By Chris Sorensen - Monday, January 14, 2013 - 0 Comments
Cars like the Corolla are the reason Toyota has a reputation for building reliable, but boring vehicles—even if the Corolla is the best-selling car of all time.
But now that rival car-makers have closed the gap in terms of perceived quality (thanks in part to Toyota’s massive recall crisis a few years ago), CEO Akio Toyoda has promised that future models will also look good and be exciting to drive.
Enter the Toyota Corolla Furia concept, unveiled at the Detroit auto show Monday. Sleek, sporty and vaguely Civic-like, the Furia can no longer be described as an “appliance” or mere grocery getter. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the production version will be nearly as sexy. But it’s still a big step in the right direction for a notoriously conservative company.
By Chris Sorensen - Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 8:40 AM - 7 Comments
Carmakers are rolling out new, highly rated compact cars, but can they convince consumers to go small?
On a windswept airfield near Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., dozens of automotive scribes spent last week putting a new crop of 2011 vehicles through their paces as part of a consumer-oriented annual testing event. And, for the first time in years, the excitement wasn’t limited to pricey “prestige” vehicles with nameplates like Porsche, BMW and Jaguar. Instead, it was in the unassuming compact and subcompact categories—the so-called “econobox” segment that has been historically associated with puny engines, bland styling and hard plastic interiors.
After soaring gas prices and the recession exposed Detroit’s penchant for focusing on big gas guzzlers as an epic folly, the North American auto industry has been forced to get serious about the small car market and heed government demands for better fuel economy. That’s particularly the case at General Motors and Chrysler, which were bailed out with billions of taxpayer dollars.