The Toyota brand is most known for reliability, efficiency, and modern styling. It is a brand that appeals to drivers who keep their vehicles for a long time. People who buy Toyotas want vehicles that last and don’t look outdated.
Toyota entered the market with economy cars like the Corolla. This compact four-door vehicle went on to become one of the top-selling and most popular cars in the world. The Corolla is still in production, and Toyota has increased its lineup into the SUV and truck markets. Toyota SUVs are some of the most popular and reliable in the world.
If you want a reliable and stylish car, truck, or SUV, then it’s easy to find one in the Toyota lineup. Toyota makes a wide range of diverse models in nearly every category.
• Starting at $19,825: Corolla
One of Toyota’s most affordable and popular cars, the Corolla base model includes features like Toyota Safety Sense, LED headlights, and connected services like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The Corolla has several available trims, and you can move up as high as $25,725 for the XSE top trim, which includes a tilt/slide moonroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a rear spoiler. The Corolla is also available in a hybrid version.
• Starting at $25,950: RAV4
The RAV4 crossover introduced the world to a car-based SUV when it came out in 1995. The compact crossover offers a total of 10 models to fit a wide range of needs. The TRD Off-Road RAV4 trim starts at $35,280 and features a TRD-tuned independent front suspension with a stabilizer bar. If a hybrid is more your style, then you can pick up the base RAV4 Hybrid that starts at $28,350. It features a 2.5-liter hybrid four-cylinder engine that gets 41/38/40 miles per gallon for city/highway/combined, respectively.
• Starting at $33,575: Tundra
As Toyota’s full-size truck model, the Tundra comes in six different models with the top TRD Pro model starting at $48,655. The base SR model has four different configurations, including a 4×2 or 4×4 double cab with a 6.5-foot bed. An extended 8.1-foot bed is also available in either a 4×2 or a 4×4 layout. All base models come with a 5.7-liter V-8 engine. The Tundra can tow up to 10,200 pounds when properly equipped.
The depreciation of Toyota vehicles depends on the model and year, but the brand is well-known for having the top resale value after five to seven years of ownership. The 4Runner, Highlander hybrid, Tacoma, and RAV4 models rank in the top 10 for retained value after five years. The 2018, 2017, and 2016 model years currently offer the best value. On average, you can expect to pay about 74% of the original cost for a 2018 Toyota.
According to RepairPal, Toyota’s reliability rating is 4.0 out of 5.0, which gives it eighth place out of 32 car brands. The average annual repair cost for a Toyota vehicle is $441 compared to the average of $652 across all car models. Toyota owners can expect to visit a repair shop less than one time per year at 0.3 versus 0.4 over all models. There’s a 12% possibility of a severe repair problem. Like most other brands, Toyota models have experienced recalls for various issues.
Toyota makes a wide range of models, including several SUVs and cars, two trucks, a minivan, and a few sports cars. Toyota is also perhaps the most well-known hybrid maker with its popular Prius line of fuel-efficient vehicles.
• Camry: The Camry is a four-door sedan with sporty styling and plenty of power. Toyota offers two impressive engine choices in the Camry with a 203-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 301-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6. The Camry also offers a hybrid option and standard Toyota Safety Sense on all models.
• Tacoma: This is Toyota’s midsize truck option featuring a muscular exterior design and six models to choose from. Toyota has equipped the Tacoma with a 3.5-liter direct-injection V-6 engine to provide superior power and performance. The Tacoma can also be equipped with a tow package to give it a max towing capacity of 6,800 pounds.
• GR Supra: Featuring a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine, the Toyota Supra puts out 382 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque for plenty of power and response as well as a throaty exhaust note. The eight-speed automatic transmission is strong and light, which helps balance the Supra’s center of gravity while still being robust enough to handle the power. Sports car enthusiasts won’t be disappointed with the Supra.
• 4Runner: The truck-like 4Runner is one of Toyota’s longest-running SUVs. It nicely balances good looks, function, and power in the competitive midsize SUV class. The 4Runner has a choice of two 4WD systems, with the part-time 4WD system with active traction control and a full-time 4WD system. Eight models are available with the 4Runner, and all are equipped with a 4.0-liter V-6 engine and can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
If you have a new Toyota, the first two years (or 25,000 miles) of maintenance are free thanks to the brand’s maintenance plan. After that, the average Toyota owner might pay around $441 in maintenance or repair costs per year, which is lower than many other brands. Repair costs and frequency for Toyota vehicles are fairly low compared to other brands as well. If you buy a used Toyota such as a 2015 Corolla, you can expect the five-year maintenance cost to be just over $5,000. For example, a used Camry has a five-year maintenance cost of just under $5,000.
You can also get extended coverage through Toyota for up to 125,000 miles. These warranties don’t cover your maintenance costs, but they will cover unexpected repairs due to breakdown or failure.
Toyota is one of the most environmentally conscious brands as it has led the way in offering a full range of hybrid models. Aside from the Prius, Toyota offers several other popular models in a hybrid version. Some of these include the Highlander and RAV4 SUVs as well as the popular Camry and Corolla cars. The Highlander hybrid is a three-row SUV that is great for families. It comes standard with a V-6 engine and gets 36 miles per gallon combined.
The Prius is still one of the most popular hybrid vehicles on the market. It has an excellent history of reliability, has plenty of power for its size at 121 horsepower, and gets over 50 mpg combined. Toyota has even made AWD an option for the Prius.
One of Toyota’s unique features is its TRD line. TRD stands for Toyota Racing Development, and vehicles with this designation are tuned for performance on-road or off-road. The TRD moniker is mainly applied to off-road-ready trucks and SUVs. TRD models are continuously being improved with more features. For example, the TRD Pro Tacoma will get a standard snorkel for 2020.
With Toyota vehicles, AWD isn’t just for SUVs and trucks. Several Toyota vehicles have AWD standard or optional. That list of vehicles includes the Prius as previously mentioned, the Sienna minivan, the RAV4, the Sequoia, the Highlander, the 4Runner, the Land Cruiser, the Tacoma, the Tundra, and the Camry, which is new for 2020.
Toyota Safety Sense is the brand’s package of active safety features that comes standard on many new Toyota vehicles. It includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection that combines camera and radar to help reduce the risk of colliding with an unexpected car or pedestrian. Another feature is Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which automatically adjusts your speed based on vehicles ahead of you. Other features include Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beams, Road Sign Assist, and more.
Toyota models have garnered Top Safety Pick awards from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety as well. Most recently, the 2019 Corolla Hatchback, 2019 Prius, 2019 Highlander, 2019 Avalon, 2019 Camry, and 2019 RAV4 have all been designated as Top Safety Picks by the IIHS.
What’s Next?/Future Products
For 2020, Toyota is introducing the Camry and Avalon AWD versions. The AWD system is a Dynamic Torque Control AWD system that provides plenty of traction without the fuel economy reduction that often comes with all-wheel drive. This system directs up to half the engine torque to the rear wheels in response to slippage. On long highway stretches, the AWD can be disengaged for better fuel efficiency.
Toyota is expected to update the Tundra, 4Runner, and Sequoia into new generations for the 2022 model year. According to Toyota insiders, the Land Cruiser is expected to be redesigned as a five-seat vehicle aimed at serious off-roading customers. The price point will be lower, but the launch date is unknown.
When you decide on a Toyota vehicle, you’re getting one of the more reliable brands on the market with some of the lowest depreciation.