The Prius Prime was released to give Toyota drivers the ability to drive without using any gasoline at all. The vehicle has a decent all-electric driving range and can make around-town commuting more affordable for drivers that take the time to charge up the Prius while at home. Unfortunately too many people are driving without charging the vehicle, or at least that’s what Toyota is finding. In order to increase the amount of home charging that’s going on, Toyota is teaming up with local electric companies throughout Japan in order to offer an incentive to Prius Prime owners. This incentive encourages them to drive around on electricity alone, and should improve air quality over time.
Toyota teemed up with five different local utility companies in Japan to offer special points to drivers that utilize electric-only power much of the time that they are driving around in the Prius Prime. These drivers will earn special points that they can cash in to help pay their power bill, or to buy special products with. It’s an exciting incentive program for the drivers that qualify for it, and should help give drivers a reason to try and avoid gasoline as much as possible.
Safe Driving Credits
The electric credits is not the only time that Toyota teamed up with outside companies to incentivize certain activities for its owners. The automaker also offered coffee credits for safe drivers a while back. Texting while driving is pretty dangerous, most of us realize that now, but the realization isn’t enough to keep all drivers from doing so anyways. That’s why Toyota teamed up with some companies over in Japan to encourage drivers to stop texting while behind the wheel. The system relies on an app that must be running while traveling down the road. Drivers can track their mileage without texting and will earn credit toward free coffee as they drive. It’s a simple system, but one that ended up helping drivers travel more than 1.6 million miles text-free.
These measures that Toyota is taking are great steps toward safer driving practices. They show that the automaker is responsible and they display a real concern for healthy driving practices.
When most people think of a hybrid vehicle the first one that comes to mind is the Toyota Prius. That’s because it’s the biggest success story when it comes to hybrids. It was one of the first hybrids released and the first real success story in the segment. While there are plenty of other hybrid options out on the market today, the 2017 Toyota Prius remains the best value for the money when purchasing a hybrid vehicle according to News and World Report’s comparison. That means that if you are looking for a hybrid to lower your environmental impact, to cut your gas costs or just to avoid using as much fuel as you once did, the Toyota Prius is likely one of your very best options.
How Winners are Chosen
News and World Report gives out awards to vehicles in 20 different categories and there is a strict comparison technique that the company relies on to select the winners of the contest. To decide which vehicles are the best value, the company looks at the initial price of the vehicle, as well as the total cost of ownership over a five-year stretch. With these two figures it is a simple matter deciding which vehicle is the best value of the bunch.
Affordable and Efficient
The Toyota Prius is known for its efficiency and there are models that average around 55 MPG in city driving conditions today. That’s an impressive figure, and that’s not all the automobile has going for it. Compared to other hybrids on the market, the Toyota Prius is surprisingly affordable. At between $25,000 and $30,000 the Prius is easy for most people to purchase and something that the average homeowner would have no trouble buying.
Spacious and Well-Appointed
The Prius isn’t known for being a luxury vehicle, but that doesn’t stop it from being well-equipped, spacious and nice-looking within. Inside the vehicle you’ll find all the standard features that you expect from a modern vehicle, plus a bunch of active safety features that will help keep you safe while out on the road. The vehicle also comes with plenty of interior space for five people to sit comfortably. There’s ample trunk space in the back, allowing you to pack clothes for a trip or head to the grocery store and do some shopping.
Sure, the Prius isn’t a sports car, but that doesn’t matter. The Toyota Prius has over 120 HP thanks to the two electric motors and the small gasoline engine. The two electric motors rev up and get the vehicle off to a smooth start from a standstill quickly and effectively. The vehicle isn’t going to win any races, but it doesn’t feel sluggish and handles pretty nicely.
Overall the Toyota Prius is a solid vehicle with a lot to offer in the value department. If you want an efficient car that isn’t going to use much gasoline, the Toyota Prius is still the king of the hybrids and pretty hard to pass up.
