Posts Tagged ‘Toyota’

Toyota MR2: Model History and Buyer’s Guide

In addition to big hair, synthesizer music, and acid-washed jeans, the 1980s introduced a glorious return to performance for automakers. After the dark days of the “Malaise Era” (roughly 1975 -1982) wherein increasingly tougher emissions standards and the solutions to meet them sucked the life out of engines, the Yuppie Decade brought welcome advancements in engine technologies that allowed cars to once again provide thrilling performance. This rebirth of performance wasn’t just limited to straight-line gusto either, as advances in chassis development and tire technology also meant greater handling and braking abilities as well.

As a result, the “gr80ties” ushered in lots of new, fun-to-drive models, such as Toyota’s MR2, which debuted for 1985. It was, along with Honda’s CRX Si, a great example of a car not needing a lot of power to be a blast to drive. Indeed, the cover of Automobile Magazine’s debut issue (April 1986) featured the MR2 and a Ferrari 308, driving home the point of how the little MR2 provided plenty of exotic mid-engine sports car thrills for a price most anyone could afford. Low maintenance costs and Toyota’s reputation for quality and longevity didn’t hurt its appeal either.

Fittingly enough, the second generation of the MR2 brought exotic styling that was seemingly inspired by that Ferrari, while the third and last generation switched gears as the MR2 became a soft-top roadster that placed Mazda’s ridiculously popular Miata in the crosshairs of its Toyota logo.

Even though it came in these three distinct flavors, any version of the MR2 is a tasty treat that is virtually guaranteed to rev up those who get a kick out of driving a responsive and engaging sports car.

In this buyer’s guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know to find the perfect “Mister Two” for you.

Toyota FJ Cruiser: Model History and Buyer’s Guide

The FJ Cruiser began life purely as a design concept. It’s retro lines — penned by then 25-year-old Jin Won Kim of Toyota’s Calty design studio in Newport Beach — recall many elements of Toyota’s iconic FJ40, the original Land Cruiser.

Even though Kim was born a quarter century after the original FJ rolled off the assembly line, he nailed the look. In fact, it wowed people so much at its 2003 debut at North American International Auto Show in Detroit that Toyota greenlit the FJ Cruiser for production.

Three years later, a new icon was born.

The 6 Best Used SUVs Under $20,000

The popularity of used crossovers and SUVs is gaining steam. They’re not just the choice of families anymore. Young Americans are buying them in record numbers, too. Small crossovers are now extremely popular, while sales of midsize SUVs and those with three-rows of seating continue to climb.

To help you find the best used SUV for less than $20,000, we’ve created this list of six models. According to the data, these SUVs offer above-average reliability, and they’ve received exceptional safety ratings from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). They’re also fun to drive and fuel-efficient. Our list includes two compacts, a larger five-passenger model, and three with seating for seven, so there’s something here for everyone.

Buying a Used Hybrid? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

It would have been rare a few years ago for hybrids to show up on most used-car shopping lists. There weren’t that many in the market, and there wasn’t much choice. Toyota’s hybrids dominated, with gas-electric models from Honda and Ford in distant second and third place. But stuff happens. Things change.

Today there’s a wide selection of used hybrids available, from almost every manufacturer. Because of their often-stellar fuel efficiency, plus the high-end trim and standard equipment levels among many of the more recent models, they are cars – and crossovers, SUVs, and trucks – that most every used-car shopper should consider.

Because the hybrid marketplace has changed so rapidly over the last ten years, with both hits and misses along the way, it’s important to do your homework before you start browsing the for-sale listings. That’s why we’ve compiled this comprehensive used hybrid buying guide. It’s everything you need to know to make a smart used hybrid purchase.

