Ward’s 10 Best Interiors released, Asian automakers take 7 of 10 spots

Ward’s 10 Best Interiors released, Asian automakers take 7 of 10 spots

April 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Acura , Cadillac , Chevrolet , Hyundai , Kia , Lexus , Mazda , Nissan , Toyota , Design/Style , Ram Step inside just about any new car these days and you’ll quickly see that vehicle interiors have become a pretty nice place to spend some time in. For the third consecutive year, WardsAuto sat in each and every new vehicle that had received redesigned or updated interiors, and it has now named its 10 Best Interiors. Judges look at everything from design and fit-and-finish to comfort, safety and technology. Some of the standout selections include budget cars like the Chevrolet Spark and Kia Forte all the way up to more expensive sedans like the $60,000+ Cadillac XTS and Lexus GS450h . An interesting note here is that WardsAuto praises Cadillac for its CUE infotainment system while Consumer Reports generally lambasts the system. Asian automakers definitely won the contest for nicest interiors as the list is comprised of five Japanese automakers and two South Korean, with Toyota and General Motors in a dead heat with the most number of cars on the list with two each. Scroll down for the full list (in alphabetical order) and press release from WardsAuto for its 10 Best Interiors of 2013. Continue reading Ward’s 10 Best Interiors released, Asian automakers take 7 of 10 spots Ward’s 10 Best Interiors released, Asian automakers take 7 of 10 spots originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Apr 2013 14:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Editors’ Choice: Top Five 2013 Geneva Motor Show Debuts

Editors’ Choice: Top Five 2013 Geneva Motor Show Debuts

March 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , Geneva Motor Show , Lamborghini , Toyota , Volkswagen , Alfa Romeo , Design/Style , McLaren We’ve returned from a very busy week in Switzerland, and in going back over all of our 75 stories from the Geneva Motor Show , our editors have gathered up their personal favorite debuts from the European expo. The wonderful thing about the Geneva show is just how wide of an array of vehicles are on display – everything from funny little one-off EVs to the most exotic of supercars to, well, truly ridiculous displays of coachbuilding . And because of that, this list of our editors’ favorites might not be as predictable as you think. But we don’t want to give anything away just yet. Scroll down to have a look at our team’s favorites from Geneva. Continue reading Editors’ Choice: Top Five 2013 Geneva Motor Show Debuts Editors’ Choice: Top Five 2013 Geneva Motor Show Debuts originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 08 Mar 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Toyota RAV4 "Adventure" brings the butch

Toyota RAV4 "Adventure" brings the butch

March 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , Geneva Motor Show , Toyota , Design/Style Just last week, your humble author had a 2013 Toyota RAV4 in his garage, and he couldn’t help noting that even in mid-level XLE trim, its aesthetics lacked oomph, due in large part to its cheap-looking black bumpers and airy-looking wheel wells . Judging by the RAV4 “Adventure” on display at the Geneva Motor Show , someone at Toyota must’ve been thinking the same thing. With Japan’s biggest automaker understandably focused on bigger reveals, information on this butched-up softroader has proven to be hard to come by, with no press materials whatsoever. We don’t even know if this is a pure concept or if it’s actually being considered for production. Either way, we approve. The 20-inch dark-finish alloys probably don’t do much for ride quality, but they certainly look nicely aggressive, as does the new lower fascia with its prominent lower lip. Other changes include beefier wheel arches, side rails, headlamps with integrated LEDs, twin-element fog lamps and mesh grille inserts. All of the changes are quite well integrated – enough so that the Adventure largely avoids looking like a SEMA refugee in person. Toyota RAV4 “Adventure” brings the butch originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Mar 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

