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Toyota of Abilene Listicles

Selecting the Century’s Best Super Bowl Car Commercial

The tables are set for Sunday’s Super Bowl LVIIII (Super Bowl 58, if you skipped class the day they taught Roman numerals). The Kansas City Chiefs, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, are aiming to become the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the 2004 Patriots. But the San Francisco 49ers seek to avenge their loss to Kansas City in Super Bowl LIV (54) and are itching to take home the Lombardi Trophy for the first time since the 1994 season.

And as usual, in between the pigskin pageantry, we have the commercials.

Super Bowl commercials have long occupied their own sphere in our pop culture landscape. Many Americans claim they look forward to the commercials more than the game itself, though that mentality has dropped off in recent years. That’s due in part to the game itself becoming generally more competitive than it used to be, but also because of the commercials becoming available for viewing well before kickoff. If you want to see this year’s crop of Super Bowl commercials, chances are you can hop online now and knock them out a week in advance.

For the first 30-40 years of the Super Bowl, auto brands admittedly didn’t leave a significant cultural impact with their ads. From “Mean Joe Greene” (Coke) to “1984” (Apple), the most iconic commercials came courtesy of other industries. But as the century turned and our cars became more tech-integrated, their corresponding commercials became more ambitious. Some modern Super Bowl spots are downright cinematic.

We’ve selected a handful of worthy finalists for the title of best Super Bowl car commercial of the century. Before declaring a winner, here are some of the nominees we considered.

Disqualified: Honda – “Yearbook” (2017), Toyota – “Jessica Long” (2021)

In 2017, Honda maxed out their celebrity Rolodex, enlisting A-listers from Jimmy Kimmel to Missy Elliott to dispense life advice straight from the pages of their old high school yearbooks. It’s a fun concept, even as it sticks to the unfortunate trend of celebrity overreliance that Super Bowl ads have succumbed to recently. The larger issue is that it has little (if anything) to do with Honda – or cars in general. The same goes for Toyota’s 2021’s submission, which showcased swimmer Jessica Long’s inspiring leap from adoption to the Olympic stage.

We’re all for car companies pushing the boundaries with creativity. But to be considered among the industry’s top car ad, there needs to be at least the hint of a car involved.

The Nominees:

Audi – “The Chase” (2009) / Kia – “The Truth” (2014)

Hollywood and the auto industry have long maintained a successful working relationship. This dates back to the days of Steve McQueen racing his Ford Mustang through the streets of San Francisco in 1969’s Bullit. For their 2009 Super Bowl commercial, Audi celebrated of the art of the car chase. It placed rising action star Jason Statham – best known for the Transporter and Crank film franchises at the time – behind the wheel of an Audi, unleashing the English enforcer on various locales in a chase sequence medley.

Speaking of action movies, 2014 felt like the sweet spot for Matrix nostalgia. We were just over a decade removed from the generally disappointing, trilogy capper Matrix Revolutions and nearly that far away from the more divisive comeback Matrix Resurrections. Kia correctly wagered that audiences were ready to return to the world of dark glasses and leather jackets. They recruited Laurence Fisburne for their 2014 Super Bowl commercial, in which his Morpheus character reveals the hidden world of luxury cars. Gravity-defying visuals (and opera music) ensue.

Ultimately, Kia and Audi both arrived at the same conclusion: it’s hard to go wrong with the surefire combination of cars and action films.

Hyundai – “First Date” (2016)

Is it that much of a stretch to call this one of Kevin Hart’s most convincing performances? The comedian is endearingly determined as an overprotective father in this 2016 ad. When his daughter is picked up for date night, Hart utilizes Hyundai’s Car Finder technology to essentially stalk the young couple throughout the evening. (Not to worry: its escalating absurdity puts it firmly in the realm of Dad Fantasy). It hasn’t proven memorable enough to be crowned our winner, but it does raise intriguing questions about the state of privacy in a tech-first society. Maybe they could have explored that idea more – if each 30-second block of Super Bowl ad time didn’t cost an average of seven-million dollars.

Hyundai – “Smaht Pahk” (2020)

Is making fun of Boston accents low-hanging fruit? Of course. Is it also an entirely justifiable American tradition? Absolutely. In another inspired Hyundai commercial, native Bostonians Chris Evans and Rachel Dratch break out their best bad regional dialects. Fellow Bay Stater John Krasinski then joins the party to showcase the Sonata’s new Remote Smart Parking Assist feature. Red Sox legend David Ortiz pops up at the end – because of course he does – and even Big Papi finds himself impressed by the Sonata’s self-pahking capability.

