Toyota Blade Review

High-end in style and features without a high-end price tag, the Toyota Blade is a prime example of affordable luxury.

[SPECS]

Engine: 2.4 litre 2AZ-FE

Fuel Consumption: 6.3 litre per 100km (best reported), with 60L tank capacity

Curb Weight: 1390kg

Front and All Wheel Drive options, Continuous Variable Transmission

The Good

The Toyota Blade finds its fanbase amongst lovers of the Corolla and Camry. It shares a similar design, both in terms of its mechanics and visual specs. The Blade was originally designed as a high-end version of the Toyota Auris, which follows the same design basics as the Corolla and Camry. Later editions of the Blade and Auris were actually released in European markets as a replacement for the Corolla when it was pulled from Europe. Its success in all of its available markets and the feedback from owners suggests that designers were able to combine the favorite elements of the Corolla and Camry into the shiny packaging of the Blade.

The main goal of designers was to provide a high-end vehicle with all the fixings at an affordable price. In terms of visual appeal, it has a sleek compact design that often is responsible for drawing the attention of potential buyers. The hatchback style of the Blade is there to provide a sporty element, with the hope that it may appeal to customers who lead busy and active lives. It also aims to appeal to small families that want to have a reliable and friendly vehicle without compromising on style.

Features-wise, the Blade does not skimp in terms of availability. It is versatile in terms of compatibility, which makes it easy to adapt features from other models for the Blade. It was discontinued in mid-2012, but most of Toyota’s offered features are still compatible. Most of the ones that were made strictly for the Blade are top of the line and focus on luxury. Functionally, it continues that luxury and is often seen as a very smooth and quiet for occupants.

Updated versions of the Blade, like the Blade Master and Blade Master G, worked on bringing mechanical aspects such as the brakes and suspension up to the same level that Toyota’s competitors were offering. The suspension, which was a bit lacking when compared to other similar Toyota models, was updated, and the brakes were expanded. Basically, Toyota’s engineers and designers pulled a full overhaul for the Blade’s later versions to amp the quality up even further.

The Bad

The biggest issue with the Blade is that it has too much competition in Toyota’s similar models. Its flashiness has actually worked against it at times, as some have cited concern that it may draw unwanted attention that will result in theft. As a result, most Toyota dealers find that their sales for the Blade when it was still being produced were small compared to sales for Corolla and Camry models.

Another issue with the visual design that occasionally acts against it? The sporty aspect of the Blade’s design cuts into the sleek design that Toyota was aiming for, with many people remarking that it looks too bulky for its intended design. It’s an opinion that is largely divided based on whether buyers went for the Blade for its style or for its ability.

The Blade’s interior features a floating console, which is almost too physically thick for it to be functional. Accessories and features that are near the console, like storage space, are difficult to access and are basically rendered useless. It looks nice and adds to the flash of the Blade, but for all intents and purposes it’s rather unnecessary for the functionality of the design. The standard view on the console, specifically, is that Toyota attempted to copy a design feature from Volvo and then failed miserably.

As beautifully as the Blade has been known to handle—another similarity it shares with Camry specifically—it has a very high center of gravity. More often than not, this has a HUGE effect on the Blade’s handling and turning capabilities under certain situations. Before the mechanic updates with the Master and Master G models, the Blade’s suspension was seen as too soft for it to reach the high speeds that most luxury cars are able to hit. Toyota’s push to label the Blade as an inexpensive luxury vehicle put a lot of expectations on it, almost too many, and the end result was some very disappointed customers.

What Others Are Saying

“By equipping the compact body with a 2.4-liter engine, the Blade exhibits dynamic performance with power to spare, and the newly designed suspension provides superior cruising performance.”

TopSpeed

“Everything is considered to perfection whether it is price, specs or even when the overall review is considered. This makes it a true gold inside out.”

-SBT Global Car Exporter

“For what it’s worth, we think the Blade is sharp (pun intended) and that its style and premium equipment make an attractive package.”

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Toyota Altezza Review

The Toyota Altezza, commonly known as the Lexus IS, is an entry-level luxury car. It is a sporty car designed for luxury, style, and class for those that are looking for a nice car to break them into the world of sports vehicles.

