Tag: Toyota Prius

Toyota has Sold more than 10 Million Hybrids

February 8, 2017 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , ,

As of January 31 Toyota managed to sell more than 10 million hybrid cars to people around the world. That’s a major milestone that hasn’t been matched by any other automaker and we think that it’s a good sign for the future of the environment. The Toyota Prius didn’t start off as a popular vehicle and it took time to catch on, but now the name is almost synonymous with hybrid vehicles, and if you see a Prius rolling down the road you know that it’s an efficient ride. That’s something that Toyota is proud of and something that the automaker is trying to replicate with its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle as well.

2017 toyota prius prime plugin

An Early Start

The very first Toyota Prius came out nearly 20 years ago in 1997. Back then it was just an experimental vehicle and Toyota wasn’t sure if it was going to take off. Over the years the Prius has grown in popularity and it’s been the leading hybrid car all along.

The Benefits of Driving Toyota Hybrids

It’s estimated by Toyota that Toyota and Lexus hybrid owners have managed to keep 77 million tons of CO2 emissions out of the atmosphere by driving their cleaner and more efficient vehicles. Not only that, but the vehicles have saved about 8 million gallons of gas compared to driving around more average vehicles. That’s a pretty impressive feat, but it’s just a start to what Toyota, and many other automakers want to achieve now. Toyota will continue to roll out more efficient hybrid vehicles while it pushes ahead with new technological tools and features. It’s likely that we’ll eventually move past fossil fuels entirely, but until that time comes, the Prius will be an excellent option to consider when you want to use less fuel and drive around more efficiently.

Comparing the Prius Prime with the Nissan Leaf

January 17, 2017 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , , ,

Buyers trying to figure out which fuel-efficient vehicle to pick up have a few different options to consider. They will have quite a few small car options to consider, but when going for a hybrid or electric option there are a few budget options that stand out more than the rest. The two major players are the Toyota Prius Prime and the Nissan Leaf when considering value and overall fuel efficiency. Both are capable vehicles but they are very different machines that serve different purposes. Below is an overview of the differences between the two to help you figure out which is right for you.

2017 toyota prius prime

Long Distance Driving Winner

If you plan on traveling for long distances often, the Prius Prime is the obvious winner of the two. That’s mainly because the Nissan Leaf doesn’t have a gas engine at all. It can’t travel more than the 100 mile or so range that it offers. That means you will have to find a charging station and wait for the battery to charge up again before being able to continue on your trip if you want to go farther. The Prius Prime offers excellent efficiency, and can handle the long-distance trips that most people like to take in the US at one point or another.

Battery Power Champ

The Nissan Leaf is the clear winner if you want to rely on only battery power. It has a considerably farther range when on battery power alone. That means that you can probably take on your work commute every day with the leaf, while it might be a stretch with the Prius Prime if you want to use electric only power. The Prime has a range of about 25 miles, which is good for many people, but not enough for longer commutes.

Affordability

While the Nissan Leaf looks like a really strong contender when you look at its range and power, it also comes at a considerably higher cost than the Prius Prime. The car will set you back about 9,000 more than the Prius Prime. For shoppers looking for an affordable driving solution, it’s hard to justify the added cost of the Nissan Leaf without a strong need or desire to only use the battery for driving. Instead many drivers will opt for the more affordable Prius when comparing vehicles. It’s important to look at local pricing though, as well as tax credits before deciding on the vehicle that you want to buy.

Improved Acceleration

If you opt for one of the more powerful versions of the Prius Prime, it’s nearly a full second faster on acceleration from 0 to 60. That’s a pretty major difference and something worth considering if you merge onto highways often. The Prius Prime takes full advantage of that gasoline engine and uses it to boost highway merging speeds.

Both cars have a lot to offer but the option that’s right for you depends on what you are looking for. If you want the vehicle that’s going to offer the longest travel range on full-electric power, the Nissan Leaf is the clear winner. If you want something that’s going to travel more than 100 miles at a time, the Prius Prime is the winner. The Prime is also a lower cost vehicle and a bit faster at hitting highway speeds. The Leaf is a good solid option if you don’t need to travel more than 80 miles, and strong competitor if you don’t mind the increased cost.

