Toyota and Nissan Named Top in Fleet Value Awards

Toyota Fleet Value AwardWhen you’re looking to purchase new fleet vehicles for your business, you want to make sure that you’re getting enough bang for your buck. To get that, look no further than Toyota fleet vehicle options. The Japanese carmaker, along with Nissan, was recently named the Top Brand at the Fleet Value Awards.

To decide who was worthy of these top honors, Vincentic, a Michigan-based consulting company, analyzed more than 1,900 vehicle configurations in 24 life cycle cost scenarios. In this analysis, Vincentic examined the depreciation value, fees and taxes, financing, fuel cost, insurance and maintenance cost, opportunity cost, and repairs.

Toyota’s awards come mostly from their passenger vehicles and crossovers, including hybrid winners. For instance, the Toyota Prius c base 5D Hatchback was recognizes as the best compact hybrid and the Yaris CE 3D Hatchback won the subcompact category. In total, Toyota won eight awards.

For a comprehensive list of winners, click here. To see the award-winning fleet vehicles for yourself, stop by Route 44 Toyota today!

Toyota’s Production Fuel Cell Vehicle Makes Its North American Debut

Toyota Fuel Cell VehicleFor a while now we’ve been imagining a vehicle that runs on hydrogen and whose only emissions are water vapor. Even as the technology continued to develop, we had to envision what such a revolutionary vehicle would look like. We don’t have to imagine any longer. Toyota’s production Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) made its North American debut last month at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival.

The FCV displayed at the Aspen Festival was bathed in silver, highlighting the vehicle’s smooth lines and ultra-sleek design. Black accents surrounding the grille and outlining the hood add to its futuristic character.

When the FCV becomes available in the States next summer, it will be sold in California where 19 hydrogen fueling stations will be built as a result of Toyota’s partnership with FirstElement Fuel. The vehicle’s fuel tank will be able to fill in less than five minutes and is expected to provide approximately 300 miles of travel on a single tank.

Stay tuned with us here at Route 44 Toyota for more news on the production FCV’s journey to California’s streets, and hopefully soon, our own as well.

Hurricane Safety for Your Vehicle

Hurricane SafetyWith the summer in full swing the weather can be unpredictable and dangerous. Hurricane season is upon us and we at Route 44 Toyota want to make sure that you are prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws our way.

Hurricanes are nasty disasters that can cause other natural disasters like tornadoes, landslides and floods. We have some great tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe this hurricane season.

  1. Be Prepared
    • If a hurricane is threatening your area, make sure you leave the area and do it early. It’s hard to think that a hurricane can happen to you, but it can. Make sure you give yourself and loved ones plenty of time to get away safely. Use a hurricane planning guide or map. You can also tune into the radio to help identify the best evacuation route for you.
    • Make sure you keep important documents with you and don’t leave them at home. You’ll want to have your auto and home insurance, title, vehicle registration and other important documents kept in a waterproof bag. If these documents get wet or ruined it could potentially cause issues later on.
    • Make sure you fill your vehicle with gasoline as soon as you can to avoid those long lines at the gas station.
  2. Drive Safely
    • Fuel for your car is important but so are snacks and food for you and anyone else with you. You could be spending more time in your car than you think so bring food to keep everyone fed. Be sure to pack a flashlight, a first-aid kit, cash, credit cards and extra batteries in case you need them.
    • If you see a power line down, DO NOT drive over it under any circumstance.
    • If you see a street that is flooded, avoid it. You do not want to travel down a road that is submerged in water. The underlying currents could carry you and your car away causing your call to stall and keeping you trapped.
  3. Ensure Driving Safety
    • If you are evacuating but only taking one vehicle with you, make sure the other is not sitting in a low-lying area that could easily be flooded. Rising water can seep through and cause a lot of damage to your car, even the interior.
    • If you’re driving through water, drive slow and steadily. If the water is becoming deeper, stop and find an alternate route.
    • If you and your vehicle get trapped in rising water, abandon the vehicle for higher ground. If you cannot get out of the vehicle safely try restarting the vehicle and drive it out. If your vehicle will not start at all, call 911.

Make sure you use these hurricane safety tips when one is heading your way.

