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  1. When Toyota introduced the Prius C back in 2012, it served two purposes. It was the entry-level model for then growing Prius family (Prius, Prius Plug-In, and Prius V). Plus, it was part of a small group of vehicles that could achieve almost 50 mpg if driven efficiently. But Toyota really hasn’t made any changes to the Prius C since it was launched, only making minor changes to the feature set for the past few years. Meanwhile, the rest of the Prius lineup has undergone significant changes with models either being dropped (Prius V) or being redesigned (Prius). For 2018, Toyota has decided to take the Prius C out of its deep freeze and make some changes. But is that enough considering larger hybrid models return higher fuel economy figures, and are slightly more expensive? The answer is no. Toyota has given the Prius C a much needed exterior update with a revised front end (new hood shape and slimmer grille), crossover-esq design touches (black wheel arches, faux skid plates, and a set of roof rails), and a set of 15-inch alloy wheels. The Prius C is one of the few Toyota models that come in a number of vibrant colors like the Tangerine Orange on this tester. It did make it look like a giant Jack-O-Lantern, but it also gave this small model some personality. The Prius C’s interior design is a bit odd. While it lacks some of the craziness found in the standard Prius (see the Storm Trooper inspired center console and stack), there are some decisions that left me scratching my head. For example, there is a storage shelf behind the steering wheel. I not sure what you can put in there aside from spare change or snacks to eat while on the move. Almost all of the materials used in the Prius C are hard plastics. Usually, I would be giving this pass considering it is a subcompact vehicle and this one of the sacrifices needed to meet the low price. But this particular Prius C has an as-tested price of $26,479. For that price, I do wish Toyota had stuck some soft-touch material to ease some of the pain on the wallet. The manual adjustments weren’t the smoothest and it took me a few days to find a position that didn’t have me constantly fidgeting around. This is disappointing considering the seat itself is nice to sit on with soft padding and decent support for long trips. In the back seat, headroom is surprisingly good due to the tall height of the roof. Like other subcompacts, the Prius C’s rear legroom is on the tight side. All Prius Cs come with a 6.1-inch touchscreen with Toyota’s Entune infotainment system. Higher end models like my Four tester come with navigation. The screen is a bit on the small side, which makes it hard to hit some of the touchscreen buttons. At least the screen is easy to read and bright. One slight disappointment is the slowness of the system. Compared to other hybrid vehicles, Entune is a few ticks slower when going through the various screens. The Prius C’s hybrid powertrain is comprised of a 1.5L Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder, 45 kW electric motor, Nickel-Metal Hydride battery pack, and a CVT. Total output is rated at 99 horsepower. If your driving takes place mostly in urban areas, then the Prius C is a fine car. At speeds under 45 mph, the powertrain gets the vehicle moving a decent clip. But there is a fair amount of buzzing coming from the engine and CVT. On rural roads and highways, the limited performance of hybrid powertrain makes itself known as the model records a 0-60 mph of over 12 seconds. Passing is best done when there are no vehicles appearing in your eyesight. EPA fuel economy figures for the Prius C are 48 City/43 Highway/46 Combined. The figures are disappointing when you consider the likes of the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq return higher figures - 54/50/52 for the Prius and 55/54/55 in the Ioniq. My average for the Prius C was 49.6 mpg, very disappointing when compared to the 60 mpg in the Prius and 62 mpg in the Ioniq Blue I have reviewed previously. The reason for the poor fuel economy showing in the Prius C comes down Toyota not making any changes to the powertrain since its launch in 2012. Handling in the Prius C is quite surprising with excellent body control and feeling quite nimble around the corners. The low-rolling resistance tires will complain if you decide to push it. Where the Prius C shines is in an urban area where the compact size and tight turning radius make it easy to navigate tight spots. Ride quality is about average with most bumps being smoothed over. One item to be aware of is the abundance of road and wind noise. Be prepared to crank the radio up to drown out most of the road noise. We come now to the Prius C’s big problem. The base C One begins at $20,630. My Four tester begins at $24,965, which already makes it a tough sell when you consider that the larger Prius Two is only $280 less and returns higher fuel economy figures. With a couple of options and destination, the as-tested price came to $26,479. Again, you can get into larger Prius or the Hyundai Ioniq that not only offer better fuel economy figures but more features for a similar price. Gallery: 2018 Toyota Prius C Four Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Prius C, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Toyota Model: Prius C Trim: Four Engine: Hybrid Synergy Drive: 1.5L DOHC 16-Valve VVT-i, Electric Motor, Sealed Nickel-Metal Hydride Battery Pack Driveline: eCVT, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 73 @ 4,800 (Gas); 60 @ 0 (Electric) Torque @ RPM: 82 @ 4,000 (Gas); 125 @ 0 (Electric) Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 48/43/46 Curb Weight: 2,530 lbs Location of Manufacture: Isawa, Iwate, Japan Base Price: $24,965 As Tested Price: $26,479 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge) Options: Special Color - $395.00 Carpet Floor Mats/Cargo Mat - $224.00
  2. The Toyota Land Cruiser and Lexus LX 570 are part of an endangered species: SUVs designed with the purpose of going off-road. It may seem somewhat mad to describe most SUVs as not off-road oriented, but most buyers don’t really take SUVs off the beaten path. Automakers have responded in kind by providing a minimum four-wheel capability while improving on-road behavior. The Land Cruiser and LX 570 haven’t gone down this path as they have a small, but loyal owner base that would cry foul if Toyota/Lexus decided to do this. But as I found out during my week with them, Toyota and Lexus need to do some serious thinking about the future of these models if they want to keep them around. Exterior Both the Land Cruiser and LX 570 share the same boxy shape with a slightly angled front end, large area of glass, and a split opening tailgate. Where the two differentiate is in the details. Toyota plays it safe with a large rectangular grille and chrome bars that separate the front headlights. The set of 18-inch alloy wheels look somewhat small on the Land Cruiser, mostly due to the large size of the off-road tires. The LX 570 is very extroverted as evidenced by the front end styling. It features the largest version of Lexus’ spindle grille that gives it an intense look. A set of LED headlights with a unique lamp design sit on either side. Multi-spoke 20-inch wheels are standard and seem suited to fit the large size of the SUV. Interior Considering the $84k+ price tag of this Land Cruiser, it is slightly disappointing that Toyota went for a very utilitarian look. It doesn’t have the flash or elegance and you’ll find in competitors such as the Range Rover or Mercedes-Benz GLS. Material quality is what you expect for the price with an abundance of soft-touch plastic, leather upholstery, wood trim, and faux metal used all around. The Lexus LX 570 takes a different approach with the interior, feeling more like a real contender to the likes of the Germans and Range Rover. The dash design is very modern with a short center stack, a widescreen display for the infotainment system, and glossy wood trim. Both models have a button-ladened center stack, but I found the LX 570’s easier to use as the buttons weren’t tightly packed. Getting inside either SUV is somewhat tough due to the tall ride height. But thanks to doorsteps and pull handles, entering both models becomes easier. The front seats are some of best I have sat in, offering plenty of cushioning and support for any trip length. Power adjustments and memory come standard on both models. The second-row offers plenty of head and legroom for passengers. You can slide the seat to either increase legroom or cargo space. The third-row should only be used for small kids as there is only a minuscule amount of legroom. The lack of padding also makes third-row best for short trips. One quirk about the Land Cruiser and LX 570’s third-row is that the seats don’t fold into the floor. Instead, the seats flip towards the side. Not only does it make it slightly awkward to load cargo into either model, but it also makes for a small cargo area. Measurements for the two models are 16.1 cubic feet with all three-rows up, 44.7 with the third-row folded, and 81.7 with the second-row folded. For 2018, Lexus did introduce a two-row version that increases space by 5.8 cubic feet - bringing the total to 50.5 cubic feet. Infotainment Lexus has fitted one the of largest infotainment screens in the class into the LX 570. Measuring 12.3-inches, this allows for a split-screen capability where you can have various functions up at the same time. For example, you can have navigation on one side and audio on the other. Some of the configuration options Lexus offers are strange to say in the least like having two maps of the navigation system up at the same time. Where the LX 570 falls short is the Remote Touch controller. The joystick controller is a pain to use as it feels quite vague when moving around and causes you to overshoot when trying to select something. This is very problematic when you’re driving as you’ll find yourself paying more attention to the system than the road. In the Land Cruiser, you’ll find a smaller 9-inch infotainment system with Toyota’s Entune system. Thankfully, Toyota had decided to use a touchscreen instead of a frustrating controller. Moving around in Entune is easy thanks to a simple interface with large touchscreen buttons and a set of physical shortcut buttons underneath. I did notice that Entune was a few ticks slower than the system found in the LX 570. Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is not available on either model. Powertrain Under the hoods of the Land Cruiser and LX 570 is a 5.7L V8. The Land Cruiser gets 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. The LX 570 features 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. This is teamed with an eight-speed automatic and a full-time four-wheel drive system. Interestingly, the Land Cruiser feels slightly faster than the LX 570. Outlets who have timed both models say the Land Cruiser is about 0.5 seconds quicker to 60 than the LX 570. This is a bit surprising considering the two models are nearly identical in power and weight. But the LX 570 has a noticeable pause when accelerating. It feels like the engine was asleep and was startled by the throttle being prodded, before realizing it needed to get to work. The eight-speed automatic delivers rapid and smooth upshifts, but stumbles somewhat when it comes to downshifts. Both models come fully-equipped to take on whatever Mother Nature decides to dish out. This includes a two-speed transfer case, locking center differential, crawl-control system, terrain selection system, and an adjustable suspension system. Sadly, I didn’t get the chance to take either model off the paved road to see what they are capable of. Fuel Economy EPA rates the 2018 Land Cruiser and LX 570 at 13 City/18 Highway/15 Combined. My average in both vehicles landed around 14.9 mpg in a 50/50 mix of city and highway driving. Ride and Handling These SUVs prefer the roads to be straight as there is significant body motion when cornering. Blame the tall ride height and soft-suspension tuning. Steering feels very numb and slow, making it somewhat tough to figure out how much input is needed when turning. When the road is straight, both vehicles provide a smooth ride. I did find that on the highway, I needed to make constant corrections with the steering to keep it in the middle of the lane. One major difference between the two is braking. The LX 570’s braking system felt very discombobulated. It was very difficult to modulate the pedal to provide a smooth stop. Either the vehicle wasn’t slowing down or the braking system would enter panic stop mode and passengers being thrown from their seats. I thought this was an issue that was limited to my LX, but other people who have driven different LXs have reported similar behavior. The Land Cruiser didn’t experience any of this during my week. Value The 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser begins at $83,665, while the LX 570 begins at $85,630 for the two-row variant and $89,980 for the three-row model. Both models come generously equipped with a number of standard features such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, heated and ventilated front seats; power tilt-telescoping steering wheel, and three-zone climate control. The vehicles tested here came lightly optioned. The Land Cruiser featured a set of optional floor mats, bringing the as-tested price to $85,185. For the LX 570, it came with a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and center console cool box to bring its as-tested price to $93,350. The best value of the two models has to be the two-row LX 570 as you get a nicer interior and more cargo space, for not much more money than the three-row Land Cruiser. But if you really want three-rows, then the Land Cruiser is your best bet. Verdict Unless your daily commute includes traversing the Rocky Mountains or driving through Death Valley, I cannot recommend either of these SUVs. They have a number of flaws such as middling fuel economy, small cargo area, and needing constant steering corrections on the highway. But the LX 570 comes off slightly worse as it has some issues with the powertrain and brakes need to be addressed quickly. Besides, the Land Cruiser offers many of the features of LX 570, albeit in a more utilitarian package for a couple of grand less. But for some people, the off-road capability and legendary reliability of these two models are more than enough to excuse the faults. That group of people though we have to think is getting smaller as time goes on and makes us wonder if the next-generation of the Land Cruiser and LX 570 will go through a dramatic change or not. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Lexus Model: LX 570 Trim: N/A Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC, Dual VVT-i V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 383 @ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 403 @ 3,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/18/15 Curb Weight: 5,815 lbs Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, Japan Base Price: $89,980 As Tested Price: $93,350 (Includes $1,195.00 Destination Charge) Options: Dual-Screen DVD Rear-Entertainment System - $2,005.00 Cool Box - $170.00 Year: 2018 Make: Toyota Model: Land Cruiser Trim: N/A Engine: 5.7L 32-Valve, DOHC, Dual VVT-i V8 Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 381@ 5,600 Torque @ RPM: 401 @ 3,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 13/18/15 Curb Weight: 5,815 lbs Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, Japan Base Price: $83,685 As Tested Price: $85,185 (Includes $1,295.00 Destination Charge) Options: Carpet Floor/Cargo Mat Set - $225.00