Kia – “Robo Dog” (2022)

Kia’s spot for its all-electric EV6, centered around a robot dog, deserves a nomination for being centered around a robot dog. The circuital canine itself hits all the right beats, but did we need another commercial soundtracked to Bonnie Taylor’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart”?

Honorable Mention: Walmart – “Famous Cars” (2019)

This 2019 ad brings together famous pop culture cars – from the Batmobile to Jurassic Park‘s tour vehicles – in the world’s most chaotic Walmart parking lot. It’s a colorful piece of nostalgia bait, and it all comes courtesy of… not an auto manufacturer, but Walmart. Given that our IP-driven culture is so oversaturated with these types of multiversal crossovers these days, we’re saving the gold medal for a more creative (though still IP-based) selection.

The Winner: Volkswagen – “The Force” (2011)

For better or worse, Volkswagen’s landmark 2011 commercial changed the way we watch Super Bowl commercials. A week ahead of the big event, Volkswagen opted to launch their Star Wars-themed advertisement on the web. By kickoff, it had already racked up millions of views on YouTube. Since then, nearly every Super Bowl advertiser has followed the same tactic.

Still, Volkswagen’s marketing approach shouldn’t overshadow the charm of the ad, which still captivates 13 years later. The commercial features a mini Darth Vader in action, trying to manipulate everyday objects with The Force, sans any dialogue. The endearing little Sith Lord manages to seemingly influence a 2012 Passat parked in their driveway… albeit with an inconspicuous assist from Dad’s key fob.

Accompanied by John Williams’ legendary score, the ad achieves a classic feel as our little Vader grapples with his unexpected power. In an age where cutting-edge technology began weaving its way deeper into our vehicles, Volkswagen confidently suggested that our cars could truly spark a sense of wonder.

We Are the Champions

Here in Abilene, we’ll have to wait another off-season to see if the Cowboys made the right move in bringing back head coach Mike McCarthy. But regardless of whether you have a rooting interest in this year’s Super Bowl – or are just tuning in to see if Taylor Swift can make it back from Tokyo in time for kickoff – know that Lithia Toyota of Abilene is working tirelessly on a winning game plan. If you’re even entertaining the thought of another dealership, audible instead into an exciting new Toyota, such as the 2024 Camry Hybrid or the new Corolla Hatchback. Let the winning team have Disney World; more lasting rewards await you at Lithia Toyota of Abilene.

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Toyota of Abilene Maintenance Tips

Five Early Warning Signs You Need New Brakes

It’s a new year, which unfortunately means your car is officially one model year older. That also means your brakes have amassed another year of wear and tear.

Gaging the the state of your brakes can be tricky, but by staying vigilant for the subtle signals they send you, you can get ahead of any costly estimates your vehicle stands to inherit this year. Recognizing these signs and moving quickly to address them can also greatly extend your vehicle’s lifespan. 

Courtesy of the service technicians at Lithia Toyota of Abilene, here are five warning signs that suggest it’s time to replace your brake pads or rotors.

High-Pitched Screeching 

Often, you hear brake problems before you see or feel them. That’s thanks to the high-pitched screeching sound that emits from your brake pads when they’re wearing thin. Interestingly, the screeching isn’t a direct result of wearing brakes; manufacturers intentionally insert a piece of metal into the brake pads in order to alert you when a replacement is imminent.

If the grating sounds continue despite new brake pads, there’s a chance that your rotors may be glazed. This occurs when metal heats up and burns due to excessive braking. Check your rotors for blue marks for a dark ring; either could indicate that the rotors also need replacement. 

If the squealing is replaced by a grinding, metallic noise, that means your brake pads have completely worn down past the point where replacing them is possible. Take it to us for brake service immediately if this sound emerges, as it could lead to larger safety issues. 

The Eye Test 

Sometimes it’s easier not to overthink things. If your brake pads look like they have a problem, they likely do. You can find them wedged between the wheels’ spokes, pressed up against the rotors. Measure the pads, and if you find they’re less than a quarter of an inch thick, it may be time to schedule a service appointment with us.

Performance Anomalies 

When your brakes stop responding as quickly as they should, it may be a sign of a leak in your braking system. If your brakes are sending out vibrations (the kind that causes your steering wheel to quake, not the Beach Boys kind), either the brake pads or rotors are in need of replacement.

Your brakes are always sending messages like these to alert you to their condition. The more in tune you are with your vehicle, the better you’ll become at assessing when and why your vehicle is behaving abnormally. 

Extreme Sensitivity 

Perhaps you started your Camry today only to find your brakes acting unusually sensitive, jerking you to a halt at the slightest tap of the brake pad. This could be due to either the rotors wearing down unevenly or the brake fluid needing replacement. 

