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2013 TOYOTA AVALON WORLD’S FIRST QI WIRELESS IPHONE CHARGING CAR

Monday, January 21st, 2013
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The 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited is the first vehicle in the world offering in-console Qi wireless charging for Qi–enabled mobile phones and devices. The useful feature, part of a Technology Package that also includes Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Automatic High beams and a Pre-Collision System, is available for both the gasoline and hybrid version of the new Avalon Limited.

Qi is the global standard for wireless power and charging. Qi enabled devices can be charged just by placing them on, or near, any Qi-enabled surface. Any Qi-enabled device works with any Qi charger, regardless of brand or manufacturer.

The Avalon’s wireless charging pad is integrated into the vehicle’s center console lid. The system can be enabled by a switch beneath the lid, and charging is as simple as placing the phone upon the lid’s high friction surface.

Supplied by DENSO, the Avalon’s wireless charging system relies on a platform that elevates the high technology experience of the new Avalon sedan like no other.

Qi wireless charging is now integrated in 34 mobile phone models, including recent launches of the LG Google Nexus 4, Nokia Lumia 920, HTC Windows Phone 8X. The name missing from the list is the Apple iPhone. IPhone wireless charging is coming soon; and, to charge your iPhone wirelessly now, Qi does offer adapter sleeves that make it possible.

Qi-certified products range from smartphones to charging pads, gaming controllers, Blu-ray Disc recorders, smartphone docking speakers, automobile phone chargers, alarm clocks and battery packs, to charging modules that can be installed in tabletops and furniture.

TOYOTA WILL BE NUMBER ONE WITH STYLE

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
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Toyota will be Number One with an Extra Dash and Pinch of Style and Optimism mixed in.

TOYOTA AND AMERICA AT A CROSSROADS

The U.S. economy is in one of it’s worst hours at the moment. Almost 20% of the work force are unable to find full time employment to support themselves. There is a shortage of private sector jobs and far to many people are employed by the government. Private sector jobs fuel the economy where government jobs produce nothing. The government prints money and pays employees. That adds to government debt way into the trillions, only to end up in the hands of citizens as major tax burden. Americans are unable to buy and sell homes so the housing market is almost disfunctional. the American system can over come all of this. A change in government officials and policies in the coming 24 months can put America on the road to restoration of vitality and optimism.

BEEN HERE BEFORE

When that happens we believe that American car buyers are going to be looking for not only the expected reliability, but also bright fresh dynamic styling cues that emote that vitality and optimism. This is not unlike what happened in the early 1950’s after World War II. During those years after the war vitality and optimism flourished, particularly by the mid 1950’s. Looking back, there appears to have been a dramatic change that took place between 1954 and 1955. It’s like the world suddenly changed from black and white visually to technicolor. This was distinctively reflected in the change in car styling and colors between 1954 and 1955 through 1960.

Check out the pictures of two mid fifties American cars below. These are actually professionally built scale models of a 1957 Dodge Royal Lancer and a 1956 Mercury Montclair Convertible in original color options. Notice how bright and optimistic the colors and trim are on these cars.

1957 Dodoge Scale Model1956 Mercury Convertible Scale Model

We have a similar stage being set for the near future and Toyota has a tremendous opportunity here. Looking around at new cars being introduced, there are many with exciting design elements. Toyota needs to pick up on this quickly. At the moment, the Toyota line-up is showing some age compared to many fresh new designs from other manufacturers. Fresh design definitely needs to be part of the new Toyota equation.

TOYOTA MUST BE READY TO ROLL OUT OPTIMISTIC AUTOMOBILES

Here is a recent Toyota design sketch we found  for a two door coupe. We know that two door cars are not the big sellers at this time. But, the design cues on this model are striking compared to current Toyota design elements. We’d like to see this car, I don’t know that we will.

2012 Toyota Concept

Toyota’s opportunity to be Number One over the next couple of years is not only to bring to us the expected reliability but to also bring to us brighter fresher designs and colors that represent optimism that America needs and is ready for.

Toyota Will be Number One With An Added Pinch Of Style And An Extra Dash Of Color and Optimism!

These are our thoughts and observations at a critical point for both Toyota and America. What are your thoughts and comments?

TAKE CONTROL OF CHECK ENGINE LIGHT ON DILEMMAS

Monday, June 6th, 2011
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Banging your head on the steering wheel everytime a Check Engine Light goes on, is nothing new. Look we’re all stretched these days, money’s tight and it’s tough to find time for that wicked Check Engine Light when it lights up. But for the fear of being stranded in the middle of rush traffic or on a dark two lane road late at night you reluctantly wheel your car into the  mechanic and he checks it over and opens up with something like, Wow, good thing you brought it on in, just in the nick of time too, I don’t think it would have made it another mile.

