Category: Toyota

The 2016 Toyota Prius Looks Surprisingly like the Mirai

August 29, 2015 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , , , ,

The 2016 Toyota Prius is planned to debut in just a week from now, and it was expected that someone would leak photos before that date. Well now we have them, and what’s surprising about this new model isn’t that it’s pretty refreshing (though it is), it’s that the 2016 Prius looks a lot like the Mirai. That resemblance is really obvious out back of the Prius, but there are a few other similarities around the vehicle as well.

2016 Toyota Prius

What’s New Out Front?

The seemingly happy face of the 2015 Toyota Prius out front has been transformed into a more aggressive scowl on the 2016 version. The headlights are more swooped and angular, the grille is lower down and thinner and the fog lights go off at a more aggressive curve than before. The end result is a clearly more aggressive and sportier vehicle, and I’m really digging it.

Take a Look at the Rear

At the rear of the 2016 Prius you get a lot of styling cues taken straight from the Mirai. It’s got a very similar lighting setup with lights that curve and angle down toward the floor in close to a scythe shape. The car also has that same “floating” roof design, making use of black pillars to give the roof a floating look nearly identical to what the Mirai has going for it. The Prius has a higher tail in the back than the Mirai however, giving it that distinctly lifted look that everyone is familiar with on Prius’s now.

Bolstered Fuel Efficiency

While this post wasn’t originally meant to talk about much more than the look improvements to the 2016 Prius, it’s hard to go through a full post without at least mentioning how much more efficient this car is supposed to be. Toyota execs say that the car is supposed to be at least 10 percent more efficient than the outgoing Prius model. The old version managed 50 MPG combined, so it’s safe to say that we should expect somewhere around 55 MPG combined in the 2016 model. To achieve the efficiency improvements Toyota relied on a new engine with a higher thermal efficiency than the other model. Toyota also refined some of the electrical components around the vehicle to not only make it more affordable but more efficient.

If you’re into what Toyota did with the Mirai as far as looks is concerned, you’re sure to enjoy the 2016 Prius more than its predecessors. It certainly has a new edginess about it that it didn’t in the past, but it still has that unique styling that sets it apart from other vehicles. You won’t mistake the Prius for the Camry, or any other vehicle that Toyota has rolling around in its fleet, and that’s a good thing for the car.

The Highly Impressive 2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

August 17, 2015 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , ,

The Toyota Highlander has long-been one of the customer favorites for transporting larger families. This highly capable vehicle is spacious, packed full of utility and versatile enough to meet most everyday needs. On top of all that it’s relatively efficient compared ot other vehicles in the industry. The Highlander hybrid is an even more pronounced and effective version of the SUV, and it just got even more capable in 2015.

2015 toyota highlander hybrid

It’s Not Cheap but Worth It

As with most great things in life, the Highlander hybrid isn’t cheap. You’ll have to fork over more than $40,000 to become the owner of this highly capable vehicle, and the top-end variations climb up over the $50,000 mark. By spending the extra money you get a wildly more efficient version of the highly popular SUV. A standard Highlander gets 18 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway. Upgrading to the hybrid version bumps those figures up to 27 MPG and 28 MPG respectively. That means that you can drive in the city and out on the highway with a very respectable fuel economy.  You will have to sacrifice a bit more than just extra cash when you opt for this model though, because it has a lower level of power and only tows 3,500 lbs. which is about a 1,500 lb. drop from the standard version.

Impressive Storage Capacity

The vehicle will carry around up to eight people, and even with the added battery packs it still manages to offer a high level of storage for whatever you need to carry around. There is 13.6 cubic feet behind the third row, and a massive 42.3 cubic feet of storage with the third row folded down into the floor.

Highly Comfortable

One thing that you’ll notice about the highlander hybrid right away is just how comfortable it is to ride around in. It has a highly capable suspension system that takes bumps and uneven road surfaces with ease. You’ll effortlessly glide over all sorts of road defects while travelling and you’ll be amazed at how quiet it is inside. Even at highway speeds the inside of the Highlander is almost whisper quiet, making it easier than ever to have a conversation or to just enjoy the music you have playing in the background.

Capable Performance

The Highlander Hybrid isn’t a race car, and it’s not meant to zip around tracks at pulse pounding speeds. It is however designed to speed up capably in the middle of traffic, and to handle going up a hill while packed full of heavy cargo. It does all of these things well, and it actually drives pretty well. Even though the hybrid model is heavier than the gasoline version they both go from 0 to 60 in a very adequate 7.5 seconds. The steering is a bit soft and there is noticeable body roll around corners, but for being as large as it is, the highlander is very comfortable to drive around.

