Category: Uncategorized

The Highlander Hybrid offers Some Useful Benefits to Drivers

April 18, 2017 lacarguy Uncategorized Tags: , , , , ,

The Toyota Highlander is a well-known kid hauler that offers utility, space and power for most day-to-day driving. Few buyers consider the difference between the hybrid and the standard gas version of the SUV though, and there are a few notable differences that might make you want to consider one over the other. The Hybrid is slightly more efficient, but you’ll notice the differences more when you are speeding up or performing maintenance

2017 toyota highlander hybrid

Fuel Efficiency

If you’re looking for a fuel efficient vehicle you shouldn’t spend money on an SUV. Even still, the Highlander Hybrid does offer better fuel-efficiency than the stock model, making it a good move if you’re looking for a large SUV that does a bit better on gas.

The base LE model gets 29 MPG combined and that’s the most efficient you can get with the hybrid. It gets 30 in the city and 28 out on the highway. Fuel efficiency dips down by one if you go for one of the upgraded versions of the vehicle. Efficiency levels of nearly 30 MPG aren’t too shabby for a full-sized SUV, but when you consider that the latest non-hybrid Highlander is just 4 MPG or so shy of that mark, it stops being quite so impressive. The hybrid option isn’t a large price increase though, and deciding on the hybrid Highlander over the all-wheel drive LE Highlander will only set you back an added $2,130, which isn’t too bad for the added efficiency, power and the other perks that the vehicle has to offer.

It’s Quick

The 2017 Highlander Hybrid can travel from 0 to 50 in just 7.0 seconds, which is a speed increase of .6 seconds over the older hybrid, and a .3 second increase over the standard 2017 Highlander. During acceleration you’ll feel all the power of the V6 and the electric motors. The vehicle loses some of its hybrid edge at higher speeds though, because the V6 is doing most of the work at that point. Even still, it’s faster than the standard Highlander, which could be a good reason for buyers to consider making the bump up to the higher priced vehicle.

Regenerative Braking

Another big benefit of the hybrid Highlander is that it comes with regenerative braking. Sure it doesn’t offer as good a feel as standard braking does, but it helps preserve your brake pads so when it comes time to swap them out you’ll have put thousands more miles on the pads than a standard highlander owner could get away with.

Same Interior

Whether you get the standard Highlander or the hybrid variation, you’re going to get around the same interior with similar features. Both have around the same interior space offering plenty of seating for a full family and space to haul your goodies. The interior comes with a capable media system and there are plenty of other tech goodies like the LED lightning accents, upscale finishes within, and high quality controls.

Overall you probably don’t want to invest in the hybrid version just to save on gas money. Fuel is too cheap and the difference is pretty minor. Still, there are enough other perks to the hybrid Highlander that you still might want to consider getting one in place of the standard gas version of the vehicle.

Volkswagen Has Plans for another SUV after the Atlas

April 17, 2017 lacarguy Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

Volkswagen is mixing up its strategy lately to be more family-friendly and what that ultimately means is producing larger vehicles that can accommodate more people and more luggage comfortably. That’s why the 7-seat Atlas went into production, but it’s not the only vehicle that’s slated for release. The Atlas is an exciting creation that gets Volkswagen into the large family game, but the automaker is also planning to release a mid-sized 5-seat SUV as well, and it’s going to be produced in the same exactly location as the Atlas.

volkswagen cross coupe concept

Based on the Cross Coupe GTE Concept

Back in 2015 Volkswagen showed off the Cross Coupe GTE concept at the Detroit Auto Show and it’s believed that the 5-seat SUV that Volkswagen is about to begin producing is based off that concept. That vehicle had a plug-in charge feature, and with VW trying to improve its lineup efficiency, there’s a good chance that there will be a plug-in option for the buyers that are interested in that sort of thing.

