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Found 457 results

  1. Here's my reaction: I think it looks like a fusion of a Scion XB, Popemobile and a London Taxi. It's just so...goofy. But I guess it's super practical, because it's a just another ugly box on wheels.
  2. Toyota Division Remains Retail Sales Leader in Third Quarter Highlander posts best-ever sales Scion iM and iA post combined sales of 3,388 units Lexus LUV up 36.4 percent TORRANCE, Calif. (Oct. 1, 2015) – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported September 2015 sales of 194,370 units, an increase of 16.2 percent from September 2014 on a volume basis. With one more selling day in September 2015 than in September 2014, sales were up 11.5 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. Toyota Division posted September 2015 sales of 169,076 units, up 16.3 percent on a volume and 11.6 percent on a DSR basis. "Auto industry sales continue to accelerate at a strong pace,” said Bill Fay, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. “Toyota Division sales were up over 16 percent in September, led by best-ever sales of RAV4 and Highlander.” Lexus reported September 2015 sales of 25,294 units, up 15.8 percent from September 2014 on a volume basis and 11.1 percent on a DSR basis. “Lexus’ robust sales performance continues to be driven by our luxury utility vehicles. The outgoing RX maintained its segment dominance while the GX enjoyed another solid month,” said Jeff Bracken group vice president and general manager of the Lexus division. “With this momentum and the arrival of new models like the 2016 RX, RC200t, IS200t and GS200t, Lexus is well positioned to finish the fourth quarter strong.” September 2015 Highlights: TCUV sales post best-ever third quarter Total Toyota passenger car up 19 percent Corolla up 29.7 percent with sales of 26,636 units Camry up 21 percent for the month Prius up 12.4 percent Scion iM and iA post combined sales of 3,388 units Total TMS light trucks up 13.2 percent Highlander up almost 18 percent; posts best-ever sales 4Runner up 31.5 percent RAV4 up almost 19 percent Sequoia up over 36 percent Tacoma and Tundra post combined sales of 19,637 units Lexus luxury utility vehicles up 36.4 percent All-new NX posts sales of 3,113 units All-new RC posts sales of 1,159 units GX up 2.6 percent; posts sales of 1,611 units RX up 4.1 percent *Note: Unless otherwise stated, all figures reflect unadjusted raw sales volume
  3. The past few months at the Cheers & Gears Detroit Bureau has seen some midsize sedans make a second appearance. One has gone the eco-friendly route, another came with some added zip in its sporty model, and the last has undergone some significant changes. The three sedans in question are the Hyundai Sonata Eco, Toyota Camry XSE V6, and 2016 Mazda6. Now if you want to know what we thought of these vehicles originally, you check out our reviews here. 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2014 Mazda6 Grand Touring 2015 Toyota Camry SE Hybrid Next: 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco The current Hyundai Sonata is a bit head scratcher. When the new model was shown last year at the New York Auto Show, it looked like Hyundai dropped the ball. While the automaker had made a number of improvements in terms of the interior and the engine, the big item of the exterior design was somewhat forgotten. The sleek shape had been changed for something a bit more conservative. This has caused sales to slump and Hyundai to order a refresh a year sooner than expected. But even with these problems, is there a Sonata model that can stand above the rest? As we found out earlier this year, it isn’t the Sonata Sport 2.0T as it has a number of problems with being sporty. Let’s see if the Hyundai Sonata Eco can do it. What makes the Eco different from other Sonata models is under the hood. Hyundai employs a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder with 177 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Aside from this and an Eco badge on the trunk, it looks like the standard Sonata. But the Eco doesn’t drive like the standard model. With the torque arriving at 1,500 and continuing towards 4,500 rpm, this means the Eco’s has power readily available when you’re leaving a stop and continues onwards. Power comes on smoothly and linearly. The only downside to this powertrain is the dual-clutch transmission stumbles a bit due to slow shifts and occasional juddering. It should be noted that Hyundai has made some improvements to the DCT since we’ve driven the Sonata Eco, and the improvements are noticeable when we drove Tucson with this transmission. The other difference between the Sonata Eco and other trims comes in the form of fuel economy. The EPA rates the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco at 28 City/38 Highway/32 Combined. This is slightly better than the standard Sonata with 25 City/37 Highway/29 Combined. My week of driving saw an average of 33.4 MPG, slightly above the combined figure. In the ride and handling department, the Sonata Eco is quite a comfortable car as the suspension keeps most bumps from reaching the interior. Road and wind noise are kept to acceptable levels. Those who want a bit of sport should look towards the Mazda6 as it offers the driver a bit more information and enjoyment on the curves. The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco starts at $23,275, about $2,125 more than the base SE model. Considering what comes standard - a power drivers seat, backup camera, five-inch touchscreen radio, and a chrome front grille - the Eco is quite a good value. Our test Eco came with the optional tech package which adds $4,100 to the base price. But the package transforms the Eco into a handsomely loaded model with such features as blind-spot monitoring, dual-zone climate control, eight-inch touchscreen with navigation, leather seats, heated front seats, and push-button start. The Eco may be the best all-around trim in the Hyundai Sonata lineup. Not only does it offer impressive fuel economy for a midsize sedan, it comes well equipped and boasts a price tag that will not make you wonder if you spent too much. For many, it might be the right sedan. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Sonata Eco, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2015 Make: Hyundai Model: Sonata Trim: Eco Engine: 1.6L Turbocharged, Direct-Injected Four-Cylinder Driveline: Seven-Speed Dual Clutch, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 178 @ 5,500 Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500 - 4,500 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/38/32 Curb Weight: 3,250 lbs Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, AL Base Price: $23,275 As Tested Price: $28,310 (Includes $810.00 Destination Charge) Options: Tech Package - $4,100 Carpet Floor Mats - $125.00 Next: 2016 Mazda6 Grand Touring Small changes can make a big difference to a vehicle. No one is a bigger believer to this mantra than Mazda. A classic example is the CX-5. When it launched in 2013, the crossover drew me in with its sharp looks and impressive handling dynamics. But the 2.0L four-cylinder was a bit of a let down as it was a bit underpowered for the vehicle’s weight. Mazda went back and installed a larger 2.5L four-cylinder for the CX-5 and it made a world of difference in overall performance. So imagine taking this idea of making small changes and doing it to another vehicle. Mazda has done that with the 2016 Mazda sedan. Let see what the changes are and if they make the 6 an even better sedan. The outside get some minor changes such as the grille slats draped in chrome and a longer chrome bar that runs underneath the grille. The big changes for the 2016 model are for the interior as Mazda has taken the interior from 3 and placed it into 6. The new dash brings forth improved materials to make it look and feel more premium, along with Mazda’s new infotainment system. This system is a massive improvement over the older one in terms of performance and overall usability. However, Mazda’s system has an odd problem with the navigation system as it shows you traveling on a different road a few hundred feet away than the one you are currently on. Now the system does correct itself, but it takes up to half a minute. One other change for the 2016 Mazda6 is the optional i-Eloop system. This is a regenerative braking system that recycles the kinetic energy that is moving the vehicle into electricity that is stored in a capacitor. The capacitor then feeds that power to various electronic components to help reduce the load on the alternator and improve fuel economy. Now Mazda says the system delivers up five percent better fuel economy. This shows in the 2016 Mazda6’s fuel economy numbers of 28 City/40 Highway/32 Combined, slightly better than the 26 City/38 Highway/30 Combined on the 2014 model. So does it make a difference? Most likely as my average for the week in the 2016 model was 31 MPG, three MPGs higher than the 2014 model. Aside from all of these changes, the Mazda6 is still one of the best driving midsize sedans on sale. The 2.5L Skyactiv-G engine gets up to speed at a quick rate, while the six-speed automatic is one the fastest and smoothest shifting transmissions on sale. Mazda also hasn’t changed the fun-to-drive characteristics we loved in our original road test of the 6. One item we wished Mazda would work on is noise isolation. Road and wind noise were very apparent when driving the 6 on the expressway. The 2016 Mazda6 shows the little changes can take a sedan that is considered by many to be one of best and make and make it that much more. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the 6, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Mazda Model: 6 Trim: Grand Touring Engine: Skyactiv-G 2.5L DOHC Four-Cylinder Driveline: Skyactiv-Drive Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 5,700 Torque @ RPM: 185 @ 3,250 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/40/32 Curb Weight: 3,250 lbs Location of Manufacture: Hofu, Japan Base Price: $30,195 As Tested Price: $33,395 (Includes $820.00 Destination Charge) Options: GT Technology Package - $2,180 Door Sill Trim Plates - $125.00 Cargo Mat - $75.00 Next: 2015 Toyota Camry XSE V6 Can a Toyota Camry be sporty? Before you start writing comments saying no and telling me that I’m crazy, it is a legitimate question. Consider Toyota’s pledge a couple years ago where it pledged to make their vehicles more engaging. So far, Toyota’s vehicles have looked more exciting. In terms of making them more engaging with driving, it has been mixed. The Avalon Hybrid we thought was a good driving vehicle, while the Corolla S wasn’t. So with that in mind, let us see how the sportiest Camry, the new XSE fares. The 2015 Camry went through a substantial refresh with most of body being changed - aside from the roof. It’s quite dramatic when compared to the previous model. The Camry XSE gets some unique tweaks to make it stand out further such as new mesh grille insert, 18-inch wheels, and dual-exhaust ports. The changes do make the Camry XSE stand out, but it also makes the XSE look like it's trying a bit too hard. Inside the XSE features a number of changes that we delved into our Camry Hybrid SE review including the revised dash with stitching. The only differences for the XSE is a set of faux-suede seats and red stitching. It would be nice if Toyota could do something more to differentiate the Camry XSE from other Camry models in the interior like some new trim pieces specific to the XSE. Power for the XSE comes in the form of a 2.5L four-cylinder as the base, with a 3.5L V6 as an option. Our XSE tester came with the optional V6 which packs 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet. No matter which engine you pick, a six-speed automatic comes standard. The V6 is quite the surprise as it pulls very strong through the rev range and will cause the front wheels to break loose if you aren’t careful with the accelerator. Toyota should also be given some credit for building one of the smoothest and quietest V6 engines on sale. The six-speed automatic shares the smooth characteristics of the engine. Fuel economy for the Camry V6 is rated at 21 City/31 Highway/25 Combined. I saw an average 24 MPG for the week. Now Toyota has made a number of improvements to the XSE to make it sporty such as firmer shocks and springs, new bushings, and a revised ­electric power steering system. So does it make a noticeable improvement to the Camry’s handling? Somewhat. The changes to the suspension do help in terms of body control. But the steering feels a little-bit rubbery and doesn’t provide any increased weight from the standard Camry. At least the Camry XSE provides a somewhat smooth ride. The big problem for the Camry XSE is the value proposition. The base price of the Camry XSE V6 starts at $31,370 and includes LED headlights, a seven-inch touchscreen with Toyota’s Entune infotainment system and navigation; power seats, and dual-zone climate control. However, our test vehicle was fitted with a number of options such as blind-spot monitoring, a JBL audio system, radar cruise control, and lane-departure warning which caused our as-tested price to be $35,768. Considering what you get and how the model doesn’t live up to its sport pretensions, it makes us question whether or not the XSE is worth it. While the XSE is a step in the right direction for in terms of making the Camry a bit more sporty, we think Toyota could have gone a little bit farther in this regard. Also, the value for money equation doesn’t quite work for the Camry XSE. It is a good effort, but Toyota needs to do a bit more work. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Camry XSE, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2015 Make: Toyota Model: Camry Trim: XSE V6 Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-Valve w/Dual-VVTi V6 Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 268 @ 6,200 Torque @ RPM: 248 @ 4,700 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/31/25 Curb Weight: 3,480 lbs Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY Base Price: $31,370 As Tested Price: $35,768 (Includes $525.00 Destination Charge) Options: Entune Premium JBL Audio with Navigation - $805.00 Technology Package - $750.00 Blind Spot Monitor with Rear-Cross Traffic Alert - $500.00 Remote Start - $499.00 Special Color (Ruby Flare Pearl) - $395.00 Four Seasons Floor Mat Package - $325.00 Illuminated Door Sills - $299.00
  4. The past few months at the Cheers & Gears Detroit Bureau has seen some midsize sedans make a second appearance. One has gone the eco-friendly route, another came with some added zip in its sporty model, and the last has undergone some significant changes. The three sedans in question are the Hyundai Sonata Eco, Toyota Camry XSE V6, and 2016 Mazda6. Now if you want to know what we thought of these vehicles originally, you check out our reviews here. 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2014 Mazda6 Grand Touring 2015 Toyota Camry SE Hybrid Next: 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco The current Hyundai Sonata is a bit head scratcher. When the new model was shown last year at the New York Auto Show, it looked like Hyundai dropped the ball. While the automaker had made a number of improvements in terms of the interior and the engine, the big item of the exterior design was somewhat forgotten. The sleek shape had been changed for something a bit more conservative. This has caused sales to slump and Hyundai to order a refresh a year sooner than expected. But even with these problems, is there a Sonata model that can stand above the rest? As we found out earlier this year, it isn’t the Sonata Sport 2.0T as it has a number of problems with being sporty. Let’s see if the Hyundai Sonata Eco can do it. What makes the Eco different from other Sonata models is under the hood. Hyundai employs a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder with 177 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Aside from this and an Eco badge on the trunk, it looks like the standard Sonata. But the Eco doesn’t drive like the standard model. With the torque arriving at 1,500 and continuing towards 4,500 rpm, this means the Eco’s has power readily available when you’re leaving a stop and continues onwards. Power comes on smoothly and linearly. The only downside to this powertrain is the dual-clutch transmission stumbles a bit due to slow shifts and occasional juddering. It should be noted that Hyundai has made some improvements to the DCT since we’ve driven the Sonata Eco, and the improvements are noticeable when we drove Tucson with this transmission. The other difference between the Sonata Eco and other trims comes in the form of fuel economy. The EPA rates the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco at 28 City/38 Highway/32 Combined. This is slightly better than the standard Sonata with 25 City/37 Highway/29 Combined. My week of driving saw an average of 33.4 MPG, slightly above the combined figure. In the ride and handling department, the Sonata Eco is quite a comfortable car as the suspension keeps most bumps from reaching the interior. Road and wind noise are kept to acceptable levels. Those who want a bit of sport should look towards the Mazda6 as it offers the driver a bit more information and enjoyment on the curves. The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco starts at $23,275, about $2,125 more than the base SE model. Considering what comes standard - a power drivers seat, backup camera, five-inch touchscreen radio, and a chrome front grille - the Eco is quite a good value. Our test Eco came with the optional tech package which adds $4,100 to the base price. But the package transforms the Eco into a handsomely loaded model with such features as blind-spot monitoring, dual-zone climate control, eight-inch touchscreen with navigation, leather seats, heated front seats, and push-button start. The Eco may be the best all-around trim in the Hyundai Sonata lineup. Not only does it offer impressive fuel economy for a midsize sedan, it comes well equipped and boasts a price tag that will not make you wonder if you spent too much. For many, it might be the right sedan. