Toyota Named One of “World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies”

Leave Your Mark.

Fast Company magazine has just named Toyota as one of the world’s most innovative companies as they lead the way in fuel-cell technology. As Toyota did with the Prius, the Toyota Mirai (Japanese for ‘future’) will be the future for zero-emission vehicles.


With 1,500 orders in Japan the first month of sales, Toyota is confident the release of this innovative vehicle in the fall of 2016 for California dealerships will have a similar success story. 3,000 units will be produced for California buyers priced at $57,000.

To fuel the Mirai, there is an obvious need for hydrogen fueling stations and it is roughly estimated for California to have 50 fueling stations by the release of the Mirai. Additional 12-25 stations are planned to be built by 2020 stimulating the growth of Toyota’s fuel-cell technology for the future. Developers are confident that 75 hydrogen fuel stations can sustain a population of 17,000 to 24,000 hydrogen-fueled vehicles.

Visit Toyota USA’s official site for more information on how this technology works!

Bonus Video!

Why Recalls are a Good Thing


Automakers everywhere issue recalls on, what seems like, a daily basis. From the ignition switch to the airbag, we have all heard [and worried] about these problems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issue over 600 recalls a year in an effort to reduce injuries and fatalities on our roads. However, the issuance of recalls does not necessarily mean vehicles are becoming more dangerous.

In an effort to avoid automotive related injuries, automakers will issue their own recalls anytime a concern may arise. These recalls are actually good for the consumer creating an improved product.

Think about it this way – you download an app on your smartphone. Then, a few months later, there is an update for that app which will fix all the bugs and problems that users have been experiencing. You may not have even noticed anything wrong with your app, but the developers wish to create an unforgettable experience for all users. So, naturally, they want to fix any problems you could possibly experience in the future. Automakers do the same thing!

Obviously, an update on your vehicle is vastly more significant than an update to your favorite smartphone application, and that is exactly why it is important to always follow up with any recall notice you receive from your automaker.

To find out if your Toyota vehicle is on the recall list visit our link:

If you don’t own a Toyota-made vehicle, you can find your recall information at the NHTSA website:

Weekend Road Trips

Do you ever just want to get up go? Well, we’ve put together some great ideas for you weekend warriors who just need to get away. Here are a few quick roadtrips that every San Diegan should experience at least once in their life.

Joshua Treejoshua tree

There’s a Bear Grylls in us all and Joshua Tree is the place to unleash your rustic outdoorsman side. With miles and miles of Joshua trees and desert chaparral, the scene is like that of a fairy tale. The surrounding area makes it impossible not to explore what’s around you. The trails can be pretty unforgiving during the hotter months; we are in the desert. However, no desert is complete without thriving oases. Spend your day hiking to one of five of these desert oases and you’ll finish your day feeling completely accomplished.

Need more of a challenge? Joshua Tree welcomes rock climbers and boulderers from around the world! There are thousands of climbing routes available no matter your climbing experience. However, be sure to come accompanied with an experienced climber to avoid any possible injuries during your endeavour.

If driving non-stop you’re looking at a two and a half hour drive from El Cajon. This route takes you through the vineyards of temecula as well as just outside of Palm Springs. So, if you’re looking to make this a long weekend, there are plenty of fun destinations along the way!

The Salt River

Sometimes you just gotta float. For the most part this is not exactly a relaxing experience, but an all out party. Salt River Tubing is an experience like no other and it’ll cost you next to nothing (once you get there). Here’s the gist: park, grab a tube, take a shuttle to the top of the river, float back down to your car. If you’re a River Rat, you know that beer goes hand-in-hand with floating. So, you will probably need to rent a second tube to squeeze your cooler into and be prepared for a little bit of public drunkenness.

Here are a few essentials for your trip to the Salt River: sunscreen, waterproof bags, and rope to tie you and your friends’ tubes together.

This venture is a bit of a trek so you might want to save this trip for a three day weekend. It’ll take a little over five hours to drive out there and another day of recovery time. So, you’ll probably want to make a reservation at a nearby hotel or stay with a friend. Remember, to always drink responsibly. Bring a sober driver if you plan to partake in the Salt River’s drinking past time.