The Toyota Parking Lot Sonar Technology Really Works

December 26, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , ,

Toyota is regularly coming out with new tech improvements to its vehicles, but one of the most beloved by customers recently is the parking sonar system. This system detects objects around the Prius as it moves through a parking lot. It’s proven to be highly successful at prevent collisions and helps drivers remain safe while out on the road.

toyota-parking-sonar

Major Safety Improvements

According to a survey performed in Japan between the months of January of 2015 and June of 2016, the Toyota parking lot sonar system, also known as Intelligent Clearance Sonar, help reduce parking-lot accidents by about 70 percent. That’s a huge safety boost and makes the feature something that everyone with a Prius should consider picking up.

What Does the Feature do?

The system makes use of two different sensors that both look out for obstacles at the rear and front of the vehicle. These sensors communicate with the smart system built into the car to let it know that there is an issue nearby. Once the Prius knows about the issue, it immediately engages the brakes to help prevent an accident, or at the very least reduce the severity of it. The system works at up to 9 MPH, and is pretty effective at helping drivers avoid most obstacles in parking lots.

Backing into Spots Has Never Been Easier

The sonar system makes it easy to back into parking spots that would have been difficult to navigate before. The system will pick up nearby obstacles while you back up, slowing the car if you are heading toward a curb, a nearby parked car or another obstacle like a wall. That means you can easily back up without fear of hitting an obstacle. The system also works with parallel parking, and there is an advanced parking assist feature that offers automatic parallel parking support so that you don’t have to deal with the task on your own.

Toyota is continually working on parking technology and should release new features and updates to the current ones as new technology comes out. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to realize just how effective the system is though, so give it a try before buying your next Prius.

Toyota Might Add a Plug to Every Future Prius

September 26, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , ,

Recent comments from Toyota indicate that the automaker might decide to put a plug on every single Prius sold in the future. The automaker stated that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to create an improved Prius that offers higher levels of efficiency. Most of the obvious improvements have already been made, and it took a whole lot of work to push the Prius Eco up the the 58 MPG city and 53 MPG highway that it offers. It would be very difficult to create a model that offers around 60 MPG combined, which is what Toyota would want to offer on the next model. That’s why the most logical step might be to make every single Prius a plug-in hybrid instead.

2017-toyota-prius-prime

 

The Plug In Option

By going with plug-in models Toyota has a lot of room for future improvements. The automaker could expand the battery of the vehicle to offer progressively farther electric-only distances. Toyota could also improve the recharge speed of the vehicle until filling it up is as quick and easy as adding gas to your current vehicle, or maybe even faster with a potent enough recharge station.

While the standard gas-electric hybrid model is quite limited and already pretty maximized by the top Prius today, there is plenty that Toyota can do with the plug-in model. That’s why buyers shouldn’t be surprised if they hear Toyota announce that all future Prius vehicles are going to receive a plug and a larger battery. Toyota is already making it possible to drive around with just electric power using the current Prius, and future enhancements could be really exciting as long as they include a plug in the mix.

If you are interested in trying out a Prius with a plug in it, there is already a Prius model that offers just that. The Prius Prime is a pretty cool little hybrid that comes equipped with a plug. According to Toyota execs, the future of the company’s technology rests in hands of the Prime. If it does well, the chances of future plug-in hybrids is very good and it’s possible the whole lineup will take on the technology. If it doesn’t sell well, Toyota might decide to scrap plugs entirely. We’re on the verge of some major changes at Toyota and it will be interesting to see which way the automaker decides to go from here.

The Impressive 2017 Prius Prime

September 12, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , ,

The 2017 Prius Prime is just about ready for release, and it offers a lot of special surprised that you may not have been expecting. Hybrid fans will enjoy everything that the Prime has to offer, and it might just be enough to get buyers to switch over to hybrid technology, or to try out a plug-in vehicle for the first time.

