Why the 2014 Toyota Highlander is the Ultimate Family SUV
Did you know that the Toyota Corolla is the world’s best-selling car? It is, and for good reason. Going forward into its eleventh generation, the newest Corolla offers the same legendary reliability in a more refined package – or so we think. Revealed at a line-off ceremony at Toyota Motor Company’s newest state-of-the-art Central Motor manufacturing facility in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, the new Corolla boasts increased interior volume, vastly improved visibility, a more stylish appearance, and better fuel efficiency – thanks to a new CVT transmission and engine start/stop technology.
The Corolla is offered in two different versions in Japan – the Corolla Axio (sedan) and Corolla Fielder (wagon), with more sales volume anticipated for the Fielder (for the record, the last year the Toyota Corolla wagon was on sale in the U.S. was 1997). The version we are most likely to receive here in the United States will be a reworked version of the sedan (most likely to with a new grille and halogen reflector-style headlamps, not HIDs), but since rumblings emerged about the likely discontinuation of the Toyota Matrix, we may receive a wagon after all. On the technical side of things, the new Corolla will be available with a choice of two different inline-four-cylinder engines – a 1.5-liter or a 1.8-liter – and a choice of a CVT or 5-speed manual transmission. While the 1.5-liter motor boasts better fuel economy, we’re likely to only see the 1.8-liter make it to our shores.
Inside, the Corolla’s interior looks like an updated, slightly smaller version of what we can expect from the upcoming Avalon, with hints of Scion FR-S, Camry, and Prius c – the latter of which is produced in the same factory as the new Corolla. The Japanese model appears to come available with convenience features like automatic climate control and navigation, while boasting available luxury touches, like wooden trimmings around the power controls on each door, the shift gate, center stack, and the top section of the steering wheel – that’s right – you can be “wood-grain grippin’” in a JDM Corolla if you so desire. The new Corolla also features a higher roofline than the previous model, and a lower belt line – which, along with an expanded cabin and thinner A-pillars – creates an unprecedented amount of all-around visibility for the driver. All this comes in a package that is not visibly larger than the current model.
Will the Corolla we receive in the ‘States look like this? We certainly hope so.
Toyota’s back in the EV SUV game. You may remember the RAV4 EV from the late 1990’s – they’re still around, decidedly less futuristic-looking than they once were. The new RAV4 EV is much more stylish and tastefully executed than Toyota’s previous go-around with the all-electric SUV, and as a result of Toyota’s partnership with Tesla Motors, the battery technology behind this extraordinary vehicle is state-of-the-art. The RAV4 EV has a range of approximately 100 miles while able to achieve a full charge in as little as 6 hours on a 240V charger, and reach speeds of up to 100 mph in Sport mode (and 85 mph in Normal mode). The electric powertrain produces a healthy 154 HP and a mysterious amount of torque (Toyota hasn’t announced it yet, but seeing as how the RAV4 EV can sprint from 0-60 in 7.0 seconds, it’s probably somewhere in the mid-200 lb.ft. range).
Inside the RAV4 EV you’ll find an eight-inch touch screen that displays navigation, telematics, EV drive info and Toyota’s Entune system. The interior is upholstered in a unique “Neutron” fabric that is woven with a subtle sheen and blue accent. Interior volume is uncompromised by the vehicle’s EV componentry and retains the gasoline-powered RAV4’s 73 cubic-feet of space. Outside, the RAV4 EV receives distinct styling cues to separate it from its gas-burning brethren by way of a re-worked front grille treatment that features the “EV” logo, and the halogen reflector headlights have been replaced by LED projector units. Also a dead giveaway for the EV is the lack of a tail pipe or rear mounted spare tire.
Sale of the RAV4 EV will be restricted to four select major California markets that include Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles/Orange County, and San Diego with a price tag of $49,800.
Please browse the high-resolution image gallery below (Facebook gallery can be found here). If there’s white space below, hit “refresh” on your browser.