As the world becomes more concerned about global warming and the damage that we’re doing to the environment, emissions restrictions and fuel efficiency regulations are becoming much stricter. It’s this increased demand on the automotive industry to create better and more efficient vehicles that led to a partnership between Toyota and Suzuki. Toyota is obviously the larger of the two in the partnership, but both companies believe they have a lot to gain from the partnership.
Sharing Development Costs
Developing new technologies is incredibly expensive, especially for the automotive industry where the tech has to be tested to a very strict level before it’s ever implemented on a vehicle at all. By pooling their knowledge, information from their engineers and research costs, the two automakers can make new developments for less investment.
Learning Management Skills
Toyota hopes to take away some of the pioneer spirit that the automaker says Suzuki possesses. The company is smaller and tackles difficult problems still land Toyota believes that it has much to learn from the little company. It’s possible that the auto giant will pick up some new management techniques or find out about other ways to improve the company that it was simply overlooking in the past.
Interested in Expanding the Partnership
Both Toyota and Suzuki have expressed an interest in finding other automakers to add to the partnership and generate more benefits for everyone. Every additional automaker that gets added to the group will help with sharing new technologies, lowering research and development costs and becoming more effective overall.
Now that Toyota and Suzuki have formed partnerships they’ll have to figure out ways that they want to collaborate with one another. Experts believe this could happen in the areas of self-driving vehicles, electric cars and improved hybrid technology in the future.
Well the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta is now out, and it’s a more exciting vehicle than you might realize. Not only did it receive a bunch of enhancements at the base, mid-range and top-range models of the vehicle, but it’s just as enjoyable to drive around as the outgoing model, and arguably even more powerful and capable as well. If you’re looking for a solid performer that looks nice, offer decent efficiency and plenty of speed, the 2017 Jetta is worth considering.
Exciting New Changes
Quite a few new changes have come about going from the 2016 Jetta to the 2017 model year, and it’s these changes that might have some Volkswagen owners considering making an upgrade. The base trim of the vehicle or the S received more enhancements than any other. If you’re the type of person that buys the very basic version of a vehicle, you’ll love all the enhancements that you get without having to pay for an upgrade.
Both a rearview camera and LED daytime running lights are included on the base now. The car also comes with two-tone cloth seats and 16-inch standard wheels. The cold-weather package and a set of 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels are available for the base model as an upgrade as well, if you would like to enhance the vehicle further.
If you’re the type of buyer that likes to go with a mid-range model of a vehicle, the latest Jetta gets a bunch of enhancements in that range as well. The car comes with a Car-Net app connect system installed and can handle a bunch of connected services. The vehicle also comes featuring a sunroof and leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob. There is the helpful blind-spot monitoring system as well as a keyless access system and push-button start to make this version of the Jetta much more tech-savvy than the last.
At the top of the range are a few notable improvements that you won’t find on last year’s model. Rain sensing wipers help keep the view clear, while dual-zone climate control makes keeping the cabin comfortable a bit easier. The car also comes with a built-in nav system, autonomous emergency braking and forward collision warning, and an adaptive cruise control package. To top it all off it’s more powerful with a 1.8 liter 170-hp TSI engine that can really move.
Now that you know all the changes to expect with the 2017 Jetta, let’s do a quick overview of the car and what is nice about it. The latest Jetta is one of the quickest and most enjoyable little sedans on the market for the price, and it’s a good solid value for a driver that likes a car that knows how to handle and is fun to drive around. The base model car comes with a compact little 1.4 liter turbocharged engine that puts out 150 HP and a whopping 184 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s more than enough power to zip around town, but if you want even more you can boost all the way up to a 2.0 liter engine that’s features in the Jetta GLI that puts out over 200 Hp during regular use. There isn’t too much turbo lag in the vehicle, though you’ll notice it from time to time. The 2017 Jetta is remarkably smooth and the standard 5-speed clutch handles gear shifts remarkably well.
