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Styling That Excites, Performance That Exhilarates, And Technologies That Make Sophisticated Simple: The 2015 Toyota Avalon Has It All
Posted: 12-18-14

Two beautifully equipped editions : The inspiration for all current Toyota models
(TORONTO, ON. – December 4, 2014) Drive the car that combines the very best of Toyota in every way – the flagship sedan that is a showcase of Toyota’s design and passion. Drive the 2015 Toyota Avalon – available in two beautifully equipped editions – and discover how every journey can be rich and rewarding.

“Avalon combines sculpted body styling, an inviting interior, and engaging performance,” said Larry Hutchinson, Vice President at Toyota Canada Inc. “What’s more, Avalon’s exquisite craftsmanship, attention to detail and quality construction deliver remarkable value, to make Avalon the winner of multiple awards and the leader in the premium mid-size segment in Canada.”

Designed, engineered and built in North America, for North American drivers, the 2015 Toyota Avalon sports a fresh, modern look… driver-focused, responsive performance… and an impressive complement of premium features included as standard equipment. Offered in two models, it’s easy for Canadian drivers to find the Avalon with the comfort, performance and features they desire – plus the safety, quality and overall value that they’ve come to expect from Toyota.

A powerful 3.5-litre V6 engine delivers superior power and efficiency: Up to 268 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. This engine is mated to a hydraulic six-speed Super ECT automatic transmission with sequential shift mode. As a result, the Avalon delivers remarkable acceleration, silky-smooth shifts, and impressive fuel efficiency of just 9.6 litres per 100 kilometres (city/highway combined)*. A Sport mode and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters allow drivers to take full advantage of Avalon’s highly responsive drive train and enhances the electric power steering and throttle response for a more engaging driving experience. Drivers may also select Avalon’s Eco mode, which maximizes fuel efficiency by balancing driving performance and systems such as air conditioning to maximize fuel efficiency.

Avalon’s suspension has been specially engineered to provide outstanding ride comfort while delivering enhanced agility and stable cornering. The front Macpherson strut suspension features inversely-wound springs and dampers to deliver improved steering feel, while the dual link rear suspension helps Avalon achieve an ideal balance between ride quality and handling precision. Both suspension systems are enhanced with stabilizer bars.

Avalon’s electric power steering adjusts to vehicle speed, to create a lighter steering sensation at lower speeds and increased on-centre feel at higher speeds.

Safety is always paramount for Toyota, so the Avalon features a full complement of active and passive systems to protect driver, passengers and other users of the road. The Avalon features 10 airbags to cushion occupants from every angle. Three-point lap and shoulder belts for all five seating positions feature front seat anchor height adjusters and rear seat comfort guides. Other standard safety systems include a back-up camera, fast-acting and highly visible LED rear high-mount stop lamp, window jam protection, anchor points for child seats, child protector rear door locks, and more. As with every new Toyota since 2011, the 2015 Avalon is standard equipped with the six active safety technologies of the Star Safety System: Antilock Brake System, Brake Assist, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Vehicle Stability Control (with off switch), Traction Control and Smart Stop Technology work together to help drivers avoid potential accident situations.

As Toyota’s flagship sedan, every 2015 Avalon comes with many comfort, convenience and style features as standard. These include: 6.95” Display Audio system with navigation system, featuring USB audio input, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel-mounted audio and Bluetooth controls, integrated XM Satellite Radio, nine speakers, SMS-to-speech and email-to-speech capabilities, advanced voice recognition, phonebook and streaming audio; dual zone automatic climate control; a driver’s seat memory system linked to exterior mirrors; rear seat fold-down centre armrest with trunk pass-through; power locks with automatic lock with shifter activation and keyless entry; the Smart Key System with Push Button Start; Power windows with automatic up/down function for all windows and window jam protection; a driver-focused instrument cluster including multi-information display with steering wheel-mounted controls, dual-trip odometer, tachometer, Eco indicator, outside temperature gauge and more; cruise control; integrated garage door opener; backup camera in navigation display; auto-dimming rear view mirror with integrated compass; dual illuminated vanity mirrors; tilting/telescoping steering column; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; simulated leather door trim and chrome inner door handles; plenty of thoughtful in-cabin storage; map lamps; 12V accessory power outlet; anti-theft system; power fuel-lid release; 18” aluminum alloy wheels with locks; power adjustable heated exterior mirrors with integrated signal lamps; power moon roof with sun shade; dual exhaust; double-eye projector ellipsoid system low-beams and the automatic headlamp system; fog lamps; and more.

