Category: Toyota

The Prius Receives More Efficient Tires

April 14, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , ,

The 2016 Toyota Prius is set to receive more efficient tires than what was used on previous models of the vehicle. This move will not only improve fuel efficiency while driving around, but the tires are also reported to be safer to drive around on, an exciting improvement that only serves to bolster the high safety ratings that the 2016 Prius received from the IIHS and NHTSA.

Blue Earth E70

The Tires

The new tires are from BluEarth and are the E70 tires. The tires are known best for improving fuel efficiency, and that’s why they are being paired with so many hybrid and fuel efficient vehicles to improve them even further. These tires are seen as environmentally friendly and they rely on a Nano BLEND compound that relies on Orange Oil during construction. The tires have an advanced inner liner for improved strength. BluEarth tires are developed by Yokohama, a brand that’s known for working toward environmentally sustainable products that are highly efficient.

Enhanced Grip and Efficiency

It’s tough to get tires to be efficient while still offering a high level of grip force. This tire balances both of those requirements well to create something that will maintain traction even in rain or snowy conditions. The tire is built to create as little rolling resistance as possible, but to be reliable and safe to use as well.

Anyone that picks up a new 2016 Prius can expect to find this tires factory fitted. They’ll help improve driving efficiency even more and should be viewed as a feature all on their own. After the tires wear out it could be a bit difficult finding matching tires in the United States, but they are sold in some locations around the country if you’re looking to maintain those high levels of efficiency and performance over time.

Enjoy the improved efficiency of your new Prius if you decide to buy one, and even if you don’t you might want to consider having this set of tires added to an older model to draw some of the same benefits. Sure you won’t see efficiency figures like you do with the 2016 Prius, but every boost helps.

 

 

The 2016 Toyota Prius Does Very Well in Safety Tests

April 12, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , ,

The 2016 Toyota Prius is safer to drive around than many people realize. It scored very highly on both IIHS and NHTSA crash testing and came up with a rating as high as any of the other safe vehicles out on the road today. That’s exciting news and worth taking notice of. The Prius is always marketed because of its exceptional efficiency, perhaps it should be marketed for its high level of safety as well. It received a 5 star rating on the tests from NHTSA and a Safety Pick + Rating from the IIHS.

2016 toyota prius

Nailing IIHS Testing

The 2016 Toyota Prius performed better on IIHS testing than many other manufacturer models have been able to. The car received the very highest rating “Good” on every single one of the tests that the facility put it through. That even includes the very difficult small overlap frontal impact test that many vehicles have trouble with. That’s reassuring for anyone purchasing the small vehicle, and it gives buyers another reason to be interested in the highly efficient sedan,

What a 5 Star Rating means?

Even though the Toyota Prius didn’t get the highest possible score on every test from the NHTSA, the car still managed the highest overall score of 5 stars when testing was completed. The tests look at crash and rollover test results, as well as the safety technology put into vehicles to come up with a final figure. It’s a rough process and only the most well put-together vehicles get the highest rating on this test. That’s why it’s so impressive that the 2016 Prius received the 5 star rating from the NHTSA. If you’re looking for a reliable vehicle that can stand up to a hard impact, the Prius would fill that need.

It’s easy to expect a small vehicle like the Prius to do poorly in crash tests. After all there is much less metal and body in a Prius than there is in a large SUV, but that’s not the case at all. You can be just as safe motoring down the road in a Prius as you can in a larger vehicle thanks to careful engineering and design processes. That’s exciting news for anyone looking for a highly efficient mode of transport, and why many people should consider a Prius. Consider getting a Prius with all of the addon preventative safety features to make travelling even safer, and add some additional features such as adaptive cruise control to the vehicle to make it more enjoyable to use out on highways and other long-distance trips.

Toyota is Creating a Guardian Angel for its Drivers

April 11, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , ,

While there is a great deal of excitement around self-driving vehicles, for obvious reasons, Toyota understands that that type of technology is still a pretty long way off into the future. Instead of focusing on producing a fully-autonomous vehicle, the company has started developing what it calls Guardian Angel technology instead. This is a set of systems that takes control of the vehicle just long enough to ensure that the driver doesn’t crash. So Toyota cars won’t drive you to the store and back, but in the near future they could swerve to help you avoid a collision or make other evasive maneuvers by briefly taking over control of the vehicle when a situation looks bad.