The Longest-Lasting Used Cars, Trucks, and SUVs

Reliability is a top concern for many used car buyers. Which makes sense. Most used cars no longer carry a factory warranty, so the owner is responsible for any repair bills. And they can add up. In fact, maintenance and repairs make up the second costliest expense of used car ownership (as we note here). If you want to keep your transportation costs to a minimum, it’s important to buy a used car that spends more time on the road and less time at the repair shop.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of the longest-lasting vehicles on the road today. These are the used cars, trucks, and SUVs that owners actually drive the most over the long haul. Where lesser vehicles are breaking down and getting parked or scrapped for parts, these models keep piling on the miles, year after year.

Toyota 4Runner 3rd Generation (1996-2002) Buyer’s Guide

The Toyota 4Runner is a legendary rig. One of the last SUVs still made with rugged body-on-frame construction, it pairs off-road prowess with Toyota reliability and longevity. Indeed, iSeeCars ranked it as the longest-lasting midsize SUV in a recent study. As a result, it remains not only a top seller at dealerships, but used 4Runners also command significant demand and thus tend to retain their values surprisingly well.

The 6 Best Used Cars for Less than $20,000

So you want to buy a good used car. And your budget is modest. You need to keep the price under $20,000, and you don’t want anything that’s more than five years old. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Twenty large isn’t going to get you a Bentley, but it’ll buy you something even better: a safe, reliable, and fuel-efficient ride. One that won’t leave you by the side of the road or bankrupt by repair bills, and more importantly, one that will properly protect you and your family in an accident.

Used Car Repairs: When to Fix It and When Not To

No used car is perfect. They’ve all seen use and probably some abuse, been exposed to sun and wind and rain, endured muddy shoes and Starbucks spills and parking lot scapes. Call it patina. Call it normal wear and tear. Call it what you will — it’s what makes a used car “used.”

Buying a used car saves you money, but it also means picking up responsibility for all of these deficits, demerits, and scars. Some will need to be fixed immediately. Others can be left alone – sometimes for years, sometimes for good.

The XV10 Toyota Camry is a Used Car Hidden Gem

Paint fades, that new car smell wafts away, upholstery wears, and dings and dents are inevitable. Great used cars don’t avoid those indignities, they wear them as battle scars. They’re indomitable and intrepid; reliable and resilient; and cheap to keep on the road. A great used car has an aging nobility to it.

And the greatest used car of them all is the third generation Toyota Camry (1992-1996). Here’s how it got to be that.

1990 Toyota Corolla SR5 Sport Coupe (AE92)

For October 15, 2020, our used car find is this remarkably well-preserved 1990 Toyota Corolla SR5 Sport coupe with just two owners and 112k miles from new. It’s listed for sale on craigslist by a private seller in the San Jose area for $4700.

Here’s what makes this one special.

Which Toyota Land Cruiser Should I Buy? Series 60 vs. 80 vs. 100

Toyota has been building the Land Cruiser since the 1950s, and it has changed quite a bit over the decades. There are many different generations of the SUV, from the original FJ40, which was first imported into the United States in the mid-1960s, to the latest version of the 200 Series, a model that’s still available at your local Toyota dealer.

With so many different versions to choose from, there’s quite a bit to consider before you purchase a secondhand Land Cruiser.

The 7 Most Reliable Cars and SUVs Under $10,000

Many shoppers who’re thinking about buying a used car fret about vehicle reliability, and these qualms aren’t without merit. Relative to a new car, a used vehicle is more likely to need work under the hood earlier in the ownership experience. And the older the used car, the greater the likelihood of a significant repair bill. So it’s no surprise that reliability is often the number one consideration for shoppers in the used car market.

An excellent resource in this area is J.D. Power. Every year, this company surveys more than 80,000 verified owners of three-year-old vehicles. The survey focuses on the type and number of problems these car owners have experienced with their daily drivers within the previous 12 months. The models with the lowest number of reported problems get the highest scores.

If you’re looking for a used car that’s both affordable and reliable, we’re here to help. We’ve sorted through the data to uncover seven excellent used vehicles that lead the pack in dependability, all while costing less than $10,000. Our selections cover a diverse range of vehicle categories, from roomy family crossovers to city-friendly subcompacts, and each of them has achieved segment-topping scores in J.D. Power’s reliability ratings.


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