The new Mazda-Toyota partnership has some people completely perplexed. After all Toyota is much larger and more powerful than Mazda, what could Mazda possibly bring to the table? As it turns out Mazda has a lot to offer Toyota, despite the company’s compact size. Mazda excels at making fun-to-drive and efficient compact cars, something Toyota could learn a thing or two about still. Here’s a list of three different Toyota cars that are likely to improve in the future with help from Mazda.
The highly popular Toyota Corolla is built like a tank and holds value better than most, but it lacks the personality had by the Mazda3. By adapting some of the performance qualities and fun styling cues of the 3 the Corolla could be even more exceptional. As long as Toyota figures out a way to add to the Corolla without taking away it will become even more popular while growing a larger fan-base than it already has.
The Toyota Camry is one of the most reliable appliances on the market today. It’s not particularly exciting but it has impressive resale values and consumers expect this vehicle to stand the test of time. The Mazda 6, though while not nearly as reliable takes a similar price point as the Camry and injects it with upscale styling and improved handling mechanics making it feel higher quality. These are elements that Toyota could bring to the Camry to make it an even stronger offering.
In recent years the iconic Yaris has been taking over the roadways. It’s tiny, it’s cute and it’s an exceptional value. Unfortunately the Yaris feels a bit underpowered and Spartan on the interior. The Mazda2 is another vehicle that may not offer as much in the way of reliability or value as the Yaris, but offers superior handling and styling while residing in the same price range. It’s exciting to think about what Toyota and Mazda can do together and Mazda is already working with the automaker to help them develop a more lively compact.
With a bit of guidance from Mazda Toyota can take each of these three highly reliable vehicles and make them even more enjoyable to drive around. Toyota owners confidently pick up new models each year for reliability and safety reasons, but in the future perhaps they will pick them up for entertainment as well.
The Toyota Hilux has a strong reputation for being one of the most dependable and relatively indestructible vehicles of all time, and they are continuing that reputation with the 2016 model of the vehicle. The 2016 version gives the vehicle a face lift while also making it more tech-savvy and rugged than ever before.
Polling Buyers to Make a Better Truck
Toyota get in touch with as many previous customers as it could to find out how to make the next generation of the Hilux, one of its most popular trucks ever, better. The customers requested a more durable suspension that’s also more flexible to reduce interior noise of the vehicle.
Getting Australian Engineers to Take a Look
One of the most popular markets for the Hilux is Australia. The Australian outback has some very difficult terrain to traverse and people want something that’s going to hold up to regular punishment. The Hilux does this nicely. Before Toyota started mass-producing the vehicle they brought in a set of Australian engineers to take a look at the new design. They wanted to make sure that the engineers liked the new design and the improvements that were made to the vehicle.
More Rugged Design
In order to make long-time Hilux fans happy Toyota invested its efforts into making the truck even more durable and reliable. The frame and suspension were both beefed up in the newest model, and some variations of the 2016 Hilux now have a working payload of a ton for all those heavy users that want to toss more into the bed. The truck is releasing with a four-cylinder turbo diesel, but is expected to be offered with a variety of engines both gas and diesel as time goes by.
Another major adjustment that’s come with the new Hilux is more comfort amenities within. The truck comes with a touch screen media display as well as a rear view camera for easier backing up. It also has less interior noise than before and a slightly smoother ride.
In an age when automatic transmissions are becoming the only option it’s rare to see a new release that comes with a manual as well. The Hilux delivers on that front as well. IT comes with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, so you can have it either way you want.
The Hilux is a widespread vehicle that’s been sold in over 180 countries and Toyota is expecting this model to be just as popular. It’s releasing in countries like Australia and Thailand first, but it’s possible that it will make its way over to the United States after releasing to its biggest markets if it is successful enough.
Most new car buyers focus on the features or the look of a vehicle far more than they do the safety features. When you think about this it seems a bit silly that so much focus is placed on the fun aspect of owning a vehicle and something so important like personal safety is often placed on the back burner. If you want to make sure you and possibly your family and friends are safe when riding in your vehicle, do yourself a favor and make sure that you spend a sufficient amount of time considering safety options before making the purchase.
