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AutoTrends: Toyota Highlander 2023 excites with turbo, new tech



Toyota Highlander, which has been the best-selling midsize crossover in the United States for six consecutive years, is getting a significant update for 2023, the leading automaker has said.

According to a new report by, the biggest change occurs under the hood as the 3.5-litre V6 engine has been replaced by a new turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder.

A turbocharged engine uses turbine power and forced induction to push extra compressed air into your engine’s combustion chamber.

The 2023 model Highlander produces 265hp (198 kW/269 PS) and 309lb-ft (418 Nm) of torque, which is a loss of 30 hp (22 kW / 30 PS) but a gain of 46lb-ft (62 Nm).


This is considered a mixed bag and the situation is further complicated by a combined fuel economy rating that is expected to remain at 24 mpg. This is somewhat surprising, but Toyota said the four-cylinder is more environmentally friendly as it offers “more than a 50 per cent reduction in NOx and NMOG [emissions] as well as an improvement in CO2 emissions compared to the outgoing V6 engine.”

Environmentally conscious consumers will likely opt for the familiar Highlander Hybrid.

It features a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and two electric motors, which enable the crossover to have a combined output of 243 hp (181kW / 246 PS) and an estimated fuel economy rating of 36 mpg combined.


Moving into the cabin, Limited and Platinum trims now come equipped with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that replaces the previous analog gauges and 7-inch display.

Toyota did not say much about it, but the digital instrument cluster offers some degree of personalization as there will be four different display modes known as Casual, Smart, Tough and Sporty.

The higher-end trims also benefit from a new 12.3-inch infotainment system, which will also be available as an option on the mid-level XLE and XSE that come standard with an 8-inch display.

Speaking of screens, the entry-level Highlander L and LE trade their tiny 4.2-inch multi-information display for a larger 7-inch setup.

Getting back to the infotainment system, all 2023 Highlanders are equipped with the Toyota Audio Multimedia system that debuted on the 2022 Tundra.

It offers cloud-based navigation, over-the-air updates, and an intelligent assistant that responds to the “Hey Toyota” wake word.

The infotainment system also has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as well as integrated Apple Music and Amazon Music streaming with the available Wi-Fi Connect subscription.

Additional changes are minor, but Limited and Platinum trims gain power folding side mirrors, while the XLE and XSE now come equipped with a hands-free power liftgate.

More importantly, the available wireless smartphone charger is no longer hidden in the center console as it moves to the instrument panel shelf, which puts it within easy reach.

Rounding out the highlights are a new Cypress paint job, and updated Harvest Beige and Glazed Caramel interiors that trade Noble Brown accents for Black contrasts. Furthermore, the 2023 Highlander XSE gains new 20-inch wheels with a black finish.

The 2023 Toyota Highlander should arrive at U.S. dealerships later this year and we can expect to learn more details closer to launch.

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JAC woos customers, slashes car prices in Yuletide promo



JAC Motors Nigeria has commenced a price slash special end-of-year promo for its numerous existing customers as well as potential customers across the country.

The company says it wants its customers to celebrate holidays and the festive season in a grand style through its latest sales promotion tagged, ‘JAC Motors End of Year Promo’.

It says in a statement that it will offer a discount of N1 million on any of the JAC models purchased during the promo period, which will run till the January 10, 2023.

This, according to the auto firm, is to enable the buyers to use the N1 million for other essential items needed for the family during the festive period.

Already, the auto firm says players in both the public and private sectors are already taking advantage of the promo to acquire quality vehicles this season and enjoy the mouth-watering discount.

It says, “Festive periods are synonymous with the act of giving. JAC Motors will, as part of the End of Year Promo, give its customers not just the N1 million discount on every car purchased but also ample value-added services that come with after-sale support to strengthen the durability and performances of all vehicles purchased. Now is your chance to drive your dream JAC car in this season of giving.”

Explaining why JAC Motors is offering the unique end-of-year promo, the Head of Brand and Marketing Communication of the company, Mr Franklyn Okotie, stated that the year had its fair share of challenges on everyone.

“There is no better way and time than now to thank all our customers who go the extra mile to make the JAC brand stronger and continually promote us. For this reason and more, we will always support and positively impact our customers as we steadfastly meet the vehicular and transportation needs in Nigeria.”

He advised that their existing and potential customers to log onto this website – to get their dream car today, even as he promised that a JAC car would be a remarkable gift to a friend this season.

The firm said the JAC vehicles are of best quality, durable, beautifully designed with modern-day aesthetics, optimum performance and highly fuel efficient.

“JAC vehicles are tropicalized, made tough to withstand all the challenging terrains on Nigerian roads. Elizade Autoland offers JAC passenger cars, commercial vehicles and light duty trucks,” it added.









