Monday, April 24, 2017

The Easy Way to Improve Toyota Car Performance

Yes, we know. We’ve seen the same headlines promising “one weird trick” to do anything from removing wrinkles to losing weight. But when you want your Toyota car to perform better, there really is one simple thing you can do the next time you’re close to your Toyota dealership near Scottsdale, AZ.

You don’t need to spend thousands on a higher-horsepower engine, performance tuning, a custom exhaust system, or any other high-ticket doodads. If you want better acceleration and more stopping power, it’s as simple as stopping by Bell Road Toyota for the proper tires for your Toyota Tacoma or your old Toyota Corolla.

It makes intuitive sense. After all, you wouldn’t train for months for a marathon, eating right, running, and taking supplements, only to wear flip-flops on the day of the big race. Your car is no different. You can do anything else you’d like — parts, fuel treatment, performance upgrades — but if you don’t have the right tires, it’s like running with a pebble in your shoe.

It’s not just us saying so. Tests have proven time and again that tires with good tread give you better traction, better acceleration, and more stopping power at a shorter distance. That translates to better fuel economy, more safety, and a lot more fun behind the wheel. You’ll literally feel the difference.

When it comes to proper maintenance, we hope you’re already paying attention to fundamentals like your hoses, fluids, belts, and brakes. But for all that effort, don’t overlook where the rubber meets the road. If you live in the area around Phoenix, Scottsdale, or Peoria, there’s no excuse not to stop by Bell Road Toyota to make sure your tires aren’t worn, that they’re properly mounted and balanced, and that your alignment’s up to snuff.

Service questions? Stop by our Phoenix Toyota service center today. We’re located at 2020 West Bell Road in Phoenix, AZ. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Toyota FT-4X Concept: First Look

Last week, Bell Road Toyota covered two major production model debuts that were on tap for the New York International Auto Show. This week, we take a closer look at the Toyota FT-4X, a promising “casualcore” concept vehicle targeted at millennials. In its first public appearance, it evidences the DNA of old and new Toyota SUVs.

The size is similar to the upcoming 2018 Toyota C-HR. This makes sense, since both vehicles share the same TNGA platform, and could — in theory — share the same four-cylinder engine and CVT. But the Toyota FT-4X is bulkier all around, and trades the futuristic curvature of the Toyota C-HR for a more muscular look that’s clearly inspired by the discontinued (and sorely missed) Toyota FJ Cruiser.

The differences continue inside, with lots of hard plastic surfaces that are meant to be easier to load and unload, and easier to clean after your weekend adventures. There’s a profusion of USB ports, storage cubbies, heated and cooled storage areas, and even a detachable radio that can be used for tunes around the campfire.

We don’t know yet if the Toyota FT-4X will come to Bell Road Toyota. Concept vehicles often pack every idea that a designer thought would be fun, from the really good ones to the good but far-fetched ones. If it does become available to Phoenix Toyota dealerships, we’d expect a similar exterior but an interior that’s decidedly more conventional, designed to appeal to a wider range of drivers.

If you want to go off-road in the meantime, you’ve got some great options at our 2020 West Bell Road in Phoenix, AZ showroom. Try the 2017 Toyota RAV4 or the legendary Toyota Land Cruiser on for size!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Toyota Cars at New York International Auto Show

The 2017 New York International Auto Show promises to be a good one for those looking forward to 2018 Toyota models. Even though Phoenix is a long way away, we’re still watching with plenty of interest. Not only will many of the 2017 models available now at Bell Road Toyota be on display, but two new models — the 2018 Toyota Sienna and 2018 Toyota Yaris — will take a bow as well.

2018 Toyota Sienna

The 2018 Toyota Sienna comes with a refreshed sense of style. Already boasting a five-star NHTSA safety rating for 2017, the 2018 model promises to be even safer thanks to the TSS-P version of Toyota Safety Sense. That means pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, pre-collision system.

