The Toyota Corolla hatchback that I was recently able to test came in a pleasing two toned bronze oxide and black metallic paint combination and featured black and gray leather trimmed fabric seating surfaces. The Toyota Corolla, one of the best-selling nameplates of all time, has moved over 44 million cars onto driveways around the world (well, mostly driveways), and the car is in its twelfth generation configuration, having been around since 1966.
The 2020 front wheel drive Corolla hatchback sits on a 103.9” wheelbase, is 70.5” wide, 57.1” high, and weighs 3,060 lbs. The way that Greeley and Ft. Collins have grown, it seems you are always poking around looking for parking space, so with a car that’s 172 inches long, it is not too difficult with Toyota’s Corolla hatchback.
Acceleration, handling, visibility and guidance were all acceptable for the Corolla. The power was supplied by a 2 liter, 4 cylinder engine, putting out 168 horsepower through a continuously variable (CVT) transmission. Silver and gray ten-spoke alloy wheels were fitted with P225/40R18 all-season radials on the car.
The 5 passenger interior of the hatchback was comfortable and the seating was supportive and looked good. The car had a backup camera, 8″ touchscreen, cruise control, power windows/locks/mirrors, tilt/telescope steering column, and keyless entry. M.S.R.P for my test Corolla came in at $29,391.00, including freight. The biggest item added to its $24,340.00 base price was a preferred package consisting of a JBL stereo and dynamic navigation.
The Corolla did a super job for me during the test in Northern Colorado. The slick styling caught a lot of eyes, the car kept pace at the stoplights, and with the 38 mpg highway mileage rating, I spent a nominal amount of money on gas. I’d say it is a good value.
The Toyota Corolla that I was recently able to test came in a pleasing Electric Blue Storm metallic color and featured gray fabric seating surfaces. I enjoyed the Corolla iM (Toyota’s version of the now-defunct Scion iM); it provided spirited acceleration, and gas mileage came in at nearly 33 mpg in all city driving. The way that Greeley has grown, it seems you are always poking around looking for parking space, so with a car that’s 170 inches long and 69″ wide, it is not too difficult with Toyota’s Corolla iM five-door hatchback.
The Toyota Corolla, the best-selling nameplate of all time, has moved over 40 million cars onto driveways around the world (well, mostly driveways). The car is in its eleventh generation configuration, and has been around since 1966. The 2017 iM sits on a 102.4″ wheelbase, is 69.3″ wide, 55.3″ high, and weighs 2,943 lbs., putting it on an even keel with Chevy’s new Cruze hatchback. I’ve always been a fan of Corolla styling, and this 2017 iM has not taken a step backwards in that department. LED lighting was front and rear, including front daytime running lights, and fog lights were installed. Silver and gray ten-spoke alloy wheels were fitted with P225/45R17 all-season radials on the car.
I mentioned acceleration – it was acceptable for a 36 mpg car, and other driving dynamics were good, as well. They use, among other things, electric power steering to effect that highway gas mileage rating, as well as Valvematic technology on the 1.8 liter, 4 cylinder engine. It puts out 137 horsepower at 6,100 rpm as well as 126 lb. ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The front-wheel drive car gets 28 mpg in the city and 31 mpg, combined, and for me the reading was 30+, all week long (14 gallon tank). Toyota’s choice for a transmission is the continuously variable (CVT) automatic with shift mode.
The interior of the iM was comfortable for Ruth and I, and the seating was supportive and looked good. The car had Toyota iM Display audio, backup camera, 7″ touchscreen, cruise control, power windows/locks/mirrors, AM/FM radio, tilt/telescope, and keyless entry. The rear legroom is suitable for a car of this size, at 32.7″, and the hatchback has 20.8 cubic feet of luggage space behind the back seat.
M.S.R.P for my test Corolla came in at $22,498.00, including freight. Options included a floor/cargo mat set for $185.00, paint protection film for $395.00, rear wind deflector for $399.00, computer tablet holder for $99.00, and wheel locks for $65.00, all added to the base price of $19,490.00.