Toyota 3D Simulator
Toyota 3D Simulator

Toyota’s Chance to Perfect Self Driving

The main issue with fully-autonomous driving is that it’s exceedingly difficult to perfect. The automaker could likely produce cars that drive perfectly most of the time, but it’s those small instances that throw the vehicle off that could lead to real problems. Not only does Toyota not want to deal with the liability that could come from a component failure or a miscalculation, but the automaker doesn’t want to scare drivers away from autonomous driving either. There are many people against self-driving cars already, and that’s before any serious crashes have occurred. Just think how much more criticism there will be around the technology if something serious happened because of a computer mistake.

Toyota puts more than 10 million cars out on the road every year. With that level of traffic the automaker’s technology would be tested out on over 1 trillion miles each year. With numbers that high, even a very tiny possibility for failure would result in some significant issues. The automaker is relying on its Guardian Angel system to test out self-driving technology and to help with perfecting it before any serious issues result.

The Technology at Work

Toyota hasn’t specified everything this new Guardian Angel technology will be able to do yet, but the automaker says it will likely communicate over short range communication with other vehicles to pick out major issues like fast braking or loss of control in those vehicles. It will likely be able to full-pedal brake, something that forward collision systems today aren’t capable of doing. It’s likely the system will also be able to change lanes and perhaps use the shoulder for emergencies as well.

Testing and Developing the Technology

All the technology and equipment necessary to make Guardian Angel work on Toyota vehicles hasn’t been developed yet, but the automaker has three different research facilities in the United States working on autonomous technology, and a simulation center at a Japan facility to help with perfecting the technology in its final stages. One facility is located in Palo Alto California, another at Cambridge Massachusetts and the final one is being developed in Ann Arbor Michigan. Each has a different focus, but they are all working toward creating vehicles that can easily drive themselves around.

When working toward such revolutionary technology, it’s wise to move in small incremental steps until finally reaching the major goal of vehicles that can handle all standard driving conditions. Toyota realizes this, and the Guardian Angel project is just one of those steps that could really make driving safer in the process.

Toyota is Working to Make Hydrogen Cleaner

March 31, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , ,

The Toyota Mirai is a cool car, nobody can argue against that. It operates on hydrogen fuel cells, a technology that’s very new and very similar to gasoline in the way that it is utilized in automobiles. Even though the Mirai is a pretty awesome feat of technology it’s been hit with plenty of criticism that it isn’t any cleaner than a vehicle powered by fossil fuels, and is actually less clean that gasoline and diesel vehicles because the hydrogen is produced with fossil fuels. The automaker is working to rectify that issue and eliminate some of that criticism by partnering with a wind plant to develop completely clean hydrogen fuel.

toyota hydrogen forklift

How it Works

Toyota has partnered with the Hama Wing wind plant just southwest of Tokyo to get hydrogen fuel made through the power produced by large windmills. All of this hydrogen is going to be used to power fuel-cell forklifts throughout four different site locations in Japan. Two of the sites are going to be warehouses, one a vegetable market and the final one a factory. While Toyota isn’t taking steps to make all the hydrogen fuel utilized by its Mirai vehicles clean, it is showing that hydrogen fuel can be produced from clean energy. That in itself should be enough to silence some critics and it shows a very exciting possibility for the future as well.

Storing Hydrogen is Easier than Electricity

Some critics are already chiming in asking why the electricity harnessed from the windmills isn’t just used to power electric vehicles, but Toyota has an answer for that as well, hydrogen stores better. As most proponents of electric powered vehicles know, it’s difficult to store electricity over the long term. By producing hydrogen from the power Toyota is creating a long-term form of energy that isn’t going to be nearly as difficult to store as electricity is.

hama wing windmill
Hama Wing Windmill

Having a Major Impact

If all hydrogen was created through windmills or other clean sources of energy the process could reduce emissions by as much as 80 percent compared to the fossil fuels used today. A complete change over to clean hydrogen technology could dramatically improve the environment and reduce pollution and global warming issues.

While fuel cell vehicles still remain at too high of a price point for many consumers to afford, the technology is sure to get more affordable as it matures and becomes more widespread, who knows, it could be just the thing to solve our emissions problems completely.