  3. As the Toyota Supra continues its slow march to production, the automaker is considering adding another sports car that may revive an iconic nameplate. "We want to have Celica back, we want to have the MR2 back," said Masayuki Kai, Assistant Chief Engineer on the Supra project. The biggest was Supra. Supra was number one, the biggest demand from the market. Now that we've brought Supra back, what will come next depends on the market needs." Kai suggested that nothing is set in stone, but did hint that the Celica could be an all-wheel drive performance coupe. The MR2 could keep its mid-engine layout if a business case could be made. There lies within the problem for Toyota - making the business case for either model. Kai said that today's market makes it quite challenging "to introduce niche, small-volume performance models." "Sports car are becoming more and more expensive to develop. So a single company cannot afford to invest in all the tooling for parts and components, because the volume of sports car is quite small. A sports car requires a lot of specific components that you cannot share with other cars. The suspension components we're using on the Supra, you can't use on a sedan like Camry or Corolla. And as you know, all the homologation issues are also getting more and more complex and difficult," he said. One possibility is for Toyota is to forge a partnership like they did with BMW with the Supra, or Subaru with the 86/BRZ. Source: Road & Track
  4. Toyota has announced that it will be recalling 1.03 million vehicles worldwide to fix an issue that could start a fire. According to Reuters, the problem deals with a wiring harness that connects to the hybrid system's power control unit. Vibrations and accumulating dirt can wear down the wire insulation at the connection point. This will expose the bare wires and possibly cause an electric short - increasing the chances of a fire. Toyota has told the news service they have one report of a vehicle in Japan that went up in smoke. The majority of vehicles involved in the recall are located in Japan. In the U.S., around 192,000 examples of the 2016-2018 Toyota Prius are involved. Owners of the affected models will be notified later this month by Toyota. Dealers will inspect the harness in question and, if any wires are exposed, replace it with an updated harness with a protective sleeve, If none of the wires are exposed, dealer technicians will apply a protective coating to the harness. Source: Reuters
  5. Many automotive journalists have been flummoxed by the popularity of the Toyota Camry. The model trails the pack in a number of key areas such as design, handling, and performance. But I know the reason why the Camry is beloved by many; it is a no hassle midsize sedan that will go the distance. But there is a change that endangers many midsize sedans. Buyers who previously brought sedans are now trending towards crossovers and SUVs as they offer a number of traits such as a higher ride height and a large area for people and stuff. Automakers find themselves in a difficult spot as to whether they should drop their sedans to focus on utility vehicles, or put more effort into making them more appealing. Toyota has chosen the latter option with the 2018 Camry. Let’s see if they made the right call. Previous Camrys have tended to play it safe with their exterior designs. The new model drops the safe attitude and goes for something very extroverted. For the XSE, this includes a different front end with a smaller lower grille and large cutouts in the bumper. The side profile shows off a pronounced character line and a set of 19-inch machined-finish alloy wheels. Move the back to find a faux diffuser and a set of quad tailpipes. I actually prefer the look of the XSE to the other Camry models as it loses out on the gaping maw that is the lower grille. Compared to the jumbled-together look of the previous Camry’s interior, the new model features a flowing and modern design. The unique shape of the center stack and contrasting trim pieces for the passenger really help the model stand out. Controls are laid out in a very logical fashion and have easy-to-read text. Material quality is very impressive with exposed stitching, metal trim, and a lot of soft-touch plastic. The XSE features leather seats with eight-way power adjustments for driver and passenger. I found the seats to be on the firm side and provide decent support on short trips. But on longer trips, my lower back started to ache. I couldn’t tell if I design of the seat just didn’t work with my back or if I had too much lumbar. On paper, the Camry has the smallest amount of rear legroom. But in reality, I found that I had more than enough to feel comfortable. Taller passengers will need to duck as headroom is quite tight due to the optional sunroof. Toyota has installed the latest version of their Entune infotainment system in the 2018 Camry. The new version comes with an updated look that retains the ease of use that we have liked on the older systems. Performance is about average for the class as it takes only a few milliseconds to get to the various functions. I do like the array of physical buttons that provide an easy way to move around the system. There is still no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. But considering the 2019 Avalon does have Apple CarPlay, we hope the Camry will get it as well. XSE models get a heads-up display as standard. However, I found the display to be more of a hindrance as the image was blurry. I think this is a problem with Toyota as I experienced the same issue in the LC 500 coupe I drove late last year. For its polarizing character, you might be expecting the Camry XSE to have either a turbo-four or V6 under the hood. While a 3.5L V6 is available, this XSE featured the standard 2.5L four-cylinder engine producing 206 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. It was a bit disappointing to find this engine under the hood considering the vehicle’s character. Around town, the Camry doesn’t feel as fast as the Hyundai Sonata due to most of the power being available only at higher rpms. On the highway or needing to make a pass, the four-cylinder comes alive with enough shove to get you moving at a decent clip. Disappointingly, Toyota forgot to quiet down the engine during acceleration as there is a fair amount of buzz coming inside the cabin. But the engine quiets down to a murmur when cruising. The new eight-speed transmission pairs well with the engine, delivering unobtrusive and quick shifts. Fuel economy figures for the 2.5 are 28 City/39 Highway/32 Combined. My average for the week landed around 32.6 mpg in mixed driving. The Camry is the latest Toyota model to move on to the TGNA modular platform and it makes the model somewhat fun to pilot. On a curvy stretch of road, the XSE feels well-mannered as there isn’t excessive body motion and the steering proving a direct and well-weighted feel. Despite its sporting nature, the XSE’s ride is well-controlled with only a few bumps making their way inside. One disappointment is the large amount road and wind noise that comes inside when driving on the freeway. The Camry XSE sits as the flagship trim with a starting price of $29,150 for the four-cylinder and $35,100 for the V6. With a number of options, the as-tested price of this XSE comes to $35,333. That is quite the poor value considering for a few hundred dollars more, you can get into a loaded an Accord Touring complete with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing 252 horsepower. For a couple thousand dollars less, the Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T and Kia Optima SX offer similar driving dynamics and more luxury touches. Toyota knew it had to take a big gamble with the new Camry considering the growing demand for crossovers. In certain respects, Toyota has done it. The Camry is not a wallflower in terms of its looks and handling. Additionally, the interior blends a distinctive design with ease of use. But there are some problems that put the Camry in a tough spot. The four-cylinder engine needs a bit more low-end punch for around-town driving. Some more sound deadening would go a long way in making the Camry a good long-distance cruiser. The biggest issue is the value argument as other sedans offer much more equipment for similar or less money than the Camry. Toyota is likely banking on the name equity of model to justify the higher price. This would be ok if we weren’t in a time where more and more buyers are moving to crossovers and utility vehicles. The 2018 Toyota Camry is a much better car from the one it replaces, but the high price tag may be its downfall. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Camry, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Toyota Model: Camry Trim: XSE Engine: 2.5L Twin-Cam, 16-Valve Four-Cylinder Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 206 @ 6,600 Torque @ RPM: 186 @ 5,000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/39/32 Curb Weight: 3,395 lbs Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY Base Price: $29,000 As Tested Price: $35,355 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge) Options: Audio Package - $1,800.00 Driver Assist Package - $1,675.00 Panoramic Sunroof - $1,045.00 Special Color - $395.00 Illuminated Door Sill Enhancements - $299.00 Carpet/Trunk Mat Set - $224.00
  6. Toyota is planning a big push with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. According to Reuters, the Japanese automaker is doubling-down on investments for fuel cell vehicles by making improvements to reduce costs and building different models including commercial trucks. “We’re going to shift from limited production to mass production, reduce the amount of expensive materials like platinum used in FCV components, and make the system more compact and powerful,” said Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of the Mirai. Currently, Toyota hand builds the Mirai at a plant in Toyota City. Everyday, about 6.5 cars roll out of the plant. This is due to the detailed inspections that partially assembled models go through. The parts comprising the Mirai are quite expensive as well. According to analysis done by Strategic Analysis Inc., it costs Toyota about $11,000 to produce each of the fuel cell stacks. Blame the use of the platinum, titanium, and carbon fiber for the stacks. Toyota has been building up production capacity as it expects sales of FCVs to increase from about 3,000 to over 20,000 after 2020. This will help reduce the cost of each fuel cell stack to $8,000. “It will be difficult for Toyota to lower FCV production costs if it only produces the Mirai,” said a source, That's where an expansion of FCVs come in. Toyota is planning a "phased introduction' of other FCVs, including SUVs and commercial trucks starting around 2025. Toyota declined to talk about future products, but did reveal that it has built prototypes of small delivery vehicles and transport trucks with fuel cell powertrains. “We’re going to use as many parts from existing passenger cars and other models as possible in fuel cell trucks. Otherwise, we won’t see the benefits of mass production,” said Ikuo Ota, manager of new business planning for fuel cell projects at Toyota. Why is Toyota doubling down on fuel cells? Sources say that Toyota believes demand will increase as more countries, including China "warm to fuel cell technology". The company also sees FCVs as a hedge against battery materials such as cobalt becoming scarce. But there is still one issue that Toyota, and other automakers build FCVs still need to solve; infrastructure. There aren't many hydrogen refueling stations around. For example, the majority of hydrogen stations in the U.S. are in California. Not helping is a current shortage of hydrogen at refueling stations in California. Green Car Reports says this issue is due to various problems with supplier Air Products. The company said that it hopes to restore hydrogen supplies sometime in early August. Source: Reuters, Green Car Reports
  7. I need to get something out of the way before diving into the review of the 2018 Toyota C-HR. Originally the C-HR was to join Scion’s lineup, but the C-HR would become a Toyota as the Scion brand would shut its doors in late 2016. With this change of brands, does this leave the C-HR with an identity crisis? The C-HR is short for ‘Coupe High Roof’ and the design makes that very clear. Proportions are very similar to a coupe with a long front and stubby back. Other coupe details to be aware of are a set of wider fenders, a sloping roofline, and a rear spoiler. It makes for a very polarizing design that many will agree catches your eye for better or worse Toyota’s designers must have been infatuated with diamonds as you’ll notice this shape throughout the C-HR. Key examples include the pattern on the cloth seats and arrangement of buttons on the steering wheel. The center stack is slightly angled towards the driver to emphasize a sporty nature. Material quality is about average with a mix of soft-touch plastics on the dash, and hard plastics for the door panels and center console. The C-HR’s ergonomics are excellent as controls are laid out logically and easy to use. I found the front seats are lacking in lower-body support. I’m 5’9” and after driving the C-HR for an hour, I found my thighs and legs started to ache. This comes down to a short bottom cushion. Shorter drivers will likely not run into this issue. ‘Claustrophobic’ is the word to describe the C-HR’s back seat as the small rear windows make it feel small. Not helping is the limited amount of legroom as I found my knees touching the backside of the front seat. CH-R’s cargo space is in the middle of the class when the rear seats are up at 19 cubic feet. To give some perspective, the Mazda CX-3 is the smallest at 12.4 cubic feet, while the Honda HR-V has the largest at 24.3. Fold the rear seats and the C-HR is at the bottom of the class with 36.4 cubic feet. The Mazda CX-3 has 9.1 cubic feet more space when its rear seats are folded. All C-HRs come equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen radio with the basics; AM/FM, Bluetooth, and inputs for USB and aux cords. While I found the system to be intuitive to use with a simple menu structure and decent performance, I did find myself wishing Toyota had included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto or the option of a larger system with navigation. Powering the C-HR is a 2.0L four-cylinder with 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a CVT and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is nowhere to be found despite the C-HR offering it in markets outside the U.S. Driving in town, the C-HR feels lively thanks to a responsive throttle. But above these speeds, the C-HR reveals a major weakness; put your foot down and the engine takes its sweet time to get up to speed - taking over 11 seconds to hit 60 mph. This makes certain tasks such as passing a slower vehicle treacherous. Under hard acceleration, the CVT is quite loud. Toyota does offer other engines for the C-HR elsewhere, including a hybrid. Reading through various test drives, the hybrid is slightly quicker; recording a 0-60 time of 11 seconds. Fuel economy figures for the 2018 C-HR are 27 City/31 Highway/29 Combined. My average for the week landed at 28.1 mpg. Like most new and redesigned Toyota models, the C-HR rides on the modular TGNA platform. I have praised this platform on both the Prius and Prius Prime as it makes them feel playful on a winding road. This extends to the C-HR. Despite a higher ride height, body motions are kept in check when cornering. Steering feels precise and has ample weight when turning. Ride quality is on the firm side, but it will not beat up passengers. A fair amount of tire and wind noise comes inside when driving on the expressway. The Toyota C-HR is quite expensive for a subcompact crossovers. The base XLE begins at $22,500. My XLE Premium tester begins at $24,350 and with some added accessories, the final price was $25,633. That’s without leather seats, navigation, or a sunroof. Toyota is quick to point out that the C-HR does come equipped with a number of active safety features such as adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist as standard. That only helps the base XLE when it comes to arguing value. The XLE Premium has a tougher time since you can get into a well equipped Hyundai Kona Limited FWD with a sunroof, leather seats, a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration; and 18-inch alloy wheels for only $53 more. You do miss out on the active safety features since as you can only get those on the top-line Ultimate, but the Kona presents a better value than the C-HR when you compare features bit by bit. The Toyota C-HR left me very frustrated as the week came to a close. The crossover has some charm with sharp driving dynamics and a very willing chassis. But it is clear that the C-HR feels more like a Scion than a Toyota as it was built to be cost-effective as it doesn’t offer any options. What you see is what you get. The problem is that competitors offer more equipment for similar money. The C-HR also trails competitors in terms of cargo capacity and performance. I do believe there is a crossover that can stand out from the growing field of subcompact models, but Toyota needs to think of the C-HR as one of their own models, not as a Scion. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the C-HR, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Toyota Model: C-HR Trim: XLE Premium Engine: 2.0L DOHC, 16-Valve Four-Cylinder with Valvematic Driveline: CVT, Front-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 144 @ 6,100 Torque @ RPM: 139 @ 3,900 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/31/29 Curb Weight: 3,300 lbs Location of Manufacture: Arifiye, Sakarya, Turkey Base Price: $24,350 As Tested Price: $25,633 (Includes $960.00 Destination Charge) Options: Carpeted Floormats and Cargo Mat - $194.00 Mudguards - $129.00
