Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Toyota , New Car Reviews People, us included, make a big stink about the importance of family sedans. There’s no doubt they’re critical – they represent a huge slice of the market’s annual sales and profits. However, despite accounting for far fewer transactions than the midsize sedan segment, the fullsize sedan is getting attention from manufacturers now that our market’s entire lineup of those (slightly) smaller four-doors has turned over in the last two years or so. As most of the fullsize segment’s mainstays derive a fair bit of their platform and powertrain technologies from their midsize cousins, these larger four-doors offer the potential for fatter profit margins, too. And with the newly stylish duds found on many of the industry’s most successful midsize sedans, it’s only right that automakers no longer think about fullsizers as big, squishy, vanilla family haulers with flat seats, vague steering and a thin layer of ‘luxury’ in the form of faux wood trim. As manufacturers have again started diving into large sedans feet-first, the cars themselves have become sharper. The interiors are now of a higher quality and loaded with tech, while the exteriors have become further extensions of each manufacturer’s design language. There’s perhaps no greater example of this than the Chevrolet Impala and Ford Taurus , two models that evolved from subpar offerings into market leaders. This segment-wide transformation happened quite quickly, whether because of coincidental timing or because manufacturers are trying to get more out of their big cars, recognizing they account for a small portion of overall sales (just 3.5 percent of the new-car market in the first half of 2013). The 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is one such vehicle.
Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Recalls , Safety , Crossover , Toyota , Luxury Toyota has announced plans to voluntarily recall 803,000 vehicles from model years 2012 and 2013, over concerns with the air conditioning condenser housing. The recall covers the Camry , Camry Hybrid , Avalon , Avalon Hybrid and Venza , although the exact split between affected models wasn’t available. According to Toyota, the condenser can leak onto an airbag control module, which in turn could cause a short circuit. In most cases, this will just lead to an airbag warning light, but in rarer instances, the airbags could fail to deploy or pop out of their own accord. There’s also a concern over a loss of power steering if the airbag control module develops a short. It’s unclear if there have been any injuries or crashes relating to the defects. Toyota will begin informing owners of affected vehicles via first class mail, and will ask them to report to dealerships for recall work, involving the installation of a cover on the condenser housing. Scroll down for the official press release from Toyota. Continue reading Toyota recalling 800k Camry, Avalon and Venza models for AC issue Toyota recalling 800k Camry, Avalon and Venza models for AC issue originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Oct 2013 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Spy Photos , Crossover , Toyota With the new Toyota Avalon already on sale and a redesigned Corolla coming, Toyota is hard at work on its next makeover project: the next-generation Highlander . Considering the abundance of camouflage (even the A-pillars are covered up) on this prototype, it appears Toyota is still in the earlier phases of testing its three-row crossover, but we fully expect this new Highlander to debut for the 2014 model year. Being our first look at the 2014 Toyota Highlander, there are only a few details we notice about the new design. Obvious things include the blunt front end with a massive grille and more of a rake to the D-pillars taking away from the current model’s boxy rear end, while the big wheels, chrome trim around the windows and notable ground clearance lead us to believe this might be a higher-end version of the Highlander, maybe a Limited 4WD. The three-row crossover segment is heating up red hot, what with the sales-leading Ford Explorer now being stalked by updated Lambda crossovers from Chevy, Buick and GMC, as well as an all-new contender in the CUV-ified Nissan Pathfinder. The Highlander, already way up there near the Explorer in terms of sales, will be that much more competitive wearing whatever new skin is hiding underneath all that camo. All-new Toyota Highlander snapped while testing originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 09 Jan 2013 19:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Aftermarket , Sedan , Toyota , Specialty , Luxury Now that we’ve waved goodbye to the Lincoln Town Car , there’s a big ol’ hole in the automotive market for new livery vehicles – you know, the blacked-out hire cars frequently seen idling outside of airport terminals and hotels. Cadillac has announced that its XTS flagship will be offered with a factory livery package , and other American automakers like Chrysler and Lincoln have entered this luxury fleet segment as well. But it won’t stop there. During our first drive of the 2013 Avalon , Toyota officials confirmed that the company will offer a livery edition of its new large sedan. As expected, the livery edition will have a black-on-black color scheme and will offer heated seats and individual heating and cooling controls for rear seat passengers, deleting the front heated seats in the process. (Sorry, Jeeves.) Two different Avalon livery models will be produced – a V6 model based on the XLE trim and a hybrid version based on the XLE Premium grade. With its 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain, the gasoline-electric Avalon is rated at 40 miles per gallon combined. That’s certainly an improvement over the old 19-mpg Town Car. Toyota spokesperson Moe Durand confirmed to Autoblog that the Avalon livery car will be available to order through the brand’s entire dealer network. That said, Toyota isn’t expecting huge sales numbers for its package – “500 to 1000 units in first year,” says Durand.