 

Altezza Specs

Engine: 2.0 L, Petrol

Length: 4,400 mm (173.2 in)

Width: Sedan: 1,720 mm (67.7 in)

Height : 1,410 mm (55.5 in)

Curb weight: IS 200: 1,360 kg (3,000 lb)

EPA-estimated 22/33 mpg city/highway

 

The Good

The Altezza is going to make a good impression on whoever rides with you and it’s going to leave you feeling as though you have achieved your sports car dreams. It has a sleek exterior, giving it the look of a curvy sports car. Not only is the outside striking, but the inside is classy as well. There is decent room in this four door vehicle, as well as high end cutting edge technology. It comes with a screen, usb ports, a moon roof, and Siri voice recognition along with other types of gadgets that any techno geek would love to have. The steering and handling of this sports car is spot on. Its speed rivals that of other entry level-luxury sports cars. If you are looking for speed the Altezza might be right for you. At 552 horsepower this vehicle knows how to move quickly and efficiently.

 

The Bad

One of the major complaints of the Altezza is how it turns corners. Performance wise, it excels in nearly all areas except this.  As it is supposed to be an entry-level sports car, one would expect it to perform all the functions of one. However, while its speed is no problem, corners seem to be a difficulty for this vehicle, as there have been reports of it not handling turning with as much accuracy at high speeds as other entry level sports vehicles.

 

What Others Say

 

The exterior of the vehicle is made trendy and stylish with the uni-body chassis that makes vehicle light enough with overall cost reduction in long run. –SBT Global Car Exporter

 

The 2016 Altezza (Lexus IS) doesn’t quite match the sporty driving dynamics of some rivals, but its upscale interior and comfortable ride are appealing. –US News Best Cars

 

The size and the chassis and the rear-drive layout are bang on the money. –Top Gear

 

The 2016 Lexus IS’s (Altezza) blend of style, comfort and power makes it an appealing choice for a small luxury sedan. — Edmunds

 

It’s gorgeous. It’s powerful. It’s comfortable. If I could have driven it through my front door and up into my bedroom each night and tucked it in next to me, I would have. – Forbes

 

In the highly competitive entry-level luxury-sedan market the Lexus IS (Altezza) is an enticing choice, with high style, advanced technology, impressive performance, indisputable prestige, impeccable detail, relentless quality and an unmatched reputation for owner satisfaction. Among a group where excellence is the minimum standard, the IS (Altezza) is formidable. — Kelley Blue Book

 

Toyota Century Review

Emperor, but it is as luxurious as it is inefficient.

 

Toyota Century Specs

  • JDM Engine: 48-valve V-12, Petrol
  • Fuel consumption: 7.6 km/L
  • Curb weight: 2070 kg
  • 5270 mm L x 1890 mm W x 1475 mm H

 

The Good

The Toyota Century is a 4-door luxury sedan created for the Japanese domestic market. In the past, the limousine was most commonly used to transport politicians and dignitaries in Japan. Indeed, the vehicle is certainly a luxury. The Century has a smoother engine than other luxury sedans in the same category as a result of its V-12 engine, the only one of its kind in the world, which makes the car function better than similar vehicles with V-8 engines. Further, this gives the car a sense of quiet because of the engine’s power.

The exterior and interior design of the car also emulate luxury. The flat and boxed exterior design give the car a sense of power because of the association of this form car with the influential individuals it transports. As a result, the car itself seems to be powerful, no matter the passengers. The interior is also luxurious. Seats are made from high quality fabrics and there is more than enough legroom for passengers. Ornamental details, such as textured surfaces, curtains in the back seats, and rear massage seats, can be added, depending on the needs of the passenger.

 

The Bad

While famed dignitaries and leaders who only travel in the Century as a passenger may not notice its shortfalls, there are some things that are not necessarily great about the car. Fuel efficiency and fuel consumption are incredibly low in the Century, making it a very inefficient car to drive for any significant distance. Considering that the Century was created specifically for the purpose of chauffeuring the wealthy, the awful fuel efficiency makes sense, but for a driver who wishes to use the car as a genuine vehicle, the Century is not a comprehensive choice.

Drivers will also face the problem of having a nose and back of the car that is uncharacteristically long, which makes parking and driving difficult at first. Because it is difficult to understand how far the car extends in either direction, it can be very hard to maneuver when first beginning to drive.

The car, new or used, is either way expensive. Those who want to purchase it for daily use must consider whether the poor fuel efficiencies and investment to but it are worth the rewards the car bestows. Is driving in a luxury vehicle with connotations of wealth worth the money you must continuously put into the Century? If you are certain that the answer is yes, then the Century may well be for you.

 

What Others Say

“Ride worthy of the label of the luxury car.”

~ Goo-Net

 

“[In various places texture is high, the texture of aluminum ashtray lid was impress[ive].”

~ Kakaku Review

 

“At wide-open throttle, the Century is even smoother than an LS430.”

~ Car and Driver