Archive for May, 2009

2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid Review – a Review of the 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid Automobile

The 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid is both technologically advanced and practical, with several new features that make the model a vehicle of safety and convenience. Impressive new features include the standard Smart Key System, which automatically unlocks the door as the driver approaches, and also continually variable transmission, which allows for smoother shifting on the drive.

The 2008 Camry Hybrid offers several standard safety features, including front, side and rear curtain airbags, and tire-pressure monitoring. Its novel Vehicle Stability Control assists drivers in maintaining control during adverse conditions. The Camry Hybrid, though sleek, contains a family-friendly design. It comes standard with child-protector rear door locks and a rear seat Child Restraint System, which lowers anchors and top tether brackets.

Halogen headlamps, a power sliding moonroof and a blackout sport grill add to the striking appearance of the Camry Hybrid. Convenient features include heated outside mirrors and integrated front fog lamps.

For interior comfort, there’s heated front seats, air conditioning and a 60/40 fold-down rear seat. The Camry Hybrid comes standard with an AM/FM CD player with WMA/MP3 playback capability and an in-glass antenna. Other options include a JBL 6-disc in-dash changer and satellite radio capability. Bluetooth capability, wireless technology, and up to six speakers for optimum FM quality also are available.

Toyota includes in each Camry Hybrid a multi-information display with ECO Drive Level, hybrid system energy flow, outside temperature, average fuel economy, driving range, average speed and travel distance since start. The Camry Hybrid’s system runs on 187-horse power, making it a powerful ride for a smaller vehicle. Another payoff is the fuel economy, with the Camry Hybrid getting 33/34 mpg.

Toyota’s 2008 Camry Hybrid is a vehicle combining safety, practicality and affordability, making it likely a top-buy for next year’s consumer.

Archive for May, 2009

Five New Speed Machines From Toyota in 2009

toyota matrix
Speed racers, get ready to zoom now. Toyota is all set to gear up with the new speed beauties. Confirmed to be on the roads by 2009, the new auto machines are well equipped with advanced technology and coming-of-age design. Try out the features of the latest hot wheels.





FJ Cruiser:

Roll-sensing side curtain airbags

Active front-seat headrests

Electric stability control with a cut-off switch

This is not all. Toyota is also planning for a rear-wheel-drive sports coupe to be available in 2011. Till then, get busy and brush up with these new wheel-pieces!

The latest Toyota Cruiser is available in three new colors. Other interesting features include,
Toyota is going to introduce the 5-door yaris model. The standard features of the 2009 Yaris model will include antilock brakes, front-seat-mounted side airbags and side curtain airbags.
The all new Matrix mini wagon is now available in Standard, S and XRS models. The S grade will offer optional all-wheel drive. The XRS comes with a 2.4 liter engine and 158 horsepower.
The 2009 Toyota Avalon model is ready to hit the road with better and more advanced equipments. Some of its impressive features include electronic stability control, emergency braking assist and standard satellite radio pre-wiring for the stereo. It also contains active headrests fro the driver and front passenger.
The 10th-gen Toyota Corolla is powered by a 132 horsepower 1.8 liter engine. The brand new model is available in Standard, LE, XLE and S grades. The old XRS model is going to shape up with a big 2.4 liter engine with 158 horsepower.

