Chrysler, Nissan minivans earn ‘dire’ crash test results, says IIHS [w/video]

Chrysler, Nissan minivans earn ‘dire’ crash test results, says IIHS [w/video]

November 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Minivan/Van , Safety , Videos , Chrysler , Dodge , Nissan , Toyota First introduced in 2012, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s small-overlap frontal crash test has become the bane of many auto engineers’ existence. It’s a particularly steep design challenge because it forces just 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end to take the brunt of a 40-mile-per-hour impact. The newly released results of four family-minded minivans underscore just how difficult the crash test is: only one scored an Acceptable rating, and the other three did very poorly. The 2008-2015 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan , plus the 2011-2015 Nissan Quest , all received Poor ratings in the test, the IIHS’ lowest possible score. The three of them showed significant crash intrusion into the driver’s area. The dummy in the Nissan actually had to be cut out of the vehicle, with an IIHS spokesperson remarking, “the structure collapsed like a house of cards.” In the Fiat Chrysler Automobile vans, the steering wheels moved out of the way, making the airbag less effective and letting the driver’s head hit the dashboard. While it was not actually crashed, the agency is also giving the 2009-12 Volkswagen Routan a Poor score because it shares a structure with the FCA models. The newly released results of four minivans underscore just how difficult the small-offset crash test is. The refreshed 2015 Toyota Sienna (shown), conversely, earned an Acceptable rating and is also a Top Safety Pick+ because of its optional forward collision warning and automatic braking system. While the crash test dummy moved around during the impact more than the agency would have liked, sensors showed a low risk of injuries.

Toyota Mirai offers promising tech, unfortunate looks

Toyota Mirai offers promising tech, unfortunate looks

November 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Sedan , Technology , Toyota , Electric , Emissions Is there some rule that all cutting-edge, ultra-efficient or emissions-free vehicles need to look, uh, weird? No? Then would anyone care to explain the Toyota Mirai , a vehicle that for all it’s hugely, wildly promising technology, will forever be pigeonholed based on its odd styling? Looks aside, the Mirai represents a big gamble for Toyota , which isn’t only selling a hydrogen-powered car – a risky venture in itself – but teaming up with Air Liquide to build 12 hydrogen filling stations across the northeast . And once that’s done, it plans on leasing the $57,000 sedans for just $499 month , a figure that includes free hydrogen ( there is a reason for that, though ). Like we said, this is a big gamble. Of course, we still can’t get over its looks, which you can more closely analyze in our live gallery , available above. Have a glance. Continue reading Toyota Mirai offers promising tech, unfortunate looks Toyota Mirai offers promising tech, unfortunate looks originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:42:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

2015 Toyota Prius V gets updated looks and content

2015 Toyota Prius V gets updated looks and content

November 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: LA Auto Show , Hybrid , Wagon , Toyota , Design/Style , Technology The Toyota Prius V is the most utilitarian member of the Prii family with a big jump in cargo space over the rest but maintaining the great fuel economy. For the 2015 model year, the company is giving the wagon an update with a big shift in front end styling and upgraded taillights to go with the revised look. Inside, customers also get a little new technology, as well. The biggest change up front is the reshaped headlights and new bumper that look almost identical to the recent restyling of the Prius + in Europe . Though, the latest parts might be a little polarizing and almost make the wagon look like it has gills at each corner. The top level Prius V Five trim also adds integrated foglights to the design and headlights with LEDs for the high and low beams. Toyota is offering three additional colors too: Attitude Black Metallic, Absolutely Red and Toasted Walnut Pearl. Inside, drivers can get a new, eight-way adjustable power driver’s seat on some models, and there’s now a 4.2-inch TFT screen situated between the gauges on the Three trim level and higher to display information like fuel economy, navigation instructions, climate control settings and more. The upper versions also get Toyota’s latest Entune infotainment system with a 6.1-inch high-res touchscreen with navigation. Finally, the Advanced Technology Package on the Five trim now includes Lane Departure Alert and Automatic High Beams.