Redesigns that worked and flopped determined by new Cars.com index

Redesigns that worked and flopped determined by new Cars.com index

November 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Audi , Ford , Honda , Hyundai , Toyota , Design/Style The 2013 Ford Fusion is probably the latest, greatest example of a completely redesigned car that has evoked widespread calls of “Look at that!” Above its buzzworthy looks, though, Ford will be concerned about how the 2013 Fusion sells and by how much – if at all – it beats sales of the previous version. Cars.com has run the sales numbers on 61 models that have been redesigned in the past four years, ranking them as Winners, Underperformers and Losers depending on how a new-generation model is selling compared to the one it replaces. The rankings are sorted by sales class – small, medium and large sellers – so that the success of a niche sports car is weighted differently than the success of a popular midsize car. Compared to a four-year sales average for redesigned cars in each class, Winners were those who outsold the average, Underperformers didn’t make the average but did outperform the previous year’s (hence, the previous car’s) sales, while Losers couldn’t do any better anywhere. Among the most recently introduced winners were the Toyota Camry and the Honda CR-V . The Camry beat the Four-Year Category Average Redesign Increase for large sellers by 2.2 percent, the CR-V managed 0.2 percent. Underperformers included the Audi A6 / S6 which, even though it has outsold the previous generation by 58 percent, still isn’t getting near the small seller category average of 79.2 percent. The new Hyundai Accent is also considered an underperformer, the new model boosting sales by 5.5 percent – nowhere near the 61.5 percent of the medium seller category average. The only Loser listed in the chart is the Honda Civic , taking one last thrashing before the “honed” 2013 redesign gets a chance to right the ship. As for that Fusion, the 2013 model has strong numbers to follow: the 2010 Fusion was a huge winner, putting up a 55.1-percent increase in the large seller category, beating the average by 33 percent.

Toyota Tacoma soldiers on for 2013 with new Limited Package

Toyota Tacoma soldiers on for 2013 with new Limited Package

September 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Truck , Toyota , Design/Style The current Tacoma has had few styling changes since it went on sale in 2005, but Toyota continues to entice buyers to its midsize pickup truck with various trim packages. Earlier this year, the Tacoma added the go-anywhere TRD T/X Baja Series truck for the off-road enthusiast, and now it’s adding the Limited model to appeal to buyers looking for a more luxurious-ish version of the popular truck. The 2012 Tacoma is pictured above since Toyota has not yet supplied images of the 2013 Tacoma (including the Limited). Toyota’s press release does not list the pricing for the 2013 Tacoma’s Limited Package, but it is listed on the configurator as a $7,345 option. For this price, the Tacoma is upgraded with leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever, SofTex heated front seats and Display Audio with navigation, Entune infotainment and JBL speakers. Visually, the Tacoma Limited gets its bling on with plenty of shiny stuff including 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome on the grille, fog light surrounds, door mirrors and handles, as well as a big chunk of chrome on the rear bumper. Interestingly, Toyota’s website only shows the Limited Package available on the Tacoma Double Cab V6 4×4 long bed that starts at $28,085, meaning that going all in with the Tacoma Limited would run $35,430. Scroll down for the official details. Toyota Tacoma soldiers on for 2013 with new Limited Package originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Sep 2012 10:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

Toyota Avalon gets 40-MPG hybrid model for 2013

Toyota Avalon gets 40-MPG hybrid model for 2013

June 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Toyota , Design/Style Given that the 2013 Avalon shares a platform with the new Lexus ES , this news should come as no surprise: Toyota’s largest sedan is getting its own hybrid variant for the first time ever. Judging by these first photos, carspotters will have to squint hard to tell that they’re looking at a hybrid, as there are only a few small badges and blue-tinted lenses as a tip-off to this vehicle’s gas-electric motivation. As with its luxury-minded sibling, the Avalon Hybrid will arrive under the spell of a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four paired with a duo of electric motors juiced by a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. Total system power is stated at 200 horsepower, but the meatier number is an EPA fuel economy rating of 40 miles per gallon city and 39 highway. Also like its Lexus relation, Toyota is touting a trio of operation modes that includes pure EV (only good for one mile at speeds up to 25 mph), Eco, and Sport, the latter of which tweaks both steering weight and throttle response. Toyota hasn’t released any dynamic performance figures or pricing information, but the new Avalon Hybrid will be in dealers this fall, where it will square off against the Buick LaCrosse eAssist and soon-to-be-replaced Lincoln MKZ Hybrid . Continue reading Toyota Avalon gets 40-MPG hybrid model for 2013 Toyota Avalon gets 40-MPG hybrid model for 2013 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Jun 2012 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Toyota displays family-oriented Camatte concept at toy show [w/video]

Toyota displays family-oriented Camatte concept at toy show [w/video]

