on one side and audio on the other. Some of the configuration options Lexus offers are strange to say in the least like having two maps of the navigation system up at the same time. Where the LX 570 falls short is the Remote Touch controller. The joystick controller is a pain to use as it feels quite vague when moving around and causes you to overshoot when trying to select something. This is very problematic when you’re driving as you’ll find yourself paying more attention to the system than the road. In the Land Cruiser, you’ll find a smaller 9-inch infotainment system with Toyota’s Entune system. Thankfully, Toyota had decided to use a touchscreen instead of a frustrating controller. Moving around in Entune is easy thanks to a simple interface with large touchscreen buttons and a set of physical shortcut buttons underneath. I did notice that Entune was a few ticks slower than the system found in the LX 570. Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is not available on either model. Powertrain Under the hoods of the Land Cruiser and LX 570 is a 5.7L V8. The Land Cruiser gets 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. The LX 570 features 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. This is teamed with an eight-speed automatic and a full-time four-wheel drive system. Interestingly, the Land Cruiser feels slightly faster than the LX 570. Outlets who have timed both models say the Land Cruiser is about 0.5 seconds quicker to 60 than the LX 570. This is a bit surprising considering the two models are nearly identical in power and weight. But the LX 570 has a noticeable pause when accelerating. It feels like the engine was asleep and was startled by the throttle being prodded, before realizing it needed to get to work. The eight-speed automatic delivers rapid and smooth upshifts, but stumbles somewhat when it comes to downshifts. Both models come fully-equipped to take on whatever Mother Nature decides to dish out. This includes a two-speed transfer case, locking center differential, crawl-control system, terrain selection system, and an adjustable suspension system. Sadly, I didn’t get the chance to take either model off the paved road to see what they are capable of. Fuel Economy EPA rates the 2018 Land Cruiser and LX 570 at 13 City/18 Highway/15 Combined. My average in both vehicles landed around 14.9 mpg in a 50/50 mix of city and highway driving. Ride and Handling These SUVs prefer the roads to be straight as there is significant body motion when cornering. Blame the tall ride height and soft-suspension tuning. Steering feels very numb and slow, making it somewhat tough to figure out how much input is needed when turning. When the road is straight, both vehicles provide a smooth ride. I did find that on the highway, I needed to make constant corrections with the steering to keep it in the middle of the lane. One major difference between the two is braking. The LX 570’s braking system felt very discombobulated. It was very difficult to modulate the pedal to provide a smooth stop. Either the vehicle wasn’t slowing down or the braking system would enter panic stop mode and passengers being thrown from their seats. I thought this was an issue that was limited to my LX, but other people who have driven different LXs have reported similar behavior. The Land Cruiser didn’t experience any of this during my week. Value The 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser begins at $83,665, while the LX 570 begins at $85,630 for the two-row variant and $89,980 for the three-row model. Both models come generously equipped with a number of standard features such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, heated and ventilated front seats; power tilt-telescoping steering wheel, and three-zone climate control. The vehicles tested here came lightly optioned. The Land Cruiser featured a set of optional floor mats, bringing the as-tested price to $85,185. For the LX 570, it came with a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and center console cool box to bring its as-tested price to $93,350. The best value of the two models has to be the two-row LX 570 as you get a nicer interior and more cargo space, for not much more money than the three-row Land Cruiser. But if you really want three-rows, then the Land Cruiser is your best bet. Verdict Unless your daily commute includes traversing the Rocky Mountains or driving through Death Valley, I cannot recommend either of these SUVs. They have a number of flaws such as middling fuel economy, small cargo area, and needing constant steering corrections on the highway. But the LX 570 comes off slightly worse as it has some issues with the powertrain and brakes need to be addressed quickly. Besides, the Land Cruiser offers many of the features of LX 570, albeit in a more utilitarian package for a couple of grand less. But for some people, the off-road capability and legendary reliability of these two models are more than enough to excuse the faults. That group of people though we have to think is getting smaller as time goes on and makes us wonder if the next-generation of the Land Cruiser and LX 570 will go through a dramatic change or not. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Lexus Model: LX 570 Trim: N/A Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC, Dual VVT-i V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 383 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 403 @ 3,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/18/15 Curb Weight: 5,815 lbs Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, Japan Base Price: $89,980 As Tested Price: $93,350 (Includes $1,195.00 Destination Charge) Options: Dual-Screen DVD Rear-Entertainment System - $2,005.00 Cool Box - $170.00 Year: 2018 Make: Toyota Model: Land Cruiser Trim: N/A Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC, Dual VVT-i V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 381@ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 401 @ 3,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/18/15 Curb Weight: 5,815 lbs Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, Japan Base Price: $83,685 As Tested Price: $85,185 (Includes $1,295.00 Destination Charge) Options: Carpet Floor/Cargo Mat Set - $225.00 View full article
  5. The Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX 570 are part of an endangered species: SUVs designed with the purpose of going off-road. It may seem somewhat mad to describe most SUVs as not off-road oriented, but most buyers don’t really take SUVs off the beaten path. Automakers have responded in kind by providing a minimum four-wheel capability while improving on-road behavior. The Land Cruiser and LX 570 haven’t gone down this path as they have a small, but loyal owner base that would cry foul if Toyota/Lexus decided to do this. But as I found out during my week with them, Toyota and Lexus need to do some serious thinking about the future of these models if they want to keep them around. Exterior Both the Land Cruiser and LX 570 share the same boxy shape with a slightly angled front end, large area of glass, and a split opening tailgate. Where the two differentiate is in the details. Toyota plays it safe with a large rectangular grille and chrome bars that separate the front headlights. The set of 18-inch alloy wheels look somewhat small on the Land Cruiser, mostly due to the large size of the off-road tires. The LX 570 is very extroverted as evidenced by the front end styling. It features the largest version of Lexus’ spindle grille that gives it an intense look. A set of LED headlights with a unique lamp design sit on either side. Multi-spoke 20-inch wheels are standard and seem suited to fit the large size of the SUV. Interior Considering the $84k+ price tag of this Land Cruiser, it is slightly disappointing that Toyota went for a very utilitarian look. It doesn’t have the flash or elegance and you’ll find in competitors such as the Range Rover or Mercedes-Benz GLS. Material quality is what you expect for the price with an abundance of soft-touch plastic, leather upholstery, wood trim, and faux metal used all around. The Lexus LX 570 takes a different approach with the interior, feeling more like a real contender to the likes of the Germans and Range Rover. The dash design is very modern with a short center stack, a widescreen display for the infotainment system, and glossy wood trim. Both models have a button-ladened center stack, but I found the LX 570’s easier to use as the buttons weren’t tightly packed. Getting inside either SUV is somewhat tough due to the tall ride height. But thanks to doorsteps and pull handles, entering both models becomes easier. The front seats are some of best I have sat in, offering plenty of cushioning and support for any trip length. Power adjustments and memory come standard on both models. The second-row offers plenty of head and legroom for passengers. You can slide the seat to either increase legroom or cargo space. The third-row should only be used for small kids as there is only a minuscule amount of legroom. The lack of padding also makes third-row best for short trips. One quirk about the Land Cruiser and LX 570’s third-row is that the seats don’t fold into the floor. Instead, the seats flip towards the side. Not only does it make it slightly awkward to load cargo into either model, but it also makes for a small cargo area. Measurements for the two models are 16.1 cubic feet with all three-rows up, 44.7 with the third-row folded, and 81.7 with the second-row folded. For 2018, Lexus did introduce a two-row version that increases space by 5.8 cubic feet - bringing the total to 50.5 cubic feet. Infotainment Lexus has fitted one the of largest infotainment screens in the class into the LX 570. Measuring 12.3-inches, this allows for a split-screen capability where you can have various functions up at the same time. For example, you can have navigation on one side and audio on the other. Some of the configuration options Lexus offers are strange to say in the least like having two maps of the navigation system up at the same time. Where the LX 570 falls short is the Remote Touch controller. The joystick controller is a pain to use as it feels quite vague when moving around and causes you to overshoot when trying to select something. This is very problematic when you’re driving as you’ll find yourself paying more attention to the system than the road. In the Land Cruiser, you’ll find a smaller 9-inch infotainment system with Toyota’s Entune system. Thankfully, Toyota had decided to use a touchscreen instead of a frustrating controller. Moving around in Entune is easy thanks to a simple interface with large touchscreen buttons and a set of physical shortcut buttons underneath. I did notice that Entune was a few ticks slower than the system found in the LX 570. Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is not available on either model. Powertrain Under the hoods of the Land Cruiser and LX 570 is a 5.7L V8. The Land Cruiser gets 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. The LX 570 features 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. This is teamed with an eight-speed automatic and a full-time four-wheel drive system. Interestingly, the Land Cruiser feels slightly faster than the LX 570. Outlets who have timed both models say the Land Cruiser is about 0.5 seconds quicker to 60 than the LX 570. This is a bit surprising considering the two models are nearly identical in power and weight. But the LX 570 has a noticeable pause when accelerating. It feels like the engine was asleep and was startled by the throttle being prodded, before realizing it needed to get to work. The eight-speed automatic delivers rapid and smooth upshifts, but stumbles somewhat when it comes to downshifts. Both models come fully-equipped to take on whatever Mother Nature decides to dish out. This includes a two-speed transfer case, locking center differential, crawl-control system, terrain selection system, and an adjustable suspension system. Sadly, I didn’t get the chance to take either model off the paved road to see what they are capable of. Fuel Economy EPA rates the 2018 Land Cruiser and LX 570 at 13 City/18 Highway/15 Combined. My average in both vehicles landed around 14.9 mpg in a 50/50 mix of city and highway driving. Ride and Handling These SUVs prefer the roads to be straight as there is significant body motion when cornering. Blame the tall ride height and soft-suspension tuning. Steering feels very numb and slow, making it somewhat tough to figure out how much input is needed when turning. When the road is straight, both vehicles provide a smooth ride. I did find that on the highway, I needed to make constant corrections with the steering to keep it in the middle of the lane. One major difference between the two is braking. The LX 570’s braking system felt very discombobulated. It was very difficult to modulate the pedal to provide a smooth stop. Either the vehicle wasn’t slowing down or the braking system would enter panic stop mode and passengers being thrown from their seats. I thought this was an issue that was limited to my LX, but other people who have driven different LXs have reported similar behavior. The Land Cruiser didn’t experience any of this during my week. Value The 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser begins at $83,665, while the LX 570 begins at $85,630 for the two-row variant and $89,980 for the three-row model. Both models come generously equipped with a number of standard features such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, heated and ventilated front seats; power tilt-telescoping steering wheel, and three-zone climate control. The vehicles tested here came lightly optioned. The Land Cruiser featured a set of optional floor mats, bringing the as-tested price to $85,185. For the LX 570, it came with a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and center console cool box to bring its as-tested price to $93,350. The best value of the two models has to be the two-row LX 570 as you get a nicer interior and more cargo space, for not much more money than the three-row Land Cruiser. But if you really want three-rows, then the Land Cruiser is your best bet. Verdict Unless your daily commute includes traversing the Rocky Mountains or driving through Death Valley, I cannot recommend either of these SUVs. They have a number of flaws such as middling fuel economy, small cargo area, and needing constant steering corrections on the highway. But the LX 570 comes off slightly worse as it has some issues with the powertrain and brakes need to be addressed quickly. Besides, the Land Cruiser offers many of the features of LX 570, albeit in a more utilitarian package for a couple of grand less. But for some people, the off-road capability and legendary reliability of these two models are more than enough to excuse the faults. That group of people though we have to think is getting smaller as time goes on and makes us wonder if the next-generation of the Land Cruiser and LX 570 will go through a dramatic change or not. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Lexus Model: LX 570 Trim: N/A Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC, Dual VVT-i V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 383 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 403 @ 3,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/18/15 Curb Weight: 5,815 lbs Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, Japan Base Price: $89,980 As Tested Price: $93,350 (Includes $1,195.00 Destination Charge) Options: Dual-Screen DVD Rear-Entertainment System - $2,005.00 Cool Box - $170.00 Year: 2018 Make: Toyota Model: Land Cruiser Trim: N/A Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC, Dual VVT-i V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 381@ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 401 @ 3,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/18/15 Curb Weight: 5,815 lbs Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, Japan Base Price: $83,685 As Tested Price: $85,185 (Includes $1,295.00 Destination Charge) Options: Carpet Floor/Cargo Mat Set - $225.00
  6. As the Toyota Supra continues its slow march to production, the automaker is considering adding another sports car that may revive an iconic nameplate. "We want to have Celica back, we want to have the MR2 back," said Masayuki Kai, Assistant Chief Engineer on the Supra project. The biggest was Supra. Supra was number one, the biggest demand from the market. Now that we've brought Supra back, what will come next depends on the market needs." Kai suggested that nothing is set in stone, but did hint that the Celica could be an all-wheel drive performance coupe. The MR2 could keep its mid-engine layout if a business case could be made. There lies within the problem for Toyota - making the business case for either model. Kai said that today's market makes it quite challenging "to introduce niche, small-volume performance models." "Sports car are becoming more and more expensive to develop. So a single company cannot afford to invest in all the tooling for parts and components, because the volume of sports car is quite small. A sports car requires a lot of specific components that you cannot share with other cars. The suspension components we're using on the Supra, you can't use on a sedan like Camry or Corolla. And as you know, all the homologation issues are also getting more and more complex and difficult," he said. One possibility is for Toyota is to forge a partnership like they did with BMW with the Supra, or Subaru with the 86/BRZ. Source: Road & Track View full article
  7. William Maley