2017-prius-prime

Careful Aerodynamics

A great deal of trouble went into making the 2017 Prius Prime as aerodynamic as possible, which is why the vehicle has a 0.24 coefficient of drag overall. That’s part of the reason the car is able to operate with such high levels of fuel efficiency.

Weight Loss Adjustments

Though the Prius Prime is 168 pounds heavier than the standard Prius, mostly because of the heavier 8.8 KWh battery, it still shows off some features that were put in place specifically to lower the vehicle’s overall weight. The car comes with a carbon-fiber hatch that’s more lightweight than the standard steel used on many vehicles.

Easily Stash the Charging Cords

The Prius Prime is a plug-in hybrid, which means that it has some pretty large charging cords. In order to keep them out of the way when you aren’t using them, the car comes with built-in storage bins in the trunk to hold the cords. The bin is relatively small, and it offers just enough space to hold the cords out of your way. It’s much more intuitive than some of the other stash setups in vehicles like the Chevy Volt, that can be a bit cumbersome to make use of.

The car comes with the standard American charging port built in on the left side of the vehicle, hidden behind a small door, and there is another port built into the right side of the vehicle that’s the standard for Japan and Europe.

A Decent Electric Driving Range

The 2017 Prius Prime will offer a full-electric driving range of about 22 miles. That’s not enough to handle all your driving needs, but according to Toyota is will handle the round-trip needs of about half of the commuters throughout the United States. If you’re one of those people, you might be able to start driving to and from work without worrying about putting any fuel in your vehicle to do so.

If you don’t mind burning up some of the fuel held within the 11.3 gallon tank, you can travel up to 600 miles on a single tank of gas with the Prius Prime. That’s an industry-leading distance, and it will make taking long-distance trips more enjoyable.

Futuristic and Comfortable

The 2017 Prius Prime comes with a fully digital dashboard that shows all the important controls and computer figures for your viewing pleasure. It’s a pretty intuitive setup, that makes handling all your media needs simple and fast to do.

The inside of the Prius Prime is surprisingly attractive, and very comfortable for its riders. You’ll be impressed by the way that it looks, and you probably won’t want to climb out of the supple faux-leather seats once you’re in position.

Overall the 2017 Prius Prime is a nice improvement over the older model Priuses, and it’s definitely something to look forward to.

Taking a Look at How Far the 2016 Prius has Come

July 26, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , ,

The Toyota Prius is a highly popular vehicle and it’s known as one of the first cars to popularize hybrid technology. Sure the Honda Insight was offered before the Prius was, but let’s be honest, the Prius is the true hybrid innovator of the bunch that put hybrids on the map. The car was released back in 2001 in the United States, and when you compare the older version of the car to the latest it’s clear that Toyota has made some progress. Let’s take a minute to compare the oldest with the newest to see the changes that Toyota has made, for better or worse.

Original Toyota Prius

Efficiency Boost

The Toyota Prius has always been an efficient vehicle, after all that’s what it was made for. It’s grown in efficiency over the years though. Back in 2001 when the vehicle was first released in the United States it has a fuel efficiency rating of 42 MPG city and 41 MPG highway. That figure has gone up to 58 MPG in the city and 53 MPG on the highway, or an increase of around 14 MPG overall. Toyota uses a host of special enhancements like more lightweight materials, infrared blocking windshield and other features to get the best efficiency that it can, and all these improvements will help you save money as you drive around.

2016 Toyota Prius

A Sleeker More Attractive Look

The original Prius was viewed as a bit of an eyesore, which was sort of the point when Toyota put the car together. That’s because they wanted this very new type of vehicle to stand out away from the rest of the cars. Hybrids were not common at the time and Toyota wanted to make sure that people were asking questions about the Prius. Today the Prius still has a distinctive look, but it’s a sexier and sleeker affair. The car itself is lower to the ground with a sharper profile especially around the hood, that now sits much lower on the car thanks to the Toyota New Global Architecture or TNGA.

