All-Wheel-Drive Toyota Sienna Is a Snow-Ready Standout
Kelley Blue Book Picks Capable Minivan as a Top 10 Winter Car for 2012
MECHANICVILLE, N.Y., Jan. 11, 2012 - Getting around in a New York winter is no mean feat, but Toyota Sienna owners should have faith that their all-wheel-drive-equipped minivans will help them cope with the worst Mother Nature can unleash. Kelley Blue Book recently honored the all-wheel-drive 2012 Sienna model with a spot on its Top 10 Winter Cars for 2012 list, giving families yet another reason to head to their local Toyota dealership.
Kelley Blue Book chose a wide variety of vehicles for its list, but the common theme throughout was all-wheel drive, the technology that many winter drivers have come to depend on. The 2012 Toyota Sienna is the only minivan available with all-wheel drive, making it a natural choice for families looking to safely get around this winter. That reputation for safety is backed up by the model recently being named one of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's 2012 Top Safety Picks, receiving top scores in the organization's frontal-offset, side-impact, roof-strength and rear crash-protection tests.
"New York drivers can count on the Sienna to keep them safe in all conditions," said Mike Raucci, general manager of Upstate New York Toyota dealer New Country Toyota of Clifton Park. "With the amount of snow and ice we get, having all-wheel drive can be the difference between a white-knuckled commute and a careful drive home. That added capability and safety is even more important with your family onboard."
Available on 2012 Toyota Sienna LE, XLE and LTD models, the automaker's all-wheel-drive system comes with active torque control to distribute power between the front and rear wheels, making the most out of the available traction. That capability doesn't come with a big penalty at the gas pump either: Sporting a powerful V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, the all-wheel-drive Sienna is still fuel efficient relative to its size, returning 23 mpg on the highway.
While there are many vehicles that can get around in adverse conditions, few can do so while carrying as much as the Sienna. With a reconfigurable interior that can seat seven or eight passengers, the Sienna is tailor-made to carry cargo and occupants around in comfort. Interior cargo space can expand from 39.1 cubic-feet with all three rows of seats in use to 87.1 cubic-feet with the third row folded flat. Cargo room expands even further with the second row of seats out of the way, swelling to a cavernous 150 cubic-feet.
Family-friendly features in the Toyota Sienna include the available Dual-View Entertainment Center, which can display two different movies simultaneously to prevent back-seat arguments on road trips. There is also an available voice-activated navigation system with a touchscreen, which can display two different back-up camera views to make backing into a parking space easier. Another option is Bluetooth connectivity to make hands-free phone calls, a feature growing ever more useful as more states reign in phone use while on the road.
"Families tend to keep their vehicles for a long time, and Toyota has made sure Sienna owners won't feel that their minivan is outdated anytime soon," Raucci noted. "Between Toyota's history of reliability and the Sienna's cutting-edge technology, Upstate New York drivers can expect that the Sienna will serve them well for many years to come."
Toyota Heads Further Off Road with Tacoma TRD T|X Baja Series
Midsize Pickup Truck Gets Equipped for Ultra-Rugged Excursions
MECHANICVILLE, N.Y., Nov. 7, 2011 - Toyota has a long history in the off-road racing scene, and it has used that experience to construct a special-edition Tacoma pickup truck dubbed the TRD T|X Baja Series. Based on the 2012 Toyota Tacoma available at Toyota dealerships, the race-inspired TRD T|X Baja Series features off-road capability usually reserved for a desert race course.
Toyota's off-road heritage includes nearly three decades of success, with numerous titles at the Baja 500 and Baja 1000. That off-road expertise has made its way to showrooms in the past with the Toyota PreRunner, as well as the TRD Off-Road packages for the 2012 Toyota Tacoma and Tundra pickup trucks. However, the Tacoma TRD T|X Baja Series represents the automaker's most focused offering yet.
"While some automakers talk a lot about being trail rated, Toyota has proven its vehicles are built to take on the roughest races in the world," said Mike Raucci, general manager of New York Toyota dealer New Country Toyota of Clifton Park. "The TRD packages available for the Tacoma and Tundra already offer more capability than most will ever need, but the TRD T|X Baja Series is a true off-road animal."