    Toyota Wants To Bring Back the Celica or MR2

    As the Toyota Supra continues its slow march to production, the automaker is considering adding another sports car that may revive an iconic nameplate. "We want to have Celica back, we want to have the MR2 back," said Masayuki Kai, Assistant Chief Engineer on the Supra project. The biggest was Supra. Supra was number one, the biggest demand from the market. Now that we've brought Supra back, what will come next depends on the market needs." Kai suggested that nothing is set in stone, but did hint that the Celica could be an all-wheel drive performance coupe. The MR2 could keep its mid-engine layout if a business case could be made. There lies within the problem for Toyota - making the business case for either model. Kai said that today's market makes it quite challenging "to introduce niche, small-volume performance models." "Sports car are becoming more and more expensive to develop. So a single company cannot afford to invest in all the tooling for parts and components, because the volume of sports car is quite small. A sports car requires a lot of specific components that you cannot share with other cars. The suspension components we're using on the Supra, you can't use on a sedan like Camry or Corolla. And as you know, all the homologation issues are also getting more and more complex and difficult," he said. One possibility is for Toyota is to forge a partnership like they did with BMW with the Supra, or Subaru with the 86/BRZ. Source: Road & Track
  8. William Maley

    Review: 2018 Toyota Camry XSE

    Many automotive journalists have been flummoxed by the popularity of the Toyota Camry. The model trails the pack in a number of key areas such as design, handling, and performance. But I know the reason why the Camry is beloved by many; it is a no hassle midsize sedan that will go the distance. But there is a change that endangers many midsize sedans. Buyers who previously brought sedans are now trending towards crossovers and SUVs as they offer a number of traits such as a higher ride height and a large area for people and stuff. Automakers find themselves in a difficult spot as to whether they should drop their sedans to focus on utility vehicles, or put more effort into making them more appealing. Toyota has chosen the latter option with the 2018 Camry. Let’s see if they made the right call. Previous Camrys have tended to play it safe with their exterior designs. The new model drops the safe attitude and goes for something very extroverted. For the XSE, this includes a different front end with a smaller lower grille and large cutouts in the bumper. The side profile shows off a pronounced character line and a set of 19-inch machined-finish alloy wheels. Move the back to find a faux diffuser and a set of quad tailpipes. I actually prefer the look of the XSE to the other Camry models as it loses out on the gaping maw that is the lower grille. Compared to the jumbled-together look of the previous Camry’s interior, the new model features a flowing and modern design. The unique shape of the center stack and contrasting trim pieces for the passenger really help the model stand out. Controls are laid out in a very logical fashion and have easy-to-read text. Material quality is very impressive with exposed stitching, metal trim, and a lot of soft-touch plastic. The XSE features leather seats with eight-way power adjustments for driver and passenger. I found the seats to be on the firm side and provide decent support on short trips. But on longer trips, my lower back started to ache. I couldn’t tell if I design of the seat just didn’t work with my back or if I had too much lumbar. On paper, the Camry has the smallest amount of rear legroom. But in reality, I found that I had more than enough to feel comfortable. Taller passengers will need to duck as headroom is quite tight due to the optional sunroof. Toyota has installed the latest version of their Entune infotainment system in the 2018 Camry. The new version comes with an updated look that retains the ease of use that we have liked on the older systems. Performance is about average for the class as it takes only a few milliseconds to get to the various functions. I do like the array of physical buttons that provide an easy way to move around the system. There is still no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. But considering the 2019 Avalon does have Apple CarPlay, we hope the Camry will get it as well. XSE models get a heads-up display as standard. However, I found the display to be more of a hindrance as the image was blurry. I think this is a problem with Toyota as I experienced the same issue in the LC 500 coupe I drove late last year. For its polarizing character, you might be expecting the Camry XSE to have either a turbo-four or V6 under the hood. While a 3.5L V6 is available, this XSE featured the standard 2.5L four-cylinder engine producing 206 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. It was a bit disappointing to find this engine under the hood considering the vehicle’s character. Around town, the Camry doesn’t feel as fast as the Hyundai Sonata due to most of the power being available only at higher rpms. On the highway or needing to make a pass, the four-cylinder comes alive with enough shove to get you moving at a decent clip. Disappointingly, Toyota forgot to quiet down the engine during acceleration as there is a fair amount of buzz coming inside the cabin. But the engine quiets down to a murmur when cruising. The new eight-speed transmission pairs well with the engine, delivering unobtrusive and quick shifts. Fuel economy figures for the 2.5 are 28 City/39 Highway/32 Combined. My average for the week landed around 32.6 mpg in mixed driving. The Camry is the latest Toyota model to move on to the TGNA modular platform and it makes the model somewhat fun to pilot. On a curvy stretch of road, the XSE feels well-mannered as there isn’t excessive body motion and the steering proving a direct and well-weighted feel. Despite its sporting nature, the XSE’s ride is well-controlled with only a few bumps making their way inside. One disappointment is the large amount road and wind noise that comes inside when driving on the freeway. The Camry XSE sits as the flagship trim with a starting price of $29,150 for the four-cylinder and $35,100 for the V6. With a number of options, the as-tested price of this XSE comes to $35,333. That is quite the poor value considering for a few hundred dollars more, you can get into a loaded an Accord Touring complete with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing 252 horsepower. For a couple thousand dollars less, the Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T and Kia Optima SX offer similar driving dynamics and more luxury touches. Toyota knew it had to take a big gamble with the new Camry considering the growing demand for crossovers. In certain respects, Toyota has done it. The Camry is not a wallflower in terms of its looks and handling. Additionally, the interior blends a distinctive design with ease of use. But there are some problems that put the Camry in a tough spot. The four-cylinder engine needs a bit more low-end punch for around-town driving. Some more sound deadening would go a long way in making the Camry a good long-distance cruiser. The biggest issue is the value argument as other sedans offer much more equipment for similar or less money than the Camry. Toyota is likely banking on the name equity of model to justify the higher price. This would be ok if we weren’t in a time where more and more buyers are moving to crossovers and utility vehicles. The 2018 Toyota Camry is a much better car from the one it replaces, but the high price tag may be its downfall. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Camry, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Toyota Model: Camry Trim: XSE Engine: 2.5L Twin-Cam, 16-Valve Four-Cylinder Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 206 @ 6,600 Torque @ RPM: 186 @ 5,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/39/32 Curb Weight: 3,395 lbs Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY Base Price: $29,000 As Tested Price: $35,355 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge) Options: Audio Package - $1,800.00 Driver Assist Package - $1,675.00 Panoramic Sunroof - $1,045.00 Special Color - $395.00 Illuminated Door Sill Enhancements - $299.00 Carpet/Trunk Mat Set - $224.00 View full article
  9. Toyota has announced that it will be recalling 1.03 million vehicles worldwide to fix an issue that could start a fire. According to Reuters, the problem deals with a wiring harness that connects to the hybrid system's power control unit. Vibrations and accumulating dirt can wear down the wire insulation at the connection point. This will expose the bare wires and possibly cause an electric short - increasing the chances of a fire. Toyota has told the news service they have one report of a vehicle in Japan that went up in smoke. The majority of vehicles involved in the recall are located in Japan. In the U.S., around 192,000 examples of the 2016-2018 Toyota Prius are involved. Owners of the affected models will be notified later this month by Toyota. Dealers will inspect the harness in question and, if any wires are exposed, replace it with an updated harness with a protective sleeve, If none of the wires are exposed, dealer technicians will apply a protective coating to the harness. Source: Reuters
  10. Toyota has announced that it will be recalling 1.03 million vehicles worldwide to fix an issue that could start a fire. According to Reuters, the problem deals with a wiring harness that connects to the hybrid system's power control unit. Vibrations and accumulating dirt can wear down the wire insulation at the connection point. This will expose the bare wires and possibly cause an electric short - increasing the chances of a fire. Toyota has told the news service they have one report of a vehicle in Japan that went up in smoke. The majority of vehicles involved in the recall are located in Japan. In the U.S., around 192,000 examples of the 2016-2018 Toyota Prius are involved. Owners of the affected models will be notified later this month by Toyota. Dealers will inspect the harness in question and, if any wires are exposed, replace it with an updated harness with a protective sleeve, If none of the wires are exposed, dealer technicians will apply a protective coating to the harness. Source: Reuters View full article
  11. William Maley

