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Archive for the ‘Toyota’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Corolla iM – Driven

Ah Scion, Toyota’s youth-market sub brand. Now in 2017, we can only reminisce about bygone days when new Scion hatchbacks, coupes, and toasters sat in showrooms waiting for eager high-school teens to arrive with daddy’s money or senior citizens to stroll in looking for something more economical than their worn-out Mercury Grand Marquis. Those days are gone though, thanks to Toyota shuttering Scion and consolidating a few of its models into the Toyota fleet. One such example is the Scion iM.

The iM was all-new for the U.S. market in 2015, launched beside the Mazda-derived Scion iA sedan. The iM was basically a Toyota Corolla Hatchback, though you’d never hear a Scion salesman pointing that to potential buyers. The car featured the same, 1.8-liter four-cylinder as the Corolla, as well as the six-speed manual or optional Continuously Variable Transmission. But, sadly, the iM and iA couldn’t save the Scion brand. Toyota ended the brand’s 13-year run in August of 2016. Fast-forward to today, and Toyota has rebadged the iA, iM, and FR-S as the Yaris iA, Corolla iM, and the 86, respectively.

I recently got to sample the Corolla iM for a week – living with it during the daily grind. My tester came equipped with the six-speed manual transmission and zero options. It’s rare to have press fleet cars come so equipped. But rather than being a buzzkill from the usual whiz-bang gadgetry and overly complicated nature of many modern cars, the iM’s basic nature proved a welcomed reprieve and rather enjoyable. Heck, my tester didn’t even have floor mats. (I’ve heard Toyota is stingy with their floor mats.)

Of course, the most noticeable feature of this iM is its color – that big, bright, green color. Oh boy. Toyota calls it “Spring Green Metallic.” I call it ugly. Yet the color helped add a particular flare to car it wouldn’t have otherwise had. It also attracted everyone’s attention. I lovingly named my tester Snot Rocket.

Continue reading for the full driven review.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota Sienna

The Toyota Sienna has been in its third generation since 2010. While models like the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Pacifica have since been updated and gone through generational shifts, the Sienna has soldiered on with relatively mild updates. In 2017, Toyota did upgrade the 3.5-liter engine and dropped the six-speed automatic for an eight-speed unit, but otherwise, it’s been pretty much the same van all this time outside of some minor changes to the exterior in 2015. Well, Toyota is bringing a revamped Sienna to the 2017 New York Auto Show, but it’s not a new-gen model. Instead, Toyota is adding new “swagger” with a new front fascia, new side skirts, some noise and vibration enhancements, and some additional technology like extra USB ports, an updated rear entertainment system, and a semi-digital instrument cluster.

But, don’t get it twisted. The Sienna may be pretty old, with the 2018 model year being the 8th year this generation is on the market, but it does pull its own weight as far as sales go. Sales have been well over the 100,000 mark from 2011 forward, with 2015 seeing 137,497 examples sold and 2016 accounting for 127,791 examples sold. That’s a pretty big deal considering the market it bursting with SUVs of every shape and size you can imagine. So, let’s see what these new enhancements do to liven up the third-gen Sienna and how it might help it stack up against some of the competition.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Toyota Sienna.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota 860 Special Edition

Ever since it arrived in 2012, the Toyota 86 has always been the sports car that had enough, but still left a lot of people wanting more. It’s the equivalent of a solid basketball team that’s one player away from being a true contender. Toyota knows all about this, but the measures by which it has addressed the issues of the 86 – never got more than an extra five horsepower in its life – has left the sports car in a continued state of just being “good enough.” Apparently, for the Japanese automaker, improvements come in the form of special edition models of the 86 and in the five years that it’s been around, it has had its fair share of SEs, including but not limited to the Blackline, the Yellow Limited, the Primo, and the Style CB. Now, we have the 860, the latest in a long line of special edition 86s that counts special trim and upgraded equipment as its two biggest selling points.

Say what you will about Toyota’s hesitance in ratcheting up the 86’s power and performance capabilities, but you can’t deny that the company isn’t trying to create plenty of differentiation for the sports car.

So what exactly can we expect from the 86 “860” Special Edition? Well, if you’re a fan of cosmetic upgrades and a spruced up interior that carries a long list of shiny new equipment, then you might want to stick around and see what Toyota has with its latest special edition 86. Remember, even without the extra power that we’ve long craved for, the 86 is still a good option for an entry-level sports car, provided of course that you get a trim that suits your style. With the 860 Special Edition, you’re going to get your fill of new additions. The only question is whether these additions are enough to make you want to pay extra for the chance to own the newest special edition 86 to come out of Toyota.