Alternately, you might have a problem when your brakes prove too insensitive and only engage when you apply excessive pressure. This could be a symptom of low brake fluid, thin brake pads, or even a sign that something is amiss with your car’s hydraulic system.

Puddle of Doom 

The last thing you want to see on a bright, sunny day is a puddle formed beneath your idle car. Unless it’s residue from an overnight shower, it’s most likely your brake fluid dripping out of your car due to a leak. You should be able to tell the difference between regular motor oil and brake fluid, which is notably thinner. 

Give Me a Brake

Life may be full of stops and starts… but you should have as much autonomy over them as possible. Don’t leave your fate to the whims of worn-out brake pads, glazed rotors, or a faulty hydraulic system. We’re here to assist you with all your brake needs, along with battery service, oil changes, and more.

Visit us at Lithia Toyota of Abilene today, where we never put the brakes on a good deal. With our extensive inventory of new and certified pre-owned vehicles at your disposal, your dream car is just a stop away.

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New Toyota Vehicle

The Toyota Tacoma Levels Up for 2024

The Toyota Tacoma has long been regarded as one of the sturdiest midsize pickup trucks on the market. However, it seems the Tacoma is no longer content with resting on the laurels of its reliability. Enter the 2024 Toyota Tacoma, which has received a notable glow-up, emerging as a faster, stronger vehicle by every measure.

At first glance, it may appear that little has changed with this year’s Tacoma. But while its cosmetic upgrades are subtle, this Tacoma is an feat of engineering ambition. In terms of comfort, performance, and technology, the 2024 Tacoma is a complete evolution from previous models. 

Overhauled and Ready to Haul 

The changes in the latest Tacoma may not be fully apparent when you see it, but you’ll detect them once you get behind the wheel. It sports a new i-Force turbocharged four-cylinder engine. With the same 278 horsepower, this 2.4-liter engine replicates the power output of the 3.5-liter V-6 it’s replacing. Additionally, the i-Force engine redistributes the torque dramatically, as the Tacoma is now able to hit 317 lb.-ft. from as low as 1,700 rpm. For the first time, the Tacoma feels nimble.

Most impressively, the midsize truck doesn’t sacrifice its hauling and towing numbers for the sake of its enhanced performance. If anything, the Tacoma’s payload ratings have also been elevated, now up to 1,447 – a 300-lb. improvement from the 2023 model. Towing, meanwhile, remains consistent with previous numbers at 6,400 pounds. 

And the Tacoma TRD Off-Road excels when it comes to off-road adventuring, as it’s able to easily traverse any terrain. From sand dunes to deep mud to uneven, rocky surfaces, there isn’t a challenge the newest Tacoma isn’t equipped to face. 

A Brand New Beast 

The cosmetic and interior changes to the new Tacoma may be less apparent than its performance enhancements… but that doesn’t mean they aren’t significant. For one, it marks the debut of Toyota’s new Audio Multimedia System, which runs alongside standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The high-mounted, 14-inch touchscreen features conveniently large app icons, perfect for on-the-move tapping.

The interior is noticeably more spacious than past models, with more lenient headspace for taller drivers. For a more decadent experience, consider the Premium package, which includes additional interior features such as:

  • Heated power front seats. 
  • A heated steering wheel. 
  • A sunroof. 
  • Surround-view camera system. 
  • 10-speaker JBL audio system. 

Drive a New Ride Into 2024

The Toyota Tacoma will continue to be known for its world-class reliability – but that’s no longer its sole, defining feature. By addressing and upgrading the Tacoma’s performance, driving dynamics, hauling, technology, and interior cabin, Toyota has created an evolved truck that looks like the 2023 Tacoma… but feels like the future.

Here at Lithia Toyota of Abilene, an evolutionary driving experience awaits you regardless of the type of vehicle you prefer, from the sporty 2024 GR Supra to the family-friendly 2024 Sienna. Abilene’s preeminent Toyota dealership also has you covered when it comes to servicing your current vehicle. Whether you need tires, brakes, batteries, or an oil change, we’ll keep you on the road until you’re ready for your next new car-buying adventure. 

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New Toyota Vehicle

Checking in on the Toyota Corolla Cross

When Toyota unveiled their compact crossover SUV the Corolla Cross hybrid in 2020, it seemed to fill a logical hole in Toyota’s SUV lineup. Longer and wider than the subcompact C-HR and taller than the Corolla hatchback, the Cross was more akin to a hybrid version of the RAV4.

The Corolla Cross rolled out alongside a new Toyota motto: “everyday, reinvented.” Taken at face value, the slogan seems to promise excitement; here is a vehicle so dynamic that it has the capacity to change the very fabric of virtually any day.