The Corolla did a super job for me and during the test in Northern Colorado. The slick styling caught a lot of eyes, the car kept pace at the stoplights, and I spent a nominal amount of money on gas. I’d say it is a good value.
The most recent car brought to me for review earlier this month was the 2017 Toyota Yaris. The model was the 4-door iA sedan in Pulse red paint. The interior of the car included black and gray fabric with sport front buckets and a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat.
The odd name of this car is derived from the word Charis, the Greek goddess of elegance and beauty. And the German expression of affirmation, “ya” is tacked onto the front of the name. It could just as surely refer to the target market of this car, Young Adults. On balance, it is a suitable name, and the Toyota people probably don’t mind that the word looks like the cultural epicenter of Europe, that being Paris.
Ruth and I jumped into the Yaris and buzzed over through Loveland for a ride towards the Village Inn. Getting in the car wasn’t particularly difficult, and the highway manners were fine for a subcompact that had a wheelbase of 101.2″ and overall length of 171.7″ With the base price of $15,950.00, adding freight of $865.00 brought the M.S.R.P. to a reasonable $16,850.00, F.O.B. Denver. That last initialism stands for “freight on board,” or in street parlance, “where delivered to.” Standard equipment on the Yaris included 6-speed manual transmission, front-wheel drive, real hand brake, electric power steering/windows/locks, color-keyed power mirrors with turn signals, cruise control, anti-lock braking system, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, CD/stereo with USB and aux. jack, tire pressure monitor, and tilt/telescope wheel. Trunk capacity is ample at 13.49 cubic feet. I was pleased with, and I received compliments on, the styling of the Yaris.
Yaris power is provided by a 1.5 liter, 4-cylinder, 106 hp engine with variable valve timing. Torque is 103 lb. ft., and acceleration is OK (zero to 60 in perhaps a touch under ten seconds.) Gas mileage ratings are 30 in town, 39 on the highway, and 34 combined. I observed a reading of 32.5 overall. The styling of the Yaris is fine, with attractive paint and 16″ ten-spoke silver alloy wheels fitted with 185/60R16 all-season radials.
On this day the eggs at the restaurant were a little runny, but the ride back was a pleasure and I was proud to be seen in the Yaris. I guess I looked a little old, but Ruth didn’t. Would I let one of our three daughters drive, buy, ride in, lease, or borrow a Yaris? You bet.
The Toyota 4Runner, brought out 32 years ago as basically a compact pickup/topper, is now in its fifth generation configuration and has morphed into a brawny mid-sized SUV. This last week I was assigned to a 2016 4×4 TRD Pro V6 4Runner that arrived at my place sporting Quicksand (tan) paint with a black leatherette interior.
Toyota, U.S.A. was formed in our country on October 31st, 1957, and globally the company ranks 10th in the world in revenue. Total global sales of their vehicles has tripled to 10.15 million since the 4Runner introduction in 1984, and the vehicle maintains its body-on-frame construction and will for the foreseeable future. Such construction results in a quieter, heavier machine – traits that were evident to me during the week-long test.
The 4Runner M.S.R.P. totaled $42,800.00, including freight, and the only option was a sliding rear cargo deck ($350.00). The TRD Pro V6 4Runner was equipped with power windows/mirrors/windows/locks as well as keyless entry. SofTex-trimmed seats existed throughout the five-passenger car and the front buckets were heated. Of course the 40/20/40 back seat folds down, availing the two remaining occupants of the car almost 90 cubic feet of cargo space (47.2 cubic feet with the second row seating erect). The rear tailgate needs handling by human hands, but the rear glass opens by electric motor. Hence, the rear window wiper is concealed above the glass in the deflector. I liked the arrangements at the rear of the 4Runner.
The stereo in the Toyota was a 8-speaker system, USB and Ipod connections were on hand, and a backup camera was installed. The only gadgets that were missing were lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot monitor. Ruth and I found the buckets to be supportive on our trip to Denver and the ride (coil springs at every corner) and guidance were suitable.