I’ll be honest; it’s hit or miss. But if somebody ends up liking, we’re not going to stop them from making that dive.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Toyota 86 “860 Special Edition”


PostHeaderIcon Toyota to have a Trifecta of Sports Cars Once Again

Remember the good old days when Toyota actually had a presence in the sporty performance segment with cars like the Toyota Supra, the Toyota Celica, and the Toyota MR2? All three have since died a sad and emotional death among those that loved them, but there’s new hope for the future, and Toyota just might have three performance models in its lineup once again. We already knew about the Supra, which is being designed in part with BMW, and the GT86 is, by all rights, a successor to the Celica, so the brand is just missing the MR2, and we could see its successor in the very near future if reports from Evo are correct.

Speaking to Evo at the Geneva Auto Show, Tetsuya Tada – a Toyota engineer and the Chief of Gazoo Racing – kindled the fire, saying, “We hope to have the three brothers in place as soon as possible.” All but confirming that a third model succeeding the MR2 is in the works is big news, and while details are still under wraps at this time, we know it’s coming fast, and we may have already seen some hints as to what it might look like thanks to the Toyota S-FR Concept that debuted at the 2015 Tokyo Auto Show. Ideally, it should maintain the same general dimensions to take on models like the Mazda Miata.

And, the best part about all of this is that the third sports car will, of course, have Mr. Tada’s hands all over it, so that means light-weight and simple – a true competitor in the compact sports car market. According to Evo, Toyota is even working on bringing the hybrid technology from its LMP1 racers so it could still end up being mid-engined. There’s no guarantee that it will be hybrid from the start, but Tada told Evo that Toyota is “Working very hard” and making a hybrid sports car a reality.


PostHeaderIcon 2017 Toyota Yaris Demonstrates How Auto Turnover Is Speeding Up

We all know competition in the auto world is absolutely ruthless these days. The pressure to make a sale is enormous, and that means each and every update has to be as effective as possible in order to keep a model afloat. For example, take the new Toyota Yaris. While technically just a mid-life refresh, this latest model year of the Yaris ushers in a slew of tweaks, refinements, and additions, which, taken as a whole, might qualify as a whole new generation just a decade ago.

It makes sense when you consider the Japanese brand has sold over three million of these things between 2001 and 2016. That’s a lot of Yarises (Yarii?), even when spread out across numerous major markets, including Europe, Africa, North America, the Middle East, and Asia.

Clearly, this subcompact hatchback is an important model for Toyota, and as such, the company invested some 90 million euros ($95.3 million) to improve it. Many of the updates take after the Vitz, the Yaris’ Japanese equivalent, and include new styling, more equipment, improved handling, new safety features, and an updated 1.5-liter gasoline engine. There’s also an optional hybrid powerplant on the table, with 40 percent of the models sold in Europe being hybrids.

In total, the update consists of some 900 individual new parts. Read on to see how they fit together and why this is more than a simple refresh.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon The Toyota i-TRIL Concept Is Like A Four-Wheeled Reliant Robin From 2030

I’m always eager to get the full rundown when the Japanese give us a brand-new concept car. Because while the Italians usually give us concepts that are beautiful, and the Germans usually give us concepts that are clever, the Japanese concepts tend to be way off the beaten path. The Toyota i-TRIL that just debuted at the Geneva International Motor Show is one good example. I mean, just look at it – weird, right? It’s like some kind of futuristic transportation bubble out of a cartoon. I half expect it to talk and have feelings. And although it’s not quite sentient, this machine does offer a few unique ideas about the future of urban and suburban mobility, from the way it handles the road, to the way it’s controlled, to the interior layout and use of space.

It also looks pretty wild, with an open-vee exterior shape that gets narrower as you move towards the rear. The i-TRIL was built by Toyota Motors Europe, working in collaboration with designers at the ED2 studio in Nice, and it’s framed as a “more engaging” environmentally friendly alternative to traditional EVs, public transportation, and motorcycles.

Who would buy this thing? Toyota says the target consumer is a “sophisticated, single, 30 – 50 year old active female with two children and a vibrant lifestyle.” This imaginary customer also lives in a “small to medium sized town,” which means the i-TRIL should be ideal for quick trips and short errands.