First of all, the Check Engine Light is usually not a Panic situation. it usually is a computer problem, or something as simple as needing to tighten the gas cap. There are times when the Check Engine Light On indicates something shouldn’t wait.

When a check engine light comes on, the on board computer stores a code that will point to the direction of the malfunction. It’s like a treasure map with the malfunction being your treasure. It doesn’t necessarily tell you exactly what is wrong but with the code you (or a technician) can determine what’s ailing your baby.

Let’s say the code “p0171, oxygen sensor indicates lean” shows up, causing your check engine light to glow. It doesn’t mean the oxygen sensor is bad, it just means that the oxygen sensor is stuck lean. Now there could be several reasons for this; the engine could be running lean because of a number of problems, or the oxygen sensor is lazy and may actually need to be replaced. However, a bad oxygen sensor should set a oxygen sensor code as well.

Of course.Replacing a oxygen sensor sounds less threatening than replacing your transmission; but, isn’t it amazing how quickly many auto mechanics will charge $100 just to pull a code and then tell you that the Check Engine Light will go off when you replace so and so and also this and that…The Check Engine Light On has become a vital commodity to mechanics, just like a pop up ad on your computer, but they don’t have to pay for this ad, it’s a gift.

There’s an easier way to solve that Check Engine Light Dilemma! If you’ve got an iPhone, iPad, or iPod? and 5 seconds to spare? Buy the GL1 Diagnostic Cable App and turn your iPhone, iPad, or iPod into a vehicle diagnostic tool for Check Engine Light codes plus other neat stuff!

FIX IT YOURSELF WITH GOPOINT GL1 CABLE

Connect the GL1 Cable to your vehicle OBD-ll data port using your iPhone, IPad, or iPod touch capability to decode Check Engine, view fuel economy, reduce your carbon footprint, and determine if your vehicle is safe. It takes about 5 seconds to install! This is state of the art high-tech/high-touch technology!

GL1 CAPABILITIES PUT CONTROL IN YOUR HANDS

  • Decode Check Engine Light
  • View Live Streaming Engine Data
  • Charge Your iPhone
  • iPhone Diagnostic App Included
  • Field Upgrade Your Cable With Software Options
  • Winner Of Popular Mechanics Best Product Award!

Check out the article we recently did on the GL1 Cable App to Solve the Check Engine Light Dilemma!

BUY WITH A CLICK NOW!!
FREE BONUS!!! Click Above and Get GoPoint GL1 Today, then, on the Homepage under Contact Us, send an email saying you bought GL1, we’ll send you a full list of check engine trouble codes for your vehicle!

Use the GoPoint GL1 to decode your Check Engine Light and do a little research on your on. Research is a little like homework, you don’t have to do it, but, if you ignore it, you’ll certainly regret it. Almost all car repair questions can now be answered online, right at your fingertips. Dedicated sites such as Automotive Experts Online troubleshoot car problems, such as check engine lights for Honda Accord or Toyota check engine lights, and offer safe and reliable auto advice that’s cheap and fast.

So with GL1 Cable App, here’s a great way to take control. Solve your Check Engine Light On problem now, get your research done before going to the mechanic, and then go in with confidence knowing what you are in for.

Toyota-Alabama presents product and accessory offerings that we believe can have valuable and enjoyable benefits to our readers and Toyota owners everywhere.

iPhone APP KEEPS YOU AWAKE DRIVING

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011
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Here’s an iPhone App that keeps you awake while driving!

Falling asleep at the wheel while driving is the cause for nearly 20% of all car crashes and 12% of near crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The accidents amount to 100,000 deaths or injuries each year.

Many of us, Toyota owner or other makes, have experienced drowsiness while driving. While in-car systems that detect potential nodding off at the wheel are available in a few luxury cars, a new iPhone application should help bring a similar solution to masses.

The Anti Sleep Pilot App helps you calculate your fatigue levels and either helps keep you awake or recommends that you pull over to rest. The program works through its own algorithms, with help from your phone’s GPS and accelerometer, to gauge any potential trouble.

HOW ANTI SLEEP PILOT WORKS

Anti Sleep Pilot will learn your driving habits by asking  you to complete a short test to determine your personal risks. While you’re driving, the program monitors your potential for fatigue, partially based off duration, your risk profile, and driving data.