  8. (Author’s Note: Before you ask, no this isn’t a typo. I really did drive a 2017 Tacoma in 2018. Due to some circumstances, the Tacoma took the place of another vehicle at the last minute. I didn’t realize it was a 2017 model until I saw the sticker. I’ll make note of the changes for 2018 towards the end of the piece.) I’ll likely make some people annoyed with this line: The Toyota Tacoma is the Jeep Wrangler of the pickup world. Before you start getting banging on your keyboard, telling me how I am wrong, allow me to make my case. The two models have a number of similarities; off-road pedigree, not changing much in terms of design or mechanicals; and somewhat uncomfortable when driven on the road. Since our last review of the Tacoma, not much has changed with the exterior. The TRD Off-Road package does make the Tacoma look somewhat mean with a new grille, 16-inch wheels wrapped meaty off-road tires, and a khaki paint color that looks like it came from an army base. The Tacoma’s interior is very user-friendly with a comprehensive and simple dash layout. Most controls are where you expect to find them and in easy reach. But some controls are placed in some odd locations. A key example is the hill descent control which is next to the dome lights on the ceiling. Comfort is still almost nonexistent in the Tacoma. The front seats are quite firm and provide decent support. No height adjustment means a fair number of people will need to make comprises in comfort to find the right seating position. The back seat can fit adults, provided you don’t have anyone tall sitting in the front. Otherwise, legroom becomes very scarce. Under the hood is a 3.5L V6 producing 278 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic and four-wheel drive. At low speeds, the engine pulls quite strongly and smoothly. It is very different when traveling on the highway as the engine really needs to be worked to get up to speed at a somewhat decent rate. Part of this comes down to the automatic which likes to quickly upshift to maximize fuel economy. There is a ‘sport’ mode on the transmission that locks out fifth and sixth gear, but only improves performance marginally. Fuel economy is towards the bottom with EPA figures of 18 City/23 Highway/20 Combined. My average for the week landed around 19.5 mpg. TRD Off-Road brings forth a retuned suspension setup featuring a set of Bilstein shocks. Usually, this makes the ride is somewhat softer. But in the Tacoma, the ride is quite choppy on any surface that isn’t smooth. Steering is very slow and heavy, making tight maneuvers a bit difficult. A fair amount of wind and road noise is apparent. Any changes to be aware of for the 2018 Tacoma? The only change of note is the addition of Toyota Safety Sense-P. This suite of active safety features includes automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beams, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. The TRD Off-Road will set you back $35,515 for the Double Cab with the Long Bed - the 2018 model is about $1,410 more. With a few options, our as-tested price came to $40,617. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Tacoma, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2017 Make: Toyota Model: Tacoma Double Cab with Long Bed Trim: TRD Off-Road Engine: 3.5L D-4S V6 with Dual VVT-i Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 278 @ 6,000 Torque @ RPM: 265 @ 4,600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/23/20 Curb Weight: 4,480 lbs Location of Manufacture: San Antonio, TX Base Price: $35,515 As Tested Price: $40,617 (Includes $960.00 Destination Charge) Options: Premium & Technology Package - $3,035.00 Tonneau Cover - $650.00 Carpet Floor Mats w/Door Sill Protector - $208.00 Mudguards - $129.00 Bed Mat - $120.00
  9. Before the new Corolla hatchback hits dealers later this summer, Toyota has revealed pricing and fuel economy numbers. The base SE will set you back $20,910 (includes a $920 destination charge), while the XSE begins at $23,910. That will net you a new 2.0L four-cylinder with 168 horsepower and a six-speed manual. A CVT is available for an additional $1,100. This is what you get on either trim: SE: Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning; 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay compatibility, and 16-inch wheels. XSE: 18-inch wheels, LED fog lamps, upgraded infotainment system, leather-and-fabric upholstery, and heated front seats. As for fuel economy, the SE with the CVT is the mileage leader with EPA estimates of 32 City/42 Highway/36 Combined. The XSE CVT is next with figures of 30/38/33. For the manual, Toyota only has figures for the SE which are 28/37/31. Numbers on the XSE manual are coming soon. Source: Toyota
  10. Here is something to consider: Last year, Toyota sold more than 400,000 RAV4s in the U.S. Impressive to say in the least as that model was nearing the end of its lifecycle. But the impressive sales number leaves Toyota in a tough spot when it comes to redesigning. Do they play it safe to continue the upward trend in sales or take a chance? With the 2019 RAV4, Toyota went with the latter option. We were expecting elements of the FT-AC shown at last year's LA Auto Show to appear on the RAV4. We weren't expecting Toyota to take the FT-AC and make into the new RAV4. The chunky, boxy look of the concept has made it into production. The Adventure model looks very SUV-like with a grille similar to the Tacoma, body cladding, and large roof rails. Overall length drops by 0.2-inches to 180.9, while overall wheelbase increases by 1.2-inches. Toyota has cleaned up the RAV4's interior to make it a bit more harmonious. The new look is very upscale and features a revamped center stack. A choice of a 7- or 8-inch touchscreen houses the latest version of Toyota's Entune featuring Apple CarPlay integration - those with Android phones are still out of luck. Optional equipment includes Qi wireless charging and an 800-Watt JBL audio system. Two powertrains will be on offer for the 2018 RAV4 - a 2.5L four-cylinder paired with an eight-speed automatic and a hybrid powertrain paired with a CVT. No power figures were given on either powertrain. Three AWD systems will be available including their AWD-i system for hybrid models and one that will offer torque vectoring and the ability to disconnect the rear axle to improve fuel economy. The 2019 RAV4 arrives at dealers in December, with the hybrid following in February. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 All-New 2019 Toyota RAV4 Serves Up a Breakthrough Debut at New York International Auto Show All-New Robust Design and Unparalleled Driving Experience 2.5L Inline-4 and Toyota Hybrid System Powertrains Offering More Power and MPG TNGA K Platform with Multi-Link Rear Suspension Standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0) Debut of All-New Sporty Hybrid Grade, XSE Hybrid Standard Entune 3.0 with Wi-Fi Connect powered by Verizon, Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay Compatibility True Off-Road Capabilities with Available Multi-Terrain Select and an Available Toyota-First, Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect NEW YORK, March 28, 2018 – All the stops have been pulled for the world debut of the all-new 2019 Toyota RAV4. The vehicle that created the small sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment makes its fifth-generation debut at the New York International Auto Show. Over the years, Toyota has listened to owners and dealers and it has paid off. Over the last five years, RAV4 volume has doubled, which speaks profoundly to the segment’s attractiveness and growth, and ultimately, RAV4’s popularity. RAV4 currently ranks as the number-one-selling vehicle in the Toyota lineup, as well as the best-selling non-pickup-truck in the country. No matter the grade, every RAV4 is a winning choice, whether it’s for a city exploration, a weekend trip to the countryside, or a jaunt on the trails. When it becomes available in the winter at the end of 2018 (with hybrid models right behind in early 2019), we predict that the all-new RAV4 will premiere, yet again, at the forefront—both for the Toyota brand and the segment. Get Up and Go! For the all-new RAV4, designers kept in mind design elements of Adventure and Refined to allow owners to get up and go in their RAV4, no matter the time or place. An emphasis was placed on maximizing the presence of a small SUV while maintaining high levels of finesse inside and out. Each body panel has a sophisticated twist to it, with a chiseled appearance that is a perfect combination of athleticism and charisma. The stronger nose leads into a more dynamic profile, robust shoulders, and available 19-inch wheels, making for a powerful stance ready to tackle any road, any time. The implementation of the TNGA platform allows RAV4 to adopt the charisma of a bolder and tougher SUV, but in a package that is lower and wider. The longer wheelbase and wider front and rear tracks provide a stable, confident driving platform. For off-road prowess, the shorter front and rear overhangs will aid in RAV4’s ability to overcome rugged terrain. The unibody chassis is 57 percent more rigid than the outgoing version. RAV4 incorporates an optimally tuned multi-link rear suspension, providing ideal damping for handling, minimum interior cabin noise, and the utmost ride comfort. Ground clearance has been increased by more than half an inch, yet RAV4 is able to achieve improved aerodynamics. The relocated side mirrors are now positioned lower on the door for increased forward visibility around the A-pillar. Side visibility is increased thanks to a lowered beltline and the redesigned and enlarged rear-quarter glass assists with rear-diagonal visibility. 2019 RAV4 LIMITED PRELIMINARY EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (vs. 2018) [difference] Wheelbase 105.9 in. (104.7 in.) [+1.2 in.] Overall Length 180.9 in. (181.1 in.) [-0.2 in.] Overall Width 73 in. (72.6 in.) [+0.4 in.] Overall Height 66.9 in. (67.1 in. *with roof rail) [-0.2 in.] Unparalleled Driving Experience with More Power, MPG and Capabilities Engineers worked for about four years to fine-tune every aspect of RAV4’s performance, handling stability and ride comfort. The end goal was simple: engineer a driving experience that is Confident and Natural. This unmatched performance was realized thanks to a group of takumi—highly-trained master craftsmen—who strived to develop a vehicle that acts and reacts as the driver intends, even in extreme weather and road conditions. Including the takumi in the development process was just another layer of enhancement to the overall design approach led by the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) philosophy. These master craftsmen focused on working together to improve vehicle performance at various stages of the development process to deliver an ever-better RAV4. The power source for RAV4’s driving abilities comes from one of two powertrains: Dynamic Force 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine with VVT-iE mated to an 8-speed Direct-Shift Automatic Transmission, which motivates the five gas models Dynamic Force 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) engine with Electronically-Controlled Continuously-Variable Transmission (ECVT), which activates the four hybrid models The takumi were precise with the development of RAV4’s structure and configuration to achieve an increase in performance as a whole. The engine utilizes high-speed combustion technology and a variable control system for greater thermal efficiency output, which reduces energy losses associated with exhaust and cooling systems and the movement of mechanical parts, among other factors. With a 40-percent thermal efficiency (41 percent for hybrids), the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine is the ideal powerplant for the all-new RAV4 to meet the demand of providing a highly responsive, yet fuel efficient driving experience. The Direct Shift-8AT transmission provides direct lock-up from gears two through eight to eliminate power loss from the torque converter, executing ideal smooth shifts. The Toyota-first, Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect, is nothing short of impressive, and enables drivers to steer the vehicle as intended, even atop the toughest of roads. Standard on AWD-equipped Limited gas and Adventure grade models, Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect can send 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, plus distribute it to the left or right rear wheel for improved handling. When AWD isn’t required (on long stretches of highway, for example), RAV4 can achieve better fuel economy thanks to the Rear Driveline Disconnect system. The disconnection features the world’s first ratchet-type dog clutches on both the front and rear wheel shafts. These clutches stop the driveshaft’s rotations, thus transmitting the driving force to the front wheels when AWD isn’t required, significantly reducing energy loss, improving fuel efficiency, and reducing rotational vibration making for a smoother ride. This all-new AWD system is one of three available on the all-new RAV4; it joins the AWD-i system available on hybrid grades and the (non-Dynamic Torque Vectoring) AWD system available on core gas grades. When paired with the new All-Wheel Drive with Intelligence (AWD-i), RAV4 Hybrid increases the total torque to the rear wheels—which is electronically driven—by 30 percent compared to the current generation AWD-i system. By adopting a new control system that optimally distributes torque to the rear wheels based on the driving conditions, the new AWD-i system offers high off-road performance, handling, and ability. RAV4’s unparalleled driving experience is just one of the ways the all-new RAV4 exceeds expectations for owners, the segment, and the industry. XSE Hybrid: The Sportiest RAV4 For those who prefer sportier driving dynamics, XSE Hybrid stays ready with the perfect conflation of sport and utility. XSE is an all-new addition to RAV4’s Hybrid family. The piano-black accents across the front end, mirror caps, fender arches, and lower rockers set the stage for XSE Hybrid’s sporty appeal. Unique to RAV4 Hybrids, projector-beam LED headlamps flank each side of the grille (on XLE and above) for a brighter, sharper, and ideally angled light source. Standard on all RAV4 Hybrid models, the Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) works in sync with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine for an impressive balance of energy efficiency and supreme power output. Performance-wise, XSE Hybrid is truly the “no compromise” grade thanks to its enhanced power and acceleration. When paired with its sport-tuned suspension having tauter shock absorbers and springs, RAV4 XSE Hybrid takes the throne as the quickest—and best-handling—RAV4 in the lineup. While driving thrills behind XSE Hybrid’s steering wheel are standard, that’s not all guests get: In any RAV4 Hybrid, drivers can look forward to anticipated class-leading fuel efficiency and increases in horsepower and acceleration, respectively. On- and Off-Road Fun For explorers looking to satisfy their outdoorsy cravings, RAV4 Adventure has the capabilities for all types of off-road fun. RAV4 Adventure is distinguishable among the other grades with its standard high-rise roof rails and large over-fenders. Inspired by Toyota’s off-road vehicle heritage, RAV4 Adventure grade has a more rugged exterior, thanks in part to its more aggressive grille, fog light surrounds, and unique