Read on for the specifics and the weirdness.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon The Toyota i-TRIL Concept Is Like A Four-Wheeled Reliant Robin From 2030

I’m always eager to get the full rundown when the Japanese give us a brand-new concept car. Because while the Italians usually give us concepts that are beautiful, and the Germans usually give us concepts that are clever, the Japanese concepts tend to be way off the beaten path. The Toyota i-TRIL that just debuted at the Geneva International Motor Show is one good example. I mean, just look at it – weird, right? It’s like some kind of futuristic transportation bubble out of a cartoon. I half expect it to talk and have feelings. And although it’s not quite sentient, this machine does offer a few unique ideas about the future of urban and suburban mobility, from the way it handles the road, to the way it’s controlled, to the interior layout and use of space.

It also looks pretty wild, with an open-vee exterior shape that gets narrower as you move towards the rear. The i-TRIL was built by Toyota Motors Europe, working in collaboration with designers at the ED2 studio in Nice, and it’s framed as a “more engaging” environmentally friendly alternative to traditional EVs, public transportation, and motorcycles.

Who would buy this thing? Toyota says the target consumer is a “sophisticated, single, 30 – 50 year old active female with two children and a vibrant lifestyle.” This imaginary customer also lives in a “small to medium sized town,” which means the i-TRIL should be ideal for quick trips and short errands.

Read on for the specifics and the weirdness.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota Yaris GRMN Takes the Hot-Hatch Market by Storm

Introduced in 1999, the Toyota Yaris evolved into a strong competitor for the supermini market, gaining popularity thanks to its affordable sticker, roomy interior given the small size, cheap maintenance, and good fuel economy. But even though the Yaris has become significantly better with each generation, Toyota received a lot of heat for not developing a higher performance version. Now, critics can finally rest as the Japanese firm introduced the Yaris GRMN at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Inspired by the Yaris WRC rally car built in cooperation with Gazoo Racing, the Yaris GRMN is the Volkswagen Polo GTi and Ford Fiesta ST competitor that Toyota enthusiasts have been requesting for years. Based on the 2017 upgrade for the standard Yaris, also unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, the GRMN has a sportier exterior highlighted by a unique front grille and foglamps, a more aggressive rear bumper with a center-mounted exhaust, a tailgate spoiler, and black and red paint accents. It also rides on 17-inch, BBS wheels.

Inside, the GRMN features sports seats designed for this car by Toyota Boshoku, a leather-wrapped steering wheel taken from the GT86, and aluminum sport pedals.

But arguably the most important feature of the car is the supercharged, 1.8-liter engine. Rated at “more than 207” horsepower and mated to a six-speed manual transmission, it promises to deliver “best-in-class times both for the sprint from nought to 100 km/h and acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h in fourth gear.” Specific data is not yet available, but the GRMN needs to hit 62 mph in less than 6.5 seconds for this statement to be true.

The drivetrain is backed by a custom, reinforced chassis with additional bracing, a suspension system tuned through extensive testing at the Nurburgring track with input from Gazoo Racing, and a Torsen limited-slip differential. Shorter springs, dedicated shock absorbers developed with Sachs, a larger diameter front stabilizer bar, and performance brakes round off the package.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon The Toyota iM is an Odd Little Car

This week I’m driving the 2017 Toyota iM, you know, the rebadged Scion iM that survived the death of Toyota’s funky youth brand. The little car is proving to be rather fun to drive, mostly thanks to its six-speed manual transmission, light clutch, and very noticeable light weight. The iM has also proved itself to be incredibly practical, offering tons of cargo room in its hatchback body. But those can’t cover some oddities baked into the iM’s inherent inexpensiveness.

For starters, the infotainment system is the exact same unit shared by the Toyota 86 (yet another Scion survivor), the C-HR, and the iM. Selecting the small gear-like button pulls up a menu screen that should be labeled “Home.” Well, one of the soft-key buttons says “Vehicle.” But rather than being a settings and preference page, it literally gives all the vehicles this infotainment system can be programmed for. The choices include all the vehicles above, along with “Other,” just incase Toyota develops a new vehicle within the next five years that needs a generic infotainment system.

Other indicators of the iM’s $19,615 as-tested price is the digital clock. It looks like the same digital clock found every Toyota product 15 years ago. Granted, Toyota has moved away from this clock in most of its newer stuff, but boy, this clock not only tell the time, but also the decade.