Many other new tech features are also on offer. One of our favorites is the upgraded Toyota Entune 3.0 infotainment system, featuring App Suite Connect, navigation, and some nifty optional features (like WiFi Connect). Upgrades are available on the higher trims, allowing drivers to add a premium JBL Audio sound system.

2018 Toyota Yaris

At the other end of the size spectrum, the subcompact 2018 Toyota Yaris also gets an update. Already good-looking, it gets an updated front fascia on both the three-door L and LE trims, and the five-door SE trim. The SE also gets 16-inch alloy wheels, and dark accents on the wheels and grille.

Multiple upgrades await inside, with different trims getting upgrades to the steering wheel, instrument panel, and audio systems. Entune finally comes to the Toyota Yaris, with the SE receiving Entune Audio Plus and the Connected Navigation application.

2017 — the calendar year, and the model year — have been good to us at Bell Road Toyota, but 2018 is shaping up to be even better still. The new Toyota models above won’t arrive for a little while yet. But if you have questions, or would like to browse our inventory of new and used Toyota vehicles, stop by our showroom at 2020 West Bell Road in Phoenix, AZ today!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Toyota Research Institute Exploring New ZEV Technology

Just a few short weeks after the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) rolled out its new Advanced Active Safety Research Vehicle (AASRV), its released another major announcement. The TRI, in conjunction with a number of academic and tech partners, is undertaking a $35 million initiative to improve electric vehicle batteries. That news should be as welcome to Phoenix car shoppers as it is for the Bell Road Toyota staff.

Why is this initiative important? There are a few reasons. Lets start with the vehicles themselves. A ZEV (Zero Emissions Vehicle) like the Toyota Mirai is so called because it produces no CO2 emissions. A PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) like the 2017 Toyota Prius produces no emissions when its run as an electric vehicle, producing CO2 emissions only when the gas engine is engaged. With fuel economy and emissions standards tightening worldwide even as some are moving to loosen them here at home, thinking ahead makes good business sense.

Theres another important reason as well: even though Toyota hybrid cars have only been on the market for about twenty years, the battery technology in them stretches back farther. Even though its been improved and refined, its essentially forty-year-old tech. New materials and designs should allow for lower weight, higher capacity, and longer endurance.

The Toyota Motor Corporation isnt going it alone. In addition to existing TRI partners Stanford and MIT, R&D assistance is coming from SUNY Buffalo, the University of Michigan, the University of Connecticut, and Ilika, a UK-based material science company.

This is yet another reminder that Toyota cars from the new Toyota Mirai to old standbys like the 2017 Toyota Corolladont just change from year to year; they evolve. To see the latest evolution of new Toyota cars, visit Bell Road Toyota at 2020 West Bell Road in Phoenix, AZ.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Buy a Toyota Car and Buy American

Phoenix car buyers have plenty of choices, and many of you already know that Bell Road Toyota caters to their needs like no other. Whatever you need, and whatever your reasons for buying a new car, we’re confident you’ll find something you like here. One consideration for many customers is buying something that’s made in America. Did you know that your Phoenix Toyota dealership is a great place to start? 

When most of us think about American cars, we typically start by thinking of American brands. However, it’s not quite that simple. All manufacturers source parts and assemblies from a variety of locations, and lots of those components come from overseas. US News and World Report recently examined companies’ manufacturing and supply chains. The results of their analysis might surprise you. The most American car, in terms of where it was built and where the parts came from, was the 2017 Toyota Camry.

That doesn’t surprise the Bell Road Toyota staff. After all, Toyota Motor North America is the Plano, TX-based subsidiary of the Toyota Motor Corporation. Between dealerships, suppliers, factories, and regional offices, Toyota Motor North America has a nationwide presence.

Another study, conducted by the Center for Automotive Research*, takes a closer look at the impact of that presence. The company’s initiatives in manufacturing, R&D, sales, and service has a deep impact. They directly employ thousands, indirectly employing thousands more. Payroll taxes, sales taxes, and other economic contributions ensure that  the Toyota Motor Corporation makes its presence felt from coast to coast.