Families looking for a mid-sized SUV to travel around in will surely enjoy what the Highlander has to offer, and those looking to save on fuel should consider moving up to the slightly pricier hybrid version. Both options are highly capable and provide the performance that you would expect from an SUV.

Toyota Made Some Noticeable Improvements to the 2016 Land Cruiser

August 15, 2015 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , ,

Toyota understands the importance of SUVs in today’s market, and that’s why they’ve taken the time to completely go over and improve their flagship model, the 2016 Land Cruiser, to appeal to even more buyers. It’s better looking, more capable and safer than ever before.

2016 land cruiser

New Transmission

Finally the Toyota Land Cruiser gets a bump up from the six speed automatic transmission to a more capable eight speed. Not only does this improve fuel efficiency for the vehicle, but it also gives it a smoother and more enjoyable ride. You’ll delight in how easily the vehicle switches from one gear to the next. The gear changes are almost imperceptible and they’re much cleaner than they were on the older model.

Tech Improvements

The latest model gets a nice wireless phone charger making it even more convenient to keep your latest devices topped up while on the move. It also comes with a new advanced rear entertainment system that has a pair of 10-inch screens for the kiddies to watch. There is also a center console that comes with a built-in cooler for long-distance trip treats. There is a set of cup holders and a USB port imbedded in that center console as well.

Interior Improvements

Toyota made its top SUV even more enjoyable to ride in by adding soft-touch interior materials throughout the cabin.

Exterior Enhancements

On the outside it’s clear that something is different, but it’s hard to spot the changes immediately. The grille is larger and covered with more chrome than before to really stand out. The headlights have a curvy, more modern look about them, and they also include a set of daytime-running LEDs. The new and improved lower bumper has chrome trim now and is imbedded with a set of fog lights. There is also a sporty body kit available for buyers, but they’ll have to pay a bit extra for it.

New Safety Features

The 2016 Land cruiser comes jam-packed with some of the best safety features that you’ll find on the market today, all standard. It has front collision mitigation and avoidance systems. It also comes with a rear cross traffic alert system and a blind spot monitor to keep you aware when changing lanes. Finally it’s packed with automatic high beams and an adaptive cruise control system and a backup camera to help you pull out of the driveway.

Overall the latest Land Cruiser is more capable than before, nicer looking and a whole lot safer than it used to be. It’s an exciting upgrade, and something that SUV fans will be happy to get their hands on.

Caring for your Toyota to Maximize Resale

August 3, 2015 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , , , ,

Everyone knows that Toyota vehicles are known for high resale values, but not taking the time to care for your vehicle will really hurt your ability to get the most value out of that vehicle. Make sure that you spend the time to really care for these vehicles. You’ll keep them running and looking great for much longer, and you’ll be amazed at how much value a vehicle that is even ten years old still has in it when it comes time to resell it.

2011 toyota camry

Wash it Frequently

It’s important to keep your Toyota nice and clean, but it becomes even more important when you live in a damp, cold and snowy climate where salt and slush will frequently come in contact with the vehicle. That mixture will quickly eat away at the body of the vehicle and make it rust out well before it should. One of the easiest ways to lose resale value in a vehicle is to allow it to rust out. Bring it to wash it a few times a month and you’ll keep it looking nice and clean for much longer into your ownership.

Change that Oil

Keeping the oil changed each time the manufacturer interval comes up will help ensure that the engine doesn’t evolve any major problems down the road. It will keep things running smoothly and will certainly help resale value as long as the changes are well documented. Simply keep a pack of receipts for each oil change as well as write down the mileage that it occurred on. Keep all of this information in a box or envelope so that you can bring it out when it comes time to sell the vehicle. This will make getting more for your vehicle easier, and will pay off in the end.

Store it Out of the Elements

This one is a tip that many people simply aren’t following. The worst thing you can do for your vehicle is keep it out in the driveway throughout the year. It’s much better to stick it under a carport, or at least slip a cover over top of it when it isn’t going to be operated. The more the vehicle is stored out of the elements, the better it is going to look as it ages. That will really help your resale value, and it isn’t that hard to keep it covered up when it isn’t being used.

If you’re going to invest money into a Toyota because you know it has a good resale value, it makes sense to do what you can to preserve that value. Follow the above guidelines and you’ll keep the vehicle running and looking better than you otherwise would. That’s the best way to maximizing your value and getting the most from your purchase when it comes time to sell it off again.

