Sunday, December 13, 2015

2016 Toyota Prius V - the Car

When it comes to room, comfort and versatility, the Prius v puts family first. The seating position is higher than in sedans, giving a better view of the road ahead. There's ample head- and legroom for five, plus 34.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the 60/40 split folding rear seats. With the seatbacks lowered, the space expands to a generous 67.3 cubic feet. Augmenting the larger main luggage compartment, storage units built into the sides and under the cargo platform can hold smaller items. The fold-flat front passenger seat allows the vehicle to carry longer items.

Toyota Prius V

Rear passengers will find it especially easy to get in and out of the Prius v and load its cargo area thanks to a sliding second seat row. Once seated, they'll appreciate the ability to recline the seatbacks up to 45-degrees. And they'll enjoy the comfort of an available seat material called SofTex, which parents will like for its spill resistance and ease of cleaning. Soft to the touch, SofTex is lighter than leather, and its manufacturing process generates 99 percent fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than conventional synthetic leather production.

Toyota Prius V

Plentiful storage spaces include dual glove boxes, a center console storage box and utility tray and five cup holders in large and medium sizes. Bottle holders are built into the front and rear door pockets, and most models feature an overhead storage space suitable for sunglasses. There's even a compartment under the rear seats designed to store umbrellas.

Toyota Prius V

The 2016 Toyota Highlander - Car

The 2016 Toyota Highlander offers four-cylinder, V-6, and Hybrid models, with a choice between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive for much of the lineup.

And across that lineup, the Highlander has some similar driving traits: it's smooth and fuel-efficient.

Toyota Highlander

The base 2.7-liter four-cylinder comes coupled to a six-speed automatic and is offered only with front-wheel drive. It's smoother than you might expect from such a big-displacement four, and it makes a meaty 185 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

Most models will come with the 3.5-liter V-6, with 270 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque; it's also teamed up with a six-speed automatic, but can be paired with either with front- or all-wheel drive. It's smooth, relatively strong, and surprisingly fuel-efficient.

Toyota Highlander

At the top of the powertrain lineup is the Highlander Hybrid; There's a 231-hp version of the 3.5-liter V-6 and an electric motor in front and in back, netting 280 hp. The engine and front motor are liked to a planetary-type variable power-split device, like Toyota's other vehicles with Hybrid Synergy Drive.

What makes this a bit different is that all versions of the Highlander Hybrid have through-the-road all-wheel drive courtesy of the rear motor, which means the hybridized engine/transmission power the front wheels, while only electric power passes to the rears for better mileage.

Toyota Highlander

Beginning this year, all V-6 (non-hybrid) Highlander models include a towing package that allows them to tow up to 5,000 pounds; four-cylinder versions are rated at a puny 1,500 pounds.

Toyota reworked the Highlander's front strut and independent rear suspension for better handling, and much of its substantial body lean was tuned out with its last 2014 redesign. Ride quality is no longer cushy, but it's on the correct side of firm for a vehicle in this size class. The Highlander's firmer-feeling electric power steering is excellent. It's as if all the invisible handling screws have been tightened a few complete turns, without ruining its family-wagon fundamentals.