April Fools' 2020: Automakers use April 1 to spread a little laughter

The{ }2020 Toyota Yaris Adventure is a very elaborate April Fools' joke from Toyota. (Image courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, USA)

If you ever had any doubt that automakers can laugh at themselves, you only need to wait for April 1 each year. Several automakers choose this day to launch weird products in such a convincing way that some (cough, Toyota Yaris Adventure) almost seem believable.

Others reveal products so off the wall, that you know they’re fake, but the automaker goes to such extended lengths (like creating a hotline!), that you almost think it could be real!

Here are the best auto-related April Fools' jokes we’ve found this year.

2020 Toyota Yaris Adventure

Toyota issued a full-blown press release, complete with photo, specs and the promise that it “won’t blend in.”

What makes this kind of believable is that we’ve seen concepts trucks that target an urban millennial crowd from other automakers that look eerily similar to the Yaris Adventure.

What clues you in that this is totally an April Fools’ prank: The snarky commentary throughout.

Waymo Pet

This smacks of something that could be believable – especially for someone who owns a pet and would like to send it to the groomer on its own.

Where else would pets go on their own? According to Letti K., test engineer, lots of places – except maybe the vet.

What had me laughing out loud, however, was the customized laser light show for Mittens the cat.

2019 Honda Pastport

Honda has a rich history of April Fools’ jokes including the HR-V Selfie Edition and the Horn Emojis. Now, Honda plays off the introduction of its all-new Passport with a “Pastport” edition that will transport you back to ’90s.

It boasts such awesome amenities as a coin holder, digital clock and beeper mount. Plus, there’s an active hotline you can call – though you’ll have to leave a message because all their representatives are currently busy.

BWM Lunar Paint

I’ll give BMW UK props for being creative if not completely believable. According to the web page, the BMW Lunar Paint “uses revolutionary photovoltaic technology to passively recharge your battery in the hours of darkness, extending your electric range even further.”

BMW doesn’t let the joke go too far, though, and as you scroll down the page you see what actual charging technology is currently available.

Honda Canada's Polite Horn

Thanks to @DaisyQin for pointing out on Twitter that we missed a good one. Honda Canada has a kinder, gentler way to tell drivers they should pay attention to the road. The new "Polite Horn" is a way for drivers to "assert themselves passive aggressively."

Of particular hilarity is the horn blaring dude driving a Fit, who gives the universal "my bad" hand gesture and backs out of the way after a polite "ahem" from the Honda Accord. Personally, I think more city drivers (particularly my husband) could benefit from a polite horn on any model of car!

The Bottom Line:

It’s nice to see automakers cut loose on occasion and have a laugh. We look forward to April 1 each year just to see what the next round of jokes will bring.

Want to laugh a little more, check out our April Fools’ roundups from past years:

Did we miss some of this year’s jokes? Send us a tweet to @automatters, and we’ll add it to the list.