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MAYNARD'S GARAGE- Toyota Debuts Wireless Phone Charging PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mark Maynard   
Thursday, 21 February 2013 05:40


(Right) Phones can be charged on the lid of the 2013 Avalon's eBin. (Top left) The 2013 Toyota Avalon was designed, engineered and built in the United States for North American preferences, Toyota says. (Bottom left) The slightly-changed Pruis c.

The shapely new 2013 Toyota Avalon sedan, having just gone on sale, will offer late availability of an optional wireless charging pad on the top-line limited model.

The Avalon has a nifty "eBin" in the lower console of the instrument panel to hold and charge electronic devices. The clever cubby has a sliding cover, and inside are two 12-volt plugs and iPod/USB ports.

The wireless charging can be engaged by a switch beneath the lid. Slide the cover closed and your phone can rest on the high-friction lid. The option will be available by late March in the technology package, $1,950, which also includes automatic high beams, dynamic radar cruise control and precollision system.

The system uses Qi wireless charging, which is now integrated in 34 smartphone models, Toyota says, including the latest LG Google Nexus 4, Nokia Lumia 920 and the HTC Windows Phone 8X.

Chrysler LLC also offers a wireless charging pad in its new Dart compact sedan. The Mopar accessory is $275.

Other Qi (pronounced "chee") products include gaming controllers, smartphone docking speakers and battery packs. 2014 Chevy Impala Starts at $27,535 Chevrolet's redesigned and re-engineered large midsize sedan will go on sale next spring with a starting price of $27,535, including the $810 destination charge. Three direct-injection engines will be available, including a 3.6-liter V-6 and a new 2.5-liter fourcylinder.

The 2.4-liter fourcylinder with eAssist fuel-saving technology is expected to get highway mileage of 35 mpg.

All engines are matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. New features include crash-avoidance technologies, such as rear cross traffic alert and side blind zone alert. The latest version of MyLink radio will feature "natural" voice recognition — a first for Chevy.

2013 Toyota Prius c Gets Modest Changes The 2013 Prius c goes on sale in early January with starting prices that range from $19,875 to $24,155, including the $795 freight charge. Pricing is up by $130.

Interior upgrades include a standard SofTex-trimmed steering wheel on the Prius c Four and a black SofTex dash panel on Prius c Two and Three models.

The 99-horsepower hybrid operating system is similar to that of the standard Prius, except that the gasoline engine is of smaller displacement, 1.5 liters compared to 1.8 liters. Fuel economy on the highway is EPA estimated at around 46 mpg. The Prius c is 19 inches shorter than the Prius hatchback, but it also has a surprising 35 inches of rear legroom and a backbench with one of the longest seat bottoms I've seen in a subcompact.

Mark Maynard is driving in cyberspace at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Find photo galleries and more news at

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 05:55