Posts Tagged ‘Toyota’

2013 Toyota Avalon Design Critique

November 19th, 2012 No comments


      The Toyota Avalon has been with us for much longer than seems possible. When it debuted as a 1995 model, it was credited with being ‘Toyota’s Buick.’ Whether that was intended as an insult or a compliment depends on how you felt about Buicks at the time, but we’ll speculate those making the assessment weren’t referring to the LT1 V8-powered Roadmaster, but rather the somewhat smaller LeSabre or even the 13-year old Century. In any case, the Avalon has continued to be a plusher, larger, softer variation of the Camry. Like the Camry, the Avalon has remained fairly anonymous. Indeed, its styling was likely created with the intent of being used as a template for the ‘anycars’ used in various automotive supply advertisements.  Read more…

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First Drive: 2013 Toyota Prius c

March 7th, 2012 No comments


Latest Addition to the Prius Family Goes Conventional

     Having narrowly escaped a late February snow storm in Michigan and finding ourselves stepping off of a plane near the Atlantic beaches of lower Florida seemed like a dream come true. Certainly a trip to the beach town that curiously shares its name with a 1958 base model Chevrolet had a catch. Yes, that catch was that we were to sample Toyota’s newest and, as executives stressed, last planned member of the Prius family. While having earned a reputation in the industry as the leading hybrid, we have never been overly excited about the Toyota Prius. The Prius has managed to win over fuel misers and environmental advocates, but to say it has been generally disliked by driving enthusiasts would be a gross understatement. We were expecting that the smallest member of Toyota’s hybrid lineup, the Prius c, would be more of the same and figured our drive of the 98 hp fuel sipper would be the low point of our stint in Florida. Read more…

2012 Toyota Prius v

March 6th, 2012 No comments

Can a Bigger Hybrid Actually Be Better?

      Toyota has had an enviable problem on their hands; how to capitalize on the brand equity that the Prius hybrid has gained. Last year Toyota announced plans to offer more Prius hybrids and introduced the world to the pluralization of the model with the designation Prii. With the Prius v, the world has gotten what seems to be a contradiction: a larger Prius. We drove a Barcelona Red Prius v to find out if bigger could be better. Read more…

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2012 Toyota Prius v Walk Around

February 16th, 2012 No comments


      The Toyota Prius has never been our cup of Earl Grey. In its third generation the Prius still makes too many sacrifices in the quest for ultimate fuel efficiency. Enter the Prius v. It’s larger in every important dimension, and thanks to Toyota keeping the weight gain in check, still manages an EPA rated 42mpg combined rating. It just might be a Prius we can get on board with.

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Video Review: 2012 Toyota Highlander Limited

January 31st, 2012 No comments


      Toyota’s Highlander has never been a vehicle to grab the attention of our automotive hearts. Its subdued styling and midsize packaging just doesn’t stand out in the crowd. Our all-wheel-drive test example was even painted a nondescript shade of beige. But setting out with low expectations can be good, because it’s then hard to disappoint. Read more…

2012 Toyota Highlander Walk Around

January 23rd, 2012 No comments


      Toyota dropped off an all-wheel drive Highlander Limited at the Automotive Trends garage this week. Timely since Mother Nature also stopped by with about two inches of snow for us to play in. Watch as Design Editor Gernand gives us a quick walk around of this beige family crossover. 

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2012 NAIAS: Toyota Prius c / NS4 Concept

January 10th, 2012 No comments

2013 Toyota Prius c

      Toyota took great pains to remind us that it was the pioneer in the industry and proved its commitment to that segment by unveiling the production version of the Prius c. Toyota claims the ‘c’ stands for ‘city.’ The intent of the Prius c is to offer the most efficient and lowest priced member of the Prius family. With a starting price of under $19,000 the Prius c is actually less expensive than the original Prius that debuted more than 10 years ago. The ‘c’ promises an impressive 53 mpg in city driving and 46 mpg on the highway. We found this to be an attractive addition to the Prius lineup and hope that it may have more enticing driving dynamics than the sterile standard Prius. Unfortunately, acceleration doesn’t sound promising with the 1.5L four combining with the electric motor for a total of 99 hp. We were not so impressed with our first look at the interior plastics, but we should withold final judgment until we are able to drive one of these cars.  Read more…

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2012 Nissan Altima

October 4th, 2011 No comments

 Proof That The Midsize Sedan Segment Is More Competitive Than Ever

     We’re not sure why, but when we think of the midsize sedan segment our minds tend to picture the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, or maybe even the Ford Fusion or Chevrolet Malibu. For some reason we don’t immediately remember the Nissan Altima. We’d blame marketing except dealers managed to push almost 230,000 of them into American driveways last year making it the third best selling midsizer behind the Camry and Accord. Maybe we should blame ourselves. The press seems content to watch Toyota and Honda duke it out for first and occasionally devote a few words to how the domestic competition is stacking up against—you guessed it—the Camry and Accord. But Nissan has nothing to be ashamed of, as our week in an Altima 2.5 S proved. Read more…

2011 Toyota Prius

July 7th, 2011 No comments

A Means of Transportation

     When the first generation Prius came along I kind of wrinkled my nose at it and said, well, that is all well and good, a clever science experiment, but it will never take on. Then the second generation Prius came along and my sentiments really hadn’t changed all that much, that’s all well and good, impressive science experiment, but it will never take on. But I ended up eating my words on that one. Toyota has sold over 2 million of the smug little things worldwide and is on to a third generation Prius, the one we are driving today. And I still don’t get it. Read more…

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First Drive: 2012 Toyota Prius v

June 22nd, 2011 No comments

2012 Toyota Prius v

Meet the Newest Member of the Prius Family

      I met the newest member of the Prius family today. And I did so a mere five miles from where I welcomed a little bundle of joy to my family 15 months ago in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Fitting, then, that this should be the family-oriented relative of the Green Movement’s poster child. Fortunately for me, the v was all cleaned up and ready to drive without a dirty diaper in sight. Read more…