Toyota Knocks it out of the Park with 2016 Tacoma Reveal

2015 Toyota Tacoma in the desert.

2015 Toyota Tacoma pictured.

Not so fast, GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado. The 2016 Toyota Tacoma is in town, and the midsize pickup is promising a fight.

Just last year, GM unveiled its pickup duo, and we can’t deny that the Colorado and Canyon upped the ante. It didn’t take long for Toyota to respond, and with the 2016 Tacoma reveal last week, it’s clear that Toyota will not be outdone. In fact, the new Tacoma is likely to once again become one of the most sought-after small trucks on the market.

Toyota promises to keep everything we love about the Tacoma, and add or update where it’s lacking.

“It’s going to be everything the current one is, but we’re going to raise the bar and make it better,” Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division, said.

So what is better? For starters, a more powerful and efficient powertrain. The Tacoma will be powered by a new 3.5-liter Atkinson-cycle V-6, which will come equipped with Toyota’s D-4S technology. While Toyota hasn’t released any numbers, they do say that this will be the most fuel efficient and powerful Tacoma ever built.

In addition, notes that the automaker has used a higher-strength steel in the frame, and the exterior styling takes cues from the larger Tundra and 4Runner, including a bold, aggressive front end. Inside, shoppers will find a more edgy, fun style, paired with high-end materials and upgrades.

Look for the 2016 Toyota Tacoma to make its way to Empire Toyota in the fall!

Toyota Opens Hydrogen Fuel Cell Patents

Toyota Fuel Cell at the 2014 NAIAS.

Toyota Fuel Cell at the 2014 NAIAS.

In a move many are calling “game changing,” Toyota has made all its patents involving the manufacturing and the sale of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen refueling stations available to all manufacturers. There are 5,680 patents in total, all of which are now available for free.

Senior Vice President, Bob Carter, kept their reason for the patent release simple: “By eliminating the traditional corporate boundaries, we can speed the metabolism of everyone’s research and move into a future of mobility quicker, more effectively, and more economically. Indeed, I believe that today marks a turning point in the automotive industry.”

Hydrogen fuel cell technology effectively generates electricity by combining the main two elements of water, hydrogen and oxygen. The only emission is pure water. The first hydrogen car from Toyota, the Toyota Mirai, will hit the road later this year in California and New England. Batteries, which can take hours to charge, are far off from the hydrogen tank, which can be refilled in three to five minutes. Toyota hopes that by 2020 fueling stations will be widely available and the hydrogen car market will see constant growth.

Carter said it best: “President Abraham Lincoln said the best way to predict the future is to create it. That’s what we’re doing at Toyota.” We here at Empire Toyota are excited for the future of Toyota. This kind of technology is the reason Toyota is the leader in our industry.

New Toyota Mirai Makes Hydrogen Power a Reality

Toyota FCV Early Concept

For many, many years, the dream of the new car industry has been to produce cars that run on a truly renewable, clean power source. Thanks to the new Toyota Mirai, a futuristic-looking midsize sedan, that dream is now a reality. You see, the Mirai is actually powered completely by hydrogen—the most abundant element in our world.

The new Toyota Mirai will hit the market this year in California before spreading out across the nation as well. It runs on an updated version of the Hybrid Synergy Drive, which powers most of Toyota’s hybrid cars, turned now to hydrogen power use. The electric motor, in this case, is powered by the hydrogen fuel stack, smaller, more efficient, and easier to recharge than a battery pack.

That powertrain will push the new Toyota Mirai to 300 miles a charge, also giving it an output of 153 horsepower. We can’t wait to see this car, the sedan whose name literally means “future,” come to us here at Empire Toyota. And we also can’t wait for you to come see us as well, to learn more about the Mirai or any other vehicle in our lineup

Seven Toyota Models Earn Top IIHS Honors


2014 RAV4

RAV4 – 2014 pictured.


2014 is nearly at its end, which means the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has compiled its comprehensive list of 2015 Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ winners. Here at Empire Toyota, we tell our customers that Toyota’s lineup features some of the safest cars on the road today, and there’s no better way to prove it than by showing off some of the accolades.

