Filed under: Minivan/Van , Toyota The four-cylinder Toyota Sienna is officially a thing of the past. Toyota has opted to ditch the minivan’s entry-level 2.7-liter engine, thereby making the 266-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 standard equipment. The move makes some sense, as the entry-level four cylinder didn’t really manage better fuel economy – the 187-hp powertrain managed 19 miles per gallon city and 24 highway, whereas the V6 gets 18/25. Buyers can look forward to a few small changes for the 2013 model year, including easier-to-clean fabrics on LE trim as well as an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat and four-way power passenger throne. LE guise also delivers three-zone climate control with individual control for the driver, passenger and rear seats. Stepping up to Limited trim will net consumers a standard Blind Spot Monitor, though the tech may also be had on SE and XLE versions as an individual option. Prices have jumped up a bit, starting with the base Sienna at $25,450, or $1,390 more than the 2012 model. Toyota says that on average, prices have increased by around $466 over all trims. The topped-out Sienna all-wheel drive Limited tips the wallet at $41,240 before tacking on any additional options. Check out the press release below .
Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Etc. , Government/Legal , Safety , Toyota Judge James V. Selna has warned jurors in a wrongful death suit about suspicions surrounding Toyota . According to Inside Line, the warning comes tied to the automaker’s conduct during an investigation of a 2008 Camry involved in a fatal crash allegedly caused by unintended acceleration . The single-car accident in Utah claimed the lives of the driver, Pual van Alfen, as well as one other passenger. Two passengers were also injured in the event on November 5, 2010. According to the report, two weeks later, Toyota inspected the sedan without the owner’s presence or consent, including the onboard black box . Judge Selena cautioned jurors that they should treat the testimony of Toyota personnel who participated in the investigation with “greater caution than that of other witnesses.” Plaintiffs argued that without their own lawyers present during the inspection, data from the Event Data Recorder could have been changed or deleted entirely. The Judge said that while there was no evidence that Toyota did so, the fact that the automaker failed to notify the owner of the inspection casts a “cloud of suspicion” over the examination. Judge cautions jurors over Toyota conduct in sudden acceleration case originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 01 Jun 2012 17:59:00 EST.
Filed under: Motorsports , Coupe , Performance , Europe , Safety , Videos , Toyota There are plenty of dangers to contend with at a track day . High speeds, inexperienced drivers, faulty equipment and foul weather can all play havoc on an otherwise friendly fender-to-fender weekend. We can now add carbon monoxide poisoning to the list of potential threats. One Finnish Toyota MR2 owner took his machine out for a quick sprint at Ahvenisto just outside of Hameenlinna. After a few minutes behind the wheel, the driver begins struggling to keep control of his car, eventually spinning into the infield. He maneuvers back on track and pulls off, and it isn’t long before he blacks out entirely. Later, he would have no recollection of anything after the car hit the grass. He stays unconscious for nearly 11 minutes before rescue workers resort to smashing his passenger window to gain access. By the time he receives medical attention, his blood was packed with 67 percent carbon monoxide. Any longer in the vehicle’s cabin and the day very well could have been his last.
Filed under: Hybrid , Etc. , Safety , Technology , Hatchback , Toyota Nevada has officially granted Google a license to test autonomous vehicles on public streets. The tech giant underwent demonstrations in both Las Vegas and Carson City to prove its vehicles are as safe or safer than those piloted by mere humans. The state requires two people to be in the test vehicles at all times, including at one occupant in the driver’s seat and another monitoring the vehicle via an onboard computer. If anything goes wrong, the human “driver” can take over by simply applying the brakes or taking hold of the steering wheel. As of right now, Google has only applied to license three vehicles. Each one will carry a red license plate with an infinity symbol. According to Bruce Breslow, Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles director, vehicles with autonomous capability could be on the road within three to five years. When that happens, the machines will wear green plates. Google allowed to test self-driving car on Nevada public streets originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 09 May 2012 18:00:00 EST.