    Review: 2018 Toyota Camry XSE

    Many automotive journalists have been flummoxed by the popularity of the Toyota Camry. The model trails the pack in a number of key areas such as design, handling, and performance. But I know the reason why the Camry is beloved by many; it is a no hassle midsize sedan that will go the distance. But there is a change that endangers many midsize sedans. Buyers who previously brought sedans are now trending towards crossovers and SUVs as they offer a number of traits such as a higher ride height and a large area for people and stuff. Automakers find themselves in a difficult spot as to whether they should drop their sedans to focus on utility vehicles, or put more effort into making them more appealing. Toyota has chosen the latter option with the 2018 Camry. Let’s see if they made the right call. Previous Camrys have tended to play it safe with their exterior designs. The new model drops the safe attitude and goes for something very extroverted. For the XSE, this includes a different front end with a smaller lower grille and large cutouts in the bumper. The side profile shows off a pronounced character line and a set of 19-inch machined-finish alloy wheels. Move the back to find a faux diffuser and a set of quad tailpipes. I actually prefer the look of the XSE to the other Camry models as it loses out on the gaping maw that is the lower grille. Compared to the jumbled-together look of the previous Camry’s interior, the new model features a flowing and modern design. The unique shape of the center stack and contrasting trim pieces for the passenger really help the model stand out. Controls are laid out in a very logical fashion and have easy-to-read text. Material quality is very impressive with exposed stitching, metal trim, and a lot of soft-touch plastic. The XSE features leather seats with eight-way power adjustments for driver and passenger. I found the seats to be on the firm side and provide decent support on short trips. But on longer trips, my lower back started to ache. I couldn’t tell if I design of the seat just didn’t work with my back or if I had too much lumbar. On paper, the Camry has the smallest amount of rear legroom. But in reality, I found that I had more than enough to feel comfortable. Taller passengers will need to duck as headroom is quite tight due to the optional sunroof. Toyota has installed the latest version of their Entune infotainment system in the 2018 Camry. The new version comes with an updated look that retains the ease of use that we have liked on the older systems. Performance is about average for the class as it takes only a few milliseconds to get to the various functions. I do like the array of physical buttons that provide an easy way to move around the system. There is still no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. But considering the 2019 Avalon does have Apple CarPlay, we hope the Camry will get it as well. XSE models get a heads-up display as standard. However, I found the display to be more of a hindrance as the image was blurry. I think this is a problem with Toyota as I experienced the same issue in the LC 500 coupe I drove late last year. For its polarizing character, you might be expecting the Camry XSE to have either a turbo-four or V6 under the hood. While a 3.5L V6 is available, this XSE featured the standard 2.5L four-cylinder engine producing 206 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. It was a bit disappointing to find this engine under the hood considering the vehicle’s character. Around town, the Camry doesn’t feel as fast as the Hyundai Sonata due to most of the power being available only at higher rpms. On the highway or needing to make a pass, the four-cylinder comes alive with enough shove to get you moving at a decent clip. Disappointingly, Toyota forgot to quiet down the engine during acceleration as there is a fair amount of buzz coming inside the cabin. But the engine quiets down to a murmur when cruising. The new eight-speed transmission pairs well with the engine, delivering unobtrusive and quick shifts. Fuel economy figures for the 2.5 are 28 City/39 Highway/32 Combined. My average for the week landed around 32.6 mpg in mixed driving. The Camry is the latest Toyota model to move on to the TGNA modular platform and it makes the model somewhat fun to pilot. On a curvy stretch of road, the XSE feels well-mannered as there isn’t excessive body motion and the steering proving a direct and well-weighted feel. Despite its sporting nature, the XSE’s ride is well-controlled with only a few bumps making their way inside. One disappointment is the large amount road and wind noise that comes inside when driving on the freeway. The Camry XSE sits as the flagship trim with a starting price of $29,150 for the four-cylinder and $35,100 for the V6. With a number of options, the as-tested price of this XSE comes to $35,333. That is quite the poor value considering for a few hundred dollars more, you can get into a loaded an Accord Touring complete with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing 252 horsepower. For a couple thousand dollars less, the Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T and Kia Optima SX offer similar driving dynamics and more luxury touches. Toyota knew it had to take a big gamble with the new Camry considering the growing demand for crossovers. In certain respects, Toyota has done it. The Camry is not a wallflower in terms of its looks and handling. Additionally, the interior blends a distinctive design with ease of use. But there are some problems that put the Camry in a tough spot. The four-cylinder engine needs a bit more low-end punch for around-town driving. Some more sound deadening would go a long way in making the Camry a good long-distance cruiser. The biggest issue is the value argument as other sedans offer much more equipment for similar or less money than the Camry. Toyota is likely banking on the name equity of model to justify the higher price. This would be ok if we weren’t in a time where more and more buyers are moving to crossovers and utility vehicles. The 2018 Toyota Camry is a much better car from the one it replaces, but the high price tag may be its downfall. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Camry, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Toyota Model: Camry Trim: XSE Engine: 2.5L Twin-Cam, 16-Valve Four-Cylinder Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 206 @ 6,600 Torque @ RPM: 186 @ 5,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/39/32 Curb Weight: 3,395 lbs Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY Base Price: $29,000 As Tested Price: $35,355 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge) Options: Audio Package - $1,800.00 Driver Assist Package - $1,675.00 Panoramic Sunroof - $1,045.00 Special Color - $395.00 Illuminated Door Sill Enhancements - $299.00 Carpet/Trunk Mat Set - $224.00
  12. Toyota is planning a big push with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. According to Reuters, the Japanese automaker is doubling-down on investments for fuel cell vehicles by making improvements to reduce costs and building different models including commercial trucks. “We’re going to shift from limited production to mass production, reduce the amount of expensive materials like platinum used in FCV components, and make the system more compact and powerful,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of the Mirai. Currently, Toyota hand builds the Mirai at a plant in Toyota City. Everyday, about 6.5 cars roll out of the plant. This is due to the detailed inspections that partially assembled models go through. The parts comprising the Mirai are quite expensive as well. According to analysis done by Strategic Analysis Inc., it costs Toyota about $11,000 to produce each of the fuel cell stacks. Blame the use of the platinum, titanium, and carbon fiber for the stacks. Toyota has been building up production capacity as it expects sales of FCVs to increase from about 3,000 to over 20,000 after 2020. This will help reduce the cost of each fuel cell stack to $8,000. “It will be difficult for Toyota to lower FCV production costs if it only produces the Mirai,” said a source, That's where an expansion of FCVs come in. Toyota is planning a "phased introduction' of other FCVs, including SUVs and commercial trucks starting around 2025. Toyota declined to talk about future products, but did reveal that it has built prototypes of small delivery vehicles and transport trucks with fuel cell powertrains. “We’re going to use as many parts from existing passenger cars and other models as possible in fuel cell trucks. Otherwise, we won’t see the benefits of mass production,” said Ikuo Ota, manager of new business planning for fuel cell projects at Toyota. Why is Toyota doubling down on fuel cells? Sources say that Toyota believes demand will increase as more countries, including China "warm to fuel cell technology". The company also sees FCVs as a hedge against battery materials such as cobalt becoming scarce. But there is still one issue that Toyota, and other automakers build FCVs still need to solve; infrastructure. There aren't many hydrogen refueling stations around. For example, the majority of hydrogen stations in the U.S. are in California. Not helping is a current shortage of hydrogen at refueling stations in California. Green Car Reports says this issue is due to various problems with supplier Air Products. The company said that it hopes to restore hydrogen supplies sometime in early August. Source: Reuters, Green Car Reports View full article
  13. William Maley