Source – Toyota USA Newsroom
Image/Video Credit – Toyota USA Newsroom
The majority of the population in America takes for granted the simple things in life – being able to walk, tie one’s shoes, or even climb into the back seat of a car. Not everyone can enjoy these simple things, but Toyota aims to change that. Introducing the Toyota Mobility Program. Back in 2001, Toyota began providing solutions to serve customers and their families to enhance their quality of life. The program is one of the most comprehensive available from an original equipment manufacturer, from the research, development, and installation of their own mobility assistance equipment, to offering financial assistance towards the installation of mobility assistance solutions provided by a third party onto a Toyota vehicle. This includes equipment like wheelchair lifts, scooter lifts, and hand controls designed Toyota’s most popular models.
Toyota currently offers one complete model that comes equipped from the factory with Toyota’s Auto Access Seat – The Sienna. Available on LE or XLE trims, the Auto Access Seat offers 90-degrees of rotation with a lift capacity of 330 pounds, and lowers to within 19” of the ground with a minimal amount of 4” of side travel. It also reclines up to 24 degrees for maximum maneuverability and comfort.
For more information on the Sienna equipped with the Auto Access seat, please visit http://www.toyotamobility.com. Mungenast Alton Toyota will gladly assist you with ordering your Sienna with Auto Access, or any other mobility solutions-equipped vehicle to suit your specific needs.
To watch the Auto Access Seat in action, watch the video below:
Image Credit: Toyota
Sales of the all-new Toyota Prius c subcompact hybrid began on March 12th. Today is only March 16th, and already Toyota is reporting that the company has sold 1,201 of them – in three days. Undoubtedly, the major contributing factor to the Prius c’s overwhelming popularity is the ascent of fuel prices. With the average price of regular unleaded hovering between $3.89 in St. Louis (it’s around $4.09 here in Alton, though), combined with the Prius c’s starting price of just under $19,000, it’s hard not to talk yourself into purchasing one of these. We had one in Magnetic Gray Metallic, but it sold very quickly – just as we expected.
Given the sales velocity of the 2012 Toyota Prius c, we don’t expect them to last very long on our lot. If you are looking for something affordable that gets a combined 50 mpg figure, you should seriously consider a Prius c. We urge you to come into Mungenast Alton Toyota-Scion to reserve yours as soon as possible.
Source - Toyota USA Newsroom
Amidst the escalation of fuel prices comes a sparkle of hope – it’s the new 2012 Toyota Prius c. And while we’ve known about this vehicle for some time now, we weren’t exactly sure of what option packages would be available for each trim level, or what a Prius c with everything on it (hold the onions) would cost. That all changes today, because Toyota USA just rolled out their online configuration tool for the Prius c.
While admittedly not quite as cool as the configurator for the Lexus LFA (which is notorious for giving users the capability to create hilariously grotesque color combinations even a wealthy Sheikh wouldn’t order, by the way) it’s very insightful for illustrating what your desired Prius c would look like and then show you an MSRP for it. For starters, there are four different trim levels from which to begin: Prius c One, Two Three or Four. With a base MSRP of $18,950 (before $760 destination charge) the Prius c One model comes equipped with 15-inch steel wheels with covers, a 3.5-inch TFT Multi-Information-Display, nine airbags, tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio, climate, Multi-Information-Display and Bluetooth hands-free phone controls, remote keyless entry, and LED tail lights. Likewise, a fully-loaded Prius c Four with navigation and all the trimmings will still set you back a reasonable $26,287.
Head on over to Toyota’s Prius c website so that you can see what you can come up with. Remember, if there’s a certain combination you’re looking for, please contact us at Mungenast Alton Toyota directly so that we can further assist you in ordering the perfect vehicle!
Source – Toyota USA
Image Credit – Toyota USA
Can you lick your elbow? No, you can’t… but can you really get over 100mpg in a non-plug-in hybrid? That’s the $60,000 question of the day. Everyone knows that gas prices are on the rise, and they won’t be dropping anytime soon. Besides getting a new car (insert plug for being a dealership here, wink-wink), there are techniques that you can do to lower your overall fuel consumption over the course of time, and the word hypermiling refers to the practice of using such techniques to an extreme degree, even for sport. For example, there was this guy in a Prius who got 138 mpg on a closed course during a hypermiling event in Indiana a couple years ago. While events like these can be fun, not everything that goes on is necessarily safe, or even road legal.