By: Toyota USA Blog

Archive for May, 2009

Toyota Cars

toyota matrix
Its new status as the world’s second-largest motor manufacturer after General Motors, Toyota is celebrating by expending its already-board model range still further; this includes the long-awaited debut of its acclaimed Lexus brand in Japan. New large sedans are about to be unveiled in Japan and in Europe the small car market has several new models due to arrive in the next year or so. Being all things to all people is a tough act to follow, though, and some industry critics are concerned that Toyota might be about to ‘do a Mitsubishi’ and over-stretch itself. We reckon such fears are unfounded, and can expect consolidation of its Number Two status. Part of Toyota’s success is attributable to the new brands it has launched (Scion as well as Lexus) the core strength of its success is attributable to an enviable reputation for quality and durability. They may be unexciting in appearance and specifications, but Toyotas are the Volvos of the eastern world. CAMRY From some angles Camry looks like Honda Accord than the Honda does. Toyota’s everyman mid-sized sedan is offered in a variety of formats, all of which use the same four door sedan body shell. The XLE is at the luxury end of the market, whilst the SE does what its aggressive front spoiler suggests-behaves sportingly. This later car is by a along way the best handling. Performance from entry level engine, a 2.4 litre four, is satisfactory, but to get the best from the car it is necessary to head to top of the list and invest in a 3.3 V6. COROLLA An undistinguished-looking car (from some angles there is a nod to the old model Audi A3, from others a look of Mazda 3) Corolla is the world’s best-selling car. Quite why nobody has been able to work out; the answer probably lies in its apparently endless number of body and driveline permutations. The smaller-engine models are underpowered but miserly with fuel, whilst the top-line 109PS variant is livelier without being too thirsty. Adding some more power to the output of the T-Sport would help matters along- but they haven’t done so. LANDCRUISER Freshly revised, the land cruiser is a robust and dependable machine as it is best in wheelbase form; the shorter three door is a little lacking ability on tracks, and also pitches and rolls a little too much for comfort on the tarmac. The Landcruiser’s reputation was forged on its ability of road, and this version continues to be as good as its predecessors were. Quality of interior trim is high is as the level of standard equipment. If you are planning to cross the Sahara or take the short route across the Alps, this is the machine that should be at or near the top of your list. MATRIX The first of the new wave of small MPVs (multi-purpose vehicles from Toyota the nose of the Matrix bears the passing resemblance to Europe and Japans Corolla Verso. From the side it is very distinct, with big and bold lines swaged into the body work. Two engines are offered; a 1310PS four, and highly-tuned version of that same 1.8 litre four that delivers 170PS. This later engine, when paired with six speed gearbox and sports suspension system, makes for a quite exciting time, not least because the drive goes through the front wheels only; other Matrix models have the same option of four wheel drive.

By: Toyota USA Blog

Archive for May, 2009

Toyota Camry Hybrid Tops Safety Rating

All-new Toyota Camry Hybrid, the powerful redesigned version of a 4-door sedan, tops the safety rating for front and side crash protection. It was rated five out of five stars safety rating. 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid was given seven standard airbags which include knee airbag. The latter is also used to keep the driver in the right seat position in case of frontal crash.

Aside from its safety rating, the most obvious difference of Toyota Camry is the drive feel. In its newest version, said car was made more refined and quiet. With just a touch of the standard push-button, the driver can experience the difference. However, the downside of it is passed on to the pedestrians. The latter must be cautious enough to notice Camry Hybrid coming up from behind.

The car is equipped with .4-liter, I4, 192-horsepower, hybrid engine that yields 40-mpg in the city and 38-mpg on the highway. Camry Hybrid is given the latest Hybrid Synergy Drive system with state-of-the art electronics that is capable of mixing electric power with gas engine power, when needed. The 105-kilowatt electric motor can instantly yield 199 pound-feet of torque for easy and smooth acceleration. Camry Hybrid is also given a quieter interior for a more tranquil ride.

Compared to Toyota Prius, which has a combined 110 hp from its electric or gas system and a 5-door hatchback design, Camry Hybrid serves less mileage. The ratings for Prius are 60 mpg city/51 mpg highway.

Camry Hybrid weighs 3,680 pounds. Said car weighs less than Prius and Accord. Its trunk space loses approximately 4.6 cubic feet than the gasoline-only Camry. To reduce the trunk space, the battery pack is placed behind the rear seats.

So far, Camry Hybrids have more than 17, 300 sales just for this year. The suggested retail price of Camry Hybrid is $26,480. It includes continuously variable transmission (CVT), up level ergonomics and amenities like the 8-way power driver’s seat.

