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Two Toyota Models Named "Best Family Cars of 2017"

Two Toyota Models Named “Best Family Cars of 2017”

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Two Toyota Models Named “Best Family Cars of 2017.” Recently KBB put together its annual list of “Best Family Cars of 2017.” This year, the experts realized that the only true family capable cars are SUVs and compiled it’s list without including any sedans: “As SUVs have grown more comfortable and more efficient over the years, families and car shoppers in general have demonstrated an increasing preference for the elevated driving position, superior cargo versatility and higher profile of SUVs. Each of our 12 Best Family Cars of 2017 offers a unique but similarly compelling combination of safety, value, versatility, amenities, comfort and drivability. Whether it’s the sliding doors and cavernous interior of a minivan or the high-riding nature and available all-wheel drive of an SUV, each of these vehicles is simply more functional as a family car than a traditional sedan.”

The cars were divided into three categories: Two-Row SUV, Three-Row SUV, and Minivan. The winners were determined by safety, value, reputation, driving manners, technology, child seats, cargo versatility, comfort, and convenience. Kelley Blue Book explains their testing procedures, “We compiled a list of last year’s winners and the best of the new and redesigned 2017 models and brought them all together for a back-to-back testing regimen. Ten editors spent two weeks driving, poking, prodding and researching all these vehicles. Our group includes several parents claiming a total of eleven children spanning a full range of ages including an adorable toddler, elementary, middle, high school and college students, and even a couple who’ve made it out into the real world. We put family cars under a group microscope once a year, but we live them every day.”

In the three-row category, the experts at KBB wrote about the 2017 Toyota Highlander, “The 2017 Toyota Highlander breezed onto this year’s list of Best Family Cars by virtue of its alluring combination of contemporary charm and everyday usability. Naturally, the Highlander scores high in the areas of comfort, flexibility and ease of use, but what truly distinguishes it from more traditional people movers is its unique fusion of form and function.”

In the minivan category, the 2017 Toyota Sienna was highlighted because, “In a family cars competition such as this, the minivan is the purpose-built winner. There are few reasons for owning one other than to raise a family and transport small human beings who don’t drive. And as Leo Tolstoy reminded us in Anna Karenina, every family is different. Our 2017 round-up of the best family cars includes the Toyota Sienna because it’s a superb minivan that families of many shapes and sizes find heroic on many levels.”

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Cars.com Names 2017 Toyota Prius Eco-Friendly Car of the Year

Cars.com Names 2017 Toyota Prius Eco-Friendly Car of the Year

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Cars.com Names 2017 Toyota Prius Eco-Friendly Car of the Year! Recently we reported that the Toyota Prius Two Eco was named the best new hybrid by Good Housekeeping but now the 2017 Toyota Prius has been named Car.com Eco-Friendly car of the year. Earlier this year, the Prius Prime was named the Hybrid best buy by KBB. With a 1.8-liter four-cylinder gas engine, continuously variable automatic transmission, and electric motor that combine to provide 121 horsepower, it seems this sporty little hybrid not only gets good gas mileage, but also performs well. 

Cars.com journalist Mike Hanley writes, “The Prius has long been the face of the hybrid segment and along the way developed a cult following of eco-conscious consumers. It remains an extremely efficient five-seat mid-size hatchback — regular models get 52 mpg in combined driving, according to the EPA, while the Eco version gets 56 mpg combined — and with its redesign for the 2016 model year, the Prius addressed its biggest driving-comfort shortcomings, widening the appeal of an already popular model.”

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Toyota Officially Announces Scion Model Rebranding

Toyota Officially Announces Scion Model Rebranding

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This week, Toyota announced the new way it is branding some of its most successful Scion models. The Scion iM is being rebranded as the 2017 Toyota Corolla iM, the Scion iA is being rebranded at the Toyota Yaris iA and the Scion FR-S is being rebranded as the Toyota 86.

2017 Toyota Corolla iM

The 2017 Toyota Corolla iM will be a hatchback and comes with the 1.8-liter DOHC Valvematic engine, double-wishbone rear suspension and standard 17-inch alloy wheels. A 6-speed stick shift will also be available. The 2017 iM comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense C, which features Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beams, and a Pre-Collision System.