Horsepower of the 4Runner is rated at 270, and is supplied by a 4 liter V-6 with 278 lb.-ft. of torque. The four-wheel drive vehicle has a five speed automatic transmission and performance was pleasing. My fuel mileage ended up just over 21 miles-per-gallon, and EPA ratings were 17 city and 21 highway – 18 overall. The fuel tank holds 23 gallons.
My family thought the 4Runner looked large, and as mentioned earlier the size has been increased over time. Styling involves a bold design, and it grew on me as the week went by, presenting somewhat of a military look. I also liked the way the lighting bulged from the corners. Wheels were black alloys fitted with P265/70R17 all-season radials.
Personally, the week with the 4Runner resulted in a pleasant surprise, and I see no reason why an SUV shopper would avoid the Toyota dealer and the 4Runners located on their lot.
For the second time this year, I received from the Rocky Mountain Redline press fleet a Toyota Sienna minivan to test. It was an all-wheel drive model, unlike the earlier front-wheel drive tester. It also arrived at a more pleasant time of year, as the red model was here during a particularly frigid spell in January. As you can see from the photo, my 2015 test van was around here for some very nice spring weather.
My Sienna was the Limited 3.5L model with several upgrades such as backup camera, audio/navigation with 7″ screen, SiriusXM radio, Bluetooth connectivity, Toyota’s Entune Audio Plus app suite, ash-tone leather seating for seven, 2nd-row lounge-seat captains chairs, stowable third row seat, cruise control, tilt/telescope, Smart Key system with pushbutton starter, triple 12v power outlets, blind spot monitor, parking assist sonar, rear cross traffic alert, and ten cup holders.
Toyota’s Sienna Limited comes in five different colors and the one I drove was painted Predawn Gray Mica metallic. Of course the vehicle was equipped with power sliding side doors (they have roll-down windows), dual moon roof openings, and a power rear lift gate. The length of the Sienna was 200.2″ set on a 119.3″ wheelbase; weight was 4,705 lbs. Getting in and out of the minivan is easier than a sedan and not quite at a crossover SUV level of convenience. Visibility is great, as is ride and guidance on the road. Handling is excellent for a minivan.
Minivan styling is not an attraction to such a vehicle, although I personally like the looks of all of them. This Sienna had attractive ten-spoke machine-finished 18″ alloy wheels with P235/55R18 Bridgestone Turanza EL400 steel-belted all-season radials. Luggage rail cross bars were up top, chrome door handles were installed, and round fog- and backup-lights dressed up the fascia, front and rear.
Power for the all-wheel drive Toyota minivan is produced by a 3.5 liter V-6 with 266 horsepower (@ 6,200 rpm) and 245 lb. ft. of torque (@ 4,700 rpm). A six-speed automatic is coupled to it with the shift tower mounted on the dashboard to the right of the steering wheel. Thus, the driver (or front passenger) can slide over to the other armrest-equipped bucket seat, if desired. Fuel economy for the Sienna is 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. The combined rating is 19 mpg. I found the performance of my test Toyota to be suitable, and the company also offers an front-wheel drive setup on the Sienna, which is what I drove early this year.
M.S.R.P. for the van carried a base price of $42,780.00; freight ($885.00) , roof rack cross bars ($185.00), remote engine start ($499.00), and four-season floormat package ($475.00) brought the total to $44,824.00. I enjoyed testing the Sienna and it seems to me to represent a good value in its segment.
Toyota, the first company in the world to build ten million vehicles, came out with the Camry-based Highlander in 2001, having announced its anticipated arrival at the New York Auto Show in April of 2000. It has been a sales success, racking up in excess of 1.5 million units sold to date.
For 2015, Toyota’s Highlander carries forward its renewed styling that was rolled out in 2014, and is currently in its third generation iteration. It is a car-based mid-sized SUV with seven-passenger, three row seating. Sales of the Highlander (146,127 in 2014 – a record) places its revenue right in the middle of the Toyota SUV lineup. The Toyota RAV-4 is the only model that produces more sales for the company than the Highlander.
