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Found 22 results

  1. Review: 2016 Toyota Prius Three

    When Toyota introduced the Prius into the U.S. back in the early 2000s, it was a different time. Gas prices were quite low and everybody was gobbling up big SUVs like they were going out of style. A small vehicle that got high fuel economy numbers didn’t seem that appealing. But then gas prices rose and consumers began to see the inherent value in the Prius. Before too long, the Prius would become the gold standard of hybrid vehicles. Now with gas prices being somewhat steady again, consumers have gone out and started buying larger vehicles again - in this case, crossovers. But the Prius is still around, welcoming those who want to get the most out of a tank of gas, Last fall, the Prius underwent a massive redesign with the big news being a new platform. Is this Prius still the top hybrid? The Toyota Prius has never been considered to be a sexy or stylish vehicle. Nor has been considered to be ugly. It has just sat in the middle of the design spectrum. Toyota decided to bust the Prius out of that design lull with a very polarizing look for the new model. Standing in front of the Prius for the first time, I thought that it looked like a cat toy. This impression comes from a pointy nose, triangular headlights, and creases in the hood. The side profile follows the ideals set by the last-generation model with some aggression. There is sculpting along the doors and rear fenders. The Prius’ interior always looked and felt like an afterthought with a dreary design and cheap materials. Thankfully, Toyota moved the interior up the priority list for the forth-generation Prius and it shows. Stepping inside, you can tell there is a noticeable improvement in material quality. Many surfaces are covered with soft-touch plastics. The center stack and console feature contrasting black and white plastic trim. The white trim is an interesting choice and might make some people think that Toyota’s designers watched a bit too much Star Wars when working on the Prius. Compared to the last Prius, the new model is considerably more comfortable and you could do a long trip without having any issues. The front seats have been lowered slightly and the setback has been slightly angled back. The back seat is slightly smaller than the previous-generation - legroom is down two inches. But an average-sized adult should fit with no issues. Cargo space has been increased to 24.6 cubic feet behind the rear seats. On the technology front, the Prius has seen some major improvements. The center mounted instrument cluster with graphics commonly seen on a microwave has been ditched for a new setup with two color screens. The left screen handles speed and basic trip information. The one on the right shows driving data, a powertrain diagram, and tips on improving overall fuel economy. The displays are very vibrant and easy to read at a quick glance. Below that lies a seven-inch touchscreen with Toyota’s Entune infotainment system. Entune’s interface looks slightly dated to competitors and getting into the navigation system is a bit of a mess - you hit the apps button and then hit navigation on the touchscreen. Still, we think Entune is one of the easier systems to use and is quite fast. The powertrain for the Prius is comprised of a 1.8L Atkinson-Cycle four-cylinder engine and two electric motors/generators. Total output stands at 121 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. The base Prius Two sticks with a nickel-metal hydride battery, while higher trims - like our Three - get a compact lithium-ion battery pack. A CVT routes power to the front wheels. The Prius does take its sweet time to get up speed on the highway and rural roads. This also means you’ll need to plan your passes carefully. But the Prius does zip around the city with no issues - the electric motors offer instantaneous torque and the gas engine is ready to kick in when more power is needed. One improvement we’re glad to see is how much further you can just travel in EV mode. Keep a light foot on the accelerator and you’ll be able to travel a fair distance on just the battery alone. The CVT keeps itself in check most of the time. The only time it makes itself noticeable is during hard acceleration. The 2017 Toyota Prius Three is rated by the EPA at 54 City/50 Highway/52 Combined. Our average for the week was a very surprising 60.2 mpg with most of our driving done in the city. The Prius has never been known for being a decent handling vehicle. Going back through our previous Prius reviews, we have complained about the poor body control and steering that felt like you were stretching a rubber band. But the new Prius is quite shocking. Going around a corner, the Prius doesn’t show any real sign of body roll. Steering has some decent heft and feels more natural. What happened? A lot of the credit has to go to the new underpinnings of the Prius - Toyota New Global Architecture (TGNA). This architecture introduces a new chassis design for the Prius, along with a lower center of gravity. Toyota will be introducing this architecture on other models in the future and it looks to be a winner. One area that the Prius is still struggling is the brakes. The pedal still has a vague feeling and you can’t help but wonder if the vehicle will come to a stop. Toyota has made sure the Prius was still a comfortable car to do the daily grind. Over potholed roads, the Prius’ suspension was able to soak up bumps without them making their way inside. Wind noise is almost nonexistent with a low coefficient of drag of 0.24 probably helping. Road noise is another matter as a fair amount comes inside. The combination of low-rolling resistance tires and not enough sound deadening material on the floor are the possible causes. Toyota could have just rested on their laurels and keep the basic formula that has served the Prius for many years. But instead, Toyota made some massive changes to the Prius and it has resulted in making the model become more well-rounded. The design will not appease everyone and the Prius could do with a little bit more power. But the changes made to the interior and chassis along with the impressive fuel economy more than overshadow these issues. The Prius is not only the hybrid that stands above the rest, it has finally moved on from a science fair experiment to an actual vehicle. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Prius, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Toyota Model: Prius Trim: Three Engine: 1.8L DOHC 16-Valve VVT-i Four-Cylinder, Electric Motor Driveline: Continuously Variable Transmission, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 95 @ 5,200 (Gas), 121 (Total) Torque @ RPM: 105 @ 3,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 54/50/52 Curb Weight: 3,050 lbs Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japan Base Price: $26,250 As Tested Price: $29,842 (Includes $835.00 Destination Charge) Options: Advanced Technology Package - $1,935.00 Body Side Molding - $289.00 Carpet Floor Mats/Cargo Mat - $225.00 Door Edge Guards - $125.00 Rear Bumper Applique - $69.00 Wheel Locks - $65.00 Cargo Net - $49.00 View full article
  2. Review: 2016 Toyota Prius Three

    When Toyota introduced the Prius into the U.S. back in the early 2000s, it was a different time. Gas prices were quite low and everybody was gobbling up big SUVs like they were going out of style. A small vehicle that got high fuel economy numbers didn’t seem that appealing. But then gas prices rose and consumers began to see the inherent value in the Prius. Before too long, the Prius would become the gold standard of hybrid vehicles. Now with gas prices being somewhat steady again, consumers have gone out and started buying larger vehicles again - in this case, crossovers. But the Prius is still around, welcoming those who want to get the most out of a tank of gas, Last fall, the Prius underwent a massive redesign with the big news being a new platform. Is this Prius still the top hybrid? The Toyota Prius has never been considered to be a sexy or stylish vehicle. Nor has been considered to be ugly. It has just sat in the middle of the design spectrum. Toyota decided to bust the Prius out of that design lull with a very polarizing look for the new model. Standing in front of the Prius for the first time, I thought that it looked like a cat toy. This impression comes from a pointy nose, triangular headlights, and creases in the hood. The side profile follows the ideals set by the last-generation model with some aggression. There is sculpting along the doors and rear fenders. The Prius’ interior always looked and felt like an afterthought with a dreary design and cheap materials. Thankfully, Toyota moved the interior up the priority list for the forth-generation Prius and it shows. Stepping inside, you can tell there is a noticeable improvement in material quality. Many surfaces are covered with soft-touch plastics. The center stack and console feature contrasting black and white plastic trim. The white trim is an interesting choice and might make some people think that Toyota’s designers watched a bit too much Star Wars when working on the Prius. Compared to the last Prius, the new model is considerably more comfortable and you could do a long trip without having any issues. The front seats have been lowered slightly and the setback has been slightly angled back. The back seat is slightly smaller than the previous-generation - legroom is down two inches. But an average-sized adult should fit with no issues. Cargo space has been increased to 24.6 cubic feet behind the rear seats. On the technology front, the Prius has seen some major improvements. The center mounted instrument cluster with graphics commonly seen on a microwave has been ditched for a new setup with two color screens. The left screen handles speed and basic trip information. The one on the right shows driving data, a powertrain diagram, and tips on improving overall fuel economy. The displays are very vibrant and easy to read at a quick glance. Below that lies a seven-inch touchscreen with Toyota’s Entune infotainment system. Entune’s interface looks slightly dated to competitors and getting into the navigation system is a bit of a mess - you hit the apps button and then hit navigation on the touchscreen. Still, we think Entune is one of the easier systems to use and is quite fast. The powertrain for the Prius is comprised of a 1.8L Atkinson-Cycle four-cylinder engine and two electric motors/generators. Total output stands at 121 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. The base Prius Two sticks with a nickel-metal hydride battery, while higher trims - like our Three - get a compact lithium-ion battery pack. A CVT routes power to the front wheels. The Prius does take its sweet time to get up speed on the highway and rural roads. This also means you’ll need to plan your passes carefully. But the Prius does zip around the city with no issues - the electric motors offer instantaneous torque and the gas engine is ready to kick in when more power is needed. One improvement we’re glad to see is how much further you can just travel in EV mode. Keep a light foot on the accelerator and you’ll be able to travel a fair distance on just the battery alone. The CVT keeps itself in check most of the time. The only time it