To keep you alert, the app will ask you to complete simple tasks, like pushing a button on your phone’s screen. When fatigue reaches critical levels, the program will audibly and visually signal that it’s time to pull over and take a break.

A LITTLE MONEY IN EXCHANGE FOR YOUR LIFE

The app costs a little money, $20, a lot in the world of Apps; but not a lot to perhaps save your life! Anti Sleep Pilot  works only with the iPhone 3G and 4 right now. A non-phone version is available for preorder —It’s a small, hockey puck-shaped button that essentially performs the same task. It’s also $20.

Click The Button To Buy Now!

Toyota-Alabama presents product and accessory offerings that we believe can have valuable and enjoyable benefits to our readers and Toyota owners everywhere.

TOYOTA COLLEGE GRADUATE FINANCE PROGRAM

Monday, May 16th, 2011
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Toyota Has A College Graduate Program Enabling New Graduates to Purchase and Finance New Toyota and Scion Cars On Their Own Merit Without A Co-Signer.

College Graduate Buys New Toyota On Her Own Merit

College Graduate Buys New Toyota On Her Own Merit

Qualified College Graduates receive a $1,000 rebate toward the purchase or lease of a new Toyota vehicle, including the Corolla, Matrix, RAV4, Camry (excluding the hybrid), Tacoma and Yaris as well as new Scion models. Graduate must finance or lease through a participating Toyota/Scion Dealer.

For Details Click This Link: Current College Graduate Finance Program.

TOYOTA ENTUNE APP-ROAD STRATEGY

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
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Toyota Entune

Toyota Entune App is putting Bing, Pandora, and OpenTable on wheels, in action,and its looking  like it could be pretty good. Making a dinner reservation while driving there sounds pretty good.

The Entune dash uses your phone as a sort of modem, pulling in data for its apps via 3G, and then shuttling it over to the car with Bluetooth. Bing web results (and corresponding map directions) seem snappy enough. Pandora radio is also a nice touch, for when FM reception is driving you nuts.

For those choked up on any safety issues that touch interface might present, Entune does compensate by including some voice recognition support. The interface  running on Toyota software is clean and should require just few taps to go from main menu to driving directions.

As great as this seems, I’m staring at my iPad and can’t help but think though that it might be easier, better, and far cheaper just to have a car stereo shop stick an iPad in the dash…

Toyota has not been specific on cost and what models will have the entune option first.  
 
 
 
 

 

TOYOTA’S MOBILE APP i-STRATEGY

Monday, March 14th, 2011
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Toyota Mobile app i-Strategy

Toyota has turned to a business philosophy known as kaizen, or fanatical focus on continuous improvement for the company’s  aggressive mobile app i-strategy.

Toyota wanted to build a mobile shopping app that would let consumers window shop among its 16 types of vehicles with more than 130 color options, find nearby dealers, and even take pictures of a vehicle identification number, or VIN, to get specific information about a car.

Toyota decided to deliver a mobile shopping app tuned for the iPhone, but then followed up with an Android app two weeks later and a BlackBerry app two weeks after that. Then Toyota added the VIN-photo feature to all three platforms. Today, Toyota is working on a tablet app that takes advantage of the iPad 2’s camera.

Companies looking to tap into the power of mobile apps often think they either have to develop a native app for a single platform or a vanilla app for multiple platforms. A native app leverages all of a platforms strengths yet risks the future if the platform falters. A vanilla app can run on and add features across platforms yet usually doesn’t offer a compelling user experience.

So how did Toyota get the best of both worlds?

A Mobile App Conundrum…
In the early days of smartphones, there was only one clear choice for app developer: iPhones. But the emergence of Android devices and all of its OS flavors has cast a harsh light on the issue. A recent Nielsen survey found that Android is the most popular smartphone operating system in the United States, surpassing both iPhone and BlackBerry; mobile app developers can no longer ignore the Android platform.

The pendulum is swinging toward multi-platform apps and even browser-based Web services on tablets, given that tablets’ big browsers render Web sites well. (Toyota decided against pinning its tablet strategy on Web services, because its Web site uses a lot of Flash, which isn’t supported on the iPad Safari browser.)

Among tablets, the iPad will no doubt increase its lead with iPad 2 shipping last week. According to results of a ChangeWave Research survey released last week, 82 percent of future tablet buyers say they’ll be purchasing an iPad. But iPad’s dominance is far from certain given the more than 80 Android tablets coming to market this year. Will they follow in the footsteps of Android smartphones?