wheel design. It answers the call designers had of Robust with its stout stance, standard Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect, and a reliable and tough functionality that’s apt for any road. The fun ratchets up once pavement blends into dirt thanks to Multi-Terrain Select. Standard on all AWD-equipped gas RAV4 models, Multi-Terrain Select gives drivers the ability to maximize traction when driving through snow, mud, sand, or rocks. The system is easy to use thanks to a control dial (or buttons) positioned in the center console to the left of the shift knob. Two-Tone Magnetism RAV4 XSE Hybrid’s striking personality screams sporty, thanks to its standard two-tone exterior paint scheme. The black roof is paired with either Blizzard Pearl, Silver Sky Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, or Blueprint (a new color to the palette). RAV4 XSE Hybrid’s exclusive interior comes mono-spec with black Softex material and blue accents throughout. RAV4 Adventure grade can be had with an Ice Edge-colored roof that is paired with one of three exterior colors: Midnight Black Metallic or Blue Flame, both of which are new for RAV4; or Lunar Rock, an all-new color to the Toyota lineup that makes its first mission on RAV4. Inside, interior seat finishes come in either black or a grade-exclusive, Mocha-colored Softex, with the latter being a brand-new interior finish in the Toyota lineup. Orange stitching accents the interior with additional orange appointments placed throughout the dashboard. RAV4 keeps admirers star-struck even when its fitted with additional full-body color options like Super White and Ruby Flare Pearl. Premium Limited Style Blissful weekend retreats are the ideal destination when behind the wheel of RAV4 Limited. As the top grade, drivers and passengers will enjoy amenities and features befitting its premium style. At first glance, RAV4 Limited’s 19-inch alloy wheels and chrome accents set it apart from the other grades. Once inside though, Limited’s essence truly takes the stage. Standard features include a front-row moonroof and 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory and 2-way lumbar support. Tech-wise, RAV4 Limited comes standard with a newly-designed 7-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) and, for the first time in a Toyota vehicle in North America, a Digital Display Rearview Mirror. By default, the display is a conventional rearview mirror but with the flip of a switch, drivers have an increased field of vision coming through the rearview mirror, displaying what is behind the vehicle thanks to a high-mounted, adjustable wide-angle, high-definition camera affixed on the rear of vehicle. Optional content that enhances the ambiance includes ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a panoramic moonroof. When the weekend’s gear fills both hands, the available hands-free power liftgate helps considerably by opening with a wave of the foot below the rear bumper. Elevated Cabin Atmospheres Designers applied the theme of Refined to every detail of the interior cabin, resulting in an impressive arrangement that suits a wide variety of driving experiences and preferences. The interior atmosphere represents an elevated sophistication with a premium, modern design and uncomplicated layout. Between front passengers sits a center console having a repositioned standard Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) for easier accessibility. Ergonomics have been further enhanced by an increase in the console’s volume, side-by-side cup holders, and an open tray capable of holding small items, with optional Qi wireless charger. The in-dash tray within arm’s reach of front passengers will see its share of electronics, sunglasses, and travel must-haves. A standard smooth boot adorns the top of the shifter, and the HVAC knobs in the center panel are redesigned for improved tactility. Rear seat passengers will appreciate the spacious back cabin thanks to an increase in left and right couple distance, as well as legroom. The rear cargo area adopts a reversible liner as well as side nets for storing small items and the 60/40 folding rear seats are ready to accommodate essentials like surf boards, suitcases, or camping gear. Advanced Media with Precise Harmony Every RAV4 is equipped with Entune 3.0 multimedia including Wi-Fi Connect powered by Verizon, hands-free access to Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay compatibility. The standard Entune 3.0 audio system houses a 7-inch touchscreen that is perched atop the center stack. Entune 3.0 Audio Plus adds an eight-inch touchscreen and Sirius XM Radio. Entune 3.0 Premium Audio enhances the multimedia system with embedded dynamic navigation to help drivers chart their course. Enhancing onboard multimedia features, RAV4 can be had with up to five USB ports between the front and rear rows and an optional Qi wireless charging tray positioned at the front of the center console. RAV4’s multimedia setup is complemented by an all-new available JBL audio system. The next-generation premium audio setup incorporates an enhanced system architecture, new speaker design, and an improved tuning process. The result is an all-access pass to the most intimate music concert, all from inside a RAV4. The available JBL audio system provides harmonious audio via 11 speakers across 8 channels at 800 watts: Two Horn Tweeters Located in the A-pillar for optimal high-frequency performance HiD8 Amplifier Next-generation amplifier powering the 800 watts Two Wide Dispersion Instrument Panel Speakers Providing greater sound and alert functionality Two Wide Dispersion Front Door Speakers Enhanced sound quality for front passengers Ported Subwoofer with Enclosure More powerful deep-bass response tucked away in the rear quarter Two Full Range Rear Door Speakers Enhanced sound quality for rear passengers Clari-Fi Technology Intelligently adjusts to every audio format to match source quality with the precise level of audio restoration necessary Next Generation of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) Toyota continues to lead the pack when it comes to safety, and the all-new RAV4 provides drivers and passengers with standard safety technologies that help move Toyota one step closer to achieving the ultimate goal of zero casualties from traffic accidents. RAV4 comes standard with TSS 2.0, the second generation of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS). The updated safety package adds new active-safety technologies and capabilities that enhance protection. Breakdowns of each technology are as follows: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD): Capability to detect a preceding vehicle or pedestrian in daytime or with better low-light recognition capabilities, or daytime bicyclist (new), and alert the driver (audible and visual warnings) and/or apply brakes to help mitigate or avoid the collision in certain cases (using Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Brake Assist (BA), and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)). Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC): For highways/freeways only – an adaptive cruise control that functions at speeds between 0 to 110 mph and enables low-speed speed matching, stopping, and acceleration/deceleration relative to a preceding vehicle traveling at a slower speed. Speed, cut-in, and distance control enhanced, as well as Turn Signal Linked control added, for a more natural response. Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA): Newly added to LDA w/SA is the capability, under some circumstances, to detect the road’s edge, in addition to the pre-existing capability to detect visible lane markers and the vehicle’s position in the lane. If unintentional lane deviation is detected, the system alerts the driver with audible and visual warnings. Steering Assist can provide small corrective steering inputs to help the driver prevent the vehicle from unintentionally leaving its lane. Automatic High Beam (AHB): Capability to automatically activate and deactivate high beams based on driving environment and preceding vehicle’s lights. (NEW) Lane Tracing Assist (LTA): For highways/freeways only and can be enabled when using DRCC – Capability to recognize white or yellow lane markings or the path of a preceding vehicle if lane markers are temporarily unavailable; to identify and actively track the center of the lane by providing steering assistance to the driver (hands-on, driver-assist system). Reduces driver burden and supports safe driving, especially in traffic congestion or long highway trips. The LTA system can be turned on/off. (NEW) Road Sign Assist (RSA): Capability to identify certain Stop, Yield, Do Not Enter and Speed Limit signs and display a warning (visual and audible alerts). Alerts vary based on sign type and are displayed on the Multi-Information Display. Eight airbags come standard on the 2019 RAV4, and so does Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and Smart Stop Technology (SST). Available safety technologies include Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Bird’s Eye View Camera, Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS), and Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) system. RAV4 comes equipped with a standard backup camera and standard Electronic Parking Brake (EPB).
  11. The Toyota Yaris iA is no more. Putting to rest the last remnants of the Scion brand, Toyota is renaming their smallest sedan to the Yaris for 2019. It also marks the introduction of a range of trims (L, LE, and XLE). Not much changes in terms of the exterior aside from a honeycomb grille and chrome trim. A lip spoiler is standard on the LE and XLE models. For the interior, the Yaris sedan comes well equipped with a 7-inch display, Bluetooth, backup camera, push-button start, and cruise control. LE and XLE models add a Smart Key. The top-line XLE comes with leatherette upholstery, automatic climate control, automatic rain-sensing wipers, and automatic LED headlights. The powertrain remains a 1.5L four-cylinder with 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. This can be paired with a six-speed manual or automatic. All Yaris sedans come equipped with a Low-Speed Pre-Collision System. No word on pricing, but the 2019 Yaris sedan arrives at dealers this fall. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 2019 Yaris Sedan Offers Ideal Blend of Value and Fun 2019 Yaris Sedan Available in Three Grades: L, LE, XLE New XLE Grade Adds Leather Accents, Leatherette-Trimmed Interior New Sport-Inspired Front Grille Available 40 MPG Highway Rating* Standard 7-inch Touchscreen Multimedia System Standard Active Safety System, Low-Speed Pre-Collision System PLANO, Texas, March 26, 2018 – The 2019 Toyota Yaris sedan offers an exceptional blend of efficiency, fun, comfort and safety all at a reasonable price. Is this combination too much to ask of an entry subcompact vehicle? The new Yaris answers with a resounding, “No!” The Yaris sedan, previously the Yaris iA, will be offered in three grades for 2019, including the sporty L, the well-equipped LE grade, and the new premium XLE grade. Premium, on a Yaris? That’s right. The XLE takes Yaris up a notch with sporty leatherette-trimmed front seats, leather-trimmed steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake, an HVAC system with Automatic Climate Control, automatic LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers and illuminated entry. For 2019, all Yaris sedans will feature a new sport-inspired front grille with a honeycomb insert design. Exterior styling cues include upscale piano black accents and chrome trim. Fog lights come standard on the LE and XLE grades, and these grades also sport a new rear lip spoiler. Every grade is fitted with a roof-mounted, color-keyed shark fin antenna for available satellite radio. Power outside mirrors come standard on the L, while the LE and XLE are equipped with power outside heated mirrors with LED turn-signal indicators. Safety is a priority on every Toyota, and that’s why all Yaris sedans comes standard with an Active Safety System and Low-Speed Pre-Collision System. The Yaris features a high-compression 1.5-liter engine that boasts up to 40 miles per gallon (MPG) on the highway*. The Yaris sedan will be offered in seven colors that include Frost, Chromium, Graphite, Stealth, Sapphire, Pulse and the all-new Icicle. The new Yaris will go on sale in the fall of 2018. Efficiency is Key There’s no question that fuel economy is high atop the list of must-haves for Yaris. When the direct-injection 1.5-liter engine is paired with the available 6-speed automatic transmission, the Yaris boasts an impressive 32 MPG in the city, 40 on the highway and 35 combined*. When paired with the six-speed manual gearbox offering, the Yaris provides 30 mpg in the city, 39 on the highway and 34 combined*. The sporty Yaris sedan is a blast to drive, thanks in large part to the engine and transmission offerings. The 1.5-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine pumps out 106 horsepower and 103 lb.-ft. of torque for plenty of pep to power onto highway onramps and seamlessly navigate workday traffic. The standard manual transmission features a compact, lightweight design with a short-throw shift for smooth, quick gear changes. The available automatic transmission aids in smooth starts while offering quick, precise shifts at higher speeds. Value Doesn’t Sacrifice Fun Yaris’ sporty handling is engineered into the chassis with effective use of high-tensile steel in the body and frame. The rigid chassis design is complemented with a pairing of stiff springs and MacPherson struts on the front suspension and a durable torsion beam suspension in the rear. The electronic power steering is designed for smooth, effortless operation. For more spirited driving, Sport Mode provides improved torque feel at the flip of a switch. Stopping duties are handled by ventilated discs up front and drum brakes in the rear. The braking system is tuned with a progressive experience when cornering, as the pedal offers a cushioned feel that gets progressively more rigid as G-force rises. The LE and XLE feature a unique 16-inch alloy wheel with new dark gunmetal finish. It’s What’s Inside that Counts Upping the ante on interior comfort and features, every Yaris features a 7.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system with voice recognition, remote interface, steering wheel controls and Bluetooth connectivity. The touchscreen also displays the standard backup camera. Belting out tunes in the cabin is a six-speaker sound system, and each Yaris includes available satellite radio with a 3-month complimentary SiriusXM® All Access trial. An integrated AM/FM antenna, auxiliary audio jack and USB port with iPod® connectivity are standard. Every Yaris comes equipped with a stylish instrumentation cluster that includes an analog speedometer, digital tachometer and incorporated trip meter. Cruise control also comes standard. Push button start is standard on all grades, and the L grade features a remote keyless entry system while both the LE and XLE are equipped with Smart Key System. Every Yaris is fitted with power windows with driver-side auto up/down and jam protection. A standard 60/40-split rear seat easily expands carrying capacity and versatility. Standard Safety System Every Yaris is equipped with an Active Safety System that includes Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD), Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and a Brake Over-Ride System (BOS). The Yaris is also fitted with a Low-Speed Pre-Collision System, which scans the road ahead for potential vehicle collisions. If the system detects a potential frontal collision, an audio/visual alert and braking assistance are designed to automatically activate. Should the driver not respond, this system may automatically apply the brakes. A driver and front passenger airbag system and seat-mounted side airbags are standard, as are front and rear side curtain airbags. Other standard safety features include a Driver-side Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) and Automatic/Emergency Locking Retractor (ALR/ELR) on all passenger belts. Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) is also standard on outboard rear seats with tethers and anchors on all rear seats. A Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) also is equipped on all grades.