2015 Toyota Sienna goes overboard to promote a SpongeBob movie

2015 Toyota Sienna goes overboard to promote a SpongeBob movie

November 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: LA Auto Show , Minivan/Van , Marketing/Advertising , Toyota , Design/Style Good marketing is a huge portion of making a film successful, and Toyota and Nickelodeon are going overboard to promote the upcoming SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water with this custom 2015 Sienna inspired by the cartoon character at the Los Angeles Auto Show . The exterior is decorated to look just like SpongeBob, but his maniacally smiling face on the hood and windshield might be pure, uncut nightmare fuel for a segment of the child population. The ring on the roof actually blows bubbles too, and the look gets finished off with matching blue and yellow wheels. If you get past SpongeBob’s crazed expression and take a peek inside, you find even more cartoon cues. Each of the seats is upholstered to evoke the shows stars, and all of the trim has nautical inspiration as filtered through the series’ animation style. The floor is a sandy beige, blue wood trim runs over the dashboard and sides and the roof has airbrushed clouds. Of course, it’s hard not to miss a ship’s wheel that replaces the usual steering wheel. While it’s certainly bizarre, kids might dig the bright colors, while their parents check out the Sienna. The van’s also going on a cross-country promotional tour to advertise the movie ahead of its February 6 release. Scroll down for all of the info about this cartoon car.

2015 Toyota Prius C is still colorful, still gets 53 mpg

2015 Toyota Prius C is still colorful, still gets 53 mpg

November 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: LA Auto Show , Budget , Hybrid , Hatchback , Toyota Few vehicles can match the affordable fuel economy of the $19,000, 53-mile-per-gallon Toyota Prius C , and that fact isn’t likely to change for 2015, as the Japanese company has issued a moderate refresh of its sub-compact hybrid. As mid-cycle refreshes go, this is a pretty standard affair, with a larger grille and tweaked LED headlights at the front of the Prius C, and more expressive taillights at the back. Toyota made some minor changes in the cabin, updating materials throughout, but not fiddling too much with the overall level of equipment. Aside from those modest changes, this is the same fuel-efficient five-door, retaining its 1.5-liter, 73-horsepower, 82-pound-foot four-cylinder, while an electric motor tosses in an extra 26 ponies, for a total system output of 99 horsepower. Along with the 53-mpg highway rating, the C will return 46 mpg in the city. Take a look below for the full press release from Toyota, and then be sure to check out the full gallery of live images, straight from the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Continue reading 2015 Toyota Prius C is still colorful, still gets 53 mpg 2015 Toyota Prius C is still colorful, still gets 53 mpg originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Sports 800 is a progenitor of Toyota performance

Sports 800 is a progenitor of Toyota performance

November 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Classics , Convertible , Performance , Japan , Videos , Toyota There’s an automotive axiom that claims it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast, than a fast car slow. If that’s the case, then pushing a Toyota Sports 800 around must be one of the most exhilarating experiences behind the wheel in the world. With just 800cc of displacement from a two-cylinder boxer engine, the focus is on finesse over outright speed. Still, it’s a fantastic page in Toyota’s performance history, and Petrolicious takes a ride with a man who owns a meticulously restored 1967 example in its latest video. The Sports 800 used the classic cost-saving strategy in the auto industry of taking parts from a standard model in the lineup and modifying it into a sports car. In this case that meant borrowing the engine from the plebian Toyota Publica, beefing it up for more power and clothing the whole thing a in beautifully shaped, wind-tunnel-honed body. The look of these lithe, targa roadsters is the exact opposite of the rather dull styling sometimes associated with Toyota today. Everywhere you look there are louvers, vents or curves to draw the eye. Check out the latest Petrolicious video for a detailed look at the history of this rare model that’s largely unknown on this side of the Pacific. Continue reading Sports 800 is a progenitor of Toyota performance Sports 800 is a progenitor of Toyota performance originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:01:00 EST.

