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.

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.

Toyota and VMI Award Wheelchair Accessible Van to Disabled Veteran Susan Kirsch on Veterans Day

Toyota and VMI Award Wheelchair Accessible Van to Disabled Veteran Susan Kirsch on Veterans Day

November 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Phoenix, Nov. 12, 2014 – Toyota and Vantage Mobility International (VMI) today announced that disabled US Air Force veteran Susan Kirsch has won a 2015 Toyota Sienna with the Northstar Access 360 in-floor side entry ramp conversion as part of the 2 nd annual Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute contest. The announcement was made on Veteran’s Day in Phoenix, Arizona, where VMI is based.

Toyota SEMA cars include Tundra for Baja and wacky DUB Edition Yaris

Toyota SEMA cars include Tundra for Baja and wacky DUB Edition Yaris

October 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Aftermarket , SEMA Show , Minivan/Van , SUV , Truck , Hatchback , Toyota , Off-Road Toyota has released the first images of its brigade of concepts for the 2014 SEMA Show , introducing a trio of TRD-fettled off-roaders, a pair of DUB-inspired models, a race-ready pickup and a Sienna minivan with 48 inches worth of subwoofers. Four of the vehicles being shown by Toyota will take part in the grueling Baja 1000 off-road race. The star of that effort will be a race-prepared Tundra , which will actually be competing from November 12 to 16 in the 47th running of the desert race. It’ll be supported by a trio of vehicles, which mimics Toyota’s TRD Pro Series production vehicles, with the 4Runner , Tacoma and Tundra all acting as support vehicles. Each of these vehicles has been fabricated by the off-road specialists at N-Fab and comes loaded down with communications and guidance equipment, additional lights and off-road body modifications. For softer trails, Toyota will introduce modified examples of its refreshed Sienna minivan and Yaris subcompact. Styled by DUB, the Yaris’ headlines include 20-inch Dropstars wheels on a custom, lowered suspension. A big-brake kit from TRD complete with StopTech rotors rounds out the chassis changes. Aesthetic tweaks include Sparco racing seats, carbon-fiber interior bits matte white pearl paint and a custom widebody kit. A similar treatment has been applied to the Sienna, which is home to an eye-catching quartet of 22-inch wheels.

2015 Toyota Sienna

2015 Toyota Sienna

September 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Minivan/Van , Toyota , First Drives It’s hard to love a minivan, but it’s very, very easy to use one. More than any other kind of vehicle – save a panel van, perhaps – the minivan is the most appliance-like of four-wheeled transportation devices. And most minivan buyers don’t need to love their purchases; they just need to use them. So when it comes to a minivan’s driving dynamics, who cares? Well, we do. So we perked right up when Toyota talked about refinements it made to the 2015 Sienna , starting with some 142 added spot welds made to the body structure. Normally not stop-the-presses stuff, but Toyota says the added reinforcements prompted Sienna engineers to recalibrate the springs and shocks for improved handling, and our very limited wheel time along the (admittedly benign) roads on the Big Island of Hawaii revealed the 2015 Sienna SE model’s handling to be tidier and more engaging than you’d expect for a porky, 4,560-pound, eight-passenger box on wheels. Driving Notes Styling has been updated for 2015 in the most minor of ways. Headlights and taillamps are new on most models, as are revised grille inserts for LE, XLE and Limited grades. SE and Limited trims get long, skinny LED running lamps underscoring the headlamp bezels.