In all, seven 2015 Toyota models earned distinctions from IIHS, with two Top Safety Pick winners and an impressive five Top Safety Pick+ winners in the bunch.

In order for the 2015 Toyota Avalon and RAV4 to earn Top Safety Pick honors, they had to earn scores of “good” in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints/seats tests as well as a score of “acceptable” or “good” in the small overlap front.

The five TSP+ winners—2015 Camry, Highlander, Prius, Prius v, and Sienna—had to land similar scores and ratings of “advanced” or “superior” in front crash prevention, which was achieved in each case with the availability of Toyota’s Pre-Collision System.

“At Toyota, our focus remains on the safety and peace of mind of our customers,” said Dino Triantafyllos, Toyota’s North American Chief Quality Officer. “We’re pleased the IIHS has recognized the strong and improved safety performance of our vehicles in a range of crash tests.”

If safety is a priority for your next new car purchase in 2015, there’s no better carmaker than Toyota; when it comes to Toyota, there’s no dealer better than Empire.

New Toyota Prius Design Goes Back to the Drawing Board


2014 Prius

2014 Prius before its 2015 makeover

When you are the considered the global leader in hybrid car production, it’s important that each generation of hybrid models you put out are the best. This is exactly what Toyota is hoping to do with the new Toyota Prius design. At a recent meeting to approve the next-generation Prius, the top members of the Japanese carmaker rebuffed the design, asking the lead engineer to try again.

“The design redo was instructed by myself, and the president said the same thing,” said Mitsuhisa Kato, executive vice president for Toyota. “We substantially refined the design, and we have finally reached a level where we can offer it next year.”

By going back to the drawing board, Toyota believes they have come back with the best Prius design yet. With a complete redesign, many Toyota execs believe they have left behind the Prius’s previously boxy styling for good, making it a more stylish choice for those consumers looking to go green.

Here at Empire Toyota, we also want the best for our customers. Make sure you come in to our dealership today to see why our customer service keeps Toyota fans coming back for more!

Toyota’s Environmental Report: Generating Eco-Friendly Solutions

Toyota works hard to keep the world in a better state.

Toyota works hard to keep the world in a better state.

Here at Empire Toyota, we’re proud to be associated with an automaker like Toyota that really cares about the environment. Recently, the company announced a new North American Environmental Report, detailing everything green it’s doing and wants to do in the future.

According to Toyota, the company is focusing on carbon output, clean water, recycled materials, increasing biodiversity, and outreach programs. Toyota environmental priorities are reflected in their cars and their factories in several ways:

  • Toyota’s first-ever production fuel cell car, the Toyota Mirai, uses hydrogen as fuel and emits only water vapor. It will be available for sale to customers in California in fall 2015.
  • Toyota’s assembly plant in Cambridge, Ontario, captured, cleaned and recycled over 12 million gallons of water used to rinse vehicles during the painting process.
  • Toyota’s North American facilities reduced, reused, recycled or composted over 95 percent of non-regulated waste during calendar year 2013.

These are just some of the improvements Toyota listed in their report. Another major focus was on the hybrid technology which the company has been developing. To date, 2.4 million Toyota and Lexus hybrids in have been made in North America. They save about 500 million gallons of gasoline annually. All of these are part of Toyota’s larger project to revolutionize the auto industry with the environment in mind.

Toyota Mirai: It’s All in the Name

Toyota's Fuel Cell Concept

Fuel Cell Vehicle Concept at the NAIAS (North American International Auto Show)

Newton told us that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. With gasoline-engine cars, for every controlled explosion of air and gasoline, we got propulsion and exhaust. Unfortunately, this exhaust contains carbon dioxide.

When it comes to the Toyota Mirai – the automaker’s fuel-cell vehicle – the opposite and equal reaction still gets you propulsion and emissions; only the emissions are water vapor. That’s a world of difference from carbon dioxide.

It’s reasonable to assume that this is why Toyota named its first FCV Mirai.  It means “future” in Japanese. This is a future that Toyota has believed in for a long time, seeing that they began development on hydrogen fuel-cells back in 1992.