But with nearly a half decade of hindsight, it’s easy to look at that motto another way. The Corolla Cross was never designed to reinvent life itself. Rather, it was meant to literally reinvent your everyday routine, offering a sustained measure of practicality that took all that was burdensome about life’s day-to-day trials and streamlined it.

Recently, MotorTrend completed their yearlong test review of the 2022 Corolla Cross. In the end, they also arrived at the same descriptor: practicality. Let’s look at where the Corolla Cross stands and where it figures to go from here.

The Year-Long Findings

Although the Corolla series launched way back in 1966, the Corolla Cross was the very first hybrid crossover introduced to Toyota’s lineup. Initially, it was powered by a standard 1.8-liter inline-four with 138 horsepower and 130 lb-ft of torque.

After spending a year with the 2022 Corolla Cross, MotorTrend kept coming back to the little details that coalesced into a practical whole: the enormous trunk and cargo capacity, the rubber floor mats, the wireless charger-storing cubby beneath the HVAC controls.

The magazine also praised the Corolla Cross’s lifetime fuel economy of 29 mpg, citing minimal spending at the pump and low maintenance costs. In terms of fuel economy, the Corolla Cross comfortably outpaced rivals such as the CX-30, Soul, and Mazda 3.

And while the Corolla Cross admittedly offered little in the way of surprises, MotorTrend deemed it a great fit for daily commutes and errands, as its slight frame made parking in tight spots painless.

Crossing Into 2024

Toyota has been a key part of the global movement towards electrification since its outset, and the latest edition of its crossover hybrid continues their green effort.

Since the 2022 model, the Corolla Cross has added standard all-wheel drive. Its engine has been upgraded to a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, with three electric motors combining for 196 horsepower. For the 2024 model, the Corolla Cross SE and XSE trims receive updated wireless smartphone charging pads.

Though changes to the Cross have been incremental, its foundation has held solid. You’ll still find the same affordable starting price, the same level of fuel efficiency, and the same level of dependability.

Sometimes it’s better to know what to expect when tackling everyday life. The overtly practical Corolla Cross hybrid is peace of mind on four wheels. And as we get an early look at the redesigned 2025 model, it doesn’t appear as though that core philosophy is changing, regardless of how sleek the Cross becomes.

Your Next Toyota Experience Awaits

The new year is upon us, and that means it’s time for resolutions. In 2024, resolve to get behind the wheel of a new or used Toyota vehicle. Whether you’re interested in the Cross, new models such as the 2024 Toyota Tundra, or just in need of an oil change, Lithia Toyota of Abilene is here to keep for all your practical – and occasionally indulgent – auto needs.

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Toyota of Abilene Maintenance Tips

A Guide to EV Tire Buying and Maintenance

The rise in popularity of electric vehicles can be attributed to various factors, such as a growing focus on environmental sustainability and increased availability of charging infrastructure. However, if we had to identify a single key factor, it would be the significant improvement in range capacity. Initial versions of EVs were constrained by limitations in battery technology, resulting in limited distances before requiring a recharge. Nowadays, the average range of electric vehicles has expanded substantially, spanning from 250 to 500 miles.

Just like with regular gas vehicles, there are many factors that can affect your car’s performance. But when it comes to maximizing the range of your electric vehicle, your tires play a major role. EVs perform at their best when the car and tires work together seamlessly, so when you’re in the market for EV tires, it’s important to consider their compatibility.

In this guide, Lithia Toyota of Abilene helps optimize your range by explaining what you need to know about EV tires. 

Switching From Your Original Tires: The Risks 

Keep in mind that the tires initially installed on your electric vehicle were specially developed for that specific car. EV manufacturers understand the unique requirements of their vehicles, so the tires are designed to maximize range while maintaining preferred performance.

With that being said, each and every car owner has their own personal preference when it comes to the accessories they choose for their vehicle. It’s completely fine to trade in your tires for ones that better suit your taste, but it’s important to be mindful of the potential performance changes that may result from such a switch.

Let’s say you want tires that provide better grip to improve performance and braking. This might come at the cost of a quieter driving experience, which is usually what you want in an electric vehicle. Plus, if you decide to switch to different tires than the ones designed for your EV, you risk reducing the vehicle’s range. On the other hand, if you go for tires with low wear to increase the range, you might notice a drop in performance.

Finding the perfect balance is definitely achievable. However, switching to different tires comes with its own set of unforeseen problems, diverging from the recommended EV tires. Reach out to our tire experts, who will guide you in selecting the ideal option that caters to both your needs and your EV.

Watch Your Tires’ PSI 

If you’ve ever owned a gas-powered car, you probably know that having low tire pressure can lead to increased fuel consumption. And the same idea applies to electric vehicles. Even a small decrease in PSI can greatly affect the rolling resistance of your EV, which directly impacts its range. That’s why many EV owners choose low friction tires—they decrease rolling resistance and enhance range, efficiency, and sustainability.