Toyota Shows off the New 86

March 28, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , ,

What was once known as the Scion FRS has now become the Toyota 86 and it’s an exciting new take on the vehicle with quite a few enhancements over the 2016 FRS. Toyota brought the vehicle with them to the 2016 NY Auto Show and showed it off to the world in all its glory.

2017 toyota 86

More Power

Toyota enhanced the vehicle’s horsepower by 5 bringing it to 205 HP and improved on its torque as well. While the vehicle won’t feel significantly more powerful because of these two enhancements it’s nice to see the power curve moving in the right direction rather than regressing like some new vehicles do.

Edgy Exterior

Adding to the power wasn’t enough for the transformation to the Toyota 86 though, the automaker also redid the exterior to make it more aggressive. The automaker added on LED headlights and a changed up front bumper giving it an angry frown. It still carries the high class look of the Scion FRS, but looks more menacing overall.

Improved Interior

Climbing inside, one of the biggest improvements to the 86 was the addition of audio controls to the steering wheel. Scion FRS fans will rejoice when test-driving the vehicle when they notice the convenient new controls that were non-existent in older models. The seats have been improved with new seat fabric as well to give them a more sporty look overall.

If you’re in the market for a classy, and yet affordable rear-wheel drive sports vehicle, the Toyota 86 could be just the thing for you. It’s still built on that reliable and powerful Scion FRS framework, but with some nice improvements.

Introducing the 2017 Toyota Corolla

March 26, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , ,

The Toyota Corolla is one of the biggest success stories for the Toyota Corporation. It’s been selling for 50 years now and has one of the most popular compact cars throughout much of that period. The Corolla built a reputation on its reliability and is continually sought after buy new and used car buyers for that very reason. Toyota introduced the 2017 Corolla at the 2016 NY Auto Show, and made brief mention of some new features it’s going to include. Things like the Toyota Safety Sense-P technology and an enhanced exterior make the vehicle particular exciting.

2017 toyota corolla

New and Improved Looks

The latest Toyota Corolla isn’t going to be an unrecognizable vehicle, but Toyota gave it some edgy enhancements to make it more exciting to look at. The hood tucks in a bit further back on the car into a V-point. This splits up the front end and makes the bumper look like it juts out in front of it. The grill is decorated with a crosshatch pattern and each light is accented by ridged air scoops. Overall the new Corolla looks like a family car for the dad looking for a bit more edge during his morning commute.

Excellent Standard Features

Toyota keeps offering more and more as standard with its Corolla models and the 2017 model year is no different. The car comes standard with bi-LED lights and a backup camera. Buyers that opt for SE or greater models also get an upgraded interior, audio enhancements, an aggressive front grille and two different exterior colors.

2017 toyota corolla 50th anniversary

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary

In order to celebrate the 50th year of selling Corollas around the country, Toyota is producing a special edition version of the Corolla based on the more potent SE version of the 2017 Corolla. Just 8,000 of these vehicles will be produced and they’re set to come with improved exterior and interior features as well as all the special edition badging. The vehicle will come with audio and media system upgrades, special two-tone alloy wheels, a 4.2 inch instrument display and black upholstery with red trim. All together it should be a very nice looking Corolla and a nice keepsake for Corolla fans looking to pick up a more upscale model.

Toyota Safety Sense-P Technology

The 2017 Toyota Corolla can be optionally equipped with Toyota Safety Sense-P Technology. It’s a pre-collision prevention system that’s designed to bring a vehicle to a quick halt in the event of a possible crash. The system relies on a camera and a radar system up on top of the vehicle. These two systems scan the road for any potential problems and when you start approaching a vehicle or something else too quickly the system emits an alarm, cuing you to brake the vehicle. Even if the driver doesn’t brake the Corolla will apply brakes before the collision and stop the vehicle in most instances.

The system also offers cool features like dynamic cruise, automatic high beams and lane departure assist to help make driving safer and more enjoyable at the same time.

The Cross Country Corolla

Later on in June of this year a 1970 Corolla will be restored and prepared to travel across the country in a race from California to Illinois. It’s another chance to celebrate Corolla heritage and show what Corolla vehicles are really made of.