  12. Toyota isn't going to let the new 2019 RAV4 hog the spotlight at next week's New York Auto Show. The automaker will also be debuting the all-new 2019 Corolla Hatchback. We've like the Corolla iM for looking a fair bit more interesting than the Corolla sedan, and the new hatchback continues that. The overall look is more edgy and angular than the model it replaces. Up front is a massive lower grille and J-shaped headlights. Around back, a set of angular taillights and rounded tailgate reminds us of the previous-generation Mazda3. In overall dimensions, the Corolla Hatchback is 1.5-inches longer, 1.2-inches wider, and sits an inch lower than the iM. The interior is standard Toyota affair with nothing too flashy in terms of design. A new 8-inch display rises from the top of the center stack featuring an updated version of Toyota's Entune infotainment system. Like the new Avalon, the Corolla Hatchback will come with standard with Apple CarPlay. Android Auto is still nowhere to be seen. Only one engine will be available; a 2.0L four-cylinder that Toyota says is lighter and more powerful than the outgoing 1.8L four-cylinder. Official figures on horsepower and torque will be announced at a later date. A six-speed manual comes standard, while a CVT with paddle shifters is optional. The Corolla Hatchback is underpinned by Toyota's TNGA modular platform which brings a lower center of gravity and increased body rigidity. The Corolla Hatchback will also come fully stocked with a number of active safety features including automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning with steering assist. The 2019 Corolla Hatchback arrives at Toyota dealers later this summer. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Hatch is Back! All-New 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Wows at the 2018 New York International Auto Show All-New High-Function, Dynamic Design New TNGA 2.0-liter Four-Cylinder, Six-Speed iMT Manual Transmission, and Dynamic-Shift CVT Offering More Power and MPG New TNGA Platform with Sport-Tuned Suspension Standard Entune 3.0 Audio with 8-inch Touchscreen, Wi-Fi Connect, Amazon Alexa Integration, and Apple CarPlay First North American Application of Standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 On Sale in Summer 2018 NEW YORK, March 23, 2018 – Talk about going big in the Big Apple! For the first time in North America, Toyota’s newest, stylish, and most technologically-advanced small car, the all-new 2019 Corolla Hatchback, makes its debut at the New York International Auto Show. Don’t let its diminutive dimensions fool you – the hatchback, in either SE or XSE grades, is all about making a huge impression. With its lengthy list of standard features that includes Entune 3.0 with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa Connectivity; a revised sport-tuned suspension and new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform; and the first North American application of Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, Corolla Hatchback strikes a resounding chord with drivers who value authenticity, utility, practicality, and style. Hot hatch? More like Haute Hatch. Indomitable Style Corolla Hatchback has flair extraordinaire. With a theme of Shooting Robust, along with a design goal of Agile, influencing their every pen stroke, designers created a form that is simultaneously distinct, dynamic, muscular, and sophisticated. Shooting references the design’s sport coupe traits implemented in all facets. With those concepts in mind, Corolla Hatchback is a meticulously mixed cocktail of emotive lines, creases, and surfaces. It’s lower (by 1.0 in.), wider (by 1.2 in.), and longer (by 1.5 in.) than its predecessor, Corolla iM. It also has wider front and rear tracks, and a longer wheelbase. Its hood sits two inches lower than before, affording passengers excellent forward visibility. The new frontal styling with a rounded nose and trapezoidal-shaped under grille is a further evolution of Toyota’s Under Priority Catamaran and Keen Look design philosophies, both of which emphasize Corolla Hatchback’s increased width. Slim, J-shaped Bi-Beam LED headlamps wrap deep into the front fenders and accent the front in both stylishness and precise illumination. Front overhang has been cut by 0.8 inches; at the rear, it’s 0.8 inches longer. Chiseled character lines at its profile link both ends’ protruding flanks making for an active, well-planted expression that is uncommon amongst its peers. Wheel sizes range from 16-inches to 18-inches in diameter. Its new rear style articulates Corolla Hatchback’s overarching emphasis on athletic presence. The relationship between front and rear design is closely aligned given the rear’s more rounded physique that encompasses simple, condensed, yet powerful, three-dimensional landscapes. Its hatch – now made from TSOP (Toyota Super Olefin Polymer) and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) – is not only lightweight to aid fuel efficiency, it is set at a steeper angle (moved 14 degrees forward) for that ultimate sporty look. The rear all-LED taillamps feature a diffusing inner lens designed to highlight the hatchback’s stout stance. And the rear bumper styling echoes the frontal Under Priority Catamaran design with its thin lower lip and chrome diffuser. Differentiation between SE and XSE is distinct. Both grades receive LED headlamps and taillights, chrome rear diffuser, and alloy wheels. XSE ups the ante with 18-inch wheels, LED fog lights, chrome front grille surround, and an available innovative Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS). AFS – available only on XSE CVT – allows for the focused distribution of light in an area that matches the vehicle’s speed and steering angle. The Bi-Beam LED units move vertically and horizontally to provide optimal light output by analyzing steering angle, vehicle speed, and the vehicle’s longitudinal axes angle to adjust lamps. Corolla Hatchback’s color range includes the new-for-2019 color Rival Blue, as well as Blizzard Pearl, Silver Metallic, Midnight Black, Galactic Aqua Mica, Scarlet, and Oxide Bronze. PRELIMINARY EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (vs. MY2018) [difference] Wheelbase 103.9 in. (102.4) [+1.5 in.] Overall Length 172.0 in. (170.5) [+1.5 in.] Overall Width 70.5 in. (69.3) [+1.2 in.] Overall Height 56.6 in. (57.5) [-1.0 in.] Inner Emotiveness Simple. Warm. Inviting. Sensuous. Descriptors like these inspired designers’ efforts when visualizing Corolla Hatchback’s cabin. Sensuous Minimalism marinates the entire capacious space. From their supportive sport seats, front passengers are faced with a neat instrument panel that lends an open, harmonious feeling thanks to its 0.9-inch thinner upper surface and 1.7-inch wider center console dividing passengers. At the center of the instrument panel resides a standard high-resolution 8-inch multimedia touchscreen. The center stack screen provides access to vehicle settings, audio controls, navigation, smartphone, and Entune 3.0 apps. Climate controls, located below the multimedia portal, are fashioned in a bright, highly visible digitized configuration. In addition to being wider, the center console is also longer to accommodate a larger variety of passenger physiques and comfort preferences. It incorporates a center tray ahead of the gearshift that can hold small items such as a smartphone or wallet, or if outfitted, serves as the Qi wireless device charging area. A 5.5-inch smartphone can easily fit inside the center console box. High-gloss materials are paired with matte elements – silver accents with Piano Black and available contrasting stitching – to best accentuate a premium look and feel. The elimination of unnecessary lettering on switchgear, plus, the unification of all materials’ and elements’ shape, color, grain, and gloss, maximize continuity and aesthetic cleanliness. Tactility, too, is minded with the utmost consideration. Keen eyes will appreciate the minimized gaps between buttons and switches; again, furthering Corolla Hatchback’s sophisticated character. Front passengers’ hip points are lower (to 10.82 inches), and cushioning has been revised, which provides a more natural body posture and position for ideal access to the multifunction steering wheel, pedals, and gearshift. Such optimized seating allows passengers to enjoy Corolla Hatchback’s thrilling dynamics all the better. Front door storage solutions include cup holders capable of accommodating 24-ounce bottles and A4-sized documents. Not to be outdone, rear seats utilize updated cushioning to improve comfort and minimize fatigue. Furthering their convenience are upper door cup holders that accommodate 16-ounce bottles. The standard amenity list is as impressive as the cabin’s aesthetic. SE grade is equipped with single-zone automatic climate control, leather shift knob, and paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel. An electronic parking brake, three-door SmartKey system, automatic up/down windows, and two front USB outlets are standard as well. XSE grade builds on SE’s amenity palette by including dual-zone climate control, combination leather (leather with mélange-like fabric) seating, heated front seats, and eight-way power driver’s seat. XSE’s instrument panel and doors receive unique stitching, and behind the multifunction steering wheel, a 7-inch TFT Multi-Information Display (MID) shows vehicle information, turn-by-turn navigation, and various vehicle settings (including those pertaining to Lane Departure Alert, Lane Tracing Assist, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection and Blind Spot Monitor). While electrifying in functionality and personality, Corolla Hatchback delivers a civilized, quiet ride. Powertrain drone and road noise have been culled thanks to revised drivetrain efficiencies, plus, the widespread implementation of sound-absorbing materials, sealants, foams, resonator ribs, and silencers. Its TNGA structure utilizes additional seals in its body panel gaps to insulate noise penetration and enhance air sealing performance. Corolla Hatchback’s Aero Stabilizing Fins located on its taillights also combat wind drone. Multifaceted Multimedia There’s no shortage of entertainment and connectivity capability inside Corolla Hatchback either. For SE, standard Entune 3.0 Audio includes 8-in. touchscreen; six speakers; Apple CarPlay; Amazon Alexa integration; Entune 3.0 App Suite Connect; Safety Connect; Wi-Fi Connect; Scout GPS Link Compatible; Siri Eyes Free; Auxiliary audio jack and USB 2.0 port with iPod connectivity and control; AM/FM; MP3/WMA playback capability; Voice Recognition training and tutorials; Hands-free phone capability; voice recognition and music streaming via Bluetooth; Customizable Home Screen; and Weather/Traffic info via Entune 3.0 App Suite. Entune 3.0 Audio Plus, which is standard on XSE and optional on SE CVT, adds HD Radio and Weather/Traffic info; SiriusXM with Cache Radio; Entune 3.0 Connected Services; Service Connect; Remote Connect. Topping the range is Entune 3.0 Audio Premium that’s optional on XSE CVT. The system includes a JBL 8-speaker 800-watt system with Clari-Fi; Dynamic Voice Recognition; Dynamic Navigation; Dynamic POI Search; and Destination Assist Connect. The JBL audio experience with Clari-Fi – having such a complete orchestration of advanced power output, hardware, structure, and software – is engineered to impress even the most perceptive audiophile. Other JBL audio system highlights include: Free Standing Horn Tweeters Located in the A-pillar at ear level for optimal high-frequency performance Next-Generation HID8 Amplifier 800-watts of total power, with better performance and efficiency 6.7-inch Door Subwoofers More powerful deep-bass response Premium JBL Branding Located on A-pillar, door trim, and head unit Sealed Inner Door Panels Promote cleaner, more power bass Wide Dispersion Midrange Speakers Provide full range sound for rear passengers Clari-Fi Technology Analyzes, rebuilds, and restores audio signals that were lost In the digital compression process Rounding off Corolla Hatchback’s connectivity are two USB terminals (located inside the center console and instrument panel) and one AUX port (located on the instrument panel). A Driver’s Hatchback Corolla Hatchback’s seamless unification of comfort and sporty controllability begins at its TNGA C platform. The compact structure employs a mixture of adhesives, spot welding, and additional bracing – top to bottom, side to side – for the benefits of driver controllability and low fuel consumption. On-road feel and fuel efficiency is further refined through the extensive use of aluminum and high- and ultra-high tensile steel in the lighter-weight chassis and body. In fact, torsional rigidity is improved a massive 60 percent compared to its predecessor. Affixed to this musculature are revised front and rear suspensions. Its front MacPherson strut setup’s geometry is changed (i.e. updated bound stopper clearance; stabilizer location) and incorporates other key augmentations like revised coil spring rate and damping force, and reduced friction in sliding parts. This all makes for a high-quality steering feel, ride comfort, and handling stability. At the Corolla Hatchback’s rear multi-link suspension with stabilizer bar, responsiveness is sharpened through updated shock absorbers and springs, and like the front, geometry is slightly modified. Lower arm locations have moved (for improved toe-in angle during higher-speed maneuvering), as has shock absorber placement (moved forward for better cargo capacity and reduced longitudinal low frequency input). Overall, front and rear suspension friction has been reduced by 40 percent, and its center of gravity is cut by a substantial 0.8 inches. The end result: A Corolla Hatchback that possesses an uncanny blend of balance, composure, and feel that’ll have its driver pining for windy roads – time and time again. The Heart of Fun-to-Drive TNGA isn’t just the genesis of Corolla Hatchback’s astute footwork and balance: An all-new TNGA-based powertrain is the heart of Corolla Hatchback’s Fun-To-Drive identity. Its 2.0-liter Dynamic-Force direct-injection inline four-cylinder engine (M20A-FKS) adopts the latest in Toyota technology and structural efficacies for gains in power, fuel efficiency, and cleaner emissions. Physically, the engine is smaller and lighter than its 1.8-liter four-cylinder predecessor, which helps to lower Corolla Hatchback’s center of gravity and benefits its overall balance. The 2.0-liter is also quieter for improved Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH) with additions like a more rigid crank case with integrated stiffener; a lighter resin cylinder head; and a ribbed oil pan. The M20A-FKS is equipped with Toyota’s latest D-4S fuel-injection that uses high-pressure direct-injection and low-pressure PFI (Port Fuel Injection). The setup adapts its injection method based on driving conditions so that ideal combustion is executed. The engine also features Dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligence), with VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing-intelligence by Electric motor) on the intake side and VVT-i on the exhaust. VVT-iE uses one electric motor instead of oil pressure to control the variable valve timing. Together, the valve timing systems enhance power output and fuel mileage, and cut harmful emissions. Other notable improvements to the Dynamic-Force engine include: Longer stroke Compression up to 13:1 Enlarged valve nip angle Enhanced intake port efficiency with laser clad valve seat Key Benefits: Higher rate of combustion, high tumble flow, and high intake air flow volume Pistons with round top surface and slanted side wall Key Benefits: Consistent tumble flow and rapid combustion maintained Less knocking and higher compression ratio Friction reduction between piston skirt and cylinder Lubrication enhanced with three oil jets dedicated to each cylinder Key Benefits: Better MPG, dynamic performance, less knocking, and less oil consumption Lighter weight timing chain Key Benefits: Low cabin noise and reduced friction Drain path within crank case to return oil from cylinder head to oil pan Key Benefits: Less oil agitation caused by the crankshaft, which means less rotation resistance Connecting Rod made of high strength steel with optimized shape Key Benefits: Reduction in weight Camshaft with concave profile Key Benefits: Increased valve lift amount Optimized water jacket in head and block Key Benefits: Enhanced cooling and reliability PRELIMINARY ENGINE SPECIFICATIONS Engine Model M20A-FKS No. Cylinders and Arrangement 4-cylinder, inline Valve Mechanism 16-valve DOHC, chain drive with Dual VVT-i (Intake: VVT-iE, Exhaust: VVT-i) Bore x Stroke (mm) 80.5 x 97.6 Displacement (cc) 1987 Compression Ratio 13.0:1 Fuel System Direct Injection, Port Injection Horsepower / Torque TBD / TBD Be they a commuter or canyon cruiser, drivers will appreciate Corolla Hatchback’s available transmissions: an all-new Dynamic-Shift CVT (K120), or a six-speed iMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission) gearbox (EG60). The Dynamic-Shift CVT has simulated 10-speed Sequential Shiftmatic steps, Sport Mode, and paddle shifters. It features a number of innovative elements, including the world’s first launch gear in a passenger vehicle CVT. Having a launch gear facilitates improved transmission efficiency in lower gear ratios where belt efficiency is typically poor. The transmission system utilizes gear drive when starting from a full stop, resulting in powerful acceleration, while at the same time, resolving the momentary sluggish feeling that was previously present during accelerator operation. Both smooth and comfortable launch performance are realized. When switching from gear drive to belt drive, the transmission system uses highly responsive gear change control technologies cultivated from automatic transmission technology. With its launch gear in place, the belt has been tuned for higher gear ratios. This new setup not only improves the efficiency of belt operation, but it also enables the adoption of wider gear ranges, thereby realizing a class-leading gear ratio range of 7.5 for the 2.0-liter class. Another benefit of the launch gear is a reduced input load. This enables the size of both belt and pulley components to be reduced. Furthermore, the belt angle has been narrowed and pulley diameters reduced, resulting in shifting speeds that are 20 percent faster. Powerful and predictable acceleration is realized, as is an endearing driving experience. But the more involved driver will be engaged by the all-new six-speed iMT with downshift rev-matching control. Compared to the existing manual transmission, the new gearbox is lighter (by 15 pounds; total weight of 88 pounds) and shorter (by 0.94 inches), making it one of the world’s smallest transmissions. Its small size contributes to improved fuel efficiency. The gearbox also offers world-leading transmission efficiency, while the use of iMT controls, which automatically adjust engine revolutions when changing gears, ensures smooth gear shifting, free of uncomfortable recoils for the driver. Enhanced Toyota Safety Tech Toyota continues to lead the pack when it comes to safety, and the all-new Corolla Hatchback provides drivers and passengers with standard safety technologies that take one step closer to achieving the ultimate goal of zero casualties from traffic accidents. Corolla Hatchback comes standard with TSS 2.0, the second generation of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS). The updated safety package adds new active-safety technologies and capabilities that enhance protection. Breakdowns of each technology are as follows: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD): Capability to detect a preceding vehicle or pedestrian in daytime or nighttime (nighttime is new), or daytime bicyclist (new), and alert the driver (audible and visual warnings) and/or apply brakes to help mitigate or avoid the collision in certain cases (using Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Brake Assist (BA), and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)). Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (Full-Speed DRCC): For highways/freeways only. Full-Speed Range DRCC is standard on all Corolla Hatchback models, except those equipped with a manual transmission. Those having a manual transmission are equipped with DRCC. Full-Speed Range DRCC is an adaptive cruise control that is designed to function at speeds between 0 to 110 mph and enables low-speed speed matching, stopping, and acceleration/deceleration relative to a preceding vehicle traveling at a slower speed. Speed, cut-in, and distance control enhanced, as well as Turn Signal Linked control added, for a more natural response. Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA): Newly added to LDA w/SA is the capability, under some circumstances, to detect the road’s edge, in addition to the pre-existing capability to detect visible lane markers and the vehicle’s position in the lane. If unintentional lane deviation is detected, the system alerts the driver with audible and visual warnings. Steering Assist provides small corrective steering inputs momentarily to help the driver prevent the vehicle from unintentionally leaving its lane. Automatic High Beam (AHB): Capability to automatically activate and deactivate high beams based on driving environment and preceding vehicle’s lights. (NEW) Lane Tracing Assist (LTA): For highways/freeways only and can be enabled when using DRCC – Capability to recognize white or yellow lane markings or the path of a preceding vehicle if lane markers are temporarily not available; to identify and actively track the center of the lane by providing steering assistance to the driver (hands-on, driver-assist system). Reduces driver burden and supports safe driving, especially in traffic congestion or long highway trips. The LTA system can be turned on/off. The 2019 Corolla Hatchback has seven standard airbags and Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology. Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) is standard on XSE and available on SE. (Please note: BSM does not include Rear Cross Traffic Alert.) Corolla Hatchback also comes equipped with a standard backup camera.