Jay Leno goes offroading with the legendary Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart

Jay Leno goes offroading with the legendary Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart

November 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Motorsports , Truck , Videos , Toyota , Celebrities , Off-Road , Racing , Autoblog Black Jay Leno takes a step outside of his cavernous garage for this latest video for a jaunt into the desert to get a little dirty. He meets up with off-road racing legend Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart , who has multiple Baja 500 and 1000 wins in his motorsports career, to play with a Toyota Tundra in the sand. Unfortunately, Leno doesn’t get to interview Stewart too deeply about his long history in racing, but Ironman does talk a little bit about reading the trail while speeding through the desert. In lieu of a great conversation, there is a ton of high-quality footage of the Toyota bounding through the desert. This clip feels more like a marketing effort than the usual output from Jay Leno’s Garage , but it’s still great to see Stewart behind the wheel sliding a truck, just like old times. The two of them even take the truck on a somewhat humorous journey at the end of the video. Continue reading Jay Leno goes offroading with the legendary Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart Jay Leno goes offroading with the legendary Ivan ‘Ironman’ Stewart originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 17 Nov 2014 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell coming to US Northeast in 2016

Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell coming to US Northeast in 2016

November 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Sedan , Toyota , Electric Looks like someone was able to read the future back in July. That’s when rumors first circulated that Toyota ‘s upcoming fuel cell vehicle will be called the Mirai. Today, Toyota president Akio Toyoda confirmed the name alongside plans to build out a hydrogen refueling infrastructure in the US Northeast. In Japanese, mirai (未来) means “future,” which is a fitting name for a car that Toyota believes represents the direction the auto industry will go in the coming years. In a promotional video announcing the name, Toyoda said, “For [Toyota], this isn’t just another car. This is an opportunity – an opportunity to really make a difference. And making a difference is what Toyota is all about.” To help that future come into existence, Toyota CEO Jim Lentz also disclosed the vague outline of a fuel cell infrastructure investment that Toyota and partner Air Liquide will make in a five-state Northeastern corridor that consists of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. The Mirai will be available there in 2015 and Toyota is going to build 12 stations in and around New York and Boston to support the launch. More details will be available later. Toyota says the Mirai will be able to go “up to 300 miles” on a tank and refuel in less than five minutes.

Toyota recalling select 2014 Camry and Avalon models

Toyota recalling select 2014 Camry and Avalon models

November 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Recalls , Toyota Toyota has announced a rather small voluntary recall, affecting 5,650 Avalon and Camry sedans from model year 2014. Both gas and hybrid models are included in the action. This recall focuses on the left front lower suspension arm, which may have a bad bolt connecting it to the ball joint. If the car hits a big enough pothole – a real concern as we head into winter – or suffers a major impact, the two components could separate, at which point steering control would more or less vanish. According to Toyota, there have been no crashes, injuries or deaths due to this problem. Toyota is notifying owners, who will need to report to dealers for a free replacement lower suspension arm. Scroll down for the official press release. Continue reading Toyota recalling select 2014 Camry and Avalon models Toyota recalling select 2014 Camry and Avalon models originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 06 Nov 2014 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Toyota Camry Dragster takes the phrase ‘sleeper’ to its logical extreme [w/video]

Toyota Camry Dragster takes the phrase ‘sleeper’ to its logical extreme [w/video]

November 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: SEMA Show , Sedan , Videos , Toyota , Racing , Autoblog Black Sometimes, looks can be deceiving. This is certainly one of those times, as Toyota successfully trolled the entirety of the media corps at the 2014 SEMA Show by rolling an innocent-looking Camry onto the floor… only to lift literally the entirety of its body to reveal an 850-horsepower, tube-framed dragster. Well, we have been asking for a more driver-oriented Toyota. While it’s designed to go fast in a straight line, the origin of the Camry Dragster’s parts might be surprising. The 5.7-liter V8 engine, transmission, rear axle and electronics were plucked from the T oyota Tundra pickup. Toyota Racing Development donated a supercharger, while a wet-nitrous-injection system was also tacked on for that little extra something. Those goodies will help propel this anonymous looking monster through the quarter mile in just 9.8 seconds. “This is the most extreme build we’ve ever unveiled at SEMA,” said Toyota’s motorsports chief Steve Appelbaum said in a statement. “The transformation from seemingly stock Camry to full-blown racecar just shocks the senses.

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