The 2017 Corolla looks to be a nice enhancement on the outgoing model with more technology and an improved look. Drivers looking for something special can pick up the 50th Anniversary version of the car, but everyone else will likely be happy with one of the many different trim levels of the standard Corolla models.

The Prius Prime

March 25, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , ,

Even though Toyota showcased several different vehicles at the 2016 NY Auto Show, the Prius Prime was without a doubt their showstopper. It entered through a cluster of white balloons and drove into a sea of eager journalists waiting to get the inside scoop on the all-new plug-in hybrid from Toyota.

2017 prius prime

An Edgier Look

The standard Prius isn’t known for being an edgy vehicle, but to up the rugged factor of the Prius Prime, Toyota tried to give it sharper edges and less of an aerodynamic profile. It’s a bit wider, has rougher edges up front, and still manages to move through the air efficiently enough to offer better performance than most other plug-in hybrids on the market.

Highly Efficient

Toyota estimates that the Prius Prime will get 120 or greater MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) when driving around on electric power. That makes it the most efficient of all the plug-in hybrid vehicles offered today, something that should excite some buyers, though most are happy with the significant savings that come from riding around on electric power to begin with.

Decent Range for in Town Commuting

Drivers that want to go out for groceries or take care of other in-town tasks will likely be able to do most of them on electric power alone when driving the Prius Prime. That’s because it’s estimated to get 22 miles of range on a full charge. The car can even travel along highways while on full electric power and can hit speeds up to 84 MPH while running on batteries alone. According to Bill Fay, Toyota’s group vice president, about 50 percent of American workers can use the vehicles battery power alone to get to work and back, and when workers can charge their vehicles while at the office that figure jumps up to around 80 percent of the current workforce.

In order to achieve this range the Prius Prime is equipped with an 8.8 kilowatt battery pack that makes use of both the electric motor and the generator system to create drive force when relying on the battery pack, that’s how the vehicle is able to travel at higher than highway speeds while running on battery power alone.

Quick Charging Times

Charging the Prius Prime to full takes just 5.5 hours on a standard 120V line, and that time is cut in half on a 240V line, allowing drivers to take several electric trips during the day if desired.

Drivers looking to travel to and from work on a daily basis without burning through gasoline might enjoy what the Prius Prime has to offer, and when they do decide to take a longer trip the car can meet that need as well, making it a very versatile option that should fit nicely into many driver’s lives.

The New and Improved Toyota Highlander

March 22, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , ,

When it comes to issuing new technologies, Toyota isn’t usually the first when it comes to modifying existing vehicles. Sure the automaker is ready and willing to take the lead when it comes to new models entirely, such as the Mirai, or the Prius, but for things like adding in a new media system, or putting in a state-of-the-art transmission, Toyota tends to be quite conservative. That’s why it’s so exciting that the 2017 Highlander is getting so many tech improvements. It’s distinctly more modern the enhancements make it into a thrilling vehicle to drive around.

2017 toyota highlander

Perfecting the Tech First

Perhaps it’s the automakers hesitation to release technology until it’s been perfected that leads to vehicles so reliable and well regarded. Toyota is known for using somewhat dated transmission technology as well as engine tech in many of its vehicles, but all of those vehicles run like clocks, and Toyota still manages to bring modern technologies its lineup, the tech’s just mature before it finds its way out the door with a Toyota badge on it.

Advanced Driving Tech

The 2017 Highlander is finally getting a direct injected engine as well as an automatic transmission with more than six gears. Not only that but it’s getting stop and start technology to make it into a more efficient vehicle. Since Toyota takes its time to release these features you can rest assured that each of them is highly refined and made to work well with the Highlander so that no issues will be encountered.

Safety Tech on Every Model

One of the most notable improvements to the Highlander is that every one of the odels in the range will be getting dynamic safety features from Toyota Safety Sense. This tech includes things like pre-collision warning, radar cruise control and auto braking. There is even lane departure and automatic high beams along with special pedestrian collision protection. All these advanced features make the already safe Highlander even safer to operate and will help buyers avoid paying all the extra money to obtain all the optional tech upgrades.

Toyota hasn’t delved into many of the specifics about the next Highlander other than the safety technology and some passive statements surrounding the powertrain. The company has stated that it will be more powerful than the outgoing model while also being more efficient.