2017 Toyota Yaris iA

The 2017 Toyota Yaris iA is a sports sedan that comes with a 106 horsepower 1.5-liter engine, standard 16-inch alloy wheels, 7 inch multimedia system with voice recognition, standard low speed pre-collision safety system. Like the Corolla iM, the Yaris iA will have a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission options. The car has been named an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ and gets an EPA estimated 32 city/ 40 highway/ 35 combined MPG for the automatic version and 30 city/ 39 highway/ 34 combined for the manual.

2017 Toyota 86

The 2017 Toyota 86 is a sports car through and through. With the rebranding, the car will get a more aggressive sports car styling, but will keep the 2.0-liter aluminum boxer-type four-cylinder engine that delivers 205 hp at 7,000 rpm and 156 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 6,400 rpm. The car comes standard with a 6 speed manual transmission, although an automatic version will also be available. Stay connected with standard Display Audio which features a 7-inch touchscreen display (which integrates the rearview camera), 8-speaker Pioneer audio system, Bluetooth® for hands-free phone capability and music streaming, HD Radio™, iPod® connectivity and AUX and USB inputs. The new 86 will come with the STAR Safety System™ which features an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Traction Control (TRAC), Brake Assist (BA), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Smart Stop Technology (SST).

Living up to the name

Some may remember the ‘AE86’, the global name for the Toyota Corolla GT-S that was sold in the US in the mid-1980s. In Japan the car was known as “hachi-roku” meaning 8-6. Ironically, the engine in the 86 has 86 mm bore and stroke dimensions, allowing the 86 to fully embody its name.

Stay tuned to see when these newly rebranded models hit our storeroom! For more Wilde Toyota news, Follow Wilde Toyota on Twitter or Like us on Facebook.

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The Toyota Camry and Sienna Rate Highly in American-Made Index

The Toyota Camry and Sienna Rate Highly in American-Made Index

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Cars.com recently released their 2016 American-Made Index and the Toyota Camry took the top spot with the Toyota Sienna taking third place. This is the second consecutive year that the Toyota Camry has claimed the top spot and its sixth time appearing on the list, while the Toyota Sienna is considered a regular on this list. The Cars.com American-Made Index rates vehicles built and bought in the U.S. using factors such as– the percentage of parts considered domestic under federal regulations (determined by the 1992 AALA and includes Canada in domestic ratings), U.S. sales, and where the car is assembled. Models with a domestic-parts content rating below 75%, models built exclusively outside of the U.S. or models soon to be discontinued without a U.S. built successor are all disqualified.

According to the NHTSA, the Toyota Camry has a domestic-parts content at 75%. The Camry is assembled at the largest Toyota vehicle manufacturing plant in the world, located in Georgetown, Ky. This plant has the capacity to produce 550,000 vehicles and 600,000 engines. Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations said about this recognition, “This recognition from Cars.com is a tribute to Toyota employees, not only those at the plant who build the Camry, but the broader Toyota team who design, engineer, market and finance the vehicle in the United States. We also support local suppliers and economies, and we have invested more than $6 billion into our Kentucky operations alone, which is growing with our new production engineering campus under construction there.”

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Toyota Sienna at Wilde Toyota

The Toyota Sienna has been Named in Parent’s Magazine Best Family Cars of 2016

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The Toyota Sienna has been named in Parents Magazine, in conjunction with Edmunds.com, in their Best Family Cars of 2016 feature in the Best Minivan category. Parents Magazine writes about the Sienna, “The endlessly roomy Sienna stands above its competitors for two reasons: It’s the only one with available all-wheel drive, and the especially user-friendly controls help you stay focused on the road. Its library-quiet cabin makes for a soothing ride, while a powerful V6 supplies quick acceleration. The Limited version (which starts at $41,900) features second-row captain’s chairs with reclining chair–style footrests, along with a rear-seat entertainment system that eliminates bickering by allowing siblings to watch two different media sources at the same time. And if you need to bring the thunder, the optional Driver Easy Speak system broadcasts the driver’s voice through the rear speakers.”

