Filed under: Car Buying , Budget , Sedan , Technology , Ford , Toyota , Design/Style As 2013 Ford Fusions begin rolling into dealerships, Ford can say that it has finally created the mythical Toyota Camry fighter. It’s something we’ve heard again and again from Detroit’s carmakers, always poised but never able to deliver a midsize sedan that will outsell the venerable Camry. This time, however, Ford may have a case. Offering five powertrains, including a 47 mpg gas-electric hybrid, a powerful 2-liter model, all wrapped in a sexy exterior, the Fusion makes a strong case that it deserves a spot at the top of America’s most cutthroat segment. But numbers don’t lie. Last year, Ford sold 248,000 Fusions. This year, sales are up 7.7 percent through August at 181,000 cars, making the Fusion Detroit’s top selling midsize car in America. But it’s not even close to the top selling midsize car in the U.S., it’s not even the third best selling midsize sedan. The Camry is on a big rebound. It has sold 280,000 cars this year alone, and sales are up 37 percent.
Filed under: Car Buying , Honda , Toyota , Volkswagen , By the Numbers Volkswagen, Honda and Toyota Post Big Gains If you want evidence that the economy is on the mend, look no further than the string of positive monthly sales reports coming from the auto industry this year. August continues the trend with the vast majority of brands and companies reporting improved sales numbers compared to the same month last year, Volkswagen (+62.54 percent), Honda (+57.88 percent) and Toyota (+47.5 percent) leading the way for major manufacturers. Honda and Toyota’s big gains are easy to explain. Just repeat the line we’ve been using all summer about these two Japanese giants enjoying the fruits of restored production capacity following last year’s onslaught of natural disasters in their home region. Volkswagen’s big jump, however, is harder to explain, and looks to be consolidated mostly in the Passat model line where sales jumped from just 314 last August (before the midsize sedan was redesigned) to 10,090 last month. Smaller sales gains from the Golf , Jetta , Beetle , Tiguan and Touareg also contributed. Another individual model that jumped out at us while compiling the numbers is the Ford Escape . The all-new 2013 Escape is a big departure in both style and content compared to the last generation, which sold very well even into its waning months. We’ve been curious to know if consumers would embrace the new Escape’s slicker shape and higher price. The answer is a resounding yes based on last month’s sales of the new model, which totaled 28,188 units, a 36.8-percent improvement compared to last August and a number high enough to make the new Escape one of the industry’s best selling models overall last month.
Filed under: Motorsports , Budget , China , Hatchback , Toyota , Racing This could be something or it could be nothing, but it’s got us curious and we have no idea what it is. A site in China found what appear to be renderings of a three-door Toyota Yaris wearing an as-yet-unseen body kit and a Lexus -shaped grille. The changes are thorough, and alterations like the bulging fenders front and back and the deep skirting all-round indicate that they aren’t taken casually. Of particular note is the spindle grille lifted from the Lexus design book and what looks like an aero element around the rear glass. Theories so far are that it is a concept for an upcoming Chinese auto show, a sportier Yaris production model that will be added to the lineup, a factory-installed kit or a tuner kit. Or it could have something to do with Toyota’s return to the World Rally Championship. A company source has already cited the Yaris as the car that “makes sense,” with Autoweek reporting it will be a “Yaris-based” entry even though the Yaris is too short according to the WRC regulations. One issue with that, though, is that the tiny, split-twin exhaust pipes make no sense for a WRC car; the Mini WRC car runs its pipes the same way, but they’re huge. We will look out for more information on whatever kind of Yaris this might be. Is Toyota working on a Lexus-influenced extreme Yaris?
Filed under: Classics , Budget , Truck , Wagon , Videos , Toyota The Datsun 510 will always hold a special place in enthusiast’s hearts. The anonymous little coupes and sedans quickly established themselves as willing performers on the nation’s race tracks in the early ’70s. But while the goons at BRE were busy embarrassing other manufacturers in the Trans Am Challenge, scads of 510 Wagons contented themselves with family hauler duty. These days, the unloved wagons are easily outpaced by their two- and four-door compatriots at car shows, but the guys at Depth of Speed managed to find one very well-executed long roof 510 to hang out with for an afternoon. Unlike most tin top examples, this particular model came with a port-installed vinyl roof. The owner saw the ratted vinyl as an excuse to install a Volkswagen -style canvas sunroof and went to town. Years of tinkering later, the wagon now rides on a lowered stance with some sharp wheels. The machine isn’t perfect by any stretch – the paint doesn’t exactly match and there are dents and dings – but this one gets driven on its original engine. And that’s good enough for us. Oh, there’s also a bonus Toyota Hilux , too.