When it gets colder in winter, it’s crucial to keep in mind that tire air pressure fluctuates more. Make a point to check your car’s PSI levels at least once a month during this winter period, and even more often if possible. If you notice consistently low PSI levels, you might want to think about getting a portable tire inflator to keep at home.

And if issues still arise or persist, make an appointment with our Service Department as soon as possible.

Put a Charge in Your Life 

Here at Lithia Toyota of Abilene, we pride ourselves in being at the forefront of modern ingenuity, with electric vehicles and hybrids ranging from the 2023 Toyota Crown to the Sequoia to the Prius.

Whether you’re looking to join the EV revolution or are interested in our entire, vast inventory of new and used vehicles, we have everything you need to help you roll smoothly into 2024 and beyond.

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Awards

The 2024 Toyota Prius is MotorTrend’s Car of the Year

For the first time in two decades, the Toyota Prius has been named MotorTrend’s Car of the Year. Toyota claims the coveted Golden Calipers award for the first time since the 2007 Toyota Camry, and 20 years after the trailblazing 2004 Toyota Prius earned the title. 

The magazine has a set of six specific criteria it uses to judge its Car of the Year finalists, so it speaks to the complete, well-rounded nature of the 2024 Prius that it was able to take home this year’s top honors. It also does so in a year that marks the 75th anniversary of Cadillac claiming MotorTrend’s inaugural Car of the Year award in 1949. 

To commemorate the moment, Lithia Toyota of Abilene looks back at 2004’s winner and where the Prius stands today.

2004 

When Toyota initially developed the Prius, their vision was to create the “car of the 21st century.” The fully realized version of the Prius arrived four years after the turn of the century, ready to claim that mantle. The 2004 Prius was a complete redesign of the previous generations of Kia, replacing the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) with the superior Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD). 

The 2004 Prius became the first hybrid vehicle to claim MotorTrend’s year-end award – a bold choice at the time, and the magazine knew it. Then-editor-in-chief, Kevin Smith, wrote in 2004, “We realize the selection of a hybrid vehicle is going to stir controversy, but we believe the performance, engineering advancements, and overall significance of the Toyota Prius merits the distinction of Motor Trend’s Car of the Year.” 

In presenting the 2023 award, MotorTrend notes, “It’s remarkable how much we wrote about that game-changing 2004 Prius that still applies to its Car of the Year-winning successor two decades later.” They’re not wrong; just as it was in 2004, the Prius remains the gold standard for the combination of fuel efficiency, ultra-low emissions, safety, and riveting performance. 

2024

MotorTrend is quick to point out that it in winning Car of the Year, the 2024 Prius “has made a cultural impact far greater than its carbon footprint.” As we enter 2024, Prius drivers have certainly become associated with more than Toyota’s green-first initiatives: nerds, ride-hail drivers, virtue-signalers… even music snobs celebrated when the hybrid car got a shout-out in a certified Charli XCX banger from 2019. 

But if your primary criticism of the hybrid is that it’s an entryway to chique hipsterdom, that means the vehicle itself is probably doing a lot of things right. MotorTrend praises the 2024 Prius for its design, boosted efficiency, and perhaps most importantly, the way it’s helped advance “the automotive state of the art without forcing drivers to change their deeply ingrained habits.” 

It was the 2024 model’s newfound mesh of style and performance, however, that may have separated it from all-electric competitors like the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and the Tesla Model 3 Highland. For the first time since the 2004 model, Toyota designers and engineers had total freedom to completely reimagine the Prius, which led to a modern 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, larger motors and batteries, and all-wheel drive available at launch. 

In claiming top honors, the 2024 Prius emerged from a competitive group of finalists: the 2023 BMW 7 Series, the 2023 BMW M2, the 2024 Lucid Air, and the aforementioned 2024 Hyundai Ioniq 6 and 2024 Tesla Model 3. 

Get Behind the Wheel of a Prius Today 

Clearly, there’s never been a better time to be a Prius owner. Lithia Toyota is Abilene’s number one dealership when you’re making the switch to hybrid or all-electric. Check out more info on the 2023 Toyota Prius and other hybrid/plug-in/electric vehicles, as well as our entire inventory of new and used Toyotas.

The Prius could very well take home its third pair of Golden Calipers 20 years from now, but for the time being, it’s established itself as the model of consistency in the automotive world. The only question remaining is how high the Prius’s ceiling can possibly rise. This New Year’s, make it your resolution to roll into 2024 with the best car on the market, the Toyota Prius. 

