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Toyota on the mend?

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited February 2013
    first foreign vehicle to win the Korea Automobile Journalist Association's award

    From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130224/AUTO0104/302240308#ixzz2M2MJ3miY
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    FT-86 "OPEN" CONCEPT

    A nice bump in power (50hp?) would be perfect.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    TRD will soon offer a supercharger:

    http://www.examiner.com/article/scion-fr-s-slated-to-get-a-kick-the-pants-with-t- rd-supercharger

    Cool thing is that means you get a warranty.

    Subaru is working on a turbo. Would be interesting to have 2 options, and then compare them.

    Of course why rush? The Gunma plant is running at full tilt, and that's before the new Forester gets here. Subaru needs more capacity yesterday.

    I say build the Forester at SIA and move Camry production some place else.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    http://www.kbb.com/new-cars/best-resale-value-awards/best-resale-top-10-cars-201- 3/

    The Lexus LX surprises me.

    I think the low sales volume helps some of these, no ex-rentals to compete with.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    Toyota has upped their new car warranty in the UK to 5 years or 100,000 miles (begging the question why the UK still uses miles). The "mechanical" warranty was 5/60. "While the five-year part of the deal appeals to private buyers, Toyota wants to emphasise the warranty when talking to fleet and corporate buyers."

    Warranty a key weapon as Toyota targets fleets (carandvannews)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited March 2013
    Hyundai successfully used their warranty to market their cars into mainstream acceptance.

    I wonder if Toyota will extend the warranties here, to rebuild their rep?

    Looking at sales it doesn't seem necessary, but it could help them gain market share.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    It would be a way to fight back against Volkswagen. VW already has them beat with an extra year of free maintenance and an extra year of roadside coverage.

    And maybe they'll start pushing fleet sales here more?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'd keep a lid on fleet sales, no more than 10-12% or so. Otherwise residuals will erode.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    With apologies to Rodney Dangerfield.

    "Critics often deride Toyotas for their bland styling and/or unrewarding driving experience. The reality is this: Toyota has changed the nature of the automotive industry, just like GM once did.

    And even though auto journalists chastise Toyota's products, the fact is that Americans love them. That's why they buy so many of them."

    Toyota rarely credited for its innovation in the industry (Detroit News)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,910
    edited March 2013
    Or it might show that the average 'Murican is more boring and thoughtless than at any time in automotive history. When the RAV is counted as "innovation", something has derailed. I'll give them hybrids, which is innovation and some kind of backwards evolution (in terms of driving pleasure) at the same time. Also ironic that the Japanese (and Toyota) managerial styles came largely from US minds such as Deming.

    Toyota can make exciting cars, they just choose not to, as in the end, what sells matters. It's that simple. But no need to praise beige.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Notice that every other brand copying the RAV4 formula?

    GLK, Q5, X3, Tiguan, ...

    Small crossovers are the top growth market in Europe. Build one or else, pretty much.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,910
    But is it innovation? Is it progress? Looking at how most of these drive, and the ability of most of their "drivers", I would argue not.

    Just fake toughness for bland people who should be in Civrollas.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Europe has fallen in love with crossovers, too. This is no longer an American phenomenon.

    Soon they will get some small ones we don't even get here.

    Toyota invented the segment. People want the high vantage point and increased clearance without the usual trucks ride and gas guzzling.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,910
    edited March 2013
    How does Europe liking it make it better? Europe has plenty of bland mindless people, too. The only difference is that there, they keep right.

    People want to appear to be more adventurous than they really are. To the average 43 year old assistant senior HR generalist, there's not much difference between a crossover and a Paris-Dakar racer.

    I can call the hybrid an innovation, as it is progress in some way, but this, just can't embrace it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It proves universal appeal.

    Maybe it's our different backgrounds, but I grew up in Brazil, where unpaved roads are common (at least they were when i lived there) and gas costs a fortune, especially as a % of income.

    Having a fuel efficient alternative to a truck makes sense to a lot of people.

    I know you expect and enjoy smooth-as-glass roads, but whether it is for the Brazilian jungle or the urban jungle (often worse), crossovers provide a much appreciated edge in capability.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,910
    I don't know if "universal" is accurate. Maybe the universal desire to appear rugged even when you're anything but.

    Most of these things will never even see a gravel driveway.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ours has been on the beach, orchards, even in the Pine Barrens, but you can enjoy the benefits of a long travel suspension every time you go over a speed bump or pot hole, which is several times per day.

