Having been a tad quiet in 2018, Toyota Ireland is getting ready to enter 2019 with all guns blazing. By the start of April, they will have placed six hybrid options on their motoring menu, all of them running on Toyota’s TNGA, (Toyota New Global Architecture), with self-charging petrol hybrid powertrains and petrol options, with the promise of a more dynamic driving experience from a brand that has huge loyalty here in Ireland.
I will admit that few cars in their ‘old’ line-up lit my fire, their conservative offerings and on-road drive appeal, while offering reliability, did little to involve or provide a good aftertaste.
This new range, shown to gathered motoring journalists in Dublin recently, sit entirely differently on the road, look and feel way better on the inside, plus they draw your gaze easily to its style and form. Good job Toyota.
Lower, with their centre of gravity now favouring driver tactility, body rigidity increased by up to sixty percent, new shock absorbers and less body roll, I’m itching to see how they react to the sense of humour of our Irish road network.
Safety is highly prioritised via Toyota Safety Sense, which includes, Pre-Collision System, (PCS), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Trace Assist (LTA), Road Sign Assist (RSA) and Automatic High Beam (AHB). Inserted in all this electronic voodoo assistance is Night-time Recognition and Daytime Cyclist Recognition, delivering the driver vital information on vulnerable road users.
On the inside the designers and ergonomic gurus have radically changed the driver and occupant experience. New driver’s consoles, new centre consoles, new fabrics, including leather, all provide a visual and touchy/feely ambience not available in previous incarnations.
For details see Toyota.ie.
Toyota Corolla Hatchback – Due date January 16th
All six offerings have their own persona, the Corolla Hatchback, replacing the Auris, which was with us for twelve years, looks very smart and will attract the sporty intent of many, particularly when chosen in bi-tone, an attractive option.
Corolla Hatchback Luna Grade – €26,995
Corolla Hatchback Luna Sport Grade – €28,995
Corolla Hatchback Sol Grade – €30,115
Corolla Saloon and Touring Sport – Due date February 19th
The Corolla Saloon is an Irish favourite, my own recollections of nigh on 100k miles on my K30 still replaying great memories. This latest Corolla heralds form that fist model launched in 1966, global roads seeing some forty-six million Corollas pass by in the interim.
The 2019 Corolla Saloon will be available in a choice of 1.8 petrol-hybrid and a 1.6 litre petrol, the former expected to account for over ninety-percent of sales.
A real sleeper amid this Toyota half-dozen is their Corolla Touring Sport, an estate car with the easy practicality of rear space access, all within the footprint of a very easy to manage family car. The rear seats fold down at the touch of a button, providing 598 litres of boot space, some 68 litres more than the Auris equivalent.
Corolla Saloon Luna Grade – €27,700
Corolla Saloon Luna Sport €29,995
Corolla Saloon Sol Grade – €31,705
Corolla Touring Sports Luna Grade – €26,995
Corolla Touring Sports Sol Grade – €30,115
Toyota Prius with minor changes – Due date early March – €31,450
Running on Toyota’s TGNA architecture, the 2019 Prius is subject to some minor changes and runs on their 1.8 litre hybrid powertrain. It will have the self-changing and plug-in hybrid variants as before.
The new purchase option of four-wheel drive, the Prius Hybrid AWD-i, will appeal to some, with all models getting revised exterior lighting and interior comfort and safety additions.
Toyota Camry – Due date April 4th Welcome home Camry, a large saloon car entering the segment now favoured by those looking for high-rise Sports Utility Vehicles. This eight-generation Camry carries Toyotas family resemblance on the outside, whilst inside it is uniquely Camry. At our static introduction, the Camry was very impressive, particularly the space available and the level of fit and finish.
Sol Grade – €40,750
Platinum Grade €42,950
Toyota RAV4 – Due date January 7th.
This fifth-generation 2019 Toyota RAV4 comes in front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive arriving later in 2019. Definitely all grown up now, this latest model will be powered by a 2.5 litre hybrid produces 215bhp, (CO2 emissions of 102g/km), and is lower, longer and wider than the previous, its street stance now more purposeful than heretofore.
The interior of the new RAV4 has been brought right up to date, with the drivers console and centre information/entertainment screen providing more news than Reuters. Interior room and furnishing is without complaint, the latter ticking the luxury box for an offering in this mid-range crossover segment.
Luna Grade – €37,590
Sol Grade – €39,590
Sport Grade – €40,990