Toyota and Uncharted Play Help Brazilian Children Learn with Soccer

Toyota and Uncharted PlayAs the world’s largest soccer tournament, the 2014 FIFA World Cup, takes the world by storm this month, we can’t forget the many needy children who live in the host country of Brazil. Toyota and Uncharted Play haven’t forgotten them and are teaming up to bring an innovative new curriculum to their schools.

The program is centered around Brazil’s favorite sport, soccer, and features an invention called the SOCCKET, which looks and acts like a soccer ball, but has an apparatus that harnesses kinetic energy from play and turns it into real energy. The children will learn what they can do with this captured energy and how to use it for change.

Toyota will be a part of the new curriculum by acting as a case study and showing the students how it develops innovative products based on specific consumers needs.

“At Toyota, we believe strongly in innovation, and how it has the incredible ability to impact our daily lives,” said Dionne Colvin Lovely, national manager of traditional and emerging media at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A, in a statement. “The work that Uncharted Play is undertaking in Brazil is a shining example of how an innovative company can greatly affect others, and we are pleased to be collaborating with them on their latest mission.”

Here at Route 44 Toyota, we applaud Toyota for continuing to pursue social change in various part of the world.

Route 44 Toyota is having a Veterans Appreciation BBQ!

Veterans Appreciation BBQ - Homes for Our TroopsIn May, Route 44 Toyota and Route 44 Hyundai raised funds for Homes for Our Troops, a privately funded non-profit organization. Homes for Our Troops is an organization that helps those veterans who have returned home with serious injuries. They assist the veterans and their families by raising awareness, community involvement, building materials, money and professional labor to build a specially adapted home for their family.

The Route 44 Autogroup raised funds in May to help Homes for Our Troops by donating a percentage of their sales and service funds. For every customer that purchased a new or used Toyota or Hyundai in May, they donated $10 to the cause and for every retail customer that went through the service department $1 was donated.

Route 44 Toyota and Hyundai are having a Veterans Appreciation BBQ on Sunday June 22, 2014 to thank the service members and to announce their final total of funds raised. There will be free food, raffles and the event crew from Cat Country 98.1. The event will be held at Route 44 Hyundai and will begin at 1 PM until 3 PM. The amount raised for Homes for Our Troops will be announced around 2 PM. Come out and enjoy the BBQ with us! For more information, please visit our website.

We hope to see you there!

Tree Crushes Million Dollar Toyota in Japan

Tree Crushed CarWhen a tree falls in the woods, it might not make a sound, but when a tree falls on a road in Japan, it crushes a million dollar Toyota.

The car in question was a classic Toyota 2000GT. Only 351 were ever produced between 1967 and 1970 and now there is one less. What are the odds that a 100-foot tall tree would fall on this nearly one-of-kind car, while it was driving, nonetheless?

Amazingly, according to the Google Translation version of the Japanese new site NHK, the passengers escaped the flattened car with only minor injuries. It seems the giant beech tree that fell on them was rotten and hallow inside, but couldn’t be cut down because it was a protected species.

The remaining 350 Toyota 2000GT owners should definitely take precautions and steer away from any tall, looming beech trees that might be out to get them.

Will Toyota Be Better Off without Tesla?

2014 Toyota RAV4 EVOnce upon a time, in 2011, Toyota signed a $100 million agreement with tiny start-up Tesla, in which Tesla agreed to develop and supply battery packs and motors for a plug-in electric version of the RAV4 SUV. Just three short years later, Toyota has announced it will allow the agreement to expire, and each company will go its separate way.

As it turns out, there just wasn’t all that much to develop. The market currently heavily favors hybrids like Toyota’s Prius over the plug-in electric RAV4. According to the Electric Drive Transportation Association, nearly 39,500 hybrids were sold in the U.S. in April this year, far outpacing the 4,187 EVs sold.

Toyota has decided that when the Tesla/Toyota agreement is fulfilled, Toyota will retire the plug-in RAV4 altogether. According to dailyfinance.com, “the company believes plug-in EVs are useful only as short-range commuter cars and that hydrogen fuel cells are the future of long-range eco cars.”

2013 Toyota Prius C Wireless ChargingToyota plans to invest their research and development into hydrogen fuel cells, which have the ability to travel 300 to 400 miles between fill-ups, exponentially more than the Nissan Leaf’s 84 miles.