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Sonata Eco, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2015 Make: Hyundai Model: Sonata Trim: Eco Engine: 1.6L Turbocharged, Direct-Injected Four-Cylinder Driveline: Seven-Speed Dual Clutch, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 178 @ 5,500 Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500 - 4,500 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/38/32 Curb Weight: 3,250 lbs Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, AL Base Price: $23,275 As Tested Price: $28,310 (Includes $810.00 Destination Charge) Options: Tech Package - $4,100 Carpet Floor Mats - $125.00 Next: 2016 Mazda6 Grand Touring Small changes can make a big difference to a vehicle. No one is a bigger believer to this mantra than Mazda. A classic example is the CX-5. When it launched in 2013, the crossover drew me in with its sharp looks and impressive handling dynamics. But the 2.0L four-cylinder was a bit of a let down as it was a bit underpowered for the vehicle’s weight. Mazda went back and installed a larger 2.5L four-cylinder for the CX-5 and it made a world of difference in overall performance. So imagine taking this idea of making small changes and doing it to another vehicle. Mazda has done that with the 2016 Mazda sedan. Let see what the changes are and if they make the 6 an even better sedan. The outside get some minor changes such as the grille slats draped in chrome and a longer chrome bar that runs underneath the grille. The big changes for the 2016 model are for the interior as Mazda has taken the interior from 3 and placed it into 6. The new dash brings forth improved materials to make it look and feel more premium, along with Mazda’s new infotainment system. This system is a massive improvement over the older one in terms of performance and overall usability. However, Mazda’s system has an odd problem with the navigation system as it shows you traveling on a different road a few hundred feet away than the one you are currently on. Now the system does correct itself, but it takes up to half a minute. One other change for the 2016 Mazda6 is the optional i-Eloop system. This is a regenerative braking system that recycles the kinetic energy that is moving the vehicle into electricity that is stored in a capacitor. The capacitor then feeds that power to various electronic components to help reduce the load on the alternator and improve fuel economy. Now Mazda says the system delivers up five percent better fuel economy. This shows in the 2016 Mazda6’s fuel economy numbers of 28 City/40 Highway/32 Combined, slightly better than the 26 City/38 Highway/30 Combined on the 2014 model. So does it make a difference? Most likely as my average for the week in the 2016 model was 31 MPG, three MPGs higher than the 2014 model. Aside from all of these changes, the Mazda6 is still one of the best driving midsize sedans on sale. The 2.5L Skyactiv-G engine gets up to speed at a quick rate, while the six-speed automatic is one the fastest and smoothest shifting transmissions on sale. Mazda also hasn’t changed the fun-to-drive characteristics we loved in our original road test of the 6. One item we wished Mazda would work on is noise isolation. Road and wind noise were very apparent when driving the 6 on the expressway. The 2016 Mazda6 shows the little changes can take a sedan that is considered by many to be one of best and make and make it that much more. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the 6, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Mazda Model: 6 Trim: Grand Touring Engine: Skyactiv-G 2.5L DOHC Four-Cylinder Driveline: Skyactiv-Drive Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 5,700 Torque @ RPM: 185 @ 3,250 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/40/32 Curb Weight: 3,250 lbs Location of Manufacture: Hofu, Japan Base Price: $30,195 As Tested Price: $33,395 (Includes $820.00 Destination Charge) Options: GT Technology Package - $2,180 Door Sill Trim Plates - $125.00 Cargo Mat - $75.00 Next: 2015 Toyota Camry XSE V6 Can a Toyota Camry be sporty? Before you start writing comments saying no and telling me that I’m crazy, it is a legitimate question. Consider Toyota’s pledge a couple years ago where it pledged to make their vehicles more engaging. So far, Toyota’s vehicles have looked more exciting. In terms of making them more engaging with driving, it has been mixed. The Avalon Hybrid we thought was a good driving vehicle, while the Corolla S wasn’t. So with that in mind, let us see how the sportiest Camry, the new XSE fares. The 2015 Camry went through a substantial refresh with most of body being changed - aside from the roof. It’s quite dramatic when compared to the previous model. The Camry XSE gets some unique tweaks to make it stand out further such as new mesh grille insert, 18-inch wheels, and dual-exhaust ports. The changes do make the Camry XSE stand out, but it also makes the XSE look like it's trying a bit too hard. Inside the XSE features a number of changes that we delved into our Camry Hybrid SE review including the revised dash with stitching. The only differences for the XSE is a set of faux-suede seats and red stitching. It would be nice if Toyota could do something more to differentiate the Camry XSE from other Camry models in the interior like some new trim pieces specific to the XSE. Power for the XSE comes in the form of a 2.5L four-cylinder as the base, with a 3.5L V6 as an option. Our XSE tester came with the optional V6 which packs 268 horsepower and 248 pound-feet. No matter which engine you pick, a six-speed automatic comes standard. The V6 is quite the surprise as it pulls very strong through the rev range and will cause the front wheels to break loose if you aren’t careful with the accelerator. Toyota should also be given some credit for building one of the smoothest and quietest V6 engines on sale. The six-speed automatic shares the smooth characteristics of the engine. Fuel economy for the Camry V6 is rated at 21 City/31 Highway/25 Combined. I saw an average 24 MPG for the week. Now Toyota has made a number of improvements to the XSE to make it sporty such as firmer shocks and springs, new bushings, and a revised ­electric power steering system. So does it make a noticeable improvement to the Camry’s handling? Somewhat. The changes to the suspension do help in terms of body control. But the steering feels a little-bit rubbery and doesn’t provide any increased weight from the standard Camry. At least the Camry XSE provides a somewhat smooth ride. The big problem for the Camry XSE is the value proposition. The base price of the Camry XSE V6 starts at $31,370 and includes LED headlights, a seven-inch touchscreen with Toyota’s Entune infotainment system and navigation; power seats, and dual-zone climate control. However, our test vehicle was fitted with a number of options such as blind-spot monitoring, a JBL audio system, radar cruise control, and lane-departure warning which caused our as-tested price to be $35,768. Considering what you get and how the model doesn’t live up to its sport pretensions, it makes us question whether or not the XSE is worth it. While the XSE is a step in the right direction for in terms of making the Camry a bit more sporty, we think Toyota could have gone a little bit farther in this regard. Also, the value for money equation doesn’t quite work for the Camry XSE. It is a good effort, but Toyota needs to do a bit more work. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Camry XSE, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2015 Make: Toyota Model: Camry Trim: XSE V6 Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-Valve w/Dual-VVTi V6 Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 268 @ 6,200 Torque @ RPM: 248 @ 4,700 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/31/25 Curb Weight: 3,480 lbs Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY Base Price: $31,370 As Tested Price: $35,768 (Includes $525.00 Destination Charge) Options: Entune Premium JBL Audio with Navigation - $805.00 Technology Package - $750.00 Blind Spot Monitor with Rear-Cross Traffic Alert - $500.00 Remote Start - $499.00 Special Color (Ruby Flare Pearl) - $395.00 Four Seasons Floor Mat Package - $325.00 Illuminated Door Sills - $299.00 View full article
  5. The fourth-generation Toyota Prius has made an early debut thanks to spy photographer who caught the vehicle uncovered at a photo shoot. There's a lot of the Mirai hydrogen vehicle in the new Prius' design. Such details include very busy front-end with split opening grille and forked headlights, to a similar side profile and blacked-out C-Pillar. The Prius will be keeping the liftback shape that it has been using since the seconf-generation model. We don't know any details on the next-generation Prius hybrid powertrain, but Green Car Reports says the next Prius will use Toyota's new global modular platform and possibly have all-wheel drive as an option. We'll get our first look at the next-generation Prius next month. Source: Green Car Reports