  13. In a couple of weeks, the New York Auto Show will be underway with automakers showing their various wares. Toyota will be using the show to reveal the 2019 RAV4. Today, the company dropped a shadowy teaser of the next-generation compact crossover. To our eyes, the overall shape looks somewhat familiar to the Jaguar F-Pace crossover. We're expecting some details from the FT-AC concept to appear on the new RAV4. Toyota will likely move the RAV4 onto their New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform which should improve handling. Since Toyota has been ignoring the trend to small turbocharged engines, we wouldn't be shocked if the current 2.5L four-cylinder sticks around. Expect a hybrid variant to be available as well. Source: Toyota
  14. The Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ coupes have earned a lot of praise agile and nimble handling. But many agree that they could use more power. The 2.0L boxer-four only produces 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. Rumors have been swirling about possibly turbocharging the engine. But the chief engineer on the 86 and BRZ said that turbocharging is not in the cards for this generation. “When we launched 86, I got literally millions of questions from around the world of ‘when would you be launching the turbo version? I believe that often times I answered that there won’t be a turbo version, and there were some articles in the media that Mr Tada doesn’t like a turbo," said Tetsuya Tada, the chief engineer for the two coupes to CarAdvice. “That’s not really true. I do like turbos, however if we come up with a turbo version of the 86 and boost up the power that would result in the necessity of changing the basic configuration completely, to come up with a car that I would be satisfied with.” Emphasis ours. Tada said the current car's weight distribution was designed the 2.0L boxer-four in mind. “One characteristic of the 86 is that in terms of the front balance its slightly front loaded so it makes the handling more fast and agile. So if we were to come up with a turbo version, we would have to go change the weight balance between the front and the rear. That means we have to come up with a completely new platform, so it’s not about just changing or slight modification in the engine parts,” said Tada. But considering how much demand there is for a turbocharged model, it might cause Toyota and Subaru to look at it for the next-generation models, whenever that may be. In the meantime, there a number of aftermarket suppliers who are willing to add a bit of turbo for your current GT86 or BRZ. Source: CarAdvice
  15. 16 years. That is how long since the Toyota Supra has been out of production. But since that time, various rumors, speculation, and spy photos have hinted that Supra was going to make a comeback. Today at the Geneva Motor Show, Toyota introduced the world to the GR Supra Racing Concept. The GR in the concept's name is short for Gazoo Racing, the team behind Toyota's racing efforts in Le Mans and the World Rally Championship. The Supra itself has a long racing history, competing in the likes of IMSA, Le Mans. and Japan GT (now known as Super GT) - the latter is where the Supra claimed 4 championships. Toyota isn't providing many details on the GR Supra Racing Concept. It is clear that the design is heavily based on the FT-1 Concept from 2014. The overall dimensions for the concept are 180 inches long, 80.6 inches wide, 48.4 inches tall, and rides on a wheelbase of 97.2 inches. Many of the body panels are made out of composite materials to keep the concept light. The interior is all business with a racing seat, quick-release steering wheel, and roll cage. One interesting detail on the GR Supra Racing Concept is the suspension being comprised of production parts - we don't know what vehicle they come from. Toyota is keeping quiet about what engine is under the hood. We do know that the next-generation BMW Z4 will be sharing its platform with the Supra, so it would be safe to assume that a BMW engine could be used. We have no idea at the moment as to when Toyota will reveal the production version. But those who play Gran Turismo Sport on the Playstation 4 will have the chance to drive the concept in-game starting next month. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 The Legend Returns: Toyota Unveils GR Supra Racing Concept Modern racing concept signals Toyota’s commitment to bring back its most iconic sportscar. GENEVA (March 6, 2018) –The GR Supra Racing Concept makes its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show, reviving the name and spirit of the most celebrated model in Toyota’s illustrious sportscar heritage and demonstrating Toyota’s commitment to bringing the Supra back to the market. It also shows the future potential for a car that can deliver high performance both on road and track. Toyota Supra Heritage The GR Supra Racing Concept revives the great heritage of one of Toyota’s most famous sports cars. The Supra name evokes power, performance and handling that defined a succession of world-class cars for a quarter of a century. As a thoroughbred sports car, the Toyota Supra built a reputation both as a formidable performer on the road and as an all-conquering machine on the racetrack, dominating Japan’s top-level GT racing series and earning legions of fans. The Toyota Supra still enjoys an iconic status among sports car aficionados, 16 years on from the end of production. Its enduring popularity has been helped by its success as a popular model in the Gran Turismo® driving simulator video game series, which is only playable on PlayStation consoles, and as a starring car in the first film in The Fast and the Furious global action movie series. The Supra badge first appeared in 1978 on a larger and more powerful version of the second-generation Celica before becoming established as a successful model in its own right. Known as the A40, the original Supra was followed by three further generations: the A60 in 1981, A70 in 1986 and A80 in 1993. The front engine/rear-wheel drive GT sportscar remained in production until 2002, and in its final generation it was Toyota’s most powerful production model. The Supra’s reputation was greatly enhanced by its success in motorsport. Most notably, the fourth-generation Supra, introduced in 1993, became the dominant force in the All-Japan GT racing – today’s Super GT series – winning the GT500 class four times. The Toyota Supra also competed in American IMSA sportscar racing in the 1980s and twice appeared at Le Mans in the 1990s. GR Supra Racing Concept A compact, two-door car, the GR Supra Racing Concept has a pure front-engine/rear-wheel drive configuration and makes use of advanced lightweight materials in its construction. Created by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, the concept perfectly expresses the “fun to drive” quality that is intrinsic to Toyota’s commitment to making ever-better cars. The large “90” race number on its doors is a historical reference to Supra’s codename and a big visual clue to the fact that this concept heralds Supra’s return in a fifth generation. Its development is true to the belief of Kiichiro Toyoda, founder of the car company, that participation in motorsport provides the challenges of performance and durability that can directly help develop better cars, while at the same time generating interest and excitement among motoring fans. This ethos has been fully embraced by both Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda and by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, with the pursuit of success at the highest levels of international motorsport, including the World Rally Championship, World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours race. Taking part in these and other racing series around the world provides technical learnings that can be transferred from the race track or rally stage to development of not just new generations of Toyota’s sports-focused GR models, but also to its wider range of vehicles, driven by tens of millions of people around the world. The GR Supra Racing Concept is to be featured in a new update of the Gran Turismo Sport® video game, developed by Polyphony Digital Inc., and scheduled for release in April 2018. Design, Chassis and Equipment Features The racing concept has a dramatic bodywork design that includes a large rear wing. It makes extensive use of strong but lightweight composite material for elements such as the wide front and rear bumpers, front splitter and rear diffuser, side skirts, door mirror housings and the rear wing. The hood is crafted from the same material and features louvred air inlets. The windscreen and side windows are made of plastic. The concept’s chassis features lowered front and rear suspension using original equipment (OE) components. BBS racing wheels with center-nut attachment are fitted with Michelin racing tires. The braking system uses Brembo Racing callipers and discs and there is a racing exhaust. The cabin is entirely competition-focused and is fitted with a racing dashboard and OMP driver’s seat and safety harness. OMP has also supplied the quick-release steering wheel, mounted on a racing column and equipped with a paddle shift system. The doors are lined with carbon fiber panels and the dashboard includes a racing display. Competition safety requirements are met by a full roll cage and fire extinguishers, and the fuel and brake lines, pedal box, battery and wiring looms are all designed to competition standard. Dimensions Length 4,574mm Width 2,048mm Height 1,230mm Wheelbase 2,470mm
  16. The Toyota Highlander has an interesting selling point in the midsize crossover class. It is the only model that offers a hybrid version. Seems quite crazy that more automakers aren’t offering a green option due to the increasing popularity. But maybe there is a reason for that. (Author’s note: I don’t go into detail about the Highlander Hybrid’s exterior and interior as it is the same as the regular Highlander. If you want to get an idea of what I think, you can check out my quick drive review on the 2017 Highlander posted back in October. -WM) The Highlander Hybrid’s powertrain is comprised of a 3.5L V6, two electric motors, and a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. Total output is rated at 306 horsepower. This is paired up with a CVT. The electric motors are mounted on each axle and provide all-wheel drive. Despite the hybrid weighing 310 pounds more than the standard model, the instantaneous torque from electric motors disguises the extra weight at low speeds. This makes the hybrid feel slightly quicker around town than the standard model. But at higher speeds, the effectiveness of the electric motors begin to wane and the V6 begins to shoulder more of the burden. Merging onto a freeway, I found the hybrid to not be any quicker than the standard Highlander. Switching between hybrid and EV mode in the Highlander Hybrid is very seamless. You don’t notice the transition unless you have the hybrid powertrain screen up in the instrument cluster or infotainment system. Like most Toyota hybrids, the Highlander Hybrid can travel on electric power at speeds up to 25 mph for short distances. I found this was easy to sustain when driving in city areas or my neighborhood. EPA fuel economy figures on the Highlander Hybrid are 30 City/28 Highway/29 Combined for the base LE, and 29/27/28 for the rest of the lineup like our Limited tester. During my week, I was only able to achieve a disappointing 24 mpg on a 60/40 mix of city and highway driving. The Highlander I drove last year was only 2 mpg lower during my week-long test. Ride quality is similar to the regular Highlander as most bumps and potholes are ironed out. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels. Handling is not the Highlander Hybrid’s strong suit. Around corners, the hybrid shows an excessive amount of body roll and dull steering. On the upside, the hybrid does feel more planted to the road than the regular model thanks to the extra weight of batteries. Brakes are still an issue for Toyota’s hybrid vehicles. The Highlander Hybrid exhibits a vague and somewhat unpredictable feel from the pedal, which doesn’t inspire confidence. The 2017 Highlander Hybrid begins at $36,270 for the base LE, about $2,130 more than the standard Highlander LE V6 AWD. Our Limited tester starts at $44,760, and with a couple of options and destination, the as-tested price is $46,134. Is the hybrid worth it? In short, no. With gas prices the way they are at the moment, it will take a long time for you to break even on the extra cost of the Highlander Hybrid. Plus, I found the real-world fuel economy wasn’t that much better than the standard model. At the moment, I would stick with the standard Highlander and pocket the extra cash. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Highlander Hybrid, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2017 Make: Toyota Model: Highlander Hybrid Trim: Limited Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-Valve with VVT-iW V6, 2 Electric Motors, Sealed nickel metal hydride battery pack Driveline: CVT, AWD-i Horsepower @ RPM: 231 @ 5,800 (Gas); 167 @ 0 (Electric Motor 1); 68 @ 0 (Electric Motor 2); 306 (Total) Torque @ RPM: 215 @ 4,800 (Gas); 247 @ 0 (Electric Motor 1); 103 @ 0 (Electric Motor 2) Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 29/27/28 Curb Weight: 4,861 lbs Location of Manufacture: Princeton, Indiana Base Price: $44,760 As Tested Price: $46,134 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge) Options: Carpet Floor Mats & Cargo Mat - $225.00 Body Side Molding - $209.00