Toyota Vincentric Award Canada

July 30, 2015 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , ,

For the fourth year in a row Toyota snagged the Vincentric Award for Best Passenger Vehicle Value. This award shows how reliable and affordable the Toyota lineup is. By getting this reward for so many years, it’s easy to see how affordable Toyota is for the value that it provides through its vehicles. Vincentric takes a very analytic approach to rating vehicles, and that’s a good thing when you want proven data backing important car purchase decisions.

2015 Toyota Corolla
2015 Toyota Corolla

How Vincentric Defines Value

If you’re the guy who buys cars based on depreciation figures and what makes financial sense, then you’ll love how Vincentric makes its value decisions. Essentially the automaker looks at how much vehicles cost to buy and what their cost of ownership is over a designated period. The company looks at all the costs associated with every vehicle it’s considering and then determines value in each segment by relying on some statistical calculations and comparing the costs of each of the vehicles to one another. Overall the vehicle chosen through this process should be the most affordable of the bunch.

Additional Awards

On top of the Vincentric Passenger Vehicle award Toyota also managed to land 12 vehicle-specific awards between its three brands. From the Toyota Brand the Highlander, Avalon, Prius, Sequoia and Tacoma vehicles all received an award. There were seven other awards given to Lexus and Scion vehicles from the company.

Toyota has a long history of providing excellent value with its vehicles, and these awards are just another testament to that value. Naturally Larry Hutchinson, the Vice President of Toyota Canada was thrilled by the award and it should help ease buyer’s minds when they consider picking up a new or used Toyota vehicle.

Stop trying to calculate which vehicle is going to be the best value for your needs, and simply take a look at the Vincentric awards to figure out which one makes the most sense for you. Toyota brands have most of the awards to their name, and that’s a strong indicator that the company really does offer the high value that all its advocates say it does.

The 2016 Toyota Prius May Be Getting a Major Battery Range Boost

July 29, 2015 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , ,

There’s no arguing that the Toyota Prius is the most iconic and successful hybrid vehicle in history, but it’s lost a bit of its luster in recent years. With more competition and lower fuel prices, people are buying the vehicle less than they did in the past. They are beginning to seek out other alternatives instead, now that there is some competition on the market that’s similar to the Prius. The vehicle still excels in fuel efficiency figures, but if rumor has it, the car might also excel in electric-only operation soon enough. At the moment the battery-only driving mode gets around 11 miles before it runs out of juice, that could change dramatically in future iterations of the Prius.

2015 toyota prius

A Major Range Boost

It’s not confirmed yet, but the 2016 Toyota Prius is expected to receive a major range boost. Previous models have been criticized for their short all-electric range, even though they manage to deliver such high hybrid fuel efficiency levels. Toyota is striving to change that, and offer drivers a range that they might actually be able to take advantage of for regular commuting. The current Prius electric range is somewhere around 11 miles. It’s rumored that Toyota will try to raise the level to between 30 and 35 miles on a single charge. With that range, it would be possible to commute to work in many conditions on electric power only. It would also put the car right at the top of the list for hybrid full-electric performance. There would only be a few other vehicles out that would then be topping the Prius for electric range.

Expected Enhancements

On top of the range enhancement, the Prius is expected to get a variety of other improvements as well. It is thought that Toyota will give their flagship Hybrid a sportier look than it’s ever had before while also improving the driving mechanics. This is great news for a car that’s been criticized for its looks and lack of performance in the past. Toyota will of course work hard to maintain high quality and durability while constructing the vehicles, but they will also try to enhance the areas that aren’t so strong. Altering the looks of the vehicle and making it a bit more powerful and exciting to drive can only help increase sales for the already popular vehicle.

If you like the idea of being able to drive the Prius back and forth to work without burning up any fuel in the process, keep an eye on the 2016 model. It might get the range boost you need to really start commuting on battery power only, while still allowing you to take long-distance trips when necessary. The Prius is getting enough exciting improvements to stand out again as one of the best hybrids on the market. Sure it will keep that reliable and dependable design, but it’s going to do it with a bit more edge and flare in the future.

Camry Rumored to Get Turbocharger Engine

July 27, 2015 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , ,

With one of the most fuel efficient lineups in the United States currently, Toyota doesn’t have anything to prove to the public about efficiency. That doesn’t stop the company from continuing to improve on what it’s already done, and that is precisely why the 2016 Toyota Camry is expected to receive a four-cylinder turbocharged engine. While most people think of turbo engines as a way to produce more power and go faster, for Toyota, it’s actually a way to continue going the same speed while doing so more efficiently.

