Toyota

2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid Boring, and Boring Is a Good Thing

“Boring.” That is how my spouse described the 2011 Toyota Camry Hybrid I tested recently. “The interior is boring, the ride is boring … it’s just boring.” It is also based on one of the best-selling cars in America for more than a decade. I guess boring is what REALLY sells when it comes to passenger cars here. The Toyota Camry has also garnered quite a few automotive accolades as well including, for the second year in a row, being ranked No. 1 on the “American-Made Index” as compiled by the editors at Cars.com. The 2010 Camry was also rated…


2011 Scion xB: Which Way Funkytown?

When Toyota first launched its Scion division of vehicles aimed at younger, hipper consumers the buying public threw them for a loop. The funky new box on wheels (dubbed “xB”) was actually being snatched up by boomers hand over fist.


2011 Chrysler Town & Country: Long Live the King

The king is dead … long live the king! Chrysler announced last week that its “luxury” minivan, the Town & Country, has once again taken the top spot in segment sales leadership and this week came the “better-late-than-never” launch of an all-new version at the North American International Auto Show. OK, it still looks like a minivan and Chrysler has chosen to stay away from drastic styling upgrades such as brought on by imported competition this year. Toyota, Honda and Nissan all radically redesigned their minivans recently. For Chrysler it appears about refining what has brought them back to the…



What Would Santa Drive?

I began this annual ditty around the turn of the century and I find that I enjoy revisiting it each year as the world is buried neck-deep in the (commercial) spirit of the season. Looks like Santa’s load will be a bit heavier this year as early numbers indicate a bit more cheer in the air online and at the register. And the big guy will need to remember to bring along much needed accessories as wish lists are undoubtedly a bit tech-heavy this season. Right of the top I am going to disappoint a certain segment. Santa will NOT…


2011 Toyota Sienna Is All About the ‘Swagger’

While minivans have reserved a place in automotive history for themselves they are rarely the first (or second or third) type vehicle most folks think about when dreaming of a new car. Not to mention the minivan segment has shrunk considerably over recent years in response to that line of thinking (and buying). Toyota is one of a handful of automakers that has remained loyal to the segment and has given its 2011 model Sienna a significant makeover, along with quite the marketing campaign. Dubbed the “Swagger Wagon” the new Sienna has been given life in primetime thanks to entertaining…


First Drive: 2011 Scion tC

The freshman class of the Scion tC proved to be quite successful for the “garage band” division of Toyota. In fact, since its launch as a 2005 model, the little coupe has accounted for more than a third of Scions sales despite having the shortest production run (when combining xA and xD units). This is the best selling model in its showroom so for the model makeover one thing is painfully clear – don’t screw it up. Stick to your roots, stick to what brung ya’ here and stick it to the competition. And that is what Scion is doing….


Toyota Tacoma now calling Texas home

Big news for Texas and Toyota yesterday. OK, the news actually came out a while back that the automaker would shift midsize pickup production to their full-size truck plant in San Antonio but it was guns blazing Friday as Governor Rick Perry helped kick off the official celebration.


LeaseTrader.com app picks leads to ‘Wheels of Summer’

From the good folks at LeaseTrader.com came an e-mail announcing their picks for the top car leasing apps for smartphones. While I personally have not explored the depths of the auto lease, I know it is a choice many consumers have made. Not to kill their thunder, I got to wondering that with summer upon us, and folks turning their attention to vacations, what about those of us just looking for a temporary detour from the reality of the daily drive. You know, a very VERY short-term lease.


Despite Early Issues, 2010 Toyota Prius Best Yet

(All photos courtesy Toyota) Toyota Prius is the ubiquitous hybrid. And yes, I did have to look that word up. The 2010 model is the third generation Prius to hit U.S. soil and this new midsize model bring better fuel economy, enhanced performance and modern styling to the platform. It is roomier, quieter and equipped with all of the latest technology including offering a moonroof complete with solar panels, four driving modes, Intelligent Parking Assist and steering wheel touch controls that display on the instrument panel. “The Prius has evolved with our customers over the past 10 years and is…


2010 Toyota 4Runner the “Miley Cyrus” of SUVs

Photos courtesy of Toyota The State Fair of Texas hosted the world debut of the fifth-generation 4Runner midsize SUV this past fall. The event marked the 25th anniversary for 4Runner, and celebrating more than 1.5 million units sold since launch. “Backed by a quarter-century of heritage combined with the integration of the latest comfort, convenience and performance technologies, the all-new 4Runner has evolved into one of the most advanced mid-sized truck-based SUV’s on the market while at the same time staying true to its roots as a rugged and durable off-roader,” said Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager…


As the wheel turns

With all of the headlines screaming recall, stuck pedals and brake failure, what is a driver supposed to do or think? First, don’t listen to the headlines or the top of the hour teasers as gospel, they are only there to hold your interest. Second, hit the good old internet, but take all commentary with a grain of salt. The flood of information, both good and bad, is sure to have many eyeballs straining, giving curious consumers headaches and more questions than answers. In my local news broadcast this morning the anchor was reading a story about Toyota thinking about…


State Fair of Texas Auto Show media day(s)

With the arrival of Autumn it is once again time for the great State Fair of Texas and one of the world’s largest auto shows. Gate attendance each year at the fair reaches more than three million over its three-week run, with estimates that at least 75 percent of attendees visit some portion of the auto show.


2009 Toyota Venza – but what is it?

So what is it? Is this a car, a sport wagon or a sport ute? Is this the new Camry station wagon or the Toyota version of the Lexus RX? What it is is the all-new 2009 Venza from Toyota.


2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

I never really took notice of the benchmark status of Highlander until recent new model introduction events held by competitor automakers. More and more I heard the name “Highlander” included in their marketing and technical presentations when reciting segment target data.


2009 Toyota Venza

This week’s Wednesday Walkaround features a look at the all-new 2009 Toyota Venza. Is it a car? Is it an SUV? Is it the new Camry station wagon?


2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser

The Toyota FJ Cruiser is based on the iconic FJ40 that was sold here in the U.S. between 1960 and 1983. Designer Jin Kim took on the daunting task of creating an exciting vehicle poised between RAV4 and 4Runner that appealed to a younger, more active consumer. Kim’s approach is described as “industrial modern” meaning a tool-like combination of ruggedness and functionality with an honest look and modern surfaces.