Another telltale sign of having no option packages are the numerous block-out panels on the dashboard. They forever remind the owner of options not chosen or those simply not offered on the iM – at any price. There are two in the cubby hole in below the center stack, and another two just left of the steering wheel.

Last but not least is an interesting observation. Trying to adjust the backlighting brightness of the gauge cluster is, well, a cluster. Believe it or not, you’ve got to press the TRIP button on the steering wheel. Press two times to see the two tripometers. Press it a third time and you’ll see a blue bar indicating the brightness level of the backlighting. Then press and hold the TRIP button in order to cycle through the preset brightness levels. That were you thinking, Toyota?!

Ranting aside, I really do like the Toyota iM. It’s priced well against its competitors, it gets and EPA-estimated 35 mpg on the highway, and it comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. There’s certainly a lot to love. You’ll just have to get past the few “interesting” quirks.

Oh, and I’ve lovingly named my tester, “Snot Rocket.” I feel it’s appropriate given its color.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota Yaris GRMN

Introduced for the 2015 model year, the current-generation Toyota Yaris is one of the most popular hatchbacks in its class and is already considered one of the most reliable and cost-friendly options on the market. However, Toyota has received a lot of heat for not offering a higher-performance version to go against the likes of the Ford Fiesta ST and Volkswagen Polo GTi. Well, it seems that the Japanese automaker listened and the 2017 facelift brought the first performance-oriented version of the Yaris. It’s called the Yaris GRMN and broke cover at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Inspired and influenced by Toyota’s return to the World Rally Championship in 2017 with the Yaris WRC, the GRMN gets its juice (surprisingly enough) from a supercharged engine and it’s the company’s first foray into a niche dominated by Volkswagen and Ford. Developed with Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s motorsport division, and tested on the Nurburgring, the Yaris might have what it takes to give the Polo GTi and Fiesta ST a run for the money.

Having a new performance, subcompact hatchback in dealerships is as exciting as it gets, but the Yaris GRMN needs to check a few important boxes in order to make a difference. Find out more about that in my review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Yaris GRMN.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota's Street Fighter-Themed Commercial For the C-HR Is The Ad The Super Bowl Should Have Had

Excuse us for getting a little too pumped up about a car commercial two weeks after the Super Bowl. We’re making an exception here because this ad by Toyota for its new C-HR crossover is that good.

The commercial takes a page from Japan’s rich culture of developing the most iconic video games in history. Toyota, presumably with the help of Capcom, released this commercial of the C-HR for the Japanese market. That’s the not the news here, though. Rather, it’s the treatment of the ad, which puts the C-HR inside the world of Street Fighter II, arguably the biggest and most popular fighting game in history.

The ad starts off with the CH-R lining up to battle Ryu, the Hadouken-throwing protagonist of the video game franchise. But instead of fighting each other, Ryu instead hops inside the CH-R before going on a tour of sorts to the home stages of the game’s other characters. In the process, it gets a car wash from E. Honda in Japan, performs a drift with Blanka in Brazil, and does a wheelie with Zangief in Russia, all before ending up in Thailand to face the game’s final boss, M. Bison.

With Ryu behind the wheel of the CH-R, the crossover somehow defends itself from M. Bison’s attacks by popping up its hood before shooting off some hadoukens from its headlights to finish off the big baddie. Who knew the CH-R came with that option?

It’s an incredible ad that touches on the two things at the core of Japanese culture: cars and video games. It sets up as one of the most memorable we’ve seen this year. And for what it’s worth, that final scene of all the Street Fighter II characters celebrating the CH-R’s win with Ryu polishing it off with a shoryuken uppercut is as fitting a conclusion to a commercial as you can get.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Petrolicious Takes A Look At One Man's Passion For The Toyota 86, Both New And Old: Video

Some cars are just so incredibly good, they manage to transcend time itself. The Toyota AE86 is one such car. Made in the ‘80s using tin cans and old plastic bottles, the AE86 sought driving nirvana via an age-old formula – engine up front, power in the back, and very little weight in between. The recipe worked wonders, giving birth to one of the most iconic enthusiasts’ cars to ever hail from the Land of the Rising Sun. And that’s saying quite a lot. It was so good, in fact, Toyota decided to give it an encore several decades later. Southern California resident Ron Ng owns an example of both the new and old 86, and Petrolicious decided to highlight them both in this eight-and-a-half-minute video.

