Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Wagon , Hatchback , Toyota Think you’re seeing more Toyota Prius models on the road these days? Well, you are. Automotive News is reporting that all those increased Prius sales in the U.S. and Japan (see here and here and here and here etc.) have turned the Prius into the world’s third-best-selling car model for the first three months of 2012. During the first quarter, the Prius sold 247,230 copies around the world. The only cars that sold more during that time were the Toyota Corolla (300,800) and the Ford Focus (277,000). There’s an asterisk on the Prius’ figures: much of that new success is due to the fact that there are a brace of new Prius models, namely the C , V and Plug-in – that have expanded the line, with the C being the “car of the moment in Japan,” according to Automotive News . Sales in the U.S. were up 42 percent in the first quarter. The new models and the increased sales make up what AN calls a “Prius surge,” one that could be capacity constrained in the States.
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: Hybrid , Minivan/Van , Wagon , Europe , Hatchback , Ford , Toyota , Electric Ford dealers have started taking orders for the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid , the company announced today. The gas-electric hybrid will arrive later this year with a starting price of $25,995, undercutting its most direct competitor, the Toyota Prius V hybrid, which has a base price of $26,550. “C-Max Hybrid offers better fuel economy, performance, technology and functionality than Prius V – and C-Max Hybrid customers will pay less at the dealership and at the pump,” said Ken Czubay, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, in a press release. More importantly, Ford will provide some stiffer competition for Toyota , which has ruled the hybrid market, selling 77 percent of all hybrids in the U.S. this April. The C-Max will only be offered in the U.S. as a hybrid, similar to Toyota’s Prius strategy. There will also be an all-electric version, known as the C-Max Energi , that arrives this fall. Ford sells the C-Max, which is built on Ford’s compact car platform, in Europe as a gas powered model.
Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Safety , Hatchback , Chevrolet , Hyundai , Toyota The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crowned two sedans and a hatchback as Top Safety Picks: the 2013 Chevrolet Malibe Eco , 2012 Hyundai Azera and 2012 Toyota Prius c . The redesigned 2013 Malibu joins its 2012 model-mate as a Top Pick, and the 2013 earned a good side impact rating even without its optional side airbags. The Prius c also has siblings that have won the award, the Prius and Prius v . The Azera had been rated in a few earlier tests, but in completing the testing regime with good marks all ’round it earned the accolade. The Top Pick moniker is given to vehicles that score “Good” in the IIHS’s front, side, rollover and rear-impact tests. Have a look below for video of the Malibu and Prius c going through their side-impact exams. Continue reading IIHS crowns three new Top Safety Picks [w/video] IIHS crowns three new Top Safety Picks [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 May 2012 09:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
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: Car Buying , Hybrid , Hatchback , Toyota , Electric The Toyota Prius , the most popular hybrid in the world, was also the most popular plug-in vehicle in U.S. last month. Compared to sales of the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf , which sold 1,462 and 370 units , respectively, the $32,000 Prius Plug-in quietly sold 1,654 copies in April, reports PluginCars. With such strong name recognition and pent-up demand for a Prius with a cord, this shouldn’t really have been a surprise. But it still kind of is. Toyota sold more Prius models in the U.S. last month than ever before in April (March 2012 was the Prius’ best month ever ), even though the number of selling days was short . The four members of the “Prius family” sold a combined 25,168 units, an increase of 126.9 percent compared to April 2011 (which was right after the Japanese tsunami). Overall, Toyota and Lexus sold 32,593 hybrids last month, 30,126 of them wearing the Toyota badge, 2,467 of them the upper-class Lexus models. Last year, Toyota said it expects to sell 16,000-17,000 Prius Plug-in models in 2012 .
Filed under: Hybrid , Government/Legal , Hatchback , Toyota Have you ever bought a brand new cars only to forget where you put it? How about 300 of them? Probably not – unless you’re Miami-Dade County, which was recently reunited with 298 vehicles it bought brand new between 2006 and 2007. The county “discovered” this fleet of no-mileage vehicles after reading about them in a Spanish-language newspaper there (see the source for more images). Most of the misplaced motorcade is made up of Toyota Prius hybrids whose warranties either expired with very few miles on the odo or will very soon. Looking to save some face, the county has rushed at least 123 of the hybrids into service. The Toyota warranty covered the hybrid bits for eight years or 100,000 miles, but we’re not sure if that covers cars parked for five of those eight. We’re also not sure what that much time in Miami heat and humidity does to an unused hybrid powertrain, but it can’t be good. The county, as you probably guessed, is looking into how it lost so many cars. The leading theory is that they might be part of Carlos Alvarez’s time as mayor.
Filed under: Hybrid , Wagon , Recalls , Toyota Toyota engineers have worked hard to get the emissions that come out of the tailpipe of the Prius V down to a low level, but that doesn’t mean everything is copacetic with the car’s exhaust system. To fix a known problem, Toyota has announced a service campaign for the Prius V, both in the U.S. and Japan. The Wall Street Journal reports that the problem is with “weak actuators-control mechanisms” in the exhaust-heat-recovery systems that can end up leaking engine coolant, which will then force the car into a “safe” mode. Some second-gen, 2004-07 standard Prius models were affected by a similar problem in the past. The new issue affects about 8,000 vehicles in Japan and 20,000 in North America. Prius V owners will get the problem fixed for free. Toyota announces service campaign to fix exhaust on 28,000 Prius V hybrids originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 16 Apr 2012 08:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Etc. , Toyota How much do hybrid drivers really, truly like their cars? According to R.L. Polk, not all that much – at least not in 2011. Polk has released a new hybrid loyalty analysis that concludes that only 35 percent of people who bought a hybrid bought another one last year. The data comes from car purchases made in 2011, and Polk found that Toyota Prius drivers are the most loyal, both to the gas-electric technology and to Toyota itself. Sixty percent of Toyota hybrid owners bought another vehicle from the automaker, even if it wasn’t a hybrid. A recent J.D. Power Customer Retention Study found that the average brand loyalty was 49 percent, but that doesn’t take powertrains into account. According to Polk, forty-one percent of Toyota hybrid drivers choose to buy another hybrid (from any brand).
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.