    Toyota Double Downs Investment On Hydrogen

    Toyota is planning a big push with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. According to Reuters, the Japanese automaker is doubling-down on investments for fuel cell vehicles by making improvements to reduce costs and building different models including commercial trucks. “We’re going to shift from limited production to mass production, reduce the amount of expensive materials like platinum used in FCV components, and make the system more compact and powerful,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of the Mirai. Currently, Toyota hand builds the Mirai at a plant in Toyota City. Everyday, about 6.5 cars roll out of the plant. This is due to the detailed inspections that partially assembled models go through. The parts comprising the Mirai are quite expensive as well. According to analysis done by Strategic Analysis Inc., it costs Toyota about $11,000 to produce each of the fuel cell stacks. Blame the use of the platinum, titanium, and carbon fiber for the stacks. Toyota has been building up production capacity as it expects sales of FCVs to increase from about 3,000 to over 20,000 after 2020. This will help reduce the cost of each fuel cell stack to $8,000. “It will be difficult for Toyota to lower FCV production costs if it only produces the Mirai,” said a source, That's where an expansion of FCVs come in. Toyota is planning a "phased introduction' of other FCVs, including SUVs and commercial trucks starting around 2025. Toyota declined to talk about future products, but did reveal that it has built prototypes of small delivery vehicles and transport trucks with fuel cell powertrains. “We’re going to use as many parts from existing passenger cars and other models as possible in fuel cell trucks. Otherwise, we won’t see the benefits of mass production,” said Ikuo Ota, manager of new business planning for fuel cell projects at Toyota. Why is Toyota doubling down on fuel cells? Sources say that Toyota believes demand will increase as more countries, including China "warm to fuel cell technology". The company also sees FCVs as a hedge against battery materials such as cobalt becoming scarce. But there is still one issue that Toyota, and other automakers build FCVs still need to solve; infrastructure. There aren't many hydrogen refueling stations around. For example, the majority of hydrogen stations in the U.S. are in California. Not helping is a current shortage of hydrogen at refueling stations in California. Green Car Reports says this issue is due to various problems with supplier Air Products. The company said that it hopes to restore hydrogen supplies sometime in early August. Source: Reuters, Green Car Reports
  14. William Maley

    Review: 2018 Toyota C-HR XLE Premium

    I need to get something out of the way before diving into the review of the 2018 Toyota C-HR. Originally the C-HR was to join Scion’s lineup, but the C-HR would become a Toyota as the Scion brand would shut its doors in late 2016. With this change of brands, does this leave the C-HR with an identity crisis? The C-HR is short for ‘Coupe High Roof’ and the design makes that very clear. Proportions are very similar to a coupe with a long front and stubby back. Other coupe details to be aware of are a set of wider fenders, a sloping roofline, and a rear spoiler. It makes for a very polarizing design that many will agree catches your eye for better or worse Toyota’s designers must have been infatuated with diamonds as you’ll notice this shape throughout the C-HR. Key examples include the pattern on the cloth seats and arrangement of buttons on the steering wheel. The center stack is slightly angled towards the driver to emphasize a sporty nature. Material quality is about average with a mix of soft-touch plastics on the dash, and hard plastics for the door panels and center console. The C-HR’s ergonomics are excellent as controls are laid out logically and easy to use. I found the front seats are lacking in lower-body support. I’m 5’9” and after driving the C-HR for an hour, I found my thighs and legs started to ache. This comes down to a short bottom cushion. Shorter drivers will likely not run into this issue. ‘Claustrophobic’ is the word to describe the C-HR’s back seat as the small rear windows make it feel small. Not helping is the limited amount of legroom as I found my knees touching the backside of the front seat. CH-R’s cargo space is in the middle of the class when the rear seats are up at 19 cubic feet. To give some perspective, the Mazda CX-3 is the smallest at 12.4 cubic feet, while the Honda HR-V has the largest at 24.3. Fold the rear seats and the C-HR is at the bottom of the class with 36.4 cubic feet. The Mazda CX-3 has 9.1 cubic feet more space when its rear seats are folded. All C-HRs come equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen radio with the basics; AM/FM, Bluetooth, and inputs for USB and aux cords. While I found the system to be intuitive to use with a simple menu structure and decent performance, I did find myself wishing Toyota had included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto or the option of a larger system with navigation. Powering the C-HR is a 2.0L four-cylinder with 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a CVT and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is nowhere to be found despite the C-HR offering it in markets outside the U.S. Driving in town, the C-HR feels lively thanks to a responsive throttle. But above these speeds, the C-HR reveals a major weakness; put your foot down and the engine takes its sweet time to get up to speed - taking over 11 seconds to hit 60 mph. This makes certain tasks such as passing a slower vehicle treacherous. Under hard acceleration, the CVT is quite loud. Toyota does offer other engines for the C-HR elsewhere, including a hybrid. Reading through various test drives, the hybrid is slightly quicker; recording a 0-60 time of 11 seconds. Fuel economy figures for the 2018 C-HR are 27 City/31 Highway/29 Combined. My average for the week landed at 28.1 mpg. Like most new and redesigned Toyota models, the C-HR rides on the modular TGNA platform. I have praised this platform on both the Prius and Prius Prime as it makes them feel playful on a winding road. This extends to the C-HR. Despite a higher ride height, body motions are kept in check when cornering. Steering feels precise and has ample weight when turning. Ride quality is on the firm side, but it will not beat up passengers. A fair amount of tire and wind noise comes inside when driving on the expressway. The Toyota C-HR is quite expensive for a subcompact crossovers. The base XLE begins at $22,500. My XLE Premium tester begins at $24,350 and with some added accessories, the final price was $25,633. That’s without leather seats, navigation, or a sunroof. Toyota is quick to point out that the C-HR does come equipped with a number of active safety features such as adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist as standard. That only helps the base XLE when it comes to arguing value. The XLE Premium has a tougher time since you can get into a well equipped Hyundai Kona Limited FWD with a sunroof, leather seats, a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration; and 18-inch alloy wheels for only $53 more. You do miss out on the active safety features since as you can only get those on the top-line Ultimate, but the Kona presents a better value than the C-HR when you compare features bit by bit. The Toyota C-HR left me very frustrated as the week came to a close. The crossover has some charm with sharp driving dynamics and a very willing chassis. But it is clear that the C-HR feels more like a Scion than a Toyota as it was built to be cost-effective as it doesn’t offer any options. What you see is what you get. The problem is that competitors offer more equipment for similar money. The C-HR also trails competitors in terms of cargo capacity and performance. I do believe there is a crossover that can stand out from the growing field of subcompact models, but Toyota needs to think of the C-HR as one of their own models, not as a Scion. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the C-HR, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Toyota Model: C-HR Trim: XLE Premium Engine: 2.0L DOHC, 16-Valve Four-Cylinder with Valvematic Driveline: CVT, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 144 @ 6,100 Torque @ RPM: 139 @ 3,900 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/31/29 Curb Weight: 3,300 lbs Location of Manufacture: Arifiye, Sakarya, Turkey Base Price: $24,350 As Tested Price: $25,633 (Includes $960.00 Destination Charge) Options: Carpeted Floormats and Cargo Mat - $194.00 Mudguards - $129.00 View full article
  15. William Maley