The rankings were based on factors including quality of ride; safety; comfort and capacity; fuel efficiency; kid-friendly features; price and value; reliability; interior and exterior workmanship; visibility, controls and instrumentation; and attributes such as appearance, ergonomics and special design features that set the cars apart. For the 2016 Sienna, Toyota made several technological enhancements including: upgrades to the Entune multimedia head units that integrate Siri® Eyes Free mode, and a new Connected Navigation Scout® GPS App Link for Entune® Audio Plus, which uses a smartphone to provide navigation functionality through the head unit. The Sienna also comes with the standard Toyota Star Safety System which equips the minivan with Anti-lock Brakes, Electronic Brake-Force Distribution, Brake Assist, enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, and Smart Stop Technology.

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Toyota EPA

Toyota Earns 12th Consecutive EPA Energy Star Partner of the Year Award

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Toyota has won its 12th consecutive EPA Energy Star Partner of the Year Award. We’ve discussed much of Toyota’s efforts to create a greener earth, including the fuel-cell Mirai. In 2000, Toyota revised their Earth Charter which continues to strive for “growth in harmony with nature,” “zero emissions,” and “building close and cooperative relationships” with a wide range of stakeholders interested in preserving the environment. Since 2002, Toyota has saved over 16 billion kilowatt hours of electricity– equivalent to powering 995,000 American homes for an entire year! Toyota’s Plant and Environmental Engineering Group General Manager Robin Haugen said about the award, “Being named an Energy Star Partner of the Year is a tremendous honor. Earning that honor twelve years in a row is testament to the dedication of our team members to reduce our carbon footprint and become an environmental leader in our industry.”

In their North American Environmental Report, Toyota outlined its five major focuses (Carbon, Water, Materials, Biodiversity, and Outreach) and how it has gone about achieving improvement in those areas. Some specific examples of Toyota’s energy reduction efforts include:

  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi – Chiller System Efficiency Improvements
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia – Compressed Air System Efficiency Improvements
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky – HVAC Variable Frequency Drives
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas – Compressed Air System Efficiency Improvements, Paint Process Water       
  • Reduction and replacement of paint department overhead lighting with LED
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada – Natural Gas Steam Turbines with Heat Recovery & Paint Process Humidification Efficiency Improvements

These adjustments have lead to a total cost saving of more than 82 million dollars for the past fiscal year! Since 2002, Toyota has saved more than $640 million and reduced their overall energy consumption by 35%. These adjustments, supported by Toyota’s senior leadership, include replacing fluorescent light fixtures and HVAC control systems with more energy efficient types.

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toyota consumer reports

Consumer Reports 2016 Top Ten: Sienna and Camry

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Consumer Reports has named the Toyota Sienna and Toyota Camry in its Top Ten Picks for 2016. Consumer Reports chooses the vehicles based on four categories: performance, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety. In order to qualify in the performance category, the vehicle must rank at or near the top of its class in Consumer Reports’s road-test score. In the safety category, it is paramount that the vehicle performs effectively in crash tests performed by the government and insurance agencies like IIHS. Over 230,000 people were surveyed regarding their overall satisfaction with their vehicle for the owner satisfaction category. The reliability category required that the vehicles have at least an average reliability based on top concerns decided in the 2015 auto survey, which was conducted on over 740,000 vehicles. From all this data, Consumer Reports compiled their list of its Top Ten Picks for 2016.

In the mid-sized car category, the Toyota Camry received an overall score of 83-84. Consumer Reports writes about the Camry, “The Camry’s no-fuss driving experience–great outward visibility, controls that fall easily to hand, a roomy interior–may not be the most thrilling in the class, but its far from plain. A quiet cabin, slick powertrains, a comfortable ride, and sound handling make it pleasant and capable.”

In the minivan category, the Toyota Sienna received an overall score of 78-80. Consumer reports writes about the Sienna, “Most people don’t dream of minivans, but the Sienna is super-reliable transport with all of the modern features an active, connected family would want. Its spacious and multifunctional interior, with available seating for eight, mates well with the Sienna’s magic carpet ride and energetic powertrain. Available all-wheel drive removes the excuse for buying a less practical SUV. Let the neighbors poke gentle fun at your capitulation to family realities. Soon enough they’ll be begging to borrow your Sienna to make a Home Depot run.”