Apple picking, wine tasting, and devouring a tasty pie is what Julian is all about. If you’ve never given Julian a visit you are missing out on this small town, country experience. There are horse and carriage rides available to those who prefer to have more of a guided tour, but the town is small enough for you to just stroll up and down the streets. If you’re a wine lover there are several little spots to give your tastebuds a tannen treat – Witch Creek and Blue Door are probably the most popular stops in town. Not a wine drinker? Check out Nickel Beer Co. and enjoy a hoppy refreshment!

If you prefer to avoid adult beverages altogether, there is still plenty to do in this historical little town. The Julian Pioneer Cemetery is enough to give you chills and plenty of photo opportunities with its rustic designs and historical grave sites. You can also get the group together for an Old Time photo. Who doesn’t love dress up?

Don’t forget, your trip to Julian is never complete without a visit to Julian Pie Company where you can buy by the slice or take a whole pie home. My personal recommendation – the dutch apple. You can’t go wrong with an all American apple pie with a sweet crumb top!

The trip out is only about an hour drive giving you the option of making this road trip just a short day adventure or, if you’d prefer, book a room at the Julian Gold Rush Hotel and make a weekend out of it!



We, at Toyota of El Cajon, pride ourselves on what we give back to the community. As a family owned and operated dealership we strive for a future that our children can be proud to live in.

Aside from what we try to accomplish as a dealership, we have many associates that share our passion for a better future. Our Internet Assistant, Brandi Martin, has created her own non-profit to help the hungry people that fill our streets in San Diego. Brandi had a goal this past Thanksgiving to feed 100 hungry people in San Diego.

Equipped with her own kitchen, food donations, and the help of a handful of friends and family, Brandi exceeded her goal and fed well over 100 of the homeless and hungry in San Diego. OurLove.Org is dedicated “to provide our community with resources needed for everyday survival. [They] want to be the bridge between people in need and those who are inspired to help.”

handing out - Copyfood - Copy group - Copy people - Copy trunk - Copyfeeding - Copy











If you would like to be a part of Brandi’s cause, feel free to contact her at 619­-414­-0934. OurLove.Org is currently under construction so calling her direct is the best way to get involved.

Please share her story and help OurLove.Org grow!

New Owner Event – October 2014

Every few months we invite all of you to come out and celebrate your new Toyotas with us! The whole family is always welcome and, this time around, we had an amazing turnout.






We started the party with a catered dinner hosted by On The Border. As always, their service and food was phenomenal! With more than enough grub to go around, everyone was stuffed and more than satisfied with the portions offered to us by On The Border.








Immediately following dinner, everyone gets a tour of the facility to walk off some of that Mexican food. All of our visitors get to learn all there is to know about their new vehicles and the awesome incentives we offer to help keep up on their Toyota’s maintenance. We even gave everyone a $15 gift card to spend in our retail department!









Our New Owner Event wouldn’t be complete without a few giveaways! From water bottles to DVD players, we have some fun stuff for everyone to take home and enjoy!

Don’t want to miss our next event?

Contact Melissa McMurtry for more information and to RSVP to our next New Owner Event!
Phone: 619-270-3197

Bonus Video! Watch as we quickly shuffle through our entire facility!

What is a LEED Certified Business?

Our loyal customers know us here at Toyota of El Cajon as the friendly dealership that they can count on for generations. We take great pride in the satisfaction we are able to deliver with our services and products. However, what most of you don’t know is that our dedication to the community goes beyond our cars!

When we had the opportunity to move into our current building in 2009, we wanted to do more than provide great cars and truly exceptional services to our friends and neighbors. We wanted to give our future generations the opportunities they deserve. How do we do that, you ask? Well, we got ourselves and our buildings LEED Certified!

So what is LEED? What does it mean to be LEED Certified?

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, it is an internationally recognized certification and rating system issued only by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to improve the built environment. To earn this LEED Certification, a project like ours must receive credits in these 5 major categories established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality

When we had the chance to rebuild our current dealership, we incorporated many features that will allow us to care for the future generation and the environment. With our LEED Certified building, we

  • Recycled 93% of our construction waste
  • Conserve 43% more water
  • Use 25% less energy

Our efforts don’t stop there! You can also see for yourself in these informational signs around our dealership locations at El Cajon and Santee!











Toyota of El Cajon is the first and only green dealership of all Southern California, we raise the bar to achieve the highest level of guest satisfaction for you and your family! Being green is just one of our many ways to make positive contributions to our neighborhood!