Headed to Toyota dealerships late next spring, a large portion of the TRD T|X Baja Series' increased capability comes from its thoroughly upgraded suspension, which includes increased ride height to clear larger obstacles and more suspension travel to soak up bumps without jolting occupants. Equipped with Bilstein race shocks and TRD springs, the Baja Series also adds a set of BF Goodrich T/A KO tires and bead-lock style wheels in a unique Gun-Metal Gray finish.
While a variety of the Baja Series' hardware is unique, features like Active Traction Control, Hill-Start Assist Control and Downhill Assist Control are shared with 2012 Tacomas equipped with the TRD Off-Road package. Another shared component between the limited-edition Baja Series Tacoma and the more readily available Access Cab and Double Cab Tacomas is a 4.0-liter V6 engine that produces 236 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. Most Tacomas come standard with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine.
The TRD T|X Baja Series will also benefit from a refresh that all Tacomas have received for the 2012 model year. New features include a revised exterior that gives the 2012 Toyota Tacoma a more aggressive stance, as well as an upgraded interior with new available Entune technology that can make even the most remote trails feel more like home. Accessed through a Bluetooth- or USB-connected smartphone, Toyota's Entune system provides access to services like Pandora internet radio, weather and traffic reports, fuel prices, stocks and even sports scores. Entune comes with three years of complimentary service too, which means no additional fees for the added functionality.
"The Tacoma is a midsize truck with full-size capability," Raucci noted. "The Tacoma has long been known for its toughness and capability, and now the new Entune technology will make the logistics of off-road trips that much easier. It's the best Tacoma yet, and that's not faint praise."
Toyota Prius Goes Plural with New Models
Best-Selling Hybrid in United States Gets Three New Siblings
MECHANICVILLE, N.Y., October 5, 2011 - The recently renamed Toyota Prius Liftback is the best-selling hybrid vehicle in the United States, and Toyota is on a mission to build on that success. In 2012 the Japanese automaker will attempt to capture the title of best-selling hybrid family of vehicles as it debuts three new Prius siblings at Toyota dealerships starting this fall.
its recent "Prius Goes Plural" advertising campaign, Toyota introduced three
new members of the Prius family: the Prius v, the "the bigger one"; the Prius c,
"the smaller one," and the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, "the one that plugs in." The
third-generation Prius Liftback, "the original one," completes the quartet, each
of which will offer unique features to meet consumers' varying needs.
has proved that its hybrid vehicles have tremendous versatility," said Mike
Raucci, general manager of New York Toyota dealer New Country Toyota
of Clifton Park. "Families no longer have to worry about sacrificing space for
fuel economy, and commuters can forego gas pumps in favor of the open road. The
new Prius models step up to fill the remaining gaps in the hybrid market."
2012 Prius v, Toyota's new contender in the hybrid crossover vehicle class, will
arrive at dealerships this fall with 58 percent more cargo room than the Prius
Liftback, giving it more space than 80 percent of all small SUVs on the market.
With sliding and reclining rear seats, the Toyota Prius v makes family-friendly
use of its space, producing an advantage over smaller hybrids and less-efficient
Set to arrive in New York and other select states in the spring of 2012, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid will offer drivers up to 15 miles of electric-only propulsion at 62 mph, an ideal solution for New York commuters who frequently take short trips. As the first Prius to come to the United States with a lithium-ion battery pack, the Plug-in Hybrid will have a full charge time of 2.5 to 3 hours using a 120-volt outlet, or 1.5 hours using a 240-volt outlet.
those who desire the fuel economy of a hybrid vehicle without a higher price
tag, Toyota has unveiled the Prius c concept. Along with sportier styling, the Prius
c will have the lowest price tag of any Prius model, as well as higher fuel
economy than the Liftback. The Prius c will make its dealership debut after the
Prius Plug-in Hybrid next spring.
to their long list of technology features, the Prius v and Prius Liftback will
receive Toyota's new Display Audio System for the 2012 model year, which
features a 6.1-inch touch screen and an optional back-up camera. Buyers will
also have the option of adding Entune, Toyota's new multimedia system, which
connects with smartphones and integrates with apps like OpenTable,
MovieTickets.com and Pandora internet radio.
you're a single commuter, a family of four or just an environmentally conscious
person, the new Prius family offers the functions you need and the fun features
that you want," added Raucci. "Toyota has put a lot of its energy into
redesigning the Prius for different types of buyers, and every new Prius will deliver
the latest technology as well as significant fuel savings."