Built in Tennessee

The second SUV produced by Volkswagen is going to be built in the Chattanooga Tennessee plant alongside the Passat and the Atlas. This gives workers at the plant another reason to be confident in their job security, and it means that the vehicles will be readily available without shipping times once they’re produced. This is all good news for buyers that are interested in buying domestic vehicles. Each SUV produced by Volkswagen results in steady jobs for Americans.

The Details

There currently aren’t many details about the second VW SUV. It’s going to have five seats and will be quite a bit smaller than the Atlas. It’s going to be built on the MQB platform that so many VW vehicles are based on these days, and it’s likely to prioritize tech features, interior space and appearance to create the best driver experience overall.

Volkswagen is moving in a whole new direction for the brand, and that’s an exciting thing for buyers with an interest in SUVs. We’ll have to wait and see exactly what the next SUV is going to be like, but so far it looks like a pretty promising vehicle overall.

Audi Releases Special Sports Models

April 12, 2017 lacarguy Uncategorized Tags: , , , ,

Audi has long been known as a cutting-edge auto maker with top-end vehicles that go fast and perform well. That’s why it should come as no surprise to anyone that the auto maker is going to release a series of vehicles designed for use on a real track. These will be known as Audi Sport models, and a series of these vehicles will be released in the next two years.

Audi R8

Audi Sport Models

Audi has achieved much of its innovation through serious racing. It’s that racing heritage that has led the way to major enhancements over time. It’s those same innovations that will make picking up an Audi Sport model so exciting./ That’s because these models are going to be based on all that track time, and should perform really well compared to other sports vehicles on the market today.

Eight Models Released

According to Audi, there are going to be a total of eight different models put out over the next 24 months. That means that over the next two years Audi fans will witness a series of race-inspired vehicles released for public use. These cars will be designed for use on tracks, and will work well for corporate racing and other activities outside of professional races.

Audi has a history of dominating in long-distance races and other serious events, and now the automaker will capitalize on those capabilities by using them to sell more cars to the public. These ones are powerful enough to win casual races, and they should be a blast to drive around compared to other vehicles not designed for the track.

The Sport Models

There are quite a few different vehicle types that will all be made with special sport models. The 2017 R8 Spyder, the RS 5 Coupe, the 2018 TT RS and the RS3 from both 2017 and 2018 will come with a Sport model option, giving you plenty to choose from with additional options coming in the future as well.

If you’re looking for the best level of vehicle performance, these Audi Sport models are worth a serious look.

Toyota Offers a More Affordable Prius than Ever Before

April 11, 2017 lacarguy Uncategorized Tags: , , , ,

Toyota has been suffering  from a lull in sales recently due to extended low gas prices. Buyers aren’t as interested in the Prius as they once were, and Toyota admits that prices have slowly climbed up to a slightly less approachable level. Most buyers wouldn’t consider a $25,000 base price outlandish for a top-performing hybrid like the Prius Two, but to help bring in new customers and offer an even better value, Toyota is releasing a slightly stripped down version of the Prius and dubbing it the Prius One. It’s $1,200 cheaper and tosses out some very minor features that few people will miss. If you’re looking for a way to cut your car-buying costs and the Prius is your vehicle of choice, you’re in luck, because the Prius One is coming out soon. Let’s get into what you get with the Prius One, and what you lose out on so you can decide whether the trade-off is worth it to you or not.

2017 toyota prius

What You Lose out on

If you opt for the low-cost Prius One, you are deciding to miss out on a few select features. You’ll still keep all the standard safety equipment that you get with the Prius Two, but you’ll lose a spare tire, a rear window wiper and the pockets at the rear of the front seats. These are all pretty minor sacrifices that most people will probably be able to give up, but it’s still important to understand what you are deciding to lose out on.

Top Level Safety Still

Toyota is fast becoming known for its preventative safety technology that is beginning to be the new standard with every Toyota vehicle. That will be carried over to the Toyota One. It’s going to be fitted with the Toyota Safety Sense P technology, including things like pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise, lane keep assistant and auto high beams. These are features that you won’t find on many top level vehicles from other brands, and they come with the most affordable Prius available when you shop with Toyota,.

