I, with the help of the Autos.ca team, am conducting a three-month, long-term test of Toyota’s newest — and smallest — hybrid model, the Prius C. Click here to read my Autos.ca Long-Term Introduction of this car.
Category Archives: Toyota
Those who don’t “get” Toyota’s Prius probably never will. For those who do, though, there’s even more to like in the 2012 Prius V, one of two new variants added to this hybrid poster child’s lineup. Read my Quick Spin review at Autos.ca.
The 2012 Toyota Yaris takes the idea of a basic car to new levels. Overall, it’s easier to like than its predecessor, but the redesign doesn’t address a couple of the old car’s key flaws. Read my Autos.ca review here.
What’s in a name? An awful lot if yours is Camry.
This mid-sized Toyota has practically defined the term “family car” since it was introduced in the early 1980s, its name becoming closely-associated with things like reliable, practical and generally awesome.
Click here to read what I think about buying a used Toyota Avalon, an entry-level luxury sedan that fits somewhere above the Camry, but below Toyota’s Lexus “real” luxury line. It’s a supremely comfortable sedan that renders the similar Lexus ES irrelevant in many ways. However, this is one of the cars that reveals the recent cracks in Toyota’s long-standing reputation for reliability, with a handful of uncharacteristic problems, one of which could prove costly in the long run.
Click here to read why I really want to like the Matrix, but have a hard time getting there.
As a vehicle type, the minivan is nearly 30 years old. Therefore, most of the major innovations have come and, if they were good ideas, stuck around. Think along the lines of dual sliding doors, seats that fold away into the floor and, gimmicky as it might be, the swivelling second row seats and hideaway table offered in the Dodge Grand Caravan.
So, what’s left? Not much, but a handful of manufacturers have included a couple of small, but useful, features in their recently-redesigned minivans.
In the Honda Odyssey, the second-row seats can move a few inches side-to-side, providing space to set three child seats across. And here’s a why-didn’t-I-think-of-that feature: a garbage bag ring that folds out of the back of the front-seat centre console – no more searching for an out-of-the-way place to hang a trash bag during those rolling road-trip fast-food lunches.
Every minivan available at the moment has a third-row seat that folds away into the floor; the cavity it fits into can be used for cargo when the seat is upright. But Nissan did something unique in its 2011 Quest by designing the seat to fold forward, instead of toward the back, leaving that storage well free even when the seat is stowed. Hard panels that fit over the opening provide out-of-sight storage for valuables.
Less practical, but still cool, is the second-row lounge seat that can be optioned into the Toyota Sienna, creating the kind of luxurious seating normally reserved for ultra-luxury sedans.
What will they think of next for this most versatile of vehicle type? We’ll have to wait a few years, until the next round of redesigns, to find out.