Archive for May, 2009

Fixing Those Springs for Celica Gt-s

In hooking up a car, a set of lowering springs is a must. The springs have to be firm, but not too stiff. How many times have you seen lowered cars bouncing up and down? or more specifically, while the car is moving? When the car bounces, its contact patch gets inconsistent, increasing the chances of the tire losing complete grip, which is definitely not good. If the tire were to skip off the pavement for a split second while going into a turn, you could lose control of your car and wreck it.

Eibach has been manufacturing springs since 1951 and they make performance springs for almost every car out there. Two kits are offered for the Celica GT-S: Pro-Kit and Sport line. Pro-Kits would have lowered the car a little more than an inch. If you are on going with larger 17-inch wheels, Eibach recommends that you go with Sport lines, which lowers the car 1.8 inches up front and 2.4 inches out back. When using the Sportline kit, it is highly suggested that Eibach’s alignment kit is installed to bring the camber specs back into spec.

Here are the steps in fixing the spring for Celica GT-S from the folks at

1. Start off by removing the rear interior panels.

2. After the panels are out, remove the bolts holding the strut/spring to the strut tower.

3. Same goes for the front assembly.

4. Remove the lower bolts that hold the lower control arms to the upper links. Don’t try and push the LCA down to facilitate room for the removal of the strut/spring assembly.

5. Moving to the front of the car, use a strap to hold the axle in the tranny. When removing the strut, gravity pulls the suspension out to full droop, and can potentially yank the axle out.

6. Pull out the strut/spring assembly.

7. Mark each strut to be sure you don’t mix them up.

8. Measure the bump stop and trim off the appropriate amount. Eibach includes instructions on how much should be trimmed.

9. The bumps top sawed the appropriate amount off. The reason the bumps top is shortened is to give you additional suspension travel. Since the car will obviously sit lower, you’ll lose a bit of travel if you leave the bumpstops at their stock length. Do not remove the bumpstops.

10. Put the washers and remain the hardware back on the strut, paying close attention to the order.

11. The top of the strut shaft has a flat portion that you need to pay attention to. A lot of times, users will just smash the upper mount and be happy with a force fit. Don’t do it Chip!

12. Install the OEM rubber dust boot and upper mount. This is the front assembly, but the same thing goes for the rear.

13. Before you tighten down all the bolts, be sure to align the spring seat properly. Then it is done!

If you need to know more of this, visit the site on Eibach Brand.

By: Toyota USA Blog

Archive for May, 2009

The Best Cars for your Teens

toyota matrix
Teenage life involves several explorations. This is the time of one’s life where many of life’s crucial discoveries occur. And this is also the start of their wanting to own a car.

With summer season just around the corner, this is probably the best time to give your teens the car they want. But it is understandable for parents like you to have scattered ideas as to what car to buy. As you always remind your children when they were still small, safety is still the top priority in looking for the right car for your teens. Other factors such as price, economy of operation and reliability are just under the SAFETY umbrella.

But your teens, since they have not yet experienced much you did, would prefer styling and performance when looking for one. In this case, it is better to look for a vehicle that offers the characteristics that both you and your teens prefer, without compromising safety.

But you must take note that high-performance cars are often too dangerous for inexperienced young drivers. Plus, these cars consume a lot of gasoline. Performance, therefore, should be the last priority. This is also to ensure practicality.

Teens should have safe vehicles. And it goes with saying that larger vehicles are better; they will burn more fuel, though. Safety experts agree on that. And the larger the vehicle and the bigger the amount of cargo, the more fuel it burns.

Consumer Reports editors identify a list of new and used vehicles as appropriate for young or teen drivers. The 10 bests are the Ford Focus (from 2002 to present, except two-door models), Honda Accord EX four-cylinder (1998 to present), Honda Civic EX, Mazda 3, Mazda Protege ES (1999-2003), Nissan Altima 2.5 S four-cylinder (2003 or later), Subaru Forester 2.5X, Toyota Camry XLE V-6 and LE four-cylinder, Toyota Corolla LE (1999-present) and the Toyota RAV4 (models 2001- present).