Toyota Prius, Highlander Hybrids Named Top Family Cars
Fuel Efficiency Wins Praise as Ford Partnership Takes Shape
MECHANICVILLE, N.Y., Sept. 6, 2011 - Toyota hybrid vehicles have often received acclaim for their fuel efficiency, but U.S. News & World Report is now giving them praise for their family friendliness. The 2011 Toyota Prius and 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid both won their respective classes in the publication's 2011 Best Cars for Families list, largely because they make it easy for growing families to save cash at the pumps.
U.S. News & World Report based their family-friendly list by looking at their own car rankings and third-party safety and reliability rankings and long-term ownership costs. Currently available at Toyota dealerships, both the Prius and Highlander Hybrid have received 2011 Top Safety Picks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and their fuel efficiency makes them cheaper to own on a daily basis. Those characteristics boosted the Prius and Highlander Hybrid to victory in the Hybrid Car and Hybrid SUV categories, respectively, on the 2011 Best Cars for Families list.
"It's great that the Highlander Hybrid and the Prius are being recognized for more than their fantastic fuel economy," said Mike Raucci, general manager of upstate New York Toyota dealer New Country Toyota of Clifton Park. "While efficiency is a big selling point for both vehicles, it's their versatility that makes them stand out from the competition."
The Highlander Hybrid is the automaker's only hybrid SUV, boasting fuel efficiency figures previously unseen in the midsize SUV market, with 28 mpg in both the city and on the highway. With a 3.5-liter V6 and two electric motors, the Highlander Hybrid sports a combined 280 horsepower and comes standard with all-wheel drive that provides traction in the most slippery conditions, giving parents confidence behind the wheel when snow and rain are in the forecast.
Toyota's success with hybrid technology has also attracted industry attention, and the automaker recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Ford to co-develop a hybrid propulsion system for future trucks and SUVs. The deal will bring together the strengths of both companies; Ford produces the best-selling pickup truck in America, the F-150, and Toyota produces the best-selling hybrid in history, the Prius.
By combining forces, the automakers will be able to divide development costs, which should mean lower prices for consumers. Under the agreement, Ford and Toyota will only develop the drive system, not an entire vehicle, allowing each automaker to utilize the hybrid system in their own vehicle designs. The two automotive giants will remain competitors in the marketplace.
"With this new partnership, we can expect the next generation of hybrid drives to get to consumers faster, perhaps before the end of the decade," Raucci noted. "That opens up the possibility for a Tundra Hybrid or even a Land Cruiser Hybrid with huge towing and cargo capacity and a modest appetite at the gas pump."
Ford and Toyota
will also work together on new telematics technology, which will someday provide
even more possibilities for in-car entertainment, navigation and communications.
Toyota Backs Aggressive New Federal Fuel Economy Standards
Prius, Camry Hybrid and Yaris Lead Automaker's Push Toward 54.5 MPG by 2025
MECHANICVILLE, N.Y., August 4, 2011 - America's Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are set to increase dramatically in the next 14 years according to a plan approved by the White House and supported by Toyota. The current 27.5-mpg standard for the average fuel economy of an automaker's fleet will increase to 54.5 mpg by 2025, an ambitious goal even for the fuel-efficient lineups available at Toyota dealerships across the country.
Automakers will not have to change dramatically overnight though. Instead, the increase will work out to a 5 percent annual fuel economy improvement for cars starting in the 2017 model year. That same year, trucks will have to start making 3.5-percent improvements annually until the 2022 model year, and then 5-percent boosts each year afterward. Before the new CAFE standards kick in, automakers will have to increase fuel economy to 35.5 mpg in 2016 because of a prior White House mandate issued in 2009.
