Scion’s FR-S becomes the Toyota 86 for 2017, thanks to the demise of the youth-targeted brand. It gets a refresh too, while the 6-speed manual version’s engine gets bumped from 200 to 205 hp. Check…

2017 Toyota 86 Road Test

Scion is dead. Long live Toyota.

The Japanese brand's youth-oriented sub-brand was an interesting project. It was more successful for longer in the U.S., particularly California where it was initiated and headquartered in 2003. Compared to Ford Motor's Merkur brand (1985–1989) and GM's Geo (1989–1997)-the General did better with Saturn (1985–2010)-a fourteen-year run is pretty good as far as marketing projects go, the cars it sold only rebranded versions of global Toyota models after all.

It therefore made perfect sense to give the outgoing FR-S a version of its global GT86/FT-86 moniker, the "86" portion of the name paying homage to the now classic rear-drive Corolla GTS/AE86 that's still tearing up racetracks around the world. This said I'd rather have seen Toyota combine old and new by coining FR-86, being that they don't have the rights to use the GT86 name here (exclusive to Europe and New Zealand), and FT-86 (only available in Jamaica and Nicaragua). Read Full Story
Has there ever been a tougher looking Toyota pickup? We can’t think of one from the factory. New TRD Pro trim gets zero chrome and available Cement grey paint, plus glossy black 18-inch alloys within…

2017 Toyota Tundra Double Cab TRD Pro Road Test

I have to say, this Tundra TRD Pro took me off guard. It's bold, brazen, and just plain baddass! Chrome? Not. It's matte black all the way, except for its superb "Cement" grey paint.

I can't tell you how many rubberneck looks it received from passersby during its test week, but suffice to say it's pulled more eyeballs than most of the ultra-exotic hardware I've driven this year, and the sound its big 5.7-litre V8 makes at full throttle is almost as intoxicating as the exhaust note of one of those supercars (the amount of gas it guzzles is almost as dizzying too). At 381 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque it's quick for a 2,480-kilo (5,467-lb) behemoth too, but its ultimate capability is meant to be experienced off-road.

TRD Pro trim, which sits just above the similarly named TRD Off-Road model, adds 18-inch alloys on 275/65 rubber (my tester's in Bridgestone Blizzaks due to a winter test week), TRD-customized dual internal piston Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs Read Full Story
Toyota’s RAV4 is Canada’s most popular compact SUV, but does that mean it’s best in its class? Check out today’s review of new top-line Limited Platinum AWD trim to find out what we think and…

2017 Toyota RAV4 Limited Platinum AWD Road Test

The RAV4 is number one! At the close of 2016, Toyota's fourth-generation RAV4 became the bestselling compact SUV in Canada, and by a significant margin. What's more, its 49,103 total sales surpassed the mighty Corolla (by 908 units) for the first time ever, yet another sign of shifting consumer tastes from cars to crossover sport utilities. This also means the RAV4 is now the most popular Toyota in Canada.

Sales aren't slowing for 2017 either. In fact, if the RAV4 continues at its current pace it'll easily surpass 50,000 units for another record year. At the close of Q3 2017 the RAV was still in first place with 39,895 sales, beating the runner-up CR-V by 2,181 units and the third-place Ford Escape by 2,718, let alone Nissan's Rogue that's a sizeable 6,715 deliveries behind or Hyundai's Tucson that trails by a whopping 15,650 units. The best of the rest aren't even half as popular, which goes to show how much Canadians like their Toyota SUVs.

Helping boost sales was a Read Full Story
Toyota’s Sienna will get a big grille refresh for 2018, so if you like a more conservative approach to styling we recommend you snag a 2017 model, like this XLE AWD Limited, while you can. Updated with…

2017 Toyota Sienna XLE AWD Limited Road Test

I remember when this third-generation 2011 Sienna was brand new, and in sporty SE trim it was the coolest minivan to ever hit the road.

I was on the press launch and specifically chose to focus on the SE after driving the majority of trims during the national launch program in early 2010, and soon after I tested a four-cylinder LE model at home (that engine since discontinued in the Sienna), another four-cylinder the following year in 2012 trim while visiting my daughter at her university in Sackville, New Brunswick (a comfortable and economical trip from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Moncton, where I stayed), and after that a well-equipped 2012 XLE model at home, a 2013 LE V6 likewise, a 2014 XLE Limited, the mid-cycle updated 2015 in LE AWD guise, and finally an XLE AWD version of the same vintage, so it felt good to get back in the Sienna saddle once again, this time in an XLE AWD with the Limited package (we'll just call it the Limited AWD).