So if you want to buy American, visit your Phoenix Toyota dealership and take a close look at the American-made 2017 Toyota Camry and 2017 Toyota Avalon. Bell Road Toyota is located at 2020 West Bell Road in Phoenix, AZ. Stop by today!

*"Contribution of Toyota Motor North America to the Economies of Nineteen States and the United States in 2015"

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

TRI Introduces Next-Gen Research Vehicle

When a Toyota model like the Toyota Prius enters a new generation, we take notice. After all, it means improvements to design, amenities, and especially technology. Thank to the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), a more obscure car just entered its second generation. You won't find it at Bell Road Toyota, but it could be the most important new Toyota vehicle in years. 

In its first generation, it was called the Advanced Active Safety Research Vehicle (AASRV). The AASRV was unveiled just ahead of the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show and signaled how serious the Toyota Motor Corporation was about autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles. Using HD cameras, LIDAR, and a host of proprietary tech, it was intended to put the company on track toward a self-driving car by 2021.

In the interim, the company spent more than a billion dollars to inaugurate the TRI. A year after it lauched, TRI's first major project is out. The second-generation AASRV, built on a Lexus LS 600hL from the company's luxury car division, refines the first-generation technology, making it modular and putting it in a smaller package.

The research now follows two streams, called Guardian and Chauffer. The former is a set of semi-autonomous driver assist aids that build on advancements in current Toyota cars and SUVs (like lane departure warning and emergency braking). The latter continues the company's ongoing work in developing fully-autonomous vehicles.

All of this might seem a bit arcane. It's not. Your Toyota Corolla may not be driving itself yet, but if you buy a new Toyota car, you're already seeing the benefits of the TRI's work. Those active safety features that have won many Toyota cars IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus awards? Thank the TRI and their AASRV.

The future is closer than you think. To see more of the best cars and most advanced technology on offer, come to your Phoenix Toyota dealership. Bell Road Toyota is conveniently located at 2020 West Bell Road in Phoenix, AZ.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

2018 Toyota C-HR: First Impressions

The first time anyone heard of the Toyota C-HR was as a concept at the 2014 Frankfurt Auto Show. Rumors circulated that the compact SUV would be built, but then it was shelved, only to reappear at auto shows again in 2016, this time confirmed as a production model. After multiple delays and ample anticipation, it looks like it's getting much closer to Bell Road Toyota and the drivers we serve in Phoenix and Scottsdale, AZ. 

The "Coupe High Rider" lives up to its name. It has a coupe shape combined with the ride height of a crossover. Its design won't be to everyone's tastes. It's not as conservative as the Toyota Highlander or Toyota RAV4 (which might be due, in part, to the fact that it was originally slated for the now-defunct Scion division). Unusually for a crossover, no AWD version is in the works right now. As with the other Scion-derived models (the Toyota Corolla iM and the Toyota Yaris iA), its trims will be limited (XLE and XLE Premium, in this case), and each will be what are called "monospec" models. In other words, what you see is what you get.

Luckily, what you get is fully loaded. We're expecting a active safety features on at least the XLE Premium trim, alongside driver assist features, AM/FM/HD radio, and Toyota Entune infotainment system. The driving experience should be fun, thanks to the stiff body, low center of gravity, and a powertrain underpinned by a 144 horsepower engine.

No release date has been set, but we're anticipating the first models to arrive at the Bell Road Toyota showroom some time this summer as a 2018 model. Given its unique looks, a robust feature set, and the usual reliability you'd get from a new Toyota SUV, we expect to see a lot of the 2018 Toyota C-HR in the years ahead, here in Phoenix and across the country. To find out more, visit us today at 2020 West Bell Road in Phoenix.

The Easy Way to Improve Toyota Car Performance

Yes, we know. We’ve seen the same headlines promising “one weird trick” to do anything from removing wrinkles to losing weight. But whe...