makes itself noticeable is during hard acceleration. The 2017 Toyota Prius Three is rated by the EPA at 54 City/50 Highway/52 Combined. Our average for the week was a very surprising 60.2 mpg with most of our driving done in the city. The Prius has never been known for being a decent handling vehicle. Going back through our previous Prius reviews, we have complained about the poor body control and steering that felt like you were stretching a rubber band. But the new Prius is quite shocking. Going around a corner, the Prius doesn’t show any real sign of body roll. Steering has some decent heft and feels more natural. What happened? A lot of the credit has to go to the new underpinnings of the Prius - Toyota New Global Architecture (TGNA). This architecture introduces a new chassis design for the Prius, along with a lower center of gravity. Toyota will be introducing this architecture on other models in the future and it looks to be a winner. One area that the Prius is still struggling is the brakes. The pedal still has a vague feeling and you can’t help but wonder if the vehicle will come to a stop. Toyota has made sure the Prius was still a comfortable car to do the daily grind. Over potholed roads, the Prius’ suspension was able to soak up bumps without them making their way inside. Wind noise is almost nonexistent with a low coefficient of drag of 0.24 probably helping. Road noise is another matter as a fair amount comes inside. The combination of low-rolling resistance tires and not enough sound deadening material on the floor are the possible causes. Toyota could have just rested on their laurels and keep the basic formula that has served the Prius for many years. But instead, Toyota made some massive changes to the Prius and it has resulted in making the model become more well-rounded. The design will not appease everyone and the Prius could do with a little bit more power. But the changes made to the interior and chassis along with the impressive fuel economy more than overshadow these issues. The Prius is not only the hybrid that stands above the rest, it has finally moved on from a science fair experiment to an actual vehicle. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Prius, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2016 Make: Toyota Model: Prius Trim: Three Engine: 1.8L DOHC 16-Valve VVT-i Four-Cylinder, Electric Motor Driveline: Continuously Variable Transmission, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 95 @ 5,200 (Gas), 121 (Total) Torque @ RPM: 105 @ 3,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 54/50/52 Curb Weight: 3,050 lbs Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japan Base Price: $26,250 As Tested Price: $29,842 (Includes $835.00 Destination Charge) Options: Advanced Technology Package - $1,935.00 Body Side Molding - $289.00 Carpet Floor Mats/Cargo Mat - $225.00 Door Edge Guards - $125.00 Rear Bumper Applique - $69.00 Wheel Locks - $65.00 Cargo Net - $49.00
  3. Toyota is recalling 482,000 Prius and Lexus CT 200h models for an issue with the side curtain airbags. According to Toyota, the hybrids use air bag inflators composed of two chambers welded together. Some vehicles may have a crack where the weld is. Over time, the crack can grow and cause the pieces to separate. "If an inflator separates, the CSA could partially inflate, and, in limited circumstances, one or both sections of the inflator could enter the interior of the vehicle," the company said in a statement. The models involved include, 2010 - 2012 Lexus CT 200h 2010 - 2012 Toyota Prius 2010 - 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In The fix involves dealers installing retention brackets on the inflators to prevent it from entering the vehicle. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota Recalls Certain Prius and Lexus CT Vehicles PLANO, Texas, June 28, 2016 – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. today announced that it is conducting a safety recall of approximately 482,000 Model Year 2010 - 2012 Prius; 2010 and 2012 Prius Plug-In Hybrids and 2011 and 2012 Lexus CT 200h vehicles. The involved vehicles are equipped with curtain shield air bags (CSA) in the driver and passenger side roof rails that have air bag inflators composed of two chambers welded together. Some inflators could have a small crack in the weld area joining the chambers, which could grow over time, and lead to the separation of the inflator chambers. This has been observed when the vehicle is parked and unoccupied for a period of time. If an inflator separates, the CSA could partially inflate, and, in limited circumstances, one or both sections of the inflator could enter the interior of the vehicle. If an occupant is present in the vehicle, there is an increased risk of injury. All known owners of the involved vehicles will be notified by first class mail. Toyota and Lexus dealers will install retention brackets on the curtain shield air bag inflators at no cost. These retention brackets are designed to prevent the inflator chambers from entering the vehicle interior if separation occurs. Information about automotive recalls, including but not limited to the list of involved vehicles, is subject to change over time. For the most up-to-date Safety Recall information on Lexus, Toyota and Scion customers should check their vehicle’s status by visiting http://www.toyota.com/recall and entering the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Safety Recall inquiry by individual VIN is also available at the NHTSA site: safercar.gov/vin. For any additional questions, customer support is also available by calling Lexus Customer Service at 1-800-255-3987.
  4. The Toyota Prius remains the poster child for the hybrid vehicle. But when it comes to the plug-in hybrid, there really isn't a vehicle that stands for it. Sure you could make the case for the Chevrolet Volt or the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq, but Toyota wants the Prius to be that vehicle. Today at New York, the Japanese brand introduced the second-generation Prius Plug-In or as they call it, the Prius Prime. The Prime boasts a larger 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery to increase EV-only range from 11 to 22 Miles. It's better than the Ford Fusion Plug-In Hybrid (20 Miles), but it still trails the likes of the Chevrolet Volt (53 Miles). Toyota has also improved the hybrid system for the Prius Prime. For the first time, Toyota is using a dual-motor generator drive system, allowing the electric motor and generator to power the front wheels. This means the Prius Prime can use the 1.8L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder, electric motor, or both to move the vehicle along. Toyota says the Prius Prime is estimated to get 120 MPGe when using the battery only, and "targeting a hybrid MPG equal to or better than the Prius liftback" - 54 City/50 Highway/52 Combined for the standard Prius. In terms of looks, the Prius Prime features different headlights, a blacked-out front fascia, and new taillights. The Prime also gets an aluminum hood and a carbon-fiber liftback to shed some weight. Toyota says the Prius Prime will arrive at dealers this fall. Source: Toyota Album: New York Auto Show: 2017 Toyota Prius Prime 8 images 0 comments Press Release is on Page 2 Page 1 of 2 1 2 → Last » Click here to view the article
  5. The Toyota Prius remains the poster child for the hybrid vehicle. But when it comes to the plug-in hybrid, there really isn't a vehicle that stands for it. Sure you could make the case for the Chevrolet Volt or the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq, but Toyota wants the Prius to be that vehicle. Today at New York, the Japanese brand introduced the second-generation Prius Plug-In or as they call it, the Prius Prime. The Prime boasts a larger 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery to increase EV-only range from 11 to 22 Miles. It's better than the Ford Fusion Plug-In Hybrid (20 Miles), but it still trails the likes of the Chevrolet Volt (53 Miles). Toyota has also improved the hybrid system for the Prius Prime. For the first time, Toyota is using a dual-motor generator drive system, allowing the electric motor and generator to power the front wheels. This means the Prius Prime can use the 1.8L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder, electric motor, or both to move the vehicle along. Toyota says the Prius Prime is estimated to get 120 MPGe when using the battery only, and "targeting a hybrid MPG equal to or better than the Prius liftback" - 54 City/50 Highway/52 Combined for the standard Prius. In terms of looks, the Prius Prime features different headlights, a blacked-out front fascia, and new taillights. The Prime also gets an aluminum hood and a carbon-fiber liftback to shed some weight. Toyota says the Prius Prime will arrive at dealers this fall. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Prime Mover: Toyota Maxes Out Tech and Style in the World's Best-Selling Hybrid to Create the 2017 Prius Prime Ultra-efficient Prius with Plug-in Hybrid Powertrain Manufacturer-estimated 120 MPGe Available in 50 States Techno-wonder with Available 11.6-inch Multimedia HD Display, Head-up Display and Wireless Phone Charging A Total Package in Every Aspect, Adding Up to Great Value NEW YORK, March 23, 2016 – If there’s electricity in the air at the 2016 New York International Auto Show, it’s probably coming from the Toyota display, where the world’s hybrid vehicle leader has unveiled the new Prius Prime, an ultra-efficient model with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. “Prime” means best, making it the perfect name for one of the most technologically advanced, best-equipped Prius in the model’s history. The Prius Prime’s manufacturer-estimated 120 or above MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) is expected to be the highest MPGe rating of any Plug-in Hybrid.* It also represents a substantial 26-percent enhancement over its predecessor, a result of greater battery capacity and an improved hybrid system. In hybrid mode, the Prius Prime is targeting a hybrid MPG equal to or better than the Prius liftback. The 2017 Prius Prime combines an electrifying design with an even more capable electric powertrain than the previous-generation Prius Plug-in Hybrid. The Prius Prime is expected to offer an estimated two times the electric range of the previous model -- 22 miles – meeting the daily commuter distance of over half of U.S. drivers, and drive at speeds up to 84 mph without leaving EV mode. As parsimonious with fuel as the Prius Prime may be, it drives with the same verve as the standard new-generation Prius hybrid, one result of the new high-strength platform and double-wishbone independent rear suspension. Prius Prime adds even more premium touches and exclusive tech features compared to the all-new Prius hybrid, including its available 11.6-inch, HD central multimedia screen with standard navigation and available full color head-up display. “Prime” also describes the vehicle’s available advanced safety technology, Toyota Safety Sense™ P. This multi-feature advanced active safety suite, bundles the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and Automatic Braking; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with full stop technology and Automatic High Beams. Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also available for additional peace of mind. All 2017 Prius hybrid models come standard with eight supplemental restraint system airbags, including multi-stage driver and front passenger front airbags; driver and front passenger side airbags; full-length curtain airbags; a driver knee airbag, and a front passenger seat cushion airbag. Electrifying Design Cheats the Wind … and the Scales If the 2017 Prius Prime looks like the future, it was purely intentional on the designers’ part. The new-generation Prius Prime is 2.4 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider and about an inch lower than its predecessor. The growth boosts cargo room over its predecessor and gives the Prius Prime a road-hugging stance. The wind-cheating body and its high-strength/low weight structure are critical factors in the Prius Prime’s astoundingly low energy consumption. Its coefficient of drag is expected to be among the lowest for production sedans. Automatic grille shutters help reduce drag by closing when airflow to the radiator is not needed. Yet the Prius Prime is no aero jellybean. It’s chiseled profile and edgy character lines seem to dare the wind to stand in its way. Energy-conserving quad LED headlights glow like diamonds cutting the night, and LED rear combination lamps leave an unforgettable nighttime signature. Driver visibility remains excellent, aided by a full-width aero glass panel over the rear spoiler and a standard backup camera. The distinctive aero rear window is eye-catching and adds to its slipstream character. While giving the new-generation Prius models more features, Toyota kept vehicle weight in check by using aluminum for the hood, carbon fiber on the rear hatch, and by using high-tensile strength steel in other parts of the structure. In fact, the lightweight carbon fiber rear hatch makes opening and closing almost effortless. EV or Hybrid? Both. The Prius Prime will please anyone who wants to reduce trips to the gas pump, and it would make a great road trip car, too. The Prius Prime will allow drivers to stay in EV mode in more situations, helping to enhance vehicle range on one tank of fuel. You can plug it in, gas it up, or both. On one 11.3-gallon tank of regular-grade gasoline and a full electric charge, the 2017 Prius Prime anticipates a class-leading estimated total driving range of over 600 miles (Toyota recommends making occasional stops to refuel and recharge yourself and passengers). Mechanical Genius Both the standard Prius hybrid and the Prius Prime are powered by Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain, which seamlessly combines the output of the gasoline engine and electric motor through a planetary-type continuously variable transmission. The biggest difference is that the Prius Prime can be plugged in at home to recharge its larger 8.8kWh battery pack. In Hybrid mode, the Prius Prime can run on the gasoline engine or electric motor alone or a combination of both. Even when not running in EV mode, the Prius Prime will automatically rely more on its electric capability in situations where it is more efficient than running the gasoline engine, especially in urban and suburban driving and during shorter trips. The Prius Prime will also feature a Toyota-first dual motor generator drive system, using both the electric motor and the generator for drive force, helping to boost acceleration performance. Regenerative braking recaptures electrical energy under deceleration and braking and stores it in the battery, which helps to reduce fuel consumption. Even better, there’s no special equipment for home charging. Just use the supplied cord and the Prius Prime takes approximately 5.5 hours using a standard household outlet. Charging takes less than half the time with a 240V source. Efficiency Expert Not to be overshadowed by all the electrical magic, the Prius Prime’s gasoline engine also plays a starring role in that efficiency. The 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle, 4-cylinder engine – the same as in all 2016 Prius hybrid models – earns a groundbreaking 40 percent-plus thermal efficiency. Most modern automobile engines reach about 25-30 percent. Myriad details throughout the hybrid powertrain contribute to the efficiency, including an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system with a cooler, smaller, lighter, quieter hybrid system water pump and an exhaust heat recirculation system that speeds engine warm-up. Looks Marvelous, Feels Marvelous The Prius Prime looks and feels far from frugal on the inside, where a four-seat cabin layout, with center console running front to back, looks more like a high-end luxury coupe. Practicality remains ever present, however, with standard 60/40 folding rear seatbacks. It’s a quiet cabin, too, thanks to the sound-insulating laminated windshield and front door glass and the optimized aero shape that helps keep wind noise where it belongs – outside. The Prius Prime coddles the driver and passengers with standard heated front seats, an automatic climate control system, and available SofTex® synthetic leather trimmed seats. The climate control system is quieter, thanks to an electric compressor, and it’s smarter, focusing airflow only to areas where occupants are seated in order to help maximize fuel economy and comfort. The climate control system can also operate without the engine on, with a heat pump that allows the system to cool or heat the cabin while driving in EV mode. The driver can activate the remote air conditioning system with an available key fob or smartphone app to cool the interior before entering the cabin. High Tech, Low Effort The centrally mounted gauge panel, a Prius hallmark since the model’s inception, appears to float above the dashboard. The panel features dual 4.2-inch full-color TFT (thin film transistor) multi-information displays, and the driver can change their content by using steering wheel controls. The display provides a multitude of readouts for hybrid energy information and more, and the driver can choose how much information to view. Want to cut the cord? With available wireless cell phone charging for Qi-compatible devices, just place your Qi-compatible devices on the console pad to charge it wirelessly. Multimedia Mogul Sound and vision inside the Prius Prime likewise meet the standard of “prime.” Toyota equipped this top Prius with its top Entune® multimedia system and made it all accessible through a new and exclusive 11.6-inch HD tablet display. The navigation graphics look simply stunning, and intuitive touch controls make operation a snap. Prius Prime will also offer an exclusive suite of Prius Prime Apps, allowing you to remotely manage your vehicle’s charging schedule and status, locate charging stations, track and compare your eco driving score with others on social media, remotely control the vehicle’s climate system, and more – all from your smartphone. It’s advanced eco at your fingertips. An available Entune™ Premium JBL® Audio system with Integrated Navigation and App Suite puts 10 JBL GreenEdge™ speakers in six locations for sonic bliss. The Entune™ Multimedia Bundle includes AM/FM cache radio (letting you pause songs and play later), HD Radio™, HD Radio™ predictive traffic and Doppler weather overlay, SiriusXM® Satellite Radio with 3-month complimentary SiriusXM All Access trial and Gracenote® album cover art. Of course there’s a USB 2.0 port with iPod® connectivity and control, plus advanced voice recognition and hands-free phone capability, phonebook access and music streaming via Bluetooth®. For iPhone users, Siri® Eyes Free mode adds yet another in-car assistant. The Entune™ App Suite adds yet more music sources, including Slacker Radio, iHeartRadio and Pandora® as well as Destination Search, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable®, Facebook Places, Yelp™ plus real-time traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports and stocks. Access to Entune® services is subscription-free. Built-in Parking Valet In the urban jungle, where hunting for a prime parking space is a sport, the Prius Prime wins. Available Intelligent Parking Assist (IPA) uses ultrasonic wave sensors to size up a parallel parking space and then, when activated by the driver, can steer the car into it. The system can also reverse the Prius Prime into perpendicular spaces and automatically steer it out of a parallel space. When the way forward gets narrow, such as in a parking garage, the system’s Intelligent Clearance Sonar provides visible and audible warnings if the driver gets too close to obstacles on the vehicle’s sides. The 2017 Prius Prime will begin arriving in Toyota showrooms in late fall. Source: Toyota
  6. Toyota Reconsiders The Prius Strategy

    Back in 2011, Toyota made a very bold prediction; the Prius would be the best-selling Toyota model in the U.S. by the end of this decade. This seemed legitimate as gas prices had been climbing a steady rate and the Prius was the most popular hybrid. But that meant beating the Toyota Camry which in 2010 sold 327,104 models (the Prius only sold 140,928 models in 2010). To do this, Toyota would create the Prius family with the introduction of the Prius C, V, and Plug-In Hybrids. Five years on after this bold prediction, Toyota is reconsidering their plans. Thanks to lower gas prices (and in turn, consumers returning to pickups and crossovers) and models such as the Camry, Corolla, and RAV4 outselling it by a large margin, Toyota is now saying the Prius won't achieve that lofty goal. "Given all the changes in consumers' preferences right now, I don't think we're forecasting the Prius to be our top volume seller anymore," said Bill Fay, Toyota Division general manager to Automotive News. Part of the reconsideration deals with the Prius C and V. Fay said Toyota is planning to "reinvest" in the C and V. But whether or not a second-generation happens for either model is still too early to tell. The V's future is in doubt more than the C because of a new hybrid model - the RAV4 Hybrid. While the RAV4 doesn't come close to matching the Prius V's fuel economy numbers (34 City/31 Highway/33 Combined for RAV4 Hybrid, 44 City/40 Highway/42 Combined for the Prius V), it does offer slightly more practicality and the option of all-wheel drive. "We'll have to see how well the RAV4 Hybrid does. Because the RAV4 could really take the place of the Prius V," Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  7. G. David Felt Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com Toyota converting auto transportation fleet to CNG. Nov 23rd 2015 Toyota Corporation released a media announcement that they would start with their first CNG auto hauler as they moved to be greener in transporting their green fleet of auto's to the dealers. CNG Auto Hauler Toyota worked with Peterbilt and Cottrell to build the first of many to come. This is a Peterbilt 365 day cab tractor with an 11.9L ISX 12 G Engine by Cummins modified for CNG operation. This is a 9 car hauler with 90 gallon capacity of CNG, two type IV carbon fiber 45 gallon tanks, one on each side of the truck. Toyota states that this hauler does what every other hauler out there does but with 85% less particulate matter and 10% less carbon dioxide. Toyota is deploying this hauler out of Long Beach California where it will deliver auto's while racking up between 7000-8000 miles per month.
