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Explorer Lays Claim to “Best” Title…for Soccer Moms

Kiplinger’s “Best of” list has just one American-made vehicle.

by on Nov.14, 2014

The Ford Explorer was Kiplinger's choice for "Best for Soccer Moms (and Dads)."

With the sales of new cars, trucks, SUVs and crossovers going like gangbusters for most of 2014, it means a lot people are making a lot of selections about what type of vehicle best suits their needs.

Fortunately, the folks at Kiplinger’s recently put out their 2014 annual “Best” List, which gives potential buyers some guidance about what vehicle they should consider buying based on their lifestyles.

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The list has one very noticeable quirk: only one American-made vehicle – the 2014 Ford Explorer – made the list. Not only that, it’s not a category that many would find complimentary: Best for Soccer Moms (and Dads). (more…)

Toyota Pulls Wraps Off New Sienna

Automaker opts for online unveiling.

by on Jul.17, 2014

Working with three social media-savvy parents, Toyota launched its 2015 Sienna minivan on the internet.

It isn’t a good time for minivan fans. Two decades ago, they were the hippest things on wheels, just about every maker racing into the segment with new products loaded up with the hottest new features, whether juicebox holders, stowaway seats or rear entertainment systems. But with demand sliding, a growing number of makers are pulling out or trimming their minivan lines, Chrysler soon set to abandon the Dodge Grand Caravan model.

But don’t count Toyota out of the market. Quite the contrary, the maker revealing an updated version of the popular Sienna mom-mobile that introduces an intercom system so parents won’t have to scream at the kids battling in the back seats.

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In what might be a telling move, rather than reveal the 2015 Toyota Sienna at an auto show or some other traditional event, the Japanese maker pulled the wraps off digitally, with an online unveiling that showed off its potential, the maker explained, “through the eyes of three creative, social media-savvy parents. In a series of custom videos, these parents bring to life the everyday and sometimes unexpected adventures possible in and around the Sienna.” (more…)

A New Face for the Lexus RX

A sportier look for a soccer-mom standby.

by on Mar.08, 2012

The new F-Sport version of the Lexus RX450h hybrid made its debut in Geneva this week.

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda has given a mandate to the Japanese maker’s Lexus brand.  While it may have a reputation for bullet-proof reliability he also wants it to deliver more passionate design, as last year’s launch of the 2013 Lexus GS illustrated.

The real test comes with the Geneva Motor Show launch of the luxury brand’s soccer mom mainstay, the RX crossover – which rolled onto the floor at Geneva’s PALExpo Convention Center revealing a decidedly new look, its face clearly lifted from the GS blueprints – notably starting with the sport sedan’s distinctive double spindle grille and LED running lamps.

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To emphasize its passion play, Lexus officials revealed the new RX F-Sport model, which adds a sporty front fascia, smoked head and taillamps and darker wheels.

(more…)