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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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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 Listicles

5 Easy Ways to Extend Your Battery’s Lifespan This Fall

As the autumn winds sweep in and the weather turns colder, there’s nothing more frustrating than abandoning the warmth of your bed, only to find that your car refuses to start. This problem can often be attributed to a drained battery, which becomes more vulnerable to power loss as temperatures decrease, potentially leaving you stranded in the chill.

To address this issue, here are five simple and affordable strategies to help ensure that your battery remains in good health until the relief of spring warmth arrives:

1. Avoid Short Drives

Contrary to popular belief, frequently running your engine for brief periods can exhaust your battery faster than taking it on a lengthy journey. In essence, short bursts of driving do not allow ample time for your battery to recharge properly, as the process of starting your car puts a strain on it. If you turn off your car just five to ten minutes later, the battery won’t have sufficient time to recuperate, leading to rapid discharge.

It is therefore advisable to plan for extended trips, particularly on the highway, when possible. This strategy allows your battery an extended opportunity to recharge. Opting for a slightly farther grocery store could add a few extra miles to your trip, but the marginal increase in fuel cost is considerably less than the expense of buying a new battery.

2. Don’t Remain Parked in One Spot Too Long

Despite their modern conveniences and innovative technologies, current vehicles are equipped with a plethora of electronic devices that could unwittingly deplete your battery. Even when your vehicle is not in use, features like security systems and keyless entry continue to draw a minimal yet constant current, a phenomenon known as parasitic drain.

If you foresee your vehicle being idle for an extended period, such as when you park at an airport to depart on a holiday vacation, try to minimize parasitic drain by deactivating as many of these features as feasible. Moreover, if you plan to stay home for several consecutive winter days, consider making the journey to your car and running the engine for about 20 minutes daily. In doing so, your battery can stick to its regular charging cycle.

3. Don’t Leave Electronics On with the Engine Off

It’s never a good idea to leave your dashboard active after switching off your car engine, regardless of the season. However, this act poses a greater risk to your battery during the colder months. Always ensure that all electronic devices, including your heater, radio, and headlights, are switched off when you turn off your car. If you happen to be sitting in your car for an extended period of time, it’s more beneficial for your battery to just keep the engine running.

4. Have a Pair of Jumper Cables Handy

We know that your trunk space is precious, but donate at least part of it to a pair of jumper cables. When you find yourself stuck on the side of a wintry road, there’s no guarantee that the first driver to happen upon you will have cables of their own.

At minimum, make sure each time you leave the house that your phone is charged. Hopefully you’re able to jump your car and avoid making a call for a tow, but it’s best to keep every available option open.

5. Monitor Your Battery More Frequently

If you still find yourself frequently worried about the condition of your car battery this Fall, it might be wise to purchase a car battery tester. Regular voltage monitoring can alert you to any impending signs of drain. After each examination, confirm that your battery is securely anchored to avoid potential internal damage caused by vibrations, especially in uneven, rural terrains. If you observe any corrosion, gently clean the battery terminals with cold water and dry them thoroughly with a cloth.

And if all else fails, remember that Toyota of Abilene is here for all your battery service needs. Our comprehensive diagnostic tests will leave no doubt as to what’s ailing your battery and what steps need to be taken next.

Throughout the Fall, stop by our showroom and check out our new and used inventory. And don’t neglect the rest of your vehicle just because your battery is now humming comfortably! From oil changes to parts and more, Toyota of Abilene has everything you need to stay on the road this holiday season.

 

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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. 

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Toyota of Abilene Listicles

Five Great Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, and if you’re still looking for the perfect date idea, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking for something traditional or something a little more unique, we’ve compiled a list of five great ideas to make your Valentine’s Day extra special. So check out our list and get planning!

Love is in the Air — literally!

Valentine’s Day is all about doing something romantic and a romantic hike with a picnic lunch at the top is the perfect way to make it special. It’s the perfect non-traditional date idea that won’t break the bank, and you still get to show your partner how much they mean to you! A romantic hike gives you time to admire nature, check out scenic views, and have real conversations over a romantic picnic lunch. A romantic hike can give your Valentine’s Day a unique twist that will be remembered for years to come!

Paint. Sip. Love.

Looking to spice up your romantic Valentine’s Day? A trendy watercolor paint and sip class might be the perfect choice. Paint your own masterpiece while sipping on some wine – it’s the perfect balance of relaxation and entertainment. No experience is necessary! Let your creativity flow, open a bottle of wine, and make great memories with your beloved this Valentine’s Day.

Bring the Restaurant Home

If you’re looking to make this Valentine’s Day extra special, why not fancy it up with a home-cooked dinner? Instead of splurging on an expensive dinner out, you and your significant other can whip up something fancy together at home. Try cooking a new recipe, or look to recreate one of your favorite dishes – with your own cozy twist. Not only is this intimate way to celebrate more affordable and memorable, but it can also provide a great opportunity for meaningful conversation by the dinner table. So what better way to show how much you care than cooking dinner together from the comfort and privacy of your own home?