Take a Look at Crash Ratings
One of the most important ways to verify the safety of vehicles is through crash test ratings. Both the NHTSA and the IIHS crash vehicles into specific barriers on a regular basis to check to see how durable they really are. There’s no better way to find out what a vehicle is made of than to look at the crash test ratings. Look for vehicles like the Prius V and the Toyota Highlander that scored highly on both crash tests, because they will hold together in the unfortunate event of a crash.
Always look at the number of airbags that a vehicle comes with. The more airbags that it packs in the better, because this means you’ll be protected more effectively in the event of a crash. Many vehicles have at least six airbags today and an increasing number are getting knee bags and side-curtain bags even at the back of the vehicle. Keep track of the number of airbags before you buy.
Backup Cameras Make Sense
Many new vehicles are coming with backup cameras today, and that’s because they help avoid a lot of possible collisions. Co;nsider getting a vehicle that has a camera and if you have to choose between one that does and one that does not, you should get the vehicle with the camera. It will make you safer and make the vehicle more enjoyable to drive. While you’re at it, you should pay attention to how well you can see out all the windows of a vehicle and stick with one that offers a good level of visibility. If you’re having a hard time seeing out some of the windows or the pillars are too wide that can cause problems down the road.
Look for Active Safety Technology
While active safety technology such as adaptive cruise, blind spot monitors and even some autonomous driving systems are still pretty new to the market, they are good to have. They help keep you out of trouble when your mind wanders or when you simply don’t notice an impending problem. Active safety technology may be the most important safety feature that vehicles can have and getting a car loaded up with it is a good way to stay safer out on the road.
If you want a safer vehicle it’s a good idea to look out for all these features before you buy. They make a big difference and can create a much safer environment for you and your family.
For the first time since 2012 Toyota is planning on redesigning the GT 86 to give it a more modern look. The car’s only been on the market for the past four years, and this mid-cycle makeover isn’t likely to bring with it many dramatic changes. A Toyota insider expects the car to receive modest aesthetic alterations while getting some pretty minor performance enhancements as well.
Don’t Expect a Radical Redesign
Though Toyota does plan on changing around the body style of the vehicle noticeably, you shouldn’t expect anything too radical to occur. The Toyota GT 86 is produced on the same assembly line as the Subaru BRZ and the body panels can only be adjusted so much while staying within the manufacturing limits. That means that Toyota is limited on what they can do overall, but you should expect to see some fresh new lines, a new grille and a variety of aesthetic improvements that will make the vehicle look more modern while helping it maintain that stylish edge it’s known for.
The car is expected to get a new bonnet, new headlights, a lowered grille that’s increased in size and probably a new bumper as well. The coupe version of the car is also going to get some redesigns with a new rear bumper and more noticeable diffuser setup.
Moderate Performance Improvements
For those of you hoping for a radically more powerful GT 86 you won’t be getting your wishes for the mid-cycle update. The 2.0 liter engine is expected to remain the same, but should get some tuning upgrades and some frictional adjustments. The manifold design is changing and the engine is expected to have boosted power and torque by around five percent overall and should be more efficient by close to seven percent as well. This will bump the total horsepower of the vehicle up above 200, but it likely won’t hit 210. The power and efficiency improvements will be nice, but they probably won’t be as noticeable as some of the planned suspension modifications.
The car is expected to receive a reinforced rear suspension. The new subframe modifications would give the vehicle a more rigid and performance-focused feel. The car is expected to have tighter driving mechanics, and the change should be noticeable enough to stand out more than the power improvement does.
Fans of the GT 86 should look forward to the new and improved looks above everything else, and maybe some new tech improvements as well. The performance and handling of the vehicle will be pretty similar to the original 2012 version and Toyota likely won’t make major changes for another four years.