  8. Revealed: 2016 Toyota Prius

    Last night in Las Vegas, Toyota introduced everyone to the forth-generation Prius. The new model promises to be more efficient and sportier than the previous model. The 2016 Prius shares a resemblance to the Mirai hydrogen car in terms of looks. From the overall profile to the shape of the rear taillights, the fourth-generation Prius is very polarizing. Size-wise, the 2016 Prius is 2.4 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider, and 0.8 inches lower than the outgoing model. This is due to the new Prius using Toyota's New Global Architecture (TNGA). The interior for the Prius retains a number of characteristics from previous models such as the instrument cluster positioned in the middle and the joystick control for the transmission. There is also a fair amount of white plastic around the center stack and console, reminding us of the first-generation Chevrolet Volt. Unfortunately, Toyota didn't say anything about the Prius' powertrain or fuel economy numbers. What they did say is the new model will bring a 10 percent increase in overall fuel economy, and there will be a new Eco trim which will increase fuel economy numbers more. Toyota promises the 2016 Prius will also be fun to drive. We'll have more information the next Prius in due time, including when it will go on sale. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Beyond Possible: The Sky's the Limit for the All-New 2016 Prius at Las Vegas World Premiere Event Striking exterior design ushers in new hybrid era New platform and rear double wishbone suspension dial up driving dynamics Ten percent fuel economy improvement on core models; highest MPG without a plug First vehicle based on Toyota’s New Global Architecture Toyota Safety Sense system available among other safety enhancements LAS VEGAS, Sept. 8, 2015 - - The same vehicle that pioneered the hybrid category just disrupted the status quo again. The all-new, fourth-generation Prius starred in a spectacular evening production of music, food and special effects to celebrate an industry icon in a way that was anything but expected. More than 350 journalists, social influencers and Toyota guests watched the all-new 2016 Prius elevate into the Las Vegas night sky. After almost twenty years of shaping the world view on alternative energy vehicles, and more than 3.5 million global sales, Prius is setting out to change the world again. Today’s consumers expect environmental credentials, and the new Prius delivers. Smaller, lighter hybrid system components, higher-energy density in the batteries, and an internal combustion engine touting ground-breaking thermal efficiency (more than forty percent), contribute to a significant advancement in fuel economy. With an expected ten percent improvement in EPA estimated MPG on core models, Prius will offer best-in-class fuel economy among vehicles without a plug. A soon-to-be unveiled Eco model will achieve an even greater improvement, strengthening Toyota’s leadership in hybrid fuel efficiency. But it’s not just about MPG anymore. Today’s customers want all the traditional benefits of a hybrid, but don’t want to compromise on looks and performance. So Toyota upgraded the Prius inside and out to deliver the complete package - emotional styling, smarter technology and impressive MPG, in a vehicle that’s more fun to drive than ever. “Prius set the global benchmark for hybrids, but now is breaking its own boundaries with more engaging style and fun-to-drive dynamics,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. “What was once a rational purchase that for many customers focused on fuel economy, is now so much more. This Prius will invite new drivers into the category by delivering an impressive look and feel, built on the foundation of safety and eco-consciousness that define the vehicle’s heritage.” Easy on the Eyes The Prius’ exterior has been completely reimagined. From the side, it is longer and sleeker with the overall outline evoking an athletic shape. Inspired by a runner in the starting blocks, the sporty design conveys a feeling of forward motion. The hood is lower and the distinctive roof peak has been moved forward. Bold character lines run along the side from the front fenders – one just above the sill that sweeps up towards the rear fender, while the upper crease morphs into the rear spoiler, which has been lowered. The use of new standard LED headlamps minimizes the Prius’ front fascia and, at the same time, provides an arresting lighting display which helps define the vehicle’s character. The unique and striking rear combination lamps express the distinctive lines of the Prius from the rear spoiler to the trailing edges of the sides. A palette of seven exterior colors includes an all-new Toyota hue, “Hypersonic Red.” This new color utilizes a newly developed treatment process, which results in a deep and vibrant luster highlighting the external forms. Need a Hug? The Prius’ new, premium interior adopts advanced technology complemented by features that are functional, fun and have high visual impact. The wrap-around dash design, form-hugging seats, ease of controls and improved visibility put the driver in complete control. Once inside, drivers will feel immediately comfortable and impressed by styling cues that are unique in the industry. The wide instrument panel, seamlessly designed to be both functional and beautiful, gives a sense of comfort and spaciousness. Available premium white ornamentation in the lower sections of the cabin is reminiscent of fine bone china. Efficient Development from the Start The 2016 Prius is the first global vehicle to implement Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA). TNGA aims to greatly improve core vehicle performance and enhance product appeal through an integrated development program for powertrain components and vehicle platforms. Development of vehicles is being grouped to promote strategic sharing of components with the goal of improving resource efficiency by better than twenty percent. Resources will be directed into developing advanced technologies, and most importantly even further strengthening product appeal. A Fun-to-Drive Hybrid? A “Wish” Come True Engineered from the ground up, the new Prius is 2.4 inches longer, 0.6 inches wider and 0.8 inches lower than the model it replaces, providing a planted on-road presence while delivering more occupant and cargo room. Hallmarks of TNGA, a lower center of gravity and a more responsive suspension package, dial up the driving excitement. In fact, the height of the Prius’ front badge is exactly the same as that of Scion’s FR-S sports car – a remarkable achievement in height and mass reduction. The all-new rear double wishbone suspension produces a better connection to the road, providing greater control and feedback in all driving conditions. A more rigid body helps improve responsiveness while cornering. From winding mountain roads to the wide boulevards downtown, the new Prius stays connected to the road, without sacrificing ride quality and occupant comfort. Safety First TNGA also provides a more rigid structural framework to help enhance occupant protection in the event of a collision. The high strength upper body is designed to distribute frontal collision impact energy. Plus, the Prius will be among the first U.S. models to offer Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), a new multi-feature advanced safety package anchored by automated pre-collision braking. TSS bundles cutting edge safety technologies including: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control Automatic High Beams Available on the new Prius, Toyota aims to make Toyota Safety Sense available across nearly the entire vehicle lineup by the end of 2017.