Filed under: Convertible , Performance , Scion , Toyota With an epic chassis and the lowest center of gravity in the business, there’s plenty for enthusiast to love about the Scion FR-S . Except, that is, for those who prefer to take their nimble, affordable sports cars with the roof down. Their choices are rather limited in this price category to the Mazda MX-5 and Ford Mustang , but if the latest reports prove accurate, the FR-S – which is, of course, virtually identical to the Subaru BRZ and sold overseas as the Toyota GT 86 – is preparing to throw its hat in the ring, as well. Long rumored, a convertible version of the jointly-developed “Toyobaru” coupe could stand to boost sales figures and help the bean-counters justify the expenditure on the new platform. However while the speedster concept recently showcased at Long Beach lost its rear seats (along with most of its windshield), Car and Driver predicts that the FR-S convertible will keep the auxiliary pair in the back – though the addition of a folding roof mechanism would likely mean that would come at the expense of most of the trunk room. We’re told to expect the FR-S convertible to arrive sometime late in 2013 or early in 2014, with a price tag that would tack a few grand onto the coupe’s $25,000 MSRP. Look for the same 2.0-liter, 200-horsepower boxer four to carry over with a choice of six-speed transmissions in either manual or automatic configurations. Beyond that, Toyota may be considering basing a larger four-door sedan and coupe off the new platform, which could stand to make the money men back at headquarters – to say nothing of the enthusiasts – even more happy. Scion FR-S convertible coming by early 2014 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 May 2012 15:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Government/Legal , Recalls , Safety , Toyota While Toyota recalls are no longer the earth-shattering news they were back in 2009 , they’re still news. And today’s announcement certainly qualifies for the modifier “big,” with nearly half a million Tacoma pickups being recalled under one campaign, and 116,000 Venza crossovers and 70,500 Camrys under another. The 2009 Camry is the only model year covered by the recall, while 2009-2011 Venzas are affected. These vehicles may need a replacement stop lamp switch, which may have been installed incorrectly. Symptoms include warning lamps illuminating, a non-starting condition, and the inability to shift out of Park. The Tacoma recall covers some 2005-2009 models that may need their steering wheel spiral cable assembly replaced. Symptoms include an air bag warning lamp that does not go off after the vehicle is started, which could result in the driver’s air bag being deactivated. In both cases, Toyota says it is “obtaining the necessary replacement parts” and owners will be notified by mail. Owners may also visit www.toyota.com/recall or call the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331. See below for the full release.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Coupe , Tokyo Motor Show , Hatchback , Toyota , Electric The Tokyo Motor Show wackiness has officially begun, and the first far-out concept comes courtesy of Toyota and the Fun-Vii. Forget custom paint jobs and vinyl graphics, the Fun-Vii lets you change the exterior design “with the same ease as downloading an application,” allowing drivers to display everything from custom messages to flashy graphics through some manner of magical exterior display technology. The same goes for the interior, which Toyota claims can be customized to suit the mood of the driver, with a variety of themes and an augmented reality function taking place of the traditional navigation system. Less far-out is the incorporation of a “navigation concierge” that provides up-to-the-second driving and multimedia information through a virtual assistant. And naturally, the Fun-Vii interfaces with both your smartphone and other road users, adding both a safety and social element to the driving experience. We’ll be getting an eye-full of the Fun-Vii on Wednesday, but in the meantime, get the minimal details in the press release below the fold . Continue reading Toyota Fun-Vii is rolling, customizable weirdness Toyota Fun-Vii is rolling, customizable weirdness originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Nov 2011 08:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Concept Cars , Performance , Truck , Toyota , Off-Road Toyota has given SEMA 2011 visitors a glimpse at a pre-production version of the company’s Tacoma TRD T/X Limited Edition . The newest addition to the Tacoma line is set to begin production in late spring of next year and will offer buyers a 4.0-liter V6 engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic. An electronically controlled locking rear differential provides extra grip over uncertain terrain while active traction control, hill-descent control and hill-start assist control should help make things easier on the driver. The whole thing should breathe a bit easier and sound a bit better thanks to the standard TRD exhaust, too. BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO tires are mounted on bead-lock style wheels, and 60 mm Bilstein race shocks paired with TRD springs up front help give the pickup a little more flex. The Tacoma TRD TX Limited Edition is fitted with 50 mm shocks in the rear with a remote reservoir and the front end rides two inches higher than its stablemates. Lest we forget, there are also those rather loud bodyside graphics… Continue reading Toyota Tacoma TRD T/X Baja Series Limited Edition headed for dealers Toyota Tacoma TRD T/X Baja Series Limited Edition headed for dealers originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 02 Nov 2011 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Silver Spring , Md. (April 28, 2011) – Toyota and Discovery Education announced today the ten high school student winners of the 2011 Toyota Teen Driver Sweepstakes .