Developing new automotive technologies can be extraordinarily expensive and it makes sense to advance technology in the most affordable way possible. That’s why many car companies are starting to work together to try and lower research and developments costs for new technology. Toyota is considering a partnership with Mazda so that both companies can improve their lineup affordably. Toyota is known for its hybrid and fuel cell technology and Mazda has some highly efficient gas and diesel engines. By sharing these technologies amongst each other both automakers could improve their vehicles noticeably.
An Existing Relationship
Toyota and Mazda already have a mutually beneficial relationship and this latest deal would just be expanding upon the benefits that both are already enjoying. Currently Toyota is making its gas-electric technology for some of Mazda’s lineup and Mazda is working on developing a small car at its Mexico plant for Toyota. Mazda should start development on the vehicle later on this year.
Meeting Strict Emissions Requirements
All around the world governments are cracking down on fuel efficiency and emissions standards. The governments want cleaner vehicles. They want less pollution going into the air and they want their nations to stop depending on fossil fuels so much. What this really means is that automakers have a lot of work ahead of them and they will probably spend a great deal on research and development to meet the new guidelines and remain in operation legally. While some automakers are focusing on lobbying and stopping these new laws, or at least softening the requirements, other car companies are striking up relationships to try and spread these developments costs amongst themselves. With the new Mazda engine technology Toyota will be able to make its lineup more efficient and improve MPG across its lineup. Toyota fans can expect even more impressive vehicles in the future with technology that was only available to Mazda previously. Mazda will be able to make similar changes to its own lineup and will likely begin offering some hybrid and possibly fuel cell cars in the future to help reduce its dependency on gas and diesel.
Mazda plans to form additional partnerships in the future, and with Toyota giving out information and working to expand its fuel cell technology so aggressively it’s likely they will form new partnerships in the future as well. Each new partnership helps bring better more technologically advanced vehicles to the marketplace for everyone to enjoy.
New or used car buyers have a real dilemma that they face each time they go to pick up a new vehicle. Whether you’re shopping for a brand new Camry or you’re picking up a nice used Corolla you have to decide whether you will shop at the same dealership you’re familiar with and trust, or if you’ll venture out and compare prices at many different dealerships before making your decision. Both options have their benefits and it can be tough deciding which approach to go with when selecting your next vehicle.
Get Lower Prices by Shopping Around
With the power of the Internet it is easier than ever before to find the best deals out there by looking at many different dealerships all at the same time. There are apps that allow you to compare many different prices with one another to figure out who is asking a good rate for their vehicles and who is charging too much. With it being so easy to compare prices it makes a lot of sense to look to see who is offering the best deals. To get these deals you might have to drive a little farther and even work with a dealership that you don’t trust, but that often makes sense to bargain hunters looking to save a bit more on their next purchase.
Enjoying Quality Assurance and Familiar Faces
It’s tough to buy a car, especially a used one, from someone you don’t trust or know very well. If you’ve been buying cars for a while there is probably someone that you know and trust already. You might have a good relationship established with one dealership and that’s a good reason to keep going back to them. You’ll know what to expect from the buying experience and can even rest assured that you are going to get a quality product if that was your experience in the past. You may even get to deal with the same people when you buy another car, which is nice. There is something nice about dealing with the same familiar people when you are making important decisions, and that’s why you should strongly consider heading back to the same dealership every time you buy a vehicle, even if you don’t get the best prices out there. Many times security is worth the extra cost, especially if you are saving money already by buying used.
Getting the Best of Both Worlds
It’s nice to see familiar faces when you go to pick up a car, especially when it is a used one that isn’t guaranteed to run as nicely as one right off the assembly line. That being said, it’s also nice to avoid overpaying for a vehicle by picking from some of the most affordable options available today. Now that you know the benefits of each type of car shopping it’s time to try and enjoy benefits from both ends of the spectrum. You can often get better prices at your local dealership that you’re used to by printing off prices from other local dealerships to compare to. Bring those printouts with you when you go and shop for a vehicle and you may be able to negotiate a better deal. Even if you don’t get the price as low as that other unfamiliar dealership, you should be able to get a more affordable rate while going with the team that you know and trust. This allows you to get the most out of your car buying experience without feeling like you are sacrificing.