June 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , Coupe , Budget , Etc. , Japan , Videos , Toyota , Design/Style Toyota is out to spur a passion for cars in young families with its new Camatte Concept. Unveiled at the 2012 International Tokyo Toy Show, the vehicle features a number of interchangeable body panels that can easily be swapped for different colors or styles. The concept seats three in a unique triangular configuration that Toyota says is designed to facilitate communication between parents behind the wheel and children in the back. But that’s not the only kid-friendly aspect. The Camatte also features configurable pedals, which can allow a child to develop driving skills while a parent takes care of important tasks like steering and braking. Clearly, this sucker isn’t headed to production, and that’s a shame. We love the bare-bones utilitarianism of the design, and the open-wheel front is enough to garner a smile from us as well. It’s almost as if Toyota decided to bring the Volkswagen Kubelwagen into the modern age. Check out the quick breakdown video below for yourself.

Hot Wheels accused of stealing Icon FJ40 Baja design

Hot Wheels accused of stealing Icon FJ40 Baja design

June 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Classics , SUV , Government/Legal , Toyota , Toys/Games , Specialty , Design/Style , Off-Road In a perfect world, all of our favorite companies would get along merrily. But sadly, we do not live in a perfect world. Icon , the company behind some of the most lust-worthy vintage off-roaders and street machines in existence, is accusing toymaker Mattel of stealing the FJ40 Baja Edition design for a Hot Wheels die cast toy. According to the most recent Icon newsletter, Hot Wheels lifted a photo of the heavily modified FJ40, slathered a quick Photoshop job over the image and called it a day. Except Mattel reportedly never asked Icon for permission to use the image or the vehicle design in its marketing or products. Icon reportedly reached out to Mattel to no avail. That’s about when the custom builder turned to its lawyers, prompting the attorney for Hot Wheels to say the company wanted to settle the matter out of court. A month went by before Icon once again tried to reach out. Mattel allegedly dismissed Icon, effectively challenging the smaller company to try to sue the toy monolith if Icon thought it stood a chance. Hot Wheels hasn’t spoken out on the issue.

Lexus GX to go unibody, gain turbo power?

Lexus GX to go unibody, gain turbo power?

May 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: SUV , Lexus , Toyota , Rumormill , Design/Style , Luxury Add another one to the endangered list. The number of traditional body-on-frame SUVs has been dwindling as manufacturers replace them with crossovers, which is the direction the Lexus GX 460 is heading. According to Ward’s Auto , the GX will likely be supplanted by a unibody, three-row crossover at the end of its current lifecycle. Toyota introduced the current Lexus GX in 2010 , at the same time it also redesigned the 4Runner , on which the Lexus model is based. If the GX is shifted to a unibody platform, that could mean that Toyota would do similarly with the 4Runner, or the two vehicles could diverge and the GX could assume the underpinnings of another model. This is mere speculation, but Toyota could shift the GX to the Highlander platform that is currently shared with the Lexus RX . Since the RX is not available in a three-row model, the move would allow the GX to retain its third row as a differentiator without upsetting the successful formula of the RX, Lexus’ best-seller. Regardless of what Toyota decides to do with the GX and 4Runner, Ward’s says the company is also investigating the use of turbocharged four-cylinder engines in Lexus products. Since Toyota already has one of the best engines in the world in its direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 that sits under the hood of most Lexus models, we wouldn’t expect the brand to introduce a turbo four any time soon, at least not in its volume products. Lexus GX to go unibody, gain turbo power?

Lexus moves to trademark spindle grille

Lexus moves to trademark spindle grille

May 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Government/Legal , Lexus , Toyota , Design/Style , Luxury Apparently the new Lexus spindle grille is here to stay. According to the Kaizen Factor blog, Toyota has filed numerous trademark applications in both the United States and Canada for various spindle grille designs. The main differences in the designs are the inserts, either a zig-zag mesh like the current F Sport models of the CT , IS , GS , RX and LS , or a horizontal pattern like the non-F Sport models. But there’s also a new “vertical bar” design revealed by the filings, which the report speculates may be applied to the next-generation IS. Toyota has also filed paperwork to trademark the basic spindle outline with no insert, according to the report. For what it’s worth, Lexus isn’t the only Japanese automaker that’s using a grille with this general shape … Lexus moves to trademark spindle grille originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 May 2012 08:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

« Previous PageNext Page »

Tweeter button Facebook button Youtube button