Toyota believes it has found a way to sidestep the native platform vs. multiplatform dilemma: Build for Apple iOS using tools that make it easy to port to Android and BlackBerry. Toyota uses top advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi to design the front-end of the iPhone and iPad apps, and Kony Solutions for the back-end ties into Toyota’s database.

While Kony supports multiple platforms under the “write once, run anywhere” mantra, Bjorn Hildahl, director of product management at Kony, says his company employs more than 100 research-and-development employees dedicated to various platforms (including Android OS flavors) in order to deliver the native user experience.

“We make sure it feels and looks like, say, an iOS app,” Hildahl says. “We take all the native widgets, such as a day picker or scroll wheel, and expose it to the Kony APIs.”

If a new device comes out on a platform Kony supports, Kony promises to support the device in 30 days or less. For a new OS version, it’s 90 days or less. “You don’t have to worry about who’s going to win in the mobile platform arena,” Hildahl says.

The iPhone is really the standard bearer for smartphones and Toyota will design specifically for the iPhone. Android is the same functionality and somewhat of the same user interface. As long as the innovation leader continues to innovate, the thinking goes, it makes sense to follow the leader. It also helps that the majority of potential Toyota customers use Apple mobile devices.

TOYOTA RENT A CAR, TRY BEFORE YOU BUY!

Thursday, December 30th, 2010
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CAR COLORS: Silver and Black World’s Most Popular

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
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The world’s most popular car colors are silver and black, according to DuPont’s 58th Global Automotive Color Popularity Report issued this week. The report shows only two percentage points separate silver from black as the leading vehicle color globally.White and gray are tied for third place, with gray’s popularity increasing three percentage points from last year’s survey. Red, the only non-neutral color in the top five, is increasing in popularity, taking the fifth spot on the global color popularity rankings. WORLD COLORS

The Top Ten Global Vehicle Colors Are As Follows:

1. Silver – 26 percent

2. Black/Black Effect – 24 percent

3. White/White Pearl and Gray – 16 percent each (tie)

5. Red – 6 percent

6. Blue – 5 percent

7. Brown/Beige – 3 percent

8. Green – 2 percent

9. Yellow/Gold – 1 percent

10. Others – <1 percent

For North America, DuPont’s data showed white/white pearl retained its lead for the fourth year in a row, with 21% popularity share. DuPont experts say this largely reflects the preferences of the fleet and light truck and sport utility vehicle (SUV) markets in North America. Black/black effect beat silver by one percentage point, for the No. 2 spot, with 18% popularity. Gray increased 2% over last year. Rounding out the top five is red with 11% popularity NORTH AMERICA COLORS

In North America, black/black effect lead the compact/sport and luxury/luxury SUV categories, while white/white pearl lead the truck/SUV category. DuPont said silver leads by just one percentage point over black/black effect for the intermediate/crossover utility vehicle (CUV) segment in the North American market.

TUNDRA CARGO AND PAYLOAD MANAGEMENT

Saturday, November 20th, 2010
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Cargo and Payload Management Control should be a priority for Tundra Owners and truck owners in general.tundra bed

Ever wonder what those cut outs and slots are in the bed of the Tundra?…And what about “headache racks” and why are they so popular with many truck owners? Some like the rugged look but most appreciate the safety factor.

 

A headache rack is a metal guard mounted at the front of the pickup bed that helps protect the cab and rear window from loose objects. They come in many styles, including tubular cross bars and stout wire mesh. Headache racks serve as a reminder that unrestrained cargo can be dangerous to cab occupants as well as vehicles or pedestrians near the truck.

The Tundra has numerous features to assist in cargo management control. Here’s a quick look:

2-tier loading – This feature is stamped on the inside of the bed. Four horizontal slots–two on each side of the bed–are located on the shelf by the wheelwell. These slots are directly opposite each other and support a length of 2×4 or 2×6 wood cut to the width of the cargo bed. These two pieces of wood now act like crossmembers and can separate cargo from the load floor. For example, PVC pipe can be stored on the floor and a load of 4×8 plywood can go on top of the wood crossmembers with easy access to both.

Bed dividers – Vertical slots–two on each side–are also stamped in the bed sides. These ribs add structural support to the inside of the cargo bed and can be used to divide the bed to help separate different types of cargo. Lengths of 2×8 or 2×10 wood cut to the width of the bed can be inserted into the slots to create partitions. This allows the owner to keep different building materials, such as dirt, rocks and wood chips, separated from each other.

