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2019 Toyota Corolla GR Sport

2019 Toyota Corolla GR Sport

The Toyota Corolla just became a warmer hatch and it’s a sign of things to come

The introduction of the Toyota Corolla GR Sport days before its live debut at the Geneva International Motor Show gives us a first glimpse of what the hypothetical (and probable) Corolla GRMN might be.

The Toyota Corolla GR Sport is the closest in execution to semi-sports hatches like the Ford Focus ST-Line, the Hyundai i30 N-Line, and the Renault Megane GT-Line. As such, the Toyota Corolla GR Sport features a comprehensive set of sporty style additions without any performance upgrades. The Gazoo Racing Sport pack is available for both the base engine and top-trim.

The first semi-hot Toyota hatchback in decades came only weeks after Gazoo Racing trickled out the stunning new Supra. It delivers on the promise Aikido Toyoda, Toyota CEO, gave two years ago - “no more boring cars.” Moreover, with the new Toyota RAV4 TRD, the new Toyota GR Supra, the incredible Toyota Yaris GR, and the announcement of the new Toyota GT86, we live in a time when the world’s favorite manufacturer is again in the business of awesome cars.

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2019 Toyota Corolla Trek

2019 Toyota Corolla Trek

Here’s another iteration of the Toyota Corolla you didn’t think you needed

With almost 50 million units sold since it was first introduced in 1966, the Toyota Corolla is, without question, the best-selling car in the history of the auto industry. Even if the world is populated by Corollas, Toyota has found a way to continuously reinvent the model in ways that make it popular. It comes as no surprise then that we’re going to see another reinvented version of the Corolla called the Corolla Trek at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Based on the Touring Sports wagon body of Toyota’s best-selling model, the Corolla Trek is essentially a raised version of the wagon that’s not a lot different from the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. The recent trend of automakers raising their wagons and hatchbacks in the name of giving them crossover-like appeal has now taken over Toyota. We’ll see what that’s about when the Toyota Corolla debuts in Geneva next month.

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2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

Adding more green to the compact commuter standard

Toyota just introduced a brand-new generation for the Corolla this year, with both a head-turning hatchback and a smart sedan making the body style lineup. Now, Toyota is adding yet another model with a new hybrid variant, ushering in an even-greener option for the compact four-door segment. Standout features for the 2020 Toyota Corolla hybrid include a comfortable ride, loads of technology and features, and as an added bonus, upwards of 52 mpg combined thanks to the drivetrain that’s borrowed from the Toyota Prius.

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2019 Toyota Prius

2019 Toyota Prius

Toyota has pulled the wraps off its refreshed Prius at the 2018 LA auto show which brings a more toned down appearance and optional all-wheel drive to the table. It isn’t any significantly more efficient or any faster, but its less aggressive styling will be a pleasing comeback for some, while the new all-wheel drive is apparently going to be really popular.

Projected sales for the Prius AWD-e say up to 25 percent of all cars sold will have the option, despite the fact that it does have a small negative impact on overall efficiency - the main reason you went for a Prius in the first place. The most frugal Prius, the L Eco trim, can still hit a claimed 56 mpg combined.

Aside from the subtle restyling and addition of all-wheel drive, the 2019 Toyota Prius also gets interior updates, extra tech, and a simplified trim structure to help buyers and dealers alike understand the range better.

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2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

The same workhorse; now with better clothing and a lot more space

Toyota RAV4 has been around for almost 25 years now. It has been one of the most stable products for the Japanese giant, raking in sales numbers consistently since its launch. At a time when sedans’ sales were booming, Toyota offered customers with a car that could be taken on any terrain, had the looks of an SUV, and could be handled like a hatch. While this sounds like a success formula now, it was quite a big risk two decades back.

The automaker showcased the fifth-generation RAV4 Hybrid, at the Paris Motor Show this year. Toyota has used a new underpinning, called the TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform. With increased body rigidity, The RAV4 now boasts a low center of gravity and better handling when compared to the previous iterations. As for the dimensions, the SUV is 4,600 mm long - shorter by 5 mm compared to the previous gen, but the wheelbase is 30 mm longer. This is because there is reduction of 35 mm in the bonnet and boot overhangs. It is 10 mm wider, and 10 mm shorter.

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2018 Toyota Research Institute Platform 3.0 Autonomous Car

2018 Toyota Research Institute Platform 3.0 Autonomous Car

The company’s autonomous Lexus LS gains new LIDAR sensors

A few years ago, concept cars were mostly about futuristic design features and new technology. This is still available today, but most automakers are including semi or fully autonomous driving systems in their show cars. This technology is supposed to become a production feature in 2021, and everyone is racing to get there first. Toyota is among those companies, and it just introduced an update to the LIDAR-equipped Lexus that it showed off twice in 2017. It’s still built around the old LS600hL — the Japanese firm launched a new LS last year — but it’s now called Platform 3.0 and comes with numerous upgrades.