Though larger cars imply a huge safety, Consumer Reports did not list trucks, only two SUVs and both are car-based compact crossovers. The magazine also does not recommend anything more than a four-cylinder engine for teen drivers.

Consumer Reports believes that they had a pretty good list in terms of reliability and economy of operation.

Really, the more high-performance the car is, the faster the teen driver will drive it. And the faster it goes, the higher is the risk of accidents.

The magazine understands that because of the size factors in crashes, there are strong arguments for putting teens in mid- or full-size pickups rather than in small cars such as the Focus, Civic and Corolla.

G. Chambers Williams III, a New York Times Editor, said that the more steel the kids have around with them whenever they are on the road, the higher is the possibility of their survival in a crash. Another point he would like to defend is that teens should go for pickups with only a front bench seat or a pair of bucket seats. According to him, the back seats are important for the occupants who might be a major distraction to the teen driver if they opt for the front seats. And if you opt for a vehicle with a pair of bucket or dash seats, your teen will be able to take just one other person along. And that is not fun for some teens.

Chevrolet Silverado Classic and Ford F-150 and other brand-new regular-cab full-size pickups cost about $25,000 or less. This cost is about just the same when you opt for a new small car. The editor also recommends compact-midsize pickups, which are usually less expensive than the full-size models and easier to operate. Most of these are offered with ample fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines. And that is what economy means.

Famous for their long-term reliability and economy of operation, the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier, Ford Rangers, Chevrolet S10s, GMC Sonomas and the new Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyons are among the options. The Mazda B-series trucks with quality Mazda exhaust gasket also belongs to the choices.

G. Chambers Williams III said writes that when you balance the rollover potential with the overall structural safety of SUVs, these vehicles might also be a good choice for some teens. Vehicles like RAV4, Honda CR-V, Honda Element, Mitsubishi Outlander, Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner/Mazda Tribute, Chevrolet Equinox/Pontiac Torrent/Saturn Vue, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Santa Fe and Hyundai Tucson are examples of crossovers that you might also want to consider.

He also suggests Nissan Xterra, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota 4Runner because according to him, these are the best truck-based SUVs. Latest wagon models such as the Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe, Suzuki Forenza, Scion xB and Scion xA are also recommended. He stated that those aforementioned smaller vehicles provide few structural protections but they offer higher economy operation.

All V6 engine using cars are also recommended because they are fun to drive, at the same time economical. Examples of this are the Mustang, Mazda 3 and the Altima – the last two are in the latest Consumer Reports list. The magazine also stated that all Volkswagen models are fun to drive as well as economical on gas.

Those were Consumer Reports’ recommended vehicles. But the last decision is still in your hands. Just choose the right one; the vehicle that will not compromise your teens’ safety. After all, that is what parents always remind their kids: “Take care!”

By: Toyota USA Blog

Archive for May, 2009

Toyota Camry – Cng Plus Hybrid Power Equals Wow!

Of all of the hundreds of vehicles on display at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, one of the most intriguing to me was the compressed natural gas powered Toyota Camry Hybrid concept. Toyota, which had a press conference for their luxury Lexus brand during the press days which I attended (but not for Toyota or Scion) still managed to display the hybrid Camry, a car not like any other one at the show. But, the concept Camry could one day prove to be a very popular model if certain energy initiatives come to pass. Please read on to learn about the natural gas powered Camry and how this car could revolutionize the way that we drive.

Toyota is a leader when it comes to hybrid technology, producing the gas-electric Prius and other models including the Camry. But, a natural gas-electric hybrid Camry is a new idea, one that hasn’t been considered for production until now.

According to Toyota, compressed natural gas produces lower particulate emissions, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and non-methane organic gases and less CO2 per unit of energy when compared to gasoline. It can also run at higher compression ratio and is quickly dispersed into the atmosphere should a leak occur.

Best of all, natural gas is one resource in abundant supply in the US and costs as much as 40% less than gasoline. So, why aren’t natural gas cars being produced?