The 2015 Toyota Avalon is available in two models:

The Toyota Avalon XLE (Starting MSRP: $37,785)

The Avalon XLE features: leather seat surfaces; heated front seats; eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat with memory, and four-way power adjustable front passenger seat; variable intermittent wipers with mist feature and projector style headlamps.

The Toyota Avalon Limited (Starting MSRP: $39,880)

The Avalon Limited features: premium leather seat surfaces; heated and ventilated front seats; 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat and eight-way power adjustable front passenger seat; aluminum scuff plates; a premium interior lighting package; LCD colour climate control panel; Toyota’s Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert systems; unique alloy wheel design; side view mirrors enhanced with auto-dimming feature and puddle lamps; variable intermittent wipers with mist feature and automatic wiper system; auto-leveling HID headlamps; and LED daytime running lights.

  • The Avalon Limited may be further enhanced with the available Premium Package, which adds: three-zone independent automatic climate control with rear seat controls; heated rear seats; power rear window sunshade; 11-speaker JBL premium audio system; Toyota’s pre-collision system; dynamic radar cruise control; and the automatic high-beam feature.

The 2015 Toyota Avalon is now on sale at Toyota Dealers across Canada. For more information on features and specifications,

* Fuel efficiency ratings are based on the new 5-cycle testing procedures (Natural Resources Canada)

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid
Posted: 09-25-14 - 2015
Toyota offers many flavours of its refreshed 2015 Camry, but those who choose to lower their operating cost-per-mile, squeeze 800-plus kilometres (500-plus miles) out of each tank of fuel or run a very efficient and reliable sedan in their taxi fleets will only be interested in one: the Camry Hybrid.

The exterior of the 2015 Camry Hybrid is nearly indistinguishable from its gasoline-only counterparts, with the same all-new sheetmetal and bumpers. The Hybrid is offered in LE, SE and XLE trims, meaning customers are offered base, sport or luxury configurations, respectively.

While Toyota expended quite a bit of effort resculpting and improving the 2015 Camry Hybrid, one area it didn't touch was the powertrain – it is virtually identical to last year's model (just like the gas version). Under the hood is a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine (156 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque) and an electric tractive motor (141 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque). Combined, and running through Toyota's unique Hybrid Synergy Drive electronic continuously variable transmission, the two produce 200 horsepower (Toyota does not list a combined torque figure, and we've asked for clarification). A 1.6 kilowatt-hour nickel-metal-hydride battery, packaged behind the rear seats, provides energy storage.