Overall the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta is a solid performer and one of the best values for a sedan so far this year. It’s compact, efficient and pretty darned powerful for a car featuring a four-cylinder engine.
Porsche enthusiasts and experts alike weren’t too sure about the Macan when it first came out, and the mid-sized SUV created even more skeptics when a four-cylinder engine option was added as well, but all that skepticism is fading fast thanks to the positive reception that the 2017 Macan has been getting.
Even though the 2017 Macan base model comes equipped with a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine, thanks to the turbocharger it’s surprisingly powerful. With 252 HP and 273 lb.-ft. of torque and a silky smooth 7-speed PDK dual-clutch configuration, this SUV offers snappy acceleration that’s worthy of a performance vehicle. Sure it’s not going to tear up any race tracks like more potent V6 variations of the Macan do, but for anyone that isn’t concerned with track numbers, the four-cylinder model makes a lot of sense. It’s more than fast enough for everyday driving, and is a good solution for drivers looking for something a bit more efficient.
The Macan Brings in Serious Customers
The Porsche Macan is an effective marketing tool for Porsche, like none of their other vehicles. That’s because it sells at a lower entry-level price than all the other vehicles in the lineup. It’s picking up brand-new customers that other models sold by Porsche simply cannot. After getting used to the Macan, it’s likely that many of those customers will move on to additional Porsche vehicles in the future as well. Either way, Porsche is bringing in a bunch of money from the Macan that it wasn’t getting from its other models and that can only be good for the automaker.
The Four Cylinder Receives a Good Response
Even though the Macan is mostly based around the six-cylinder power-house variation, there is a decent following for the four-cylinder model as well. So far it’s received a good response and many people heading to dealerships to buy the Macan are interested in the four-cylinder version of the vehicle.
A Long Future for the Macan
While many people thought the Macan would be a short-lived project before Porsche game back to its senses, the more successful that little SUV is, the more likely it’s going to have a long and rich future with the automaker. With small SUVs being so popular in the United States currently it will be very surprising if the Macan isn’t around for many years to come.
Porsche is already looking for new ways to improve the Macan and will likely continue releasing the innovative little SUV for generations to come, with both large and small engines. We might even see a full-electric or hybrid model in the years to come as electric vehicles increase in popularity.
Audi recently released an all-new all-wheel drive system that’s more intelligent, smoother and more efficient than its current system. The enhanced option switches the rear wheels on and off depending on driving conditions, offering just enough power for stable steering in most driving conditions.
Seamless Fuel Economy Improvement
The latest all-wheel drive system is pretty darned cool, because it functions similarly to engine cylinder deactivation technology. Half the all-wheel drive system is deactivated by decoupling the rear wheels to make the car run more efficiently. The fact that the rear half of the all-wheel drive turns on and off isn’t the impressive part of Audi’s new system, the smoothness of it all is what makes this setup worthy of notice. While driving around, you won’t even notice what’s happening as the Audi improves fuel economy behind the scenes.
On when You Need it
The car does so well at boosting fuel economy without taking away from the drive because you still get the full all-wheel drive setup whenever it’s needed to maintain traction and keep your car going down the road without slippage. The system just turns off when it isn’t needed. You won’t even know what’s going on unless you take the time to really study the system and make sure that you understand what’s happening.
Rear Differential Stops
The one way that Audi says its system is so different than other on-demand all-wheel drive systems, is because the rear differential and axle both decouple and stop spinning with the wheels to bolster efficiency a bit more. This is different than most other on-demand systems that keep both the rear differential and the rear axle spinning along with the wheels.
The System Learns over Time
The coolest part of Audi’s new Ultra all-wheel drive system is that it learns over time. The system keeps tracks of the roads that you drive on, and will be able to tell when you need added grip and when it’s not necessary. Over time this means that the system will rely less and less on all-wheel drive, making the vehicle more efficient over time.
The new ultra all-wheel drive is an exciting enhancement that makes Audi vehicles more efficient over time without changing the way that anything handles.
