Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Ford , Toyota In an apparent shot back at Ford’s increasing market share of electrified vehicles and claim that it accepts more Prius trade-ins for its own hybrids than any other car, Toyota has flexed a muscle and played the numbers game to put the Blue Oval in its place. Leaning on its hybrid market dominance in California, the Japanese automaker stated that six out of 10 hybrids sold in the Golden State are Toyota models. And it keeps coming: Year-to-date through May 2013, Toyota sold five times more hybrids than Ford . One of every two hybrids in California is a Prius model. In addition, Toyota notes that it has sold 1.5 million Prius vehicles in the US, 90-percent of which are still on the road today. Want more? We’ll let Bill Fay, Toyota’s group vice president and general manager of sales lay the smack down: “The hybrid industry has become competitive, but our wide range of hybrid vehicles continue to deliver high value and strong attributes to both new and loyal customers. With sales of 5.3 million hybrids globally and over two million in the US, we are the undisputed leader in hybrid vehicle technology and remain committed to building on our momentum and growing the acceptance of hybrid technology throughout the US.” And to think Toyota and Ford just ended their collaboration to make hybrid trucks together. On one hand, those are indeed very impressive statistics, but there’s a flip side, as well. If 6 out of 10 Toyota hybrid sales come from California, that’s more ammunition that hybrids still aren’t a factor for most American new car buyers .
TORRANCE, Calif. (July 29, 2013) – Californians prefer Toyota hybrids over those of any other automaker as the brand continues to outsell its competition.
Filed under: Japan , Crossover , Lexus , Toyota , Luxury Japanese site CarWatch has revealed images of the next-generation Toyota Harrier , known to US and European buyers as the Lexus RX . The new model features a considerably more aggressive fascia in keeping with some of the latest Lexus design trends, while the back features a pair of wide, wraparound taillights. The profile features a revised greenhouse, with a rather complex rear window treatment, while a subtle character line connects the front and rear taillights. According to the badging, the model shown features a hybrid powertrain, although there’s little information on which engine is being used. We’d wager it’s an evolution of the same 3.5-liter V6 hybrid found in the current RX450h . This early look doesn’t have a great deal of other info, and there are no images of the interior. We’re not yet clear on how closely the North American RX will adhere to the Harrier seen here, but historically the two models have been quite close. That said, we’d expect a more prominent ‘spindle’ grille on the Lexus version than the baleen strainer on the vehicle shown here. A page on Toyota’s Japanese website says the new Harrier/RX will receive a winter 2013 debut. That makes for a difficult determination of what auto show the new CUV will arrive at.
Filed under: Spy Photos , Hybrid , Hatchback , Toyota Toyota has built itself into the industry’s standard-bearer when it comes to hybrids, and it isn’t going to let the poster child for gas-electric vehicles get stale on the market. These spy shots captured in California are our first good look at the next-generation Prius , which could come to market wearing a 2015 model year designation. Even though it looks like Toyota may have blown its annual camouflage budget on this mule, we can clearly see that it will have the same iconic half-moon design that has been with the car since 2003. If so, this goes against reports from last year that suggested the car would be getting a different look inspired by the 2013 NS4 Concept . Although, this could also indicate that the Prius family will continue to grow – adding a new sedan – to the existing Prius C , Prius V and Prius Plug-In lineup. These spy shots also give us an indication as to what the interior will look like, with a more stylish three-spoke steering wheel and an instrument panel design that sort of reminds us of a BMW . On the other hand, all the tape, cobbled together pieces and lack of space for a center stack display screen has us thinking this isn’t what the final product will resemble. As for what will be powering the 2015 Prius, we hear that updated versions of the current electric system and engine will be employed, but it will carry over the nickel metal hydride batteries found in today’s model. Still no word on the rumored possibility of all-wheel-drive system, either. In addition to a new design and updated powertrain, it sounds like production of the next-generation Prius could be making a move to the US, joining the line at Toyota’s Tupelo, MS plant.
Toyota’s Prius and Highlander Hybrid Earn U.S. News and World Report’s Best Cars for Families Awards
TORRANCE, Calif., March 12, 2013 – The Toyota Prius and Highlander Hybrid have garnered category honors as part of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Cars for Families awards . The 2013 Toyota Prius took top honors in the Best Hatchback for Families category, while the 2013 Highlander Hybrid won the Best Hybrid SUV for Families award for the third year in a row.
