Toyota Brings TeenDrive365 Program to Mississippi to Promote Safe Driving Habits

Toyota TeenDrive365 programToyota is promoting safe driving with its TeenDrive365 program for the first time in Pearl, Mississippi. CNN reports that “teens and their parents will get in cars and the classroom to learn about defensive driving skills, crash avoidance techniques and the dangers of distracted driving.”

Michael Rouse, the Vice President of diversity, philanthropy, and community affairs at Toyota reflects on the program and says, “Whether or not a teen has taken formal driver’s education, the TeenDrive365 program can help Mississippi families improve their defensive driving skills.” Rouse also says that the program allows young drivers to “get more behind-the-wheel driving experience, and the parents get new tools for coaching and supporting their new drivers.”

Teens are high risk drivers, due to being easily distracted and having a lack of experience, so it is important that we give them tools like TeenDrive365 to help them be safer out on the road. This program will hopefully make its way to cities in all 50 states to promote safe driving to teens everywhere.

Need a reliable car for your new driver? Try out one of our safest models at Phil Wright Toyota!

Will Tesla and Toyota Rekindle Their Relationship?

Just when we thought Toyota and Tesla were through, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announces that his company could team up with Toyota again on a “significant” project in two to three years. This revelation comes on the heels of Tesla’s announcement that its agreement to supply Toyota with battery packs for the electric RAV4 would end this year.

ToyotaMusk mentioned that there were no concrete plans for a new vehicle, but based on his comments, we think something bigger is definitely in the works.

“I think that if you look out maybe two or three years from now, that I would not be surprised if there is a significant deal with Toyota,” Musk said, according to autonews.com. “My best guess is that it would probably be something significant, maybe on a much higher volume level.”

If that doesn’t get you wondering, we don’t know what will.

Toyota Motor Corp. owns 2.4 percent of Tesla, and planned in May 2012 to work with the electric car manufacturer to build around 2,500 RAV4 EVs over three years. However, both companies announced in March that the project would come to an end this year. At that time, Tesla and Toyota were vague and non-committal about working together again.

In the meantime, Toyota has channeled its focus on hydrogen fuel cells, considering EVs as impractical and short-ranged. Conversely, Tesla has continued its dedication to electric batteries, with no interest in pursuing hydrogen fuel cells.

It’s anyone’s guess what Toyota and Tesla have up their sleeve, but there’s no doubt that it’s going to be big, and it could be a game-changer.

We may not see anything materialize for several years, but in the meantime, stop by Phil Wright Toyota to check out the electric RAV4 and the rest of our impressive lineup!

Reimagined 2015 Camry to have an Unchanged Ticket Price

Toyota’s reimagined 2015 Camry will have an unchanged ticket price previous models. The Camry sedan is the most popular car sold in the U.S and it will retail for a wallet-saving price of $23,795. The sporty SE grade will start at $24,665, whose price also remains unchanged, and a hybrid will also be offered. “Camrys come with either a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 178 horsepower or a 3.5-liter V-6 putting out 268 horsepower, both with six-speed automatic transmissions” (USA Today). Find out more specs of the different models at usatoday.com.

2015 Toyota CamryThen new Camry goes on sales this month and will showcase a more streamline look, while keeping the framework and engine the same. An upgraded interior includes an eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support, shift lever boot with contrast stitching, satin chrome interior accents, passenger window auto up-down, chrome front upper grille and heated outside mirrors.

Want to get a closer look at America’s favorite car? Test drive a new Camry or one of our older models at Phil Wright Toyota today!

‘Consumer Reports’ Calls Toyota Highlander Best Midsize SUV

As far as consumer advocacy goes, Consumer Reports is one of the most trusted names. The magazine recently named the Toyota Highlander as the best midsize SUV because of its great fuel efficiency and capabilities.