While there aren’t a lot of specifics out the 2017 Toyota Highlander looks to be a very impressive SUV that significantly builds on the outgoing model by making use of technologies that Toyota has been refining all along.

Toyota to Make Automatic Braking Standard Sooner

March 21, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , ,

While most automakers have pledged to make automatic braking standard on their vehicles by 2022, it seems that Toyota is racing out ahead and could beat almost every automaker to the party. The company is planning on making auto emergency braking standard on both Toyota and Lexus vehicles by 2017.

toyota automatic braking

“We are proud to help lead this industry in standardizing these systems and bring automated braking to our customers sooner rather than later,” said Jim Lentz, the CEO of Toyota of North America.

All the tech necessary to make automatic emergency braking possible is already out there and you can find it on plenty of motor vehicles driving around today, but it’s not a standard feature on most models. When shopping for a Toyota vehicle today you can get the features by adding on the Toyota Safety Sense package and when going for a Lexus you have to add on the Lexus Safety System Plus package. According to the automaker that won’t be necessary next year.

Making the Roads a Safer Place

By adding emergency braking to its vehicles earlier on the roads will slowly become a safer place. Toyota vehicles are some of the most prominent out on the road today and all the car buyers that decide to buy Toyota or Lexus will be less of a danger to those around them because of the technology.

Only a Few Left Out

While Toyota plans on making the technology standard on most of its vehicles, there are a few that will be left out. The Toyota 4Runner, the 86 Coupe and the Lexus GX SUV won’t come standard with the packages. The Mirai and the Scion iA also won’t be getting the packages added, but that’s because they already come with automatic braking technologies as standard.

This is a big move for the auto industry and hopefully other automakers follow suit right behind Toyota. It certainly makes Toyota vehicles more attractive to auto buyers that value safety features, because the automatic braking technology will likely be more affordable when applied to every vehicle than it is as an optional addon.

By 2020 approximately 99 percent of all light vehicle manufacturers are going to be adding the technology onto every new vehicle sold. When that day comes the roads will be an even safer place, but as usual Toyota is heading the pack on the initiative. It will be interesting to see if any other automakers try to follow suit.

The Best 2016 Toyota Options Worth Considering

March 18, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , ,

If you’re shopping around for a 2016 Toyota vehicle it’s important to know about all the different options packages sold with the vehicle. After all, the dealership is going to try to sell you on many of these options and you’ll have the opportunity to pick them out from Toyota before you get your vehicle in most cases. By learning what you do and don’t care about you can pick the options that you truly want while skipping over all the rest. That’s one of the best things about buying a brand new vehicle, you get to customize it to meet your needs and nobody else’s.

2016 toyota lineup

Technology Package

If you want to drive one of the safest vehicles out on the road consider getting the Technology package. For a few thousand you can add impressive capabilities to your vehicle such as lane departure alert, dynamic cruise and automatic high beams. The system is even capable of slowing you down before you crash into another vehicle. That’s well worth the expense if you ask me, and could help drivers avoid serious crashes.

Convenience Package

To make your vehicle into a more capable one consider getting the convenience package. It will be more difficult to steal with an anti-theft alarm and a universal transceiver. The vehicle might also come with auto dimming rear view mirrors and a compass as well as a smart key and push button start, but that’s only with some Toyota models.

Entune

Toyota Entune packages offer more media capability. They include premium audio systems, App suites, JBL Audio, Bluetooth connectivity and a range of cool navigation features. If you want a premium media system that does more than just plays music you can get exactly what you’re looking for by picking out one of the different Entune packages.

Safety Connect

Toyota Safety Connect is a tool designed to help you stay connected with your vehicle all the time and to help you keep in touch with Toyota if necessary. It comes with an automatic collision notification as well as roadside assistance so if you get into a crash or have a problem you can get the help you need right away. There is also a stolen vehicle locator and emergency assistance that comes with a one year trial so you can call for roadside assistance when you lock your keys out of your vehicle or get a flat out on the freeway.

There are the most exciting packages that Toyota offers on many of its vehicles. If you’re picking up a 2016 Toyota you should consider adding a few of them on. At the very least add the safety tech to make your vehicle safer to drive around, you’ll be glad you did the first time the system keeps you from running into a mailbox, or rear ending someone at a stop light.