2015 toyota camry

Upsizing Fuel Efficiency

The 2015 Camry floats between 25 and 28 MPG combined depending on the engine size and trim level that you get. These models are capable of getting between 31 and 35 MPG in highway driving conditions. While these figures don’t stand up to hybrid tech, and they won’t be trumping some of the new compact diesels out on the market, they are impressive in the mid-sized sedan segment. In-fact, they are some of the best efficiency figures that you can get.

Even with those figures behind the vehicle, Toyota is likely to switch over to four-cylinder engines that rely on a turbo for the added power necessary. This enables the automaker to shrink down the naturally aspirated engine used, and rely on a more efficient version instead. The change will likely improve fuel efficiency figures noticeably and make the Camry an even more desirable option for families looking to shave fuel costs further.

Turbos are Part of Toyota’s Heritage

Toyota seems to be naturally drawn to turbochargers as a company. Many people have already forgotten about the Supra and MR2 projects that Toyota worked on back in the day. They were up against some real automotive giants at the time, and went with turbocharger technology that many people didn’t think made sense at the time. Turbo charging its lineup can only help extend that heritage, while making every Toyota even more competitive and desirable.

Preparing for the Future

Even though Toyota is leading the market for fuel efficiency, later restrictions by the EPA will require automakers to improve the fuel efficiency levels of their entire lineup noticeably. Working to make the improvements now rather than later makes a lot of sense for an auto giant like Toyota, and that could be part of the reason they seem to be tirelessly working toward more efficient vehicles.

The Toyota Camry is about to get even more fuel efficient, and that’s good news for any Toyota fan looking for a reason to upgrade. It’s bound to have a whole slew of improvements, but a turbocharged engine that runs more efficiently would be one of the best reasons to make the upgrade.

Enjoy the Standard GoPro Mount in the New Tacoma

July 21, 2015 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , , , ,

Mid-sized trucks and SUVs are both known for being rugged and meant for fun off-roading expeditions. These vehicles are taken on interesting trips out into the great outdoors more often than most others are, and that’s exactly why Toyota decided to make the 2016 Toyota Tacoma the first vehicle in history to come standard with a GoPro camera mount. That means that GoPro owners can easily bring their cameras along for the ride to record all their exciting feats.

toyota tacoma gopro mount

Camera Not Included

Unfortunately for Tacoma buyers the actual GoPro camera isn’t included with the purchase of the vehicle. This means that you’ll still have to go out and buy the camera for use in your vehicle if you don’t have one already. For owners of the GoPro already it’s pretty cool to have a quick and easy way to bring it along on trips. For everyone else, now you’ll have an excuse to pick up the GoPro so that you can begin recording your adventures.

Rugged Mounting Solution

The included mount in all the new Tacomas will offer a secure mounting location to allow GoPro cameras to take clear video footage while driving around. It will make taking live-action footage easier than ever before, and will likely help increase the amount of exciting footage that Toyota has to show off the New Tacoma.

The mount comes set up right on windshield of the passenger’s side. You simply slip the camera into place, start it up and you can begin recording new footage of your drive right away. The uses for this technology are numerous, and any time that you can think of a reason to record where you’re going this mount is going to make your life easier.

On top of the efficiency improvements and a more rugged build, Toyota just made it even easier to get reliable footage while driving around behind the wheel of a new truck. This is Toyota’s way of making the Tacoma more enticing to action junkies and it should sway more than a couple people. Even critics of the new addition can’t argue that the tech isn’t going to appeal to plenty of truck drivers.

If you’ve been shopping for camera mounts to go with your next Truck or SUV purchase, or you currently make use of a GoPro camera, it might be time to consider the 2016 Tacoma. It’s already one of the most capable mid-sized trucks on the market, now you can show that off to everyone you know with some live action video.

Toyota Explains the Benefits of Hydrogen Versus Full Electric

July 20, 2015 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , ,

Forbes recently spoke with Toyota about some of Tesla’s offerings as well as the upcoming launch of the Toyota Mirai. The Mirai is a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle that runs on compress hydrogen as its fuel source. Toyota doesn’t see electric vehicles as being a realistic green source of transportation at the moment, and according to the automaker a time when electric vehicles are a good reliable way to get around over long distances is a long way off in the future.

