Toyota

Toyota cars

In 1994, Toyota wowed the world with its new RAV4. Toyota had brought the world a machine that possessed the size and practicality of an SUV , but it promised the driving dynamics and comfort of a car. When it went on sale in 1995, it was an instant hit, and the crossover craze officially started. In 2014, 20 years later, the RAV4 has just moved into its fourth generation, and sales are still going strong. Over the last two decades, there have been dozens of competitors join the game, and Toyota is no longer the only kid on the block.

Is the RAV4 still the machine to buy, or has the king been dethroned by one of the many challengers. I had a 2014 RAV4 Limited with FWD for a week, and I decided I was going to do my best to figure out if this latest RAV4 is worth the badge on its bodywork, or the money in your wallet.

With a fresh exterior design, revised drivetrain options and a new interior, this is the most radical change the RAV4 has ever experienced. Read on to see if it is any good.

Continue reading to learn more about the new 2014 Toyota RAV4 Limited

Another live episode of the TopSpeed Podcast has come and gone again. We hope everyone enjoyed this extra-large episode celebrating 25 jam packed casts of automotive mayhem.

We start this week out with the return of Mark, and a little talk about pumpkins and drunken hand grenade safety. It’s a strange story, but we are sure you will find it entertaining. Once the show proper gets started, we get things moving with Weekly Wheels. This week we cover the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel , the Toyota Rav4 and the Fiat 500c Abarth . Two of the three are considered to be amazing, and two of the three are considered to be kinda terrible. Good luck figuring that out without watching the show.

For the news we start with the new Shelby-bodied Renovo supercar, and discuss whether or not this electric car deserves that supercar title. After that we move on to a BMW that is covered in bullet holes, a Corvette system that records your valet’s every move, and the return of the mid-engined Vette rumors. We also take just a second to touch on the possibility of Hyundai making a luxury SUV to compete with Lexus .

The Question and Answer segment of this show was pretty amazing thanks to some incredible questions from you guys. We talk about what kind of dream car we would build if we could put any engine and any interior inside of any other car’s body. We have some pretty varied responses. After that we talk about what cars we would buy if we only had $40k; the catch is we have those cars for the rest of forever. Finally we talk about some of VW’s greatest creations that they refuse to bring to US shores, and talk about why that is.

We finish things out in our traditional manner with an Own, Drive, Burn that features three limited run cars from the 1970s and 1980s. One of them is so awesome, it can go back in time.

Thanks again to everyone who listens and watches us banter about cars every week. We really appreciate you. Make sure to let us know if you like the show, and if there is anything we should change. We also need more questions and Own, Drive, Burn suggestions for every show, so keep those coming. You can reach us in the comments below, on Twitter @TopSpeedPodcast, or by email at Podcast@TopSpeed.com.

Have a great weekend, and we will see you next Thursday.


Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

Gran Turismo 6 is a car enthusiast’s dream. What GT6, or any Gran Turismo for that matter, offers is a chance to get as close as possible to the cars we love that we can’t drive in the real world. This is especially true for concept cars. Most concept cars never make it to production, and when they do, they usually end up resembling so little of the concept that it turns out to be a disappointment. Concept cars always look so much better than production cars because the design team has no boundaries or regulations to follow. The FT-1 is no different, as it simply looks fantastic. It was next to the Mercedes-Benz stand at the NYIAS and it stole most of the show-goers away from the German automaker’s. So when GT6 and Toyota announced that they would be making an FT-1 for the new game new game, with a 30 second teaser video, it obviously got all of us excited. It’s called the FT-1 Vision GT Concept, and it looks spectacular with it’s scoops, louvers and all that exposed carbon fiber. Let’s hope it drives as well as it looks, digitally of course.

Updated 08/14/2014: Toyota unveiled the official details and images on the FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo Concept set to be offered for Gran Turismo 6 users from September. Details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota FT-1 Vision GT Concept.

