Enjoy the Good Life Even More in a Toyota!

April 8th, 2022 by

A black 2022 Toyota Camry SE Nightshade Edition is shown from the side in a warehouse after visiting a Bon Air Toyota dealer.

With our comfortable climate and beautiful outdoor surroundings, life here in Bon Air can make you feel you’re on the right road for your best life. Enjoying that road, however, means traveling it in the right car. This is precisely why a Bon Air Toyota dealer frequently hears the question: “What are the best Toyotas for this area?” We’ve got the answers and next time you’re car shopping, here are a few specific models to consider.

Go in Safety, With Good Mileage!

While many of us are lucky to have a relatively short work commute, the number of recreational options within reach means that weekends may find you heading for the beach or the mountains. Even if you’re only going grocery shopping, you might as well enjoy the drive! To do that, we suggest you consider the 2022 Camry. A highly-rated vehicle beloved by its drivers, the safe and still-affordable Camry is available in five standard and four hybrid trims, ranging from the base LE at an MSRP of $25,395 to the XSE Hybrid at $33,945. The standard 2.5L, 203 hp engine gains an impressive EPA rating of 28 mpg (miles per gallon) in the city and 39 mpg on the highway, and the hybrid 2.5L 118 hp engine rates an excellent 51/53 mpg on the city and highway, respectively. You can choose FWD or AWD in non-hybrid models.

The 2022 Camry has a standard 7 in info screen, back-up camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, six speakers, and is Alexa-compatible. Different trims also supply varying levels of connected services. All are equipped with a year’s trial of Safety Connect, which delivers push-button access to emergency services or roadside assistance, 24/7, as well as providing automatic collision notification and a stolen vehicle locator. It also comes with 3 months of WiFi Connect, enabling you to use your Camry as a 4G hotspot for up to five devices—handy if you like to work at the beach! The 2022 Camry also contains the Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver-assistive tech, including aids such as a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, road sign assist, and more.

Where Is That Kid?

The XLE and XSE trims add, among other features, the Audio Plus package, which upgrades you to a 9-inch info screen and adds a 10-year trial of Service Connect. Service Connect will send you maintenance reminders and alerts and any information about recalls. You also get a year’s trial of Remote Connect, which can send the primary driver information about the car’s whereabouts, and will notify you if a guest driver is exceeding preset speed limits, miles, or curfew (clearly a gift for the nervous parents of teenage drivers).

While a broad range of options and packages exist for the 2022 Camry, one, in particular, is worth noticing. That’s the TRD. With its 3.5L, 301 hp V6 and 8-speed transmission (which is also available on the XLE and XSE), this trim version is capable of pretty peppy maneuvering. It’s also equipped with 18-inch rims, a rear spoiler, and a suspension tuned for a sportier driving experience. If you get it with Remote Connect, you can add a lot of fun to your driving without losing track of your teenager when he goes out “to do homework at a friend’s.”

More People to Port?

If so – or if you find your recreational desires take you into the mountains more often than to the seaside – consider the 2021 RAV4. This extremely popular compact crossover SUV may be available (depending on mileage) as a certified pre-owned vehicle, and it’s definitely worth a close look. The 2021 RAV4 both won Kelley Blue Book’s 2021 Best Buy Award and placed No.1 in its list of Best Compact SUVs for 2021. All non-hybrid models have the same 2.5L engine, and the four basic trims run in price from an MSRP of $26,350 for the LE to $34,880 for the Limited.

In addition, each of those trims are available in AWD, in addition to two more AWD trims—the Adventure and the TRD Off-Road, which have a 3500 lb towing capacity. (Basic trims can tow 1500 lbs.) There are hybrid versions as well, and in 2021 Toyota added the Prime plug-in hybrid, which can run for 42 miles on battery alone. You also have the ability to add a collection of entertainment, appearance, and tow packages, which adds up to a variety of different RAV4s combinations.

Rated at 27/35 mpg in the city and on the highway by the EPA, this SUV won’t cause you to keel over at the pump—even the AWD versions manage to pull 25 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. In addition, the 2021 RAV4 earned a five-star safety rating from NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)—something we almost take for granted in Toyotas, but not always in SUVs. Like most current Toyotas, the RAV4 is equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense suite, including features such as blind spot, lane departure warnings, and an accident avoidance system.

A silver 2021 Toyota RAV4 XSE is shown from the rear driving on a city street at sunset.

A Tried and True SUV

The RAV4 has been around since 1996, and the 2021 model is part of the fifth generation developed in 2019. Toyota and SUV buyers have had plenty of time to become familiar with the RAV4, and Toyota has refined each generation further. 2021 AWD trims have features such as an advanced traction control system, selectable terrain settings, and hill descent control, making it an excellent choice for weekend trips into the Blue Ridge Mountains. Top-end trims include features like navigation to keep you on track. Because the 2021 RAV4 has a running ground clearance of 8.4 in (8.6 in the Adventure and TRD Off-Road trims), you can even do minor off-roading—on purpose or accidentally. The TRD trim, recommended for purposeful off-roading, adds a stainless steel front skid plate for extra protection.

There’s also plenty of room for your passengers, which should cut down on the ever-popular “Are we THERE yet?” refrain. Consider the Premium Audio package consisting of 11 speakers hooked to a JBL sound system for even more passenger comfort.

Bring the Boat!

If the RAV4 isn’t quite enough SUV for you, check out the 2019 Toyota 4Runner, which manages to provide more of just about all of the features we love on Toyota vehicles. This midsize SUV easily seats seven, can haul 5000 lbs (making it a good choice for boat owners), and can go just about anywhere. At a time when many manufacturers are turning to compact SUVs, the 4Runner, with its sturdy truck-like frame and 9-inch ground clearance, remains a go-to vehicle for heavy work or serious off-roading. The 2019 model offers a choice of seven trims, starting around $35,000 for the SR5 and ending at around $47,000 for the TRD Pro. All trims have the same 4L, 270 hp V6, and three trims, the SR5, the SR5 Premium, and the Limited, are available in 2WD or 4WD. The TRD Off-Road, the TRD Premium, and the TRD Pro are available in 4WD. There are three packages available, most focusing on hauling additions like roof racks or cargo trays (though one offers a power tilt/slide moonroof!). With its larger engine and tow capacity, the 4Runner gets 17 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.

Can I Get There From Over Here? Yes.

If you envision yourself off-roading the Blue Ridge, the 4Runner is for you—especially if you want to bring a few friends along. You’ll be able to negotiate tough trails easily in most models, but you might consider the Limited trims, which have a center differential that puts torque where you need it most. The more luxury-oriented Limited also offers ventilated front seats and dual-zone climate control, good for the July and August heat. The TRD Pro, which is designed with off-roading in mind, has high-performance shocks, a rear-locking differential that allows you to evenly split power between the rear wheels for greater stability, a skid plate, fog lights, and 17 in wheels, among other features. It also contains a JBL audio system so that you can add a solid soundtrack to your adventure. The 4Runner can even get you back home in time before the sun sets in the mountains, with its sturdy V6 providing plenty of passing-speed pickup.

A red 2021 Toyota 4Runner TRD is shown in at a camp site with dogs in the bed.

Which Toyota Are You?

In short, whether you’re taking the kids to the beach, hauling your boat off for a fishing weekend, off-roading with your mud buddies in the mountains, or just looking for a comfortable, cost-effective commute, there’s a Toyota for you. What are the best Toyotas for the area? All of them! Just check them out at your Bon Air Toyota dealer.