Same Reliability

The original Prius is practically bulletproof. Sure it uses quite a bit of plastic throughout, and it has some quirky issues like the fuel bladder that makes it difficult to put fuel in the car in sub-freezing temperatures, but it’s a rock solid vehicle that you can count on. The same is likely to be true for the 2016 iteration of the Prius. Since it’s built on the latest Toyota platform it’s likely to be even more durable and Toyota vehicles are known for reliability in general, so you can count on the Prius holding up over the years.

While the original Prius was seen as a novelty when it was first released, it was clear just a few years later that the car would be around for a while. It’s still the best-selling hybrid car to this day, and the Toyota Prius is a major part of pop culture and known by almost everyone today. If you haven’t had a chance to test out a Prius yet, or you’re looking for an upgraded version over one of the older models, the 2016 Prius is one of the best versions of the car to date.

The Toyota Prius is the Most Affordable According to YourMechanic

June 13, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , ,

Owning a vehicle is expensive, there’s no doubt about that. But one of the biggest expenses that you likely face, is probably one that you don’t even think about before making a vehicle purchase. Maintenance. That’s right, the money that you spend on maintaining that vehicle over the years is staggering, and it makes a lot of sense looking for vehicles that are more affordable to maintain when you try to pick out the one that you are going to drive around. According to information from YourMechanic, a vehicle website focused on car maintenance, the Toyota Prius is the least expensive vehicle to maintain overall. That’s exciting news when you consider that you’ll already be saving money on fuel every day that you drive around.

Toyota Prius

How Little Does it Cost?

According to data collected by YourMechanic, the Toyota Prius costs justs $4,300. That’s a bargain when you consider vehicles like the Chrysler Sebring that will set you back $17,100 over a 10 year period for regular maintenance and repair. When you look at the difference between maintenance costs of these vehicles it’s obvious that that is a consideration you should be making when buying your vehicle.

Save Money Over the Long Term

While the Toyota Prius is a bit more expensive than some of the other vehicles out on the road, it’s easy to see how you’ll save money over the long term by picking up the mid-sized hybrid. Not only will you cut your fuel expenses throughout the year, but you’ll cut maintenance and repair costs as well. It’s the ultimate low-cost vehicle when you consider all the different ways that it will save you money, which is exactly why you should be considering it over the other options being offered to the masses.

I’m not saying that you should run out and buy the Prius, there are other vehicles such as the Kia Soul, the Camry and the Honda Fit that are also affordable to maintain, but I am saying that you need to pay attention to maintenance costs before running out and buying a new vehicle. They make a big difference over time, and you could end up spending as much as $13,000 additional money over 10 years because you picked a more expensive vehicle to maintain when you were out car shopping.

The Prius Receives More Efficient Tires

April 14, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , ,

The 2016 Toyota Prius is set to receive more efficient tires than what was used on previous models of the vehicle. This move will not only improve fuel efficiency while driving around, but the tires are also reported to be safer to drive around on, an exciting improvement that only serves to bolster the high safety ratings that the 2016 Prius received from the IIHS and NHTSA.

Blue Earth E70

The Tires

The new tires are from BluEarth and are the E70 tires. The tires are known best for improving fuel efficiency, and that’s why they are being paired with so many hybrid and fuel efficient vehicles to improve them even further. These tires are seen as environmentally friendly and they rely on a Nano BLEND compound that relies on Orange Oil during construction. The tires have an advanced inner liner for improved strength. BluEarth tires are developed by Yokohama, a brand that’s known for working toward environmentally sustainable products that are highly efficient.

Enhanced Grip and Efficiency

It’s tough to get tires to be efficient while still offering a high level of grip force. This tire balances both of those requirements well to create something that will maintain traction even in rain or snowy conditions. The tire is built to create as little rolling resistance as possible, but to be reliable and safe to use as well.