You may have noticed something Read Full Story
Toyota might be falling behind in the Canadian PHEV and EV arena, with its lone Prius Prime plug-in hybrid only available in Quebec and not a hint of anything fully electric on the foreseeable horizon…

Toyota’s Prius C hybrid gets styling updates and advanced safety kit for 2018

2018 Toyota Prius C
The Toyota Prius C gets styling updates for 2018, helping keep it fresh. (Photo: Toyota)
Toyota might be falling behind in the Canadian PHEV and EV arena, with its lone Prius Prime plug-in hybrid only available in Quebec and not a hint of anything fully electric on the foreseeable horizon despite the recent announcement of an EV partnership with Mazda, but its Prius lineup still holds title to the world’s bestselling electrified vehicle. The compact Prius was redesigned for the 2016 model year, but Toyota Canada’s slightly stronger selling subcompact Prius C has been patiently waiting since the year prior for its update, and now a refreshed 2018 model is upon us.
2018 Toyota Prius C
It might not be a plug-in, but the Prius C’s strong value proposition makes it a popular option in Canada. (Photo: Toyota)
“Prius is the world’s most recognized name for advanced and efficient motoring, and the Prius c combines Toyota’s proven hybrid technology with a small footprint to produce a nimble compact hatch, perfect for life in a modern city,” said Cyril Dimitris, Vice President, Toyota Canada Inc. “For 2018, we’ve made Prius c even more stylish and safe – giving Canadians even more reasons to welcome this forward-thinking hybrid into their lives.”
2018 Toyota Prius C
The 2018 Prius C’s attractive styling certainly helps its cause. (Photo: Toyota)
Compared to the radical styling departure that its elder, bigger sibling adopted two years ago, the reworked 2018 Prius C should appeal to those with more conservative leanings, just like the outgoing one did. In fact, the smaller car shows a polar shift in design that hardly seems as if it came from the same company. Where the larger Prius went from safe and arguably bland wind tunnel-inspired curves to outrageous origami folds and creases, truly pushing Toyota’s new modern-edge design envelope, the 2018 Prius C actually smooths over some of last year’s sharper edges.
2018 Toyota Prius C
Toyota has updated the 2018 model’s wheels too. (Photo: Toyota)
Specifically, the exterior changes include redesigned front and rear fascias plus new LED headlamps, LED taillights, as well as updated wheel covers and optional alloys, while the cabin gets changed up a bit too, with a new steering wheel, gauge cluster, and centre stack. Additionally, the updated infotainment system features a new standard backup camera, but that’s hardly the end of the 2018 Prius C’s standard safety advantages.
2018 Toyota Prius C
A renewed interior sports nicer materials in Technology trim. (Photo: Toyota)
Just like the Yaris that shares the Prius C’s platform architecture, this refreshed hybrid now includes the Toyota Safety Sense C suite of advanced driver-assistance systems as standard equipment, including automatic high beams, pre-collision warning, and lane departure alert. What’s more, the standard Prius C airbag count is nine instead of the usual six, whereas a direct tire pressure monitoring system is also part of the base package.
2018 Toyota Prius C
A new steering wheel boasts updated switchgear. (Photo: Toyota)
Additional 2018 Prius C standard features include 15-inch steel wheels with covers, power-adjustable heatable side mirrors, a tilt and telescopic steering column, steering wheel controls for the audio and HVAC systems, a 4.2-inch in-cluster multi-information display, single-zone automatic climate control, a 6.1-inch colour touchscreen infotainment interface, four-speaker audio, Bluetooth connectivity, an outside temperature gauge, and more for just $21,990 plus freight and dealer fees.
2018 Toyota Prius C
The Prius C’s digital gauge cluster gets improvements for 2018 too. (Photo: Toyota)
Toyota also offers a $900 Upgrade package for the base model featuring a synthetic leather instrument panel, premium upholstery, additional driver seat adjustments, cruise control, two more stereo speakers, a rear centre console box, and a cargo cover, pushing the price up to $22,890.
2018 Toyota Prius C
A backup camera is now standard. (Photo: Toyota)
Lastly, the Prius C Technology starts at $26,950 and adds everything from the Upgrade package except the premium cloth seats, as these are replaced by Toyota’s Softex breathable leatherette upholstery, while other Technology features include 15-inch alloys, LED fog lamps, proximity-sensing keyless access with pushbutton ignition, Touch Tracer controls on the upgraded synthetic leather-clad steering wheel, a navigation system with detailed mapping, advanced voice recognition, Gracenote connectivity, satellite radio, heatable front seats, a powered moonroof, and more.
2018 Toyota Prius C
A $900 Upgrade package adds these attractive cloth seats amongst other items. (Photo: Toyota)
The 2018 Prius C carries forward with Toyota’s well-proven Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain consisting of a 1.5-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder internal combustion engine (ICE) with variable valve timing and an exhaust heat recovery system, mated up to a 19-kWh nickel metal-hydride battery, 45kW electric motor, continuously variable transmission, and auto start/stop system, resulting in 99 net horsepower and estimated 5.1 L/100km city/highway combined fuel economy, which, along with its very attractive pricing, is the key reason it sells so well. While plug-in hybrids and EVs are currently the industry rage, the Prius C’s strong value proposition makes it very popular in Canada and these new 2018 updates should help keep it that way.