Toyota has announced it will enter a new Tundra TRD Pro series truck in the 2014Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 taking place in mid-November 2014. The Tundra TRD Pro being entered is only slightly modified in order to compete in the full-size truck class, leaving the majority of the truck as stock. “Competing in the full size sock Class allows our team to test the Tundra TRD Pro as close to stock as possible,” says Andrew Franceschini of Toyota. “[That] showcases its strength and durability in the Mexican desert’s treacherous terrain.”

A few items were added to the Tundra TRD Pro in order to compete, mainly to do with safety. A full roll cage and safety fuel cell was added, along with Mastercraft racing seats with five-point harnesses. A full suite of GPS navigation and race communication radio equipment was also thrown in.

The truck will compete in the 47th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, a race spanning over the harsh desert terrain between Ensenada, Baja California to La Paz, Baja California Sur. Though the race’s name suggests otherwise, the endurance even lasts a grueling 1,130 miles, testing both vehicle and occupants.

The Baja 1000 is set to take place November 12th through the 16th. 2014 with several checkpoints between the start and finish lines. Check back with TopSpeed for more coverage of the Baja 1000, but until then, check out more information on the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro truck.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota TRD Pro Tundra Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

The venerable Corolla has been a mainstay in Toyota’s U.S. lineup since its introduction in 1968. Toyota’s longest-running nameplate has undergone numerous alterations over the years, but has always remained a stalwart of the compact sedan segment. In 1997, the Corolla surpassed the Volkswagen Beetle as the best selling nameplate worldwide. That tradition continues today with the updated 2014 Toyota Corolla .

I recently spent a week getting to know a Corolla equipped in the LE Eco trim — the Corolla’s most fuel-efficient trim package. Equipped with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, electronic power steering, skinny tires, and a Continuously Variable Transmission, the Corolla earns an EPA economy rating of 30 mpg city, 42 mpg highway, and 35 mpg combined.

Coated in a deep Evergreen color, the Corolla did a great job at keeping its fuel-conscience end of the bargain. My weekly total average topped just over 31 mpg, besting the Corolla’s EPA city rating. A light throttle and careful driving quickly saw the average increase on slower highway jaunts, making the EPA’s estimates seem obtainable.

The Corolla proved to be a reasonable yet rather tossable set of wheels during its week stay, though there were a few quibbles about NVH.

Click past the jump for the full review of the new 2014 Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Prius has been around since 2001 and very rarely have we ever used the words "elegant" and "luxurious" to describe it. But Toyota is determined to infuse those two things on the 2015 Prius with the unveiling of the Persona Series Special Edition . Yes, the Toyota Prius is getting a special edition treatment. But that’s not even the most surprising part about this whole thing. Believe it or not, the Prius Persona Series Special Edition actually looks pretty darn good. Who knew!

This is actually the second time we’ve seen a Persona Series Prius, as Toyota released one in 2013 too. It comes with plenty of exterior and interior upgrades that really bring out a side of the Prius we rarely get to see. That’s about as big a compliment you can throw at the hybrid sedan that doesn’t involve its outstanding fuel efficiency.

The Toyota Prius Persona Series Special Edition will arrive in dealerships in September with a price of $26,985. Another $325 will be added to that total if customers opt for the Blizzard Pearl exterior paint.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Toyota Prius Persona Series Special Edition.

The Toyota GT 86 may have lost some of its appeal since arriving in 2012, but it’s still capable of making the right kind of headlines. One of those times arrived when German driver Harald Muller set a world record for the longest drift. His car of choice? A specially prepared Toyota GT 86.

The record-breaking attempt happened in Samsun, Turkey on July 15th. During the event, Muller was able to drift the GT 86 a grand total of 89.55 miles, shattering the previous record of 51.278 miles set last year by BMW Performance Center instructor Jeff Schwartz. Muller’s performance is pretty incredible, one that was made even more impressive when you consider that he completed 612 laps in a somewhat continuous drift. The feat also took 2 hours, 25 minutes and 18 seconds, which is a pretty long time to go around in circles without even taking so much as a water break in between.

