New Model News

New 2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE Hybrid Premium checks most the options boxes

Toyota is taking the RAV4 XLE Hybrid (shown above) and adding equipment to it to the model to make a new trim level.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Toyota is adding a new trim level to the RAV4 lineup for the 2021 model year. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE Hybrid Premium builds on the already-established RAV4 Hybrid Premium, adding a number of options desirable to buyers looking to check more options boxes.

The fifth-generation RAV4 was new for the 2019 model year. It hasn't had Manny enhancements since then with the company instead giving and taking just a little bit in the two subsequent model years. Since its debut, the RAV4 Hybrid has begin gathering more competition. The Ford Escape Hybrid and Honda CR-V Hybrid are hot on its sales heels.

2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE Hybrid Premium 2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE Hybrid Premium builds on the XLE Hybrid grade, shown above.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The 2021 RAV4 XLE Hybrid Premium takes inspiration from the non-hybrid XLE Premium. It features LED projector headlights with chrome bezels, LED daytime running lights with accent lighting, and integrated fog lamps up front. The model rides on 18-inch five-spoke super-chrome-finished sport alloy wheels.

Each of the models gets a power moonroof and dual-zone automatic climate control with a dust and pollen filter. The five seats are SofTex trimmed while the three-spoke steering wheel is leather-trimmed and features silver accents and audio controls. The driver's seat is eight-way power-adjustable with lumbar support. The front passenger seat is four-way adjustable.

The SUV has a 7.0-inch infotainment touch screen, Android Auto, AppleCarPlay, and Amazon Alexa. A six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, satellite radio, five USB ports and Smart Key come standard.

A power liftgate and automatic high beams are also included.

The XLE Hybrid Premium comes standard with all-wheel drive. It's powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that works in tandem with Toyoyta's hybrid system to achieve an EPA-estimated 41 mpg in the city, 38 mpg on the highway, and 40 mpg combined. All hybrid models have a continuously variable transmission.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 XLE Hybrid Premium has a starting MSRP of $32,500.

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Honda notified dealers of upcoming supply cuts.

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda, like all major automakers today, is truly a global operation. Though it produces plenty of vehicles here in the United States, many of the components it relies on for manufacturing come from elsewhere in the world. That means Honda, like the other auto giants, needs its global supply chain operating smoothly in order to prevent disruption. Unfortunately for Honda dealers and potential customers, disruption is what's about to happen. The automaker recently sent a letter to its dealers, forecasting reduced vehicle supply in the coming weeks.

2021 Honda Ridgeline No. 19 - Honda Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The dealer letter, posted to the Civic XI forum and fan site, was dated August 25 and confirmed by a dealer upset with the development, according to Automotive News. In the letter, Honda cites the ongoing pandemic and microchip shortages as major factors impacting its production efforts. Total shipments to dealers could be cut by up to 40 percent, but not all models will be affected to the same degree.

The letter noted that supplies of the Pilot and Passport SUVs will hold steady, and shared that production of the Civic hatchback is on schedule. However, the situation is fluid and could change at any time, so there's a chance that timelines could speed up or slack off as necessary.

2022 Honda Pilot Some models will see more cuts than others.Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda is just the latest in a long line of automakers struggling to keep pace with demand in the face of several converging global crises. In an effort to keep vehicles rolling out of factories, General Motors has implemented selective feature cuts in some of its new vehicles, such as the removal of engine start/stop tech from some trucks and SUVs. Earlier this month, Ford Motor Company told Mustang Mach-E buyers to expect delays of at least six weeks as it grapples with the chip shortage, and will temporarily reduce production capacity at a few of its plants.

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Vehicle sales numbers

Toyota has sold over 50 million Corollas

Toyota has sold tens of millions of Corollas over the last 55 years.


The Toyota Corolla entered its 12th generation in 2019, after more than 50 years on sale. Now, in 2021, the automaker says the car has reached another benchmark, this time with an almost unbelievable number attached to it. In Today, Toyota says that in July 2021, it sold the 50-millionth Corolla. That's almost one Corolla sold for every six Americans alive today, though the sales total includes international vehicles as well.

1969 Toyota Corolla The Corolla's frugal powertrain helped it grow quickly in the United States.Toyota

The Corolla debuted in 1966 but didn't make its way to our shores until spring 1968. Sold as a 1969 model, the car had a starting price of around $1,700 at a time when the median household income was $7,700. The first cars had a short-stroke 1,077-cc four-cylinder engine, 12-inch wheels, and a four-speed manual transmission. That powertrain produced only 60 horsepower, which was good for the car to (eventually) reach 60 mph in about 17 seconds.

Though the car's quality and design helped, it was the oil crisis in the early 1970s that really pushed it to the top of buyers' lists. Big American cars powered by V8 engines fell out of favor as fuel rationing and higher prices took hold. The early Corolla's fuel economy of over 35 mpg helped it earn a place in many Americans' driveways as a result.

2021 Toyota Corolla Cross 2021 Toyota Corolla Cross Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation

Toyota notes that it was building Corollas in the United States by the mid-1980s and says that the current generation car is built at its manufacturing facility in Mississippi. The automaker's new joint plant with Mazda, which is located in Huntsville, Alabama, will start building the new Corolla Cross this summer.

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