We are just weeks away from moving into our new home in Hawthorne, just off the 405 freeway. We can’t wait to show you the finished product, but we thought we’d give you a bit of a sneak preview and the progress we are making. Mike Sullivan takes you on a guided tour and you can get an idea of just how amazing the new store is going to be.
A few of the highlights of the new store are:
- 50,000 square feet
- A Certified Classic Center (the only one in California)
- Latest Porsche design and materials (We worked with Porsche NA and Porsche AG on this!)
Largest Porsche sign in the country
Have a look at the video and in just a few weeks we will be able to show you the finished product!
When Audi announced the 2017 Q7 it made a pretty surprising remark about the engine options that would be available with it. Not only would the turbo V6 be available to interested buyers, but the company also stated there would be a turbo four engine as well. That’s pretty surprising considering that the Q7 is about 5,000 lbs. in weight overall, which is a whole lot of weight to pull with such a small engine. The new engine offering is designed to appeal to buyers looking to save some money though, and it does offer significant savings to buyers.
A More Affordable Q7
One of the biggest benefits of moving form the V6 engine to a four-cylinder model is all the money it saved vehicle buyers. By switching to a turbocharged engine instead, Audi was able to offer similar performance figures while shaving off nearly $6,000 from the price of the Q7, with a reduction of $5,800 it’s hard not to be excited about the change that Audi made to its latest SUV.
A Loss of Power for Cost Savings
While switching to a turbo four over the supercharged V6 that’s come standard in the Q7 is a good way to cut your costs, it will also shave off power from the vehicle. You’ll go from 333 HP and 325 lb.-ft. of torque with the V6 to about 252 HP and 273 lb.-ft. of torque with the turbo four. That’s a pretty serious decrease in power, which you’ll undoubtedly notice while driving around. That means that Q7 buyers have to choose between saving money, or losing out on power. It’s important to note that the two engine options offer similar fuel efficiency levels, so that’s not even a consideration when trying to decide between the two available options.
Enjoy the Same Luxury Either Way
No matter if you want the larger engine, or the turbo four, you’ll still enjoy that same Audi luxury that you would expect when picking up a luxury SUV. The interior is adorned with buttery leather, the media system is top notch, the seats are supremely comfortable and the interior decor is impressive. You’ll have a hard time pulling yourself out of this SUV no matter which version you get, one is just more enjoyable to drive around than the other.
Driving enthusiasts looking for a bit more oomph will want to go ahead and pay more for the larger six cylinder engine, while those looking to get into a luxury SUV at the lowest price point they can, should take a good hard look at the turbo four. Both options will drive you around capably, one just has more pickup and life than the other.
During my standard commute to work that I completed every day back in the early 2000’s, the right front tire on my Chevy Monte Carlo began to shred apart and made me very late to work. While it wasn’t surprising that my tire popped, it wasn’t the first tire that I lost! What was surprising was the way that the tire looked when I pulled it off the car. It has most of the tread near the outside of the tire, and then nearly all the tread was warn away on the inside. After doing a bit of investigating, I didn’t know very much about proper maintenance back then, I realized that I should have been rotating my tires during all those years of putting miles on my white Malibu.
Out of all the different forms of vehicle maintenance, rotating the tires is one of the easiest tasks to complete, and incredibly important for keeping your vehicle in good shape. Without rotating your tires you’ll set your vehicle up for problems later in life, you’ll spend more than you have to, and you’ll make your vehicle unsafe to drive.
The Benefits of Regular Tire Rotation
Taking the time to regularly rotate the tires on your vehicle does a couple of things for you. It helps them to wear evenly, and gives you a more secure driving platform to rely on. By swapping tires around the vehicle regularly, they all wear evenly and last much longer before they need replacing. They also maintain relatively even surface tread, which is safer to drive on than unevenly worn tread that grabs on in one area and not another. Take the time to rotate your tires and you’ll get more life out of them and enjoy safer driving conditions the whole time as well.