Toyota Highlander - Best Midsize SUVIn the report, the hybrid version of the Highlander placed first with the gasoline version coming in second. The hybrid achieves an overall fuel efficiency rating of 25 mpg while still being able to tow up to 3,500 pounds. The standard V-6 engine averages 20 mpg.

The Highlander was also praised for its superb handling, steady ride, and reduced body lean in corners. It also has a straightforward, easy-to-use infotainment system with good voice controls.

For large families who want a roomy vehicle, but still want rugged capabilities, the Highlander is a great alternative to a minivan. It offers seating for up to eight passengers and provides the towing capabilities you may need.

Toyota also makes sure the Highlander will keep you and your family safe with eight standard airbags, a standard rearview camera, and hill-start assist. In crash test ratings, it earned a Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and an overall five-star rating from the federal government.

Come judge for yourself how the Toyota Highlander stacks up against the competition at Phil Wright Toyota today.

Toyota Provides Free Public Wi-Fi at Parks

free public Wi-Fi at parksIn the age of the smartphone, Wi-Fi rules, especially free public Wi-Fi. Toyota is now providing free public Wi-Fi at parks in Los Angeles, New York, and New Jersey.

This free service is made available through a partnership with Toyota (specifically the Prius Plug-in Hybrid), the various Parks Departments, and the American Park Network. All of the equipment and installation is being installed at no cost to taxpayers.

Six popular city parks and beaches in Los Angeles will now get to enjoy the free service, called Oh, Ranger! Wi-Fi, including Griffith Observatory, Venice Beach, and Echo Park Lake. This will be the first time Wi-Fi has been installed in any park in Los Angeles and starts the city on its path towards providing free access to Wi-Fi across the city.

“We’re thrilled to partner with American Park Network and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks to help make Oh, Ranger! Wi-Fi a reality for the visitors who attend these six tremendously popular parks here in Los Angeles,” said Dionne Colvin-Lovely, National Director, Traditional and Digital Media, Toyota, in a statement. “Supporting the needs of parks and their visitors is a perfect fit for the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, we particularly welcome the opportunity to make a difference, here, in our own backyard, by improving the park going experience for Angelenos throughout the city.”

In New York, free public Wi-Fi is now available at Niagara Falls, Jones Beach, Saratoga Spa, and East River State Parks. And visitors at Liberty State Park in New Jersey can enjoy the free service as well.

Toyota Gives Us Great Reasons to Drive a Hybrid

14 years ago, Toyota changed the world with the introduction of the Toyota Prius Hybrid. Since that time, we have all enjoyed the benefits of more eco-friendly driving. Here are some great reasons to drive a hybrid.

  • Reduces CO2 emissions. Around the world, the Prius family of hybrids has Toyota Prius Hybrid - reasons to drive a hybridreduced carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 26.5 million tons, which equals the weight of about 3.8 million African elephants.
  • Saves gasoline. Prius family drivers have saved about 1.85 billion gallons of gasoline in the U.S. alone. This is enough to drive around the earth 4.39 million times.
  • Saves money. In the past 14 years, Prius drivers have saved about $5 billion by avoiding the gas pump. That’s enough money to build 2,526 wind turbines.

Do you want to play a bigger part in helping our world be a bit greener and smell a bit sweeter? Then come to Phil Wright Toyota and check out our extensive inventory of Toyota Prius hybrids. With a wide range of models to choose from, there is surely a Prius that will fit your lifestyle.

Toyota GT 86 Sets New Drifting World Record

New Drifting World Record

Photo attributed to Yasser Alghofily

Action movies have a tendency to make complex stunts look easy to do. For instance, if you’ve seen The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, it might seem simple to make your car flawlessly drift around a corner for multiple miles. While the simplicity of drifting is much higher than it appears, for some it can be a cakewalk. German driver Harald Muller is one of these people, especially after he recently set the new drifting world record in a Toyota GT86.