    Review: 2018 Toyota C-HR XLE Premium

    I need to get something out of the way before diving into the review of the 2018 Toyota C-HR. Originally the C-HR was to join Scion’s lineup, but the C-HR would become a Toyota as the Scion brand would shut its doors in late 2016. With this change of brands, does this leave the C-HR with an identity crisis? The C-HR is short for ‘Coupe High Roof’ and the design makes that very clear. Proportions are very similar to a coupe with a long front and stubby back. Other coupe details to be aware of are a set of wider fenders, a sloping roofline, and a rear spoiler. It makes for a very polarizing design that many will agree catches your eye for better or worse Toyota’s designers must have been infatuated with diamonds as you’ll notice this shape throughout the C-HR. Key examples include the pattern on the cloth seats and arrangement of buttons on the steering wheel. The center stack is slightly angled towards the driver to emphasize a sporty nature. Material quality is about average with a mix of soft-touch plastics on the dash, and hard plastics for the door panels and center console. The C-HR’s ergonomics are excellent as controls are laid out logically and easy to use. I found the front seats are lacking in lower-body support. I’m 5’9” and after driving the C-HR for an hour, I found my thighs and legs started to ache. This comes down to a short bottom cushion. Shorter drivers will likely not run into this issue. ‘Claustrophobic’ is the word to describe the C-HR’s back seat as the small rear windows make it feel small. Not helping is the limited amount of legroom as I found my knees touching the backside of the front seat. CH-R’s cargo space is in the middle of the class when the rear seats are up at 19 cubic feet. To give some perspective, the Mazda CX-3 is the smallest at 12.4 cubic feet, while the Honda HR-V has the largest at 24.3. Fold the rear seats and the C-HR is at the bottom of the class with 36.4 cubic feet. The Mazda CX-3 has 9.1 cubic feet more space when its rear seats are folded. All C-HRs come equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen radio with the basics; AM/FM, Bluetooth, and inputs for USB and aux cords. While I found the system to be intuitive to use with a simple menu structure and decent performance, I did find myself wishing Toyota had included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto or the option of a larger system with navigation. Powering the C-HR is a 2.0L four-cylinder with 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a CVT and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is nowhere to be found despite the C-HR offering it in markets outside the U.S. Driving in town, the C-HR feels lively thanks to a responsive throttle. But above these speeds, the C-HR reveals a major weakness; put your foot down and the engine takes its sweet time to get up to speed - taking over 11 seconds to hit 60 mph. This makes certain tasks such as passing a slower vehicle treacherous. Under hard acceleration, the CVT is quite loud. Toyota does offer other engines for the C-HR elsewhere, including a hybrid. Reading through various test drives, the hybrid is slightly quicker; recording a 0-60 time of 11 seconds. Fuel economy figures for the 2018 C-HR are 27 City/31 Highway/29 Combined. My average for the week landed at 28.1 mpg. Like most new and redesigned Toyota models, the C-HR rides on the modular TGNA platform. I have praised this platform on both the Prius and Prius Prime as it makes them feel playful on a winding road. This extends to the C-HR. Despite a higher ride height, body motions are kept in check when cornering. Steering feels precise and has ample weight when turning. Ride quality is on the firm side, but it will not beat up passengers. A fair amount of tire and wind noise comes inside when driving on the expressway. The Toyota C-HR is quite expensive for a subcompact crossovers. The base XLE begins at $22,500. My XLE Premium tester begins at $24,350 and with some added accessories, the final price was $25,633. That’s without leather seats, navigation, or a sunroof. Toyota is quick to point out that the C-HR does come equipped with a number of active safety features such as adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist as standard. That only helps the base XLE when it comes to arguing value. The XLE Premium has a tougher time since you can get into a well equipped Hyundai Kona Limited FWD with a sunroof, leather seats, a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration; and 18-inch alloy wheels for only $53 more. You do miss out on the active safety features since as you can only get those on the top-line Ultimate, but the Kona presents a better value than the C-HR when you compare features bit by bit. The Toyota C-HR left me very frustrated as the week came to a close. The crossover has some charm with sharp driving dynamics and a very willing chassis. But it is clear that the C-HR feels more like a Scion than a Toyota as it was built to be cost-effective as it doesn’t offer any options. What you see is what you get. The problem is that competitors offer more equipment for similar money. The C-HR also trails competitors in terms of cargo capacity and performance. I do believe there is a crossover that can stand out from the growing field of subcompact models, but Toyota needs to think of the C-HR as one of their own models, not as a Scion. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the C-HR, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Toyota Model: C-HR Trim: XLE Premium Engine: 2.0L DOHC, 16-Valve Four-Cylinder with Valvematic Driveline: CVT, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 144 @ 6,100 Torque @ RPM: 139 @ 3,900 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/31/29 Curb Weight: 3,300 lbs Location of Manufacture: Arifiye, Sakarya, Turkey Base Price: $24,350 As Tested Price: $25,633 (Includes $960.00 Destination Charge) Options: Carpeted Floormats and Cargo Mat - $194.00 Mudguards - $129.00
  16. Toyota Motor North America Reports U.S. Sales for June, First Half 2018 TMNA, Toyota and Lexus divisions set light truck sales record RAV4, Highlander posted best-ever June and first half Lexus NX Hybrid recorded best-ever June PLANO, Texas (July 3, 2018) – Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) today reported June 2018 sales of 209,602 units. With one more selling day in June 2018 compared to June 2017, sales were up 3.6 percent on volume basis and down 0.3 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. For the first half of the year, TMNA reported sales of 1,189,312 units, up 3.0 percent on a volume basis versus the same period in 2017. On a DSR basis, sales were up 1.6 percent versus last year. Toyota division posted June 2018 sales of 185,852 units, up 4.4 percent on a volume basis and up 1.9 percent on a DSR basis. “Record June light truck sales, led by RAV4 and Highlander, solidified Toyota as the No. 1 selling retail brand through the first half of this year,” said Andrew Gilleland, vice president of Sales Operations, Toyota division. “Strong consumer demand on Toyota Camry, the excitement of the all-new 2019 Toyota Avalon and Corolla Hatchback, paired with excellent light truck availability sets us up for continued strong sales throughout the summer.” Lexus posted June sales of 23,750 units, down 2.6 percent on a volume basis and down 6.2 percent on a DSR basis. “Lexus closed out the first half of the year up led by best-ever LUV sales,” said David Christ, group vice president and general manager, Lexus division. “RX is up seven percent year-to-date and remains the top-selling luxury vehicle in the industry while the NX delivered ten percent year-over-year growth. In addition to these great results, we successfully launched our flagship sedan, the all-new LS 500, and the all-new RXL. We’re looking forward to continued success in the third quarter, which will get a boost from our all-new ES sedan that goes on sale in September.” June and First Half 2018 Highlights: TMNA, Toyota and Lexus divisions posted best-ever light truck sales for June and the first half Camry recorded June sales of 28,215 units Corolla sedan posted sales of 25,947 units for the month RAV4 increased by 10.6 percent; best-ever June and best-ever first half Highlander increased by 20.7 percent; best-ever June and best-ever first half 4Runner sales of 11,569 units in June; a best-ever June Tacoma increased by 30.6 percent Tundra posted June sales of 9,955 Lexus LUVs posted a 7.4 percent increase, a best-ever June NX Hybrid up 270 percent, the sixth consecutive best-ever month NX combined sales up 5.8 percent in June, a best-ever June and first half RX saw gain of 5.3 percent in June GX increased 23.5 percent, a best-ever June in 13 years LS up 135.5 percent in the first half *Note: Unless otherwise stated, all figures reflect unadjusted raw sales volume
  17. (Author’s Note: Before you ask, no this isn’t a typo. I really did drive a 2017 Tacoma in 2018. Due to some circumstances, the Tacoma took the place of another vehicle at the last minute. I didn’t realize it was a 2017 model until I saw the sticker. I’ll make note of the changes for 2018 towards the end of the piece.) I’ll likely make some people annoyed with this line: The Toyota Tacoma is the Jeep Wrangler of the pickup world. Before you start getting banging on your keyboard, telling me how I am wrong, allow me to make my case. The two models have a number of similarities; off-road pedigree, not changing much in terms of design or mechanicals; and somewhat uncomfortable when driven on the road. Since our last review of the Tacoma, not much has changed with the exterior. The TRD Off-Road package does make the Tacoma look somewhat mean with a new grille, 16-inch wheels wrapped meaty off-road tires, and a khaki paint color that looks like it came from an army base. The Tacoma’s interior is very user-friendly with a comprehensive and simple dash layout. Most controls are where you expect to find them and in easy reach. But some controls are placed in some odd locations. A key example is the hill descent control which is next to the dome lights on the ceiling. Comfort is still almost nonexistent in the Tacoma. The front seats are quite firm and provide decent support. No height adjustment means a fair number of people will need to make comprises in comfort to find the right seating position. The back seat can fit adults, provided you don’t have anyone tall sitting in the front. Otherwise, legroom becomes very scarce. Under the hood is a 3.5L V6 producing 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic and four-wheel drive. At low speeds, the engine pulls quite strongly and smoothly. It is very different when traveling on the highway as the engine really needs to be worked to get up to speed at a somewhat decent rate. Part of this comes down to the automatic which likes to quickly upshift to maximize fuel economy. There is a ‘sport’ mode on the transmission that locks out fifth and sixth gear, but only improves performance marginally. Fuel economy is towards the bottom with EPA figures of 18 City/23 Highway/20 Combined. My average for the week landed around 19.5 mpg. TRD Off-Road brings forth a retuned suspension setup featuring a set of Bilstein shocks. Usually, this makes the ride is somewhat softer. But in the Tacoma, the ride is quite choppy on any surface that isn’t smooth. Steering is very slow and heavy, making tight maneuvers a bit difficult. A fair amount of wind and road noise is apparent. Any changes to be aware of for the 2018 Tacoma? The only change of note is the addition of Toyota Safety Sense-P. This suite of active safety features includes automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beams, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. The TRD Off-Road will set you back $35,515 for the Double Cab with the Long Bed - the 2018 model is about $1,410 more. With a few options, our as-tested price came to $40,617. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Tacoma, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2017 Make: Toyota Model: Tacoma Double Cab with Long Bed Trim: TRD Off-Road Engine: 3.5L D-4S V6 with Dual VVT-i Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 278 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 265 @ 4,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/23/20 Curb Weight: 4,480 lbs Location of Manufacture: San Antonio, TX Base Price: $35,515 As Tested Price: $40,617 (Includes $960.00 Destination Charge) Options: Premium & Technology Package - $3,035.00 Tonneau Cover - $650.00 Carpet Floor Mats w/Door Sill Protector - $208.00 Mudguards - $129.00 Bed Mat - $120.00 View full article
