Filed under: Sedan , Toyota , First Drives , Luxury A Case Study In Judging A Book By Its Cover Toyota has turned over something of a new leaf with its 2013 Avalon . For the last few decades, Japan’s largest automaker has shown a face that could best be described as practical, reliable and a bit dull – the same side of the leaf that’s been staring consumers in the face with products like the 2013 Camry and Corolla . Popular nameplates, no doubt, but since Toyota’s history is filled with such stylish, sporty and iconic models as the 2000GT, MR2 , rear-wheel-drive AE86 Corolla and, of course, the late, great Supra that we last saw in 2002, ardent followers of the brand have had little to feel excited about. With such a checkered past, it’s no surprise that company CEO Akio Toyoda has called upon his employees to once again design and build cars with a sense of passion. The 2013 Avalon and Avalon Hybrid – Toyota’s flagship models in the ultra-important United States market – are the first new vehicles, Toyota says, to come from that rekindled bucket of excitement. We should note that this notion has raised an eyebrow or three, considering how much excitement surrounds the Toyota GT86 ( Scion FR-S in the States). If nothing else, we can say with certainty that the car’s appearance is a dramatic departure from the dour Avalon sedans of days passed. It really is a strikingly attractive car inside and out, but, as has been said time and time again, you can’t judge a book by its cover. And so it was with legitimate interest that we fired up the completely redesigned Avalon and Avalon Hybrid for a day-long spin through California’s lovely Napa Valley region. Continue reading 2013 Toyota Avalon [w/video] 2013 Toyota Avalon [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Oct 2012 11:57:00 EST.
Filed under: Aftermarket , Motorsports , SEMA Show , SUV , Toyota , Specialty , Racing For those who love to go as fast as possible in as straight a line as possible, but have a wife, two kids and family pet, Toyota has built the DragQuoia just for you. Well, except for the family pet part. With four seats (plus racing harnesses, naturally), a 650-horsepower TRD supercharged V8 engine and 21.5-inch racing slicks, this drag-racing Sequoia thing can reportedly cover the quarter mile in as little as nine seconds. It’s so absurd that it’s glorious. In addition to the racing harnesses, there’s a full roll cage and a parachute to bring things back down from speed. Safety first, family man. Read more about the DragQuoia in the press release below and enjoy our live photo gallery above. Continue reading Toyota owes us a 9-second car, presents us with DragQuoia instead Toyota owes us a 9-second car, presents us with DragQuoia instead originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Oct 2012 17:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Aftermarket , Sedan , Toyota , Specialty , Luxury Now that we’ve waved goodbye to the Lincoln Town Car , there’s a big ol’ hole in the automotive market for new livery vehicles – you know, the blacked-out hire cars frequently seen idling outside of airport terminals and hotels. Cadillac has announced that its XTS flagship will be offered with a factory livery package , and other American automakers like Chrysler and Lincoln have entered this luxury fleet segment as well. But it won’t stop there. During our first drive of the 2013 Avalon , Toyota officials confirmed that the company will offer a livery edition of its new large sedan. As expected, the livery edition will have a black-on-black color scheme and will offer heated seats and individual heating and cooling controls for rear seat passengers, deleting the front heated seats in the process. (Sorry, Jeeves.) Two different Avalon livery models will be produced – a V6 model based on the XLE trim and a hybrid version based on the XLE Premium grade. With its 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, the gasoline-electric Avalon is rated at 40 miles per gallon combined. That’s certainly an improvement over the old 19-mpg Town Car. Toyota spokesperson Moe Durand confirmed to Autoblog that the Avalon livery car will be available to order through the brand’s entire dealer network. That said, Toyota isn’t expecting huge sales numbers for its package – “500 to 1000 units in first year,” says Durand.
LAS VEGAS, (Oct. 30, 2012) – The Scion FR-S earned industry recognition today with the Hottest Sport Compact award on the first day of the 2012 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas.
