Sure, there are few truly bad cars anymore, but we definitely did not like these.
- Joel Stocksdale
- Aug 22, 2016
Sometimes, the quest for greater minivan practicality leads to some pretty innovative features. Here are five of the best for 2016.
First introduced in 2012, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's small-overlap frontal crash test has become the bane of many auto engineers' existence. It's a particularly steep design challenge because it forces just 25 percent of a vehicle's front end to take the brunt of a 40-mile-per-hour impact. The newly released results of four family-minded minivans underscore just how difficult the crash test is: only one scored an Acceptable rating, and the other three did very poorly.
It's hard to love a minivan, but it's very, very easy to use one. More than any other kind of vehicle – save a panel van, perhaps – the minivan is the most appliance-like of four-wheeled transportation devices. And most minivan buyers don't need to love their purchases; they just need to use them. So when it comes to a minivan's driving dynamics, who cares?
Toyota has announced a recall of roughly 20,000 vehicles covering the 2014 Avalon, Camry, Highlander (pictured) and Sienna, as well as the 2015 Lexus RX luxury crossover. The affected vehicles are all powered the 2GR-FE engine, which in layman's terms, is Toyota's well-regarded 3.5-liter V6.
Let's face it: there are few things less "gangsta" than a minivan (which goes a long way towards explaining why crossovers have been gradually taking their place as the family-hauler of choice across America, but we digress). The point here is not lost on Toyota, which has embraced the uncool image of the minivan with the Swagger Wagon campaign.
Toyota found huge success with its "Swagger Wagon" rap video for the 2011 Sienna SE. It showed that a minivan could actually sort of maybe be fun and didn't have to be a lame vehicle for people who long ago lost their sense of humor. Now that there is a slight refresh for the 2015 model, the company is trying to capture that effervescent image again with a bunch of videos aimed at families.
If you've been having an easy day and haven't received your daily dose of unmitigated terror, then this video is for you. Dr. Guan Zhu, a Texas A&M professor, caught the above view on his dashcam in College Station, TX, as a cement truck ran a red light, lost control and rolled into his Toyota Sienna minivan.
Toyota has filed a petition with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asking for a waiver to avoid recalling about 206,271 2012–2014 Camry, Avalon, Corolla, Sienna, Tundra and Tacoma vehicles, some of its most popular models. The affected vehicles contain seat heaters that might not meet government flammability standards.
When we reported yesterday on Toyota's stop-sale order of certain 2013 and 2014 models due to an issue with the fabrics on models with heated seats not conforming to flammability regulations, one of our many questions was how many vehicles were affected? More importantly, how many of those cars have already found homes?
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