The Mirai can be refueled in three to five minutes. Toyota sees this as a huge benefit over electric cars, in that customers do not have to learn any new tricks. The fuel-up will feel just like you are fueling up with gasoline.

Also, another huge benefit is that even though natural gas is expended to produce the hydrogen now, it doesn’t always have to be that way. Geo-thermal, wind, water – any power source can be used in the future.

Come out to Empire Toyota and talk to us more about the Toyota Mirai and other great Toyota models!

Refreshed Toyota Prius v Pricing Announced

2015 Toyota Prius V

2015 Toyota Prius v

It’s not often an automaker is able to refresh a beloved model and lower its starting price in comparison to the previous model year, but that’s exactly what has happened for the new Toyota Prius v. The family-sized hybrid wagon was refreshed for the 2015 model year and Toyota recently announced the refreshed Toyota Prius v pricing, showing a slight decrease over the MSRP of last year’s base model.

The base model Prius v Two will be available starting at $26,675, not including an $825 fee for delivery, processing, and handling. The top-tier Prius v Five trim is priced at $30,935.

New for the refreshed model is a redesigned front fascia with a black accent lower grille. In the rear, LED tail lamps provide a modern look. The vehicle maintains its spacious interior, providing room for family and friends and lots of cargo. Entune audio, a backup camera display, and versatile seating come standard.

This year, an all-new Prius v Four trim is also available, wearing a starting price of $29,695.

The refreshed Prius v is slated to arrive here at Empire Toyota in December of this year, just in time for you to finish your Christmas shopping!

Toyota Urges Parents to Exemplify Safe Driving Behavior for Teens

Parents with their children

Toyota supports families in setting good examples for young people.

Parents, how is your driving?  As Toyota’s TeenDrive365 program provides young drivers with important information about good habits while behind the wheel, the automaker also emphasizes the important role that parents play in encouraging safe driving behavior for teens.

According to a research study conducted by Toyota and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, parents are the number one influencer on teen driving behavior.

Since the launch of TeenDrive365 in November 2013, the program has reached over 10,000 people at various events across the country and more than 1 million via the website. Based on this new research, the program is introducing new resources to challenge not only teens, but their parents as well to commit to practicing safe driving habits.

“As a mother of a teenager, I often remind myself that the things I do behind the wheel go a long way in setting a powerful example,” said Dr. Tina Sayer, teen safe driving expert and principal engineer for the Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center.

Join with us here at Empire Toyota and the entire Toyota family as we commit to setting a good example for our teen drivers.

New Jersey Donald Duck Pedestrian Puts Drivers to the Test


This story is too bizarre not to share. We don’t know whether we should be angry, or just have a good laugh, after New Jersey officials thought that dressing up as Donald Duck and testing drivers on Halloween was a good idea. For the record: it wasn’t a good idea at all.

A police officer dressed up like a six-foot-six Donald Duck acted erratically on the side of a crosswalk, with the intention of finding out if drivers would stop for him as a part of their Pedestrians in the Crosswalk safety program. The program itself is completely legitimate, and tests random driver’s willingness to stop for pedestrians at designated crosswalks. Dressing up as Donald Duck, however, may not be the best way to put drivers to the test.

Nearly 130 drivers were stopped and ticketed a whopping $230 for failing to yield to a pedestrian. Drivers claimed that the Donald Duck pedestrian was pacing on the side of the road, occasionally waving drivers on, and sometimes stepping into the crosswalk toward the cars. One woman described it as confusing, and even scary. She thought the character was acting ‘crazy,’ and decided not to stop because whoever was dressed up could pose a threat.

“It scared me,” Haigh told CBS New York. “It was a huge duck. If it was a person dressed normally, I think all those people would have stopped.”

Here at Empire Toyota, we recognize the serious problem created by drivers who do not yield to pedestrians. We agree with the local officials that drivers need to be stopping for adults, children, and even ducks – but, we also think acting erratically on the side of the road seems hardly fair.

We want to know: what do you think? Would you have stopped for the Donald Duck pedestrian? Let us know in the comments!