Think of a reliable car brand and you’ll likely think Japanese, but think of a brand that’s truly fun, and you’ll probably think of almost anyone else. But that’s no longer the case, with a commitment to more fun from the plethora of Toyota cars coming to the market in the next few years. It’s set to be a resurgence of the brand’s fun side after a glorious era in the 1980s and 1990s with the new GR Supra sports coupe, a new-generation Toyota 86, and an inherent fun factor in vehicles like the Yaris spearheading the brand’s new attitude.
Toyota Sports Cars
The USA will be at the forefront of the new onslaught, as we’ve already seen the GR Supra receive an increase in power to 382 hp, while new 2.0-liter four-cylinder models make the performance more accessible with a lower starting MSRP expected to be in the low $40,000 range. For those who want something a little less powerful and more practical, a second-generation 86 will provide four seats and act as a base model for the Toyota sports car range.
SUVs Can be Fun Too
Not everyone wants a sports car, and for some, the best new family car possible is a crossover with a high ride height. Toyota is aiming at packing in the fun here, too, with models like the C-HR and RAV4 not only providing ample cargo space and an abundance of features but also giving buyers impressive mileage, with the RAV4 Hybrid providing 40 miles per gallon combined without any compromise in practicality and back seat space.
Larger SUVs cater to fun of a different sort, with the Highlander and rugged 4Runner, Land Cruiser, and Sequoia giving purchasers enough room for family vacations, but AWD and 4×4 drivetrains that enable impressive off-road ability. Capable V6 and V8 engines cater to the different sizes and configurations, while the famous Toyota reliability means you can take the SUVs anywhere without fear.
Design and Driving Dynamics Come First
Key to the development of exciting cars is design, and Toyota has imbued a sense of style in all its latest vehicles. It’s no longer just sports cars that look stylish, but the Corolla Hatchback and Sedan, as well as larger vehicles like the Camry and even the Avalon now look appealing, too. It’s a new design era for the brand, with the humdrum rental-mobile image of previous years shed in favor of thrilling curves and angles. The designs might be polarizing, but they invoke emotion, which is more than can be said for anything the brand has produced for the last 20 years.
The beauty is more than skin deep, thanks to the inclusion of modern tech, full Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, and premium materials used throughout the cabins. They look great, too.
They’re even exciting to drive, and despite the fact that CVT automatics are available on most commuter models, an engaging chassis and supportive suspension give modern Toyotas an edge over rivals. Toyota might not provide the US market with GR-badged Yaris and Corolla models just yet, but fun cars are about more than just horsepower, and Toyota is quickly realizing this.
A Brave New World, More Joy To Come
With the plan fully in place, we’re in for an exciting few years ahead. Reports confirm a bundle of new models coming before 2024, including a new 86, a refreshed Camry and Avalon, and all-wheel-drive for all midsize models up. We’ll even see an all-new crossover later in 2020 along with an updated Sienna minivan, while in Q3 of 2021, an all-new CUV will be unveiled. The workhorses of the range will be updated with the Tundra in 2021 followed by the 4Runner and Sequoia in 2022.
A full overhaul is coming for the Toyota brand: a return to the glory days of the 1990s.