Filed under: Budget , Hybrid , Videos , Hatchback , Toyota Cars.com has evidently taken issue with a Consumer Reports video review featured on Autoblog advising consumers that they would be better off buying a used “regular” Prius instead of a 2012 Prius C . Consumer Reports shouldn’t have passed on recommending the Prius C, Cars.com argues: “CR’s low testing scores for the Prius C stand in stark contrast to our impressions of the hybrid.” Indeed. Cars.com gushes over the tiny hybrid, saying it might even pick the C over the regular Prius . Furthermore, in attempt to poke CR just a little more, Cars.com notes that used Prius prices are the highest they’ve been in six months, so looking for a deal there might not make for smart consumer advice. In a final twist, Cars.com says it didn’t name the Yaris-based C as one of its Best Bets, in part, because it relies on Consumer Reports reliability surveys as one metric to qualify any vehicle as a Best Bet. The 2013 C doesn’t have enough data to say how reliable it will ultimately be. Cars.com calls out Consumer Reports over Toyota Prius C verdict originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 01 Jun 2012 13:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Budget , Hybrid , Videos , Hatchback , Toyota Consumer Reports has panned the 2012 Toyota Prius C in a new video review that urges car shoppers to get a used regular Prius over the new baby model, “it’s a much better car overall,” said Mike Quincy in the review. The problems Toyota ran into in creating the Prius C appear to be in making it cheaper, according to Consumer Reports . The list of adjectives during the video review included: “lackluster,” “hard plastic,” “cheap materials,” “dead steering” and “slow.” Toyota may see those words as misplaced modifiers compared to the glowing recommendations the larger mainstream Prius has received in its decade-long Synergy drive to becoming the eco-poster child for hypermiling greenies out to save the Earth and ride in California HOV lanes with a single person aboard. (HOV access for most gas-electric hybrids has been discontinued in the Golden State.) While the Prius C may start at $18,995, its price climbs quickly and its value does not, Consumer Reports said. A new regular Prius starts at $24,000. However, the bad news from Consumer Reports hasn’t hurt Prius C sales, which began in April. During its first month, Toyota sold 4,782 Prius C models, outpacing the other Prius variant, the family-minded Prius V , as well as the subcompact Yaris , which donates its platform for the Prius C. Scroll down to watch Consumer Reports’ full Prius C video review or read more at the source link. Continue reading 2013 Toyota Prius C doesn’t get much love from Consumer Reports 2013 Toyota Prius C doesn’t get much love from Consumer Reports originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 May 2012 16:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Budget , Japan , Hatchback , Toyota , Daihatsu Kei cars may be small in size, but they’re big business in Japan. The latest arrival to the category is the little hatch you see above, the Toyota Pixis Epoch. It’s the fourth vehicle produced by the Daihatsu division but sold under the Toyota brand. As with other keis, power comes from a 660cc engine. It’s mated to a continuously variable transmission driving either just the front wheels or all four. In both configurations, the Pixis Epoch features a stop-start system that helps its emissions and fuel efficiency figures come in well below even the Japanese government’s stringent standards. The whole package measures just 3,395 mm (133 inches) long, 1,475 mm (58 inches) wide and 1,500 mm (59 inches) tall, but offers a relatively spacious and utile interior, plus a tight turning radius of just 4.4 meters. Pricing ranges from 795,000 to 1.2 million yen – that’s less than $10,000 (and no more than $15k). Further details in the press release after the jump. Continue reading Toyota launches new Pixis Epoch kei car in Japan Toyota launches new Pixis Epoch kei car in Japan originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 12 May 2012 16:03:00 EST.
Filed under: Budget , Performance , Hatchback , Toyota , New Car Reviews Plenty Improved But Facing Stiffer Competition Than Ever Toyota lost much of its credibility with enthusiasts after killing off what few performance cars it offered years ago, and yet the average car buyer still seems drawn to most anything wearing one of its badges. Even so, there has been one vehicle in the Toyota lineup that enthusiasts and cars-as-appliance shoppers have seemingly agreed upon for all the wrong reasons: the Yaris . The subcompact Yaris has never taken hold here in the U.S. like its larger Corolla and Camry stablemates – its awkward shape and unmemorable driving characteristics combined to keep this little Toyota from the top of the sales charts. The Yaris has always remained far behind the monthly sales talliess of the more engaging Honda Fit and practical Nissan Versa . Toyota has gone back to the drawing board for the 2012 model year, combating the dullness of the old Yaris with a combination of more expressive styling and the promise of improved driving dynamics. It has even tuned the Yaris SE with a stiffer suspension and bigger tires as an olive branch of sorts to budget-minded enthusiasts, so we couldn’t resist taking the reins of a five-door SE for a week-long test to see if Toyota’s new, greener branch is worth taking. Continue reading 2012 Toyota Yaris SE 2012 Toyota Yaris SE originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 12 Apr 2012 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Budget , Hatchback , Toyota , UK , Specialty Getting word of another special edition from the UK isn’t surprising, as we’ve grown almost numb from the carnival of Mazda , BMW and Citro
Filed under: Car Buying , Budget , Hybrid , Hatchback , Toyota , Earnings/Financials A Twitter user with the handle miami4me2c discovered something interesting at a Toyota dealer in Miami and thankfully shared pictures of this unusual Prius C Two window sticker. Remember, the base Prius C starts at just $18,950 , and the upgraded Two trim normally starts at $19,900. With the options that dealer Al Hendrickson has added to the car, it should cost $20,839, but then someone at the dealer added a “Market Value Adjustment,” which comes in at an astonishing $6,995. Total cost for the “cheap” Prius at this particular dealer ? $27,834. We agree with what you just thought: that’s completely absurd. Or is it? We called Al Hendrickson Toyota with some questions for the general manager – why so much? and are people still interested at this price? – but were asked to leave a message and have not yet heard back.