  9. 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 Click here to view the article
  10. Spying: 2016 Toyota Prius, Minus the Camoflage

    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
  11. The Land of the Rising Sun Readies New Auto's. Autonews has been running a series on Japan Future Product and even built the following timeline. As the five year product pipeline based on Autonews compilation of rumors and facts they have come up with these nine that are to be their exciting products to look forward too. Do you agree or do you think there is something missing? #9 2017 Nissan Maxima #8 2016 Toyota Prius (Spy shots courtesy Autoblog) #7 2017 Honda Ridgeline #6 2015 Honda HR-V #5 2016 Lexus GS-F (Spy shots courtesy MotorAuthority) #4 2015 Lexus RC #3 2017 Honda Civic #2 2018 Toyota Supra #1 2017 Honda NSX (Acura NSX spy shots courtesy Autoblog) Sound off on what you think of this list!
  12. October 9th, 2013 Drew Dowdell Managing Editor - CheersandGears.com Toyota announced reduced pricing of the 2014 Prius Plug-In today with a drop of over $2,000 from last year's base price. Coming in at $29,990 before delivery charge, Toyota is not making any reductions in equipment or appointments. In fact, Toyota has added two features to the Prius Plug-In for 2014, these include: Heated cloth front seats standard Remote climate - the ability to activate their air conditioning remotely - standard on Plug-In The upper trip Prius Plug-In Advanced adds: Hard Drive base Navigation with Entune Infotainment and JBL Sound System Softex-trimmed heated front seats 8-way power driver seat Heads Up Display An optional technology package for the Prius Plug-In Advance includes Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, and LED headlights and fog lights.The Prius Plug-In qualifies for a federal tax credit of $2,500 and a California rebate of $1,500, making the Prius Plug-In effective base price $27,490* in most states and $25,990* in California. For now, the Prius Plug-In is only available in 15 states (California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Hawaii) *Prices before destination charge. Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @cheersngears Page 1 of 2 1 2 → Last » Click here to view the article
  13. October 9th, 2013 Drew Dowdell Managing Editor - CheersandGears.com Toyota announced reduced pricing of the 2014 Prius Plug-In today with a drop of over $2,000 from last year's base price. Coming in at $29,990 before delivery charge, Toyota is not making any reductions in equipment or appointments. In fact, Toyota has added two features to the Prius Plug-In for 2014, these include: Heated cloth front seats standard Remote climate - the ability to activate their air conditioning remotely - standard on Plug-In The upper trip Prius Plug-In Advanced adds: Hard Drive base Navigation with Entune Infotainment and JBL Sound System Softex-trimmed heated front seats 8-way power driver seat Heads Up Display An optional technology package for the Prius Plug-In Advance includes Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, and LED headlights and fog lights. The Prius Plug-In qualifies for a federal tax credit of $2,500 and a California rebate of $1,500, making the Prius Plug-In effective base price $27,490* in most states and $25,990* in California. For now, the Prius Plug-In is only available in 15 states (California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Hawaii) *Prices before destination charge. Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @cheersngears 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In to Start Under $30,000 TORRANCE, Calif., Oct. 9, 2013 – It just got a little easier for drivers to maximize their fuel savings and be environmentally responsible. Toyota’s most advanced technology passenger car, the Prius Plug-in, will be available to customers at a substantially reduced price beginning with the 2014 model year. Toyota has reduced MSRP on the 2014 Prius Plug-in Hybrid by over $2,000, making the starting MSRP $29,990 (excluding DPH). This price repositioning on the base Prius Plug-in Hybrid is not accompanied by any reduction in vehicle content. The 2014 Prius Plug-in Hybrid is well-equipped (similar to a Prius Three), but adds these appealing features: Heated cloth front seats – a unique standard feature available only on Prius Plug-in Remote Climate – a feature that allows customers to activate their A/C remotely (standard on Prius Plug-in, available on Prius Three) Ability to drive extended distances in EV Mode, helping to increase fuel efficiency Unique 10-spoke alloy wheels 1 additional year of Roadside Assistance through ToyotaCare, for a total of 3 year Pricing for the 2014 Prius Plug-in Advanced model has also been adjusted to make the model more accessible to consumers with a $4,620 reduction in MSRP to $34,905 (excluding DPH). The Prius Plug-in Advanced will still offer popular features including: Premium HDD Navigation with Entune® App Suite (including Plug-in Hybrid Applications) and JBL SofTex-trimmed heated front seats 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support Head-Up Display Safety Connect The 2014 Prius Plug-in Advanced will offer DRCC (Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, PCS (Pre-Collision System), LED headlights and fog lights as part of an optional Technology Package for customers seeking the highest level of technology. Production of the 2014 model year Prius Plug-in begins in October with pricing taking effect when these models arrive in showrooms in November.The Prius Plug-in qualifies for a Federal Tax Credit of up to $2,500 in addition to the State of California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP) which offers a $1,500 rebate. Information about the Federal Tax credit and vehicle eligibility can be found on: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/article/0,,id=219867,00.html The 2014 Prius Plug-in is also eligible for the State of California’s HOV lane sticker (www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/carpool/carpool.htm). The Prius Plug-in is available in 15 states (California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Hawaii). For special deals in your local area, please visit www.buyatoyota.com. Grade Engine/ Trans. Highlight Features 13MY MSRP 14MY MSRP MSRP $ Change MSRP % Change Plug-in Hybrid 1.8-liter HSD/ E-CVT Display Audio with Navigation, Entune App Suite and backup camera; USB/Aux and Bluetooth; unique 15” alloy wheels, Smart Key System on 3 doors and Push Button Start; heated front seats; Remote Climate; HSD blue accent headlights and exclusive Plug-in Hybrid badging; additional year of Roadside Assistance through ToyotaCare $32,000 $29,990* -$2,010 -6.3% Plug-in Hybrid Advanced 1.8-liter HSD/ E-CVT Prius Plug-in Hybrid plus: Premium HDD Navigation with Entune App Suite (including Plug-in Hybrid Applications) and JBL, SofTex-trimmed heated front seats, 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support, Head-Up Display, Safety Connect $39,525 $34,905* -$4,620 -11.7% *Prices in Hawaii will vary. Name Description MSRP Technology Package (available on Prius Plug-in Advanced) Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Pre-Collision System, LED Headlights and Fog Lights $2,610 Special color Blizzard Pearl $395
  14. 2012 Toyota Prius Four

    By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 9, 2013 Ask someone to say the first thing that comes to their mind when you mention the word hybrid, and more often than not they will say the Toyota Prius. Despite not being the first hybrid on sale in the U.S. (that honor falls to the 1999 Honda Insight, which went on sale a full two years before the Prius in the U.S.), the Prius became a sales success and symbol for the hybrid vehicle. Why? The Prius offered the right mix of unheard fuel economy, features, and practicality in one package. Now in its third-generation, the unassuming hybrid hatchback falls into two polar opposite camps of thought. Those who love its efficiency and reliability and those who think the Pruis is an anathema to everything held dear by car enthusiasts. I'm an auto enthusiast, so when I recently spent a week in a 2012 Toyota Prius, I naturally approached the car with skepticism. Is it as good as the high fuel economy fans claim? Is it kryptonite to automotive enthusiasts? Read on to find out. Encounters of the Hybrid Kind The third-generation Prius is very much like the previous-generation model with its alien spaceship look. The third-generation model carries on the oval-esque shape with some aerodynamic tweaks including a smoother front end, squared-off corners on the rear end, and a new rear spoiler. These design changes help drop the drag coefficient from 0.26 cd to 0.25 cd. Other items of note include a set of LED taillights and an optional solar panel (part of a $3,820.00 Deluxe Solar Roof package) that power fans to cool down the vehicle’s interior without turning on the vehicle. I didn't get chance to try it since the average temperature here in Detroit was in the mid-thirties during my time and I rather enter a warm, not cold Prius. What would make this optional solar panel even better is the ability to charge the battery when the Prius is parked and keep the Prius warm in winter. Inside, the alien spaceship design theme continues with a floating center stack, a uniquely-styled shift knob, and a digital gauge cluster sitting on top and in the middle of the dashboard. The placement of gauge cluster does make it somewhat harder to make a quick glance while on the move. My test Prius did come with a heads-up display which had a speedometer and a power gauge letting you know how much power you’re drawing from the hybrid system. I do want to talk to the person who decided to hide the buttons for the heated seats underneath the center stack. The only way you know where they’re hiding is when you enter or exit the Prius. Did no one at Toyota bring this up during one of the design meetings? Seating was decent for both front and rear passengers with enough head and legroom. Materials are what you would find in current Toyota models; hard plastics and very synthetic-feeling leather. This would be ok if the price tag of this Prius wasn’t $33,118.00. The