Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Added to Lineup

Toyota is adding a new hybrid to the lineup. This will be the eighth hybrid the automaker has made available in the United States. Meet the 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. This is a first for the RAV4 brand.

Toyota RAV4 HybridThe compact SUV segment is extremely popular and Toyota knows it. Sales are better than ever, which is why Toyota is aiming to please customer requests. The hybrid model is expected to have more horsepower and better fuel efficiency than the gasoline RAV4. The RAV4 is also the first hybrid available in its segment, something sure to grab attention.

“The RAV4 hybrid will be targeted towards young adventure-seeking couples looking for a vehicle that provides utility, versatility, capability and excellent fuel efficiency,” Toyota said.

Toyota sold more than 267,000 RAV4s last year. So far, sales through March have reached around 67,000. The RAV4 Hybrid will be available in two trims: XLE and Limited. Both trims feature all-wheel drive systems. Upon release, 17 inch wheels will be available and a total of six exterior colors will be offered.

If you can’t wait for the hybrid and need one of the most popular compact SUVs in America, you can always check out the gasoline RAV4 here.

Hybrid Toyota RAV4 Makes Appearance at New York Auto Show

For years, the Toyota RAV4 has been basically synonymous with the small SUV segment. The vehicle’s roominess, equal capability on and off the road, and reliability has made it a perennial best-seller. Now you can add EV technology and efficiency to its resume as well. At the New York Auto Show, the brand revealed a hybrid Toyota RAV4 version for the first time.

Hybrid Toyota RAV4With a Highlander Hybrid already on the market and a promise to bring hybrid capability to the entire Toyota lineup, this move is not much of a surprise. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not exciting to see a RAV4, our favorite small SUV, equipped with a hybrid powertrain setup. We’ll get more details about the car’s expected performance and availability soon, but for now we’re content to imagine what Toyota, the maker of the Prius, can do with a hybrid version of an SUV.

The brand originally brought an all-electric version of the SUV to market, but that model was discontinued when Tesla stopped making the batteries necessary for the vehicle. Here at Phil Wright Toyota, we think it’s better this way, though. Most SUV owners need the freedom of a gas-powered car, but they can all use the help they can get saving money on that gas. Come see us at Phil Wright Toyota to learn more today!

Toyota Sienna Named 2015 Family Car of Texas

2015 Toyota Sienna - 2015 Family Car of TexasIt looks like the “Swagger Wagon” has more than just swag—it’s got the entire state of Texas. The 2015 Toyota Sienna was recently named the 2015 Family Car of Texas and Minivan of Texas at the Texas Automotive Writers Association’s (TAWA’s) annual Auto Roundup event. During this event, the Sienna showcased its fresh, new styling, plus its added safety and convenience features.

“As the only van in its segment available with all-wheel drive, the recognition as Family Car of Texas confirms our efforts to keep the family van alive and thriving,” said KC Kirimoto, vice president of product and global communications for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. “Toyota’s commitment to enhancing the 2015 Sienna was focused not only on new safety features, but also the convenience and comfort of every member of the family.”

To determine the winners of each category during the Auto Roundup, TAWA members drove 54 vehicles in 18 different categories, voting for their favorites at the end of the grueling day of driving. If you are interested in seeing what makes the Toyota Sienna the perfect family car, come in to Phil Wright Toyota today!

Toyota Is Now an Official Olympic Games Sponsor

Toyota has just announced its position as a member of The Olympic Partner (TOP) program, which is fancy talk for saying that the automaker is now an official Olympic Games sponsor.

The deal will take effect in Japan next year and globally in 2017, so we’re not likely to see too much Toyota sponsorship at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next year, but should expect higher presence at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Toyota Fuel Cell - Olympic Games SponsorPredictably, the automaker says its sponsorship will be in the mobility category, which includes “vehicles, mobility services and mobile solutions.” Most likely, Toyota will use the Olympics as a major platform to push fuel cell technology, which we’ve been impatiently waiting for at Phil Wright Toyota!

“Under this Olympic flag, let us today reaffirm the power of sports to bring people together,” said Toyota president Akio Toyoda. “And let us dedicate ourselves to creating a better world by promoting sports in the Olympic spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.”

Toyota Sienna Named 2015’s Best-Selling Van

The van has been an American family staple for years, making it easy to transport large families–or small ones with lots of friends—all over town, from soccer practice to school. It’s the kind of efficiency that can’t be beaten.

2015 Toyota Sienna - Best-Selling VanBut which van is the fairest of them all? According to a press release, the 2015 Toyota Sienna is the best-selling van of the year, which is no surprise. The Sienna rocks a laundry list of features perfect for its audience.

Top-of-the-line safety features keep passengers safe in these powerful vehicles, while Blu-ray players keep them entertained. Plus, features like a rearview camera make it simple to navigate, despite the vehicle’s size.

The Sienna even has “Driver Easy Speak,” which transmits the voice of the driver to those in the back seats, making it easy for parents to communicate with their children without having to yell or take their eyes off the road.

What do you think of 2015’s best-selling van? Let us know in the comments.