TORRANCE, Calif., Oct. 25, 2012 — Toyota’s FJ Cruiser enjoys a substantial audience of off-road aficionados with a constant craving for new variations on the popular 4×4. Toyota’s performance arm, TRD, is obliging them once again with a fresh take on a Baja-themed off-roader scheduled to debut on Oct. 30 at the 2012 SEMA Show.
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota As automakers are preparing to release sales figures for October, Toyota is looking a little further ahead by claiming that the Camry is the best-selling car in the US for the 11th straight year a full two months early. Based on sales figures through September, Toyota thinks that its 67,000-unit lead over the closest competitor is big enough to make a fourth-quarter comeback statistically impossible. Camry sales are up about 37 percent through September with 314,788 units sold compared to 247,847 units for the next-closest car, the Honda Accord . The Accord would have to double the Camry’s sales for the rest of the year in order to vie for the “best-selling car” title, and so far in 2012 Accord hasn’t even been able to match the Camry’s numbers. That being said, Automotive News does say that the stellar Camry’s 2012 sales also include higher-than-normal fleet sales accounting for 15 percent of the total – or around 60,000 units-compared to 10 percent that the article states is where Camry fleet sales usually are. The Nissan Altima (234,040), Honda Civic (234,029) and Toyota Corolla (222,703) round out the top five cars of 2012 so far. Next year will likely prove to be a little more challenging for the Toyota with redesigned midsize competitors such as the Ford Fusion , Altima, Accord, Chevrolet Malibu and Mazda6 all looking to put some added heat on the Camry – not to mention a substantially updated Civic will be hitting the scene as well. Toyota claims best-selling car crown two months early originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Oct 2012 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Ford tumbles to second worst in Consumer Reports reliability survey, list dominated by Japanese [w/video]
Filed under: Acura , Ford , Honda , Lexus , Mazda , Scion , Subaru , Toyota It’s no secret that MyFord Touch has had its share of problems since being introduced, but the most recent reliability survey from Consumer Reports shows just how much this infotainment system has affected Ford . Just two years ago, the automaker was in the top 10 for the institute’s reliability rankings, but since then, it has tumbled to the second-lowest rung just above dead-last Jaguar . In addition to MyFord Touch, CR also attributes a handful of new products that have had issues right out of the gate. Compiled from 1.2 million subscriber surveys, this year’s auto reliability survey heavily favors Japanese automakers, with eight of the 10 spots hailing from Japan. Toyota brands grabbed the top three spots ( Scion , Toyota and Lexus – in that order) with Mazda , Subaru , Honda and Acura filling the next four spots. The only non-Asian automaker cracking the top 10 was Audi at number eight. Audi climbed a total of 18 spots from last year, and Cadillac and GMC round out this year’s top gainers breaking into the top 15. Helping Cadillac’s upward movement, the CTS Coupe was named the most reliable domestic car. Lincoln , Volvo and Chrysler join Ford on this year’s biggest loser list. Scroll down to watch a video and see where some of the other brands rank for reliability this year.
TORRANCE, Calif., (Oct. 29, 2012) – Generations of the Lexus LS have inspired an entire industry through visionary innovation, craftsmanship and design. And now the flagship not only has a new face, but has more than 3,000 new parts. The LS line-up also includes the first-ever LS F SPORT, and a marketing campaign to highlight the thrilling, exclusive lifestyle LS drivers live. The LS campaign caps off a successful year of launches showcasing the brand’s bold new face and attitude for the future.
TORRANCE, Calif., Oct. 25, 2012 — Bassmaster Elite Series pro angler Britt Myers knows a thing or two about bass fishing. And as a well-known builder of custom Toyota Tundras for his fellow anglers, he had an idea or two for a singular Tundra equipped with everything an Elite Series pro could imagine—and then some. The result is the “Ultimate Fishing Tundra,” scheduled to debut in Las Vegas on Oct. 30 at Toyota’s SEMA Show display booth.