2019 Toyota Prius - Driven
Every morning when I get to work, I wind my way up to the roof of a six-story parking garage. And every evening, I wind my way back down. It’s a good half-mile round trip at plodding speeds. In a normal car, I watch the trip computer’s fuel economy readout tick down as I circle round and round through the garage. But in the 2019 Toyota Prius, I can go all of the way down and even most of the way up using purely electric power — burning no gas at all.
That’s the beauty of a well-executed hybrid: It often uses the least gas in circumstances where normal cars would use the most: Bumper-to-bumper traffic, neighborhoods with a four-way stop at every corner, or crowded parking lots. As long as you keep a gentle touch on the throttle — and in these conditions, there’s no reason not to — you can watch your mileage rise rather than fall. And this isn’t a plug-in hybrid that costs more and requires charging infrastructure; the Prius’s battery recharges as you drive normally, capturing energy from the gasoline engine and braking friction.
To be sure, the Prius hatchback is hardly the only hybrid on the market on which such technology achieves similar results. The Hyundai Ioniq hatchback, Kia Niro wagon/crossover, and the Honda Insight sedan are all newer designs than the current Prius, which dates back to 2016. There’s even an all-new 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid, which puts the Prius mechanicals in the body of a brand-new sedan. All these models rival or even beat the Prius’s EPA fuel economy ratings, and they all cost a little less; the 2019 Prius starts at $24,725. But the Prius still has the best blend of real-world utility and efficiency. It’s impressively spacious, and it’s more willing to putter around with its gasoline engine shut off than the Honda, Hyundai or Kia are.
Toyota has added another unique strength for 2019: a class-exclusive all-wheel-drive system, which is optional equipment on certain Prius trim levels. The car’s controversial exterior design also got a makeover this year, though its equally contentious interior design (and aging infotainment system) did not. Nor did it get a horsepower boost to address complaints about leisurely acceleration. Let’s go through the full rundown on how the iconic hybrid fares in today’s marketplace.
Ford Mustang GT vs. Toyota Supra vs. BMW Z4 - Who Wins?
Carmakers like to pound their chests with Nurburgring lap times when it comes to how fast their cars are, while automotive journos tend to take those cars and measure them against each other in perhaps the most telling form of competition: the good ‘ol drag race.
Naturally, such a staged drag race isn’t always about gas-guzzling muscle cars or heavily-modded vehicles that put out in excess of 1,000 horsepower. We’ve seen econoboxes taking forever to complete the quarter-mile all in the name of fun, so when someone pits the Ford Mustang GT Fastback against the new Toyota Supra and BMW Z4, all we can do is watch and enjoy.
2020 Toyota Corolla TREK
The Toyota Corolla is one of the last cars you’d think of as being special. But something about the new Corolla TREK variant qualifies as “special.” It’s the latest addition to the Corolla Touring Sports estate lineup, and it’s a promising showcase of the Corolla Touring Sports’ understated versatility as a personal ride and a family hauler for those weekend adventures away from the city.
The Corolla TREK comes as a result of a collaboration between Toyota and bicycle manufacturer Trek. It’s a partnership that stems from a recent partnership between the two companies at this year’s Vuelta a Espana cycling race where 16 Corolla TREK models were used as support vehicles.
Well, they’re not support vehicles anymore. The Toyota Corolla TREK is now available for public consumption. Pricing details will be announced in the coming weeks — it’s estimated to cost around £29,000 ($36,00) — but order books are now open with the initial batch of deliveries scheduled to begin sometime before the year ends. Unfortunately, the Corolla TREK isn’t headed to the U.S. market.
Someone Is Preparing a Widebody Toyota Supra For SEMA and We Can’t Get Enough of It
The new Toyota Supra has been one of the most hyped-up new cars to hit the market in recent years, for various reasons. One of them has to do with its legacy and the huge popularity of the 2JZ-powered fourth-generation Supra and the entire cult that surrounded the Japanese sports car.
Another reason is the partnership between Toyota and BMW, whose fruits are the said 2020 Supra and its cousin, the new BMW Z4. The third argument, which also happens to be strongly related to the first, comes from the Supra’s suitability for tuning jobs. Engine boosts, unique body parts, neon lights, huge wings, you name it. There isn’t a single thing that hasn’t been tried on a Supra.
So, whenever someone like Evasive Motorsports announces a widebody Toyota Supra based on the new model that’s also coming to SEMA 2019, our interest naturally piques. Read on.
An Unlikely Partner Could Help Toyota Revive the MR2
The Toyota MR2 was a legendary mid-engined compact sports car that instantly developed a cult following thanks to its impeccable design, mid-engined layout, and overall driving dynamics. Auto enthusiasts everywhere shed a tear when Toyota discontinued the compact sports car back in 2007 after three generations and 23 years on the market. As was the case with the Toyota Supra, old-school fanboys have been scratching at the door begging Toyota to bring back the MR2. It worked for the Supra, it worked for the 86, but can it work for the MR2 as well?
When the 2020 Toyota Supra launched, Tetsuya Tada made it clear that he wanted the “three brothers” back in the Toyota family once again. We have two, and we’re waiting on a third; the MR2, of course. Much like the Toyota 86 (twined with the Subaru BRZ) and the Toyota Supra (twined with the BMW Z4), Toyota can’t justify building another sports car on its own. The Japanese brand needs to branch out and partner up yet again. Tada has someone very unlikely in mind.
We Want in on the Toyota Supra Game of Horse Power!
