Toyota is on a roll with a multi-year multi-model renewal starting with the return of the Supra in 2020. Nineteen new models are arriving from 2020-2023, starting with these 2020 Toyota models. It's not all electric changeovers and crossover variations, either. Toyota is energizing its line with all-new electric models, and a powerful Camry TRD model. Then there's the cooperative projects with Daihatsu, Hino, and Suzuki, lending their talents to various new and revised models. As Toyota's record-breaking sales figures top ten million units in 2018, the company is staying aggressive. Furthermore, Toyota is correcting course to meet increasing customer demand in EVs, sports models, sedans, and off-road capabilities, which didn't fit their earlier projections. Toyota is also building up another of its biggest markets, China, which is driving their new vehicle R&D with global benefit.
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Over ten percent of Toyota's global sales is the long-lived Corolla model, which is also the best-selling car globally. It's not really an econobox, but a platform for style and sportiness with a simplified base model: hatchbacks now come with a 6-speed transmission or CVT in 2020 and a 169hp 4-cylinder engine on an improved-handling TNGA framework. Buying the base model won't leave out essential enjoyment and safety features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and blind-spot monitoring. The Corolla is now available as a hybrid with a 52mpg rating, which could be a Prius-killer down the road.
Number three on the world's car-choice list, the RAV4 was a global favorite in 2018, and still, Toyota upgraded and redesigned it for 2019. That means the 2020 model is already familiar, with a bunch of safety features that make families feel more secure like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automated emergency braking. If you're wondering why van sales numbers have plummeted, RAV4 is a big part of the reason, especially its reliability ratings. RAV4 LE Hybrid bumps mpg up to around 40, with 219hp for versatility and a price, which makes it an easy choice over many crossovers.
Ninth place on the world list is the Camry, which is a top seller in the U.S. mid-sized market and is an example of Toyota's efforts to keep selling into less-popular classes of vehicles to give buyers options. Plus, there's the new TRD model. The base Camry was redesigned in 2018 with more eye-catching styling and an all-new platform for better handling, aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. For loyal Camry drivers, the lower center of gravity and longer wheelbase should get even more staid drivers enjoying the drive to work.
The 2020 Tacoma is a refreshed version of the new third-generation model introduced in 2016. It's been facelifted with a new grille and LED headlamps, creating the apparent face of Stormtroopers, common across various Toyota models in recent years. Inside, it has exciting tech and comfort upgrades like a new 8-inch touchscreen. Apple, Android, and Amazon interfaces are all included. The driver's seat gets power adjust and lumbar support. Top models get top and bottom panoramic view monitors now.
Noticing the high-end SUV action in South Korea, Toyota has been moved to upgrade the Highlander in 2020, redesigned on the better-handling TGNA platform this year. Once again, Toyota is not waiting until sales lag before renewing an aging model and has improved the drivetrain offerings, including bumping up the base model from the previous 185 hp and offering a much more efficient hybrid with 240 hp. All this and more with fairly stable pricing over the previous year.
Buyers of sedate sedans can also choose between TRD (Toyota Racing Development) models of the Camry and Avalon this year. The 2020 Camry TRD can be spotted quickly by the rear wing, but the 19-inch black-on-black wheels, wider body accented by a splitter and diffuser, and dual exhausts say more about Toyota's intentions. Inside, there's a red-accent theme, which even includes the interior lighting. Pulled by 301 horses, the shocks, springs, and suspension are tuned and stiffened with anti-roll bars while tires and brakes are upgraded as well. Toyota sedan drivers definitely have a voice in company decisionmaking.
The Avalon redesign is just two years old and a leader in the full-size segment. While a pretty good price starting well under $40,000 lures buyers to this near-luxury line, Toyota has added an additional carrot in the $1,000 hybrid add-on. The tech and safety features, along with the size difference, make the Avalon more of an enriched model. If you choose the TRD version, mods similar to those on the 2020 Camry TRD but with better tires make the Avalon a decent executive car with great weekend drive potential.
The Prius hasn't changed for 2020, so much as the world has changed around it. Buyers who are looking for top fuel efficiency and appreciate the Prius tradition of economy and innovation may prefer this popular model, which is a few years past its most recent renewal. Still, much of the innovation, including the new TNGA platform, has been included in the hybrid upgrade of the new 2020 Corolla. Many drivers will find that it's time to make a comparison between these and see whether the Prius is still the right choice for them.
The award for the Toyota model with the earliest and loudest 2020 model buzz is -- the 2020 Supra. Back after a long vacation, this mix of Toyota styling and BMW Z4 features is getting all sorts of talk from race numbers and Z4 comparisons to discussions of "can we put the old Toyota engine in?" and "will other BMW engines like the M-series fit?" It's clearly inspiring a lot of talk among gearheads and fans as Toyota hoped it would.
As to why they turned to BMW for this return, one answer was the engine, an inline-six they didn't have.
With a revision in 2016, the only thing new about the Land Cruiser in 2020 is the 60th anniversary Heritage Edition, with black or white paint schemes and plenty of bronze trim and badging plus special BBS wheels. If the theme of the new model introductions and reintroductions during the 2020-2023 time frame is Toyota's commitment to a broad product line, the 2020 Land Cruiser is a flagship of the longevity of models in that lineup.
The second most expensive minivan in the U.S. market, the 2020 Sienna with its large capacity, is only a couple of years past its last minor refresh and selling more slowly each year. Flexible seating is one feature that sells it, and available all-wheel-drive is its exclusive domain in the U.S. market.
The lesson from TRD-ing so many vehicles? Part of Toyota's strategy for keeping models alive is to add some TRD-interest, perhaps from the same minds, which decided to re-emphasize motorsports with the reintroduction of the 2020 Supra. This strategy answers the concern of many car enthusiasts who see performance cars as a dying breed, replaced by autonomous, renewable-power vehicles designed to ferry passengers rather than drivers. Toyota's activities overseas in 2020 and beyond do reflect a growing demand for smaller cars and EVs, which hasn't yet reached the U.S.