  6. The fourth-generation Toyota Prius has made an early debut thanks to spy photographer who caught the vehicle uncovered at a photo shoot. There's a lot of the Mirai hydrogen vehicle in the new Prius' design. Such details include very busy front-end with split opening grille and forked headlights, to a similar side profile and blacked-out C-Pillar. The Prius will be keeping the liftback shape that it has been using since the seconf-generation model. We don't know any details on the next-generation Prius hybrid powertrain, but Green Car Reports says the next Prius will use Toyota's new global modular platform and possibly have all-wheel drive as an option. We'll get our first look at the next-generation Prius next month. Source: Green Car Reports View full article
  7. It seems not a day goes by without someone saying that 'crossovers are the hot thing'. Yes, we are part of this group. Just consider the automakers who are currently selling a subcompact; Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, Mazda CX-3, and Nissan Juke. There is one automaker missing from this list, Toyota. However, the Japanese automaker could be joining in the near future. A spy photographer caught a fully camouflaged Toyota subcompact crossover testing in the deserts of the American southwest. The overall shape seems to inspired from the C-HR concept shown at the Paris Motor show last year. Comparing the two, we can see some similarities such as a long hood and sloping roofline. The subcompact crossover will use a new modular platform and come with a turbocharged four-cylinder with a CVT. No word if a manual transmission will be on offer. One item still up in the air is whether or not this subcompact crossover will be sold as a Toyota or Scion in the U.S. Some believe it could be destined for Scion as some of the photos show a xB following the test mule. Another item that is not known at this time, when we will see the subcompact in production form. Source: Autoblog
  8. It seems not a day goes by without someone saying that 'crossovers are the hot thing'. Yes, we are part of this group. Just consider the automakers who are currently selling a subcompact; Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, Mazda CX-3, and Nissan Juke. There is one automaker missing from this list, Toyota. However, the Japanese automaker could be joining in the near future. A spy photographer caught a fully camouflaged Toyota subcompact crossover testing in the deserts of the American southwest. The overall shape seems to inspired from the C-HR concept shown at the Paris Motor show last year. Comparing the two, we can see some similarities such as a long hood and sloping roofline. The subcompact crossover will use a new modular platform and come with a turbocharged four-cylinder with a CVT. No word if a manual transmission will be on offer. One item still up in the air is whether or not this subcompact crossover will be sold as a Toyota or Scion in the U.S. Some believe it could be destined for Scion as some of the photos show a xB following the test mule. Another item that is not known at this time, when we will see the subcompact in production form. Source: Autoblog View full article
  9. G. David Felt Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com According to the Today show this morning, Volkswagen has for the first 6 months of the 2015 year taken over Toyota and pushed GM to 3rd in worldwide sales. http://www.today.com/video/volkswagen-overtakes-toyota-in-worldwide-sales-493330499874 With that then VW follows it up with the normal financial reporting of earnings up 18% for the first 6 months, revenue grew 10.3% to $52.74 billion for the first half. This is on top of VW saying over all deliveries will be flat in 2015 compared to 2014 but due to efficiency and currency translations profits will grow. Yet with this positive info, VW stock is down 30% for the year. http://news.investors.com/business/072915-763993-volkswagen-q2-beats-forecasts-lackluster-sales.htm The story goes on to report that VW sold 5.04 million autos in the world, Toyota sold 5.02 million and GM was just a distant 3rd in global sales. Guess people mostly like bland boring auto design. Sad
  10. Toyota Reports More Than 200,000 in Sales for Fifth Consecutive Month Toyota Division is No. 1 retail brand in July TMS light trucks set July sales record Camry No. 1 selling car in America TORRANCE, Calif. (Aug. 3, 2015) – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported July 2015 sales of 217,181 units, an increase of 0.6 percent from July 2014 on a volume basis. With the same amount of selling days in July 2015 as in July 2014, sales were up 0.6 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. Toyota Division posted July 2015 sales of 187,365 units, down 0.6 percent on a volume and DSR basis. "July auto sales showed no signs of slow down for the industry," said Bill Fay, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. "Led by Tacoma sales, the Toyota division light trucks posted a best-ever July." Lexus reported July sales of 29,816 units, up 9.1 percent from July 2014 on a volume basis and DSR basis. “We continue to see strong demand for luxury utility vehicles. In fact, this past July marked the GX model’s best July sales since 2005,” said Jeff Bracken Lexus group vice president and general manager. “On the heels of strong sales of NX, and with a new LX and RX models arriving to showrooms in the coming months, we are very excited about the future of our lineup of luxury utility vehicles.” July 2015 Highlights: Camry was best-selling car in July; posted sales of 38,435 units Corolla posted sales of 30,249 units Total TMS light trucks up 8.6 percent, a July record Highlander up more than 12 percent 4Runner up almost 26 percent RAV4 posted sales of 26,709 units Combined Tacoma and Tundra pickup sales up almost 17 percent Lexus luxury utility vehicles up nearly 28 percent All-new NX posted sales of 4,337 units GX up about 20 percent with sales of 2,337 units, best July since 2005
  11. Toyota Reports Nearly 210,000 Sales in June Toyota Division is No. 1 retail brand in June TMS light trucks set June sales record Lexus posts 11.1 percent increase TORRANCE, Calif. (July 1, 2015) – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported June 2015 sales of 209,912 units, an increase of 4.1 percent from June 2014 on a volume basis. With one more selling day in June 2015 than in June 2014, sales were down 0.1 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. Toyota division posted June 2015 sales of 183,791 units, up 3.1 percent on a volume basis and down 1 percent on a DSR basis. For the first half of the year, TMS reported sales of 1,231,440 units, up 5.6 percent versus the same period in 2014 on a DSR basis. With the same amount of selling days in the first half of 2015 compared to 2014, sales were up 5.6 percent on an unadjusted raw-volume basis. "Light trucks have boosted the industry to its best first half since 2005,” said Bill Fay, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. "Toyota Division was the number one retail brand in June, led by strong Tacoma, RAV4 and Highlander sales.” Lexus reported June sales of 26,121 units, up 11.1 percent from June 2014 on a volume basis and 6.6 percent on a DSR basis. “The demand for luxury utility vehicles continues to grow and has helped put Lexus and its dealers on a record sales pace for the year,” said Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “The new NX compact crossover continues to be one of the hottest new models on the market.” June 2015 Highlights: Camry posted sales of 37,408 units Corolla posted sales of 30,645 units Total Toyota light trucks up 16.5 percent, a June record Highlander up almost 20 percent RAV4 sales rose 15.1 percent to 24,843 units Combined Tacoma and Tundra pickup sales up 22.4 percent Lexus luxury utility vehicles up 24.6 percent All-new NX posted sales of 3,503 units GX up 17.3 percent with sales of 2,079 units