The test car featured here is the Camry Hybrid SE in Blue Crush Metallic, with the optional moonroof, wireless charging and Entune premium audio with navigation and app suite... READ MORE
Driving Notes
  • Toyota offers several different driving modes for the Camry Hybrid. The standard mode is Drive, which incorporates hybrid/EV driving automatically. Those seeking to squeeze a bit more fuel out of each gallon will press the ECO button, which softens throttle response and reduces the use of the air conditioning compressor. Lastly, there is an EV mode, which runs the vehicle solely on electricity for up to 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles) at speeds below 40 kilometres per hour (25 miles per hour) – this modest ability to run electric-only helps the Camry Hybrid deliver its impressive urban efficiency. Not wanting to reduce the output of the air conditioning in tropical Hawaii on my test drive, I left the shifter in Drive nearly the whole time. I did press the EV button, just aft of the shifter, several times. Unfortunately, my emissions-free travel was short lived, as excessive speed fired the combustion engine to life after a few short runs.
  • As expected, the Camry Hybrid sips fuel, earning a rating of 5.5L/100 km (43 miles per gallon) in the city and 6L/100 km (39 mpg) highway in LE trim, and 5.9L/100 km (40 mpg) city, 6.2L/100 km (38 mpg) highway in SE and XLE trims. It is interesting to note that the 45 additional kilograms (100 lbs) of mass and wider tires on the SE and XLE cost those trim levels efficiency in the city cycle, but their improved drag coefficient recovers the loss on the highway cycle. Over a hilly 55-kilometre (35-mile) road course, I averaged about 5.2L/100 km (45 mpg) – impressively beating the estimated ratings.
  • The Hybrid SE model has a curb weight of 1,626 kilograms (3,585 pounds), or about 129 kilograms (285 pounds) more than its naturally aspirated four-cylinder gasoline equivalent. But, thanks to the near-instant torque from its electric motor, Toyota says it launches to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 7.6 seconds – I'd consider that conservative, as it feels a bit quicker. Acceleration like that puts it easily more than a half-second quicker than its four-cylinder sibling in the same sprint. More importantly, the hybrid's power delivery is more useable around town (e.g., pulling out in traffic) when its hybrid drive system is operating in its sweet spot.
  • The gasoline-electric Camry's best attributes include its seamless hybrid system (its operation is nearly imperceptible to the driver), strong fuel economy, premium interior for the price and commendable trunk space. Its less appealing attributes include a buzzy four-cylinder during full throttle acceleration, balanced but lackluster handling, and rather numb steering. Reviewing that list, none of those negatives would dissuade me from recommending the vehicle to a hypermiler. However, those desiring a hybrid sedan that will have them seeking an occasional canyon to carve will need to look elsewhere.
  • It is worth mentioning the excellent ergonomics found within the Camry Hybrid's cabin (and the other Camry models, too). The primary instrument cluster is simple to read, and the new 4.2-inch TFT screen nestled between the Optitron gauges features very useful graphics. Heavily used center console controls, such as audio volume, audio tune and climate control switchgear are oversized round dials (improved for 2015) that are well-spaced on the instrument cluster, making them simple to access without requiring a glance to find their position – plus, the physical knobs are easy to grasp in a moving vehicle. The less frequented auxiliary buttons are also large and very well marked, again easy to use without distraction.
  • While the refreshed 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid is an excellent stand-alone choice, it is far from the only game in town. The Ford Fusion Hybrid, Honda Accord Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Kia Optima Hybrid, and Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid are all worthy contenders seeking the same buyer, and each approaches from a slightly different angle – the best in this very competitive segment is too subjective to call.
  • Canadian pricing, and official L/100km info will be available October 8th, 2014. All mileage converted from US MPG to Canadian.
Michael Harley

The 2015 Toyota Venza: Bold Meets Fun and Versatile
Posted: 08-22-14
(TORONTO, ON. – August 22, 2014) Combine style and substance in your next new car, with the Toyota Venza – the perfect mix of bold design, driving fun, intuitive and engaging technology, and impressive versatility, enhanced with additional standard features for the 2015 model year.

“Toyota designers and engineers gave the 2015 Venza a generous package of comfort, convenience and technology features, then wrapped Venza in distinctive styling, inside and out,” noted Larry Hutchinson, Vice President of Toyota Canada Inc. “With SUV-like versatility, the driving comfort of a sedan, and a choice of engine sizes and drive trains, there’s a versatile Venza for everyone.”

Performance is assured with a choice of an efficient 182 HP 2.7L four-cylinder or a powerful 268 HP 3.5L V6, mated to a six-speed automatic Super ECT transmission with sequential shift mode. Features such as highly responsive electric power steering and hill start assist control make Venza a delight to drive, while seven airbags and the six active technologies in the Toyota Star Safety System headline Venza’s many safety features.