2015 Toyota Mirai

Electric Cars Have Some Difficult Challenges to Overcome

When it comes to increasing the range of electric vehicles, Scott, a Toyota Executive says that there are some difficult Physics and chemistry problems that have to be solved still. He explains that to increase the range of an electric vehicle you have to add a heavy electric battery. He goes on to say that each additional battery improves the range of the vehicle by a marginal amount and that all the added weight that you add from the battery further decreases the range that you’ll get from that battery.

According to Scott electric vehicles are an ideal solution for short-distance travel because they are highly efficient at what they do. He goes on to state that they aren’t yet suitable for long distance travel and that a new material with a higher energy density has to be developed to change that.

The Charging Dilemma

Another issue that Scott sees with electric vehicles is that they can’t be charged too quickly. Charging an electric vehicle quickly can damage the battery components and it requires a massive amount of power. With an increase in energy capacity it would become more and more difficult to get all the necessary power into the batteries in a timely manner. This isn’t an issue with vehicles like the Mirai or standard gasoline or diesel vehicles, because they rely on a fuel source that can be pumped into the vehicle relatively efficiently. The fuel source has a higher energy density than batteries do, and that makes them into a more effective tool for long-distance travelling.

Hydrogen Vehicles Don’t Face the Same Hurdles

Unlike electric vehicles that are still waiting for key technology enhancements, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles aren’t waiting for those enhancements. According to Toyota the vehicles are already ready for long distance travel, and with a range of over 300 miles on a fill up that takes less than 10 minutes it’s easy to see that they’re on to something. The Mirai only really faces two specific challenges still. The first is lowering the cost of the technology to make cars that are around similar prices to standard new vehicles sold today. Toyota says that goal is a realistic one and that they are already making improvements to lower the cost of the technology further. The second is getting hydrogen refueling stations around the country so that owners can actually enjoy long-distance travel. This issue won’t be that difficult to solve once enough drivers adopt the fuel cell technology. As demand increases for the new fuel source more stations will pop up around the country, and there is already a significant level of support for the stations with infrastructure being improved around the country already.

The hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle isn’t perfect yet, but it’s much closer to being the best suitable option for long-distance travel than the electric vehicle is, and that’s exactly what Toyota had to say about electric vehicles versus the Toyota Mirai.

2016 Toyota Sienna Best New Car for Families According to Car and Driver

July 17, 2015 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Car and Driver recently took the time to compare a whole slew of family vehicles to choose the best of the bunch. After a whole lot of testing and some careful deliberation, the company decided on the 2016 Toyota Sienna as the best option for a family vehicle. That’s an impressive feat for the Toyota minivan, but after you look at the benefits of the minivan it would be hard to deny it the top spot.

2016 toyota sienna

Making the Decision

Choosing the best family car for 2016 isn’t a simple task for Car and Driver. They don’t just glance at spec sheets, and they don’t rely on short test drives to come to a conclusion. The company relies on lengthy test periods and a range of judges who all rate the vehicles and input their own beliefs. On top of this, the company also takes a look at the input of consumers about what they think about vehicles. After compiling all that information and really narrowing the vehicle options down the Toyota Sienna managed to come out on top for the best family vehicle of 2016. That’s not the best family van, or even the best van in general. It’s the best vehicle for any decent sized family to rely on in any segment available. That’s pretty impressive, and an achievement that Toyota is undoubtedly proud of.

Benefits of the Sienna

The Toyota Sienna is a powerful vehicle with 266 HP available to it. That keeps it from feeling sluggish when traveling down the road. It has a V6 engine and is paired with a six speed automatic that shifts smoothly. The Sienna is known for being comfortable and spacious on the inside. It’s reliable and it comes with most comfort features that you would find on other minivans in the same segment. The one major difference that gives the Sienna a major edge over the other models is that it’s available with all-wheel drive. If you want a vehicle that’s going to do good in snow, slush and any other weather that you have to travel through during the course of the year, the Sienna really is the best option of the bunch. It actually bested a Jeep Grand Cherokee during a snow race, and proved that the Sienna is a highly capable driver when the conditions outside get nasty. Sure you’ll lose a bit of fuel efficiency for the all-wheel drive, but with it you’ll have the stability to handle most nasty weather conditions with ease. That’s something everyone else will have to pick up an SUV to get.

If you’re in the market for a new family vehicle you might want to consider the 2016 Toyota Sienna. Sure it’s pricey when compared to budget vehicles like the Kia Sedona, but it performs better, it’s more reliable, handles the weather better and you’ll get most of that price difference back when it comes time to resell the vehicle later on down the road. When you consider all the pros of owning a Sienna, there’s really no reason not to at least test drive the vehicle. Once you do you’ll be glad that you did.