The previous drifting world record was set last year when a BMW M5 shattered the Guinness World Record of about 7 miles with a distance of 51.3 miles at the BMW Performance Driving School in South Carolina. Now, the record stands at 89.55 miles. Muller set the record around a 0.15-mile course in Samsun, Turkey. It took him 612 laps and 2 hours, 25 minutes, and 18 second to manage the record-breaking drift.

For a glimpse into the world of record-breaking drifting, check out the video here. Try not to get too dizzy!

2015 Toyota Yaris Launches in North America

Toyota YarisThe 2015 Toyota Yaris that arrived to Europe and Japan a few months ago is finally launching in North America. It comes with a ton of updates compared to the outgoing model, both on the inside and outside, at only a very minor 2-3 percent price increase.

On the outside, the 2015 Yaris stands out as a truly distinctive hot hatch, with aggressive styling and a large lower air dam and X-motif front end.

Inside, the ride will be more quiet and comfortable thanks to retuned suspension and a more rigid body. There’s also more soft-touch materials and loads of standard features to enjoy, including the 6.1-inch touchscreen display, HD Radio with iTunes Tagging, a USB port with iPod connectivity, and more.

Driving the little car is also just as enjoyable. The 1.5-liter, 16-valve, four-cylinder DOHC engine is equipped with what Toyota calls variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) to produce 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque, and the broad torque curve makes those numbers seem bigger when you put your foot down.

Come find it at Phil Wright Toyota!

Toyota Aims for Family Peace with 2015 Toyota Sienna

2014 Toyota SiennaIf driving in the family minivan is always a stressful event that involves yelling and turning towards the backseat, then the 2015 Toyota Sienna may be your saving grace. It seems Toyota aims for family peace with some pivotal features available in the updated Sienna.

One of the most thoughtful updates is something called Driver Easy Speak. This available feature lets the driver speak into a built-in microphone that projects his or her voice into the speakers in the back seat. Imagine, no more yelling just to be heard—it will be like you’re sitting right next to your kids.

And, to make sure you can keep your eyes on the road, just pull down the available conversation mirror to see who is actually doing the hitting in the back seat. In addition to the parent-friendly features, kids will be happy too with the Blu-Ray rear seat entertainment system.

Standard for 2015 is a panoramic rear-view camera. Other options include a seven-inch touch screen infotainment system, leather upholstery with contrast trim, and a 4.2-inch information display so the driver can better see the navigation information.

The updated “Swagger Wagon” will be rolling into Phil Wright Toyota later this year.

Toyota Helps Preserve GI Bill of Rights and Other Historic Documents

The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, better known as the GI Bill, affords the brave men and women who have served our country with opportunities they otherwise might not have upon returning to civilian life – opportunities that make home ownership, education, workforce training, and unemployment pay possible. Recognizing their importance, Toyota is making it possible to view the GI Bill of Rights and other valuable historic documents, even when they are not on display at the National Archives Museum.

The National Archives Museum has strict guidelines for the display and conservation of documents. As part of these regulations, the GI Bill was recently taken down after five weeks on display; however, thanks to a generous gift to the Foundation for the National Archives, Toyota is making sure the GI Bill and nine other historic documents will be available for all to see, even when they are rotated out of Museum’s exhibit.

Some of the additional documents included President Nixon’s 1973 letter of resignation and the Bill of Rights passed by Congress in 1789. Part of Toyota’s $100,000 gift is dedicated to making these documents available online.

“It’s an honor to have Toyota preserve this special part of America’s rich history because of its impact on so many veterans, who sacrificed so much to keep our country safe and free. It’s important that they are given help restarting their civilian life,” said Don Esmond, a senior adviser for Toyota and a decorated veteran who served as a helicopter pilot for the Marines in over 900 missions. During his service, Esmond earned the Purple Heart, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, and 45 Air Medals.

We at Phil Wright Toyota are grateful to our servicemen and women like Esmond, and we’re proud Toyota has chosen to support the armed forces and our nation’s history in such an important way.