New for 2015, all models are now standard equipped with a back-up camera and the latest generation of Toyota’s Display Audio System, featuring a 6.1” touch screen, USB audio input, automatic sound levelizer technology, Bluetooth capability, integrated Sirius XM Satellite Radio and steering wheel-mounted audio and Bluetooth controls.

Other premium features fitted as standard on every 2015 Venza include: heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, a blind-spot convex mirror and puddle lamps; woodgrain interior trim and chrome interior door handles; dual zone automatic climate control; eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat; 60/40 split fold down second-row seat with remote release in cargo area; high-visibility Optitron instrumentation, a multi-information display; power windows with auto up/down function on all windows; map lamps; cruise control; integrated garage door opener; power door locks with keyless entry and easy-close trunk; three 12-volt accessory power outlets; plenty of in-cabin and cargo-area storage; chrome exhaust tip; fog lamps; and more.

Venza is big on choice, with four models and a range of options packages:

The 2015 Toyota Venza (MSRP starting at $29,510) features the four-cylinder engine, front wheel drive, and 19” aluminum alloy wheels, achieving a combined city/highway fuel efficiency of 10.4 L/100 KM.

The 2015 Toyota Venza V6 (MSRP starting at $31,265) features the V6 engine, front wheel drive and 20” aluminum alloy wheels, achieving a combined city/highway fuel efficiency of 10.9 L/100 KM.

The 2015 Toyota Venza AWD (MSRP starting at $31,310) features 19” aluminum alloy wheels and the four-cylinder engine, achieving a fuel efficiency of 10.5 L/100 KM city/highway combined.

The 2015 Toyota Venza AWD V6 (MSRP starting at $33,065) features 20” aluminum alloy wheels and the V6 engine, achieving a fuel efficiency of 11.3 L/100 KM city/highway combined.

The Toyota Venza AWD and Toyota Venza AWD V6 feature the added confidence of on-demand all-wheel-drive with Toyota’s Active Torque Control System, and may be enhanced with a choice of two upgrade packages:

-The XLE Package adds: a navigation system; advanced voice recognition; leather seating; heated front seats; a power rear door with jam protection; panoramic glass roof; anti-theft system; and more.
-The Limited Package builds on the XLE Package with the addition of: A 13-speaker JBL Synthesis audio system; driver’s seat memory system linked to exterior mirrors;; Smart Key System with Push Button Start; clearance and back-up sensors; chrome-accented door handles; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; stitched leather interior trim; auto-levelling HID headlamps with automatic high-beam system; LED daytime running lights; and more.

The 2015 Toyota Venza is now on sale at Toyota Dealers across Canada. For more information on features and specifications, visit


Toyota Introduces 2015 Sienna online
Posted: 07-21-14
For the first time, Toyota is revealing a new vehicle completely online, introducing the 2015 Sienna minivan with a series of three custom videos titled “Action Movie Kid,” “Eh Bee Family,” and “Convos with My 2-Year-Old.”

In order to show how the spirit of the 2015 Sienna inspires real families in their daily lives, the Japanese automaker enlisted parents to spend time in the new Sienna and create their own unexpected adventures.

Safety remains a top priority for families, and the 2015 Toyota Sienna delivers in the form of a class-leading eight airbags, a panoramic backup camera (standard) with virtual guidelines to help navigate the driveway with greater confidence, and as many as four LATCH locations to securely install child seats.

Exterior changes include a revised front grille, while the interior boasts a new and improved dashboard.

There are many more features and amenities on the 2015 Toyota Sienna worth mentioning such as:

  • Available LED daytime running lights and headlights.
  • An optional 4.2” colour multi-information display can put turn-by-turn directions right in the driver’s instrument panel for the best viewing.
  • Capacitive switches on the optional 7” touchscreen allow users to swipe items on and off.
  • An optional pull-down, conversation mirror called Driver Easy Speak lets the driver check on passengers without turning around.
  • Available black leather interior with white contrast stitching.
  • Gauges in the instrument panel have a new, modern look.