Toyota Prius v S-Tech 2012 Review

November 9th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Whether it’s by happy accident or you’ve planned it, your four or more children put you in a small minority in New Zealand. Strictly speaking, having lots of children isn’t the most environmentally friendly thing you could do. Fortunately Toyota has created a seven-seat Prius v that will help atone your ecological transgressions.

Typically you’d choose an SUV, like a Toyota Land Cruiser or Holden Captiva 7, or a minivan to transport your kids. Universally, though, these will Continue reading “Toyota Prius v S-Tech 2012 Review” »

Toyota Prius i-Tech 2012 Review

July 23rd, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

There’s an interesting exercise in brand pricing going on with the Prius i-Tech. You can get into the Prius range with the Prius c for around thirty-one to thirty-five thousand, but then there’s a big jump to the base model Prius at fifty grand, and if you want this tricked-out i-Tech verion, it’s $54,490 (online price).

Coincidentally this is only $10 less than the base model Lexus hybrid (the CT200h), but if you plump for the top-of-the-line CT200h F Sport which has similar features to the Prius i-Tech you’ll pony up $72,000.

So, your decision is whether to Continue reading “Toyota Prius i-Tech 2012 Review” »

Toyota Prius c 2012 Review

July 20th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

Today I read a scathing dissertation on global warming in Rolling Stone magazine. The main thrust of the article was that the globe simply can’t tolerate a 2% rise in CO2, but the oil companies are too politically powerful to be legislated against and that any change in our oil consumption habits has to be driven from the population. But in the Herald today it said that half of New Zealanders are ‘sloth-like’. So it’s not going to suddenly happen due to us all deciding to bike to work.

It’s going to happen eventually, though, because Continue reading “Toyota Prius c 2012 Review” »

Toyota Adds Seven Seat Wagon to Popular Prius Family

June 26th, 2012 by Karen Joy Provo

With the arrival of the seven seat Prius v, Toyota has expanded the Prius into a family of vehicles.

Prius is now the first full hybrid vehicle available as a standalone model range, with Prius v joining the Prius c and the flagship Prius hatch.

The ‘v’ behind the Prius v name stands for versatility. Newly designed from the ground up, Prius v is longer, wider and taller than the standard Prius, with an extended wheelbase, making it possible to accommodate adults in all three rows.

The adoption of three-row seating has been achieved thanks to a highly compact, space saving lithium-ion battery pack. Placed under the centre console between the front seats, this is the first lithium-ion battery to be fitted to a Toyota sold in New Zealand.

Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales, Steve Prangnell says: “The Prius was a niche model when it first went on sale 15 years ago. But now, from a global viewpoint the Prius v adds the additional flexibility needed to take us to the verge of an era where hybrids are the normal choice in cars.”

“Prius sales globally have more than doubled as Toyota has extended the Prius nameplate to four models. This year we’ve added the Prius c, or Aqua as it’s known in Japan, and Prius v to the existing Prius hatch and Prius Plug-In models. In the first quarter of 2012, Prius sales were just shy of 250,000 units globally, trailing Corolla with 300,800 and the Ford Focus.”

“Based on the latest sales results, 2012 is likely to go down in history as the year of the hybrid – the first time customers have bought more than one million hybrids in a year. This level of
success makes it clear that hybrid technology has been accepted into the mainstream.”

“Prius v is a welcome addition to our hybrid family. With its size, versatility and fuel efficiency, it’s going to attract customers from across the market. It’s a viable alternative to small or midsized
sedans and wagons as well as compact SUVs and crossover vehicles – with fuel economy few of our competitors can match,” says Steve Prangnell.

“With the added seating, Prius v will challenge the perception of customers who think they need a big SUV to transport the family. Also, the added cargo space means Prius v would make an ideal light delivery vehicle for smaller businesses.”

“Taking into account the Prius hatch, city-sized Prius c and now the Prius v seven seater, it’s an exciting time for us. We now have a Prius family member to suit a broad range of buyers, lifestyles and budgets.”

Prius v showcases the latest generation of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain, which incorporates a 1.8 litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine with a powerful 60kW electric motor for a combined system output of 100kW. The Prius v returns class-leading fuel economy of 4.1 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 99g/km.

The Prius v is available in three grades for New Zealand buyers: Prius v, Prius v s-Tech and the technology flagship Prius v i-Tech.

Prius v will be priced from $50,990 with advanced features including a 6.1 inch display screen audio system, automatic air conditioning, leather-accented steering wheel, energy monitor, keyless entry and start, electric power steering and cruise control. Outside, 16 inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, a rear spoiler and rear privacy glass give a premium look.