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota Like its Cressida ancestor, Toyota’s Avalon has long focused on easy living comfort and value over sex appeal. Conservative sheetmetal, a cushy ride, space to spread out and general ease-of-use have historically made the brand’s largest sedan popular among the elderly. But the new 2013 Avalon brings with it markedly more expressive styling that suggests Toyota is no longer content to cater to the end-of-life demographic. This shift away from a more traditional value set to edgier design and content is one the entire large non-premium sedan segment seems to be embracing – witness the newly upscale 2014 Chevrolet Impala , as well as the sculpted flanks of the 2012 Hyundai Azera and Ford Taurus . The 2013 model’s noticeably svelter sheetmetal, with its bolder front end and flowing greenhouse announce Toyota’s intent, but it’s features like a Sport mode and paddle shifters that really telegraph the Avalon’s newfound vigor and more aspirational mission. And Toyota officials tell Autoblog that the already-shown V6 and hybrid models are just the beginning – a stand-alone sport model is also under serious consideration. A trio of Avalon concepts is headed to SEMA this October, with two of them having been completed internally – unusual for Toyota. According to Randy Stephens, the model’s chief engineer, a trio of Avalon concepts is headed to SEMA this October, with two of them having been completed internally – unusual for Toyota. The pair of concepts conceived in-house will have a performance bent, with at least one featuring an off-the-shelf supercharger from the company’s TRD parts bin in Australia (the same forced-induction setup used in the Lotus Evora S ). The house-built Avalons are said to not be as outrageously styled as most SEMA vehicles tend to be, in large measure because Toyota plans to weigh public opinion with an eye toward a production run.
Filed under: Car Buying , New York Auto Show , Budget , Sedan , Toyota One of America’s blandest, yet best-selling cars will be less boring when its next generation arrives next year, Toyota officials promise. Bill Fay, general manager for Toyota and Scion brands in the U.S., tells Ward’s Auto that the Corolla will undergo an even more dramatic makeover than the Toyota Avalon recently underwent, which shocked us with its much svelter appearance at the New York Auto Show in April. Fay declines to get specific, but the move away from a conservative blueprint would be a marked change for Toyota’s segment stalwart. The Corolla received a modest redesign in 2007, but has been outpaced in style and feature points by most of its competition, including cars like the Honda Civic , Ford Focus , Chevrolet Cruze and Hyundai Elantra , all of which are newer and richer in feature count and refinement. Even though the Corolla has never been known as car worthy of Fifth Avenue cruises, it has remained a nearly bulletproof competitor with legendary reliability. Perhaps not coincidentally, it is still one of the top-selling vehicles in America and was the best-selling compact last year. Toyota says next Corolla to get even bigger transformation than Avalon originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Aug 2012 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Toyota , Design/Style Given that the 2013 Avalon shares a platform with the new Lexus ES , this news should come as no surprise: Toyota’s largest sedan is getting its own hybrid variant for the first time ever. Judging by these first photos, carspotters will have to squint hard to tell that they’re looking at a hybrid, as there are only a few small badges and blue-tinted lenses as a tip-off to this vehicle’s gas-electric motivation. As with its luxury-minded sibling, the Avalon Hybrid will arrive under the spell of a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four paired with a duo of electric motors juiced by a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. Total system power is stated at 200 horsepower, but the meatier number is an EPA fuel economy rating of 40 miles per gallon city and 39 highway. Also like its Lexus relation, Toyota is touting a trio of operation modes that includes pure EV (only good for one mile at speeds up to 25 mph), Eco, and Sport, the latter of which tweaks both steering weight and throttle response. Toyota hasn’t released any dynamic performance figures or pricing information, but the new Avalon Hybrid will be in dealers this fall, where it will square off against the Buick LaCrosse eAssist and soon-to-be-replaced Lincoln MKZ Hybrid . Continue reading Toyota Avalon gets 40-MPG hybrid model for 2013 Toyota Avalon gets 40-MPG hybrid model for 2013 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Jun 2012 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
TMS Group Vice President and Toyota Division General Manager Bob Carter reveals the 2013 Toyota Avalon at the New York International Auto Show, April 5, 2012.
Filed under: Sedan , Hatchback , Toyota , Fiat The Fiat 500 is 139 inches of A-segment fury, with a heaping dose of cute and a dash of fuel efficiency. In fact, the manual transmission-equipped cinquecento averages 33 miles per gallon in mixed driving, which is better than most things on the road. Impressed? Toyota isn’t. The Detroit Free Press reports that the Japanese automaker told dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association meeting in Las Vegas, NV recently that the next generation Avalon will get better fuel economy than the wee Fiat. Since the current generation Avalon is five feet longer and considerably wider than the 500, that’s an impressive claim. Heck, the Avalon is bigger than the Camry , and buyers currently have to step into a Camry Hybrid model to surpass the fuel economy numbers of the pint-sized Fiat. The sky-high fuel economy of the Avalon wasn’t the only good news Toyota delivered to dealers. The automaker reportedly informed the car-selling audience that 19 new models were coming in 2012. Next Toyota Avalon to best Fiat 500′s fuel economy?
Filed under: Recalls , Safety , Toyota Toyota has announced that it is recalling more than 420,000 vehicles in the United States for a potentially faulty crank shaft pulley. A total of 283,200 Toyota vehicles as well as 137,000 Lexus vehicles may experience a pulley failure in which the inner and outer rings become misaligned. If that happens, owners may experience noise, vibration and a check engine light. If the problem is left untreated, the power steering belt may slip off of the crank shaft pulley, resulting in more steering effort. Toyota says that this could cause an accident, though no problems have been reported so far. The recall covers the 2004 Toyota Avalon, 2004 and 2005 Toyota Camry , Highlander , Sienna and Solara as well as the 2006 Highlander HV, 2004 and 2005 Lexus ES 350 and RX 330 . The 2006 Lexus RX 400h is also included in the recall, which covers a total of 550,000 vehicles worldwide. Toyota says that the company is currently in the process of acquiring the parts necessary to replace the faulty crank shaft pulley and that the company will inspect and replace the faulty piece free of charge. Hit the jump for the full press release. Continue reading Toyota recalling 550,000 vehicles worldwide for potential steering problem Toyota recalling 550,000 vehicles worldwide for potential steering problem originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 09 Nov 2011 10:59:00 EST.