2010 Honda Insight vs. 2010 Toyota Prius – The Heavyweight Hybrids Weigh In

Thursday July 30th, 2009 at 7:77 AM
Posted by: Derek

2010 Toyota Prius vs. 2010 Honda Insight
By Derek Mau and Melody C. Yang

2010 Toyota Prius
2010 Honda Insight

  • 50+ miles per gallon
  • Toyota quality plastics and fabric upholstery
  • Dedicated EV mode at speeds 25 mph or less

  • Lower entry cost than Prius
  • Lots of visual reminders that encourage good fuel economy
  • Extra large out side view mirrors

  • Higher cost of entry
  • Console bridge encroaches upon cockpit space
  • Annoying “beep” when shifted in reverse
  • Navigation map doesn’t have “night” display mode

  • Power output is meager
  • Stiff and bouncy ride characteristics
  • Back seat passengers have limited space and headroom
  • Cupholders more than an arm’s length away

Read the rest of this entry »

page 1 page 2

Posted in Expert Reviews, Honda, hybrid, Toyota |Tags:, , , , || 11 Comments »

2009 Toyota 4Runner Sport Review – a standout amongst the sea of midsize SUVs

Tuesday June 30th, 2009 at 2:66 PM
Posted by: Derek

2009 Toyota 4Runner


  • Better fuel economy than most V6 engines in its class
  • Comfortable ride and responsive handling makes you forget that you’re driving a truck
  • Intelligent shift patterns from the 5-speed gearbox account for smooth performance


  • Interior is overdue for a makeover
  • Third rowing seating suitable only for munchkins, yoga masters, or inflicting torture upon backseat drivers who need a timeout

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Expert Reviews, Toyota |Tags:, , || 8 Comments »

Toyota Prius Minivan In The Works?

Monday May 11th, 2009 at 9:55 AM
Posted by: tonyb

From the ‘Well duh, why shouldn’t they’ department comes word (just rumors at the moment) that Toyota, the worlds largest car company, is thinking of making a Prius minivan.

Or to be more accurate, it would be a minivan based on the Prius platform. Now, a Prius isn’t a very big car to begin with, but we’ve seen the right platforms stretched and widened and bent into all sorts of useful shapes. Also, something else to consider is that perhaps Toyota is not thinking of making a van the size of a Chrysler, but perhaps something smaller. There are, after all, a whole bunch of little box vans running all over Japan. So perhaps making a one-box design, slightly longer and wider than a Prius wouldn’t be that much of a stretch AND serve a certain market segment here in the U.S.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in hybrid, Press and News, Toyota |Tags:, , || No Comments »

2009 Toyota Yaris 5-door Liftback Review – The True Smart Car

Tuesday May 5th, 2009 at 10:55 AM
Posted by: Derek

2009 Toyota Yaris
By Derek Mau


  • Passengers get their own door and ample leg room
  • Versatile split rear folding seats
  • Spirited cornering
  • Excellent value


  • Engine is tuned for economy, not performance
  • Thin sheetmetal designed to save weight

The Toyota 5-door Yaris looks and feels about right as the utility vehicle for the new economy. It is cheap, roomy, economical and versatile. And it accomplishes all of this with a bit of style and flare. Its EPA numbers of 29 City/35 Highway is not quite at the level of the tiny Smart Fortwo’s mpg of 33/41. But we believe the Yaris is a better car in every respect and it is the smarter choice.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Expert Reviews, Toyota |Tags:, || No Comments »

2010 Scion xB New Tunes, Same Price

Monday April 27th, 2009 at 8:44 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Here’s some solid evidence that Toyota’s Scion brand sure knows it’s market: The 2010 version of the quite popular xB is getting a new and better audio system, and the prices for the car aren’t going up a cent. The 2010 xB which is exactly the same vehicle as the 2009, apart from the all-new, and standard 160-watt Pioneer audio system, and the car’s base price that remains at $15,750 (MSRP) when equipped with a five-speed manual transmission, and $16,700 for the four-speed automatic with sequential shifting.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Press and News, Scion, Toyota |Tags:, , || No Comments »

2009 Toyota RAV4 Review – a car disguised as an SUV

Friday April 3rd, 2009 at 7:44 AM
Posted by: Derek

2009 Toyota RAV4
Review and photos by Derek Mau


  • Toyota quality and ergonomics
  • Lots of space for people and their stuff
  • Very good fuel economy for an SUV
  • Star Safety System™


  • 4-speed automatic transmission
  • Optional side-step rails only work for small feet or loading the roof rack
  • Standard audio system is weak sounding

Read the rest of this entry »

page 1 page 2

Posted in Expert Reviews, Toyota |Tags:, , || 1 Comment »

Toyota Develops World's First Rear-Seat Center Airbag

Monday March 30th, 2009 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Here’s something that had never occurred to me: There is no airbag for the rear, center seat passenger. Turn out this fact DID occur to the bright sparks at Toyota, and they have decided to address the issue by making the world’s first rear seat center airbag. This is, by and large, a pretty good idea. Sure, very rarely are cars fully stuffed with people and in need of airbags, but sort of like a motorcycle helmet, when you need a rear seat center airbag you’re sure glad it’s there.