What happens when you invite two professional drift racers and tell them that they’re competing in a friendly game of H-O-R-S-E? It’s the makings of a fun and competitive duel, but since Toyota was the one that did the inviting, this game of horse came with an added twist: a pair of brand-new 2020 Toyota GR Supras. The objective of the game, according to fellow pro drift racer and part-time game master, Ryan Tuerck, is to perform a series of stunts with the Supra. Whoever doesn’t complete any of these stunts gets a letter added to them. The first one to spell H-O-R-S-E loses. Simple enough, right? It should be, at least for Ken Gushi and Frederic Aasbo, the two pro drifters who competed head-to-head for the honor of becoming the first-ever Toyota Supra Game of Horse Power Champion.
Car for Sale: 1994 Toyota Celica GT-4 WRC in Nearly Pristine Condition
Toyota, the company known Stateside for building everybody’s favorite fleet car, the Camry, looked to brush off its reputation as a boring automaker and, at the same time, prove to the world that it could not only make cars by the bucketload but also innovate and compete with the best in the arena of motorsports. Since the ‘80s, Toyota had been involved in the World Rally Championship and the advent of the Group A regulations that replaced the perilous Group B after 1986 was seen by Toyota executives as a great way to really get in the game with the Supra GT-Four. The ultimate version, known as the ST205, briefly competed before being banned and this is the road-legal version of that very car – albeit not in the bombastic Castrol livery.
What would you say about a 1994 Celica that cranked out over 250 ponies from the factory and came equipped with the WRC-specific water injection, sport manifold, and turbocharger anti-lag components installed? Granted, the anti-lag isn’t working and, as such, nothing keeps the turbo from spinning off-throttle but the components are there as are most of the aerodynamic upgrades applied to the Group A car driven at the time by the likes of Didier Auriol and Carlos Sainz: an elevated rear wing and the different hood. On top of that, Toyota only ever made 2,500 of these WRC Edition ST205s so it’s mighty rare, which is why Japanese Classics is asking $18,000 for the example it’s selling, one that’s been driven quite a bit. It shows 129,000 miles on the odometer, but otherwise presents itself in a very tidy shape given its age and mileage. The early Celica GT-Four models are now just old enough to satisfy the pesky 25-year rule for cars that weren’t originally sold in the US so you will see more pop up for sale here but WRC Edition examples will surely be few and far between.
Would You Pay $14,000 for a 2000 Toyota Tacoma With 7,000 Miles on the clock?
The Toyota Tacoma is a classic example of ’looks don’t matter’. This pickup truck is one of the most plain-looking models to have graced the industry, but even today, people swear by its durability and reliability. Despite the invasion of modern trucks, the craze for the Tacoma is still pretty high and it doesn’t seem like it will die anytime soon. Because of this, the Tacoma enjoys a high resale value. Tacomas that have clocked five-, or six-digit miles still manage to sell in the used market without any effort. The latest example of the same was a mint-condition 2000 Tacoma that had just 7,000-odd miles on the odo. Despite being a 19-year old model, the owner demanded $14,000 for it, and I’m guessing it was sold pretty soon because the original poster has already deleted the ad.
The 2020 Toyota Supra Is Surprisingly Small In Person
I just got back from Middleburg, Virginia, where Toyota provided me with a 2020 Supra to flog around a racetrack. You’ll have to come back Sunday for my full in-depth driving impressions and review, but until then, there’s still a few things to say about the brand’s latest performance machine. For starters, the new Supra is surprisingly small in person.
Toyota 86 Limited Hakone Edition
Seven years after arriving in the auto scene, the Toyota 86 is somehow still going strong. At the very least, it’s going strong enough to warrant more special edition models from Toyota. Don’t look now — well, you can look now, or you should look now — but the newest special edition 86 is on its way, and it’s named after Japan’s most famous stretch of highway. The new special edition sports coupé is called the Toyota 86 Hakone Edition, and, believe it or not, it’s actually available in the U.S. Details on pricing and availability have yet to be revealed, but the model does go on sale the U.S. this fall.
2020 Ford Escape (Kuga) vs 2020 Toyota RAV4
Ford has just launched an all-new, fourth-generation Escape crossover, a model known as the Kuga in Europe and some other markets. The vehicle enters one of the most competitive and hotly contested segments where all rivals are hugely talented (there really isn’t one bad car to speak of) and picking one above all others is by no means an easy task. But if you were to choose an important rival to compare the Escape to, then that has to be the aggressive-looking Toyota RAV4.
Toyota went for a dramatic visual reinvention of the RAV4 for its fifth generation since the model had really become rather boring to look at in its previous incarnation. Frankly, no subsequent RAV4 had anywhere near the visual flair of the first generation model, a car that looked better without painted bumpers and side trim - that’s how quirky and cool it was. Now, thankfully, the latest RAV4 tries to rekindle that flame, albeit with fresh, edgy styling that makes it look contemporary, although it doesn’t look visually related to the original RAV4 in the way older generations did.
The Blue Oval, on the other hand, didn’t want to risk anything with its new Escape, so it made the vehicle look pretty much exactly like a puffy high-riding Focus. That’s literally all there is to its design, so in this respect, the RAV4 is already starting to look like the more daring, flamboyant option, yet being a Toyota, it doesn’t automatically have associated shortcomings.
The 2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan Sets the Standard for Safety Tech
The Toyota Corolla Sedan has long been a torchbearer in the compact four-door segment, and the latest 2020 model year continues that tradition with a long list of standard safety technology features as part of the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite. Read on for details on what makes the Corolla a leader in this space, and how the competition stacks up.