First rule of hypermiling: Never burn gas unless you have to. Although next to impossible while driving a motor vehicle of any kind, this task is easier in a hybrid than it is in anything else, especially in a Prius. With the EV mode engaged, when a light turns green, just get a rolling start. Literally, roll. When you accelerate at a decently respectable rate, you’re unnecessarily burning refined, 87-octane dino-juice that costs you too much money to waste like that (shame on you and your decency). Once you’re at hypermiling speed, oh… call it 30mph, you can back off the throttle. Maybe in a mile or two you’ll be at 35, who knows. If you’re going downhill, through it in neutral, or if able, cut the motor (granted, this will also cut your power steering and braking ability, so this is not recommended). The only time we would recommend cutting the motor would be in a drive through – considering you’re spending the majority of your time stopped anyway. Rule of thumb – if you know you’re going to be stopped for anywhere over 30 seconds to a minute, or even longer – it’s probably ok to turn the engine off. With fuel injection and other technologies, it takes less fuel to get started back up again than if you had spent that time idling your engine.
Once you’re at cruising speed, this is where things can go either really well or really badly. For starters, roll up your windows and put the top up (if applicable). Second, turn the A/C off. Most importantly – slow your roll. If you do the speed limit, or just under (magic speed is somewhere in the vicinity of 50-55 for most cars), you’ll get insane mileage compared to what you’d otherwise get at 65mph, 75mph, or even faster.
Yeah, and that stop sign? Second rule: True hypermilers don’t stop. Stopping requires getting going again, and that kills the planet faster. If you have to stop, just roll out slow when you get started again. And in most traffic situations, not only is stopping mandatory to thwart the 5-0, personal injury, or perhaps death – it’s just common courtesy. Stopping on an incline is even worse, because you have to use even more gas getting up that hill.
Third rule: It doesn’t matter what you drive. Ok, so it’s not really a rule, but it’s worth mentioning that anyone can be smart about how much fuel they use. Fundamentally speaking though, your fuel economy capabilities are a direct function of the vehicle you drive. It’s also worth mentioning that we have a variety of vehicles in stock that can achieve 30 mpg, 40 mpg 50 mpg, or even more. Interested? Go to www.mungenast.com and search by fuel economy category.
Next time when you’re driving around town, and look at all the SUVs out there, think of all those poor kids in the second row who have to deal with each other fighting over who’s taking up more room. Sure, having a full second row bench has its merits – among them, being able to actually carry three people in back. But kids will be kids, so that’s why Toyota offers a removable center section in the second row, effectively creating captain’s chairs – so the peace can be kept among those who require separate spaces. Oh, and there’s other cool stuff the Highlander does, too.
For those of you who don’t know, the Toyota Highlander has been the brand’s highly successful, midsized CUV, and it slots above the compact RAV-4 and larger, more capable 4Runner. Where the Highlander shines is in versatility and family-friendliness. The Highlander seats up to seven passengers, and unlike most vehicles with a third row, accessing the Highlander’s back row is relatively simple and doesn’t require a lot of movement of the second row seats. Instead of folding the seat halfway up, it just folds forward and slides very easily. Once you’re back there, just pull the seat back into position. It’s that easy.
Toyota offers the Highlander in a number of trims and variations so that you can pretty much get what you want on it without having to go all-out. And heck, if you want to go all-out and check all the boxes, you’ll wind up having one of the most luxurious, capable, and fuel-efficient midsize CUV’s on the road. The base Highlander comes standard with a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine with 2WD (or optional 3.5-liter V6 in either 2WD or 4WD), projector headlights, a 50/50 split third row, 17-inch alloy wheels, and seven airbags. Step up to the SE, and the first and second row passengers will be treated to leather-trimmed seats, a power liftgate, power tilt/slide moonroof, and multi-stage heated front seats. Adding to the SE, the Limited trim gives you wood-grain style interior trim, a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, three-zone automatic climate control, and a Smart Key System for push-button start and lock/unlock functionality on the door handles. The 3.5-liter V6 is the only available engine on the Limited, and you still have your choice of 2WD or 4WD.
And then, there’s the Highlander Hybrid, which uses the 3.5-liter V6 with an electric motor strapped to it for a total engine output figure of 280 horsepower, and comes in a 4WD configuration only. The Highlander Hybrid is available in a Hybrid trim level the Hybrid Limited trim, and the main differences between them content-wise is the same as the difference between the non-hybrid SE and Limited models.