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Toyota of Abilene Listicles

4 Modern Auto Innovations To Be Thankful For

Turkey Day is nearly here, a time for food, family, and the endless struggle between the fourth quarter of the Cowboys game and tryptophan-induced drowsiness.

It’s a season that calls for renewed appreciation of the things that make life worthwhile. Whether you’re on your way to stock up on ingredients at the Abilene Farmer’s Market or driving the family back from Grandma’s house, it’s a good time to reflect on the importance of a reliable vehicle.

Today’s automobiles have much to be thankful for, thanks to a plethora of modern features that have made driving safer and more comfortable than ever. Here’s a four-course meal of recent and semi-recent automotive innovations we should give thanks to: 

Collision Avoidance Technology 

The invention of the airbag was clearly a revolutionary step in automobile safety, providing a life-saving layer of protection in the wake of an accident. But in today’s world, automakers’ priorities have shifted to avoiding such incidents altogether. Enter collision avoidance systems, or CAS.

The first (extremely rudimentary) rearview backup camera was introduced with the 1956 Buick Centurion. Today, that feature comes standard in most contemporary vehicles. But automakers’ ambitions have expanded to full driver assist systems, which do everything from alert drivers when another vehicle is in their proximity to completely takeover the vehicle’s systems when a collision appears imminent. With CAS, it’s like you’re always traveling with a co-pilot, and every day its presence saves lives. 

Mobile App Interconnectivity 

The world is more connected than ever, and your car is now getting in on the party. Though Bluetooth connectivity and similar means of interfacing your phone to your vehicle have been around for over a decade, recently we’ve seen a surge in connected mobile apps. 

For many automakers, it’s become an elevated priority for their vehicles to connect with as many compatible apps as possible, making the transition from your home or office to your new 2024 Toyota Camry feel seamless. Assuming this trend continues, an updated version of this blog a decade from now may be more focused on what your vehicle can’t do.

LED Headlights 

Since bursting onto the scene in 2004, LED (short for “Light-Emitting Diode”) headlights have become the preferred choice of many manufacturers – specifically luxury brands. They offer numerous advantages over more traditional halogen and tungsten lighting, as they have longer lifespans, provide more visibility, and use less electricity – all of which combine to reduce maintenance costs. 

And on a purely aesthetic level, LED lights provide more color options than halogen’s various shades of yellow. We may not have the capability to fully replicate daylight driving during our evening commutes just yet, but LED is illuminating the way forward.

EcoBoost Engines 

Every technological upgrade in the world is for nought if we don’t have a world to begin with. Conceived as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional gas and diesel engines, the Ford-produced EcoBoost is a turbocharged direct-injection gas engine that aims to match its more traditional rivals in both power and torque without sacrificing efficiency. In doing so, EcoBoost engines achieve 20% better fuel efficiency while giving off 15% fewer greenhouse emissions.

As we peer deeper into our automotive crystal ball, electric vehicles and green-first options appear only more ubiquitous. Less costly and more versatile than normally aspirated engines, EcoBoost engines should continue to gain popularity as we move forward.

The Rest is Gravy 

Here at Lithia Toyota of Abilene, we’re thankful for our loyal customers and our vibrant community. As vehicular technology continues to evolve and expand, we remain committed to providing you with Toyota’s newest models. Our entire inventory of new and used vehicles is like an elegant Thanksgiving spread – plentiful, variable, and there for your fulfillment. Bon Appétit, and have a wonderful holiday!

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New Toyota Vehicle

The New RAV4 Prime is the Hybrid of Choice

Having to make a choice can be a daunting proposition – but having the freedom to choose is part of what makes life special. From what you prepare for breakfast to what TV series you decide to stream before bed, our daily routines consist of a string of simple choices that coalesce to grant us the gift of autonomy within our own lives. 

Toyota understands that freedom of choice is a critical component to enjoying life. With the 2024 RAV4 Prime, Toyota is packaging that freedom in the form of a plug-in hybrid, compact SUV. With multiple ways to drive, two unique and sporty grades, and ever-expanding charging options, you’ve never been more in control of your driving destiny. 

Two Ways to Drive 

The RAV4 Prime is a true hybrid-electric fusion, offering two adaptable methods of transport capable of swapping between one another on the fly, depending on what the driver’s day entails. Its Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) powertrain enables the RAV4 Prime to be driven as an efficient hybrid on long journeys. For short trips and daily commutes, EV-only mode can be enabled, which eliminates all carbon emissions while offering the driver a manufacturer-estimated 42 miles of range. 