Planting Trees

We, at Toyota of El Cajon, pride ourselves in being environmentally conscious. From the production of our facility to our company’s vision, we strive to better the environment and our community. Check out our video to see what we’re all about!

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

(L) Jeremy Cadwell – Toyota Service Director (R) Steve Becvar – ALS Executive Director


A couple of weeks ago, Toyota of El Cajon was challenged by Steve Becvar, Executive Director of the ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter, to participate in The Ice Bucket Challenge! In addition to our staff enjoying the refreshing ice water on an exceptionally hot San Diego day, we have also made a donation to the ALS Association.

If you’d like to make a donation as well, you can do so by clicking HERE.

The Truckstop

“Our food is larger than your appetite at Truckstop, where we’re known for serving up a hearty helping of Southern hospitality.”

Looking for a traditional breakfast with a twist? Look no further! The Truckstop in Pacific Beach surpassed all my expectations when we decided to dine here.

Hippie Hash

The Hippie Hash

We started our Saturday brunch off with a bottle of champagne that did not disappoint. The Truckstop does not just hand you a cheap bottle of bitter champagne; this was sweet and slightly dry making it a  perfect compliment to their mango, watermelon puree. They actually freshly squeeze a new concoction of farm-fresh fruit on a regular basis so you can construct a new mimosa flavor with every visit.

I had the Hippie Hash, which was better than I could have imagined. Trying to go a little on the healthy side, this dish comes piled high with spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, goat cheese, citrus hollaindaise and rosemary potatoes – I added avocado. The potatoes were perfectly crispy and the veggies’ were cooked just right. This skillet of deliciousness may not have been the healthy meal I was looking for, but it was completely satisfying in every way.

Chicken and Waffles

Chicken & Waffles

My sister had the chicken and waffles. Whether you’re a chicken and waffle connoisseur or have never tried this surprisingly perfect pair, The Truckstop’s recipe will make it hard to order anything else on the menu. The chicken is a boneless breast pounded thin and coated with their own mildly spiced seasoning and deep fried. It’s then piled on a thick golden malted waffle which they actually refer to as mud flaps – a much deserved nickname considering their size. Obviously, my sister couldn’t even wait for me to snap a picture before she decided to dig in.

The Truckstop is located in Pacific Beach (where The Eggery used to be). I know this can be quite the drive, but it is totally worth it! I recommend taking the 8 West to Mission Bay Dr/Sports Arena Blvd to avoid traffic on the infamously busy Garnet Ave. See below for my recommended driving route. From El Cajon this drive is about 22 minutes.

  1. Follow I-8 W to W Mission Bay Dr in Point Loma, San Diego. Take the W Mission Bay Dr/Sports Arena Blvd exit from I-8 W
  2. Turn right onto W Mission Bay Dr
  3. Keep left to continue on Ingraham St
  4. Turn left onto Pacific Beach Dr
  5. Turn right to stay on Pacific Beach Dr
  6. Turn right onto Mission Blvd (Destination will be on the left)

Want me to review a restaurant for you? Let me know where I should go next on our Facebook page!

Customer Service

IMG_0509Everyone claims to have the best customer service around. I could go on and on telling you all about our numerous awards and phenomenal online reviews, but that’s not what you’re going to read. Don’t get me wrong, we are beyond proud of our customer service accomplishments, but it’s not just our awards and reviews that we pride ourselves on. It’s the little things.

We all know that buying a car or getting your vehicle serviced can be quite the ordeal – an all day event even! There are times you will be with us long enough to even order-in a meal. One afternoon there was a customer who decided to do just that, but the restaurant she ordered from neglected to include any silverware. Our IT Director recognized the issue and reassured her that he knew of several hiding places around the office where he could find her a fork. After rummaging our usual utensil stash spots, he returned to her with silverware in hand!

Our IT Director gets no bonus or recognition (beyond this blog post) for his above-and-beyond efforts to please our forkless patron. That’s just what we do around here. Need a fork? We’ll get you one. Need a car? We have those too, but your comfort and satisfaction is our number one priority.

So, beyond our WiFi lounge, big screen T.V.’s, complimentary coffee, tea, and water station, we are here to make you as comfortable as possible – even those in our IT department!

Share your experience with us online: Yelp, Google+, Facebook. We’d love to hear from you!