only real positive to the interior is that build quality is very good throughout the interior. As I mentioned earlier, this Prius was equipped with the $3,820.00 Deluxe Solar Roof package. Besides the solar roof, the package includes a seven-inch touch screen, navigation, Toyota’s Entune System, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker JBL system, and Toyota’s safety connect which provides emergency assistance services. The touchscreen was very responsive when pressed and provided the right amount brightness whether it was day or night. The eight-speaker JBL system provided ok sound, but I found that I had to turn it up when driving the Prius on the highway as there was too much road noise. As for Entune, I didn't get chance to try it since I didn't have the application on my iPhone to utilize the system. Yes, you need the Entune application on either your iPhone or Android phone to use it. Under the Skin, It’s a Prius Alright Pop the hood of the Prius and right before your eyes is one part of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive; a 1.8L Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine producing 98 horsepower (@ 5,200 rpm) and 105 lb-ft of torque (@ 4,000 rpm), and a electric motor producing 80 horsepower and 153 lb-ft of torque. Total power output is rated at 134 horsepower. The other part of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive is a Nickel-Metal Hydride battery pack sitting in the back of the Prius. Your only transmission is a CVT. The Prius’ powertrain gets the job done. It will take a few seconds longer to get up to the speed on the road. Not much noise from either the engine or CVT enters the cabin when you accelerate normally. If you need to get a move on because there is a larger vehicle bearing down onto you or need to merge onto the highway, the drone of the engine and CVT are very apparent. Thankfully, the hybrid system seamlessly transitions electric power. The center stack has three buttons that can change the behavior of the hybrid system. The first is an EV mode which allows the Prius to travel a short distance on electric power alone below 25 MPH. The hybrid system will turn if you go above 25 or press further down on the pedal. With a light foot, I was able to go about a mile on electric power alone. Next is Eco mode which reduces throttle response in an emphasis to get better fuel economy numbers. This is ok if you don’t have a lot of traffic behind you or in a hurry to move along. If you don’t meet either or the criteria, leave Eco mode off. Finally there is Power mode which is the opposite of Eco mode. This mode noticeably increases throttle response to help you in certain situations like merging onto a highway. Fuel economy is very impressive for this small car. The EPA rates the Prius at 51 City/48 Highway/50 Combined. During my week with the Prius, I averaged 47.9 MPG with mostly suburban driving and sticking my foot into it. Ride and handling is taken care with a pair of MacPherson struts with a stabilizer bar up front and a torsion beam setup in the rear. While the setup isn’t technologically advanced like the rest of the Prius, it provides a somewhat comfortable ride. I did wish for some more damping when driving over craters that are called potholes in the Detroit area. Steering for the Prius comes in the form of an electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion system. The steering has some heft and some feel, something the old Prius lacked. That doesn’t make it a driver’s car since the Prius’ suspension is more tuned for comfort and the standard low-rolling resistance tires don’t provide enough grip. The Prius is a quiet vehicle when driven below 50 MPH. Go above that and you’ll notice an abundance of road and wind noise. I’m hoping with the next-generation Prius, Toyota puts in some more sound deadening material. Visibility is very good for the front and side. Rear visibility takes a hit due to the rear hatch shape and the large spoiler sitting in the middle of the hatch. Thankfully, the Prius did come equipped with a standard rear view camera. The Prius truly delivers on its promise of greenness with some impressive fuel economy numbers, clever technologies to make every use up every last drop of gas, unique design, and comfortable ride. However, the Prius has some faults. The road and wind noise while going above 50 MPH tops my list followed by the interior materials. That said the Toyota Prius is the perfect vehicle for someone who commutes in town and wants to tell everyone that they’re saving the planet. For me, I’ll pass on the Prius. Cheers Fuel Economy Technology Exterior Looks Somewhat Comfortable Ride Jeers Wind and Road Noise at Speed Engine and CVT During Hard Acceleration Materials Used in the Cabin Disclaimer: Toyota provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of gasoline. Album: 2012 Toyota Prius Four 18 images 0 comments Year - 2012 Make – Toyota Model – Prius Trim – Four Engine – 1.8L Atkinson cycle four-cylinder, Electric Motor Driveline – Front-Wheel Drive, Electronically Controlled continuously Variable Transmission Horsepower @ RPM – (Gas) 98 HP (@ 5,200 RPM), (Electric) 80 HP (N/A), (Combined) 134 HP Torque @ RPM – (Gas) 105 lb-ft (@ 4,000 RPM), (Electric) 153 HP (N/A), (Combined) N/A Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 51/48/50 Curb Weight – 3,042 lbs Location of Manufacture – Tsutsumi, Japan Base Price - $28,235.00 As Tested Price - $33,118.00 (Includes $760.00 Destination Charge) Options Deluxe Solar Roof Package: $3,820.00 Carpet Floor Mats & Cargo Mat: $225.00 Cargo Net: $49.00 First Aid Kit: $29.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Click here to view the article
  15. 2012 Toyota Prius Four

    By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 9, 2013 Ask someone to say the first thing that comes to their mind when you mention the word hybrid, and more often than not they will say the Toyota Prius. Despite not being the first hybrid on sale in the U.S. (that honor falls to the 1999 Honda Insight, which went on sale a full two years before the Prius in the U.S.), the Prius became a sales success and symbol for the hybrid vehicle. Why? The Prius offered the right mix of unheard fuel economy, features, and practicality in one package. Now in its third-generation, the unassuming hybrid hatchback falls into two polar opposite camps of thought. Those who love its efficiency and reliability and those who think the Pruis is an anathema to everything held dear by car enthusiasts. I'm an auto enthusiast, so when I recently spent a week in a 2012 Toyota Prius, I naturally approached the car with skepticism. Is it as good as the high fuel economy fans claim? Is it kryptonite to automotive enthusiasts? Read on to find out. Encounters of the Hybrid Kind The third-generation Prius is very much like the previous-generation model with its alien spaceship look. The third-generation model carries on the oval-esque shape with some aerodynamic tweaks including a smoother front end, squared-off corners on the rear end, and a new rear spoiler. These design changes help drop the drag coefficient from 0.26 cd to 0.25 cd. Other items of note include a set of LED taillights and an optional solar panel (part of a $3,820.00 Deluxe Solar Roof package) that power fans to cool down the vehicle’s interior without turning on the vehicle. I didn't get chance to try it since the average temperature here in Detroit was in the mid-thirties during my time and I rather enter a warm, not cold Prius. What would make this optional solar panel even better is the ability to charge the battery when the Prius is parked and keep the Prius warm in winter. Inside, the alien spaceship design theme continues with a floating center stack, a uniquely-styled shift knob, and a digital gauge cluster sitting on top and in the middle of the dashboard. The placement of gauge cluster does make it somewhat harder to make a quick glance while on the move. My test Prius did come with a heads-up display which had a speedometer and a power gauge letting you know how much power you’re drawing from the hybrid system. I do want to talk to the person who decided to hide the buttons for the heated seats underneath the center stack. The only way you know where they’re hiding is when you enter or exit the Prius. Did no one at Toyota bring this up during one of the design meetings? Seating was decent for both front and rear passengers with enough head and legroom. Materials are what you would find in current Toyota models; hard plastics and very synthetic-feeling leather. This would be ok if the price tag of this Prius wasn’t $33,118.00. The only real positive to the interior is that build quality is very good throughout the interior. As I mentioned earlier, this Prius was equipped with the $3,820.00 Deluxe Solar Roof package. Besides the solar roof, the package includes a seven-inch touch screen, navigation, Toyota’s Entune System, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker JBL system, and Toyota’s safety connect which provides emergency assistance services. The touchscreen was very responsive when pressed and provided the right amount brightness whether it was day or night. The eight-speaker JBL system provided ok sound, but I found that I had to turn it up when driving the Prius on the highway as there was too much road noise. As for Entune, I didn't get chance to try it since I didn't have the application on my iPhone to utilize the system. Yes, you need the Entune application on either your iPhone or Android phone to use it. Under the Skin, It’s a Prius Alright Pop the hood of the Prius and right before your eyes is one part of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive; a 1.8L Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine producing 98 horsepower (@ 5,200 rpm) and 105 lb-ft of torque (@ 4,000 rpm), and a electric motor producing 80 horsepower and 153 lb-ft of torque. Total power output is rated at 134 horsepower. The other part of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive is a Nickel-Metal Hydride battery pack sitting in the back of the Prius. Your only transmission is a CVT. The Prius’ powertrain gets the job done. It will take a few seconds longer to get up to