  12. The midsize sedan field has changed drastically within the past few years. New models are now standing in the spotlight, while older and more established models are beginning to fall flat. The Toyota Camry is beginning to feel some of the pressure. While it still is one of the top selling vehicles in the U.S., the likes of the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Ford Fusion are eating into its sales. Toyota knew it was time to make some changes to keep the Camry on top. The result is the 2015 Camry. I spent a week in the Camry SE Hybrid to see if these changes help or hurt. The 2015 Camry is quite a departure in terms of design. Whereas previous-generations were more reserved and somewhat boring to look at, the 2015 model is quite out there. From a long, slim chrome bar paired with a massive mesh grille up front, to character lines along the side, this Camry has style. A set of grey, 17-inch wheels and hybrid badging finish off the finish off the Hybrid SE. I’m not to keen on the Camry’s overall design, but I have to admit this is the most exciting Camry in a while. The interior is also a departure from previous Camrys. There is some style throughout the interior with slight curves on the dash panels and grey stitching on certain interior pieces. There is also more soft-touch materials used throughout to make the cabin a bit more pleasing to touch. The center stack gets a seven-inch touchscreen with Toyota’s Entune infotainment system, and a set of large buttons and knobs to control it and the climate control system. Some might complain and make fun of the giant buttons and knobs that Toyota employs., Bbut in the age of using small buttons which are difficult to find, or capacitive-touch buttons which can be hit and miss, I appreciate Toyota’s decision to keep it simple. One item I wish Toyota would fix is the touchscreen as it appears to be washed out in any condition. SE models get a set of sport seats with what Toyota calls ‘sport fabric material’ - a combination of their SofTex vinyl and patterned fabric. Finding a comfortable position in the front is no problem thanks to good support from the seats and a number of adjustments - power for the driver, manual for the passenger. The back seat has no shortage of head and legroom for even the tallest of passengers. See Page 2 Powertrain and Ride Impressions One item Toyota did not dare mess with is the hybrid powertrain. Like on the larger Avalon Hybrid, the Camry Hybrid uses a 2.5L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder paired with an electric motor to produce a total output 200 horsepower. This powertrain is paired to a CVT. There are also three different drive modes which varies power output: Drive: Goes between electric, gas, and hybrid modes automatically. Eco: Restricts throttle response and use of the A/C compressor EV: Runs the vehicle solely on electric power if the vehicle is under 25 MPH The Camry Hybrid is quite the potent vehicle. Leaving a stop light, I was shocked at how it was able to leap off and get moving at a quick rate. Maybe it was due to me thinking I was driving a Prius XL. But the reason for this fast response is due to the 199 pound-feet of torque from the electric motor which is available from 0 to 1,500 rpm. More impressive was how the Camry Hybrid did around town and on the freeway as the powertrain was able to get up to speed at a reasonable rate. I had to remind myself that this a hybrid and not a basic four-cylinder model. Fuel economy is rated at 40 City/38 Highway/40 Combined for the hybrid. My average for the week was around 37 MPG. This was due to frigid weather I was driving in. Now the Hybrid SE model is new for this generation of Camry Hybrid which includes a sport-tuned suspension. Does this make the Camry Hybrid sportier? I have to say no. In the corners, the car felt somewhat squishy - possibly due to the low-rolling resistance tires. Also, the steering felt very rubbery and had no feel. If you want a midsize hybrid sedan that is somewhat fun to drive, I would point you in the direction of the Honda Accord Hybrid. But for day-to-day driving, the Camry Hybrid is quite good. Even with the sport-tuned suspension, the vehicle still kept bumps and imperfections at bay. Wind and road noise were kept at acceptable levels. At the end of my week with the Camry Hybrid SE, I felt that most of these changes have helped the Camry. It may not be the most exciting to look at or to drive, but Toyota focused on improving the basics which will help it in the sales chart. As for the SE trim, I think its a half-baked idea. They have the looks down, now Toyota just needs to work on making the driving a tiny bit more sporting. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Camry Hybrid, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2015 Make: Toyota Model: Camry Trim: Hybrid SE Engine: Hybrid Synergy Drive (2.5L DOHC 16-valve VVT-i four-cylinder, 105 kW Electric Motor) Driveline: CVT, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 156 @ 5,700 (Gas), 200 (Total Output) Torque @ RPM: 156 @ 4,500 (Gas), 199 @ 0-1,500 (Electric) Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 40/38/40 Curb Weight: 3,565 lbs Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY Base Price: $27,995 As Tested Price: $32,987 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge) Options: Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite - $1,300.00 Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof - $915.00 Remote Start - $499.00 Clear Protective Film - $395.00 VIP RS3200 Plus Security System - $359.00 Four Season Floor Mat Package - $325.00 Illuminated Door Sill Enhancements - $299.00 Wireless Charging for Electronics - $75.00
  13. The midsize sedan field has changed drastically within the past few years. New models are now standing in the spotlight, while older and more established models are beginning to fall flat. The Toyota Camry is beginning to feel some of the pressure. While it still is one of the top selling vehicles in the U.S., the likes of the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Ford Fusion are eating into its sales. Toyota knew it was time to make some changes to keep the Camry on top. The result is the 2015 Camry. I spent a week in the Camry SE Hybrid to see if these changes help or hurt. The 2015 Camry is quite a departure in terms of design. Whereas previous-generations were more reserved and somewhat boring to look at, the 2015 model is quite out there. From a long, slim chrome bar paired with a massive mesh grille up front, to character lines along the side, this Camry has style. A set of grey, 17-inch wheels and hybrid badging finish off the finish off the Hybrid SE. I’m not to keen on the Camry’s overall design, but I have to admit this is the most exciting Camry in a while. The interior is also a departure from previous Camrys. There is some style throughout the interior with slight curves on the dash panels and grey stitching on certain interior pieces. There is also more soft-touch materials used throughout to make the cabin a bit more pleasing to touch. The center stack gets a seven-inch touchscreen with Toyota’s Entune infotainment system, and a set of large buttons and knobs to control it and the climate control system. Some might complain and make fun of the giant buttons and knobs that Toyota employs., Bbut in the age of using small buttons which are difficult to find, or capacitive-touch buttons which can be hit and miss, I appreciate Toyota’s decision to keep it simple. One item I wish Toyota would fix is the touchscreen as it appears to be washed out in any condition. SE models get a set of sport seats with what Toyota calls ‘sport fabric material’ - a combination of their SofTex vinyl and patterned fabric. Finding a comfortable position in the front is no problem thanks to good support from the seats and a number of adjustments - power for the driver, manual for the passenger. The back seat has no shortage of head and legroom for even the tallest of passengers. See Page 2 Powertrain and Ride Impressions One item Toyota did not dare mess with is the hybrid powertrain. Like on the larger Avalon Hybrid, the Camry Hybrid uses a 2.5L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder paired with an electric motor to produce a total output 200 horsepower. This powertrain is paired to a CVT. There are also three different drive modes which varies power output: Drive: Goes between electric, gas, and hybrid modes automatically. Eco: Restricts throttle response and use of the A/C compressor EV: Runs the vehicle solely on electric power if the vehicle is under 25 MPH The Camry Hybrid is quite the potent vehicle. Leaving a stop light, I was shocked at how it was able to leap off and get moving at a quick rate. Maybe it was due to me thinking I was driving a Prius XL. But the reason for this fast response is due to the 199 pound-feet of torque from the electric motor which is available from 0 to 1,500 rpm. More impressive was how the Camry Hybrid did around town and on the freeway as the powertrain was able to get up to speed at a reasonable rate. I had to remind myself that this a hybrid and not a basic four-cylinder model. Fuel economy is rated at 40 City/38 Highway/40 Combined for the hybrid. My average for the week was around 37 MPG. This was due to frigid weather I was driving in. Now the Hybrid SE model is new for this generation of Camry Hybrid which includes a sport-tuned suspension. Does this make the Camry Hybrid sportier? I have to say no. In the corners, the car felt somewhat squishy - possibly due to the low-rolling resistance tires. Also, the steering felt very rubbery and had no feel. If you want a midsize hybrid sedan that is somewhat fun to drive, I would point you in the direction of the Honda Accord Hybrid. But for day-to-day driving, the Camry Hybrid is quite good. Even with the sport-tuned suspension, the vehicle still kept bumps and imperfections at bay. Wind and road noise were kept at acceptable levels. At the end of my week with the Camry Hybrid SE, I felt that most of these changes have helped the Camry. It may not be the most exciting to look at or to drive, but Toyota focused on improving the basics which will help it in the sales chart. As for the SE trim, I think its a half-baked idea. They have the looks down, now Toyota just needs to work on making the driving a tiny bit more sporting. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Camry Hybrid, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2015 Make: Toyota Model: Camry Trim: Hybrid SE Engine: Hybrid Synergy Drive (2.5L DOHC 16-valve VVT-i four-cylinder, 105 kW Electric Motor) Driveline: CVT, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 156 @ 5,700 (Gas), 200 (Total Output) Torque @ RPM: 156 @ 4,500 (Gas), 199 @ 0-1,500 (Electric) Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 40/38/40 Curb Weight: 3,565 lbs Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY Base Price: $27,995 As Tested Price: $32,987 (Includes $825.00 Destination Charge) Options: Entune Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite - $1,300.00 Power Tilt/Slide Moonroof - $915.00 Remote Start - $499.00 Clear Protective Film - $395.00 VIP RS3200 Plus Security System - $359.00 Four Season Floor Mat Package - $325.00 Illuminated Door Sill Enhancements - $299.00 Wireless Charging for Electronics - $75.00 View full article
  14. Toyota Is No. 1 Retail Brand In May 2015 Combined Camry and Corolla sales top 80,000 units TMS light trucks set May sales record Lexus posts 10.2 percent increase TORRANCE, Calif. (June 2, 2015) – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported May 2015 sales of 242,579 units, a decrease of 0.3 percent from May 2014 on a volume basis. With one less selling day in May 2015 than in May 2014, sales were up 3.6 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. Toyota division posted May 2015 sales of 212,908 units, down 1.6 percent on a volume basis and up 2.2 percent on a DSR basis. "Strong May results boosted the industry to the best sales pace since last summer,” said Bill Fay, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. "Toyota Division light trucks reported a best ever May, helping Toyota to over 200,000 units for the month.” Lexus reported May sales of 29,671 units, up 10.2 percent from May 2014 on a volume basis and 14.5 percent on a DSR basis. “For the five month period from January to May, Lexus has seen the demand for luxury utility vehicles grow to 48 percent compared to 43 percent of total sales volume during the same period last year,” said Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “The momentum provided by strong luxury utility vehicle sales coupled with the growing consumer awareness of our newer models, such as the NX crossover and RC coupe, have us excited for the summer sales season.” May 2015 Highlights: Camry posted sales of nearly 44,000 units Corolla posted sales of 36,768 units Total Toyota light trucks up 13.4 percent, a May record Highlander up 25.2 percent RAV4 sales rose 22.8 percent to 28,808 Combined Tacoma and Tundra pickup sales exceeded 29,000 units, up 15.4 percent Lexus luxury utility vehicles set a new May record, up 23 percent RX posted sales of 8,000 units All-new NX posted sales of 4,014 units GX up 11.4 percent with sales of 2,182 units
  15. It seems America isn't the only place that is interested in the Toyota Tundra. CarAdvice.com.au reports there is “enormous demand” for the Tundra in Australia. Speaking with Tony Cramb, Toyota AU's executive director of sales and marketing said there was room for a larger truck. But there are two key items withholding the Tundra from the Australian marketplace. “We have an enormous demand for a Tundra here in Australia, there’s no doubt if we could get a diesel Tundra, then I think we’d sell 100 a month. But regrettably because it’s manufactured in the States, it’s unlikely to happen that way," said Cramb “… We’ve had strong requests at dealer meetings to get the Tundra here, and we have made representation. But when it comes down to it, because it’s not LHD here, and because it’s petrol, in the end it’s very hard to make the case.” For now, those who are interested in buying a Tundra in Australia can visit an importer and pick up one for around 120,000 AUD (about $94,000). Source: CarAdvice.com.au View full article
  16. It seems America isn't the only place that is interested in the Toyota Tundra. CarAdvice.com.au reports there is “enormous demand” for the Tundra in Australia. Speaking with Tony Cramb, Toyota AU's executive director of sales and marketing said there was room for a larger truck. But there are two key items withholding the Tundra from the Australian marketplace. “We have an enormous demand for a Tundra here in Australia, there’s no doubt if we could get a diesel Tundra, then I think we’d sell 100 a month. But regrettably because it’s manufactured in the States, it’s unlikely to happen that way," said Cramb “… We’ve had strong requests at dealer meetings to get the Tundra here, and we have made representation. But when it comes down to it, because it’s not LHD here, and because it’s petrol, in the end it’s very hard to make the case.” For now, those who are interested in buying a Tundra in Australia can visit an importer and pick up one for around 120,000 AUD (about $94,000). Source: CarAdvice.com.au
  17. Toyota Motor Sales Reports 1.8 Percent April Sales Increase Toyota division was no 1 brand in April RAV4 and Highlander post double-digit gains Lexus up nearly 12 percent TORRANCE, Calif. (May 1, 2015) – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported April 2015 sales of 203,329 units, an increase of 1.8 percent from April 2014 on a volume basis. With the same amount of selling days in April 2015 and April 2014, sales were up 1.8 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. Toyota division posted April 2015 sales of 177,453 units, up 0.5 percent on a volume basis and 0.5 percent on a DSR basis. “Light truck sales have carried the auto industry to its best start in 15 years,” said Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager. “The demand for crossover SUVs is off the charts and both the RAV4 and Highlander set April records.” Lexus posted sales of 25,876 units, up 11.7 percent from April 2014 on a volume basis and 11.7 percent on a DSR basis. “Lexus is off to its best start ever,” said Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “We’re bullish on the industry as we head into the summer selling season and that goes double for the luxury segment.” April 2015 Highlights: Camry is volume leader with sales of 34,066 units Corolla up over 10 percent Toyota Light trucks up 8 percent RAV4 up almost 22 percent; posted sales of 22,914 units 4Runner up 18 percent Tacoma up 12.9 percent Tundra up 4.5 percent, posted sales of 10,681 units Lexus luxury utility vehicles up 23.5 percent NX posted sales of 3,421 units GX up 19 percent
  18. California is one of most stringent states when it comes emissions in vehicles. Case in point is a law that says an estimated 15 percent of vehicles sold in the state must be a zero emission vehicle (ZEV). But this law has created a rift between regulators and automakers. Regulators want automakers to build ZEVs, but automakers worry that if customers aren't willing to buy them, they'll need to offer big incentives. Four automakers - Ford, General Motors, Honda, and Toyota have issued a complaint to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) asking them to rewrite the formula to allow more credit for plug-in hybrid models. They argue these models address range anxiety with EVs at the moment and are more likely to be accepted by buyers. The four introduced a new formula based on electric vehicle miles traveled, or e-miles. This would allow the formula to be much fairer as it would rely on real-world performance, not underlying technology. During the hearing, a member of CARB liked the idea of e-miles. "I'm willing to make a bet with you. If we provided a more flexible approach, we are likely to get far more e-miles in 2030 than we would with pure EVs. I really don't believe by 2030 we're going to be able to get a really large market penetration with pure EVs," said Dan Sperling, a CARB member and director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California-Davis However, CARB chairman Mary Nichols disagreed with Sperling, stating that if California was to reach its goal of cutting carbon emissions 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, the fleet would have to be fully electric. But even Nichols admits that figuring out the best way is tough. "I don't know where you would find a better example anywhere in the world of a public deliberating body struggling with a really big issue," said Nichols. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  19. California is one of most stringent states when it comes emissions in vehicles. Case in point is a law that says an estimated 15 percent of vehicles sold in the state must be a zero emission vehicle (ZEV). But this law has created a rift between regulators and automakers. Regulators want automakers to build ZEVs, but automakers worry that if customers aren't willing to buy them, they'll need to offer big incentives. Four automakers - Ford, General Motors, Honda, and Toyota have issued a complaint to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) asking them to rewrite the formula to allow more credit for plug-in hybrid models. They argue these models address range anxiety with EVs at the moment and are more likely to be accepted by buyers. The four introduced a new formula based on electric vehicle miles traveled, or e-miles. This would allow the formula to be much fairer as it would rely on real-world performance, not underlying technology. During the hearing, a member of CARB liked the idea of e-miles. "I'm willing to make a bet with you. If we provided a more flexible approach, we are likely to get far more e-miles in 2030 than we would with pure EVs. I really don't believe by 2030 we're going to be able to get a really large market penetration with pure EVs," said Dan Sperling, a CARB member and director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California-Davis However, CARB chairman Mary Nichols disagreed with Sperling, stating that if California was to reach its goal of cutting carbon emissions 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, the fleet would have to be fully electric. But even Nichols admits that figuring out the best way is tough. "I don't know where you would find a better example anywhere in the world of a public deliberating body struggling with a really big issue," said Nichols. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  20. Another hybrid model is joining the Toyota family. The automaker announced today that it would be revealing a hybrid version of the RAV4 at the 2015 New York Auto Show next week. No other information was provided except that it would be shown on April 2nd. Our best guess to what the RAV4 Hybrid will be is something akin to the Camry Hybrid with the 2.5L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with an electric motor, providing a total output of 200 horsepower. Source: Toyota View full article
  21. Another hybrid model is joining the Toyota family. The automaker announced today that it would be revealing a hybrid version of the RAV4 at the 2015 New York Auto Show next week. No other information was provided except that it would be shown on April 2nd. Our best guess to what the RAV4 Hybrid will be is something akin to the Camry Hybrid with the 2.5L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with an electric motor, providing a total output of 200 horsepower. Source: Toyota
  22. Toyota Motor Sales Posts 13.3 Percent Increase in February Toyota No. 1 brand RAV4 sets new February record Lexus posts fourth consecutive best-ever month TORRANCE, Calif. (March 3, 2015) – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported February 2015 sales of 180,467, an increase of 13.3 percent from February 2014 on a volume basis. With the same amount of selling days in February 2015 and 2014, sales were up 13.3 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis. Toyota division posted February 2015 sales of 157,472 units, up 12.1 percent. "The auto industry is off to its best start since 2002 as truck demand continues to rise," said Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager. "Toyota light trucks and SUVs, led by RAV4, set a new February record." Lexus reported February 2015 sales of 22,995 units, a 22 percent increase. "February marked the fourth straight month of record new vehicle sales and the seventh straight month of best-ever record pre-owned sales for Lexus dealers," said Jeff Bracken, Lexus group vice president and general manager. "Just as importantly, Lexus was recognized during the month as the industry's top-ranked brand by both Consumer Reports and J. D. Power and Associates." February 2015 Highlights: RAV4 up over 33 percent; set February record 4Runner up 37.7 percent Tacoma up 13 percent; posts sales of 12,372 units Corolla posts sales of 27,839 units; up 10 percent Camry sales of 32,942 units, up more than 13 percent Sienna up 48.5 percent Lexus RX up more than 14 percent
  23. Toyota's big sedan, the Avalon has gotten a mild refresh for the 2016 model year. The updated sedan, which debuted today in Chicago gets a number of small tweaks a new trim level. The tweaks begin outside with LED accents for the head and taillights, along with an enlarged front grille. All trim levels get new wheel choices. Inside, new trim pieces and a revised Entune infotainment system on XLE models and up. Powertrains for the Avalon remain unchanged. That means a 3.5L V6 for the standard Avalon, while the Avalon Hybrid goes with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system. What has changed is suspension tuning. Most Avalons will come with a suspension tune that provides a more comfortable ride. The new Touring trim will come a more aggressive suspension tune to provide more sport. The 2016 Avalon arrives at dealers this fall. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 First Look in the “Second City:” The Refreshed 2016 Toyota Avalon Premium Mid-Sized Sedan Updated Styling Retuned Suspension for Enhanced Comfort New LED Headlights and Taillights Upgraded Convenience Features CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2015 – Call it a trio of firsts in the Second City as the refreshed Toyota Avalon and sporty Camry and Corolla Special Editions made their world debuts at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The three models rode into Chicago with a head of steam as the Avalon, Camry and Corolla are each the sales leaders in their respective segments, a first for Toyota. All three vehicles are 2016 models and will go on sale later this fall. Refreshed 2016 Avalon Unveiled as all-new in 2012, the fourth-generation Avalon was the first vehicle to meet Toyota President Akio Toyoda’s challenge to create cars that spark people’s emotions. Toyota mixed its legendary Quality, Durability and Reliability (QDR) with a strong dose of emotion through fresh new styling, improved performance, and high-tech features. They proved to be winning ingredients as Avalon quickly grabbed the attention of mid-size premium car buyers in segment leading numbers. Five distinct grades on the V6 models will give customers a wide array of choice (XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Limited and Touring). Hybrid customers can choose from three separate grades, adding luxury features and technology options as they move up the chain from XLE Plus to XLE Premium and Limited. Two unique suspension systems were developed for the 2016 Avalon to better align with diverse customer preferences. One retuned suspension prioritizes a comfortable ride for the XLE through Limited grades. The other, provides a more dynamic and responsive driving experience for the Touring grade. Both of these suspension tunings are new and represent significant improvements over the current production Avalon. The refreshed 2016 Avalon adds more refinement with an array of styling, performance and technology enhancements. New features on all Avalon grades will include: Wider lower front grille with narrow upper grille design Newly-designed turn signals (replacing fog lights) Refined LED taillights Chrome rear bumper accent New gray accent stitching with light gray interior Additional new standard features on the XLE and XLE Plus grades include: Redesigned 17-inch alloy wheels 7-inch Entune Audio Plus screen Premium woodgrain dash ornamentation Tire-specific Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Technology upgrades are added to the Avalon XLE Premium grade as it receives Entune™ Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite and the Qi Wireless Charging as standard equipment. The performance-tuned Avalon Touring grade adds to its sporty styling with new standard features that include: Redesigned 18-inch dark gray painted alloy wheels New sporty front fascia New LED headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) Unique “Touring” badge The top-of-the-line Avalon Limited rounds out the updates with the addition of new 18-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on gas models, and new 17-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on the Limited hybrid (also optional on gas Limited). The Limited adds optional advanced safety features including automatic high beam headlights, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, and Lane Departure Alert.