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Toyota Wins Best Cars for the Money

Toyota Wins in Best Cars for the Money Awards

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U.S. News and World Reports has released their list of Best Cars for the Money 2016. Toyota has won in the following categories: Midsize Sedan for the Toyota Camry, Wagons for the Toyota Prius, and Hybrid SUVs for the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. The award is determined by a combination of quality and value. Quality is determined from data from the Best Car rankings which are based on reviews from the automotive press, as well as safety and reliability data. Value is determined by a collaboration between TrueCar, which reports the average prices people are paying for cars, and Vincentric, which reports on the cost of ownership. Common ownership costs are gathered from different factors like cost of gas, insurance, and repairs over five years. The vehicle with the highest combination of both value and quality wins the overall award.

Toyota also won for another list put out by U.S. News and World Reports, Best Cars for the Family. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid won for the Hybrid SUV Category. The winning vehicles are determined by having the best combination of positive reviews from professional automotive writers, passenger and cargo space, excellent safety and reliability data, and available family-friendly features. Over 256 new cars, SUVs, and minivans currently on sale were evaluated for the 21 different categories, with the winner being the vehicle with the highest composite score.

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Toyota Setsuna

Toyota Has Built A Wooden Concept Car

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Toyota has been playing around with new materials lately (the origami cardboard Lexus or Lexus on Ice). This experimentation has moved to the Toyota Brand where a new concept car has been made our of wood. This concept, the Toyota Setsuna, looks surprisingly like a boat with its wooden exterior and rounded front. What is even more interesting is that Toyota employed a Japanese style of building that doesn’t utilize nails or screws to build the body of the car. The wooden car will debut at Milan Design Week in Italy, an annual event also known as Salone del Mobile, where furniture manufacturers and fashion brands gather to showcase their interesting new designs.

The word Setsuna means moment in Japanese and is meant to capitalize on the moments that we spend in the car and the aging and growing process of life. Japanese woods like cedar, birch, and elm are utilized for the siding and flooring. The Setsuna is a roadster that can be adjusted for different heights. Although the car is electric, Toyota has not gone through the process of making it street legal because it has no plans to sell the vehicle. Toyota’s Tokyo-based spokesperson Leela McMullen, said to Forbes, the goal is “to collect feedback from a wide range of people—including experts such as cutting-edge designers and creators, as well as the general public—and maybe even use the results in developing future vehicles.”

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Toyota wins KBB Best Buy Awards

Toyota Wins Big with KBB’s Best Buy Awards

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Toyota has won in various categories for Kelley Blue Book’s Best Buy Awards, almost one car per category! The first category Toyota has won in is for small cars with the 2016 Toyota Corolla. Experts at KBB explain the success of this small car, “The interior materials are high-quality, and the rear seats were the roomiest of anyone’s in our Best Buy field of compact cars.”

The Toyota Mirai placed in the electric car/hybrid category. Its limited availability and the limited availability of its fuel source prevent it from winning the category, but the experts did have this to say about the car, “Based on Toyota’s New Global Architecture and fitted with a 153-hp electric motor fed by a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell, the 4-passenger midsize Mirai rides and handles smartly.”

In the full-size SUV category, the 2016 Toyota Sequoia placed due to its roomy interior while in the Mid-Size SUV category the 2016 Toyota Highlander placed due to its powerful V6 engine and hybrid option. Furthermore, of all its competitors, the Highlander had the most user-friendly infotainment system. For the full-size category, the 2016 Toyota Avalon placed due to its V6 engine, roomy interior, and trunk size, but it also had the best fuel economy of the group.

For Pick-up Trucks, the 2016 Toyota Tacoma has placed due to its new engine and frame updates which give it better off-road capabilities. The KBB editors say, “The Toyota Tacoma has been the sales leader in the midsize truck segment for quite a while now, due in no small part to its rock-solid reliability and go-anywhere capability.” In the minivan category, the 2016 Toyota Sienna placed due to its multiple styling options, “The XLE adds luxury, while the Sienna SE and SE Premium add a bit of sport to the van world with unique styling cues inside and out. Plus, there’s the fact that the 2016 Toyota Sienna is the only minivan on the market to offer all-wheel drive, albeit only in 7-passenger models.”

The 2016 Toyota Camry placed in the Mid-Size car category. Its ability to fulfill various needs and its practicality really allow it to stand out. The experts say, “If you’re living a one-car existence and need that one car for everything from commuting to comfortable family vacations, the 2016 Toyota Camry volunteers.”

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