Filed under: Budget , Hatchback , Toyota , First Drives Advertising firms have done an admirable job convincing consumers that the easiest way to find a best-in-segment car or truck is by looking at a few key metrics. In the most elementary terms, the vehicle with the highest horsepower, most gears in its transmission housing, lowest acceleration times and best fuel economy most certainly must be the class benchmark. Yet as the commercials and billboards continue to drive that deceitful message, Toyota is betting shoppers in the subcompact segment are a bit more discerning. The Japanese automaker has just launched its updated 2015 Yaris , a three- and five-door offering that bucks the innovation and performance trends by offering what Toyota feels that entry-level buyers actually desire – reliability, practicality and a low sticker price. It’s sweltering in the tropical Hawaiian sun as I check out the deeply refreshed 2015 Yaris SE. This five-door hatchback, a range-topping version of the company’s subcompact “sporty hatch” (Toyota’s words, not mine), builds on the new-in-2012 generation by wearing new front and rear fascias, redesigned headlights and some attractive new wheels for the upcoming model year. Overall, I like what I see. The front clip, with new LED daytime running lights, projector-beam headlight lenses and an oversized piano-black grille adds some character and aggression to a formerly nondescript vehicle. The wheel designs are big improvement, too, as their twisted spokes suggest motion even when standing still. The rear treatment, basically a new urethane bumper cap and redesigned taillamps, isn’t as exciting as the front, almost appearing less sporty overall with the deletion of the chrome exhaust outlet, but it ties the package together.
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.
Filed under: Convertible , Minivan/Van , Performance , Hatchback , Toyota , Ferrari 2015 Toyota Yaris: Still a car! It’s a car! Toyota hasn’t changed its formula for the subcompact Yaris all that much, still offering a blistering 106 horsepower and a four-speed automatic transmission in a small, affordable package. West Coast Editor Michael Harley took the new Yaris for a spin, and while it “breaks absolutely zero new ground in terms of innovation,” it’s still, you know, fine. Read more, here. The most powerful droptop Ferrari ever You know what’s nearly five and a half times more powerful than a Yaris? The new Ferrari 458 Speciale A convertible, which broke cover today ahead of its Paris Motor Show debut. It’s the limited-edition pinnacle of the 458 range, and we can’t wait to get a look at in-person, next week. For now, head over to today’s story to read all of the details. 2015 Toyota Sienna: Still a van! You know what’s twice as functional as a Yaris? A Sienna. And in fact, Toyota has thrown some thoughtful updates at its Swagger Wagon for 2015, including revised interior and exterior styling, and some tuning to give it a quieter ride.
HOUSTON (Sept. 25, 2014) – Gulf States Toyota introduced the new 2015 Toyota Tundra Bass Pro Shops Off-Road Edition today at the 2014 State Fair of Texas. This marks the first retail vehicle collaboration between Toyota and Bass Pro Shops, the nation’s premier outdoor retailer.
Toyota U.S.A. Foundation Helps Develop the Engineers and Scientists of Tomorrow by Supporting STEM Education Today
TORRANCE, Calif. (Sept. 23, 2014)
Filed under: Honda , Kia , Toyota , Volkswagen , Earnings/Financials While it’s arguably been around the longest, the dominance of the four-door sedan has been under threat for many years. As a further sign of the hurtin’ that SUVs and crossovers have put on today’s four-doors, a new report from Automotive News points to the increasing use of incentives by brands reliant on cars and light on CUVs and pickups. Honda , Toyota , Volkswagen and Kia have all been stung by double-digit increases in their incentives-to-transaction price ratio, according to AN, which cites data from TrueCar. Honda’s ratio is up 14 percent, while Toyota, VW and Kia are up 18, 15 and 19 percent, respectively. ” Most of the incentive growth we have seen is in product segments with low demand – midsized or large sedans ,” TrueCar President John Krafcik told AN. “As this trend goes on, the brands with three-sedan strategies are going to be in worse shape on incentive spending than the crossover brands.” Krafcik backed up his argument with this fun fact: Honda sales were up just two percent in August, compared to Jeep , whose sedan-free fleet saw sales jump 49 percent in the same period. The move towards CUVs isn’t too hard to figure out, with AN pointing out the increasingly fuel-efficient high-riders that are overtaking showrooms. That’s bad news for both sedans and the manufacturers that produce them. UPDATE: A previous version of this story listed John Krafcik as CEO of TrueCar. That is incorrect.
Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Lexus , Toyota Ah, aluminum. The lightweight, strong material has long held a following within the premium ranks, but as Ford prepares to launch an aluminum F-150 , the material is gaining acceptance among more mainstream automakers. Toyota is one such brand, with a new report indicating that the Japanese giant will add aluminum bits and bobs to some of its upcoming vehicles. These won’t be full, aluminum-intensive treatments like the F-150, however. Automotive News reports that an aluminum hood and liftgate will be coming to the 2016 Lexus RX , and following that, the Camry will get a bonnet built from Element 13 for model year 2018. As AN points out, Toyota is no stranger to aluminum, using it in Japanese-built models like the Prius and Scion FR-S . The RX and Camry, though, will mark the first time the company’s North American factories will use the material, and they’ll do so on a significantly larger scale, owing to the higher volumes that the Camry and RX represent. “Toyota has plans to use aluminum on future vehicles for hood, closures and parts for lightweighting,” Toyota’s Jana Hartline told AN. “Also, we will increase usage of mix metals and resin materials to enhance lightweighting efforts.” The aluminum for the Camry and RX would likely come from a new joint venture between Toyota Motor’s affiliate Toyota Tsusho and Kobe Steel, with an operation that could produce 100,000 tons of aluminum sheet (like what’s shown above at an Alcoa factory in Indiana) each year. Toyota Camry, Lexus RX to get aluminum parts originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Sep 2014 18:00:00 EST.
Toyota Financial Services (TFS) Issues Third Diversity & Inclusion Bond; Promotes Diversity on Wall Street
TORRANCE, Calif., (Sept.
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota , First Drives Every car has its definitive year. Whether it be the Chevrolet Corvette , the Ford Mustang , or yes, even the ubiquitous Toyota Camry , 10.2 million of which have been sold since 1983, every car has its year. For the Camry, that year was 1992. With son-of- Lexus styling, a clear sense of purpose and a parent company that had hit its stride as the purveyor of faultlessly reliable family transportation devices, the Camry got its legs in 1992. It’s a car that even your mom is likely to remember, even if she never owned one herself. The Camry you see here represents the closest Toyota has come to emulating the magic formula that made the 1992 model the stuff of legends. Compared to the 2014 model, some 2000 of the car’s 6,000 parts are new, most of them involving things you can see or touch (on the outside, for example, only the roof carries over from 2014). It’s not a full redesign, but nevertheless it’s a stunning development considering the predecessor upon which it’s based only survived two model years. That’s a testament to both the hyper-competitive nature of the family sedan segment and the lukewarm critical response that the outgoing car garnered. But that’s in the past now – after driving this 2015 model, we suspect the new car’s changes will be thorough enough to continue pulling in new customers by the hundreds of thousands each year for the foreseeable future.
Filed under: Truck , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota The Toyota Tacoma may be getting on in age, but that isn’t stopping the Japanese manufacturer from ramping up production at the pickup’s Baja California factory. The Mexican plant will soon be home to another 300 jobs as it increases total capacity by 41 percent. The increase is slated for April 2015. The move is a curious one, considering the Tacoma’s age and the fact that General Motors is preparing what, on the surface, appear to be two very competent challengers. The factory increase could be in preparation for the 2016 Taco ( spy photos shown above), which is expected to represent a significant overhaul of the long-serving truck. Toyota’s decision to increase capacity could also be due to the factory building freeze implemented by President Akio Toyoda , according to Automotive News . Toyoda put a hold on new factories until 2016, asking executives to squeeze as much production as possible out of remaining factories before bringing any additional facilities online. What do you think Toyota is up to? Is this just preparation for next-gen Tacoma production? Might a different vehicle altogether take up the additional capacity?