Seven airbags, a reversing camera, hill-start assist, vehicle stability control and traction control, and anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution are also Standard.

The Prius v s-Tech adds a head up display, driver’s seat lumbar support and seat height adjustment, manual rear window sun shades, additional smart key door sensors, and a large panoramic style roof with electronic sun shades. The recommended retail price for the Prius v s-Tech is $55,490.

The top-of-the line Prius v i-Tech offers the best in safety and convenience technology. It has a satellite navigation system with seven inch touch screen display, as well as eight JBL GreenEdge speakers. Synthetic leather seats with front seat heaters give a premium feel inside, and LED headlights with auto on/off control set the Prius v i-Tech apart outside. Toyota’s sophisticated pre-crash safety system with dynamic radar cruise control improves safety, while the Intelligent Park Assist (IPA) system assists with parallel and reverse parking.

Toyota to sell hydrogen-powered car by 2015

November 8th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota brought hybrid motoring to the masses with its Prius and other car makers are still in the process of catching up. But emission regulations are getting tougher and now, even Toyota is seeking out ways to offer even “greener” cars.

All-electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf are an option for eco conscious buyers. But Toyota is looking further into the future and plans to  launch a new fuel cell model in Europe by 2015.

Many of the major carmakers have dabbled in hydrogen-powered cars building fuel-cell concepts and prototypes. It was Honda that has come closest so far by launching the FCX Clarity in 2008 – but it’s only available for lease for a limited number of customers.

Toyota’s zero-emissions hydrogen car will apparently be sold to customers in four years’ time but in limited numbers. Not surprisingly the research and development on hydrogen power doesn’t come cheap and these cars will come with a high price tag. Continue reading “Toyota to sell hydrogen-powered car by 2015” »

Toyota shows new Prius range with weird commercial (+video)

September 20th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

The Prius family of vehicles has grown recently and what was once a single model now includes a plug-in hybrid model and the Prius V minivan. The new models are set to go on sale in the States from next month and Toyota has revealed a new ad campaign to sell the range. The only problem is that the first TV commercial is really bizzare.

Aptly named “People Person” this new campaign was created by ‘hit and miss’ advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi

The ad follows a bunch of people who are linked together to from a gigantic but correctly proportioned man. This people-man goes about his regular day like brushing his teeth and reading the newspaper. Then the giant leaves the house and uncovers four Prius models, including the regular Prius, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, the Prius V and the upcoming compact Prius (still in concept form), all parked on his driveway. Then the people who make up this giant man begin to disengage from their formation and drive off in the cars. Continue reading “Toyota shows new Prius range with weird commercial (+video)” »

Toyota Prius Plug-in charging to Frankfurt debut

August 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Eco-warriors rejoice, the production version of the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid will make its world debut at next month’s 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.

It’s a huge launch for Toyota and the Japanese carmaker is claiming that the Prius Plug-in is the next “major milestone” in its 40-year quest for sustainable mobility. The production plug-in hybrid sedan has a freshly designed, compact lithium-ion battery that allows this latest Prius to reach a new low in minimal fuel consumption, sipping just 2.2 litres per 100 kilometers with CO2 emissions of just 49 grams per km.

The plug-in Prius isn’t a successor to the current model and Toyota will continue to focus on hybrid vehicles without a plug,. But Toyota says the Plug-in Prius is its new flagship that showcases the latest developments in hybrid-drive technology. It also says that the car’s value and incredible fuel consumption combine to make it the ultimate eco car. Continue reading “Toyota Prius Plug-in charging to Frankfurt debut” »

Toyota’s larger Prius V goes on sale in Japan

May 17th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Despite severe production and supply issues after the Japanese earthquake/tsunami disaster Toyota has just put its Prius V on sale in its domestic market.

The second model in Toyota’s growing Prius range will be sold in Japan as the Prius Alpha. The new Prius V is based on the current third-generation Prius but is a larger vehicle and will be sold with seven- and five-seating capacities. It also features a much more advanced lithium-ion battery pack. Even in five-seater form, the Prius V offers an impressive 60 percent more luggage capacity than the standard Prius. It also is longer and higher which means extra head and legroom for passengers.

Mechanically the Prius V differs little from the standard model using the same 1.8 litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine matched with an electric motor. Power output for the petrol engine is rated at 73kW and 142Nm, with the electric motor chipping in another 60kW and 207Nm of torque. Continue reading “Toyota’s larger Prius V goes on sale in Japan” »

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