The Camry hybrid has been around for a few years now and each time it’s released the car only seems to get better. Toyota offers some excellent hybrid vehicles and the Camry is right at the top of that list. It offers an impressive fuel range, has snappy performance characteristics, a comprehensive app suite and to top it all off it’s quite comfortable to shuttle a family around in.
Huge Fuel Range
The Camry hybrid manages to get around 40 MPG during standard driving conditions and many times even exceeds that figure. This is pretty impressive on its own, but when you consider the fact that the Camry also comes equipped with a massive 17 gallon fuel tank you’ll be amazed at how far you can drive on a single fill up. The car can travel around 680 miles before you’ll have to put more gas in it, and during standard driving conditions you’ll have a hard time spotting any fuel gauge needle movement at all.
One cool feature that Camry Hybrid makes use of to maximize fuel economy as much as possible is an electric start and stop. The gasoline engine shuts off whenever you bring the car to a stop saving fuel. The electric motor starts acceleration and the gas engine kicks on when you get going again. This helps you avoid wasting fuel while sitting at red lights, and would be particularly useful in traffic jams.
The car comes with both a gas and electric engine. The small 2.5 liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine provides the base power for the car, and the 156 HP and 156 lb.-ft. electric motor boosts the total system power up to 200 HP. The added electric engine gives the car plenty of acceleration power and it feels like one of the quickest Camry options available.
A Solid Multimedia Experience
For someone interested in having every app available to them while driving around in the car the Entune App suite may not be the best option. But for someone who wants a smooth and quick system to look up information and get the results they are after Toyota gets it right. The Camry Hybrid comes with a 7-inch touchscreen display built into the dash. IT comes with a reliable navigation system that automatically reroutes you around known traffic problems. The media system allows voice and audio streaming but most of its app capabilities come from the Entune suite. To use Entune you have to connect your smartphone to the car and make use of the phone’s data. When you do this you have access to Bing, Yelp, Movietickets.com, iHeartRadio and OpenTable. This isn’t a massive selection, but more than enough to do nearly everything that you want. It all works flawlessly and that’s the most important feature of this system. You’ll be able to smoothly get what you want while in the car without much waiting.
A Fun Driver
The standard Camry is known for its lackluster driving qualities. It’s not that it isn’t a smooth driver, or that it isn’t reliable, it’s just not all that much fun compared to some other cars out on the market. When people buy a Camry they do so because they want a car they can depend on for years. The Camry Hybrid breaks this stereotype a bit. It’s still clearly not a sports car, despite the sport suspension trim that Toyota is offering with the model, but it’s more sporty than most other Camry models. It’s got the power that most Camry’s lack and it’s surprising to get that added sportiness from a vehicle that’s known for its high fuel economy figures.
If you’re looking for a dependable car that will probably keep you away from gas stations for a few weeks at a time the 2015 Camry Hybrid is a strong option. It’s fun to drive and has plenty of value adding features that make it a joy to own.
Full-sized truck manufacturers are always competing to see who can create the most powerful tower, the most capable hauler or the truck with the most luxurious interior, but there’s another category that they are always going after as well, and that’s best off-roader. That last category is exactly what the 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is directed at, and it makes quite the impression. The oversized truck is a capable driver during standard road conditions, but it becomes more impressive when you bring it on less travelled trails and back roads. The truck manages to hold its grip in most situations and has emits a loud throaty growl as it races up hills and overtop other present obstacles. It’s relatively affordable for such a capable machine with an MSRP of $46,259 and it’s got enough features to remain competitive with most other models in its sector, which is why it should be considered by anyone who’s serious about going off road, but doesn’t want to own a bunch of separate vehicles.