Airbags are one of the few, if not the only safety device currently on cars that were not first developed for racing se. This hindrance aside, they have proven in most cases to be a Godsend. Not only have they saved countless lives in frontal impacts, but the advent of side curtain airbags have done wonders in helping people survive side impact crashes. Recently several manufacturers have started including airbags for rear seat passengers mounted into the seatbacks of the front seats. So, the last man left alone, so to speak, was the person in the center rear seat.

Enter Toyota, whose new Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbag is fitted in a large, fixed, rear-seat center console in the roof, and will make its debut in an unnamed Toyota model to be launched in Japan later this year. OK then, everyone is now, er soon, covered.

Source: CarScoop

Posted in Press and News, Toyota |Tags:, || No Comments »

Are We Losing Our Hunger for Hybrids?

Thursday March 26th, 2009 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: m35man

The momentary dip in gas prices has caused Americans to gravitate away from buying hybrids in droves, at least for now. I predicted that this would happen. We have very short memories in this country, and I figured we’d go back to gas-only vehicles as soon as the gas crunch subsided. But before I started calling American car buyers short sighted and overly gas-dependent, I looked at the reasons for the sluggish hybrid sales.

Nationally, Toyota Prius sales dropped 30.8 percent last month, compared with February 2007. Toyota Camry Hybrid sales were off for the month by 47.4 percent, Honda’s Civic Hybrid sales were off 21.5 percent, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid sales were off 48.6 percent, according to CleanMpg.com, which tracks sales of “green” cars

People are still skeptical about hybrids. They’re worried they won’t hold up or that the battery packs will fail, which basically totals out a hybrid. They can also purchase gas vehicles right now that get mileage comparable to what hybrids get. And overall, hybrids cost more than their non-hybrid counterparts.

Fro example, a hybrid Honda Accord costs about $3,800 more than the comparable non-hybrid version, including purchase, maintenance and insurance costs. Over five years, assuming 15,000 miles of driving per year, you’ll make up that cost in gasoline money if the price of gas goes up immediately to $9.20 a gallon and averages that for the whole period.

Is the hybrid really the answer to our environmental concerns? Are all the green hybrid owners out there going to be green with envy in a couple of years when there are better, more fuel-efficient cars on the market and they can’t sell their used hybrids? Will another type of planet-friendly transportation catch the public’s attention and leave the hybrid behind on the green technology highway?

Stay tuned. There will be a ton of new hybrids on car lots within the next year and we’ll see then just how hybrid-hungry we really are.

Posted in hybrid, Press and News |Tags:, , || 1 Comment »

Toyota Stays In the Race

Thursday March 19th, 2009 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: m35man

Formula 1 racing

Toyota Motor Corporation, the world’s largest automaker, announced plans to continue racing in Formula One and NASCAR series, even as demand for their cars is taking a pit stop worldwide. The carmaker will participate in the two racing series despite being financially restricted by catastrophic business conditions.

According to a Toyota press release, this will be the 8th straight year that Toyota has participated in Formula One competition. Its TF 109 race car, in line with new F1 regulations, sports a broader front wing and improved performance and reliability, according to Toyota.

In Japan, Toyota will participate using the Lexus brand this year and will aim to recapture the Super GT GT5000 title using the Lexus SC430. They will also continue to supply engines to the Japanese Championship Formula Nippon—the top category of car racing in Japan, aiming for the 4th straight title by a Toyota-powered car.

In the U.S., Toyota will again participate in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series with the Toyota Camry, which totaled 10 wins in ’08. The carmaker is also aiming to win the Nationwide Series, NASCAR’s second-most popular series, also with the Camry. And Toyota will continue to race the Tundra in the Camping World Truck Series, after capturing both the manufacturer’s and driver’s titles last year.

Toyota is forecasting its first loss in 59 years as the global recession hammers demand for automobiles and the company seeks loans from the Japanese government. But, they also see the value in continuing to market itself in a smart way. Racing is a great way to keep your name out there and Toyota realizes this.

Posted in Press and News, Toyota |Tags:, || 1 Comment »

2010 Tundra Unveiled at Chicago Auto Show

Friday February 13th, 2009 at 3:22 PM
Posted by: m35man

2010 Toyota Tundra

Toyota unveiled the 2010 Tundra pickup at the Chicago Auto Show this week, featuring an optional smaller, more fuel-efficient V-8 engine and other features, including an optional flex-fuel powertrain which will allow the vehicle to run on gasoline-ethanol blends.

Toyota is trying to make the Tundra a little greener and a little sleeker, in response to sluggish light truck sales. People who are hurting financially are more prone to buy a truck that gets better gas mileage, without sacrificing too much power. If they can feel good about the environment and still haul large loads, it’s the best of both worlds–and if embraced by consumers–the Tundra pickup and could help Toyota’s overall sales significantly during the second half of 2009.

The economy has been tough on the truck market, so manufacturers are trying to come up with new ways to attract buyers. Let’s see if they buy into the new, improved 2010 Tundra.

Read this article from MSNBC.com after the jump.

page 1 page 2

Posted in Press and News, Toyota |Tags:, , || 3 Comments »

« Previous Entries Next Entries »

Latest Reviews

Select a Category