  18. (Author’s Note: Before you ask, no this isn’t a typo. I really did drive a 2017 Tacoma in 2018. Due to some circumstances, the Tacoma took the place of another vehicle at the last minute. I didn’t realize it was a 2017 model until I saw the sticker. I’ll make note of the changes for 2018 towards the end of the piece.) I’ll likely make some people annoyed with this line: The Toyota Tacoma is the Jeep Wrangler of the pickup world. Before you start getting banging on your keyboard, telling me how I am wrong, allow me to make my case. The two models have a number of similarities; off-road pedigree, not changing much in terms of design or mechanicals; and somewhat uncomfortable when driven on the road. Since our last review of the Tacoma, not much has changed with the exterior. The TRD Off-Road package does make the Tacoma look somewhat mean with a new grille, 16-inch wheels wrapped meaty off-road tires, and a khaki paint color that looks like it came from an army base. The Tacoma’s interior is very user-friendly with a comprehensive and simple dash layout. Most controls are where you expect to find them and in easy reach. But some controls are placed in some odd locations. A key example is the hill descent control which is next to the dome lights on the ceiling. Comfort is still almost nonexistent in the Tacoma. The front seats are quite firm and provide decent support. No height adjustment means a fair number of people will need to make comprises in comfort to find the right seating position. The back seat can fit adults, provided you don’t have anyone tall sitting in the front. Otherwise, legroom becomes very scarce. Under the hood is a 3.5L V6 producing 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic and four-wheel drive. At low speeds, the engine pulls quite strongly and smoothly. It is very different when traveling on the highway as the engine really needs to be worked to get up to speed at a somewhat decent rate. Part of this comes down to the automatic which likes to quickly upshift to maximize fuel economy. There is a ‘sport’ mode on the transmission that locks out fifth and sixth gear, but only improves performance marginally. Fuel economy is towards the bottom with EPA figures of 18 City/23 Highway/20 Combined. My average for the week landed around 19.5 mpg. TRD Off-Road brings forth a retuned suspension setup featuring a set of Bilstein shocks. Usually, this makes the ride is somewhat softer. But in the Tacoma, the ride is quite choppy on any surface that isn’t smooth. Steering is very slow and heavy, making tight maneuvers a bit difficult. A fair amount of wind and road noise is apparent. Any changes to be aware of for the 2018 Tacoma? The only change of note is the addition of Toyota Safety Sense-P. This suite of active safety features includes automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beams, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. The TRD Off-Road will set you back $35,515 for the Double Cab with the Long Bed - the 2018 model is about $1,410 more. With a few options, our as-tested price came to $40,617. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Tacoma, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2017 Make: Toyota Model: Tacoma Double Cab with Long Bed Trim: TRD Off-Road Engine: 3.5L D-4S V6 with Dual VVT-i Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 278 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 265 @ 4,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/23/20 Curb Weight: 4,480 lbs Location of Manufacture: San Antonio, TX Base Price: $35,515 As Tested Price: $40,617 (Includes $960.00 Destination Charge) Options: Premium & Technology Package - $3,035.00 Tonneau Cover - $650.00 Carpet Floor Mats w/Door Sill Protector - $208.00 Mudguards - $129.00 Bed Mat - $120.00
  19. Toyota Motor North America Reports May 2018 Sales TMNA, Toyota, Lexus divisions posted best-ever light truck May sales Toyota Highlander posted best-ever monthly sales Lexus NXh posted best-ever May sales PLANO, Texas (June 1, 2018) – Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) today reported May 2018 sales of 215,321 vehicles, a decrease of 1.3 percent from May 2017 on a volume basis. With one more selling day in May 2018 compared to May 2017, sales were down 5.1 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. Toyota division posted May sales of 189,930 units, down 1.5 percent on a volume basis and down 5.3 percent on a DSR basis. Lexus division posted May sales of 25,391 vehicles, down 0.1 percent on a volume basis and down 3.9 percent on a DSR basis. May 2018 Highlights TMNA, Toyota and Lexus divisions’ light trucks posted a best-ever May Camry posted sales of 29,965 RAV4 posted sales of 38,202 units Highlander sales up 17.6 percent, a best-ever May 4Runner sales up 6.6 percent Toyota division pickup truck sales up 11.0 percent Tacoma sales up 21.1 percent Tundra posted sales of 10,062 units Lexus LUVs posted a 6.8 percent increase, a best-ever May RX posted sales of 9,697 units NX Hybrid up 221.4 percent, a best-ever May NX combined sales of 4,975 units, continuing a best-ever start to the year LS sales up 186.4 percent with sales of 908 units *Note: Unless otherwise stated, all figures reflect unadjusted raw sales volume TOYOTA U.S. SALES SUMMARY MAY 2018 -- CURRENT MONTH -- -- CALENDAR YEAR TO DATE -- 2018 2017 DSR % VOL % 2018 2017 DSR % VOL % TOTAL TOYOTA 215,321 218,252 -5.1 -1.3 979,710 952,791 2.0 2.8 TOTAL TOYOTA DIV 189,930 192,848 -5.3 -1.5 868,460 843,426 2.2 3.0 TOTAL LEXUS 25,391 25,404 -3.9 -0.1 111,250 109,365 0.9 1.7 YARIS IA (INCL SCI IA) 2,861 3,444 -20.1 -16.9 13,430 15,758 -15.4 -14.8 YARIS LIFTBACK 139 852 -84.3 -83.7 724 6,138 -88.3 -88.2 TOTAL YARIS 3,000 4,296 -32.9 -30.2 14,154 21,896 -35.9 -35.4 iQ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 xD 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 xB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 tC 0 10 -100.0 -100.0 1 166 -99.4 -99.4 COROLLA IM (INCL SCI IM) 2,526 1,995 21.7 26.6 9,436 9,312 0.5 1.3 COROLLA SEDAN 27,052 30,942 -15.9 -12.6 123,858 136,164 -9.8 -9.0 TOTAL COROLLA 29,578 32,937 -13.7 -10.2 133,294 145,476 -9.1 -8.4 86 (INCL FR-S) 401 680 -43.3 -41.0 1,920 3,101 -38.6 -38.1 MIRAI 102 162 -39.5 -37.0 640 579 9.7 10.5 AVALON 2,669 2,872 -10.6 -7.1 16,499 14,215 15.2 16.1 PRIUS 8,672 10,023 -16.8 -13.5 38,327 46,366 -18.0 -17.3 CAMRY 29,965 32,547 -11.5 -7.9 150,580 147,434 1.3 2.1 TOTAL TOYOTA DIV. CAR 74,387 83,527 -14.4 -10.9 355,415 379,233 -7.0 -6.3 CT 0 825 -100 -100 4 3,311 -99.9 -99.9 IS 2,180 2,367 -11.4 -7.9 9,279 10,225 -10.0 -9.3 RC 434 517 -19.3 -16.1 1,421 2,600 -45.8 -45.3 ES 3,828 4,228 -12.9 -9.5 16,309 17,134 -5.6 -4.8 GS 672 615 5.1 9.3 3,086 2,907 5.3 6.2 LS 908 317 175.4 186.4 3,580 1,555 128.4 130.2 LC 154 422 -65 -64 855 422 101 103 LFA 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 TOTAL LEXUS CAR 8,177 9,291 -15.4 -12.0 34,536 38,154 -10.2 -9.5 TOTAL TOYOTA CAR 82,564 92,818 -14.5 -11.0 389,951 417,387 -7.3 -6.6 SIENNA 7,346 10,434 -32.3 -29.6 38,903 46,696 -17.3 -16.7 C-HR 4,366 1848 127 136 21,908 2398 806.4 813.6 RAV4 38,202 38,356 -4.2 -0.4 160,670 150,646 5.8 6.7 FJ CRUISER 0 0 0 0 1 2 -50.4 -50 VENZA 0 0 0 0 0 11 -100 -100 HIGHLANDER 21,312 18,115 13.1 17.6 92,650 82,738 11.1 12.0 4RUNNER 11,739 11,014 2.5 6.6 53,259 53,098 -0.5 0.3 SEQUOIA 868 964 -13.4 -10.0 4,556 5,349 -15.5 -14.8 LAND CRUISER 268 259 -0.5 3.5 1,291 1,292 -0.9 -0.1 TOTAL TOYOTA DIV. SUV 76,755 70,556 4.6 8.8 334,335 295,534 12.2 13.1 TACOMA 21,380 17,654 16.4 21.1 93,970 78,154 19.3 20.2 TUNDRA 10,062 10,677 -9.4 -5.8 45,837 43,809 3.8 4.6 TOTAL TOYOTA DIV. PICKUP 31,442 28,331 6.7 11.0 139,807 121,963 13.7 14.6 TOTAL TOYOTA DIV. TRUCK 115,543 109,321 1.6 5.7 513,045 464,193 9.7 10.5 NX 4,975 5,009 -4.5 -0.7 23,810 21,426 10.3 11.1 RX 9,697 8,849 5.4 9.6 41,197 38,329 6.6 7.5 GX 2018 1851 4.8 9.0 9,521 9,157 3.2 4.0 LX 524 404 24.7 29.7 2,186 2,299 -5.7 -4.9 TOTAL LEXUS TRUCK 17,214 16,113 2.7 6.8 76,714 71,211 6.9 7.7 TOTAL TOYOTA TRUCK 132,757 125,434 1.8 5.8 589,759 535,404 9.3 10.2 Selling Days 26 25 127 126 DSR = Daily Selling Rate *NA Built Vehicles TOYOTA U.S. SALES SUMMARY MAY, 2018 -- CURRENT MONTH -- -- CALENDAR YEAR TO DATE -- 2018 2017 DSR % VOL % 2018 2017 DSR % VOL % COROLLA 27,052 30,942 -15.9 -12.6 123,858 136,164 -9.8 -9.0 CAMRY 28,875 32,547 -14.7 -11.3 139,680 147,434 -6.0 -5.3 AVALON 2,669 2,872 -10.6 -7.1 16,499 14,215 15.2 16.1 YARIS IA (INCL SCI IA) 2,861 3,444 -20.1 -16.9 13,430 15,758 -15.4 -14.8 RAV4 16,769 17,580 -8.3 -4.6 70,412 70,483 -0.9 -0.1 VENZA 0 0 0.0 0.0 0 11 -100.0 -100.0 HIGHLANDER 21,312 18,115 13.1 17.6 92,650 82,738 11.1 12.0 SIENNA 7,346 10,434 -32.3 -29.6 38,903 46,696 -17.3 -16.7 SEQUOIA 868 964 -13.4 -10.0 4,556 5,349 -15.5 -14.8 TACOMA 21,380 17,654 16.4 21.1 93,970 78,154 19.3 20.2 TUNDRA 10,062 10,677 -9.4 -5.8 45,837 43,809 3.8 4.6 ES 3,400 3,335 -2.0 1.9 14,544 12,864 12.2 13.1 RX 5,834 8,301 -32.4 -29.7 32,391 35,626 -9.8 -9.1 TOTAL 148,428 156,865 -9.0 -5.4 686,730 689,301 -1.2 -0.4 N.A VEHICLES % OF TOTAL 68.9% 71.9% 70.1% 72.3% TOYOTA DIV. IMPORT CAR 12,930 13,722 -9.4 -5.8 61,948 65,662 -6.4 -5.7 LEXUS IMPORT CAR 4,777 5,956 -22.9 -19.8 19,992 25,290 -21.6 -20.9 TOYOTA DIV NA BUILT CARS 61,457 69,805 -15.3 -12.0 293,467 313,571 -7.1 -6.4 LEXUS NA BUILT CARS 3,400 3,335 -2.0 1.9 14,544 12,864 12.2 13.1 TOTAL TOYOTA CARS 82,564 92,818 -14.5 -11.0 389,951 417,387 -7.3 -6.6 TOYOTA DIV. IMPORT TRUCK 37,806 33,897 7.2 11.5 166,717 136,953 20.8 21.7 LEXUS IMPORT TRUCK 11,380 7,812 40.1 45.7 44,323 35,585 23.6 24.6 TOYOTA DIV NA BUILT TRUCK 77,737 75,424 -0.9 3.1 346,328 327,240 5.0 5.8 LEXUS NA BUILT TRUCK 5,834 8,301 -32.4 -29.7 32,391 35,626 -9.8 -9.1 TOTAL TOYOTA TRUCK 132,757 125,434 1.8 5.8 589,759 535,404 9.3 10.2 Selling Days 26 25 127 126 TOYOTA U.S. HYBRID SALES SUMMARY APRIL, 2018 -- Current Month -- -- Calendar Year To Date -- 2018 2017 DSR % 2018 2017 DSR % Toyota Prius Sedan 4,760 6,065 -24.5% 20,554 27,636 -26.2% Toyota Prius V(only) 170 929 -82.4% 1,882 4,474 -58.3% Toyota Prius C(only) 818 1,121 -29.8% 3,873 6,182 -37.8% Toyota Prius PRIME(only) 2,924 1,908 47.4% 12,018 8,074 47.7% Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 4,268 4,070 0.8% 19,347 17,061 12.5% Lexus NX Hybrid 762 228 221.4% 3,077 1,048 191.3% Lexus RX Hybrid 1,359 747 74.9% 4,407 3,025 44.5%
  20. William Maley