That’s easy: the infrastructure for natural gas is currently not in place, with fewer than 1000 refueling stations nationwide. Under half of those stations aren’t open to the public, making refueling difficult if not impossible in some areas of the country.

If the federal government commits to expanding our natural gas infrastructure then the chances of the Toyota CNG hybrid going into production improves. This is something the next Administration will want to tackle as natural gas burns cleaner and reduces our dependency on foreign sources of oil, especially oil purchased from countries who are openly hostile to our way of life.

The displayed Camry concept is powered by the standard 2.4L, 4-cylinder engine found in base model Camry’s today. With Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive, the gasoline fuel system is replaced with a compressed natural gas system, the main difference between the two hybrid Camry models.

Producing 170 horsepower, the CNG Camry Hybrid would get nearly identical fuel economy to the gas electric Hybrid, 33 combined fuel economy. Two compressed natural gas fuel tanks are stored in the spare tire well area of the car, safely removing the tanks from view. To make up for a lack of a spare tire, Toyota outfitted the Camry with Bridgestone run flat tires, but I could see a spare tire holder fitted into the trunk lid which would be a smart as well as attractive touch for the CNG hybrid Camry.

Alas, the CNG hybrid Camry will not go into production anytime soon, other than perhaps for regional availability in markets such as Southern California which can support these types of vehicles. With gas prices being so low again, a compressed natural gas car isn’t ideal right now but it could be when gas prices start climbing again next Spring. By then, the Obama Administration may have a new energy policy in place, one that embraces alternative fuel sources including compressed natural gas.

Copyright 2008-2012 — Matthew C. Keegan is the owner of a successful writing and marketing business based in North Carolina, USA. He manages several websites and is a contributing writer for Andy’s Auto Sport, a retailer of quality body kits and other fine aftermarket parts.

By: Toyota USA Blog

Archive for May, 2009

Toyota Use GPS Tracking In Their Warehouses

A company called Gulf States has managed to help Toyota keep track of their delivery of vehicles to car dealers in America. Toyota has over 190,000 vehicles going through their warehouse each year and it is a big job to organise this.

Using a vehicle tracking system called WhereNet they have been able to avoid extending their already huge warehouse facility. This was going to be a necessity, so that they could cope with the number of vehicles. Now they are so much more efficient due to the WhereNet GPS tracking system that they do not need to build new warehouses. This has saved Toyota a fortune. They can now cope with more vehicles than they are currently dealing with.

The reason for the increased efficiency is due to the fact that staff do not have to constantly walk the premises looking for different vehicles that need delivering to the dealers. They can simply track them throughout the warehouse from the office. Therefore they now know where all the vehicles are and can locate them in a fraction of the time.

GPS tracking is used for a whole host of activities, but this has to be one of the more unusual uses for the technology.

Archive for May, 2009

Toyota Grabs Its First Pole Position in Nascar

toyota racing
For the first time this season, Toyota has earned its NASCAR Nextel Cup pole position, thanks to Dave Blaney, who drove his No. 22 Caterpillar Toyota Camry and set the fastest lap time in the recent practice test that took place at the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon.

Blaney pushed his Toyota “Car of Tomorrow” Camry equipped with Toyota Sway Bar Link to reach a maximum speed of 129.437 mph, and clocked in at 29.426 leaving other drivers behind. Blaney’s achievement is a milestone for Toyota Racing team as this is the first time that a Toyota car obtained a pole finish. Dave Blaney will put his Toyota Camry in the number 1 starting position at the upcoming Lenox Industrial Tools 300 race this coming July.

Check out what Dave Blaney said after the qualifying race.