If you wanna be specific about it, Ng owns a 2017 Toyota 86 and a 1986 Toyota Corolla GTS. Both are finished in a classic white and black two-tone panda paint scheme, offer cog swaps through a three-pedal manual transmission, and equip high-revving four-cylinder engines under the hood.

But the similarities don’t end there. “Driving the new Toyota 86, it definitely has the characteristics of driving the older Corolla,” Ng says. And just like the old Corolla, the new 86 isn’t about burnouts and quarter-mile times. “It’s a momentum car. You always have to push it. You’ve gotta learn your brakes points properly to keep your RPMs up,” he explains, later adding, “The new 86 is a tool that teaches you how to achieve a high driving IQ.”

Which would you rather have? Let us know in the comments. And don’t forget to check out our review of the new 86 here.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota RAV4 Adventure

When it comes to compact sport utility vehicles, the Rav4 is definitely one of the standard bearers. But with so many Ravs out on the road, it might seem difficult to stand out from the crowd. Luckily, Toyota is offering a new specially upgraded Rav4 trim level called the Adventure. The Rav4 Adventure just debuted at the Chicago Auto Show alongside upgraded versions of the Sequoia full-size SUV and the Tundra full-size pickup truck, but unlike those other two models, the Rav4 Adventure doesn’t get speedy performance-themed bits and pieces from Toyota Racing Development. Rather, the Rav4 Adventure is focused on utility, practicality, good looks, and all-weather rugged capability. It’s aimed at “young families looking for fun in out-of-the-way places, ” which means biking, kayaking, snowshoeing – you know, all the usual active lifestyle stuff.

Visually speaking, the Toyota Rav4 Adventure is decked out with unique exterior styling enhancements. For example, the rear fenders are flared out, sitting high above unique 18-inch alloy wheels with a five-spoke design and a black finish.

Wrapping the wheels are tires sized at 235/55R18, while along the outer edges of the vehicle, you’ll find lower body protection pieces. Up front are dark headlight bezels, plus dark surrounds for the fog lights. A long matte-black stripe is found on the hood, while roof racks are standard. There are also the requisite Adventure special edition badges, just in case there was any doubt as to what you were driving.

The body panels of the Rav4 Adventure can be had in one of five individual exterior colors, such as Black, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Silver Sky Metallic, and Super White. There’s also a new addition to the color lineup called Ruby Flare Pearl.

Inside, you’ll find more unique features added exclusively for the Adventure model. These include exclusive trim panels, a leather-clad shift knob, a 120-volt/100-watt power outlet located in the rear cargo area, Adventure-badged door sill kick plates, and sturdy all-weather mats for the foot well and cargo area, also completed with the same Adventure badging.

Look for the Rav4 Adventure trim level to arrive in dealerships this coming September.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Rav4 Adventure.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota RAV4 Gets New Adventure Trim in Chicago

Toyota has joined the ranks of automakers that introduced special-edition models at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show. The Japanese brand joined the event with three models. The Tundra pickup truck and Sequoia SUV gained TRD Sport grades, while the smaller RAV4 showcased its new Adventure grade.

Described as a trim for “young families looking for fun in out-of-the-way places,” the Adventure adds many exclusive features inside and out. The crossover rides on 18-inch, five-spoke black alloy wheels and features lower body guards, black headlamp bezels, black foglamp surrounds, and black roof racks. A few “Adventure” badges also set this RAV4 apart from the standard model. The new grade can be had in one of five colors, including Black Magnetic, Gray Metallic, Silver Sky Metallic, Super White, and Ruby Flare Pearl.

The interior also received a lot of attention, now featuring unique interior trim panels, a leather-wrapped shift knob, a 120V/100W power outlet in the cargo area, and Adventure-branded door sills. a set of all-weather floor and cargo mats with “Adventure” logo round out the cabin.

Available in either front-wheel-drive guise with an Automatic Limited-Slip Differential or with Dynamic Torque Control AWD, the RAV4 Adventure features a standard Tow Prep Package that includes an upgraded radiator and supplemental engine oil and transmission fluid coolers, as well as a suspension system with a higher ride height. Much like all RAV4 models, the Adventure grade also comes standard with Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC), and TSS-P.