Free Safety Upgrade on Other Models

If you decide that you don’t need to save money and you still want the Prius Two or greater, you’re still going to benefit from recent changes by Toyota. That’s because the automaker is giving buyers a discount that pretty much allows them to get the added Safety Plus Package with cross traffic alert, park assist and a blind spot system for enhanced safety still.

The Prius One will maintain the excellent levels of fuel efficiency that the Prius is known for, but will do it at a lower cost for buyers looking to save some cash. It’s the perfect vehicle for college kids, or anyone looking for efficiency really.

New Changes for Volkswagen in 2017

March 20, 2017 lacarguy Uncategorized Tags: , , , ,

There’s a lot of new changes coming down the pipeline for Volkswagen in 2017, and as a fan of the brand it makes sense to stay on top of what’s coming up. Here’s an overview of what enhancements you’ll see in the Volkswagen lineup, what’s pretty much staying the same and what new releases are going to come out in 2018.

2017 tiguan

The Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is going to benefit from a bunch of new changes this year, making it worth taking a look at if you’re planning on getting a new compact vehicle. The car will be offered with a Wolfsburg Edition trim. The GTI variation will now come with the Sport trim as well, giving you more power options to choose from. The e-Golf is receiving more power and a range enhancement and the Golf model is going to receive a whole host of updates in 2018 with an improved model.

The Beetle

The Volkswagen Beetle is always one of the more reserved vehicles that don’t receive too many changes in a model year. This year a Pink limited edition Beetle is being added for buyers to consider. There’s also going to be more aggressive bumpers on the 1.8T models of the Beetle.

Volkswagen Tiguan

The Tiguan gets a whole host of changes for the 2017 year of the vehicle. It will now come standard with a four-cylinder turbocharged engine across the whole range of vehicle. There’s a Wolfsburg and Sport trim of the vehicle available now, additional standard features were added to the vehicle and both the R-Line and SE trims were removed entirely.

The Passat

While many VW vehicles are sitting still, the Passat is receiving a host of changes. The R-Line trim is getting more standard features, and both auto braking and forward collision warning are becoming standard throughout the lineup.

The Touareg

The Touareg is a popular SUV sold by Volkswagen and it’s getting some notable changes in 2017. For starters there will no longer be a Lux trim version of the vehicle, and a Wolfsburg trim option has been added. Just like the Passat it’s getting standard auto braking and forward collision warning. The vehicle will also be completely redesigned for the 2018 model year, so keep your eyes opened for that.

Overall this is a year for some notable changes to the Volkswagen lineup, but the 2018 model year is the one with the most dramatic changes on the way. There will be a new model for the Touareg, Tiguan, and the Golf.

The Three Pedal Dance Returns To The Porsche 911 GT3

March 17, 2017 lacarguy Pacific Porsche, Porsche, Porsche South Bay, Uncategorized Tags: , ,

911 GT3-1 Front Three Quarter

The recent Geneva Motor Show brought welcome news the Porsche faithful and enthusiasts, the “Drivers 911″ the 911 GT3 would once again be offered with a manual transmission!

In an ever increasing world of automation and complication, there comes a time and reason to unplug from it all and get back to basics, or at least as basic can get in this current day and age.  When the 991 GT3 debuted it was hailed as the next great step, save for one thing, the lack of a manual transmission.  The Porsche PDK is a superb transmission, and if the goal is to get around the race track in the quickest time, then there is no better tool to row through the gears.  In the daily commute, stuck in traffic, the PDK also shines saving your left leg in stop and go traffic.

However, there are times when you want to row your own, to truly feel connected to the car and the driving experience, and for that, the best tool for the job is a manual transmission!  If you wanted something close to the GT3 with a manual, you had to be lucky enough to get the 911R, but those were only offered to those who purchased the 918 Spyder, or, if you found one second hand, they started at $500,000 and went up quickly from there.