No special equipment is required for home charging. (Though the available level 2 charger can shave charging time from 12 hours to less than three, it does require a home installation.) Plugging the RAV4 Prime into a standard outlet overnight recharges its 18.1kWh lithium-ion battery pack, enabling the RAV4 to remain in EV mode during your commute. When charging outlets can’t be accessed, never fear – the RAV4 Prime can continue onwards as a hybrid.

Together, these two power sources compile four modes of hybrid system operation: 

  • EV Mode: relies solely on onboard battery to power vehicle. 
  • HV/EV Auto Mode: relies on electric-only mode to conserve fuel and reduce emissions while automatically turning on gas engine when needed. 
  • HV Mode: automatically switches between gas engine and electric motor. 
  • Charge Mode: RAV4 runs exclusively on 2.5L engine while the battery charges. 

Performance of a Lifetime 

Regardless of which driving mode you prefer, the RAV4 Prime was built with performance in mind first and foremost. 302 net combined horsepower makes it one of the fastest models in Toyota’s lineup, capable of reaching 60 MPH in just 5.5 seconds. The RAV4 Prime includes standard electric on-demand all-wheel drive, with a separate rear-mounted electric motor powering the real wheels when needed.

The 2024 RAV 4 will come in two sporty grades: the SE and XSE. The standard list of equipment and features for the SE includes: 

  • Heated front seats 
  • 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment 
  • 7-inch Multi-Information Display 
  • Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert 
  • 8-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen 

Meanwhile, the XSE comes equipped with: 

  • Exclusive 19-inch two-tone alloy wheels 
  • Vertical LED accent lights 
  • 10.5-inch Toyota Audio Multimedia touchscreen display with JBL speakers including subwoofer and amplifier is standard on the XSE grade. 
  • 12.3-inch digital Multi-Information Display (MID) with customizable settings

Charging Ahead 

Last week, Toyota announced a new agreement with Tesla, furthering its commitment to the electric vehicle market. As part of the deal, Toyota will adopt the North American Charging Standard on its battery vehicles starting in 2025. This will give Toyota drivers expanded access to over 12,000 Tesla Superchargers across North America.  

Add in the over 84,000 charging ports in North America Toyota users already have access to – including level 2 and DC fast charges – and the Toyota charging network has never been more all-encompassing.

It’s Prime Time 

Seamlessly blending powerful performance, SUV capabilities, roomy interior comfort, and multiple driving methods, the 2024 RAV4 Prime is the vehicle for the driver who wants a little bit of everything. Why agonize over choosing your next vehicle when you can select the one hybrid capable of identifying and acclimating to your specific, daily needs? 

Here at Lithia Toyota of Abilene, we’re your leaders for all things EV. Stop by today and check out our inventory of new and used hybrids today. At Lithia Toyota of Abilene, the choice will always be yours – we’re just looking to help make that choice a little easier.

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Toyota of Abilene Maintenance Tips

How to Jump Start a Car: A Step-by-Step Guide to Reviving Your Dead Battery 

If your car battery has died, you’re not alone. It’s a common issue that can happen to anyone. Luckily, jump-starting a car is a simple process that can save you from having to call a tow truck or mechanic. In this blog, we’ll guide you through the steps to jump-start your car safely and easily. 

Step 1: Check Your Battery 

Before you begin, inspect your battery to ensure it is properly attached and free of corrosion or leaks. These issues can cause the battery to fail, so be sure to address them before attempting to jump-start your car. 

Step 2: Gather Tools 

You’ll need a few items to jump-start your car, including a set of jumper cables and a working car with a charged battery. Jumper cables are typically black and red with clamps on both ends and can be found at your local auto parts store or here at Toyota of Abilene. Park the working car close enough to your vehicle so that you can safely attach the jumper cables to both batteries with ease. 

Step 3: Attach Cables 

Start by ensuring both cars are turned off before attaching the jumper cables. Locate the positive and negative battery terminals on each car, terminals are usually color-coded and labeled with a plus (+) or minus (-) sign. 

Attach one end of the positive (+) cable (usually red) to the dead battery’s positive terminal. Do the same for the support car’s positive terminal. Take one end of the negative (-) cable (usually black) and attach it to the good battery’s negative terminal. Finally, attach the other end of the negative cable to the dead car’s negative battery terminal or an unpainted piece of metal on the car. 

Step 4: Start the Working Car and Wait 

With both vehicles properly connected, start up the working car and let it run for 15 to 20 minutes. As it runs, the charging system will begin to charge the dead battery on your vehicle.  

Step 5: Try Starting Your Car 

After fifteen to twenty minutes, attempt to start your own car. If it starts up, congratulations – you’ve successfully jump-started your vehicle! Next, disconnect the cables in the opposite order you connected them, taking care not to touch the metal parts of the cables together as you remove them. Remove the negative (-) cable from your car’s battery, then the negative cable from the support car’s battery. Do the same for the positive (+) cable on each vehicle.  

