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Toyota Highlander Wins 2008 AutoPacific Motorist Choice Award® for Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV

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AutoPacific: Scoring the highest in overall quality, the Toyota Highlander takes home a 2008 Motorist Choice Award® in the premium mid-size crossover SUV segment. Owners gave Highlander the highest marks for both vehicle and brand reputation. With additional top scores in reliability and, yes, even cup holders, it was clear that the Toyota Highlander was a winner.
IntelliChoice: The Highlander is a strong performer in every area of ownership costs. It has excellent retained value, fuel costs and insurance costs.

Posted in: Awards, Toyota

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Toyota RAV4 Wins 2008 AutoPacific Motorist Choice Award® for Mainstream Mid-Size Crossover SUV

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AutoPacific: The Toyota RAV4 didn’t just collect top marks for exterior size and cargo capacity — it also received the segment’s highest marks for overall satisfaction. These scores contributed to its Motorist Choice Award® win in the mainstream mid-size crossover SUV segment. RAV4 also received ratings that beat out the competition for traction in all weather conditions, reliability, handling, braking and driver’s-seat visibility. Owners also gave the RAV4 the category’s highest ratings in power and acceleration.
IntelliChoice: The RAV4 is a solid performer in both ownership costs and the AutoPacific survey. The RAV4 has the best-in-class retained value, but it does not perform as well in other areas of ownership costs.

Posted in: Awards, Toyota

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Toyota Sequoia Wins 2008 AutoPacific Motorist Choice Award® for Large SUV

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AutoPacific: In typical Toyota-owner fashion, Sequoia owners gave the vehicle high rankings for brand and vehicle reputation. Those rankings, along with high marks for seat comfort, interior storage and interior build materials, helped blow the competition away and secure a 2008 Motorist Choice Award® for the Toyota Sequoia. Guaranteeing the win were high scores for power, braking, handling and “fun to drive” attributes.
IntelliChoice: The Sequoia was among the best in overall ownership costs and has a best-in-class retained value and much better than expected insurance costs.

Posted in: Awards, Toyota

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Toyota Corolla Wins 2008 AutoPacific Motorist Choice Award® for Compact Car

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AutoPacific: In a segment that’s growing in popularity, the Corolla takes home the 2008 Motorist Choice Award®. The Corolla pulled past 18 competitors with high marks for both brand and vehicle reputation. Owner’s touted the car’s overall quality; Corolla had the highest ratings in its segment for interior quietness, easy-to-handle controls and driver’s seat visibility.
IntelliChoice: The Corolla has a class-leading retained value and is second in both overall ownership costs and fuel costs.

Posted in: Awards, Toyota

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Exhaust Note #24: Foisting Big Toyota Trucks on the World Market – Any Takers?

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Toyota announced today that in light of greatly diminished sales of the full-size Tundra pickup and Sequoia SUV, the company will start selling them on the international market. As with just about every other full-size pickup and SUV, these big Toyotas have suffered greatly at the hands of $4 per gallon gasoline. The situation is particularly troubling because most Tundras are built in a brand-new (and extremely expensive) purpose-built factory in San Antonio, Texas – smack in the middle of truck country.

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The 2009 Toyota Tundra: Right at Home in Uzbekhistan!

It’s a rare stumble for the usually unimpeachable Toyota; the company had invested untold dollars in developing and manufacturing a true full-size pickup contender that could go toe-to-toe with the best of the Big 3 pickups, only to have the market for such vehicles tank in a matter of months. As the Tundra hadn’t built up commercial credibility yet (commercial users are a major source of full-size pickup sales), the truck was relying heavily on personal-use customers. With fuel prices being the way they are, personal-use pickup customers are the first to leave; they may want pickups, but they don’t need pickups. That being the case, demand for Tundra has collapsed.

Posted in: Exhaust Note, Toyota

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Road Noise: The Green Parade

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Green technology at the Woodward Dream Cruise? Hmmm. You could fit a whole Prius under this baby’s hood, I guess.

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Truck Slump Hits Toyota Production Plans

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Even giant Toyota is forced to rethink their production plans and schedules, in light of plummeting truck and large SUV sales. Going into 2008 analysts expected a bad sales year for the U.S. automotive market. Still the first half of the year has been worse than predicted, and marked by a mass exodus from large trucks and SUVs. No one expects truck and large SUV sales to recover to pre-$4 gas levels, but it is impossible yet to know just how much of this dramatic and shocking shift is permanent.

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Against this backdrop, Toyota announced today that Tundra and Sequoia production will be suspended in August, resuming again in November of this year. (The Sienna minivan, also built in Indiana, is so far unaffected.) This follows similar announcements over the past few months from Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler of lengthened shutdowns of truck and SUV production, and even Ford’s delayed launch of the new-for-2009MY F-150.


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Toyota Sienna and Hyundai Entourage Win AutoPacific 2008 Ideal Vehicle Award for Minivans

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The Toyota Sienna has been declared a 2008 Ideal Vehicle Award winner by owners in the Minivan category. Owners complemented Sienna’s exterior size, ride and handling. Also scoring top points for the Sienna were its V6 power (266hp), which made for swift acceleration, and an excellent ingress/egress.
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Owners in the Minivan segment have given the Hyundai top marks and the 2008 Ideal Vehicle Award. Owners gave Entourage kudos for its safety features, which already had garnered the vehicle a five-star safety rating. Exterior styling and wheels and tires were noted as excellent, and Entourage also received high ratings for passenger room, seat firmness and interior lighting.

Posted in: Awards, Hyundai, Toyota

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Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy and Toyota 4Runner Win AutoPacific 2008 Ideal Vehicle Award for Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicle

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The Chevrolet Trailblazer wins a 2008 Ideal Vehicle Award in the Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility segment. Owners reported the vehicle performs particularly well in cargo space, visibility and ingress/egress.
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GMC’s Envoy wins in the Premium Mid-Size Sport Utility segment with owners’ strong ratings for seat firmness, level of technology and ride. Handling, power and acceleration also were all listed as strong points for the Envoy.
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Even in its sixth model year, the Toyota 4Runner is an Ideal Vehicle Award winner. Few buyers would change interior storage space, exterior size or passenger room. Owners also noted the 4Runner’s level of safety.

Posted in: Awards, Chevrolet, GMC, Toyota

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AutoPacific Announces 2008 Ideal Vehicle Awards

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Tustin, California, June 30, 2008 – An “ideal” is defined as an excellent or perfect example. In the annual Ideal Vehicle Awards (IVA), announced today by automotive research and consulting firm AutoPacific, owners rate their new 2008 model year cars and trucks by how close they come to their ideal, as measured by 15 key vehicle attributes. The cars or trucks that owners would change the least are the most ideal.


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