Will Toyota have a happy new year? Well, it’s certainly shaping up to be award-winning with numerous honors collected in the first two weeks of 2017.
This week, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Highlander a 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK+. It joins nine other Toyotas that had previously earned the group’s highest safety rating. That’s more than any other manufacturer. Plus, three other vehicles were 2017 TOP SAFETY PICKS. So, that’s a whopping 13 IIHS awards overall so far.
2017 Toyota and Lexus TOP SAFETY PICK+ winners: Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Prius (built after August 2016), Prius v, RAV4, Lexus ES 350, NX, RC and RX.
2017 Toyota and Lexus TOP SAFETY PICK winners: Avalon, Yaris iA and Lexus CT 200h.
Meanwhile, one Toyota and three Lexus models were named Edmunds Most Wanted vehicles – a new designation by one of the leading car shopping and information online platforms. Individual models were called out in 16 segments based on a combination of market factors such as units sold, days-to-turn and shopper interest as well as editorial opinion. Other than Honda/Acura, no other automaker had more than one vehicle on this new list.
Most Wanted Vehicles in their segments: Sienna, Avalon, Lexus RX 350 and ES 350
Toyota’s future, though, could be even brighter – based on the response to its Concept-i at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. Its advanced integration of artificial intelligence, in particular via its Yui personal digital assistant, helped it claim a Mashable “Best Tech of CES 2017” honor, a Popular Mechanics “Editor’s Choice Award” and TechRadar’s “Best Car Tech” designation. And while it didn’t take the top prize, Toyota’s groundbreaking concept vehicle was a “Best Automotive Technology” finalist in Engadget’s “Best of CES” awards.
At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit this week, Cars.com presented its “Best of 2017” awards and named the 2017 Toyota Prius its “Eco-Friendly Car of the Year.” The popular online car-shopping guide said the latest redesign of the Prius, “the face of the hybrid segment,” addressed its “biggest driving-comfort shortcomings, widening the appeal of the already popular model.”
Rounding out the accolades, the 2018 Lexus LS 500 – unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday – claimed the 2017 EyesOn Design award for Design Excellence – Interior Design. The EyesOn Design awards, officially sanctioned by the show, are selected by a panel of design leaders representing automakers and design schools around the world.
Whew! Just imagine what the next 50 weeks will bring!