Monday, December 26, 2016

2018 Toyota C-HR Debuts in America

If you think rush hour traffic around Los Angeles is slow, stop to consider the many delays experienced by the Toyota C-HR. We first saw it back in 2014 and we've been waiting for it ever since. The production spec model made its first appearance earlier this year in Geneva, and this week it finally showed up in America, making its debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. It'll be a bit longer 'til it's available at Keyes Toyota, but it's looking like all the waiting will be worthwhile.

The "C-HR" in this subcompact SUV's name means "Coupe High Rider." The "High Rider" part makes sense given the crossover design. The coupe part makes sense once you see the new Toyota SUV in profile. Where many of its competitors use optical illusions to create the appearance of a sloped roof line on their crossovers, this is the real deal. Based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, its stiffer body and low center of gravity promise handling that's as sharp as its looks.

The first model year will feature two trims, the XLE and XLE Premium. Both will have the same four-cylinder engine (with 144 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque) and continuously variable transmission for their powertrain. Front-wheel drive with torque distribution is standard.

Other features include the Toyota Entune infotainment system, AM/FM/HD radio, Bluetooth, an AUX jack, and a USB port. Early indications are that in addition to the usual passive safety features, a number of active safety and driver assist features will be standard equipment. We're still waiting for confirmation on pricing and option packages, and it also remains to be seen whether AWD will be an available option for the first year.

The Toyota C-HR comes to Keyes Toyota in mid-2017 as a 2018 model. If you'd like to learn more, or if you're just itching to get behind the wheel of a new Toyota car like the 2017 Toyota RAV4, visit Keyes Toyota at 5855 Van Nuys Blvd in Van Nuys, CA today.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Get to Know the 2017 Toyota Corolla iM

It's been a long time since we've seen a Toyota Corolla hatchback in the United States. They've been available to the rest of the world as the Toyota Auris, but they never quite caught on in the States. The last time was the Toyota Corolla-derived Toyota Matrix, which the company discontinued in 2013. Now they're trying again. San Fernando drivers can get behind the wheel of the 2017 Toyota Corolla iM, available now at Keyes Toyota.

For now, there's only one trim. A 1.8 liter 4-cylinder engine with 137 horsepower, paired to a manual transmission, is standard. You can upgrade to a CVT (continuously variable transmission) for slightly higher gas mileage and Sport Driving Mode. The exterior is re-styled slightly with a more aggressive look than the sedan version of the Toyota Corolla. The rear is also different, not only because of the hatchback, but also due to the chrome-tipped exhaust and rear spoiler. Its sporty looks are rounded out by sport suspension and 17-inch wheels.

You won't find much here by way of options and upgrades; since there's only one trim, it's all about the standard equipment. That includes a rear backup camera, keyless entry, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls. There's a generous 20 cubic feet of cargo volume (that's more than some crossovers). Fuel mileage is an EPA estimated 27 city / 35 highway / 30 combined miles per gallon, contributing to a low total cost of ownership.

The 2017 Toyota Corolla iM is practical. However, it also has its fun side, thanks to Toyota iM Display Audio. This infotainment system has a 7-inch display, USB 2.0 port, HD radio, voice recognition, and Bluetooth. You can upgrade it to run navigation alongside the applications it already supports.

Ready to test drive your 2017 Toyota Corolla iM? Visit your San Fernando area Toyota dealership. Keyes Toyota is located at 5855 Van Nuys Blvd in Van Nuys, CA.

*With manual transmission; 31 combined MPG with optional CVT.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

What's Behind the Toyota Investment in Getaround

We're as used to seeing new Toyota cars in the news as we are seeing them on the streets around Van Nuys and here at the Keyes Toyota showroom. Every once in a while, the Toyota Motor Corporation finds new ways to make headlines. Early in 2016, the Toyota Research Institute, a dedicated R&D initiative, drew attention. A new round of articles in recent days says a lot about the company's future.

It's no secret that the traditional ways to keep a car, whether through ownership or through leasing, have declined over the last few years. In fact, John Zimmer, president of the ride-sharing company Lyft, raised eyebrows not too long ago when he predicted that car ownership as we know it would be phased out by 2025. We're not sure to what degree we agree with that, but it doesn't take the foresight of Isaac Asimov to realize that our relationship to cars is evolving in much the same way the vehicles themselves have.

The way the Toyota Motor Corporation is responding to those changes is interesting, not least because they stand not only to respond to the future but to actually shape it in this case. The Toyota-owned Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership, which normally invests in research and development, pumped an estimated $10 million into Getaround, an up-and-coming ride-sharing service. The payoff for the investors is that Toyota now has a foothold in the rapidly growing ride-sharing economy.

Toyota cars, like the company that makes them, are steeped in tradition. However, both the cars and the company have evolved with the times, discarding some traditions and inventing others in order to stay relevant. The Toyota RAV4 (which invented the compact crossover) and the Toyota Prius (which made hybrids viable) are results of that approach.

We think it's a sensible approach. After all, when the future is unclear, wouldn't you rather be in the driver's seat instead of waiting to see what's next? With that in mind, see what all those years of research, development, and evolution have led up to. Come to the Keyes Toyota showroom at 5855 Van Nuys Blvd in Van Nuys, CA today for a test drive!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Winterize Your Car at Keyes Toyota

The last time the Los Angeles area saw significant snow was almost 70 years ago. Based on what we see in our service center, that's around the last time some of you had your cars winterized. Even though the balmy winters here are the envy of much of the US, that doesn't mean you don't have to winterize your Toyota car or SUV. Here's why Keyes Toyota should be your first stop to do just that.

In a place that basically has two seasons -- late spring, followed by summer, and back again -- it's easy to think of winterizing as somebody else's problem. Just because Mother Nature doesn't have the same kind of wild mood swings they're used to in upstate New York doesn't mean you should neglect seasonal maintenance.

Maybe you bought a Toyota RAV4 from us last spring, or maybe you're the fourth owner of a 1989 Toyota Camry. Either way, we're willing to bet that one reason you bought a Toyota vehicle is because you know they're reliable. The thing is, they don't get there on their own. They take regular maintenance (new tires and brakes, fluid changes, new filters, and more) in order to deliver the best performance.

That's where our Toyota service center near Los Angeles comes in. Our technicians are trained on Toyota vehicles and use OEM Toyota parts. Just as important, they and the rest of the Keyes Toyota family will make sure you understand what your vehicle needs right now, what can wait, and when to bring the car in again. We know you have other things going on in life, so we take the guesswork and forgetfulness out of the picture.

Help your car, truck, or SUV run its best. Don't wait 'til the next time you see snow in LA County to winterize your car. Come to Keyes Toyota at 5855 Van Nuys Blvd in Van Nuys, CA today. You'll thank us, and your car will thank you, for it.