Porsche heard loud and clear that the faithful still wanted a manual gearbox and now they have responded.  With the 991.2GT3 a six-speed manual returns attached to a 4.0 liter naturally-asperated flat six developing 500 horsepower and 339 lb/ft of torque.  It wasn’t that long ago that 997 Turbo topped out at 450 horsepower, and now, the GT3 brings 500 naturally-asperated horsepower to the dance to sing that glorious song as it approaches it’s near 9,000 rpm redline.

Deliveries of the 991.2GT3 will begin in September, if you’d like to reserve one today, please contact us as these will be very hard to get.

Please have a look at this video as Andreas Preuninger, Porsche GT Project Director, guides DRIVETRIBE’s Features Editor Henry Catchpole around the latest Porsche 911 GT3.

The Audi RS5 is an All Wheel Beast

March 7, 2017 lacarguy Uncategorized

The Audi RS5 is a lean and powerful racing machine that’s equipped with all the right parts to go fast, whip around corners, and sit in luxury while you’re doing it. It’s comparable to the M4, the Cadillac ATS V and other high powered luxury sedans on the market, but it offers some features that most of them don’t, and that’s why it’s worth talking about.

2017 audi rs5

Refined Interior

As with any Audi vehicle, the RS5 comes packed with gadgets and tech that’s wrapped in a simple and refined package. High quality leathers, woods and classy composites are used throughout, and it looks nice and clean throughout. It’s obvious that your inside a high-quality luxury car when climbing in the RS5, and there’s enough badging to help you remember that you’re in the RS5 and not some standard luxury Audi.

Power Packed

The 2018 RS5 comes with more than enough power to throw you back into your seat when you slap down the pedal. It comes with 450 HP courtesy of a 2.9 liter twin-turbo V6 engine that’s tied to a eight speed automatic transmission. This powerhouse of an engine offers 442.5 lb.-ft. of torque, and can make the dash from 0 to 60 in just 3.9 seconds. The car 132 lbs. lighter than the vehicle it’s replacing, and the RS5 manages to get about 27 MPG on the European test cycle, even with all that power.

Stable All Wheel Drive

Not only does the car come packed with power, but that power is split up through a highly usable all-wheel drive system. 40 percent of the power is directed to the front wheels of the vehicle, and 60 percent goes to the back two wheels, giving the car sporty handling characteristics overall. There’s an optional sports differential at the rear of the vehicle, for even more agile handling.

Top Grade Suspension

This car is built to handle excellently under most conditions, and the framework that offers such excellent handling. Both the front and rear of the vehicle are equipped with a five-link suspension to help pad the road and maintain control in rough driving conditions. There are optional addons that add to the handling as well. Adding on adaptive dampers, dynamic steering and carbon ceramic brakes will all help the car handle more like a super car.

The Audi RS5 stands out in its high-powered segment because of its all-wheel drive. It’s the only car in the segment that offers the feature, and that’s going to appeal to a lot of people. The car has a lot to offer, but we’re still waiting for it to become available for test driving to find out how all the top-grade pieces come together when driving.

Toyota Awards Japanese Prime Owners with Electric Incentives

February 6, 2017 lacarguy Toyota, Toyota of Hollywood, Toyota Santa Monica, Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

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.

2017 prius prime

Electric Points

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.

News and World Reports Names Toyota Prius Best Hybrid Value

February 2, 2017 lacarguy High MPG Vehicles, Hybrid Vehicles, Toyota, Toyota of Hollywood, Toyota Santa Monica, Uncategorized Tags: , , , , ,

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.

2017 toyota prius

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.

Decent Handling

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.

Suzuki and Toyota Form an Alliance

February 1, 2017 lacarguy Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

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.

Toyota Suzuki

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.