Archive for the ‘Toyota Hybrid’ Category
With so many politicians talking and so many households restructuring their budgets, you can’t help but notice the latest spike in gas prices. It’s affecting everything, even in Portland with all of our bike lanes and sidewalks. Whenever gas station attendants adjust the numbers on their signage, it has a rippling effect on the rest of the economy. Retail managers see a dip in sales; neighbors start carpooling more; and according to Kelly Blue Book, hybrids like the Prius surge in resale value. Last month alone, the 2010 Toyota Prius gained over $1,000 in value—a number that’s just going to grow.
The reason is high school economics: everyone wants to save at the pumps, so the demand for fuel-efficient cars has risen. As prices continue to rise, so will the demand for hybrids along with their resale value. Kelly Blue Book says a used Prius may be worth 20% more by the time the gas crisis is over. Since cars notoriously lose value over time, the Prius has become just as much of an investment as a vehicle.
This isn’t to say that you should purchase three Prii and sit on them as a commodity investment. What this market trend reveals is simply the value of driving a hybrid. While gas prices continue to soar, Prius drivers see only a slight effect, which has made others jealous. They want that same financial immunity, so if you have a Prius, you’re among the lucky ones. And if you’re looking to buy a new car, you might consider a hybrid for their resale value, if nothing else.
At Gresham Toyota, we’re fortunate to constantly experience the latest and greatest technology that Toyota offers. Our fleet of vehicles always receives some annual improvements, but Toyota recently displayed a concept car that surpassed any jump in technology we’ve ever seen. Concept cars are often nothing more than lofty dreams, but if even a few elements of this new design go into production, we may all witness a significant mark in the automotive industry.
Called the NS4, the car premiered at January’s 2012 Detroit Show without much publicity. On first glance, the car seemed to be nothing more than an advanced Prius plug-in. Toyota promised it would drive faster, longer, and with less recharging needs. Since the vehicle is a concept and specifics weren’t released, that advancement alone didn’t stir much interest. It’s the intuitive technology that people began talking about. Some have called the NS4 an iPhone car, because like the latest Apple features, it almost has a mind of its own.
The NS4 actually engages with its driver: learns habits, quirks, and even faults. The computer system within the NS4 would make any drive more enjoyable, and also much safer. If the car thinks a driver has lost control, a radar and camera system will kick in to steer and apply brakes. Additionally, if the car strikes a pedestrian, its hood will automatically pop up from the rear to protect against head injuries. Features like these have been seen before, but they were limited to luxury vehicles that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Incorporating this futuristic technology hasn’t been implemented in mass-production scale—but according to analysts, the NS4 won’t be produced for at least a few years.
The model displayed in Detroit wasn’t yet fit for the road, so we have some waiting to do before the NS4 enters our lots. In the meantime, we’re content with the hybrid technology Toyota already has in the Prius. If you’re looking for your own hybrid Toyota car, truck or SUV, check out our selection of new and used vehicles on our website 24/7 @greshamtoyota.com!
On the hunt for a brand new Toyota at an affordable price? We would love to find the perfect fit for you at Gresham Toyota! We have dozens of top-rated models in stock – including the 4Runner, Camry, Highlander, Prius, and RAV4. Make your way in for a pressure-free test drive!
Pull into any fuel station and you’re faced with a choice: 87, 89, or 91 octane, regular, premium, or super. But is there any quantifiable difference in how a car performs when filled with one over the others? Does premium gas do anything other than cost more? Experts say, unless your car was built before 1990, probably not in any way that you’re going to notice.
If your car has a computer, technology has improved vehicles to the point where engine knocking—the pre-computer reason for needing higher-octane fuel—has become a non-issue. Censors and other high-tech installations under the hood prevent engine damage by constantly regulating the vehicle. Higher-octane fuel doesn’t change the computer’s abilities or programming.
If you’re not on a racetrack, you’re not going to notice a difference. It may take an extra half-second to go from 0-60 if there’s regular in the tank instead of premium. While that may be important on a race track or in a lab setting when cars are being tested and evaluated for performance, humans can’t tell split-second differences like that and everyday driving conditions rarely (if ever) call for 0-60 in very few seconds.
If you drive a hybrid or other highly efficient vehicle, you’ll achieve high miles-per-gallon so that even a mile or two extra per gallon won’t make a noticeable difference in fuel expenditures. To break down the math, someone driving a 35MPG vehicle 15,000 miles per year would spend the same amount of money buying mid-grade gas to get one mile per gallon more, and that’s if the higher-octane improved fuel efficiency at all.
Check your driver’s manual. Just as it would be disastrous to put diesel in a standard engine (or vice-versa), your car may require higher-grade fuel. If this is the case, then use it. On the other hand, if the manual simply recommends a higher-octane gas, save your money and go with regular instead.
Continuing with a commitment to develop innovative future vehicles, Toyota has is releasing new additions to the Prius family. Last week’s New York Auto Show set the stage for a reveal of the crossover Prius V and a tri-engine electric plug-in version. As reported in a recent New Jersey Newsroom, each vehicle will compete in different car segments.
The Prius V will be one of the newest additions to the crossover segment and is set to compete with the likes of the Honda Crosstour and Nissan Murano. The roomier Prius V achieves only slightly less gas mileage than the original, with an estimated EPA rating of 42 MPG city and 38 MPH highway. This is an impressive feat for a full-sized family ride. Other features include folding second row seats and an Entune multimedia entertainment system.
Competing in an entirely different niche is the Prius Plug-In Electric vehicle. So far, 160 “test” vehicles are already on the road. The new plug-in goes a step further than the original Prius, allowing the driver to use a third power system. The addition of the third has already proved useful in increasing mileage between power-ups.
We can’t wait to see the latest Prius models hitting the pavement early next year.