This Tundra isn’t packed with a massive engine, but it comes with sufficient power for towing and handling most off-road conditions capably. The 5.7 liter V8 offers 381 horses. It’s easy to manipulate and features a six speed automatic with a sequential shift mode for added control. The truck also has tow and haul modes depending on what you are using it for. It’s quick to speed up, glides effortlessly over most roadways and maintains its grip capably even when you’re in loose dirt or sand.
The Tundra TRD Pro is modified to take on the elements more effectively. It comes with 2.5 inch Bilstein shocks to dampen any major bumps in the road. The truck also makes use of three-stage compression dampening and is equipped with a ¼ inch aluminum front skid plate to absorb the blow of any rocks that come its way. Overall the truck offers a very smooth ride, even when you’re going over not so smooth roads, or out-of-the-way paths.
Since the 2015 Tundra TRD Pro is at the top of the lineup it comes with most of the enhanced tech features available on a Toyota. The truck as an HD radio with satellite as well. It features both AM and FM channels and comes with a seven-inch touchscreen unit. Easily connect devices through the included USB port and use the Aux in jack to play audio from your devices over the radio. The truck comes with Bluetooth for streaming music or phone calls wirelessly. It also has a full suite of apps that let you tap into the Internet while sitting in the front of a truck. It relies on the Internet connection of your phone to look up information so that you don’t have to purchase a separate data plan just for the vehicle.
The interior of the TRD Pro is a mash up of custom features that will let everyone know they are riding in an upper-level model of the Tundra. The front bucket seats have red stitching and accents. The floor mat shows off a custom TRD pro logo and the seats are embroidered with that same logo.
That Distinct Look
On the outside of the Tundra there are clear enhancements that make it stand out. The 18 inch TRD black alloy wheels are nice, but it’s the 32 inch tires that really put off the off-roading image that gives this truck so much allure. It also comes with a nicely oversized grille and black bezel headlights that go well with the rest of the black accents.
The nice thing about the 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is that it manages to be highly capable while off-roading, but that’s not all the truck is. It retains a bed long enough for useful hauling, and it has enough interior space for comfort making it a very capable regular driver as well. You won’t have to go out and buy a second vehicle for the moments when you want to do a bit of standard driving and that’s the real strength of the 2015 Toyota TRD Pro.
For Toyota, every day is Earth Day and the little things add up, especially when almost 43,000 team members across 14 North America manufacturing plants do them. Such efforts have saved nearly $600 million since benchmarking began in 2002.
They’ve also resulted in Toyota’s 11th consecutive ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. EPA for continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency.
Eleven consecutive ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Awards are the most by any automaker.
Examples of achieving energy efficiency at Toyota’s 14 North American manufacturing plants include:
- Reduced total energy use by 35 percent per vehicle produced or 14 billion kilowatt hours of energy.* That’s enough power to keep the city of Chicago up and running for nearly an entire year.
- Reduced CO2 emissions by 40 percent per vehicle produced by eliminating the use of electricity and natural gas when avoidable.**Since benchmarking began in 2002 “While there’s always room for improvement, achieving energy efficiency demonstrates that good ideas have helped us become environmentally responsible while making a significant impact to our bottom line,” said Robin Haugen general manager of Toyota’s plant and environmental group. “Through our team members’ efforts and outstanding collaboration, we
have minimized our environmental footprint in communities where we assemble vehicles, engines and parts. We’re so proud to receive our 11th consecutive ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. EPA and we’ll strive to do better.”
Recent environmental improvement activities across some of Toyota’s 14 manufacturing plants include:
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama (Huntsville)
- Saved 300,000 gallons of water a year – enough to fill half of an Olympic-size swimming pool – by reusing compressor condensate water in the cooling tower. The tower accounts for nearly 50 percent of the facility’s water use.
- Switched to higher-efficiency motors and used compressed air more efficiently.
- Installed LED lighting, solar lights and daylighting to reduce purchased electricity.
- All environmental projects – part of a $1 million investment to make the plant more sustainable – result in annual saving of more than 3.3 million kilowatts hours, equal to 125 average U.S. homes and reducing more than 2,000 metric tons of CO2.Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (Princeton)
Reduced the volume of air that has to be conditioned in the paint booths, a process that’s necessary for the paint to adhere to vehicles. The project reduced energy use by 125,000 MMBtus, enough to power 1,450 average U.S. homes for a year and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 8,900 metric tons.