  17. It seems we were right on the money with our guess concerning Toyota's Chicago Auto Show debuts. Today, the Japanese automaker introduced updated versions of the TRD Pro family, comprised of the 4Runner, Tacoma, and Tundra. The big story with the update deals with the suspension. All TRD Pro models now come with aluminum-bodied 2.5-inch TRD Fox Internal Bypass shocks. The shocks promise improved damping for on- and off-road situations, and each models gets their own specific tuning for the shocks. All models also get new front springs to improve ground clearance and provide a more comfortable ride. Each TRD Pro model gets their own setup in terms of the rear suspension, 4Runner: TRD Coil Springs Tacoma: Progressive-Rate Off-Road Leaf Springs Tundra: Leaf Springs found on TRD Off-Road Trim Toyota has also made various changes in terms of exterior and features for each TRD Pro model. 4Runner: 17-inch matte-black TRD alloy wheels, 1/4-inch front skid plate, and new roof rack Tacoma: 1-inch wider track for the front and rear, 16-inch TRD alloy wheels finished in black, thicker front skid plate, and optional TRD Desert Air Intake (also called a snorkel) Tundra: New LED head and foglights, grille, hood scoop, and 18-inch BBS forged-aluminum, five-spoke satin black wheels Pricing will be announced closer to the launch of the TRD Pro models, which is expected to happen this fall. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Game Changer: 2019 Toyota TRD Pros Typify Ultimate Off-Road Performance Next-Generation 4Runner and Tundra TRD Pro Feature All-New Fox shocks; Tacoma TRD Pro to Feature New TRD Desert Air Intake Fox 2.5-inch Internal Bypass Shocks Featured on Entire TRD Pro Lineup Tacoma TRD Pro Offers Available TRD Desert Air Intake New TRD Roof Rack on 4Runner TRD Pro Tundra TRD Pro Fitted with Rigid Fog Lights and BBS Wheels Three Colors Offered: Super White, Midnight Black Metallic, and Voodoo Blue (TRD Pro-Exclusive) CHICAGO (Feb. 8, 2018) – The pulse-pounding, heart-racing TRD Pro Series from Toyota returns for its next generation of off-road dominance. For 2019, Tundra, 4Runner and Tacoma will all feature Fox shocks and a host of impressive off-road equipment tuned and designed by the engineers at Toyota Racing Development (TRD). First unveiled in 2014, the TRD Pro lineup was born from Toyota’s rich racing and off-road heritage. All TRD Pro vehicles offer unique styling, as well as highly capable, tried and tested performance off-road equipment, specifically tailored for when the pavement runs out. The 2019 TRD Pro series will be available in fall of 2018, and each vehicle will be offered in three colors that include Super White, Midnight Black Metallic or Voodoo Blue (a TRD Pro exclusive color). Wanna go places? TRD Pro is the ultimate tool to get you there and back. Only as Good as Your Suspension As any seasoned adventurer knows, a true off-road vehicle is only as good as its suspension. For 2019, the entire TRD Pro family rides on 2.5-inch TRD Pro-exclusive Fox Internal Bypass shocks. Tuned specifically for each vehicle by the engineers at TRD, the aluminum-bodied Fox shocks offer impressive performance and supreme damping for a wide variety of driving situations. High-speed desert running, slow-speed rock crawling, or simply driving to and from work – drivers and passengers will be as comfortable as they are confident. Whereas off-road race vehicles traditionally have external bypass tubes on their shock bodies to fine-tune damping pressure, each high-tech Fox shock compactly incorporates bypass zones inside of the shock. These multiple bypass zones offer a cushioned, plush ride during typical operation but get progressively stiffer through the shock stroke to provide excellent bottoming resistance. The front shocks are paired with specially-tuned TRD springs designed for excellent ride comfort and to also produce additional lift, giving each TRD Pro an aggressive, heightened stance for improved trail-conquering capability. A combination of high-temperature shock fluid and nitrogen gas pressure are employed inside each Fox shock to improve bump compliance and to help maximize seal life. Every TRD Pro model features rear 2.5-inch Fox shocks that utilize a piggyback reservoir to house additional oil volume, which assists in maintaining peak damping performance during extreme use. Tundra relies on the beefy rear leaf springs also equipped on the TRD Off-Road grade, 4Runner utilizes the TRD Off-Road grade rear coil springs, while Tacoma features progressive-rate off-road leaf springs out back to allow more compression suspension travel to aid performance over rough terrain. TRD dust boots are utilized front and rear to offer added protection to help keep dust and dirt out, and 4Runner utilizes unique roost shields to help protect the inverted rear shock. Tacoma TRD Pro: Civilized Commuter or Trail-Tackling Specialist Based on the very trail-capable TRD Off-Road grade, Tacoma TRD Pro ups the ante with enhanced 2.5-inch Fox front shocks that use large 46mm pistons and feature 8 bypass zones (5 compression, 3 rebound). They are paired with TRD-tuned springs that provide an additional 1 inch of front lift. A larger front sway bar is employed to retain crisp steering and refined road manners. The Tacoma also features 2.5-inch rear shocks that use 11 bypass zones (7 compression, 4 rebound) and are paired with 2-inch piggyback reservoirs. A host of additional TRD equipment finds its way onto the new Tacoma TRD Pro, including an updated front skid plate with TRD red lettering, while the cat-back TRD exhaust is accented with a new Black Chrome tip. Inside, passengers are treated to standard Entune Premium JBL Audio with subwoofer amplifier and Integrated Navigation and App Suite. Tacoma is equipped with TRD Pro-branded floor mats and leather-trimmed seats with TRD Pro emblems on the front headrests. Distinguishing the exterior are unique TRD Pro badges, projector-beam headlights with black sport bezels and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), Rigid Industries LED fog lights, taillights with black sport bezels, and a black TOYOTA grille. Thanks to the offset of the 16-inch TRD Pro black alloy wheels, Tacoma has a 1-inch wider track both front and rear for added stability. Trail and pavement traction comes in the form of P265/70R16 Goodyear Wrangler Kevlar All-Terrain tires. TRD Desert Air Intake: Clearing Tacoma’s Sinuses, No Prescription Needed The most eye-catching of the Tacoma upgrades, no doubt, is the available all-new TRD Desert Air Intake. Designed to sustain consistent off-road performance no matter how silty or dirty the terrain gets, the TRD Desert Air Intake takes the 278-horsepower 3.5L V6 engine’s air intake away from dust that hovers inside the wheel well (where traditional air intakes are located) during off-road operation. This allows for air ingestion to occur in a cleaner space above the windshield, therefore, helping to benefit filter longevity and, ultimately, engine health. Tundra TRD Pro: Boastful New Additions Tundra TRD Pro also gets its fair share of new features for 2019. Of course, Tundra is equipped with new Fox 2.5-inch front shocks that boast beefy 46 mm pistons. The TRD-tuned springs provide an additional 2 inches of front lift, and front wheel travel is increased more than 1.5 inches. The front shocks feature 11 bypass zones (7 compression, 4 bypass) to fine-tune damping performance for off-road romps while retaining composed on-road manners. The Tundra also employs 2.5-inch rear Fox shocks that feature an impressive 12 bypass zones (8 compression, 4 bypass). The rear shocks feature 2.5-inch piggyback reservoirs, and wheel travel is increased by more than 2 inches in the rear. Taking a cue from little brother, big bro Tundra gets new Rigid Industries LED fog lights for improved visibility on and off the highway, in a variety of weather conditions. Tundra also features LED headlights with LED accent lights and a unique black treatment. A new TOYOTA grille plus new hood scoop add style to Tundra’s brawny front end. Out back, TRD Pro stamping is found on the bed’s rear quarter panels. New 18-inch BBS forged-aluminum, five-spoke satin black wheels are featured on Tundra, which reduce un-sprung mass 3.35 lbs. per wheel (13.4 lbs. total) to improve cornering response and overall ride quality. The new wheels are wrapped in Michelin P275/65R18 all-terrain tires to provide a sure footing in dirt and on pavement. Inside, TRD Pro logos garnish the driver and front passenger leather-trimmed seats, while red stitching accents the dash, seats and armrests. TRD Pro floor mats, shift knob and a center-console emblem help complete the distinctive look. Providing added growl on the highway and the trail is a dual TRD Pro exhaust, which is fitted with new Black Chrome exhaust tips. A TRD Pro 1/4-inch skid plate sporting signature red Toyota lettering is found underneath the front end. Tundra TRD Pro will offer an available moonroof. 4Runner TRD Pro: The Legend Grows 4Runner needs no introduction. The iconic SUV is one of the most legendary off-road vehicles in Toyota’s history. For 2019, TRD Pro takes 4Runner’s world-renowned trail capability to the next level. 4Runner’s Fox shocks not only enhance its off-road performance but, paired with the TRD-tuned front springs, the package lifts its front 1 inch compared to other grades, while also providing nearly 1 inch of additional wheel travel. The 2.5-inch front shocks employ 46 mm pistons and include 7 bypass zones (4 compression, 3 rebound). In the rear, the 2.5-inch Fox shocks feature 11 bypass zones (7 compression, 4 rebound) to fine-tune the low- and high-speed compression, and 2-inch piggyback reservoirs house additional oil to retain damping performance when it’s needed most. A unique TRD roost shield offers additional protection for the inverted shock design in the rear. 4Runner adds a new roof rack for stashing additional gear outside of the cabin (say, dirty gear or laundry after a weekend camping trip).The 1/4-inch-thick front skid plate also sports new red TRD lettering. 4Runner features 17-inch matte-black TRD alloy wheels with an offset change to provide it with nearly a 1-inch wider track front and rear for added stability. Nitto Terra Grappler P265/70R17 A/T tires provide all-terrain performance for whatever the situation demands. Like Tacoma, 4Runner TRD Pro passengers can jam to tunes from a new-for-2019 standard Entune Premium JBL Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite. Other interior appointments include TRD Pro floor mats, TRD shift knob, and red-stitched Softex seats with red TRD logos on the front headrests. Additional TRD Pro exterior features include LED fog lights, blacked-out TOYOTA grille, and projector-beam headlights with smoked trim. Even on the Most Capable, Safety is Paramount Even though capability and toughness are at the core of the TRD Pro Series, safety is still the utmost priority. All three TRD Pro models feature the Star Safety System, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology (SST). Tundra and Tacoma come standard with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P), which features Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Sway Warning System (SWS), Automatic High Beams (AHB) and high-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).
  18. January is usually not a strong month for car sales as it just after the holidays and people don't have the money to buy a new car. This is reflected in our January sales figure ticker where most automakers post small increases and decreases. There were some automakers that posted some surprising numbers. Nissan reported a 10 percent increase and Toyota noted an impressive 16.8 percent rise. The two automakers credit their utility as a key reason for the rise. But Bloomberg reports there is another reason for these rises. Pulling data from Cox Automotive, Bloomberg found out that fleet deliveries for the month rose 46 percent for Nissan and 69 percent for Toyota. Most of the sales came from rental car companies. “If you want to claim 10 percent market share, that’s a way to do it. The danger is that you create a large number of late-model used cars that will compete with your new cars and bring down prices and profits,” said Maryann Keller, an independent auto industry consultant. A number of automakers have been turning away from fleet sales for this very reason. GM which has been a poster child for fleet sales has been cutting back. Toyota spokeswoman Amanda Roark told Bloomberg that fleet deliveries will be lower during the second half of this year and will likely make up "about 10 percent of its total U.S. sales in 2018." Judy Wheeler, Nissan vice president of U.S. sales explained the increase in fleet sales was due to them clearing out 2017 models to make way for 2018 models. “It’s really just a timing situation for us,” she said. It needs to be noted that Nissan has been increasing their sales to fleets within the past year. Source: Bloomberg
  19. Toyota appears to be taking the 'long-view' with their teaser for the Chicago Auto Show. You can barely make out the 4Runner, Tacoma, and Tundra in the picture provided. "Toyota will unleash its next batch of trail-ready four-wheelers on February 8th, 9 a.m. CST, at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show," the company wrote in a very short press release. It appears all three are TRD Pro models which may hint Toyota is planning some updates to their off-road models. We'll have more details and hopefully some clearer pictures in a few weeks. Source: Toyota
  20. Despite the popularity of compact crossovers, it seems somewhat odd there isn’t a large number of hybrid variants. In fact, there is only one available, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. Going hybrid usually means a hit in performance and cargo space. But in the case of the RAV4 Hybrid, it is quicker than the standard model and cargo space isn’t greatly affected. I spent some time with the RAV4 Hybrid over the holidays where it was driven to Northern Michigan and back. This is what I learned. The RAV4 Hybrid’s powertrain is comprised of a 2.5L four-cylinder, three electric motors (one acting as the engine starter and battery charger, the other two drive the wheels and provide AWD), and a Sealed Nickel-Metal Hydride battery pack. Total output is rated at 194 horsepower. Power is routed through a CVT. Fuel economy figures are noticeably better than the RAV4 SE AWD I drove last year - 34 City/30 Highway/32 Combined for the Hybrid vs. 22/29/25 for the standard RAV4. My average for the week landed around 30.7 MPG. I think the average could have been higher if Michigan had not experienced a cold snap where temperatures fell to single digits at times, causing the engine to run longer to keep the vehicle warm. The hybrid also feels slightly quicker than the standard RAV4 thanks to the electric motors providing instantaneous torque when leaving a stop. But merging on to a freeway or passing becomes a bit unpleasant as the engine pegs at high rpms to provide the power needed. This also brings forth a lot of noise from the engine and CVT. Doing a lot of driving on the freeway and country roads made me really appreciate the smooth and compliant ride of the RAV4 Hybrid. Most bumps and road imperfections are smoothed over. Some credit has to go to the 17-inch wheels on the XLE. Handling is competent as the suspension keeps body motions in check. However, the rubbery steering and low-rolling resistance tires will make drivers think twice about pushing the RAV4 Hybrid. The low-rolling resistance tires also hamper traction in snow. I could tell when driving in deep snow, the all-wheel drive was working a bit harder to keep the vehicle moving. If you live in a snowy area, I would highly recommend swapping the low-rolling resistance tires for a set of all-seasons or winter tires. At first glance, the RAV4 Hybrid looks like any other RAV4. It is only when you get closer that you will notice the blue-tinted emblems and ‘Hybrid’ badging on the front fenders and tailgate. The interior is much the same as any other RAV4 aside from a different gauge cluster and a button to activate the EV mode. This is ok as the RAV4 is an ok place to sit in with a utilitarian design that puts various controls within easy reach for driver and passenger. Materials are what you would expect to find in a vehicle of this class, a mix of soft and hard-touch plastics. The back seat is still a plus point to the RAV4 as there is plenty of head and legroom for most passengers. Cargo space in the hybrid is about 3 cubic feet smaller than the standard RAV4 due to the battery with the rear seats up or down. Still, the hybrid’s cargo space is one the of the largest in the compact crossover class and I was able to fit luggage for myself and my brother, along with gifts for various relatives with no issue. All RAV4 Hybrids come with Toyota’s Entune infotainment system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen. The system is becoming quite dated in terms of the interface and features - no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto for example. On the upside, Entune is easy to master thanks to a simple layout and physical shortcut buttons to various functions. 2017 saw Toyota make a number of active safety features standard on all RAV4s. That includes radar cruise control, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, and lane keep assist. I would like to see blind spot monitoring added to this suite. The 2017 RAV4 Hybrid begins at $29,030 for the base XLE, about $4,000 more than the RAV4 XLE. Taking into consideration the noticeable fuel economy increase and better performance, I would be willing to spend the extra cash. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the RAV4 Hybrid, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2017 Make: Toyota Model: RAV4 Hybrid Trim: XLE Engine: 2.5L Atkinson-Cycle 16-Valve DOHC with Dual VVT-i Four-Cylinder, Two 650V Electric Motors Driveline: CVT, AWD Horsepower @ RPM: 150 @ 5,700 (Gas), 105 kW (Front Electric Motor), 50 kW (Rear Electric Motor), 194 (Combined Output) Torque @ RPM: 152 @ 4,400 (Gas) Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 34/30/32 Curb Weight: 3,925 lbs Location of Manufacture: Obu, Aichi, Japan Base Price: $29,030 As Tested Price: $31,965 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge) Options: Convenience Package - $1,905.00 Tonneau Cover - $90.00