Anyone that picks up a new 2016 Prius can expect to find this tires factory fitted. They’ll help improve driving efficiency even more and should be viewed as a feature all on their own. After the tires wear out it could be a bit difficult finding matching tires in the United States, but they are sold in some locations around the country if you’re looking to maintain those high levels of efficiency and performance over time.

Enjoy the improved efficiency of your new Prius if you decide to buy one, and even if you don’t you might want to consider having this set of tires added to an older model to draw some of the same benefits. Sure you won’t see efficiency figures like you do with the 2016 Prius, but every boost helps.

 

 

Souped-Up Toyota Prius Becomes a GT300 Racer

January 28, 2016 lacarguy Hybrid Vehicles, Toyota Tags: , , ,

When you think about high-octane racing vehicles, chances are the Toyota Prius isn’t the first one to come up. After all, the Prius is known far and wide as the ultimate hybrid vehicle, not a gas-guzzling racecar. However, all that is about to change, as Toyota has just unveiled a high-performance version ready for Japan’s Super GT racing series. Introducing the 2016 Toyota Prius GT300!

The Prius Versus the Volt

January 28, 2016 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , , ,

Buying a hybrid vehicle used to be an easy process because the Prius was one of the few options on the market. That’s not the case any longer. There are hybrids from several different manufacturers and you have dozens of options to choose from. If you’re looking for a mix between efficiency and affordability you really only have a few options to choose from though. The Chevy Volt and the Toyota Prius are often compared and to excellent hybrid vehicle options, depending on what you’re looking for.

2016 chevy volt 2016 toyota prius

Charging Complexity

In order to make use of the Volt’s 50 mile range each time you drive it you have to be committed to plugging it in each time you finish your trip. That means plugging it in at home and at work, unless of course you work 20 miles or so from your house. The charging time when plugging into a standard outlet is 9 hours, but it drops down to 4 hours when using a 240 volt level-2 charging station instead. The Prius on the other hand delivers excellent fuel-efficiency all the time and never has to be charged. That means you can hop in it and drive as often as you like and still enjoy the high levels of fuel efficiency.

The Fuel Efficiency Battle

It’s tough to say which of the two vehicles get better fuel efficiency because it really depends on the driving conditions. If you have time to charge your vehicle every day and you drive fewer than 50 miles each day you’re going to get better efficiency out of the Volt. You won’t have to rely on gas and can just use the electric motor to get where you need. On the other hand, once you surpass that 50 mile marker things get a bit more confusing and complicated. The Prius is more fuel-efficient when running on gas, so the farther past that 50 mile mark you get with your regular driving, the better the Prius becomes as an option.

Modern Versus Conventional Controls

Both the Prius and the Volt are pretty upscale inside, but the Prius has a much more modern and even futuristic look to it with touchscreen controls and an advanced console, while the Volt has a much more conventional look to it. If you prefer your vehicles to look modern and futuristic the Prius is the way to go, if you want something that looks like a standard car with standard styling that you would expect in any standard car then the Volt is for you.

The option that’s best for you really depends on the type of driving that you’ll be doing. If you plan on travelling many times a day and you don’t have time to recharge your car all the time you’ll likely get better efficiency out of a Prius. If you’re a less frequent driver and you don’t go too far you’ll enjoy the Volt more. Not only that but you can drive the Volt like a normal vehicle if you don’t have time to charge it, and you’ll still get pretty decent efficiency levels overall.

Both vehicles have a lot going for them. The Prius is easier to own and drive at peak efficiency, but the Volt comes with the added electric battery versatility for drivers that want to maximize their fuel efficiency for shorter trips. The one last thing you have to consider is the release date of each vehicle. New models of the Prius are already coming viable around the country, the new Volt isn’t expected to be sold around the country until close to 2017 if not even later. If you don’t feel like waiting for the latest model you might want to consider the Prius instead. Neither vehicle is better than the other, just different. It’s up to you to decide which kind of different is the right one for you.