For more information on the Highlander, please visit our website. We invite you to visit our dealership in beautiful, historic Alton, IL to see the Highlander for yourself. Until then, enjoy the high-resolution gallery below.
Image Credit – Toyota USA Newsroom
Five months ago to the day, on August 23, 2011, the newly redesigned 2012 Toyota Camry was revealed to the world by way of a special event held at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California designed to capture the hearts and minds of today’s proletariat in a way no other event held in any other venue could. Well, five months later, Camry continues the success by building on that winning formula and simply giving consumers more of it for less money – adding real value to an already award-winning mix of dependability, safety, comfort, and practicality.
Having said that, there are still an overwhelming number of people who have never experienced being behind the wheel of a Camry before – let alone a Toyota. For 2012, Toyota hopes to change some perceptions that the Camry is “vanilla” or “floaty” in any way, because the newest generation is anything but with the personality transplant it just received. The first thing you’ll notice about the new Camry is how aggressively styled it is – the exterior lines are much more angular and masculine than in previous years, giving Toyota’s bread ‘n butter sedan a more muscular stance. Although the Camry looks like it means business, Toyota didn’t install a race suspension. While the ride quality and handling characteristics have improved tremendously, the Camry’s trademark smooth ride hasn’t been compromised in any way.
While the Camry’s exterior styling has been tremendously improved, the real treasure might just be found inside, where you will find a revised, much more luxurious interior than you’d expect this side of a Lexus ES. The controls are still conveniently placed within reach, and this year, Toyota has revised the steering wheel controls to be more like what you’d find on a video game controller’s “D-pad” (we had to insert the obligatory “gen-Y” reference in here somewhere), making operation simple and functionality easily memorable. On SE models, drivers will be treated to steering wheel mounted paddle shifters to operate the new six-speed automatic transmission as well as Alcantara-like cloth inserts available with the Leather Package.
Above all, those looking for an American car need not look any further, as the Camry is the most American-made car, having been manufactured in Georgetown, Kentucky for the past 25 years with over 80% of its parts content being manufactured here in the United States by Toyota and numerous American suppliers – something that cannot be said for the competition. Whether you’re a current Camry driver or if you’ve never considered a Toyota before, you owe yourself the experience of taking a test drive today at Alton Toyota-Scion. Until then, check out our high-resolution photo gallery to hold yourself over until you can get your hands on the real deal.
IMAGE CREDIT – Toyota Newsroom
While news and other information has been available on the Toyota Prius c in Japan (aka the Aqua), no official information had been released about the North American version – until today. The Toyota Prius c will offer buyers shopping the subcompact segment a unique choice that offers them unparalleled fuel economy with a combined estimated 50 mpg and enough space for five adults and their stuff with a starting price that’s reported to be south of $19,000. Sounds like a real winner, but the more you read about the Prius c, the sweeter it gets.
The Prius c is more than just a subcompact car – it’s packed with premium features, like a standard 3.5-inch TFT multi-information display, a USB port for iPod®/MP3 player connectivity, hands-free calling, and an available Display Audio system with Navigation and Toyota’s exclusive Entune™. And it’s certainly a subcompact, with an overall length that’s approximately 19 inches shorter than the Prius, a height that’s about two inches shorter, and also two inches less in width than the regular Prius. The biggest (and most pleasant) surprise is its weight, which tips the scales at only 2500 lbs. – over 500 lbs. less than the standard Prius, which certainly helps it be more efficient, but more importantly – more fun to drive.
However, with the reduced weight comes reduced horsepower. We’re talking a combined output of 99 hp from the Prius c versus the larger Prius’ 134 hp. 35 hp can make a difference, but remember – it’s with a weight savings of nearly 20%, so the overall driving dynamic won’t suffer.
The Prius c will be coming to showrooms starting in March, and we certainly hope to have one by then. For more information about the Prius family of vehicles, check out our other blog posts or visit our dealer website at www.altontoyota.com.
CREDIT: Toyota USA Newsroom
IMAGE CREDIT: Toyota USA Newsroom