Tag: 2014

Toyota Receives the Most IIHS Top Safety Pick Awards in 2014

December 24, 2014 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , , , ,

Not only are Toyota vehicles known for being highly reliable, but they are also very safe and recent tests performed by the International Institute for Highway Safety(IIHS) prove it. According to the 2014 study Toyota managed to take 12 Top Safety Picks, 8 of which were Top Safety Pick+ awards. That’s more safety awards than any of the other automakers in the world, and that’s something to be proud of.

toyota top safety pick

What the Ratings Mean

The IIHS give out two different safety awards, Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick plus. The former is for above average vehicles that meet a long list of safety requirements, and the latter is for exceptional vehicles that meet the same requirements while having additional preventative equipment for even safer driving conditions. There were 71 total awards given out by the institute and Toyota received 12 of them between their standard and luxury brands.

The Top Safety Pick+ Vehicles

Out of all the vehicles that were given a good rating, the most impressive are the ones among the Top Safety Pick+ ranks. The Prius, Prius V, the Lexus RC, the Camry, the Highlander, the Sienna, the Lexus CT and the Lexus NX all received this award. Each of these vehicles comes with an impressive level of safety equipment making them good family cars and cars for young drivers you want to keep safe.

Great Family Vehicle

If you’re looking for a solid family vehicle to ride around in with larger families the Toyota Sienna is an excellent option. Out of all the minivans sold this year the Sienna was the only one to receive the Top Safety Pick+ distinction. That’s huge for van owners and families who want to provide the safest environment for their children.

Overall the number of vehicles that are now getting the safety rewards went up dramatically this year, but that’s in large part because the automakers are getting used to the more stringent testing requirements that were implemented the previous year. In 2013 just 39 winners made the list, but that amount has gone up to 71 vehicles since then. That’s an increase of almost double.

Toyota has established itself as one of the top automakers in the industry as far as safety and reliability is concerned, but they aren’t the only automaker to get a high number of safety awards. Honda managed to get the award for ten of their vehicles, giving them the second highest of any automaker.

If you’re looking for a vehicle that you can trust while driving around, check out any of the Top Safety Pick+ vehicles from Toyota. Each meets a very stringent set of requirements and has been proven to handle crash situations very well.


The Grades of Green Student Leadership Program is Open for the 2014-2015 Year: Submit Your Application Today

August 18, 2014 lacarguy Grades of Green, Green Team Tags: , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Grades of Green is excited to announce that they’re now accepting applications for their 2014–2015 Student Leadership program. Students between 2nd and 12th grade are encouraged to apply if they think they have what it takes to take control and help the environment in a big way. Grades of Green is a well-known non-profit organization dedicated to improving the environment while educating children in the process. The application period for these important volunteer positions will be open until September 15th.

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About Grades of Green

Grades of Green is an organization dedicated to cultivating student interest in helping improve the environment. What started as a simple parent-run volunteer program has morphed into a massive non-profit organization that works with more than 250 different schools in 37 different states to improve the environment. As the group grows more children become educated about the importance of preserving and improving the environment.

The Student Leadership Program

The student leadership program is a chance for students in grades 2 through 12 to get involved with the Grades of Green organization in a hands-on manner. Each of the students who is accepted as a leader is charged with putting together a green project and implementing that project in their own school. The leaders get hands on training from the Grades of Green staff members along with ongoing encouragement and helpful ideas.

Benefits to Your School

Many Grades of Green inspired programs end up benefitting the schools just as much as the environment. While your school learns to cut down their use of harmful substances such as Styrofoam and plastic they also learn to save money through more cost-effective systems. Most schools end up saving a substantial amount of money and once they see how helpful saving the environment is to their budget they won’t want to stop.

Improve Your Resume

High school students can improve their resume noticeably by being accepted as a Grades of Green Leader. Not only will they be helping out the environment, but they will be leading a team to accomplish their goals. This is the type of work that shows true leadership, innovation and good values, all characteristics that colleges and employers value.

If you decide that the Grades of Green Student Leadership program sounds like a good fit for you, or you know a student who might like the opportunity to do good, visit this link for the application. After filling out the full application form and attaching the necessary documents just sit tight and wait for a response from the organization.

Audi Takes Both First and Second in the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans

June 19, 2014 lacarguy Audi Tags: , , , , , 0 Comments

On June 14, 2014 more than 300,000 spectators looked on as Audi did what many Audi fans were expecting, and triumphed yet again in the 24 hour of Le Mans endurance race. Even though Porsche threw their hat back into the ring with the race, and Toyota was on their game more than ever before, Audi still managed to take both first and second place in the race sending a clear message to the rest of the automakers that they don’t mess around. This year’s victory marks the 13th time Audi has been successful which is very impressive since they have only participated in the race 16 times now.

















A Successful Though Challenging Race

This was arguably one of Audi’s most impressive victories because they were able to triumph over the truly impressive forces of Porsche and Toyota. Throughout the race there were sections where it really looked like it would be anyone’s race, but as it started to get down to the final leg the two Audi R18 e-tron Quattro cars started to pull away.