    RAV4 is more rugged than a Corolla, and it's all the capability most people need.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,910
    Yours is a Subaru, which is probably more robust, and even then, you are in what I would wager is a very small minority. The most dangerous road most of these will see is the incline on a mall parking garage ramp.

    Most people just need a Corolla wagon or a vanlet, but are self-conscious, even though they are just pleasantly boring people to begin with. Image is everything.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ever bottom out in the AMG? I bet you did...my Miata scrapes the front lip all the time, and it's not lowered.

    Seems simple but having some more bump tolerance isn't necessarily a bad thing. Or a little extra clearance so folks don't abandon their cars when there's a dusting of snow (and around here they do).
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,910
    Nope, I never did, I am a pretty careful driver, and the stuff suspension seemed to keep it level. Fintail can bottom out on obscenely steep angles, but it is a low car.

    Bump tolerance? Sounds like a protection against lame drivers.

    Abandoning in snow seems to have no relation to clearance or AWD, at least around here. Nor does crashing in winter weather. In fact, the AWD vehicles seem to crash just as much or more, due to inept drivers that think a RAV4 is a rally prepped G-wagen.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    There is a petition here at work to remove speed bumps in the garage. Behind it are a 911 owner, a Cooper JCW owner, a Maserati coupe owner, and me (MX5).

    In the Forester you hardly even feel it. There are benefits.

    It's easy to get any one with a remotely sporty car to sign because they all feel every bump.

    If you're lowered you almost have to come to a full stop.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,910
    Are they using parking barriers for speed bumps or something? I've seen that before. Feeling every bump is one reason I like my new car - it's such a mellow ride, but not numb.

    I don't need a faux-butch CUV for speed bumps.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    A little lower, but almost.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited March 2013
    You raise an excellent point regarding road clearance and suspension travel. I wish most sedans had an extra inch or so of clearance. There were times when that would have permitted me to get out of my neighborhood, because it was the snow plow effect rather than the tire traction that prevented my car from moving. That was with FWD. For many, including me, FWD and all seasons are sufficient in winter, but I'd welcome more clearance. I'd accept the tradeoffs associated with more clearance. I could buy a crossover, of course, but up to now, at least, I've resisted because sedans and coupes appeal to me more.

    My Audi has Quattro, but average clearance. In fact, it may be a little lower than average since it has sport suspension. My comments regarding road clearance only applies to sedans, not coupes, convertibles and sports cars.

    A little extra suspension travel would also be nice, but it's not a must have for me.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That has been the Outback's formula for success - a little extra clearance, but still a wagon.

    Next door neighbor had an allroad quattro. I don't think the Audi had all that much clearance, as he was always asking me to get gas for his snow blower in the bigger storms. He replaced it with an Accord Crosstour, and his wife has a W211 E350, but not a 4Matic.

    fin will know this - don't 4Matics come with a higher suspension? I think that's common, they figure buyers are in the snow belt.

    Toyota doesn't offer AWD for the Camry, of course I'm sure they'd be happy to sell you a Highlander, or RAV4, or 4Runner, or FJ. All those probably have higher profit margins anyway.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    edited March 2013
    It just kills me that there's no clearance in the wheel wells of my Outback. The ice build up was grinding away a couple of days ago. Just shoveled out a 8'x6' patch of drift in front of my garage doors. It was around 3' deep; would have been fun seeing if the Subaru could have blasted out through it this morning.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The tires have a bigger diameter, so while they lift it a bit, the tires fill up the wheel wells more than on the Legacy. Useless trivia - you can fit a full sized spare in a Legacy, but not in an Outback. I actually bought one for the wife's old 2002 Legacy.

    Try some WD40 strategically sprayed in the wheel wells right before it snows. Clean wheels also help, especially if you wax painted wheels.

    Here's my question - how do you prevent ice build-up on a Tweel?

    http://auto.howstuffworks.com/tweel-airless-tire.htm
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    lol, you know me better than that. Wax my wheels? I could spray some stuff in there I suppose.

    One thing about a Tweel, you could take some cord and make your own tire chains.

    (Did I mention it's snowing and blowing 30 mph here?).
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited March 2013
    I suppose my wishes are hard to satisfy, but the Outback has more clearance than I'd need for 99.9 percent of the winter weather in our area (I think you and I are practically neighbors). If I lived in the snowbelt one of my vehicles would be a crossover, but for the MD suburbs of DC I prefer a car car, at least for now. I'd even take RWD with winter tires, if I could get it with an extra inch of ground clearance.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sure seems that way lately. A couple of winter snow with no real snow. We only get sleet and freezing rain!
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