The company’s Research Institute teamed up with more firms and departments than ever to create the third prototype, including CALTY Design Research in Michigan, Toyota Motor North America Research and Development, and Luminar. The latter has recently developed the most powerful LIDAR system on the market, which made its debut on this autonomous Lexus. Production of the CES-bound concept car is scheduled to commence this spring, but volume will be kept low, and all vehicles will be built for testing purposes only. Let’s find out more about Toyota’s most performant autonomous car yet in the review below.

Continue reading to find out more about the Toyota Research Institute Platform 3.0 autonomous car.

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2017 Toyota C-HR Hy-Power Concept

2017 Toyota C-HR Hy-Power Concept

The bold C-HR gets more chutzpah!

Launched in 2016, the C-HR is Toyota’s answer to the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. Only 4.4 meters (14.4 feet) long, the C-HR is the company’s smallest crossover to date and slots under the already iconic RAV4. The small SUV has received many positive reviews in its first year on the market, mostly being praised for its well-equipped interior, comfortable ride, and sporty interior. But nothing stands out more than its bold and rather unusual styling. Arguably the most exciting small crossover on the market in terms of exterior design, the C-HR became even more striking at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show thanks to a special package by ED2, Toyota’s European design studio. It’s called the C-HR HyPower, and it’s just a concept for now.

Much like most concepts, the HyPower includes features that you can’t normally buy with the regular C-HR. There’s a wild finish for the roof, a special body paint, and orange accents on the outside, while the interior boasts quilted seats and a bright contrast. As the name suggests, this concept car is more powerful than the usual C-HR hybrid. Not much is known at this point, but Toyota did confirm that the show car previews some sort of higher performance drivetrain that will be revealed in early 2018. Let’s have a closer look at the concept in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota C-HR HyPower concept.

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2018 Toyota Prius TRD

2018 Toyota Prius TRD

Haters gonna hate

We here at TopSpeed don’t shy away from exploring the weirder and wilder side of performance vehicles. In fact, we relish in it. Any chance we come across to break away from convention and blow your mind is worth it, especially if it gets the unruly mobs up in arms. And that’s exactly the sort of reaction we’re expecting with this – a performance-oriented Toyota Prius TRD. Here’s the formula – ditch the eco tires, slap on some real rubber, boost the engine, stiffen the suspension, add the proper cabin gear, and voila – the perfect solution to a dearth of jimmy rustlin’.

But here’s the thing – we’re actually totally serious. This isn’t some April Fool’s joke. We legitimately think there’s a real case to made for a performance Prius. Don’t believe us? Then read on. We dare you.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Prius TRD.

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2018 Toyota C-HR

2018 Toyota C-HR

C-HR should stand for C-segment Hot Rod

Toyota has made a huge splash at the 2016 L.A, Auto Show with its 2018 C-HR crossover debut. This C-segment, coupe-like crossover wears very aggressive styling, especially for Toyota, and offers a peppy drivetrain combined with an advanced suspension system and an honest rack-and-pinion steering system. The C-HR name stands for Coupe High-Rider and is nearly a carbon copy of the Scion C-HR concept that debuted at the 2015 L.A. Auto Show.

The C-HR will come in two trim levels: XLE and XLE Premium. Both are well equipped with all the modern gadgets and amenities, but the XLE Premium comes standard with a slew of active safety systems. Regardless of trim, the C-HR will have 18-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, front bucket seats, a seven-inch audio display, and Toyota Safety Sense P.

Toyota pushed to make the C-HR handle better than its competition, too. Believe it or not, the C-HR was developed on the Nürburgring in Germany and uses some high-end suspension components to achieve a sporty yet comfortable ride. Interestingly though, Toyota decided to include a Continuously Variable Transmission rather than a conventional, six-speed gearbox or the six-speed manual gearbox found in the C-HR concept.

Despite this C-HR not being a true hot-hatch competitor, this crossover will certainly be one of the most stylish and bold entries in the C-segment class. Not even the Nissan Juke can out-style this Toyota. Naysayers are condemning the C-HR for looking like the Honda HR-V, but we don’t see that many similarities beyond the coupe-like roofline and funky rear doors.

Anyway, let’s have a good look at the 2018 Toyota C-HR.

Continue reading for the full review.

