Toyota Improves the Crash Safety of the RAV4

Crash Safety of the RAV4Last year the RAV4 and Toyota suffered a setback, as the RAV4 did not pass the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s tests or earn the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick award. When this happened Toyota engineers vowed to make it stronger and do a complete overhaul to pass a mid-cycle refreshing in later tests.

According to Automotive News, “Toyota Motor Corp. Chief Safety Technology Officer Secretary Seigo Kuzumaki said the RAV4 scored a ‘good’ in Tuesday’s test, thereby earning the institute’s Top Safety Pick status.”

The official results will become available in December, but the RAV4 needs to earn a rating of “acceptable” in the small-overlap front crash test to earn Top Safety Pick. The IIHS spokesman declined to comment on whether or not the RAV4 passed its crash safety tests, though he did say that the improvements look promising and quite significant.

Toyota would love to delete that mark on the RAV4’s history of a failed safety rating, especially on such a popular vehicle. The RAV4 is Toyota’s 3rd best selling model.

At Phil Wright Toyota we are looking forward to the improved crash safety of the RAV4 and are prepared to offer an IIHS Top Safety Pick at our dealership.

The New FJ Cruiser Suspension: Drive Anywhere You’d Like

If you’ve seen the new FJ Cruiser on the road, odds are you had to wipe the drool from your chin afterwards. The rugged design and incredible performance screams off-road capability, making it a great choice for drivers who like to have a little fun.

FJ Cruiser SuspensionAlthough it’s not normally what you might pay attention to on any other vehicle, the 2014 FJ Cruiser suspension is by far better than most others on the road. Sure it has a 260 hp V6, sure it’s paired with a 5-speed automatic, and sure it has a Star Safety System™, but the Bilstein® suspension is really what you notice.

“The FJ is truly rugged and versatile…Along with roughhewn looks come a roughhewn ride and a roughhewn interior. Very few [vehicles] are better off-road,” raved Car and Driver.

The Bilstein® suspension was designed by Toyota Racing Development with off-road driving in mind. It was specially tuned for the Trail Teams Ultimate Edition, featuring an independent high-mounted coil-spring wishbone system and a stabilizer bar, as well as a 4-link rear suspension. If that’s gibberish to you, it just means you can drive virtually anywhere in this model.

To get your hands on one of the most exciting cars to drive, stop by Phil Wright Toyota today.

Toyota Wins NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Again!

Toyota won yet another NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) manufacturer’s championship when Kyle Busch drove his Tundra to victory last Friday at Texas Motor Speedway. This marked Toyota’s seventh NCWTS manufacturer’s championship in the last 11 years, and the automaker’s dominance is showing no signs of wavering.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series - Toyota TundraSince the start of the 2004 season, Toyota has won a total of 10 NASCAR manufacturer’s trophies, including three consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) crowns from 2008 to 2010 and a record five consecutive NCWTS championships from 2006 to 2010.

It also won the NCWTS championship last year and has delivered one of the most dominant performances to date in 2014, with a total of 16 race wins, seven pole positions, 60 top-five results, and leading nearly 78 percent of the 2,830 laps raced this season so far.

Though Toyota has already won this year’s championship, it has not yet been decided which Toyota drivers will take the title. Matt Crafton—last year’s champion—looks poised to take the first back-to-back driver’s crown, but he is facing fierce competition from fellow Tundra drivers Darrell Wallace, Jr., and Johnny Sauter.

We look forward to seeing who will prevail here at Phil Wright Toyota!

2015 Toyota Corolla Steps Up its Game

Goodbye; boring, reliable, dependable, and safe four-door sedan. Hello; exciting, sporty, reliable, dependable, safe, and stylish four door sedan.

2015 Toyota Corolla -  Phil Wright ToyotaIs it wrong to compare the all-new 2015 Toyota Corolla to Renee Zellweger?  Well, we’re going to go ahead and go there. Toyota has made a bold move with a mid-cycle update, making some major changes worth noting. The foundation is the same, and everything that made the Corolla so safe and dependable remains, but outside, it’s nearly unrecognizable. It’s been refreshed, lifted, tucked, and updated in all the right places. Now, the Corolla is sporty and offers unprecedented style.

Sharper steering, interior upgrades, a stiffer body, a dramatic new grille, and 2,000 new parts all contribute to the Corolla’s new look and feel. Inside, soft-touch materials accent well-placed controls, and Toyota’s Entune system is intuitive and easy to use. The new 2015 Toyota Corolla comes packed with modern technology, including several driver assistance systems such as blind spot, cross traffic, lane departure and collision alerts.

If you’re ready to see what all the fuss is about, stop by Phil Wright Toyota today!

New Toyota Camry Improved Inside and Out for 2015 Model Year

New Toyota Camry - 2015 Toyota CamryToyota has built its reputation on pillars of safety, reliability, and value—and the Toyota Camry has always been a great encapsulation of all of those characteristics. However, as the saying goes, if you’re not getting better then you’re getting worse—so we’re glad to report that the new Toyota Camry has vastly improved both outside and in for the 2015 model year. These big changes help the Camry keep pace with the rest of the midsize sedan market; in fact, they vault the Camry right past the competition.

The new Toyota Camry includes no less than 2,000 new parts on the exterior, bringing a new definition to the term “fully redesigned.” The number of changes Toyota made is truly remarkable, especially since this is a third-year model and not an all-new generation of the Camry. It shows the brand’s commitment to keeping its popular sedans as ahead of the game as possible.

The Camry also sees some changes on the inside; for example, softer materials make the car much more comfortable and give it an upscale feel. Under the hood, you’ll find a standard four-cylinder engine, but you have the option to upgrade to a V6 with 268 horsepower or even a hybrid powertrain. Come see us at Phil Wright Toyota to learn more today—and to see the new Toyota Camry for yourself.

Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle Auctioned Off at Environmental Media Awards

Toyota turned the red carpet green at the 24th annual Environmental Media Awards this past weekend. As the presenting sponsors of the event, Toyota and Lexus partnered with the Environmental Media Association (EMA) to honor individuals in the entertainment industry who promote environmental messages. Toyota also used this event as an opportunity to make history, with the first Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle auctioned off at the event, and Toyota becoming the first major carmaker to give away a FCV to an individual owner.

“Toyota and Lexus are proud to support the broad, positive environmental influence these individuals have through their work,” said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota. “The influencers at the EMA awards lead not only Hollywood’s conversations about environmental issues, but the country’s, and we’re looking forward to starting the fuel cell conversation.”

This event marked Toyota and Lexus’s 14th year as the award’s presenting sponsors and was hosted by Ed Begley Jr. The honorees of the award show this year included Daniel Abbasi, Joel Bach, James Cameron, David Gelber, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jerry Weintraub, and Maria Wilhelm, who all served as executive producers for “Years of Living Dangerously,” a Showtime documentary.

If you are looking to reduce your environmental impact on the world, make sure you stop in to Phil Wright Toyota and see the amazing eco-friendly car options we have to offer!

Toyota to Finally Release a New Subcompact SUV

ToyotaThe subcompact SUV is a rapidly growing segment, so it is no surprise that Toyota will be releasing their own offering. It is very possible that the model they will choose to use will be their stylish C-HR concept. The Paris Motor Show showed us that the C-HR hatchback would be the perfect addition to Toyota’s lineup, and would also be an ideal small utility vehicle.

The Toyota C-HR has an innovatively shaped body with stylish curves, larger than life wheels, and unique headlights that have additional lighting rings framing them.  Green Car Reports suspects that “much of that styling would be toned down for production, but the C-HR would still ride on the new platform previewed by the concept.”

While we would love to see the concept debuted as it is, we are still excited it will give us another subcompact SUV to choose from. Better yet, it will come with a hybrid powertrain to make the car as efficient as possible. Rumor has it that the C-HR will become available in 2016. If you can’t wait until then for a new vehicle, stop by today to check out the great lineup of Toyota models here at Phil Wright Toyota!

Next-Gen Toyota Prius To Be Released In 2016

Next-Gen Toyota PriusCompetition inspires creativity.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in the EV and PHEV market.  Toyota essentially created the plug-in hybrid market with its first Prius in 1997 (they went on sale in the US in 2000).  Since then, a lot of players have joined the game.  Rather than rest on its laurels, the company has dug deep and will release a next-gen Toyota Prius in 2016.

The last generation was released as a 2010 model.  Details are scarce but Green Car Reports has managed to get a hold of a few details.  The new generation of Toyota Prius will still feature the nickel-metal hydride battery pack.  This comes in base models.  The Eco model option will come equipped with a lithium-ion battery, likely giving the Prius a few more miles per gallon.

Beyond the next-gen Toyota Prius, the automaker will also be releasing its hydrogen fuel-cell sedan, which utilizes exemplary zero-emission technology, next year in California.  Assuming it does well (and we know it will), it should be available in all of the US in a few years.

The bottom line: Toyota is hard at work giving its fans a lot of options.  Come and explore these great options today at Phil Wright Toyota!

2015 Toyota Tundra Goes Off-Road with Bass Pro Shops Special Edition

Toyota Tundra Bass Pro ShopsToyota has built a new Tundra specifically for us… well, for all of us truck lovers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas, that is. The 2015 Toyota Tundra Bass Pro Shops Off-Road Edition was debuted earlier this month at the State Fair of Texas, and we at Phil Wright Toyota are confident this special edition pickup will be a favorite among those of us who have only ever lost track of time while shopping when we were at a Bass Pro Shop.

“In the Gulf States pick-up trucks and being outdoors are a natural way of life, and that’s why we’ve developed the 2015 Toyota Tundra Bass Pro Shops Off-Road Edition,” said Marty Collins, Gulf States Toyota president and general manager. “This vehicle not only has all the capability to take you where you want to go, but you’ll look good doing it.”

Based on the Tundra 4×4 CrewMax SR5, the Bass Pro off-road package features 20” milled-matte black wheels and all-terrain upgrade, 5” oval black step tubes, a stainless steel exhaust tip, pocketed fender flares, spray-on bedliner, and custom Bass Pro Shops off-road bed decals and carpeted floor mats.

The special edition will only be available for purchase during October, so don’t wait to get your hands on the truck specially designed with our region in mind.

Aluminum Foils Heavy Car Parts

There is no doubt that cars are heavy pieces of machinery. What if you could make vehicles lighter by using different materials, thus leading to higher efficiency? Aluminum is allowing automakers like Toyota to do just that.

Aluminum - Phil Wright ToyotaThe ever-popular Camry is set to be the first sedan to ever receive aluminum car parts, getting a new aluminum hood in 2018. However, the first car to debut the new metal in the United Sates will be the 2016 Lexus RX 350 crossover, which will be receiving both a front hood and liftgate.

Auto News quotes Toyota, who has said they have “plans to use aluminum on future vehicles for hood, closures and parts for lightweighting. Also, we will increase usage of mix metals and resin materials to enhance lightweighting efforts.”

This alteration of materials will make a huge difference in vehicle body weight, especially for large pickup trucks. The change alone would take around 700 pounds off of a heavy duty truck like the Ford F-150. Lighter parts means lighter cars, meaning your gas tank won’t have to work as hard to get your vehicle going. Get in on the aluminum movement at Phil Wright Toyota when the new parts arrive, and stop by now to check out the great current Toyota lineup!