Tie-down loops – D-shaped tie-down loops are anchored at each corner of the bed. These loops are very effective at securing hooks at the end of motorcycle-style tie downs. Some trucks use a bat-wing cleat as a factory tie down.

Deck Rail – This available feature is the ultimate tie-down system. This innovative utility uses C-channel brackets mounted inside the bed rails and along the header rail behind the cab. Large tie-down cleats can be positioned and tightened anywhere along the rails. The system comes with four cleats but additional cleats can be purchased for specific cargo needs.

The aftermarket offers numerous innovative cargo-control accessories that will help a wide range of customer needs. Some of the more popular items, like tie-down straps and spider nets, are strong sellers in the parts department. Other useful items include bungee cords, canvas or plastic wraps (to protect against weather) and even bed-mounted tool boxes. Check out TruckCruisin for more great stuff.

Of course, a locking hard tonneau cover is one of the best ways to secure cargo if the load isn’t bulky or oversized.

TOYOTA TING MY AUTO, WHERE THEY GO, YOU’LL KNOW

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010
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Toyota Ting My Auto with TheftAlert, provides the invaluable peace of mind you need while loved ones are on the road. Ting My Auto allows you to precisely Track, Locate, and Protect your vehicle and precious cargo with road, aerial, and bird’s eye views.Teen-Driving-Safety

With this valuable exciting new Toyota feature You’ll receive real-time alerts, with instant notification via text or email of your vehicle’s activities, speed, geographical boundaries, low battery alerts and more.

You’re also protected with TheftAlert,  state-of-the-art stolen vehicle recovery feature. Having your vehicle armed with TheftAlert, allows immediate contact to the appropriate authorities with valuable information for tracking and locating your vehicle.

ADDITIONAL FEATURES:

  • trakSMS™
  • Vehicle History Reporting
  • Driver Behavior Modification,Max Speed Set
  • Real-Time Alert Notification
  • Real-Time Location
  • Real-Time Speeds
  • Real-Time Direction
  • Aerial Photos
  • Street Level Mapping
  • Speed Notification
  • Set Geofence(s)
  • Geofence Violation Notification
  • Customer Can Operate System
  • Can Operate From Mobile Phone
  • Nationwide Stolen Vehicle Recovery

HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU SPEND ON A CAR OR TRUCK?

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010
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Someone recenty asked Dave Ramsey a great question about buying a Car, Truck, or Recreational Vehicle…

tips-buying-a-new-car“What’s your rule of thumb about how much your car should be worth in comparison with your Income?”

Dave’s Answer:

Great question! My rule of thumb is that all of your vehicles—I’m talking about cars, trucks, boats and their Sea-Doo sisters, motorcycles, and anything else like this—should not total more than Half Your Annual Income

Why? It’s because all of these kinds of things go down in value. You never want half of your income going into things whose value is dropping like a rock. You don’t need a $20,000 car if you’re making $30,000 a year. That’s just stupid. Think about it this way. If you’re making wanna_buy_a_carthat kind of money, and I walk up and tell you I’ve got an investment opportunity that will turn $20,000 of your hard-earned income into $12,000 in just three or four years, are you going to take me up on the offer? If you’ve got a brain in your head, the answer’s no!

Now, I’m okay with it if you make $300,000 a year and buy a $20,000 car if you pay cash. That’s like most people running out and buying a Happy Meal. It’s just not a big deal!

TOYOTA TOUCH TRACER,HOT SAFETY, CONVENIENCE FEATURE

Friday, September 10th, 2010
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We can all Agree that anything that prevents a driver from looking away from the road is a big plus, and that’s why Toyota steering-wheel mounted audio and cruise controls that make it easy toToyotaPriusSteeringWheel change the radio station or pump up the volume without fumbling around with the middle console have become staple features for many Toyota models.

Still, auto engineers have observed that drivers often look down even when using steering-wheel buttons. Toyota has developed Touch Tracer technology that helps keep eyes looking at the road and it works well.

So what is Toyota Touch Tracer technology? When a steering-wheel mounted control is activated, a holographic image appears over the speedometer. Two blue circles appear, mimicking the shape of the controls on the steering wheel and highlighting the button being pushed in orange. Once the adjustment is complete, the circles fade away.

It’s a very simple concept but the execution is brilliant.

In testing, I was able to see with my peripheral vision what I had pushed, and even in instances where I had selected the wrong button, I was able to make the correction without taking my eyes off the road.