TORRANCE, Calif., Feb. 21, 2013 – Lexus earned top honors in two categories of U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 Best Cars for the Money awards for its outstanding value.
Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Toyota When it debuted last year, the Toyota Camry came in for some criticism over its interior, most centered on material choices – both in quality (not enough) and variety (too much). Thus, Toyota has responded after just one model year, updating both materials and features on its gas-powered and hybrid family sedans for 2013. The LE version appeared to get the lion’s share of the improvements. Specifically, the LE is getting “soft-touch” door materials as well as armrests that match the rest of the interior color (instead of being black). The LE model also gets Toyota’s six-inch display screen that helps folks get a better gander at the car’s energy usage and fuel economy, among other things. Other changes include adding cross-traffic alert for models equipped with blind spot monitoring Toyota introduced its latest version of the Camry and Camry Hybrid in the fall of 2011 as a 2012 model. Sales have been solid, and in particular, the Camry Hybrid has improved its fortunes, bumping its US sales almost fivefold to more than 45,000 units. So far in 2013, the latter has carried over much of that momentum, boosting January 2013 sales from a year earlier by 81 percent to 3,826 units. Looking for more details? Toyota happily goes into a ton of detail on the interior improvements in the press release below.
Filed under: Hybrid , Wagon , Geneva Motor Show , Toyota , UK Toyota showed off the Touring Sports version of the Auris next to the newly introduced Auris Hybrid at last year’s Paris Motor Show , but didn’t say much about it. Six months later, just ahead of the Geneva Motor Show , the company is crowing about that wagon going on sale with the Hybrid Synergy Drive, creating the Auris Touring Sports Hybrid. The hauling version of the exceptionally popular Auris hatchback doesn’t just add a hybrid wagon to the compact segment, Toyota says it offers class-leading load capacity of 1,658 liters with the Easy-Flat one-touch rear seats down. With the rear seats up, it offers 530 liters. The little big gulp is possible because the hybrid batteries have been placed under the rear seats instead of being in the luggage area. It looks the same as the hatchback save for the fact that it’s 285 millimeters (11.2 inches) longer behind the C pillar, has a redesigned tailgate and a lower load floor. Engines beyond the hybrid will match the rest of the lineup: 1.3-liter and 1.6-liter gasoline engines and a 1.4-liter D-4D diesel. There’s a chance we’ll see it in Geneva, if we don’t there’s a press release below to tell you all about it. Continue reading Toyota Auris gets new Touring Sports variant Toyota Auris gets new Touring Sports variant originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 19 Feb 2013 08:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Toyota , New Car Reviews Giving Vanilla A Good Name “Vanilla.” Taken in modern context, that’s not a compliment, but it should be. Vanilla actually has exotic origins, and as spices go, only saffron is more costly. Despite the realities, calling something “vanilla” is not whistling in admiration. The Toyota Camry has been called “vanilla” countless times since its debut, but both the car and the bean have something up their sleeves. Scoff all you want, but vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor, and there is no mainstream sedan that outsells the Camry. Apparently, vanilla has an underlying tinge of filthy lucre. We didn’t feel rich, exactly, wheeling around in the Camry Hybrid, but we came away impressed, nonetheless. “When I go to an ice cream parlor for the first time, I always order their vanilla,” says Ralph Hannabury. Why vanilla? “When you’re making ice cream, everything builds off vanilla.
Lexus Takes Top Honors for the Second Year in a Row in Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com 2013 Best Resale Value Awards for Luxury Brand
TORRANCE, Calif., Nov. 26, 2012 – Lexus earned top honors in the Luxury Brand category of Kelley Blue Book’s 2013 Best Resale Value Awards. In addition to taking the luxury brand award for the second year in a row, four Lexus models won in their categories: the IS sport sedan in the Entry-Level Luxury Car category, the GS 350 sport sedan in the Luxury Car category, the RX 450h in the Hybrid SUV category and the LX 570 in the Luxury Full-Size SUV/Crossover category. The Lexus LX 570 was also in the Top 10 overall for 2013 Best Resale Value. This is the third time since the Best Resale Value: Luxury Brand award was initiated in 2009 that Lexus has won, having earned the honor for the 2010 and 2012 model years as well.