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2016 Toyota Prius

2016 Toyota Prius

New design, more power, improved fuel economy

Toyota unveiled the Prius hybrid back in 1997, and since then the model has been through three generational changes. When Toyota released the Prius, it quickly became known as the face of hybrid vehicles and prompted many automakers to look for ways to integrate electrification into their lineups. With competition having become fiercer in recent years, Toyota needs to keep improving the Prius to keep it in the No. 1 slot in the hybrid market. And it’s exactly what it did with the fourth-generation model.

Unveiled in Las Vegas in 2015, the redesigned Prius not only adopted a new look, but also the company’s New Global Architecture platform, which makes it lighter and cheaper to build. The Prius was actually the first Toyota model to implement the carmaker’s effort to cut development costs by 20 percent through sharing platforms, parts and powertrains. The revised bodywork gives the Prius a sportier look than the current model, much like the difference between the last-generation Corolla and the current model. But let’s find out more about that in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the fourth-generation Toyota Prius.

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2017 Toyota Prius Prime

2017 Toyota Prius Prime

More miles, more gear, and a new look

With more than 30 gas-electric models on the market, including the Prius (aka the first-ever mass-produced hybrid vehicle), Toyota is justified when it claims to be the “world’s hybrid leader.” But in order to maintain its battery-assisted superiority, the Japanese automaker must continually produce the bleeding edge of green technology and set the trend when it comes eco-oriented transportation. These days, that means the inclusion of a plug-in model. The previous Prius plug-in ended production in June of 2015, but now, it’s back, offering more MPGe, more standard features, and a new look, making for what Toyota calls “one of the most technologically advanced, best-equipped Prius in the model’s history.”

It’s called the Prime, and first things first – it offers upwards of 120 MPGe, which, according to the manufacturer, is expected to be the highest MPGe of any plug-in hybrid on the market. That in itself is a significant statement in the world of max-miler passenger vehicles, but this frugal fuel consumption is also backed by more all-electric range, with up to 22 miles of emission-free driving off battery power alone, effectively double the EV range of the previous model.

So then – the Prime sounds like it’s got the goods, but with gas prices remaining so low, is it enough to spark the interest of consumers?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime.

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2016 Toyota RAV4 – Driving Impression And Review

2016 Toyota RAV4 – Driving Impression And Review

The U.S. simply can’t get enough crossovers. It’s the industry’s largest segment, and automakers are responding to demand with new and updated products at an increasingly feverish pace. Such is the case for Toyota and its hugely popular compact SUV, the RAV4. Currently in its fourth generation, the RAV4 receives a mid-cycle update for the 2016 model year, and per the new normal, the changes are far from minor. Styling tweaks, renewed infotainment equipment, the latest suite of safety technology, and a new sporty SE trim level are all on the menu, but the biggest news by far is the addition of a hybrid drivetrain.

Perpetual development between generations is critical for a model like the RAV4. Competition is at an all-time high, and fresh ideas are needed to stay at the forefront. Of course, the basics remain the same – the 2016 non-hybrid RAV4 gets the same engine, horsepower, torque, transmission, suspension layout, brakes, mpg figures, interior volume, and cargo space as the outgoing model.

Rather than messing with what already works, Toyota seems focused on broadening the RAV4’s appeal, a strategy echoed by the 2016 Prius. Does this bestseller have what it takes to rope in ever more buyers? I went to southern California to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Toyota RAV4.

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2016 Toyota Prius – Driving Impression And Review

2016 Toyota Prius – Driving Impression And Review

If you gotta blow your nose, you’ll probably ask for a Kleenex. If you need a cotton swab, you’ll look for a Q-Tip. If it’s hybrid transportation you’re after, the Prius is the standard. Rightfully so – the Prius was the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, selling 3.5 million models worldwide since its introduction in 1997. But unlike hygiene products, hybrid technology has come a long way in the last two decades, and Toyota’s green icon is under pressure to evolve. Enter the fourth generation, which brings a new design, a new platform, tons of tech, and a compelling effort to broaden the appeal of this eco-conscious torchbearer. I was invited to southern California to try it out.

Los Angeles is a great place for a test like this. The Prius is hugely popular amongst the local population, especially celebrities, offering easy driving in crowded freeway traffic jams, and low emissions to curb air pollution. And in a town where you need a car to get anywhere, the high mpg doesn’t hurt either.

But Toyota says hybrids aren’t just about fuel efficiency anymore, and customers will no longer compromise to skip a trip to the pump. Conversely, the fourth-generation Prius aims to transform from something you should drive to something you want to drive. How does it stack up? Read on to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Toyota Prius.

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