  21. Toyota is well aware that they are quite behind competitors when it comes to electric vehicles. Facing a “now or never” crisis, the Japanese automaker announced a new plan that will see it sell more than 10 electric vehicles worldwide by 2020. The plan hinges on a significant acceleration in the development and launches of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles, and fuel cells. The new vehicles will be launched in China first, followed by other markets such as Japan and the U.S. Toyota is also planning on having an electrified version of every model in the Toyota and Lexus lineups by 2025. The goals mark a major departure for Toyota as they have tended to focus more on hybrids and fuel cell vehicles, not electric-only models. The company had said for the longest time that electric vehicles would be a niche market due to their limited range, slow recharging times, and high costs. Toyota would instead focus on developing fuel cell vehicles which had its own issues - limited fuel infrastructure and slow refueling times. But with various governments beginning to clamp down on emissions, Toyota knew it had to make a course change. The company is planning on launching a new, solid-state battery in the early 2020s which will improve the performance and weight of their electric vehicles. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Toyota Aims for Sales of More Than 5.5 Million Electrified Vehicles Including 1 Million Zero-Emission Vehicles per Year by 2030 Electrified vehicles to be available across the entire Toyota and Lexus line-up by around 2025 Toyota City, Japan, December 18, 2017―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announces today its plans toward the popularization of electrified vehicles for the decade 2020-2030. Toyota's electrified vehicle strategy centers on a significant acceleration in the development and launch plans of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Toyota has been working toward creating ever-better cars and an ever-better society under the thinking of contributing to a sustainable society and creating mobility that brings smiles to customers. Addressing environmental challenges, such as global warming, air pollution, and limited natural resources and energy supply are of utmost importance to Toyota. "Environment" is one of the anchors of the company's product development, alongside "safety/peace of mind" and "emotion." Electrified vehicles, which are effective for economical consumption of fuel and promoting usage of alternative fuels, are indispensable in helping to solve current environmental issues. In October 2015, Toyota launched the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, which aims to reduce the negative impact of manufacturing and driving vehicles as much as possible and contribute to realizing a sustainable society. In the ever-better cars category, Toyota aims to reduce global average new-vehicle CO2 emissions by 90 percent from 2010 levels. Today's announcement is the main pillar of a mid-to-long-term initiative to achieve this challenge. Electrification across the entire Toyota and Lexus line-up By around 2030, Toyota aims to have sales of more than 5.5 million electrified vehicles, including more than 1 million zero-emission vehicles (BEVs, FCEVs). Additionally, by around 2025, every model in the Toyota and Lexus line-up around the world will be available either as a dedicated electrified model or have an electrified option. This will be achieved by increasing the number of dedicated HEV, PHEV, BEV, and FCEV models and by generalizing the availability of HEV, PHEV and/or BEV options to all its models. As a result, the number of models developed without an electrified version will be zero. Zero-emission Vehicles Toyota will accelerate the popularization of BEVs with more than 10 BEV models to be available worldwide by the early 2020s, starting in China, before entering other markets―the gradual introduction to Japan, India, United States and Europe is expected. The FCEV line-up will be expanded for both passenger and commercial vehicles in the 2020s. Hybrid Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles The HEV line-up will also grow, thanks to the further development of the Toyota Hybrid System II (featured in the current-generation Prius and other models); the introduction of a more powerful version in some models; and the development of simpler hybrid systems in select models, as appropriate, to meet various customer needs. Toyota also aims to expand its PHEV line-up in the 2020s. Batteries are a core technology of electrified vehicles and generally present limitations relating to energy density, weight/packaging, and cost. Toyota has been actively developing next-generation solid-state batteries and aims to commercialize the technology by the early 2020s. In addition, Toyota and Panasonic will start a feasibility study on a joint automotive prismatic battery business in order to achieve the best automotive prismatic battery in the industry and to ultimately contribute to the popularization of Toyota's and other automakers' electrified vehicles. Furthermore, Toyota aims to focus on the development of a social infrastructure conducive to the widespread adoption of electrified vehicles. This includes the creation of a system to help streamline battery reuse and recycling, as well as support of the promotion of plug-in vehicle charging stations and hydrogen refueling stations through active cooperation and collaboration with government authorities and partner companies. Toyota has been a leader in making vehicles while keeping the environment in mind. This is evident through the introduction of the iconic Prius 20 years ago, as well as the launch of the world's first PHEV, the Prius PHV, in 2012. The second-generation Prius PHV, introduced in 2017, further increased the vehicle's electric mode cruising range. Additionally, in 2014 Toyota launched the world's first mass-produced fuel cell sedan, the Mirai, which is being well-received by customers in Japan, the U.S., and Europe. Through these activities, Toyota sales of electrified vehicles have reached more than 11 million units worldwide to date.
  22. Full-size family sedans have been on the ropes lately. The Hyundai Azera has been canceled. There is no planned replacement for the Ford Taurus. The Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 both have uncertain futures. Toyota however is about to put a pile of chips on the table with a fully redesigned 2019 Toyota Avalon. They released a teaser picture ahead of the January 15th release at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The picture, which only shows the front left corner of the car shows a very expressive look with a broad lower intake and a somewhat Lexus shaped grille. We expect the new Avalon to ride on a longer variant of the 2018 Toyota Camry platform that was released at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. The new Camry platform shaved significant weight over the prior model and that will likely carry over to the new Avalon as well. That should make for some impressive performance numbers as the Avalon is already one of the lightest vehicles in the class. We will have more details and on-site reaction for you as we approach the full release of the 2019 Toyota Avalon at the Detroit Auto Show.
  23. Toyota's polarizing C-HR crossover went on sale earlier this year and it isn't doing so well in terms of sales. Through November, Toyota has only moved 21,889 units, way less than Chevrolet Trax (72,723 units) and Honda HR-V (86,491). Speaking to Wards Auto, Toyota Motor Sales USA's president Bob Carter said a key reason the comes down to the C-HR not offering all-wheel drive in North America. Most subcompact crossovers sold in the U.S. have the option of AWD. But if Toyota was to AWD to the C-HR, it would highlight another problem. The C-HR carries a base price of $22,500, making it one of the more expensive models in the class. The C-HR isn't the only crossover that will only come front-wheel drive. Nissan's upcoming Kicks crossover will also be FWD only. However, Michael Bunce, senior vice president-product planning for Nissan North America tells Wards that only offering FWD on the Kicks shouldn't dent sales due to the low price of under $19,000. Those who want AWD will need to step up to the Rogue Sport which begins at $22,470 for the base S AWD. Source: Wards Auto
  24. Over the course of this year, Toyota has unveiled three different crossover concepts; the FT-4X, TJ Cruiser, and the FT-AC. We figured that one of these concepts could make it into production and this was confirmed by a Toyota executive. "It's like the 90s again, we can have more than one vehicle in each segment if they are different enough," Toyota Motor North America General Manager Jack Hollis told Motor Authority. While the three concepts differ greatly in terms of design, Hollis explained this was done to "test the waters in the market and get feedback from consumers." No matter which design is chosen, there are certain details that have been confirmed. Hollis said this new model will sit alongside the C-HR and be based on the company's TGNA platform. Power will come from a four-cylinder, but don't count out a hybrid option. Unlike the C-HR, this model will have the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The new crossover will also influence the design of the next-generation 4Runner and RAV4. Hollis said the model will have a price tag of under $20,000 and go on sale within the next two to three years. Source: Motor Authority
  25. Toyota's recent run of concepts have been showing more adventurous side; the FT-4X in New York and the TJ Cruiser in Tokyo. This trend continues at LA with the introduction of the FT-AC. The Future Toyota Adventure Concept “is perfect for those outdoor enthusiasts who want to dial up the adventure on their weekend getaways.” It certainly looks the part with an aggressive front end featuring a chunky front bumper with tow hooks, sculpted grill surround, narrow headlights, and foglights that double as detachable portable lights. The side features a mostly clean profile. A set of black fender protectors have a set of chunky tires with 20-inch wheels. For the back, an integrated bike rack extends from the bumper. In terms of tech, the FT-AC comes with a set of infrared cameras on the side mirrors that you can record your various adventures. A dedicated Wi-Fi hotspot can upload clips to a cloud-based storage system where you can make various edits and put them on various social sites. Toyota doesn't provide many details on the FT-AC's powertrain, only stating that it could be powered by either a gas or hybrid powertrain. A torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system will provide the off-road traction. Source: Toyota Press Release is on Page 2 Future Toyota Adventure Concept (FT-AC) Takes Outdoor Fun to New Levels at 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show FT-AC Has All the Ingredients for Your Next Adventure LOS ANGELES (Nov. 30, 2017) – Long live new adventures! With the Future Toyota Adventure Concept, or FT-AC, comes the ideal versatility for living an active lifestyle, allowing deeper exploration to take life’s journeys even further. FT-AC is a catalyst – it’s both the invitation and the medium for breaking day-to-day routines and embracing the unexpected. It’s no coincidence then that FT-AC makes its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, in a city where much of the population escapes to the hills, deserts, or beaches for their much-needed weekend recharges after a long week of work. “FT-AC is perfect for those outdoor enthusiasts who want to dial up the adventure on their weekend getaways,” said Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager, Toyota division. “No matter the roads, the activities, or the people, FT-AC sparks authentic fun and conversation.” Representing the next level in Toyota’s adventure-loving lineup of concept vehicles, FT-AC provides the right instrument for a wide mix of excursions, be they on paved roads or not. Fun on the Journey FT-AC reminds adventurers of all skill levels how remarkable the trip – not just the destination – can be. Going for a paddle on the river. Climbing a favorite rock face. Hitting a trail on a mountain bike. FT-AC is experience-centric. It compels. Any wheel time in FT-AC brings genuine facetime with the friends aboard. It puts versatility at the forefront of its ethos and, in doing so, invites passengers to personalize - and accentuate - each trip. Acknowledging that adventures vary in scope and scale, FT-AC’s innate versatility is a strength that caters to various lifestyles, preferences, and even generations. One-of-a-Kind Adventure At first glance, it is evident that FT-AC’s bold and daring design reflects the confident spirit of Toyota’s existing SUVs and trucks. The pronounced, wide, black, front grille is flanked with bright LED headlights. Fog lights brighten the road ahead during foul weather or poor conditions and can even be taken out from their pods and used as portable lights. The fog lights can be attached to a mountain bike for occasional night rides. Below, FT-AC has twin hooks for vehicle recovery. Skid plates help protect the short front and rear overhangs, so rocks, ruts, and just about anything else will have trouble slowing down the rig. FT-AC was designed around a long wheelbase and wide track to help emphasize its powerful stance. Extra wide fender flares provide body shielding and look as if they float above the 20-inch wheels and beefier all-terrain tires, both of which help accentuate its commanding look. Its impressive footwear and generous ground clearance provide drivers with more options as to where FT-AC can go and play. The safari-style cargo roof rack system can haul all types of adventure gear. LED marker lights at its front corners can provide ambient lighting around the vehicle, brighten the trail ahead or, if desired, act as a flash for the side mirrors’ embedded cameras. The infrared cameras on the side mirrors can record trail runs and, like the fog lights, can be removed and mounted off-vehicle so that no fun goes undocumented. An integrated Wi-Fi hotspot automatically uploads footage to cloud-based storage where real-time editing and posting can be accessed via mobile device. The Wi-Fi connectivity even gives adventure-goers the ability to livestream the fun to fans and followers. The roof rack’s rear-facing LED lights also aid nighttime visibility and can be controlled via mobile device as well. Also at the rear is an innovative integrated bike rack that retracts, making for a highly useful feature that can be securely hidden in only a few seconds. Lastly, drivers and passengers can utilize FT-AC’s geolocation capabilities for directions back to basecamp. FT-AC’s contrasting colors combine Prospect Green with Fortress Gray accents to highlight its go-anywhere brashness. Envisioned Capabilities Although currently a design experiment, FT-AC has been imagined as a thoroughly capable gasoline-powered vehicle with an advanced torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system. This enables power to be routed, as needed, for excellent controllability and maximum traction. Variable terrain-response settings and 4-wheel lock functionality build on its capability by managing traction control and throttle response to maximize grip at each wheel for a more dynamic driving experience. And who says a hybrid vehicle can only play on pavement? FT-AC could offer a next-generation hybrid powertrain that blends fuel efficiency with rugged all-wheel-drive grunt, giving drivers better power, responsiveness, and impressive fuel economy – all without compromise.

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