“It feels good to get the first pole for Toyota and hopefully this is the first step in many successful days of poles and wins. We’ve been good all day and been getting a lot of speed out of the car. All of the Toyotas have been real good lately and Brian Vickers has had some good runs lately too. The Toyota side is definitely working hard and I just can’t thank everyone at Bill Davis Racing enough. Especially Tommy Baldwin, Bill Davis, Mike Brown and everybody. We’ve had a trying year with problems and DNFs. It’s been tough being out of the top-35 because it’s hard to concentrate on the races when you have to concentrate on getting into them. This is a big confidence booster for the whole team and any day where you can build confidence in your entire team and driver makes for a good day.”

The press asked Blaney if he already had the feeling that he would grab the pole, and he said:

“I watched everybody early and I saw that some of their speeds were falling off some from practice. I wasn’t sure what we could run and I knew we didn’t really change anything from practice. But in my situation I have to focus on getting into the race more than going for the pole. I can’t make a mistake and risk not getting into the race. I was a little conservative on my first lap, but when I found out that it was fast enough to get into the show — I gave that second lap a little more and I was able to put it on top of the board. It’s a tough position to be in because you have to be cautious enough to get it, but aggressive enough to get in the race. But yeah – I thought we could get the pole.”

NASCAR fans will surely watch out for the upcoming race in Loudon and see if Dave Blaney can give his Toyota team its first NASCAR victory.

Archive for May, 2009

Five Toyota New Concept Vehicles: in Brief

toyota racing
Toyota proves to be still one of the most famous automobile brands in the industry. Five of its surely most awaited concept vehicles include the PM, NLSV, Hybrid X, FT-SX, and the FT-HS.

The PM is a personal mobility vehicle that fits car race. Its very small appearance makes it very sporty yet stylish. According to the Toyota website, the car’s cutting-edge vehicle-to-vehicle communications technologies are employed under the concept of “meeting, linking and hanging out together”.

The NLSV meanwhile, features a huge, wireless electric sliding door on the passenger side and a flatter and wider floor. On the exterior, it has a narrow bumper, but the interior is exceptionally wide.

Toyota rewrites the rules for conceptualizing hybrid cars in its production of the Hybrid X. The company says Hybrid X might establish the norm in building hybrid cars in the future. A key concept on this vehicle is the Vibrant Clarity. It is a design establishing all design works in a unique and emotionally vibrant identity that definitely speaks of Toyota.

It offers sustainable mobility for modern families. Through this car, Toyota is making one step closer to its vision of a zero smog-forming emission future because of its environmentally advanced technology.

Inside the car, the driver sets the mood using an internal interface that controls lighting, and music. Complete driver control is experienced through technological innovations in interactive navigation, driving information and comfort control.

Resembling a tamed tiger, the FT-SX is an exploration of an entirely new genre of automobile. This car delivers complete function, luxury and sporty performance, and is conveyed visually by its imposing size and sleek silhouette. Making it incredibly versatile are the powerful V6 engine, all-wheel drive, 21-inch wheels, four doors, an inventive rear hatch and multi-functional glass roof.

Loading large and heavy objects is easy in this car. A loading tray that automatically extends when the lower hatch is opened makes the rear cargo area extremely user-friendly.

The interior has a sleek, sporty design of the exterior, with “flying speed board” gauge clusters. Added to this is the luxury of natural woods, soft leathers and durable metals.

Finally, the FT-HS — according to Toyota, the

car answers the question “What sports car suits the 21st century concept?” The FT-HS is a mid-priced sports car that integrates ecology and emotion, pairing a potent hybrid power train with essential sports-car fundamentals.

Using a powerful V6 3.5L engine, the FT-HS is coupled with Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive to produce a target power output of approximately 400 horsepower and a projected zero-to-60 acceleration in the four-second range.

The roof has a distinctive scooped-out section designed to reduce aerodynamic drag and provide head room at the key areas.

The FT-HS’s interior features “create a dedicated driver’s cockpit” that includes a cross-car instrument panel structure and delta-wing driver pod. Creating an enclosed pod effect an integrated instrument panel surrounds the driver. When the roof retracts, the 4 seats are converted to a seat good for two. This is another milestone from Toyota.

Common among this 5 and the other new concept cars are the well enhanced Toyota mufflers.