In addition to the energy and greenhouse gas savings, the improved paint process reduced the amount of paint and emissions.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (Georgetown)
The plant has teamed up with Waste Services of the Bluegrass to generate power from local landfill waste that naturally creates methane gas, marking the region’s first business-to-business landfill gas to energy initiative. Toyota estimates the locally generated landfill gas will supply enough power each year for the production of 10,000 vehicles. Once operational later this spring, the system will generate one megawatt of electricity each hour the system is operating, or about what it takes to power nearly 800 average U.S. homes annually.
Plus landfill greenhouse gas emissions will be cut by as much as 90 percent, resulting in better air quality for the local community.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi (Blue Springs)
- Installed a geothermal heat exchanger that supplies chilled water to a compressed airdryer to eliminate the chiller load in the winter months when the plant’s HVAC systems are not using chilled water. This reduces electricity usage by 1.5 million kilowatt hours per year, equal to 56 average U.S. homes.
- Installed a single axis solar cell array in spring 2013, with a maximum output of 50 kilowatts. The power generated by the array is redirected back to New Albany Light,
Gas & Water, the local utility company, and ultimately is transferred back onto the grid for public use.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (San Antonio)
The plant uses about 1 million gallons of recycled water per production day, or about 250 million gallons each year. Since its opening in 2007, the plant has used nearly 2 billion gallons of recycled water. That’s nearly 2 billion gallons that wasn’t drawn from the local Edwards Aquifer.
Toyota’s accomplishments will be recognized in Washington, D.C. on April 20.
Deciding whether you want to buy that shiny new Toyota or lease it isn’t always easy to do, and it’s tough to figure out which option is the more financially savvy one for your particular situation. Unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether leasing or buying is the better option and they both have their downsides and upsides depending on what type of car owner you are. Take a moment to learn more about both buying and leasing vehicles and you should be able to make a decision for yourself.
Assessing Your Commitment
Think about how long you plan on keeping the vehicle you have sitting in your driveway currently, and be realistic about it. If you are the type of person who wants to switch to a new model every couple of years vehicle ownership may not be the right option for you. If you regularly trade in for the newest model you are paying much more than you have to be for your vehicles. Owning your vehicles is the more affordable option if you stick with your car for as long as you can, but if you are itching for a new vehicle just a couple years after making your purchase a lease could be more affordable for you.
When you lease a vehicle there is a limit to the number of miles you can put on it throughout the term of your agreement. If you drive a high number of miles on a yearly basis you will have to agree on a higher number of miles in your lease agreement, which ultimately means that you will pay a higher monthly rate. If you don’t add enough miles to the agreement you risk running out and having to pay overage fees for each individual mile over the total limit which can be very expensive if you’re thousands of miles over where you should be. If you are the type of driver who travels more than 12,000 to 15,000 miles a year you might have a hard time relying on a lease.
Lease payments are normally cheaper than loan payments because you aren’t paying for the value of the vehicle, only the depreciation that it is going to experience over the term. So if you lease a $20,000 car you might pay around $12,000for depreciation over the term while you would be paying the full $20,000 on the loan. That means that the lease payment is close to half of what the loan payment is going to be. If you need access to more money each month it makes sense to lease rather than buy.
Paying for Wear and Tear
Buyers enjoy leasing cars because they have access to new shiny vehicles every three to five years. The only downside to a lease is all of the wear and tear fees that you have ot dela with. When you lease a vehicle you will have to pay wear and tear fees for a vehicle that takes any damage. If you have issues with keeping cars in good shape you could end up being stuck with a stiff fee at the end of your lease for problems you may not have to have corrected on a vehicle you own.
Now that you know a bit more about buying and leasing you can decide if it makes more sense to purchase that new Corolla or simply lease it and look out for a newer model in a few years from now.