    2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback To Begin $20,910*

    Before the new Corolla hatchback hits dealers later this summer, Toyota has revealed pricing and fuel economy numbers. The base SE will set you back $20,910 (includes a $920 destination charge), while the XSE begins at $23,910. That will net you a new 2.0L four-cylinder with 168 horsepower and a six-speed manual. A CVT is available for an additional $1,100. This is what you get on either trim: SE: Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning; 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay compatibility, and 16-inch wheels. XSE: 18-inch wheels, LED fog lamps, upgraded infotainment system, leather-and-fabric upholstery, and heated front seats. As for fuel economy, the SE with the CVT is the mileage leader with EPA estimates of 32 City/42 Highway/36 Combined. The XSE CVT is next with figures of 30/38/33. For the manual, Toyota only has figures for the SE which are 28/37/31. Numbers on the XSE manual are coming soon. Source: Toyota
  21. Before the new Corolla hatchback hits dealers later this summer, Toyota has revealed pricing and fuel economy numbers. The base SE will set you back $20,910 (includes a $920 destination charge), while the XSE begins at $23,910. That will net you a new 2.0L four-cylinder with 168 horsepower and a six-speed manual. A CVT is available for an additional $1,100. This is what you get on either trim: SE: Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning; 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay compatibility, and 16-inch wheels. XSE: 18-inch wheels, LED fog lamps, upgraded infotainment system, leather-and-fabric upholstery, and heated front seats. As for fuel economy, the SE with the CVT is the mileage leader with EPA estimates of 32 City/42 Highway/36 Combined. The XSE CVT is next with figures of 30/38/33. For the manual, Toyota only has figures for the SE which are 28/37/31. Numbers on the XSE manual are coming soon. Source: Toyota View full article
  22. EV Battery War Heats UP, Asia Versus America! Seems America, Tesla and the department of energy have created the next war. This is the Battery war, Lithium Ion versus Solid State batteries and Japan is behind. As such according to the story in the Nikkei, the Japanese government is funding research by leading Japanese manufacturers to develop what they believe will power the EVs of the future. This group brings together the Japanese Consortium for Lithium Ion Battery Technology and Evaluation Center (Libtec) with Toyota Motor, Nissan Motor, Honda Motor, Panasonic and battery maker GS Yuasa to develop rapid charging solid-state batteries that are easier to manufacture, safer, denser energy and costs less. The story goes on to say that Toyota's Solid State battery technology is considered to be the most advanced in the world, but is not commercialized yet. This new consortium is meant to make this happen by being funded by the Japanese government. This should help Japan beat China, Korea and the US in having the fastest charging, safest and densest battery packs in the world. Current market numbers are that global battery market shows Japan had 70% in 2013 but shrunk to 41% today, China and Korea combine for 26% today from 3% in 2013 The consortium is quoted as bringing the smaller but denser 400km Toyota solid state battery pack to market in the next 18 months in current EVs and have the size grow of the solid state batteries grow very little while having 550km batteries by 2025 and 800km batteries by 2030. For those that are a bit rusty on their metric, this equates to 249, 342, and 497 miles of range in a small dense battery pack. Japan industry ministry is eager for the country to reclaim its global dominance by setting the standard for solid-state batteries. Nikkei Story
  23. Subaru trademarks "Evoltis" for First Hybrid Subarus has filed with the US Patent and Trademark office for the auto name Evoltis. This will be their first Hybrid based on the Toyota Prius powertrain. Many are hoping that unlike Toyota, Subaru will do their due diligence to build it as an AWD auto. Autoblog story
  24. William Maley

