CNN outlines 8 reasons why Detroit automakers must improve

CNN outlines 8 reasons why Detroit automakers must improve

June 3, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Government/Legal , Crossover , Cadillac , Chrysler , Ford , GM , Honda , Toyota , Earnings/Financials , Luxury Detroit must be good SEO for CNN, as it continues to point to the Motor City and tell carmakers everything they’re doing wrong. I imagine most manufacturing companies enjoy getting advice from the media. We’re so good at it. For the most part, the ideas just rehash things you probably already knew. Carmakers certainly do. Who doesn’t want higher residual values? Who doesn’t want to build and sell more luxury vehicles? Family sedans? But what I find more upsetting are some idiotic statements, such as comparing the percentage of crossovers built by one company that doesn’t have a full-size truck to one that does. It makes for some neat numbers, but unfairly so.

Toyota RAV4 EV priced at $49,800

Toyota RAV4 EV priced at $49,800

May 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Crossover , Toyota , Electric Announced almost two years ago , Toyota finally gave us some more details about the was the all-electric RAV4 EV will be sold to the general public during the 26th Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles today. The important number? The MSRP for what Toyota calls a “fully equipped” RAV4 EV is $49,800 and will be available before the end of the year. Toyota says the RAV4 EV’s range is 100 miles and that the car will charge from empty in approximately six hours on a 240V/40A charger. The new RAV4 EV has LED and halogen headlights and it has special “environmental blue” color emblems on the outside. The vehicle will be made at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada, Inc., plant in Woodstock, Ontario. The first generation of the new RAV4 EV was unveiled back at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show . Our First Drive report is here . With a battery and powertrain designed by Tesla , the new RAV4 EV certainly appears to be one of the new breed of compliance EVs . We had heard that the RAV4 EV will be lease only, but the official press release says the car “will go on sale in late summer 2012 through select dealers, initially in four major California metropolitan markets.” Those markets are Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles/Orange County and San Diego and the news matches the rumor we heard last year, that sales about be limited to California.

Are you the next Toyota RAV4?

Are you the next Toyota RAV4?

April 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Spy Photos , Crossover , Toyota The Toyota RAV4 is due for a major update, having last been redesigned for the 2006 model year. Yes, it’s gotten some tweaks since that time, but the compact crossover market is an ever-evolving place filled with tough competition from around the globe, and Toyota needs the RAV4 to maintain its hard-fought market share. According to our spy photographers, the RAV4′s next redesign is right around the corner. Judging from these photos, it would appear that Toyota is keeping its little ‘ute to the confines of pavement – a wise decision, as vehicles of this ilk never venture very far off the beaten path. That said, the sharply angular lines of this new model’s head and taillamps bring its styling more in line with the latest Camry and Avalon sedans while still putting its occupants over the heads of shorter machinery. Rumors suggest that the 2013 RAV4 will enter production in the fall of ’12, powered by a range of four-cylinder engines and possibly a hybrid. We’d be a bit surprised if the automaker’s 3.5-liter V6 weren’t available, as well. See the spy shots for yourself in our high-res image gallery above. Are you the next Toyota RAV4? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 Apr 2012 19:29:00 EST.

2013 Toyota Venza is updated and refreshed. Yay.

2013 Toyota Venza is updated and refreshed. Yay.

April 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: New York Auto Show , Crossover , Toyota , Design/Style While it doesn’t even appear as a bad pixel on most enthusiasts’ radar, the Toyota Venza serves legions of mainstream consumers perfectly well. To keep the unassuming family hauler from lagging behind its advancing competition, the automaker has introduced a refreshed and tweaked 2013 Toyota Venza at the New York Auto Show . Look carefully on the exterior and you may notice the freshened fog lamps or redesigned grille on the front fascia. Out back, there are restyled taillamps. Three new colors join the pallete (Attitude Black, Cypress Pearl and Cosmic Gray Mica). Under the hood, the engines are carried over from last year (2.7-liter four-cylinder or a 3.5-liter V6, depending on trim level, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission). With the exception of the new interior color (black leather or black cloth upholstery) and new buttons on the steering wheel, the cabin appears virtually identical. However, there are more standard features on the LE trim (blind spot mirror, eight-way power-operated driver’s seat, puddle lamps, tilt/telescope steering wheel, and more) and the range-topping Limited receives LED running lights and a premium navigation system with Entune connectivity. Most of the new features are offered across the model range, but at an additional cost. The updated 2013 Toyota Venza goes on sale in late May.

Toyota teases 2013 Venza, set for debut in New York

Toyota teases 2013 Venza, set for debut in New York

March 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: New York Auto Show , Crossover , Toyota With all the exciting news coming out of Geneva , you’ll have to excuse us for snickering just a little bit when we saw this press release. Yes, the Venza is as deserving of a mid-cycle refresh as any other vehicle, though it appears from this teaser that whatever tinkering Toyota has done will prove itself superficial at best. As is typical these days, this crossover-ized Camry is getting some revised front and rear lighting, and what we would guess will be minor modifications to the front fascia. We can see from the picture that the grille looks to be a bit smaller and those are surely LED’s in the new headlights. New 19-inch wheels and three new colors are probably going to matter less to buyers than the fact that “value has been enhanced” by making more features standard. This might help address our biggest complaint when we test drove the Venza back in 2009 – that’s it’s just too darn expensive for what you get. Click past the jump to read the full press release, and stay tuned for our New York Auto Show coverage . Continue reading Toyota teases 2013 Venza, set for debut in New York Toyota teases 2013 Venza, set for debut in New York originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 07 Mar 2012 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Toyota Belgium offering adventurous location-based RAV4 discounts