the speed on the road. Not much noise from either the engine or CVT enters the cabin when you accelerate normally. If you need to get a move on because there is a larger vehicle bearing down onto you or need to merge onto the highway, the drone of the engine and CVT are very apparent. Thankfully, the hybrid system seamlessly transitions electric power. The center stack has three buttons that can change the behavior of the hybrid system. The first is an EV mode which allows the Prius to travel a short distance on electric power alone below 25 MPH. The hybrid system will turn if you go above 25 or press further down on the pedal. With a light foot, I was able to go about a mile on electric power alone. Next is Eco mode which reduces throttle response in an emphasis to get better fuel economy numbers. This is ok if you don’t have a lot of traffic behind you or in a hurry to move along. If you don’t meet either or the criteria, leave Eco mode off. Finally there is Power mode which is the opposite of Eco mode. This mode noticeably increases throttle response to help you in certain situations like merging onto a highway. Fuel economy is very impressive for this small car. The EPA rates the Prius at 51 City/48 Highway/50 Combined. During my week with the Prius, I averaged 47.9 MPG with mostly suburban driving and sticking my foot into it. Ride and handling is taken care with a pair of MacPherson struts with a stabilizer bar up front and a torsion beam setup in the rear. While the setup isn’t technologically advanced like the rest of the Prius, it provides a somewhat comfortable ride. I did wish for some more damping when driving over craters that are called potholes in the Detroit area. Steering for the Prius comes in the form of an electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion system. The steering has some heft and some feel, something the old Prius lacked. That doesn’t make it a driver’s car since the Prius’ suspension is more tuned for comfort and the standard low-rolling resistance tires don’t provide enough grip. The Prius is a quiet vehicle when driven below 50 MPH. Go above that and you’ll notice an abundance of road and wind noise. I’m hoping with the next-generation Prius, Toyota puts in some more sound deadening material. Visibility is very good for the front and side. Rear visibility takes a hit due to the rear hatch shape and the large spoiler sitting in the middle of the hatch. Thankfully, the Prius did come equipped with a standard rear view camera. The Prius truly delivers on its promise of greenness with some impressive fuel economy numbers, clever technologies to make every use up every last drop of gas, unique design, and comfortable ride. However, the Prius has some faults. The road and wind noise while going above 50 MPH tops my list followed by the interior materials. That said the Toyota Prius is the perfect vehicle for someone who commutes in town and wants to tell everyone that they’re saving the planet. For me, I’ll pass on the Prius. Cheers Fuel Economy Technology Exterior Looks Somewhat Comfortable Ride Jeers Wind and Road Noise at Speed Engine and CVT During Hard Acceleration Materials Used in the Cabin Disclaimer: Toyota provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of gasoline. Album: 2012 Toyota Prius Four 18 images 0 comments Year - 2012 Make – Toyota Model – Prius Trim – Four Engine – 1.8L Atkinson cycle four-cylinder, Electric Motor Driveline – Front-Wheel Drive, Electronically Controlled continuously Variable Transmission Horsepower @ RPM – (Gas) 98 HP (@ 5,200 RPM), (Electric) 80 HP (N/A), (Combined) 134 HP Torque @ RPM – (Gas) 105 lb-ft (@ 4,000 RPM), (Electric) 153 HP (N/A), (Combined) N/A Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 51/48/50 Curb Weight – 3,042 lbs Location of Manufacture – Tsutsumi, Japan Base Price - $28,235.00 As Tested Price - $33,118.00 (Includes $760.00 Destination Charge) Options Deluxe Solar Roof Package: $3,820.00 Carpet Floor Mats & Cargo Mat: $225.00 Cargo Net: $49.00 First Aid Kit: $29.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  16. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 6, 2012 In for review this week at the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage is the vehicle that started the hybrid revolution. I'm of course referring to the Toyota Prius. Our test Prius is the Prius Four, which is the almost top of the line model in the lineup. As tested price for this $33,118.00 (includes $760.00 destination charge) thanks mostly to a Deluxe Solar Roof Package which adds a solar powered ventilation system and a load of tech goodies including navigation and Toyota's Entune system. Spending a few moments in the Prius, I found the interior is much like the current crop of Toyota's passenger vehicles (aside from the new Avalon); hard plastics are abundant through the dash and the standard leather seats feel like the vinyl covering your grandma would throw over the furniture to protect it. Positive points include how much space is inside for front and most rear passengers, cargo space, how quiet the car is in electric mode, and of course the fuel economy. At the moment, I'm averaging around 52 MPG. Now, I have the Prius till next Thursday and will be updating during my time with it. In the meantime, if you have questions, drop them below. Update: November 9, 2012 Its been a few days since the Prius came into my care and I'm undecided on it so far. I wish there was more power so I can keep up with traffic a little bit better without switching to the power button or sticking my foot into it. I do like that I'm averaging so far around 50.1 MPG with mostly suburban driving. Some things are causing me to scratch my head. For example, who at Toyota decided to put the heated seat controls in the storage cubby right underneath the center stack? Also, no instant MPG readout? I'll be updating this once again after I take the Prius out on the highway and spend some more time with it. Get your questions in. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Click here to view the article
  17. Interactive Review: 2012 Toyota Prius Four

    William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 6, 2012 In for review this week at the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage is the vehicle that started the hybrid revolution. I'm of course referring to the Toyota Prius. Our test Prius is the Prius Four, which is the almost top of the line model in the lineup. As tested price for this $33,118.00 (includes $760.00 destination charge) thanks mostly to a Deluxe Solar Roof Package which adds a solar powered ventilation system and a load of tech goodies including navigation and Toyota's Entune system. Spending a few moments in the Prius, I found the interior is much like the current crop of Toyota's passenger vehicles (aside from the new Avalon); hard plastics are abundant through the dash and the standard leather seats feel like the vinyl covering your grandma would throw over the furniture to protect it. Positive points include how much space is inside for front and most rear passengers, cargo space, how quiet the car is in electric mode, and of course the fuel economy. At the moment, I'm averaging around 52 MPG. Now, I have the Prius till next Thursday and will be updating during my time with it. In the meantime, if you have questions, drop them below. Update: November 9, 2012 Its been a few days since the Prius came into my care and I'm undecided on it so far. I wish there was more power so I can keep up with traffic a little bit better without switching to the power button or sticking my foot into it. I do like that I'm averaging so far around 50.1 MPG with mostly suburban driving. Some things are causing me to scratch my head. For example, who at Toyota decided to put the heated seat controls in the storage cubby right underneath the center stack? Also, no instant MPG readout? I'll be updating this once again after I take the Prius out on the highway and spend some more time with it. Get your questions in. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  18. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 24, 2012 (Note: The weekend edition is back from its long vacation, mostly due to me being busy with other things. Sorry about that. Anyways, enjoy. -WM) Everyday, I go through a number of stories that I will post on Cheers & Gears. However, a good number of stories that I have picked out don’t make it onto the page during the week and either get posted next week or never. That’s where the the Cheers & Gears’ Weekend Edition comes in. Its where the stories that gotten forgotten about during the week get their due. In this third edition, we’ll be covering, Buick Considers A Big Change The Least Stolen Vehicle Is.. Quick Hits and more.. Next: Buick's Possible Big Change General Motors Considering To Overhaul Buick’s Badge Buick has been undergoing many changes to try find its own identity and place in the General Motors family for the past few years, and there could be a big change coming. General Motors’ North America President Mark Reuss told a group of journalists that the Buick tri-shield emblem could be getting a facelift in the very near future. Reuss didn't go into any specifics as to what changes or why the change is happening. One of the possible reasons for the emblem change is to help shed Buick’s image of being the vehicle that your grandparents drove. The current tri-shield emblem has been in use for more than 50 years. Though in the 70’s, Buick incorporated a hawk into the emblem. The hawk would last around ten years before being phased out for the tri-shield. Each of the shields on the current emblem represents the LeSabre, Invicta, and Electra models. All of those models listed also have something in common; Buick doesn't build them anymore and that is another possible reason as to why GM is considering a move. “There’s people who can look at the badge of a car and know exactly what they are and what time period they’re from,” said Jeremy Dimick, curator of collections at Sloan Longway’s Alfred P. Sloan Museum and Buick Gallery in Flint, Mich. “You look at the car and know it’s a Buick for sure. Any future logo you would think would retain components of that. The brand identity is so