Best in Class Minivan Award Goes to Toyota’s “Swagger Wagon”

best in class minivan award

Every year for the last five years, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has brought together the regional automotive press at the New England Motor Press Association Technology Conference. This year, the panel of experts had a particularly difficult time ignoring Toyota’s superior engineering and design.

The Toyota RAV4 was one of the first offerings in the small SUV segment, a market that is now one of the hottest. WheelsTV Previously Owned Vehicle Award went to the 2006-2014 Toyota RAV4.

A press release from Toyota calls the 2015 Toyota Sienna the “Swagger Wagon,” and for good reason. The swag comes from a “stylish interior,” “a more comfortable and entertaining cockpit area,” “functional usage of cargo space” and “intelligent infotainment system.”

Throw in an AWD option plus 18/25 mpg and the attention the Sienna received at the conference is more than justified. In fact, the Swagger Wagon took home the Best in Class Minivan Award from the conference.

R&D Breakthrough Means Bright Future for Toyota Fuel Cell Stacks

It’s no secret the Toyota Motor Company is hard at work pouring resources into the research and development of fuel cell vehicles and the technology that runs them. Toyota has recently made a major breakthrough in its fuel cell stack development, which will ultimately lead to more efficient and durable Toyota fuel cell stacks.

According to a news release, Toyota and Japan Fine Ceramics Center (JFCC) have created a new method to observe “the behavior of nanometer-sized particles of platinum during chemical reactions in fuel cells so that the processes leading to reduced catalytic reactivity can be observed.”

That’s a whole bunch of scientific terminology, but basically boils down to the fact that researchers can now analyze the process of “coarsening,” when platinum nanoparticles (used to create a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to create electricity in the fuel stacks) increase in size and decrease in surface area, reducing reactivity. Now, scientists will be able to determine the cause for the decreased reactivity (and therefore decreased fuel cell output), improving the overall function of the fuel stack.

Fuel cell vehicles are a promising alternative to hybrid and electric vehicles thanks to their quick, easy hydrogen refueling system, long-distance driving range, and pure water vapor output.

We at Haddad Toyota look forward to seeing how fuel cell vehicles play into the future of our roads!