Toyota Belgium offering adventurous location-based RAV4 discounts

February 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Etc. , Europe , Marketing/Advertising , Videos , Crossover , Toyota Toyota Belgium has just launched a new campaign for the Toyota RAV4 Black Edition that allows participants to earn discounts for the vehicle based on their location. Smartphone users download the RAV4 Adventure Discount App, travel to a so-called adventurous location within Belgium and sign in with the application. The app then calculates a discount based on just how daring you are. While far-flung wilderness locations are an obvious choice for big discounts, Toyota has hinted there are plenty of adventurous spots in city locales as well. The campaign seems pretty brilliant to us, though we have to wonder how many RAV4 buyers will be willing to cover hill and dale in pursuit of a few extra hundred euros off of their bottom line. So far, it appears the app and the discounts are only good in Belgium, though it wouldn’t surprise us if Toyota used a similar marketing ploy in other markets. Hit the jump to check out an ad for the app after the jump, complete with a mustachioed woodsman. Continue reading Toyota Belgium offering adventurous location-based RAV4 discounts Toyota Belgium offering adventurous location-based RAV4 discounts originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 Feb 2012 16:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

Feds investigating Toyota Camry and RAV4 over door fires

Feds investigating Toyota Camry and RAV4 over door fires

February 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Sedan , Government/Legal , Recalls , Safety , Crossover , Toyota According to a report from The Associated Press , the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a probe into possible driver-side door fires in 2007 Toyota Camry sedans and RAV4 crossovers. A total of 830,000 vehicles may be affected. Six fires have been reported to NHTSA, all stemming from the door-mounted power window switch. Five of the fires are said to have been minor, with one resulting in the total loss of a Camry that burnt to a crisp before firefighters were able to respond. It’s important to note that this is not (yet) a recall. NHTSA opened an investigation on Monday, February 6, and a recall could potentially be announced depending on NHTSA’s findings. Toyota has said in a statement that it is cooperating fully with the investigation. Feds investigating Toyota Camry and RAV4 over door fires originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 10 Feb 2012 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

These are your top 10 worst-selling vehicles of 2011

These are your top 10 worst-selling vehicles of 2011

January 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Sedan , SUV , Truck , Crossover , Acura , Cadillac , Hyundai , Mitsubishi , Subaru , Suzuki , Toyota , Luxury Where there are winners, there are inevitably losers. Last year was exceedingly kind to big pickups, sprawling family sedans and SUVs, but not every model came out of 2011 with big sales figures. We took the time to dig through the low-selling models of the past 12 months to find out which vehicles produced throughout the year were the biggest duds. Since we aren’t interested in how few Lamborghini Aventador models rolled off of dealer lots in the U.S. in 2011, we kept the MSRP under $100,000. Our criteria immediately nixed vehicles like the Mazda RX-8 , Volvo V50 , Ram Cargo Van and everything in the Saab stable due to the fact that those models weren’t manufactured through all 12 months of 2011. High-end metal like the Mercdes-Benz SL , CL and G classes were also kicked to the curb due to our price ceiling. Which was the worst of them all? We’ll give you a hint. It wasn’t the Acura ZDX .

Cars.com $37,000 SUV shootout yields unexpected results [w/poll]

Cars.com $37,000 SUV shootout yields unexpected results [w/poll]

October 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , SUV , Crossover , Chevrolet , Dodge , Ford , Honda , Kia , Mazda , Toyota Cars.com recently lined up seven new vehicles for a $37,000 SUV shootout. The 2012 Chevrolet Traverse , 2012 Dodge Durango , 2012 Ford Explorer , 2012 Honda Pilot , 2012 Kia Sorento , 2011 Mazda CX-9 and 2011 Toyota Highlander all squared off against one another in a range of evaluations, including a one-day highway drive and family testing. If you happen to be the deductive type, you may have noticed that the list above includes a fair number of genuine crossovers. Vehicles like the Chevrolet Traverse and Mazda CX-9 bear little resemblance to the body-on-frame bruisers of old, and even models like the 2012 Explorer and 2012 Durango have evolved out of their traditional shells. But when the dust settled, it was Honda’s 2012 Pilot that took top honors thanks to its high level of amenities, spacious interior and clever storage solutions, despite the fact that reviewers found issue with road noise and exterior styling. Perhaps most surprising is the fact that the 2012 Explorer tied for sixth place with the 2012 Sorento. Ouch. Head over to Cars.com to see the full evaluation, and vote for your favorite in our poll. View Poll Cars.com $37,000 SUV shootout yields unexpected results [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Oct 2011 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

Toyota expands Venza model line to three trims for 2012

Toyota expands Venza model line to three trims for 2012

September 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Crossover , Toyota Before, there was just one Toyota Venza . Oh sure, you could boost the equipment and outfitting by ordering option packages, but since its launch, the Venza has not carried a suffix. For 2012, Toyota is changing its strategy and now there are Venza LE, XLE and Limited trim levels for buyers to choose between. The LE starts it off, and it gets cushier and better-equipped from there with the XLE and Limited, though even in the base model, you won’t find a Venza without a six-disc changer, Bluetooth, and USB and auxiliary input. The top-dog Limited is a leather-lined, V6-powered box of rock thanks to a JBL Synthesis surround-sound audio system. Navigation, panorama roof, automatic high-beams are some other highlights. In between, the XLE covers the middle ground with a whole bunch of optional choices. The changes add a new bit of shorthand to the Venza that makes it easy to pick out the sybarites from the skinflints. Toyota thinks the move brings the Venza in line with its other products and makes choosing more convenient for buyers. The full press release is after the jump .

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