wrapped up in that.” Another possible reason as to why GM is considering a change to Buick’s emblem deals with China. Last month, Buick sold 60,510 vehicles in China, up 7.7% from the same time last year. To put this into perspective, Buick sold 13,384 vehicles in the U.S., almost a quarter of vehicles sold in China. Buick also accounted for 24% of GM sales in China last month as well. "I don't really know what benefit it will be unless they're thinking they will capture even more of the Chinese market by doing this," said Peter De Lorenzo, former auto industry marketing executive who now writes at Autoextremist.com. Source: Detroit Free Press Next: The Least Stolen Vehicle Is... Don’t Want To Have Your Car Stolen? Buy and Own A Prius Besides being the most popular hybrid, Toyota’s Prius is the least stolen vehicle in the U.S. according to a new report. The report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau finds that one out of 606 2008-2010 Toyota Prius models have been stolen, compared to the average automotive theft rate of one out of 78 models. The report cites one of the key reasons the Prius is the least stolen is due to the lack of shared parts with other Toyota models. “It’s a one-model car; the parts on it won’t fit anything else but a Prius. If you use a Camry, for instance, the engine might fit in another car. On a Prius, the engine is so different because they’re hybrid,” said John Abounader, executive director of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators. California was the leader with the most stolen Prius models, with 1,062 vehicles. Not surprisingly since the Prius is the best-selling vehicle in the state. Florida was second with 127 vehicles and New York took third with 111 vehicles. The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s report also says that 96.7% of Prius models stolen are returned to owners. Source: Bloomberg Next: Audi Sportcars Rumors Rumorpile: A Lightweight Audi TT and A Diesel Supercar Autocar has two very juicy rumors dealing with Audi and sports cars. Rumor #1 deals with Audi possibly working a lightweight version of the next-generation TT. Autocar has learned from Audi’s development boss, Wolfgang Durheimer the company is working on a TT with a target weight of 1,000 kg curb weight (about 2,200 lbs). Sources say the this TT will use a combination of steel, aluminium and carbonfiber to pull this off. Other changes to this TT include a roll cage and a five-cylinder engine. “The TT is an icon car for Audi and has a very interesting future,” said Durheimer. The management will decide if this model will be green-lit or not sometime next week. Rumor #2 deals with return of a diesel supercar. At the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, Audi unveiled the R8 V12 TDI concept. Producing 493 HP and 738 lb-ft of torque, it was the wet dream many auto enthusiasts had wished for. Originally rumored to make production, the model was to be shelved for the R8 e-tron electric supercar. Earlier this year, Audi put the R8 e-tron on hold to be reviewed by Durheimer to see if the project would go forward or not. Now, it appears Audi has pulled the diesel supercar off from the shelf. Autocar reports that the diesel supercar could be named the R10, use a diesel V8 instead of the V12 due to weight, and a carbonfiber monocoque. Source: Autocar, 2 Next: Quick Hits and Random Links Quick Hits: Coming to an L.A. Auto Show, the Jaguar XFR-S. Jaguar says the XFR-S is the fastest and most powerful sedan the company has ever produced. The only other detail Jaguar has said is that 200 XFR-S will be coming to the states. We’ll have more on the XFR-S next week during the L.A. Auto Show - Jaguar USA Last year at the L.A. Auto Show, Subaru showed off the BRZ STi concept which featured an aggressive body kit and a huge rear spoiler. Almost a year after the showing, Auto Express reports that Subaru will introduce a production model sometime next Spring in Japan. The U.S. and Europe will follow sometime there after. The BRZ STi will come with an aggressive body kit and more power thanks to a tweaked intake and improved exhaust. No turbos or superchargers will be seen. We don’t know if there are any changes to suspension or steering, but we wouldn’t be surprised if there are. - Auto Express The Bentley EXP 9 F concept SUV has a got a name. Automobile reports Bentley has given the new SUV the name of Falcon. Other than that, Automobile says the Bentley has been given the green light while other models like the Lamborghini Urus SUV is still on hold. - Automobile Random Links: (Author’s note: Random links is something new I’m trying out in this edition. This is a collection of articles I come across during the week when looking for news that I thought I would share. Let me know what you think. -WM) Motor Trend’s Editor-at-Large does a post mortem on the 2013 Car of the Year winner. - Shock Therapy: Is America Ready for an Electric Car of the Year? Jamie Kitman on Car Talk gives a debrief on Hurricane Sandy and some thoughts on what to do. - Escape from New York: Notes on Disaster Preparedness Staying on Sandy for a moment: Escaping the wrath of Sandy in a Kia Sorento - Real-World Review: Fleeing Hurricane Sandy Across 8 States In a Rented 2012 Kia Sorento Car Magazine South Africa’s Editor wonders about the wagons - Estate Of The Nation Should we focus less on top speed and more acceleration? - We Should End This Obsession With Top Speed #Shameless Plug: A guest post I did talking about one of not talked about key roles that play into reviews. - Your Turn: Time William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  19. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 15, 2012 Work on the next-generation Toyota Prius is already underway. A few weeks ago, we reported on Toyota considering a new design for the Prius. Now, we have gotten word on some mechanical changes. Auto Express is reporting that next-gen Prius and Prius Plug-In will come equipped with a e-4WD system. “The rear wheels will be driven by a motor in an e-4WD system. Targeting snowy areas, they will operate at up to 37mph,” a source tells the magazine. Also in the cards for the new Prius will be a weight drop of about 154 lbs thanks to a new platform. Other changes will include a more aerodynamic body, a modified 1.8L four-cylinder, and downsized inverter and electric motor. Those changes will make the Prius quicker and possibly deliver 90 MPG. One item that won't change are the nickel-metal hydride batteries. Toyota engineers still believe the nickel-metal hydride batteries are still the best at managing power delivery during intensive use and charging. Source: Auto Express William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Related Stories: Rumorpile: Toyota To Change Design Of Next Prius? Click here to view the article
  20. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 15, 2012 Work on the next-generation Toyota Prius is already underway. A few weeks ago, we reported on Toyota considering a new design for the Prius. Now, we have gotten word on some mechanical changes. Auto Express is reporting that next-gen Prius and Prius Plug-In will come equipped with a e-4WD system. “The rear wheels will be driven by a motor in an e-4WD system. Targeting snowy areas, they will operate at up to 37mph,” a source tells the magazine. Also in the cards for the new Prius will be a weight drop of about 154 lbs thanks to a new platform. Other changes will include a more aerodynamic body, a modified 1.8L four-cylinder, and downsized inverter and electric motor. Those changes will make the Prius quicker and possibly deliver 90 MPG. One item that won't change are the nickel-metal hydride batteries. Toyota engineers still believe the nickel-metal hydride batteries are still the best at managing power delivery during intensive use and charging. Source: Auto Express William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Related Stories: Rumorpile: Toyota To Change Design Of Next Prius?
  21. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 5, 2012 There are vehicles that with a quick glance, you immediately recognize; the Porsche 911 and the Volkswagen Beetle are perfect examples of this. Another vehicle that follows this is the Toyota Prius. Since the second-generation model, the Prius has earned a place of being instantly recognizable due to its shape. Now, Toyota is pondering whether to change it or not. “There’s an undercurrent among most people that they’re ready for a new Prius look. Maybe our architecture has been a little bit similar for the last two generations.” said Chris Hostetter, Toyota’s U.S. group vice president for strategic planning. Hostetter told Bloomberg that the company is currently debating whether to keep the aerodynamic wedge-shape look or go towards something more dramatic. This possible change is due to Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda wanting to make the company’s cars more exciting, and make the Prius more appealing to buyers. Source: Bloomberg William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Click here to view the article
  22. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 5, 2012 There are vehicles that with a quick glance, you immediately recognize; the Porsche 911 and the Volkswagen Beetle are perfect examples of this. Another vehicle that follows this is the Toyota Prius. Since the second-generation model, the Prius has earned a place of being instantly recognizable due to its shape. Now, Toyota is pondering whether to change it or not. “There’s an undercurrent among most people that they’re ready for a new Prius look. Maybe our architecture has been a little bit similar for the last two generations.” said Chris Hostetter, Toyota’s U.S. group vice president for strategic planning. Hostetter told Bloomberg that the company is currently debating whether to keep the aerodynamic wedge-shape look or go towards something more dramatic. This possible change is due to Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda wanting to make the company’s cars more exciting, and make the Prius more appealing to buyers. Source: Bloomberg William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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