Once you disconnect the jumper cables, you’re done! Wasn’t that easy? 

Step 6: If Your Car Doesn’t Start 

If your car still won’t start, try repeating the process. If it still doesn’t work, you may need to get a new battery or have your car inspected by a mechanic here at Toyota of Abilene. 

Final Thoughts 

Jumpstarting your car is easy and a practical skill that every driver should know — but prevention is always better than cure. Ensure that you turn off all lights and electronics in your car when the engine is not running. This will help prevent your battery from draining. Regularly maintaining your battery by cleaning it and checking for leaks or corrosion will also help prolong its lifespan. 

With the right tools and knowledge, knowing how to jump start a vehicle can put you back on the road quickly and avoid a costly tow truck call. Remember to always handle jumper cables with caution, as they contain electricity that can be dangerous if not used correctly. Follow these steps, and you’ll be more than ready to jump-start your car the next time your battery dies on you. 

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Toyota of Abilene Listicles

Toyota of Abilene’s Top 5 Tips for New Drivers 

Driving is an exciting milestone in life, but it can also be intimidating, especially for new drivers. Navigating the roads as a beginner involves a lot of responsibility, but with proper guidance, it can be a lot easier and more secure. In this blog, we will focus on five tips that can help new drivers stay safe and confident on the road. 

Tip 1: Master the Basics 

Before hitting the road, it is essential to understand the fundamental rules of driving. Start by reviewing your state’s driver’s manual or take an approved driver’s education course. This will help you learn the rules of the road and gain a better understanding of road signs, speed limits, and traffic laws. Knowing the basics ensures that you can navigate the roads with confidence and safety.  

To further master the basics and gain a strong foundation in driving, it is important to practice frequently in various conditions. Make sure to drive in different weather conditions, such as rain or snow, and during different times of day. Additionally, practice on roads with varying speed limits and traffic levels. This will help you become comfortable behind the wheel and stay safe on the road. 

Tip 2: Keep Your Car Maintained 

Regular car maintenance is crucial for a vehicle’s safe operation. Keeping up with oil changes, brakes, and tire rotations are necessary for ensuring that the car is in proper working order. Having a reliable vehicle also means reducing the chance of costly and dangerous breakdowns.  

Having a reliable car is also essential for avoiding any unwanted incidents on the road. Be sure to check your fluids (oil, coolant, brake, and transmission) regularly and top them off if needed. Make sure to have your brakes inspected occasionally, as well as inspect the car’s tires for proper inflation levels and tread wear. 

Tip 3: Avoid Distractions 

Distractions while driving are dangerous, irresponsible, and can lead to accidents. Keep your phone on silent and out of reach while driving. If you need to use your phone, pull over to a safe spot to take the call or reply to a text message. Additionally, avoid eating, smoking, grooming, or engaging in other distracting activities while behind the wheel. 

In order to reduce distractions while driving, it is important to minimize the number of passengers in the car. Having fewer passengers in the vehicle reduces the chances of conversations or other interactions that could take your focus away from driving. Additionally, avoid programming GPS devices or changing radio stations while driving, as these activities require visual and mental attention. 

Tip 4: Don’t Tailgate 

Maintaining a safe distance between your car and the vehicle in front is crucial for a driver’s safety. The recommended following distance is three to four seconds between cars. This ample time will allow you to avoid a collision if the vehicle in front makes any sudden stops or turns. 

Tailgating can be dangerous and should always be avoided. Not only can it lead to rear-end collisions, but it can also cause road rage from the driver in front. Additionally, tailgating restricts vision and forces drivers to make quick decisions in order to avoid a collision.  

Tip 5: Obey All Traffic Rules 

Driving safely and responsibly involves obeying all traffic rules and laws, including stop signs, traffic signals, and posted speed limits. Remember, breaking the rules puts not only your safety but also the safety of other road users at risk.  

When driving, always be aware of the speed limit and the posted signs to ensure that you stay within the laws. Following the speed limit helps prevent speeding tickets and keeps you from putting yourself and other drivers at risk. Additionally, be mindful of intersections and obey any traffic signals, such as stop lights or yield signs. These traffic signals are there to keep you and other drivers safe on the road.  

Get Out and Drive — Safely! 

In conclusion, as a new driver, it is crucial to remain vigilant, patient, and adhere to basic traffic rules. Regular maintenance of your car, avoiding distractions, and maintaining a safe following distance are all essential practices to help ensure safe driving. Remember to never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, always wear your seatbelt, and enjoy the ride. Following these five tips will make you a more confident and responsible driver.