  24. Toyota's big sedan, the Avalon has gotten a mild refresh for the 2016 model year. The updated sedan, which debuted today in Chicago gets a number of small tweaks a new trim level. The tweaks begin outside with LED accents for the head and taillights, along with an enlarged front grille. All trim levels get new wheel choices. Inside, new trim pieces and a revised Entune infotainment system on XLE models and up. Powertrains for the Avalon remain unchanged. That means a 3.5L V6 for the standard Avalon, while the Avalon Hybrid goes with Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system. What has changed is suspension tuning. Most Avalons will come with a suspension tune that provides a more comfortable ride. The new Touring trim will come a more aggressive suspension tune to provide more sport. The 2016 Avalon arrives at dealers this fall. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 First Look in the “Second City:” The Refreshed 2016 Toyota Avalon Premium Mid-Sized Sedan Updated Styling Retuned Suspension for Enhanced Comfort New LED Headlights and Taillights Upgraded Convenience Features CHICAGO, Feb. 12, 2015 – Call it a trio of firsts in the Second City as the refreshed Toyota Avalon and sporty Camry and Corolla Special Editions made their world debuts at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. The three models rode into Chicago with a head of steam as the Avalon, Camry and Corolla are each the sales leaders in their respective segments, a first for Toyota. All three vehicles are 2016 models and will go on sale later this fall. Refreshed 2016 Avalon Unveiled as all-new in 2012, the fourth-generation Avalon was the first vehicle to meet Toyota President Akio Toyoda’s challenge to create cars that spark people’s emotions. Toyota mixed its legendary Quality, Durability and Reliability (QDR) with a strong dose of emotion through fresh new styling, improved performance, and high-tech features. They proved to be winning ingredients as Avalon quickly grabbed the attention of mid-size premium car buyers in segment leading numbers. Five distinct grades on the V6 models will give customers a wide array of choice (XLE, XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Limited and Touring). Hybrid customers can choose from three separate grades, adding luxury features and technology options as they move up the chain from XLE Plus to XLE Premium and Limited. Two unique suspension systems were developed for the 2016 Avalon to better align with diverse customer preferences. One retuned suspension prioritizes a comfortable ride for the XLE through Limited grades. The other, provides a more dynamic and responsive driving experience for the Touring grade. Both of these suspension tunings are new and represent significant improvements over the current production Avalon. The refreshed 2016 Avalon adds more refinement with an array of styling, performance and technology enhancements. New features on all Avalon grades will include: Wider lower front grille with narrow upper grille design Newly-designed turn signals (replacing fog lights) Refined LED taillights Chrome rear bumper accent New gray accent stitching with light gray interior Additional new standard features on the XLE and XLE Plus grades include: Redesigned 17-inch alloy wheels 7-inch Entune Audio Plus screen Premium woodgrain dash ornamentation Tire-specific Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Technology upgrades are added to the Avalon XLE Premium grade as it receives Entune™ Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite and the Qi Wireless Charging as standard equipment. The performance-tuned Avalon Touring grade adds to its sporty styling with new standard features that include: Redesigned 18-inch dark gray painted alloy wheels New sporty front fascia New LED headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) Unique “Touring” badge The top-of-the-line Avalon Limited rounds out the updates with the addition of new 18-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on gas models, and new 17-inch alloy Super Chrome wheels on the Limited hybrid (also optional on gas Limited). The Limited adds optional advanced safety features including automatic high beam headlights, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, and Lane Departure Alert. View full article
  25. Oh Toyota. I’m not sure who was it at the company who decided to market the Sienna with ‘Swagger Wagon’ tagline, because at first I thought it was kind of crazy. The tagline first appeared in an ad featuring the van and two parents rapping. At first I thought someone at the marketing department was having a YOLO moment. But the crazy thing was it worked. People took notice of the Sienna and began to put on their list of vehicles to look at. So when a Sienna XLE came in for week’s review, I wondered if there was something to this van or if the tagline Toyota had created was only promoting something mediocre. You can’t miss the Sienna due to how big it it. With measurements of 200.2 inches for overall length and 78.2 inches for overall width, the Sienna has to be the biggest minivan on sale. It also looks like Toyota did some rummaging from other vehicles in their lineup as the front grille looks to come from the Venza crossover, while the rear tailgate appears to come from one of Toyota’s large SUVs. The Sienna isn’t the the ugliest minivan on sale, but it isn’t the best looking either. Heading inside and its apparent Toyota has done a lot to make the Sienna feel more like a luxury car than a minivan. My XLE tester featured a leather interior with heated seats for the front passengers; Toyota’s Entune infotainment system, tri-zone climate control, backup camera, and a rear infotainment system. Controls are within easy reach for the radio and climate control, though I had to remind myself to look at the top of dash to the trip computer to see where I set the temperature and fan speed. Bit of an odd choice to put it there and not on the infotainment screen. Second row passengers get captain chairs with the ability to recline with a foot rest. My brother named the seats the ‘kickass seats’ and the idea of them are kickass. In practice, the idea falls short as you won’t be able to fully recline with the footrest because there isn’t enough space in the van to pull this off. Even with the seat fully back, there isn’t enough space. If Toyota was to do a Sienna XL or Grand version which adds a few more inches to the length, it might be plausible. At least head and legroom for both second and third row passengers are very generous. Cargo space is right in the midpack with the Sienna offering 39.1 cubic feet with all three rows up and 150 cubic feet with the third row folded and the second row removed.Power comes from Toyota’s venerable 3.5L V6 with 266 horsepower and 245 horsepower. It can be paired with front-wheel or my tester’s all-wheel drive system. Both drivetrains feature a six-speed automatic. The V6 is very much able to hold its own in the Sienna as power was abundant and was able to get the van up to speed in no problem. The six-speed automatic delivers smooth $h!s, while the optional all-wheel drive keeps the vehicle on the road with almost no hint that its working. Fuel economy for the Sienna XLE AWD is rated at 16 City/23 Highway/19 Combined. My week average landed around 18 MPG. The Sienna’s ride is what you would expect in a minivan; a suspension that has been tuned for coddling its occupants with nary a bump or road imperfection. This does mean the Sienna rolls when cornering, but then again this isn’t meant to a sports car. Noise levels are kept to a decent level in day to day driving, though freeway driving does bring in a bit more road noise than any other minivan I have driven. So while the ‘swagger wagon’ tagline may make some people scratch their heads, it does give a light to the Sienna which I think is one of the best vans I have driven yet. It has more than enough luxuries and space for you and your passengers to enjoy wherever they are going, along with a ride that makes you feel you’re in a luxury car. Win win in my book. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Sienna, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2014 Make: Toyota Model: Sienna Trim: XLE AWD Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-Valve V6 Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 266 @ 6,200 Torque @ RPM: 245 @ 4,700 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/23/19 Curb Weight: 4,735 lbs Location of Manufacture: Princeton, Indiana Base Price: $36,185 As Tested Price: $40,322 (Includes $860.00 Destination Charge) Options: XLE Navigation Package with Entune App Suite - $1,735.00 Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert - $500.00 XM Satellite Radio - $449.00 Carpet Floor Mats w/Door Sill Protector - $330.00 Roof Rack Cross Bars - $185.00 Cargo Net - $49.00 First Aid Kit - $29.00 View full article

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