    2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan Drops the iA

    The Toyota Yaris iA is no more. Putting to rest the last remnants of the Scion brand, Toyota is renaming their smallest sedan to the Yaris for 2019. It also marks the introduction of a range of trims (L, LE, and XLE). Not much changes in terms of the exterior aside from a honeycomb grille and chrome trim. A lip spoiler is standard on the LE and XLE models. For the interior, the Yaris sedan comes well equipped with a 7-inch display, Bluetooth, backup camera, push-button start, and cruise control. LE and XLE models add a Smart Key. The top-line XLE comes with leatherette upholstery, automatic climate control, automatic rain-sensing wipers, and automatic LED headlights. The powertrain remains a 1.5L four-cylinder with 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. This can be paired with a six-speed manual or automatic. All Yaris sedans come equipped with a Low-Speed Pre-Collision System. No word on pricing, but the 2019 Yaris sedan arrives at dealers this fall. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 2019 Yaris Sedan Offers Ideal Blend of Value and Fun 2019 Yaris Sedan Available in Three Grades: L, LE, XLE New XLE Grade Adds Leather Accents, Leatherette-Trimmed Interior New Sport-Inspired Front Grille Available 40 MPG Highway Rating* Standard 7-inch Touchscreen Multimedia System Standard Active Safety System, Low-Speed Pre-Collision System PLANO, Texas, March 26, 2018 – The 2019 Toyota Yaris sedan offers an exceptional blend of efficiency, fun, comfort and safety all at a reasonable price. Is this combination too much to ask of an entry subcompact vehicle? The new Yaris answers with a resounding, “No!” The Yaris sedan, previously the Yaris iA, will be offered in three grades for 2019, including the sporty L, the well-equipped LE grade, and the new premium XLE grade. Premium, on a Yaris? That’s right. The XLE takes Yaris up a notch with sporty leatherette-trimmed front seats, leather-trimmed steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake, an HVAC system with Automatic Climate Control, automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers and illuminated entry. For 2019, all Yaris sedans will feature a new sport-inspired front grille with a honeycomb insert design. Exterior styling cues include upscale piano black accents and chrome trim. Fog lights come standard on the LE and XLE grades, and these grades also sport a new rear lip spoiler. Every grade is fitted with a roof-mounted, color-keyed shark fin antenna for available satellite radio. Power outside mirrors come standard on the L, while the LE and XLE are equipped with power outside heated mirrors with LED turn-signal indicators. Safety is a priority on every Toyota, and that’s why all Yaris sedans comes standard with an Active Safety System and Low-Speed Pre-Collision System. The Yaris features a high-compression 1.5-liter engine that boasts up to 40 miles per gallon (MPG) on the highway*. The Yaris sedan will be offered in seven colors that include Frost, Chromium, Graphite, Stealth, Sapphire, Pulse and the all-new Icicle. The new Yaris will go on sale in the fall of 2018. Efficiency is Key There’s no question that fuel economy is high atop the list of must-haves for Yaris. When the direct-injection 1.5-liter engine is paired with the available 6-speed automatic transmission, the Yaris boasts an impressive 32 MPG in the city, 40 on the highway and 35 combined*. When paired with the six-speed manual gearbox offering, the Yaris provides 30 mpg in the city, 39 on the highway and 34 combined*. The sporty Yaris sedan is a blast to drive, thanks in large part to the engine and transmission offerings. The 1.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine pumps out 106 horsepower and 103 lb.-ft. of torque for plenty of pep to power onto highway onramps and seamlessly navigate workday traffic. The standard manual transmission features a compact, lightweight design with a short-throw shift for smooth, quick gear changes. The available automatic transmission aids in smooth starts while offering quick, precise shifts at higher speeds. Value Doesn’t Sacrifice Fun Yaris’ sporty handling is engineered into the chassis with effective use of high-tensile steel in the body and frame. The rigid chassis design is complemented with a pairing of stiff springs and MacPherson struts on the front suspension and a durable torsion beam suspension in the rear. The electronic power steering is designed for smooth, effortless operation. For more spirited driving, Sport Mode provides improved torque feel at the flip of a switch. Stopping duties are handled by ventilated discs up front and drum brakes in the rear. The braking system is tuned with a progressive experience when cornering, as the pedal offers a cushioned feel that gets progressively more rigid as G-force rises. The LE and XLE feature a unique 16-inch alloy wheel with new dark gunmetal finish. It’s What’s Inside that Counts Upping the ante on interior comfort and features, every Yaris features a 7.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system with voice recognition, remote interface, steering wheel controls and Bluetooth connectivity. The touchscreen also displays the standard backup camera. Belting out tunes in the cabin is a six-speaker sound system, and each Yaris includes available satellite radio with a 3-month complimentary SiriusXM® All Access trial. An integrated AM/FM antenna, auxiliary audio jack and USB port with iPod® connectivity are standard. Every Yaris comes equipped with a stylish instrumentation cluster that includes an analog speedometer, digital tachometer and incorporated trip meter. Cruise control also comes standard. Push button start is standard on all grades, and the L grade features a remote keyless entry system while both the LE and XLE are equipped with Smart Key System. Every Yaris is fitted with power windows with driver-side auto up/down and jam protection. A standard 60/40-split rear seat easily expands carrying capacity and versatility. Standard Safety System Every Yaris is equipped with an Active Safety System that includes Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD), Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and a Brake Over-Ride System (BOS). The Yaris is also fitted with a Low-Speed Pre-Collision System, which scans the road ahead for potential vehicle collisions. If the system detects a potential frontal collision, an audio/visual alert and braking assistance are designed to automatically activate. Should the driver not respond, this system may automatically apply the brakes. A driver and front passenger airbag system and seat-mounted side airbags are standard, as are front and rear side curtain airbags. Other standard safety features include a Driver-side Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) and Automatic/Emergency Locking Retractor (ALR/ELR) on all passenger belts. Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) is also standard on outboard rear seats with tethers and anchors on all rear seats. A Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) also is equipped on all grades.
  25. The Toyota Yaris iA is no more. Putting to rest the last remnants of the Scion brand, Toyota is renaming their smallest sedan to the Yaris for 2019. It also marks the introduction of a range of trims (L, LE, and XLE). Not much changes in terms of the exterior aside from a honeycomb grille and chrome trim. A lip spoiler is standard on the LE and XLE models. For the interior, the Yaris sedan comes well equipped with a 7-inch display, Bluetooth, backup camera, push-button start, and cruise control. LE and XLE models add a Smart Key. The top-line XLE comes with leatherette upholstery, automatic climate control, automatic rain-sensing wipers, and automatic LED headlights. The powertrain remains a 1.5L four-cylinder with 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. This can be paired with a six-speed manual or automatic. All Yaris sedans come equipped with a Low-Speed Pre-Collision System. No word on pricing, but the 2019 Yaris sedan arrives at dealers this fall. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 2019 Yaris Sedan Offers Ideal Blend of Value and Fun 2019 Yaris Sedan Available in Three Grades: L, LE, XLE New XLE Grade Adds Leather Accents, Leatherette-Trimmed Interior New Sport-Inspired Front Grille Available 40 MPG Highway Rating* Standard 7-inch Touchscreen Multimedia System Standard Active Safety System, Low-Speed Pre-Collision System PLANO, Texas, March 26, 2018 – The 2019 Toyota Yaris sedan offers an exceptional blend of efficiency, fun, comfort and safety all at a reasonable price. Is this combination too much to ask of an entry subcompact vehicle? The new Yaris answers with a resounding, “No!” The Yaris sedan, previously the Yaris iA, will be offered in three grades for 2019, including the sporty L, the well-equipped LE grade, and the new premium XLE grade. Premium, on a Yaris? That’s right. The XLE takes Yaris up a notch with sporty leatherette-trimmed front seats, leather-trimmed steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake, an HVAC system with Automatic Climate Control, automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers and illuminated entry. For 2019, all Yaris sedans will feature a new sport-inspired front grille with a honeycomb insert design. Exterior styling cues include upscale piano black accents and chrome trim. Fog lights come standard on the LE and XLE grades, and these grades also sport a new rear lip spoiler. Every grade is fitted with a roof-mounted, color-keyed shark fin antenna for available satellite radio. Power outside mirrors come standard on the L, while the LE and XLE are equipped with power outside heated mirrors with LED turn-signal indicators. Safety is a priority on every Toyota, and that’s why all Yaris sedans comes standard with an Active Safety System and Low-Speed Pre-Collision System. The Yaris features a high-compression 1.5-liter engine that boasts up to 40 miles per gallon (MPG) on the highway*. The Yaris sedan will be offered in seven colors that include Frost, Chromium, Graphite, Stealth, Sapphire, Pulse and the all-new Icicle. The new Yaris will go on sale in the fall of 2018. Efficiency is Key There’s no question that fuel economy is high atop the list of must-haves for Yaris. When the direct-injection 1.5-liter engine is paired with the available 6-speed automatic transmission, the Yaris boasts an impressive 32 MPG in the city, 40 on the highway and 35 combined*. When paired with the six-speed manual gearbox offering, the Yaris provides 30 mpg in the city, 39 on the highway and 34 combined*. The sporty Yaris sedan is a blast to drive, thanks in large part to the engine and transmission offerings. The 1.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine pumps out 106 horsepower and 103 lb.-ft. of torque for plenty of pep to power onto highway onramps and seamlessly navigate workday traffic. The standard manual transmission features a compact, lightweight design with a short-throw shift for smooth, quick gear changes. The available automatic transmission aids in smooth starts while offering quick, precise shifts at higher speeds. Value Doesn’t Sacrifice Fun Yaris’ sporty handling is engineered into the chassis with effective use of high-tensile steel in the body and frame. The rigid chassis design is complemented with a pairing of stiff springs and MacPherson struts on the front suspension and a durable torsion beam suspension in the rear. The electronic power steering is designed for smooth, effortless operation. For more spirited driving, Sport Mode provides improved torque feel at the flip of a switch. Stopping duties are handled by ventilated discs up front and drum brakes in the rear. The braking system is tuned with a progressive experience when cornering, as the pedal offers a cushioned feel that gets progressively more rigid as G-force rises. The LE and XLE feature a unique 16-inch alloy wheel with new dark gunmetal finish. It’s What’s Inside that Counts Upping the ante on interior comfort and features, every Yaris features a 7.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system with voice recognition, remote interface, steering wheel controls and Bluetooth connectivity. The touchscreen also displays the standard backup camera. Belting out tunes in the cabin is a six-speaker sound system, and each Yaris includes available satellite radio with a 3-month complimentary SiriusXM® All Access trial. An integrated AM/FM antenna, auxiliary audio jack and USB port with iPod® connectivity are standard. Every Yaris comes equipped with a stylish instrumentation cluster that includes an analog speedometer, digital tachometer and incorporated trip meter. Cruise control also comes standard. Push button start is standard on all grades, and the L grade features a remote keyless entry system while both the LE and XLE are equipped with Smart Key System. Every Yaris is fitted with power windows with driver-side auto up/down and jam protection. A standard 60/40-split rear seat easily expands carrying capacity and versatility. Standard Safety System Every Yaris is equipped with an Active Safety System that includes Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD), Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and a Brake Over-Ride System (BOS). The Yaris is also fitted with a Low-Speed Pre-Collision System, which scans the road ahead for potential vehicle collisions. If the system detects a potential frontal collision, an audio/visual alert and braking assistance are designed to automatically activate. Should the driver not respond, this system may automatically apply the brakes. A driver and front passenger airbag system and seat-mounted side airbags are standard, as are front and rear side curtain airbags. Other standard safety features include a Driver-side Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) and Automatic/Emergency Locking Retractor (ALR/ELR) on all passenger belts. Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) is also standard on outboard rear seats with tethers and anchors on all rear seats. A Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) also is equipped on all grades. View full article

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