Looking for Love

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to plan a fun, non-traditional date night, so why not surprise your significant other with a fun and off-beat love-themed scavenger hunt? Whether you set it up around town or in your own backyard, you can personalize the items on your scavenger hunt list to make it as unique as your relationship. Plus, when the two of you complete all of the tasks, you’ll get to end the evening with a fun reward! Planning a love-themed scavenger hunt for Valentine’s Day is sure to create some fun memories for both of you this year for sure.

The Love Above

Looking for a magical experience to share with your special someone this Valentine’s Day? Why not take them out stargazing! Watching shooting stars together is a romantic journey that creates memories to last a lifetime. Stargazing is time-old practice of appreciating nature, and the night sky can be an escape from the hustle of everyday life. Set up blankets in your own backyard or find a local park nearby – the adventure of uncovering constellations and shooting stars will be worth it.

Date Night Awaits

If you and your partner are looking for a fun and unique way to spend Valentine’s Day this year, look no further! These five date ideas are sure to please. From stargazing to cooking dinner together, you’ll create lasting memories with the one you love. So get planning – your perfect Valentine’s Day awaits!

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Texas Toyota

4 Tips to Keep Your Car Looking Great

Whether you’re a car enthusiast or simply a daily driver, keeping your car clean is always a must. While it may seem like a daunting task to keep your car clean, it truly isn’t, especially with our Toyota of Abilene helpful car cleaning tips.

As with any chore, the more you keep up with cleaning your car, the easier it is to maintain. That is why we recommend regularly cleaning out your car, vacuuming it and keeping it free of trash and debris.

When it comes to keeping the exterior of your car looking great, regular washes and waxes will go a long way. Maintaining your car’s paint is a great way to ensure your vehicle won’t have rust or peeling problems. The best part is that it keeps your car looking great too.

With this list of helpful tips, you’ll have all the tools and knowledge you need to keep your car looking just as great as it did the day you bought it.

Clear it Out

The first step to cleaning your car like the pros is pretty simple — clear it out! Trash, debris, last week’s hamburger wrapper, you’ll want to get rid of it all. Clearing out the clutter from the interior of your car instantly makes it look better and a lot less “lived in”. Plus, if you had enough stuff in there, you could consider it as fuel savings to clean it all out.

Not only is interior clutter unsightly, but it can also be dangerous. If you’re ever in an accident, every item you have on the interior will be tossed around becoming a hazard to you. Plus, who wants to be coated in a two-day-old soda after getting in an accident?

Cleaning out the interior of your car is the easiest step, all you need are some trash bags and you’ll be clutter-free in no time. Once you’ve cleaned out the interior of your car, you can move on to our next step detailed below.

Scrub it Out

Just like the carpet and flooring in our homes, the floor mats in our cars can get pretty dirty. That’s why it’s important for you to pull them out of the car and give them a good scrubbing. Getting your floor mats nice and clean doesn’t just look good, it also will help cut down on airborne bacteria and irritants too.

Before you get to scrubbing, you may also want to give your floor mats thorough vacuuming. This will get the dirt and debris that has found its way into your car and been compacted down. Once you’re done vacuuming you can get to scrubbing.

You’ll want a good brush with semi-firm bristles to attack carpet floor mats, and a good cleaning agent as well. If you have rubber or “all-weather” floor mats, you can skip the vacuum step and just give them a good spray down with your chosen cleaning agent.

Vacuum it Out

If you have been following our steps thus far, you should have your vacuum out still, so why not tackle the rest of the interior with it? Thoroughly vacuum all carpeted surfaces in your car, including the passenger and rear-seat floorboards, especially if they see high traffic.

While you have the vacuum out, it’s probably a good idea to run it over any non-carpeted surfaces that accumulate dust and debris like the dashboard. You can even hit the vents as dust accumulates there and can cause allergies or irritation.

A solid vacuum job should leave your car’s interior looking fresh and smelling even better — so why not take the time and do your car a favor?

Wipe it Out

A final step to cleaning your car like a pro is wiping it out. Pick up some interior cleaning and detailing wipes and get to work! We recommend starting from the driver’s seat, hitting all the instrumentation and surfaces you touch most.

From there, we say no amount of attention to detail is too much. Dig into those cracks and crevices, don’t be afraid to really get in there. You can use things like Q-Tips to get into tight spaces like between the air vents or radio controls. Work your way throughout the front first, then make a move to the back of the car — don’t forget the cupholders!

Get to Cleaning

Now that you have read our list of tips to keep your car clean like the pros, it’s time to grab your cleaning supplies and get to work. Whether you’re going for full interior and exterior detail or keeping it simple with a wash and wax, this list of tips is sure to get you started on the right path.

If you’re not feeling the whole DIY car detailing process, that’s okay too, we can always help you out at our reconditioning department. All you have to do is book an appointment online or by calling 325-550-2122 — stopping by works too.