This past week I was able to test a Highlander, a Limited top-of-the-line unit that carried an M.S.R.P. of $47,812.00, including freight. The Limited’s base price was $41,300.00, and had as options a BluRay rear entertainment system ($1,810.00), driver technology package ($1,400.00), tow hitch/wiring harness ($699.00), side running boards ($599.00), remote engine start ($499.00), floor/cargo mat package ($225.00), and paint protection film on the front end ($395.00). The Limited Highlander included a safety technology package, a moonroof, and perforated leather second-row captain’s chairs. The extra technology equipment included radar adaptive cruise control, automatic high beam headlamps, blind spot monitor, lane departure alert, and pre-collision warning.
Additional Limited model items on my test car included power liftgate with glass hatch, 19” five-spoke alloy wheels, anodized roof rails, three zone climate control, JBL/Entune/navigation with 8” screen (the rear screen was 9″), perforated black leather seats, pushbutton starter, proximity keyless entry, tilt/telescope, heated and air conditioned front bucket seats, backup camera, and nice Optitron instrumentation.
Styling, with the 2014/2015 revision, was great. So was the opulent-looking Predawn Mica gray paint, “Limited” badging, and polished Chromtec finish on the wheels. The tires mounted on the alloys were 245/55R19 Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 mud and snow radials. The running boards on my tester added in both the utility and the styling departments.
Power for the Highlander is supplied by a 3.5 liter V-6 with 270 horsepower and 248 lb. ft. of torque. The transmission is a six-speed automatic with snow mode and full-time four-wheel drive. A unitized body is employed and four-wheel independent suspension and disc brakes are, as well. EPA fuel economy ratings are 18-city and 24-highway, with a combined rating of 20. For the week that I drove the Toyota, my observation was of 24.1 mpg. Weight is 4,508 lbs., towing capacity is 6,000 lbs. and the fuel tank holds 19.2 gallons. Overall length is 191.1”, 3” longer than the second generation Highlander, and cargo volume behind the third-row seat is 13.8 cubic feet. With it folded down, that number increases to 42.3, and with the second- and third-row seats folded flat, total cargo capacity is 83.7 cubic feet.
I enjoyed the styling, interior comfort, visibility, road noise (lack of), and guidance of the Highlander. The ride was satisfactory, and I feel that this year’s Highlander makes a nice family hauler and/or travel vehicle. The U.S. public agrees with me, and great sales numbers are the result for Toyota.
The 2015 Toyota Avalon, currently available in hybrid and non-hybrid configurations, is now in its fourth-generation iteration. I recently was loaned one of them by Rocky Mountain Redline, and the car delivered was painted Celestial Silver metallic and featured premium black leather seating. With all Avalon production taking place in Georgetown, Kentucky, the first unit rolled off of that assembly line eleven years ago as a 1995 model. They are full-size, front-wheel drive sedans and represent Toyota’s biggest such offering.
At my age (the Beatles hit U. S. shores while I was in high school), the Avalon represented a nice car to be seen in, and drive around in, for the period of my evaluation. The ride on its 111″ wheelbase is superb do to the MacPherson strut front suspension with offset coil springs and stabilizer bar and dual-link independent MacPherson strut rear suspension with offset coil springs and another stabilizer bar. The room inside is ample for big, American motorists with 0ver 42″ of legroom is up front and over 39″ in the back seat area. The same holds true for shoulder room in the car at nearly five feet of it, front and rear. Overall length is 195.3″, six inches shorter than a Chevrolet Impala and 4.8″ longer than a Mazda 6. The Avalon weighs 3,638 lbs., the same as the Chevy despite the fact it has a big hybrid battery on board.