Pricing information is not yet available, but Toyota says that the RAV4 Adventure will arrive in showrooms this September.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon In Case You Missed Them, Here Are All The Super Bowl Car Adverts

In the off chance you’ve been on a remote island for the last several weeks and are only now reestablishing a connection with civilization, I’ll start by saying Super Bowl LI took place over the weekend, and it was quite the event. I guess there were a few points scored and something about a comeback, but I was in it for the car advertisements. After all, these aren’t your normal adverts – companies pay upwards of $170,000 per second to get their product front and center for the big game, and that means we saw the major makes go full-bore with the commercial gloss. Tons of car-related adverts were aired, and we’ve got ‘em all right here.

Some were funny and goofy, others were dramatic and heartfelt, and some were just straight up weird. But hey, that’s how it goes when vying for the attention of consumers soaked in beer and guacamole.

Which advertisements caught your eye? Let us know in the comments!

Continue reading to see all the car adverts from Super Bowl LI.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota Mirai Gets Super Bowl Commercial To Help Boost Sales

Unlike hybrids and all-electric cars, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have struggled to gain any meaningful traction in the auto industry. Part of that may be attributed to a lack of awareness of its unique capabilities and another part of that can be pointed in the direction of not having enough of them in the market to begin with. After all, California is the only state in the U.S. where an FCV like the Toyota Mirai is currently being sold. Whatever the case may be, FCVs have yet to turn into popular alternative vehicles for a lot of people and no more is that evident than the lackluster sales of the Mirai.

That’s also a big reason why Toyota is spending big money in advertising the vehicle as it now has its own commercial spot for the Super Bowl. Titled “Daisy,” the commercial goes straight to the point in highlighting the Mirai’s ability to emit water instead of gas. The ad starts with a full-bloomed daisy sitting somewhat meekly in the middle of a concrete road. A car then stops just beside the flower before coughing out a plume of smoke out of its exhaust. Convenient, right? As the car moves along, the poor daisy (with a spotlight on it no less) keels over the same way a dehydrated person would if he’s spent days on end without water.

And just as everything appeared to go south on the flower, the Mirai heroically comes along, stops at the exact same spot as the previous vehicle, and discharges whatever water it has emitted straight into the daisy. Just like that, the daisy springs back to life and a voice-over comes in to proudly say that the hydrogen-fuelled Mirai’s only emission is water.

As far as a commercial goes, this one leaves the comedy behind and cuts straight to the point to showcase why the Mirai is such an important car in today’s world. Whether the ad succeeds in generating more interest for the car is a question that will only be answered over time. But for now, the commercial comes as a worthwhile gamble on Toyota’s part considering that it only sold 1,034 models of the car in 2016 and just 83 units in the first month of 2017.


PostHeaderIcon Taking On Ze Germans… In A Camry?!

You know, you can buy a lot of car for not a whole lotta money these days. For example, if it’s straight-line muscle you’re looking for, the Dodge Charger Hellcat and Dodge Challenger Hellcat will put over 700 horsepower at your disposal for a mere $65,000. That’s pretty insane if you ask us, but what about something on the either side of the spectrum, where comfort and style rule supreme? Well, around these parts, you could opt for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the German’s mid-size luxury four-door that comes jam-packed with high-tech goodies, top-shelf opulence, and upper-crust flair. Or, as an alternative, consider the new eighth-generation Toyota Camry. No, seriously.

Suffice to say, we’re big fans of the new Camry. So much so, we feel comfortable comparing it to one of Merc’s best luxury barges. The updated Toyota just dropped cover at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, and we’re convinced it’s got the goods to punch way above its weight.

But maybe we’re overstepping things a bit. Maybe we’re completely off in the deep end. Maybe. It’s certainly a possibility. But after the response we got when we compared the Camry and the BMW 5 Series, we shrugged our shoulders and went for it anyway.

Continue reading for the full comparison.


PostHeaderIcon Gazoo Performance Brand Grabs Hold Of Toyota's New Supra Hybrid Sports Car

There’s been plenty of talk surrounding the long-awaited return of the Toyota Supra. That’s to be expected for a car that a lot of people have been waiting for. But the return of the sports car isn’t just about a once-famous nameplate coming back to the spotlight; it’s also about looking into the future and what that future has in store in the evolution of the Supra name. It’s already been reported that the 2018 Supra will actually be a hybrid performance model. Now we’re told that the Supra won’t actually be sold under the Toyota brand, but will instead be the first car to be sold under Toyota’s newly launched Gazoo road performance division.

