on 11.30.2008 17:15
Toyota has announced the pricing for the 2009 Tundra as the pickup trucks are arriving at dealerships. The overall average increase is $109, or 0.4 percent on all Tundra models. The base MSRP will range from $22,490 for the Regular Cab 4x2 with a V-6 engine to $41,605 for the Limited Grade 4x4 CrewMax with a 5.7-liter V-8 engine. (See our Toyota Tundra review.)
The 2009 Tundra will continue to offer a choice of 45 model variations in three wheelbases, three cab styles, three bed lengths, three engines, three trim levels, and with 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains. Tundra E85 flex-fuel capability is now standard on 5.7-liter 4x4 models in select regions, creating nine additional model configurations. Toyota is further expanding consumer choice for the 2009 Tundra with the addition of two new Toyota Racing Development (TRD) option packages.
The TRD Sport Package is optimized for an aggressive street appearance, while the new TRD Rock Warrior Package is focused on off-road adventure.
TRD Sport will be available on the Tundra grade 4x2 Regular Cab and Double Cab standard bed models with the 5.7-liter V-8. It features color-keyed front and rear bumpers and grille surround, color-keyed heated outside mirrors, color-keyed door handles, fog lamps, black cloth interior with manual bucket seats, accessory shift knob and pedal covers, accessory 20-inch machined star five-spoke alloy wheels and TRD Sport Edition side panel graphics. The TRD Sport package will be available in two exterior colors, Black and Radiant Red. Price for the TRD Sport Package is $2,408 on the Double Cab and $3,813 on the Regular Cab.
The TRD Rock Warrior package will be available exclusively on the Tundra grade 4x4 Double Cab (standard bed) and CrewMax equipped with the 5.7-liter V-8 engine. In addition to its tuned suspension, the TRD Rock Warrior is equipped with Bilstein shocks, TRD 17-inch alloy wheels with BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A tires, color-keyed front bumper and grille surround, matte-black steel rear bumper, fog lamps, black cloth interior with manual bucket seats, accessory shift knob and pedal covers, and TRD Rock Warrior side panel graphics. The Rock Warrior will come in two exterior colors, Black and Super White. Price for the TRD Rock Warrior package is $3,177 for both the CrewMax and Double Cab.
Read our last Toyota Tundra review. Research Toyotas in the 2009 new car buyer’s guide.
on 11.15.2008 20:12
Typically, an automotive award from overseas wouldn’t grab our attention. However, the diminutive Toyota iQ cleaned house to claim the 2008 Japan Car of the Year honors, raking in 300 more points than the second-place finisher. That is head-turning news.
The judges praised the iQ for its space efficiency and design, particularly the iQ’s capacity for seating four people within a body less than three meters long, as well as its combination of high levels of safety and low CO2 emissions.
As we covered before in “Toyota iQ Coming to the U.S.”, the iQ reportedly achieves 54 mpg based on Japanese test protocols. That extreme fuel economy is enabled by the vehicle’s sub-compact dimensions and thrifty powertrain, yet the interior space is maximized by clever packaging. Compensating for its tiny size, the iQ protects occupants with eight airbags, including the world’s first rear-curtain airbag.
Industry rumors suggest Toyota may bring the iQ to the United States as a Scion product. This would give the youth-targeted brand a fresh, exciting model that could reinvigorate salesroom traffic. Scion stumbled with the launch of the second-generation xB--a vehicle redesigned based specifically on owner feedback. Would-be buyers wanted more space and more power than with the original xB, yet to achieve that Scion delivered the less-desirable trade-off of lower fuel economy, more weight, and compromised visibility. As the nation went on a gasoline diet, it was the right vehicle at the wrong time.
The iQ could be quite the opposite, an unexpected model striking at just the right time. As successful as the Smart ForTwo has been, imagine a more brilliant, Toyota-ized Smart car with all the innovation, reliability, and affordability that suggests. Sounds like a winning combination, indeed. And apparently the 65 Japanese jurors agree.
Results of Japan Car of the Year 2008
1. Toyota iQ (526 points)
2. Citroën C5 (223 points)
3. Nissan GT-R (201 points)
4. Audi A4/A4 Avant (180 points)
5. Jaguar XF (115 points)
6. Daihatsu Tanto (100 points)
7. Fiat 500 (90 points)
8. Honda Freed (62 points)
9. Mazda Atenza (60 points)
10. Suzuki Wagon R/Wagon R Stingray (37 points)
11 Subaru Exiga (31 points)
Research Toyotas in the 2009 new car buyer's guide.
on 11.06.2008 20:57
Automakers are scrambling to react to the new economic reality – consumers have less coin in the pocket, financing has become more difficult, and fuel prices rise and fall like a sine wave. Among its many moves, including pursuing the clever iQ for the U.S. market, Toyota has stuffed its new 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine into the Highlander SUV.