The efficient power supply for the Avalon consisted of a 2.5 liter, 4 cylinder hybrid gas/electric engine with 200 hybrid system net horsepower (149 kW) and an electronically-controlled continuously variable (CVT) transmission. The EPA estimates for the Avalon is 40 mpg – combined and city. Highway mileage rating is 39 mpg – my experience for the week driving the car was 38.9 mpg. The fuel tank holds 17 gallons of regular unleaded gasoline. It’s impossible for the Avalon styling to offend anyone, young or old. There exists up front the Toyota-specific big chrome mustache grill with black background, high intensity discharge (HID) quadrabeam headlights with auto on/off feature, and LED daytime running lights (DRL) with on/off feature. The fifteen-spoke painted aluminum alloy wheels are fitted with P215/55R17 Bridgestone Turanza EL400 mud and snow radials. No tailpipes are visible at the rear of the car (hybrid-style), but ample chrome is and a spoiler is almost molded into the trunk lid where underneath there is 14 cubic feet of cargo space available to the five passengers.
As you might expect, the inside the Avalon Hybrid Limited is sumptuous with its premium perforated leather-trimmed multi-stage heated and ventilated front seats, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support and power cushion extension, and 8-way power-adjustable front passenger seat. On hand are premium JBL stereo, navigation system, 7″ touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, power rear window sunshade, ten airbags, tilt/telescope, pushbutton starter, backup camera, smoked chrome accents, and power mirrors/windows/locks.
M.S.R.P. of the Avalon tester came in at $44,475.00, including $825.00 for freight and $1,950.00 for the technology package which included radar cruise control, automatic high beam, pre-collision safety system, and wireless charging platform for smartphones. It’s a considerable investment, but a sound one given the comfort, beauty, and economy that the buyer gets in the bargain.
A test car that was delivered to me recently was a 2015 Barcelona Red metallic five-door Toyota Venza with all-wheel drive and a V-6 engine. Since the Venza was introduced into the Toyota line six years ago as a 2009 Camry derivative (one of many), the company has chosen to dress the car out with lots of equipment. And the one that I was loaned had enough in the line of options to bring M.S.R.P. to $42,193.00. Included was the Limited package of options were leather seats/shift knob/steering wheel, twin power heated front buckets, smart key system, pushbutton and remote starter, power liftgate, backup camera, navigation system, 13-speaker JBL stereo, XM radio, automatic high beam headlights, panoramic glass moon roof, IPod connector, Bluetooth, and rear bumper protector. The car also had chrome door handles, puddle lamps, fog lights, four-season floor mats, paint protection film, and mudguards. On balance, it was quite a number of upgrades.
First off, I departed for Denver out on I-25 on a winter morning. I wanted to meet my family for lunch at Zadie’s Restaurant near Cherry Creek. The Venza has a 268hp V-6 (@ 6,200 rpm) with 3.5 liters, dual overhead cams, 24 valves and dual variable valve timing. Torque is 246 lb. ft. (@ 4,700 rpm) and the the transmission attached to it is a 6-speed electronically controlled model with with sequential shift mode. All of this drivetrain spec provided ample passing power and I was satisfied with the Venza’s ride, guidance, and handling. Dual climate control kept both the wife and I comfortable and the tilt/telescope kept the wheel in a proper attitude for the driver. This upgraded Toyota had carbon fiber-looking trim in quite a few locations in the car and it was very attractive. So was the dashboard material and gauges. And the cargo space behind the second-row seating is 36.6 cubic feet. Fold the middle row of seats down and the total cargo space comes to 70.2 cubic feet. Weight/wheelbase/length of the Venza is 4,045 lbs., 109.3″, and 189″, respectively.
Fuel mileage for the Venza is 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. I observed an average of 22.4 during my week with the car. I mentioned the acceleration – reportedly the Venza V-6 goes 0-60 in 6.9 seconds, without a great deal of fuss. The car rides on big 20” five-spoke silver allow wheels that look great, shod with P245/50R20 Goodyear Eagle RS-A all-season steel belted radials. And the drive system is all-wheel with Active Torque Control and the suspension is 4-wheel independent MacPherson strut with stabilizer bars.
I left Zadies less satisfied with the lunch (breakfast, actually – I don’t care for the pancake syrup) than the car, and noticed a lot of looks from shoppers in the Cherry Creek district. The Toyota Camry has produced a lot of offspring, and the Venza is the best-looking one of the bunch.