All cars big and small, Toyota's got you covered.
IntroductionToyota began selling cars in the United States in 1957. After 53 years, it seems to have gotten the hang of the car business. Offering just a hair under 20 vehicles, Toyota truly offers something for everyone. Despite recall concerns, Toyota vehicles are still renowned for rock-solid reliability and excellent value. Taking a look at the cars on offer at your local Toyota dealer, it’s clear that from frugal a to b’er to luxurious full-size cruiser, Toyota’s got you covered. If gas/electric hybrids are your desire, Toyota not only offers the ever-popular Prius, but also the Camry Hybrid. Take a gander at our comprehensive Toyota cars buying guide to find the Toyota car that’s right for you.
Photos courtesy of Toyota
The Avalon is Toyota's largest sedan and calls to the consumer who wants prestige and refinement in a full-sized sedan, but doesn't want to spring for a Lexus. Updated with a newly restyled front and rear, a new dash and more standard features, the 2011 Avalon offers a simplified line-up of base or Limited trims. While the base includes a majority of the feature that most drivers would like, jumping up to the Limited gains xenon headlights, power passenger's seat, rear sunshade, and 12-speaker audio. For a full-size car, the Avalon doesn't seem huge on the outside, but it's cavernous and plush interior and good turning circle might make it just the right fit.
Base Engine: 3.5-liter V6 with 268 hp
Base EPA mpg: 20 city/28 hwy/23 cmb
Competition: Ford Taurus, Chrysler 300, Hyundai Azera, Buick Lucerne
Standard 6-speed auto gives segment-topping fuel efficiency
Standard reclining seatbacks in the super spacious rear seats
A better value than a Lexus, overlooking brand loyalty
NHTSA 5-star rating for front and side impacts
The Camry has long been the bread-and-butter car of the Toyota line-up, wooing customers with solid build quality, affordable comfort and excellent safety. Unchanged in 2011, the Camry is offered in four trim levels: base, LE, sporty SE that includes sport suspension, 17-inch wheels, and special interior and exterior details, or XLE with the added luxury of leather, premium audio, and Bluetooth connectivity. While the interior ergonomics are excellent, materials and build quality don't live up to previous generations of the Camry. Also, the competition has definitely caught up with the Camry's quality, making it seem less impressive than before.
Base Engine: 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with 169 hp
Base EPA mpg: 23 city/33 hwy/26 cmb
Competition: Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata
Optional V6 is fast and still gets 23 mpg combined
XLE has reclining rear seats, not typical in this class
Base model well-equipped with power and comfort features
2010 model has maximum NHTSA 5-star crash scores
The eco-friendly version of the best-selling family car offers great gas mileage, a reasonable price and more power than its non-hybrid 4-cylinder siblings. If you don't care about modern, “look at my hybrid” styling, then a quiet, smooth ride with virtually the same passenger and cargo space as a regular Camry awaits. Steel wheels have replaced alloy wheels for 2011, and the single trim level can be configured with option packages that included features like upgraded audio and a sunroof. The Camry Hybrid has a refined feel and a quiet powertrain than can run on electric-only power up to 30 mph.
Base Engine: 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with 147 hp
Base EPA mpg: 31 city/35 hwy/33 cmb
Competition: Ford Fusion Hybrid, Nissan Altima Hybrid, Mercury Milan Hybrid
Electric motor adds another 40 hp, for 187 hp maximum
Better acceleration than gas-only 4-cylinder, and better mpg too
Trunk space is only 10.6 cu. ft., but folding 60/40 split rear seats help
2010 models have 5-star crash rating for front and side impacts
The Toyota Corolla has been the world's best-selling nameplate for some time, gaining this title by delivering reliable, frugal transportation. Redesigned in 2009, the Corolla remains mostly unchanged with the exception of standard stability control added in 2010. Currently, the Corolla is offered in base, LE, sporty-appearance S, upscale-equipped XLE, and the sporty XRS, which has bigger wheels, more power and quicker steering. The Corolla's standard 1.8-liter engine gets good fuel economy and the ride quality is softer than most competitors. Unfortunately, unimpressive handling and steering feel, along with bland interior materials, have made the Corolla very average in the expanding sea of compact cars.
Base Engine: 1.8-liter 4-cylinder with 132 hp
Base EPA mpg: 26 city/35 hwy/30 cmb
Competition: Honda Civic, Mazda3, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra
2.4-liter, 4-cylinder in XRS has 158 hp, sacrifices fuel economy
Wide opening trunk has 12.3 cubic feet of cargo space
Interior quality has deteriorated with most recent redesign
Top rating of “Good” in IIHS frontal-offset and side crash tests
For those who value practicality in a compact car, the stylish Matrix hatchback is a compelling choice. The base model's 1.8-liter engine won't win it any races, but it will return surprisingly good fuel economy. Upper trim levels come with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that helps performance but significantly drops mpg. The 60/40-split rear seats fold completely flat, while rubber inserts and tie-down points make it particularly suitable for hauling slobbery dogs or slippery cargo.
MSRP: $16,700 - $22,110
Base Engine: 1.8-liter 4-cylinder with 132 hp
Base EPA mpg: 26 city/28 hwy/32 cmb
Competition: Mazda MAZDA3, Subaru Impreza, Volkswagen Rabbit
Standard stability control is new for 2010
Highest safety scores from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Available all-wheel-drive model
More about practicality than performance
All-new for 2010, the popular Prius hybrid shows off a sleeker look and even better fuel economy. Where the old Prius had rear drum brakes, antilock disc brakes are now standard on all four corners, significantly improving stopping distances. Improved steering feel makes the new Prius feel more stable in a straight line. Interior materials could be nicer, but several high-tech options are available, including a pre-collision alert system, automated self-parking, adaptive cruise control and a lane depature warning system.
MSRP: $22,800 - $28,070
Base Engine: 1.8-liter 4-cylinder + 2 electric motors for 134 hp total
Base EPA mpg: 51 city/48 hwy/50 cmb
Competition: Honda Insight, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Nissan Altima Hybrid, Honda Civic Hybrid
Clever optional solar-powered ventilation system cools the car when parked
More traditional climate and audio controls than last model
Hatchback body style more practical (and aerodynamic) than a sedan
Exceptional fuel economy numbers are tough to beat
Toyota’s compact hatchback or sedan offering has proven to be a solid choice in the sub-compact, economy car segment. Offered in 3-door and 5-door hatchbacks, as well as a 4-door sedan, the Yaris sports a 106-horsepower 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, and when equipped with the standard manual transmission, it can achieve 36 mpg on the highway. That fuel economy helps make up for it’s somewhat lack-luster performance, and when factoring in standard air conditioning and new-for-2010 stability and traction control, the base Yaris is a competent a to b’er.
Base Engine: 1.5-liter 4-cylinder with 106 horsepower
Base EPA mpg: 29 city/36 hwy/32 cmb
Competition: Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio
4-speed automatic transmission is available
Cruise control can be had as a stand-alone option
Antilock brakes are standard
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated highest “Good” for frontal- and side-impact safety