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Kia offers football fans fun, prizes, drive in latest EV in Qatar



As the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup moves into the round of 16, high flying Korean automaker, Kia Motors, says it is providing more exciting moments for spectators in the Qatar stadiums where matches are being played.

The auto company is activating what it calls two must-see activations along with a host of exciting prizes for football fans visiting the match centres.

The activations will be hosted at Al Bayt Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, and Khalifa International Stadium, where Kia’s latest generation EV6 GT, Sportage, K5, Telluride, K8, Sorento will all be on display, Kia says in a statement.

According to the firm, the first activation offers a thrilling simulator experience “where spectators can drive a Kia vehicle of their choice from the automaker’s latest line up.”

The second activation invites football fans to win big by participating in a football challenge, where successful participants can walk away with a Kia branded cap, towel or wristband.

It says, “Visitors can check out Kia’s spot at the FIFA Fan Festival™ zone, which is the perfect place to experience the World Cup, as it is the central destination where fans from all over the world can come together to share their love of football and celebrate the electrifying atmosphere of the global event.

“At the FIFA Fan Festival™, Kia’s Ground of Inspiration will offer audiences a chance to check out the Kia EV9 Concept, which embodies an adventurous and recreational form with its rugged and upright stance.

“Fitted with a solar panel built into the car bonnet and an interior made from sustainable materials, this electric car reimagines what an all-electric vehicle can be.”

It also says  alongside the activations, the automaker will support 64 Official Match Ball Carriers (OMBC) across the tournament.

The statement says, “Children from about 20 different nations globally will enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of carrying the official match ball to the pitch at the start of all matches.

“As a partner of the FIFA World Cup™, the automotive brand will support the operation of the world’s greatest sporting event by providing an official event vehicle fleet that will include Kia passenger cars to facilitate the safe and convenient mobility of players, referees, VIPs and staff, as well as Kia-branded buses specifically dedicated to transport national teams and referees.”

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Innoson makes history, exports Nigeria-assembled vehicles to Sierra Leone 



Nigeria’s indigenous vehicle manufacturing company, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Ltd, has delivered the first set of vehicles manufactured for the Government of Sierra Leone as ordered by the country’s Ministry of Defence.

This is in fulfilment of a promise made during a working visit to Innoson Vehicles by top hierarchy of the Sierra Leone Defence Ministry led by Mr. Edward Soloku, the Minister of Internal Affairs as well as Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation (SLRTC) led by its President Mr. Isaac Ken-Green.

Head of Corporate Communications, Innoson Group, Cornel Osigwe, said in a statement that various models of vehicles bought within that dispensation were for the present administration.

Osigwe explained that subsequently, the Government of Sierra Leone led by President Julius Maada Bio placed an order for the manufacturing of Innoson Vehicles valued at $4.7Million for the officers of Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF).

The first set of the vehicles supplied from Nigeria to Sierra Leone were as Monday leaving Queen Elizabeth 2 Port (Sierra Leone’s sea Port “Water Quay”) in Free Town for distribution to military officers across the country.

Reacting to the development, the people of Sierra Leone have been commending their President, Julius Maada Bio, for acting in line with the spirit of the continental agreement by opting for an African (IVM) brand of vehicles for the use of the country’s Armed Forces.

In one of the many reports in the local media on the purchase of the made-in-Nigeria vehicles, a popular blog in Sierra Leone, Focus News Blog, hailed President Bio for believing “that our Army Officers deserve better.”

The post, which showed a line-up of the IVM products from Nigeria, informed Sierra Leoneans that the vehicles would soon be “ready for distribution to military officers across the country” by the government

“Innoson Group has penetrated the vehicles market over the years. It is currently serving as one of the few wholly African car assemblers.

One of the effusive commendations for President Bio by a Sierra Leonean, Francis Ken Samu, remarked, “We are on top of the situation in times of security. Bravo HE President Bio. Keep the Military Colour Flag going up higher than ever before in de history of Sierras Leone.. God bless you, HE President Bio for equipping the RSLAF.”

This development is indeed a step towards the acceleration of intra-African trade as facilitated by the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA).

With the arrival of the Innoson vehicles in Free Town, Sierra Leone has become the first country in West Africa whose armed forces are using the IVM products outside Nigeria.

Four years ago, the Nigerian Army signed a partnership agreement with the Nnewi auto plant for the supply of purpose-built vehicles for its personnel.

The agreement also includes identifying requirements for the production of the armoured fighting vehicle in Nigerian Army Central Workshop in Kaduna and enhancing the capacity of Nigerian Army personnel to actively participate in the successful implementation of these joint ventures

The export of Innoson is coming two years after President Mohammadu Buhari signed the AfCFTA agreement in July, 2019.



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