Miami, Florida, United States
Toyota released a new Yaris in Europe and its Vitz clone in Japan a few months ago, so we knew it would only be a matter of time before it would launch the new hatchback here in North America. And that time has come.
The new, more distinctive 2015 Yaris features far more aggressive exterior styling, a look set apart by that large lower air dam and X-motif front end. It rides on a retuned suspension hooked up to an altogether more rigid chassis, and Toyota promises it will ride more quietly and comfortably than the model it replaces. Inside the new model has additional soft-touch materials in a more comfortable cabin equipped with everything from a 6.1-inch touchscreen display to nine airbags.
The 2015 Yaris comes in both three- and five-door bodystyles, and three trim levels that seek to eliminate the need for options packages. In fact the only option to speak of is a dealer-installed nav system. Power comes from a modest 1.5-liter four with variable valve timing, dual overhead cams and sixteen valves, sending 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque through either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.
Brian Karasawa's gen-one Toyota Celica is, in a word, badass. As a long-standing fan of the marque, the doting owner has tried to both restore and improve his Celica keeping period-correct modifications in mind. The 20R/22R mashup engine is outputting roughly 185 horsepower and graced with a lot of JDM-specific parts and modifications. Clearly, the exhaust has been upgraded from stock, as clips of the orange Toyota in motion are accompanied by one hell of a nice sound.
Tastes clearly vary, and there's not as much love for the first-wave of Japanese metal as there is for similar era American-iron, but we're pleased to see these cars finally getting more time in the spotlight. Scroll down below to see why we're stoked, and consider cruising your local Craigslist for late 1970s and early 1980s Japanese coolness (before we get there first).
With a dozen years atop the nation's best-selling car charts, you might think that there wouldn't be a lot of incentive for Toyota to rework its Camry, particularly so early in the life of the current model. But despite its unassailable sales totals, the midsize sedan has come in for substantial criticism for its milquetoast dynamics, piecemeal interiors and bland design.
As part of CEO Akio Toyoda's mantra to build more exciting cars, the 2015 Camry has arrived with a fresh new look and content that goes far beyond the Japanese automaker's typically slight mid-cycle redesigns. Featuring some 2,000 new parts, the 2015 Camry casts a 1.8-inch longer shadow and stretches across a widened track (0.4 inches). And it won't be just the widened track that should help deliver a more dynamic performance - Toyota is citing a stiffer chassis thanks to additional spot welds along with a rejiggered suspension, retuned electric power steering and a new two-stage brake booster for improved braking feel.
A new XSE trim promises the sportiest performance yet, including model-specific shock absorbers and springs, stiffer bushings, unique stability control programming and 18-inch wheels to go along with a unique front end treatment featuring mesh grille inserts and a revised fascia.