It’s a pretty cool feat even though it seemed like the GT 86 appeared to lose momentum on a couple of occasions. But hey, a record’s a record and Muller’s performance was good enough to receive the Guinness Book of World Record’s stamp of approval. Harald Muller now holds the record for longest drift, setting a new benchmark that a lot of drifters will probably try to break in the near future.

The return of the Toyota Supra is inching closer and closer to reality. You probably can’t tell by reading this, but you can imagine us doing our happy dance now that more details about the sports car are coming to light. MotorTrend has the latest on the Toyota -BMW collaboration and sources close to Toyota have told the auto site that the all-new Supra will be a plug-in hybrid.

We’re not surprised about this news, especially in today’s world where hybrid technology has become universally embraced within the industry. MotorTrend’s sources also indicated that the new Supra will use a BMW-sourced, turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. This powertrain will then be combined with the Japanese automaker’s new super-conductor hybrid technology.

This kind of setup isn’t exactly new to Toyota, as the company has already tinkered with a similar package on the Yaris Hybrid R Concept that was first introduced at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show . Toyota even took it a step further when it used this system in the TS040 Hybrid race car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last month.

So what does this all mean for the new Supra? For one, it’s going to be vastly different from its predecessor, which featured a turbocharged, 3.0-liter engine the last time we saw it. That model was good for 320 horsepower and 315 pound-feet of torque. This time around, the new Supra’s hybrid engine is expected to be slightly more powerful, with an estimated output of somewhere north of 400 horsepower.

It’s not that big of an increase but the improved efficiency should do wonders in making the Supra a more pleasurable ride.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW-Toyota sports car.

Source: MotorTrend

The Toyota GT86 was launched in 2012, along with its Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S siblings. Although the GT86 was only sold in Europe, both the BRZ and the FR-S arrived in the United States for the 2013 model year. All three sports cars share the same 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, boxer engine that delivers 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. The powerplant mates to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic and enables each of the triplets to sprint from naught to 60 mph in 6.9 to 7.6 seconds, respectively. Far from being one of the fastest sports car on the market, the Toyota GT86 is definitely one of the most affordable, a feat that made it quite popular with consumers.

As we move into the 2015 model year, Toyobaru has yet to introduce the highly anticipated performance update the GT86/BRZ/FR-S dearly needs. However, the GT86 nameplate expanded to receive a brand-new member in the shape of a rally car. Yes folks, Toyota is joining the World Rally Championship with an R3-spec version of its sports car. The race-ready GT86 is not only more powerful, but lighter too, and it just fired up our enthusiasm toward a faster road-going version.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota GT86 CS-R3 Rally Car.

For 2015, 10 years after its introduction, the Toyota Yaris is getting its second restyling with revised looks inside and out, a quieter cabin, a fuel-efficient engine, and all the versatility that comes with the three- and five-door versions. The U.S.-spec Yaris debuted in 2005 with lots of spunk and clever packing wrapped in an inexpensive sub-compact. Offered in both the three-door and five-door hatchback styles, the Yaris filled a niche near at the bottom of Toyota’s lineup. Refreshed in 2011, the Yaris continued its mission largely unchanged, save for a more modern design. Now for 2015, Toyota is improving the Yaris with more refinement and a better driving experience, while still retaining its superb value proposition. Starting at just $14,485, the Yaris makes a great city car or a sweet first car for a teenager. Its 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder will keep curious teens out of trouble with Johnny Law, while the expansive cargo area and decent back seat might land them in trouble with mom and dad.

Toyota has resolved a few of the complaints that plagued the previous-generation Yaris, namely the NHV levels inside the cabin. More sound insulation and more premium interior materials help push the Yaris’ feel upmarket, while it still keeps its low price point. With three trim models and two body lengths to chose from, the Yaris is a pretty customizable hatchback .

With the updated features and added benefits, Toyota may see the Yaris climb back up the sales charts to the level of its glory days in 2008 when sales of the hatch topped 100,000 units. Selling only 21,343 units in 2013, the Yaris was apparently in desperate need of a makeover. Let’s see what Toyota has done to turn up the heat.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Toyota Yaris.


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