Toyota Scores at the LA Auto Show

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  autos arrows plug v2 Toyota Scores at the LA Auto Show

2011 was a tough year for Toyota, which dealt with twin problems of vehicle recalls and production stoppage that occurred after the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March.

But the world’s number two automaker has bounced back: at the start of the Los Angeles Auto Show, Toyota was once again awarded Kelley Blue Book’s title of Best Resale Brand (with Lexus taking the top spot in the luxury division).

Toyota has crammed so many products and activities into their 30,000 square foot exhibit that they’ve created an app to help visitors navigate the space: ToyotaLA, which is available for free download in both the iTunes and Android app stores. It includes maps of the Convention Center, and a guide to interactive activities, such as a Twitter scavenger hunt they will be holding on weekends during the show.

Auto Show attendees can kick the tires on the latest Toyota models, including the 2012 Camry, Prius V and Tacoma truck, and even take some of the models out on test drives.

The fifth generation Camry is all new for 2012: It’s got a curvier silhouette and more powerful engine, yet is stingier on fuel (EPA says the 4-cylinder model will get you 25 miles per gallon in the city/30 on the highway, compared with 20/29 on the 2011 Camry).

Bluetooth connectivity is now standard across all Camrys, and buyers can increase their connectivity by upgrading to Toyota’s new Entune system, which was introduced on the 2012 Camry. Entune gives the vehicle access to new online functions like Pandora Internet radio, Google maps, and on-the-fly dining and entertainment bookings through OpenTable and MovieTickets.com — all from the touchscreen on the front seat console.

Entune will also be available on the 2012 Tacoma small pickup, which has been refreshed inside and out: Tacoma’s been given a new grille, headlamps and front bumper, as well as a new center-instrument panel and gauge cluster, steering wheel, and redesigned center stack.

America’s most popular hybrid vehicle now comes in a larger size: Toyota’s Prius V looks just like the recognizable small car everyone knows — but with room to seat five passengers comfortably. (Toyota says the V’s interior space exceeds that of most small SUVs). The Prius V is EPA rated 44 mpg city, 40 mpg highway.

Donna Schwartz Mills loves her cars. Of course! She’s SoCal Mom!

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