There were a number of factors that led to these cars coming out on top during the race. The first and most important was that the vehicles were able to consistently travel around the course at high speeds throughout the 24 hour period. While there were incidents throughout the race, the pit crew handled them quickly and effectively. The drivers performed solidly throughout the race without making any serious mistakes and were able to hold a strong position in the race throughout the entire period.

Both Porsche and Toyota put up a serious fight that Audi had to work to overcome. Each team had powerful vehicles designed for maximum efficiency. Even though it was Porsche’s return to the race, and they have been out of the game for a while they came back with an impressive level of force and the Toyota team continues to improve each year that they participate in the world’s most exciting endurance race.

The Teams

The two Audi teams that snagged first and second are made up of the following people. On the first place team was Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer. On the second place team was Lucas Grassi, Marc Gene and Tom Kristensen. The first place team celebrated their third victory at Le Mans and proved that they are a consistent force to be reckoned with.

Even though Audi took away a victory it doesn’t mean that they will continue to do so in the years to come. Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, the Head of Audi Motorsport , expressed his respect of the Porsche team, and it’s possible that they will become the dominating force in future races as they adapt and put in more time and effort into their 2015 endurance race car. Audi is clearly excited about their victory, and this triumph proves that they are capable of making some of the most reliable and efficient vehicles out there.


The Audi A3 Snatches the 2014 World Car of the Year Award

April 23, 2014 lacarguy Audi Tags: , , , , , , 0 Comments

The Audi took home the 2014 World car of the Year title making it the second time the brand has earned the award since it was initially given out just ten years ago. Landing this prestigious award is no small feat and it speaks volumes about the quality that the new A3 has to offer. A large pool of judges ruled over the selection and had to consider a variety of different characteristics about each of the vehicles before coming up with a final decision. Audi is undoubtedly proud about the achievement, but it’s the consumers who should be paying attention because the winner of Car of the Year provides a high quality option and a real value when it comes to excellent vehicles.  


The Judging

Before the World Car of the Year award is given out an extensive amount of judging has to occur. There are 69 different judges who are responsible for sorting through the 24 top picks to decide on the one most deserving of the title, World Car of the Year. Each of these judges is a top level auto journalist and they come from 22 different countries in order to keep the competition fair. Out of the 24 possible options the Audi A3 was decided on.

The first year that the award came out the Audi A6 was crowned the car of the year, and now Audi is taking back the title yet again. The compact car managed to best the likes of BMW, VW, Lexus, Mazda and a whole host of other prestigious brands for the top honors.

The Audi A3 Qualities

A few of the judges remarked that the new A3 providers a smoother ride than ever, even approaching limousine quality. This compact car presents itself with a classy exterior while offering powerful and highly adjustable performance. While it doesn’t offer the highest level of performance versus cost on the specs sheet, in real-world driving conditions it is one of the smoothest and most enjoyable drivers out of the bunch. It comes packed with tech features that are normally only seen on top-level luxury vehicles, and Audi is even updating the system with brand new features that haven’t been seen on any of their vehicles yet, such as the 4G/LTE connection capability.

When the Audi A3 came out in 1996 it was a big deal because it created the luxury compact class. Since then it has added an array of different body styles and now comes in both gas and diesel engines. The A3 can be had in 3-door, sportback, cabriolet and sedan styles depending on what you prefer. Equipped with Audi Drive Select the driver can choose between Auto, Dynamic, Comfort and custom drive settings for a completely customized driving experience with altered steering and shifting qualities. This compact car packs a punch while offering luxurious performance and handling. Test drive one of these models and see exactly what everyone is so excited about.


Lexus to Show Updated CT 200h in China

November 12, 2013 lacarguy Green Articles, Hybrid Vehicles, Lexus, Lexus Santa Monica, New Cars Tags: , , , , , , , 0 Comments

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The compact Lexus CT 200h is the latest Lexus to incorporate the company’s trademark “spindle grille” into its front-end design. Like other Lexus vehicles, the CT’s styling benefits from the aggressive maw, giving the car an added dose of character and aggression.

Scheduled to be unveiled at the Guangzho Motor Show in China, Lexus states the car will also receive a revised rear-end design and new alloy wheels.

Currently the CT is a hybrid only affair, affording the compact hatchback with impressive gas-mileage; however, Mark Templin, Lexus International executive vice president, recently told Motoring Australia that he hoped in the future Lexus might add a second powertrain option to the CT to target “people who want fast cars.”

Lexus recently revealed that it will show a compact SUV concept called the LF-NX with a new turbocharged four-cylinder at the Tokyo Motor Show. This engine is expected to eventually replace the IS250’s V6 engine, but will it also find its way under the hood of the updated Lexus CT? We’ll find out when the car debuts on November 21. Be sure to continue to follow LAcarGUY News for the latest Lexus news.

Image credit: Lexus