The end of the Toyota/Tesla partnership won’t hurt either company, as they’ve both already gained something from the deal, and both have incredible and ambitious plans for the future. We say, bring on the hydrogen fuel cells!

Green Cars, Explained

What may have appeared to be a fad at first, has turned into a full-fledged revolution. Hybrid and electric vehicles have proven their worth, and are standing the test of time. Car makers are making green cars to suit every taste and budget, making it easier than ever to go green. With over 100 clean diesel, electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid cars on the market, it can be confusing to figure out what is what, and what is the best option for your lifestyle.

Clean Diesel – Diesel cars get substantially better gas mileage than their gasoline counterparts, allowing drivers to save 20–25% on overall fuel costs. Diesel fuel typically costs about what premium gasoline does, but with a tank that’s able to take you much further, you’ll see savings over time.

Hybrid – Hybrids use both an electric motor and gasoline engine to power the car. Typically designed with a small engine, the electric motor supplements power so it will perform at the same standards as its gasoline siblings, using far less gas.

Green CarsPlug-In Hybrid – Similar to a regular hybrid, the Plug-In uses both an electric motor and a gas engine. The difference is that the Plug-In can run on electric power alone for a certain distance (usually 13-38 miles) before the gas engine kicks in or the battery needs to be recharged. These are ideal for daily commutes that fall within the car’s electric range. The most affordable plug-in hybrid on the market is the Toyota Prius Plug-In, starting at $29,990.

Electric – Electric cars are cars with an electric engine and no gasoline motor at all. Offered in a range of body styles including subcompact, mid-sized sedans, and SUVs, these cars can usually achieve a driving range of 60 to 100 miles before needing to be recharged. The Tesla Model S has trim levels that can achieve up to 265 miles before needing to be recharged. These cars are not ideal for long road-trips, but may someday reach that capability in the future.

Most of these types of cars offer some kind of government tax credit, so if you’re considering going green, be sure to find out what discounts or credits apply.

Memorial Day Events Near You!

Memorial DayIn a city such as Boston where the patriotic spirit runs high, there are plenty of options for Memorial Day festivities, which can make it a bit difficult to decide how you want to celebrate the day. Aside from your usually suggestion—the classic road trip—here are a few other Memorial Day events that might just catch your fancy.

If you’re really looking to ditch the open road, try stepping aboard the Schooner Adirondack III for the Boston Harbor Islands Memorial Day Sail. During this three-hour picnic excursion, which starts at 12:00 P.M. on Memorial Day, you and your family can explore the Boston Harbor Islands, while learning about their extensive history. Enjoy the lush green terrain and forget that you’re even close to the city with this getaway that might seem like it’s not long enough!

For those of you who are looking to gain a bit of culture on your day off, stop by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to celebrate the “Season of Color in the Americas” open house. All day long, there will be many activities that the entire family can enjoy. You can dance along to Latin American music, make art, or even watch a Technicolor film.

Finally, for those that are looking for a traditional Memorial Day celebration, there are plenty of parades throughout the city and surrounding areas to fulfill your desire. For a list of specific Memorial Day events in your area, click here!

New 2015 Camry Improves on Predecessor’s Design

As Bill Fay, vice president and general manager of Toyota Motor Sales, pointed out at the press conference introducing the 2015 Camry, the “Camry has been the best-selling car in America for 12 straight years.” That’s largely been due to the car’s excellent reputation as a reliable, affordable, and safe vehicle—and not for its design, which has always been pretty vanilla.

But no more. Toyota’s Camry team, seeing that they already had a great car from a performance and stability standpoint, decided to tackle the car’s design this year. Thus, they’ve replaced the sharp, angular language of the 2014 Camry with a much more graceful design of “curvier lines” and “a mix of styling cues that seem to be taken from the Avalon and Corolla.”

Those are certainly two great places to look for design cues. The Camry also sees some great improvements on the inside, with a new, larger center console and a beautiful 4.2 inch screen to access your infotainment system. The Camry may never be a sports car, but at least for 2015 it gets to look the part, while still providing customers the reliability and excellence they’ve come to expect from the Camry. Check back with us at Route 44 Toyota often for more information!