Rotate Tires Every Oil Change
It’s a good idea to get into the habit of rotating your tires with each and every oil change of your vehicle. If you change the oil about once very 5,000 or 6,000 miles, you should be rotating your tires just as often. This helps keep tires from wearing in one particular spot for too long, and keeps them all about equal over time.
Include Your Spare in the Rotation
If your vehicle comes with a full-sized spare tire, it’s important to ensure that it’s included in the rotation as well, so that you can purchase a set of five new tires when it comes time to swap to new tires, rather than having a tire that doesn’t match the rest in the set.
Pay Attention for directional Tires
There is a specific rotation pattern that you should follow when rotating the tires on your vehicle, but that pattern is not the same for every set of tires or every vehicle. That’s why it’s important to research how you should be rotating your tires on your Volkswagen vehicle. Some tires are directional tires and must be positioned on either the right or left side of your vehicle. It’s important to watch out for this issue when planning to rotate your tires, so that you don’t put directional tires on backwards, or have a garage do the job improperly.
If you have your tires rotated regularly, or you take the time to do the job yourself, you’ll enjoy more even wear and better performance out of them over time in general. It’s essential for good vehicle maintenance, and something that you should be doing regularly.
Winter is fast approaching and there are steps that you should take to make sure your car is ready for the weather to come. Cold driving conditions are harder on your vehicle, and snowy roads are more difficult to drive on. It’s important to take the necessary precautions to make sure your vehicle, and you are ready to handle the challenges that come along with the season change.
Check Your Coolant Mix
The coolant that runs through your vehicle’s engine is what keeps it from overheating and dying a very fast death. This coolant must remain a liquid even in subzero temperatures, and it’s the antifreeze that’s added to it that allows it to do so throughout the winter. Before the temperatures get too low, you’re encouraged to check the antifreeze levels in your coolant, to be sure that your mixture is good enough to prevent any freezing.
Pick up a testing kit at your local auto supply store and use it to check your current fluid levels. If they aren’t ready to handle the freezing temperatures that you’ll soon be dealing with, adjust the mixture by adding more antifreeze. It’s an easy process to complete, and really important for keeping your vehicle functioning properly.
Make Sure Your Tires are Ready
The next step is to go over your tires to ensure that they have enough tread to guide you through snow and other adverse weather conditions. Take a simple penny, and insert it into the tread of your tire with the top of Lincoln’s head facing down toward the tire itself. If you can see all of his head you need to get some new tires that have more protective tread. If his head is at least a little obscured you’re probably good to make it through the season.
When winter is approaching you can also consider swapping out your all-weather or summer tires in exchange for snow tires. These tires are designed to handle cold temperatures more effectively, and many can be fitted with studs or chains to help them handle really poor driving conditions more effectively. Just be sure that you pick out a quality brand of tire to use on your vehicle to avoid any potential problems.
Buy Winter Wiper Fluid
You might not realize it, but not all wiper fluid is designed to work well in the winter. Some fluids freeze up nearly instantly when used in very cold environments. That’s why you should purchase a good quality fluid that is going to function properly even when the temperatures fall below zero. Take a look at your local auto parts store, and you’re sure to find a good quality fluid that is going to work well for you all throughout the winter.
Consider a Thinner Oil
Some vehicle owners rely on thin vehicle all throughout the year, but for vehicle owners that are running 10W-30 in their vehicles, it’s worth considering a 5W-30 oil for the winter months. This oil maintains an improved viscosity in colder temperatures and allows the engine to function more freely. Consider making the switch at your next oil change before the temperature drops down too low. You’ll notice that your engine seems to be doing better throughout the colder months.
Making these simple changes can help you get more life out of your vehicle and improve your winter driving conditions. Most are very easy to make, and pretty affordable as well. Take a bit of time to make sure your vehicle is ready for this upcoming winter, you won’t regret it.