"Toyota has been dedicated to creating fuel-efficient vehicles for decades, and the new CAFE standards will just mean a continuation of their efforts to develop better hybrids, fuel-efficient engines and lightweight materials," said Mike Raucci, general manager of Upstate New York Toyota dealer New Country Toyota of Clifton Park. "Gas-sipping cars are what made Toyota what it is today, and they are the foundation of what will lead to the company's growth in the future."
Of course, any discussion of fuel efficiency inevitably includes the Toyota Prius, the most fuel-efficient hybrid in the United States. Since its debut a decade ago, the Prius has been the most popular hybrid car on the market, selling more than one million units. The 2011 Toyota Prius gets 51 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway, which nearly meets the 2025 fuel economy standards 14 years in advance. In 2012, the Prius Plug-in will debut with an all-electric mode, while the more spacious Prius v will bring hybrid savings and utility together when it arrives at dealerships this fall.
Though the Prius may grab the fuel-efficiency headlines, Toyota has a number of vehicles that are light at the gas pump. All told, there are five Toyota cars currently capable of more than 30 mpg on the highway, ranging from the compact 36-mpg Yaris all the way up to the mid-size Toyota Camry, the car that has topped the U.S. sales charts for years.
The 2011 Camry gets 33 mpg on the highway with its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. There is also an available 3.5-liter V6, which still gets 29 mpg on the highway while providing responsive acceleration and 268 horsepower. Further fuel savings can be had with the Toyota Camry Hybrid, which gets 31 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.
"Toyota simply doesn't
make wasteful vehicles," Raucci added. "They've spent a lot of time refining
their drivetrains and aerodynamic packages to provide the best ownership
experience they can. That means more than fuel efficiency; it means
reliability, comfort and capability beyond what the price tag would suggest.
That has always been Toyota's way of doing things."
NADAguides Recommends You Buy Toyota
Toyota Venza CUV and Toyota Tacoma Pickup Make Select Six-Vehicle List
MECHANICVILLE, N.Y., June 6, 2011 - After considering a slowed economic recovery, high fuel prices and limited availability of several vehicles following the March 11 earthquake in Japan, NADAguides has found two Toyota vehicles to currently be ideal buys - the Toyota Venza and Toyota Tacoma. As two of only six vehicles on the NADAguides Top Recommended Current Buys list for the second quarter of 2011, the Tacoma Double Cab V6 manual pickup truck and the Venza I4 all-wheel drive crossover were determined as excellent options.
NADAguides made its selections based on criteria that are important to new car buyers, including price, first-year depreciation, availability, and incentives and rebates. The Toyota Tacoma impressed NADAguides analysts with the second-lowest first-year depreciation on the list at 10 percent, its low starting price and finance options at Toyota dealerships, a four-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and its strong availability. Honored for many similar features, including a matching four-star safety rating, the Toyota Venza was also noted for its available Bluetooth hands-free phone controls.
"NADAguides was pretty stringent in its criteria for a Top Recommended Current Buy, including the timely availability of vehicles following the Japan earthquake," said Mike Raucci, general manager of Upstate New York Toyota dealer New Country Toyota of Clifton Park. "With a strong supply, the Venza and Tacoma passed the test because, like most Toyotas, they offer an attractive mix of affordable pricing, incentives, and incredibly low depreciation."
The 2011 Toyota Venza is one of the core North American models that will return to full production this summer as the automaker bounces back from supply issues stemming from the Japan earthquake. With its 12 percent first-year depreciation rate, the Venza has been a faithful friend to New York Toyota drivers by combining the space of an SUV with the handling and fuel efficiency of a sedan. Cargo space with the rear seats folded down is an impressive 70.1 cubic feet, and even with the back seats in use there is still 30.7 cubic feet available.
The fuel efficiency of the Venza comes in part from the crossover's smooth drivetrain packages, including a 2.7-liter four-cylinder mill producing 182 horsepower, and a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 268 horsepower. Yet that power, even with the available all-wheel drive option, doesn't mean these models guzzle gas - every Venza model gets between 25 mpg and 27 mpg on the highway.
"Toyota hit a home run with the Venza and I see this vehicle receiving accolades for a long time to come," Raucci added. "It's more than a crossover - it's a jack of all trades, which is a trait that our New York customers appreciate considering the many different driving challenges they face, whether it's gigantic city potholes or snowy country roads."