Toyota recalling 20k 2014 and 2015 cars and CUVs with 3.5L engines

Toyota recalling 20k 2014 and 2015 cars and CUVs with 3.5L engines

September 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Sedan , Recalls , Safety , Crossover , Toyota Toyota has announced a recall of roughly 20,000 vehicles covering the 2014 Avalon , Camry , Highlander (pictured) and Sienna , as well as the 2015 Lexus RX luxury crossover. The affected vehicles are all powered the 2GR-FE engine, which in layman’s terms, is Toyota’s well-regarded 3.5-liter V6. According to Toyota’s statement, a parts supplier might not have welded “the end cap on the right-hand fuel delivery pipe in the engine compartment” correctly, meaning fuel could leak. Leaking fuel, of course, increases the chance of an engine fire. That said, no fires, crashes or injuries have been reported due to the issue. Owners will be notified to report to dealers, where techs will check the fuel delivery pipe and fit a replacement part as necessary. Scroll down for the full statement from Toyota. Continue reading Toyota recalling 20k 2014 and 2015 cars and CUVs with 3.5L engines Toyota recalling 20k 2014 and 2015 cars and CUVs with 3.5L engines originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

A Family Van Affair: 2015 Toyota Sienna Makes Room for Eight … and Is the Only Van In Its Segment Available with All-Wheel Drive

A Family Van Affair: 2015 Toyota Sienna Makes Room for Eight … and Is the Only Van In Its Segment Available with All-Wheel Drive

September 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The family van is alive and thriving, especially when it’s the 2015 Toyota Sienna debuting refreshed exterior styling packed with added safety, convenience and multi-media features. The 2015 Sienna, the only family van to offer an all-wheel drive option, is the ideal choice for hauling a large family, or loading up all your stuff for a weekend getaway.

2015 Toyota Sienna SE keeps the swagger, adds thoughtful updates [w/videos]

2015 Toyota Sienna SE keeps the swagger, adds thoughtful updates [w/videos]

July 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Minivan/Van , Toyota Toyota found huge success with its “Swagger Wagon” rap video for the 2011 Sienna SE . It showed that a minivan could actually sort of maybe be fun and didn’t have to be a lame vehicle for people who long ago lost their sense of humor. Now that there is a slight refresh for the 2015 model, the company is trying to capture that effervescent image again with a bunch of videos aimed at families. For the latest launch, Toyota is partnering with some family-friendly online video stars and having them show off the Sienna’s features. It’s releasing YouTube videos from the creators of Action Movie Kid and Convos with My 2-Year-Old and a Vine from Eh Bee Family, and they all hope to show that it’s cool to be a family with a minivan. In terms of actual changes, though, the update is pretty light aesthetically, but the new tech inside seems aimed directly at mom and dad. However, unless you’ve got a sharp eye, spotting the exterior refresh might be tough. Toyota is tweaking the front end slightly by adding a dark mesh grille and trim. The headlights are also slightly reshaped to incorporate a new strip of available LED running lights. As they say, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and there are two, new features that parents with precocious kids are really going to love.

From Here to Outer Space: 2015 Toyota Sienna Inspires Unexpected Adventures

From Here to Outer Space: 2015 Toyota Sienna Inspires Unexpected Adventures

July 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

TORRANCE, Calif. (July 17, 2014)

Toyota recalls 370k Sienna minivans, 10.5k Lexus GS models over separate issues

Toyota recalls 370k Sienna minivans, 10.5k Lexus GS models over separate issues

May 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Minivan/Van , Sedan , Recalls , Lexus , Toyota , Luxury The year of the recall continues, but this time it isn’t from General Motors . Toyota is announcing two, separate recalls affecting a pair of its models. First, Toyota is recalling 370,000 Sienna minivans from the 2004 to 2011 model years that are registered or originally sold in cold-weather states. The problem is that the spare tire carrier assembly cable can be splashed by water contaminated with road salt and cause corrosion. There is a splashguard in place to prevent this, but it sometimes gets lost in “normal usage,” according to the company. If the cable does break, then “the spare tire may separate from the vehicle.” This is actually the second repair for this problem for some of these vehicles. In 2010, Toyota issued a recall on 600,000 Siennas from the 1998 to 2010 model years. At the time, it installed a new splashguard and sprayed the area with an anti-rust chemical. However, according to Toyota spokesperson John Hanson speaking to Autoblog, the campaign worked for the 1998 to 2003 models but wasn’t sufficient for the newer ones. For the latest recall, the vehicles are getting the entire cable replaced with a stainless steel unit and a new splashguard.

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