That bombshell comes from no less than Gazoo Racing chief Koei Saga, who told Autocar that the Supra would be one of the first of many performance models that will be sold under the Gazoo name. It’s still unclear if that shift will end up with the sports car carrying a different name altogether – Gazoo Supra and Toyota Supra Gazoo are two names being thrown around – but the important thing here is that Toyota’s now creating a separate performance arm that will include the Supra hybrid sports car.

For now, the Gazoo Supra (let’s call it that for the time being) will cede a lot of the attention to the three-door Gazoo Yaris hot hatchback, which technically counts as the first production model under the new Gazoo brand. The hot hatch is scheduled to make its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show this coming March where it will showcase a lot of its wares, including a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that spits out more than 210 horsepower.

Once the Gazoo Yaris is introduced to the world, look for Toyota and Gazoo to turn their focus on putting the finishing touches on the Supra hybrid sports car as it prepares to make its own world debut in 2018, presumably with a different name that what we’ve been expecting.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota Joins Growing List of Automakers Refocusing on U.S. Operations

Toyota is the latest automaker to announce sizeable investment and expansions to its U.S. vehicle assembly operations. It will pour $600 million into expanding its Princeton, Indiana assembly plant, which builds the Highlander, Sequoia, and Sienna. An additional 400 jobs will accompany the expansion. The project will being in 2019.

This follows Ford Motor Company and General Motors, among others, announcing plans to expand U.S. factories and create jobs for U.S. workers rather than outsourcing these expansions in other countries, namely Mexico.

Automakers are reacting to President Donald Trump’s vocal distain for the North American Free Trade Agreement. President Trump says the NAFTA deal allows for companies to ship jobs and investment outside the U.S., giving Americans an unfair lot. Talks of abolishing, or at least renegotiating NAFTA – or at worst, tariffs for vehicles imported to the U.S., have automakers worried.

Toyota’s expansion of the Princeton plant will allow it to make an additional 40,000 Highlanders annually. More than 400,000 Highlanders were assembled there in 2016, breaking all records in the plant’s 20-year history.

Millie Marshall, president of Toyota Indiana, said, “The Highlander has been a great vehicle for our plant and we are excited to deliver even more of them to our loyal customers. This is a true testament to our team members and their dedication to producing quality vehicles.”

This is only part of a larger investment Toyota has pledged for its U.S. operations. Jim Lentz, the CEO of Toyota Motor North America announced at the Detroit Auto Show that Toyota would invest some $10 billion in the U.S. over the next five years in a move to make its existing plants more competitive.

Most Toyota vehicles sold in the U.S. are built inside the U.S. Those not include the 4Runner, Land Cruiser, Prius, Yaris, RAV4, and Lexus RX. Other models like the Corolla and Tacoma are built both inside the U.S. and locations outside its borders.

Continue reading for more information.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota Camry

Initially launched as a four-door version of the Celica in 1979, the Camry became a stand-alone nameplate in 1982. Since then, it has evolved into one of the most reliable and popular sedans on the market, especially in the U.S., where Toyota has delivered more than 200,000 units a year since 1988 and in excess of 350,000 examples since 1996. Currently the best-selling passenger car in North America, the Camry drove into a new generation for the 2018 model year.

Spotted testing on public roads since early 2016, the eighth-generation sedan was redesigned from the ground up. Of course, this isn’t surprising as all new-generation vehicles get redesigns both inside and out, but the new Camry is a massive departure from its predecessor. Not only given a new look, it’s also sleeker, sportier, and more stylish than its predecessor. It looks as if the new Camry was created to bridge the gap between the dull Toyota cars and the premium Lexus offerings.

And that’s not a bad idea.

As usual, the redesigned exterior is jointed by a revamped interior with new styling and updated technology. Toyota also took care of the drivetrain department by introducing three new engines, including a hybrid.

“The all-new 2018 Camry is, without a doubt, the most captivating mid-size sedan we’ve ever produced,” said Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations. “It delivers on everything Camry owners have come to expect from America’s best-selling car, and adds to it, jaw-dropping design, more advanced technology, cutting-edge safety systems, and stirring performance that raises it to an unparalleled level of excitement.”

Those are mighty big words coming from Mr. Carter, so you’re probably asking yourselves “is the new Camry that good or is Toyota riding high on PR talk?” Well, let’s find out the answer to this big question in the review below.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2018 Toyota Camry.


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