Currently, the feature is only available on the Toyota Prius, although Lexus offers a similar option called Remote Touch. This feature may be added to the rest of the Toyota line in the near future.

TUNDRA 2011, WHAT’S NEW

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
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For 2011 Toyota has simplified the Tundra line-up featuring a new V6 engine & standard electronic trailer sway control that  aligns more evenly with competitive products.2011-TOYOTA-TUNDRA-Pictures

Here are Key changes for 2011 Tundra

  • New 4.0-liter V6 base engine, replacing previous 4.0-liter V6
  • Exterior color choices down from 11 to 9; more paint sharing with Tacoma
  • 10 models deleted, including 9 with 4.6-liter V8 engine
  • Trailer sway control now standard on all models

4.0-liter V6 now has advanced technology similar to Tundra 5.7L and 4.6L V8 engines

  • Improvements designed to improve fuel efficiency, increase and broaden torque range
  • Dual Independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (Dual VVT-i) added
  • Allows independent adjustment of intake and exhaust cam timing to achieve maximum power at different RPM
    o        270 HP@ 5600 RPM
    o        278 lb-ft @ 4400 RPM  

Tundra now shares five colors with Tacoma

  • Tacoma production moving to Tundra plant in San Antonio, Texas
  • Paint sharing streamlines manufacturing, gives truck line consistent family identification
  • Dropped Colors: Tundra dropping Slate Metallic (1F9), Salsa Red Pearl (3Q3), Blue Streak (8T7) and Sandy Beach (4T8)
  • Added Colors: adding Tacoma colors Grey Metallic (1G3) and Tacoma Red Pearl (3R3)

Tundra eliminates following Tundra Grade models:

  • Regular Cab/Standard Bed 4×2 w/ 5.7L
  • Regular Cab/Long Bed 4×2 and 4×4 w/ 4.6L
  • Regular Cab/Standard Bed 4×4 w/ 4.6L
  • Double Cab/Long Bed 4×2 and 4×4 w/ 4.6L

Tundra eliminates following Limited models:

  • Double Cab/Standard Bed 4×2 and 4×4 w/ 4.6L
  • CrewMax/Short Bed 4×2 and 4×4 w/ 4.6L

Tundra adds Trailer Sway Control

  • Additional programming built upon the already standard Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system
  • If system detects trailer yaw or fishtailing, it takes counter measures such as activating the truck’s individual brakes and possibly reducing engine power
  • Trailer Sway Control is standard on all models, even those without factory tow package
  • Tundra’s standard Trailer Sway Control regains standard tow feature parity to Ford F150

2011 SIENNA HAULIN’ PEOPLE, HAULIN’ THINGS WITH EASE

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
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It’s roomy, comfortable and quite responsive on the freeway. We’re talking about the 2011 Toyota Sienna Van and its ratings are fantastic.sienna

This loaded people-hauler has been very useful during a recent home swap and vacation trip.

In a recent home move, almost every stitch of clothing and ounce of food was loaded into the Sienna and hauled with no problem. In fact, while unloading, someone remarked on how big the Sienna is–and how much stuff was in there still to bring in.

On Trips Sienna handles well for a big vehicle. You don’t feel like you’re about to tip over, and it’s solid on the expressway. I didn’t really push it (who pushes minivans?) but never experienced much roll. The chassis is very cushy and wasn’t fazed when navigating broken roads.

The steering is nice, and the interior parts look clean. It seemed a bit hard to reach over and adjust the radio channel, but otherwise a great cabin. The overall exterior seems a bit barge-like–but most minivans do. I did really like the taillights, though.

Sienna accelerates with force on the expressway, and the van  is impressive as it builds speed and the revs increas. Gas mileage in the mid to upper twenties per gallon is achievable.

2011 Toyota Sienna XLE

Base Price: $35,315

As-Tested : $42,211

Drivetrain: 3.5-liter V6; six-speed automatic

Output: 265 hp @ 6,200 rpm, 245 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm

Curb Weight: 4,735 lb

Fuel Economy: (EPA) 18 mpg

Options: XLE premium package including dual view entertainment center, two wireless headphones, voice-activated touch screen DVD, navigation system with panorama camera, backup camera, premium sound, XM Radio with NavTraffic, auxiliary audio jack, USB port with iPod capability, hands free phone capability, music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology, smart key, push button start, remote illuminated entry, chrome accented door handles, rear parking sonar, safety connect ($6,225); carpet floor mats ($324); roof rack cross bar ($185); wireless headphones ($82); cargo net ($51); first aid kit ($29)