Toyota Mirai Production Begins

Maybe Toyota felt that since it had single-handedly created the commercial hybrid electric vehicle market, it now had an obligation to do the same with hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Or maybe it’s just Toyota’s nature, to be innovative. For whatever reason, that’s just what the automaker is poised to do—commit another revolution in alternative automotive propulsion with the Toyota Mirai.

Toyota Mirai ProductionToyota Mirai production recently began at the fabled Motomachi plant in Japan. Toyota first began assembling cars there in 1959. In addition to being the production site for the Mirai, it’s also where Toyota once hand-built its Lexus supercar. To give you an idea of how much care goes into putting together the new FCV, only three units are produced a day.

It takes only five minutes for the Mirai to fill up. With that, it can travel up to 300 miles. As if that weren’t revolutionary enough, the Mirai produces only water vapor as emissions. Revolutionary indeed.

Toyota Recognized as One of the World’s Most Admired Companies

In Fortune Magazine’s annual list of the World’s Most Admired Companies, Toyota was ranked first among Motor Vehicle companies.

World's Most Admired Companies - ToyotaThe automaker rose to the top spot from its second place ranking last year. It also rose one place to number 24 overall.

What does it take to become one of the World’s Most Admired Companies? Well, Fortune Magazine uses a complicated methodology that involves a series of surveys, but the moral of the story is that the companies chosen for the annual list are profitable, socially responsible, globally competitive, and managed well.

In Community Responsibility, Toyota ranked sixth; and the company placed eighth for Effectiveness in Conducting a Global Business.

“We’d like to thank Toyota team members, associates and partners worldwide for helping us achieve this honor,” said Jim Lentz, CEO for Toyota Motor North America. “We are dedicated to our customers, communities, and to leading the future of mobility. We’re proud to be recognized as one of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies and a leader in our industry.”

For us at Phil Wright Toyota, the most admired characteristic of Toyota is its dedication to providing customers with quality vehicles.

Introducing the Restyled 2016 Toyota Avalon

Toyota has been busy with the snazzy new Corolla and Camry, but recently the automaker also introduced the aggressively restyled 2016 Toyota Avalon to rave reviews.

restyled 2016 Toyota AvalonToyota’s flagship now wears a sporty front fascia supporting a super-wide aggressive grille. The headlights receive modern light bars and optional LED projector lenses for a sophisticated look. The new Avalon replaces its low-slung fog lights for two vertical turn signal bars on either side of the massive grille. Even the tail lamps and rear bumper get smoother integrated lines and classy chrome streaks.

The Avalon’s trim packages get a little more custom for the 2016 offerings. Now, the 2016 model comes in five variants; the XLE, new-for-2016 XLE Plus, XLE Premium, Touring, and Limited. XLE and XLE Plus Avalons will come upgraded with a seven-inch touchscreen, Toyota Entune audio system, premium wood-grain dash ornamentation, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

This new update also provides the option of choosing between two different suspensions for a dynamic sporty ride or a more comfortable and smooth one. The 2016 Avalon will be available this fall at Phil Wright Toyota, so stop by for more details today!

Toyota Special Edition Models Offer Unparalleled Luxury and Performance

Camry and Corolla fans at the Chicago Auto Show were glad to hear about the release of the new Toyota Special Edition models. The new Camry SE and Corolla SE feature limited-edition options and an extra level of luxury and performance.

Toyota Camry SE - Toyota Special Edition ModelsToyota Corolla SE - Toyota Special Edition ModelsAccording to Toyota, the new Camry SE will feature alloy wheels, a power moonroof, unique taillights, and two exclusive colors (Blizzard Pearl and Blue Streak Metallic). The SE will also come with special logos and badges, as well as Entune Audio Suite among other things. Only 12,000 models will be sold in the world.

Even rarer is the new Corolla SE. This model features similar options like Entune Audio, alloy wheels, and special badges; however, it also has some unique features as well. These include a Sport Driving Mode, a black interior with high-contrast red stitching, Smart Key Access, and three exclusive colors (Absolutely Red, Black Sand Pearl and Super White).

These new Toyota Special Edition models represent the best of the best in design and engineering. Not only do they offer the iconic quality and performance you would expect, but you also get a little something extra to set your new sedan apart from all the rest.

Toyota’s World Rally Championship Return Coming in 2017 with the Yaris

Toyota’s World Rally Championship return has been a subject of rumor for more than a year, and occasional spy shots of a Toyota Motorsport-tuned Yaris in Germany have only served to strengthen those rumors.

Toyota World Rally Championship - Toyota YarisBut now, they’ve been confirmed. During a visit to Rally Finland, Akio Toyoda spoke of how inspired he felt by Toyota’s past exploits, and confirmed that the automaker would return to the WRC in 2017. The exploits, by the way, refer to the seven titles that Toyota won between 1979 and 1999.

New rules and regulations are now allowing more than the 300-ish horsepower found in the current WRC race cars, and the switch to a fuel-flow formula is allowing manufacturers to use different kinds of engines.

The 1.6-liter, four-cylinder-powered Yaris should fit in among the other rally cars almost as well as it does at Phil Wright Toyota—though we expect it’ll get some more modifications before race day!