It has been years since a Highlander had a four-cylinder. With weak power and cheap fuel, there was little reason for the old four in the first-generation Highlander. Things have changed. Now, fuel economy is king, and Toyota engineers have cooked up a powerful four banger that puts out 187 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft. of torque. To make the most of the power, the engine is teamed with six-speed automatic transmission.
EPA fuel economy estimates are 20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined for the four-cylinder engine. With the current V-6, the fuel economy is rated at 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. Acceleration will naturally be more casual, with a claimed 9.7-second 0-60 mph time. In all reality, if you accelerate at that rate from any stop light, nine times out of 10, you’ll be the first across the intersection.
The new base Highlander will come with all the essentials, such as air conditioning, six-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo, power door locks and windows, cruise control, and keyless entry. Optional equipment will include an eight-way power driver's seat, manual rear air conditioning, an AM/FM/six-disc CD changer with satellite radio capability, and a third-row seat.
Research Toyota in the 2009 new car buyer’s guide. Read our Toyota Highlander review.
on 11.04.2008 20:02
When the Toyota Venza crossover reaches dealerships in early December, pricing will begin at $25,975. The Venza is essentially the wagon version of the Camry. And it could be considered the spiritual heir to the first-generation Highlander.
Intended to be an SUV alternative, the well-timed Venza will combine car-derived ride, handling, and fuel economy, with the flexibility and styling shared with other modern crossover vehicles. The base model will be a four-cylinder, front-drive Venza, with the top version equipped with a powerful V-6 and all-wheel drive.
Among the attributes that make the Venza appealing is a long roster of standard and optional equipment. Without much effort, the Venza can be built in truly luxurious form, overflowing with safety equipment.
$25,975 - Four-cylinder FWD
$27,425 - Four-cylinder AWD
$27,800 - V-6 FWD
$29,250 - V-6 AWD
Research 2009 Toyota models in the new car buyer’s guide.
on 10.16.2008 23:59
The 2010 Toyota Prius broke cover on the blogosphere Thursday, with pictures circulating weeks ahead of its scheduled official debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. From this image, it is clear that Toyota isn't straying far from the established formula. The disinct profile has been a key factor in the vehicle's successful, making it both immediately recognizable as something different and adding versatility. (Clearly, Honda has learned that lesson, as demonstrated by its Prius clone fighter, the 2010 Honda Insight.)
Toyota has confirmed that this is indeed the production car, though the company has been mum on other details. We do hear that the third-generation Prius will be slightly larger and more powerful than the current model, with a larger-displacement engine and lithium-ion batteries. The top trim will use solar panels to generate limited energy.
In its Open Road blog, Toyota said:
new Prius will retain all of the virtues of the model that precedes it.
It’s about the same size as its forebear, but with more interior room
and better fuel economy.
Initially, the car is expected to be imported, but as the Prius line, or sub-brand, expands to potentially multiple models, it will be built at a plant under construction in Blue Springs, Mississippi, starting late 2010.
We’ll see it in person during the Detroit auto show media days January 11-13, and report our findings here.
Research Toyota cars, trucks, and SUVs in the buyer’s guide, complete with pricing, specifications, and photo galleries. Read our Toyota Prius review.
on 10.15.2008 22:41
The clever, quirky, and highly fuel-efficient Toyota iQ goes on sale in Japan next month, Europe in January, and in the future, likely here in the United States, according to Automotive News. The industry newspaper reports that the four-passenger car achieves 54 mpg based on Japanese test protocols and is priced at the equivalent of $13,860-$15,840.
In Europe, Toyota claims a combined cycle fuel economy of 65.7mpg for the 1.0-litre VVT-i with manual transmission. When the iQ comes to the United States, it may have a larger 1.5-liter engine to provide the performance our market demands, though fuel economy should still rival today’s best hybrid cars. Other changes would likely include changes to address frontal-impact safety, with revisions to the bumper and air bag system to meet federal regulations.
For a small car, it is packed with safety features. In addition to a force-distributing structure, the iQ protects occupant with nine air bags, including front, knee, side, side curtain, and a rear window air bag. To help avoid features antilock brakes, brake force distribution, brake assist, and stability control.
On the creature comfort side, the base iQ includes such niceties as air conditioning, six-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with audio controls on the steering wheel, electric door locks and windows, and aluminum wheels.
Toyota is clearly packing a lot into the iQ, adding appeal to an affordable, thrifty car that may be coming soon to a driveway near you.
Research Toyotas in the 2009 new car buyer's guide.