By on March 26, 2012

The 2012 Yaris! It’s a car! That might sound like the strangest marketing claim for a new car ever, but if you dig deeper it is Toyota’s attempt at saying “OK, we get it.” Why? Because Toyota, like most manufacturers, has had trouble staying on message with basic transportation. Need proof? Look no further than the Corolla. The Corolla was a small, cheap and cheerful vehicle that has since grown into a 15-foot long sedan that weighs almost 3,000lbs and can reach $20,000 with options. No matter how nice a Corolla might be, cheap to buy it isn’t.

It’s a hatchback!

Part of getting back on message with the Yaris was simplifying the lineup by ditching the sedan leaving the 5-door Michael Karesh snagged back in February, and the cheapest Toyota in America: the 3-door hatchback I had for a week. Why no sedan? Toyota tells us it accounted for less than 30% of sales so it had to be euthanized in the name of progress. Further simplifying things, there just two trims for the 3-door hatch (L and LE) and three for the 5-door (L, LE and SE) reducing the possible number of configurations from 25 in 2011 to 9. Yep, 9. In addition, there are essentially no options on the Yaris, you pick the number of doors, manual or automatic, select from 8 available paint colors, cruise control and away you go for $14,115 to $17,960. Never before has buying a Toyota been this simple.

It has a steering wheel!

There may be a color palate to choose from on the outside, but inside all 3-door Yaris models get the same grey-on-black interior thanks to Toyota’s streamlining. Plastics are as hard as you would expect in a car that starts under 15-grand, but the doors and dash do get a thin coating of squishy soft-touch plastics (it’s the grey part in the picture). Compared to the outgoing Yaris, the 2012 is positively normal with the instrument cluster returning to a normal position in-front of the driver. Keeping costs in check, the only model that sports a tachometer is the “sporty” 5-door SE model Michael reviewed. Our tester, as with the rest of the lineup gets a round blank spot that illuminates at night to remind you that you didn’t pop for the SE. Our LE tester had the only two options going: cruise control for $250 (available only on 3-door LE models with the automatic) and floor mats for $180. So what’s the difference between the L and LE? The LE buys you a standard automatic transmission, body colored mirrors, a better radio (L and LE both have standard USB/iPod jacks), a driver’s seat with 2 more directions of motion, a 60/40 folding rear seat (the L’s rear seat folds flat as one unit), audio controls on the steering wheel, chrome door handles, Bluetooth speakerphone, power windows and remote keyless entry. The price for these jewels? $1,510.

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It moves!

The Yaris has an engine! The 3-door and 5-door Yaris share the same thoroughly modern 1.5L four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing. The 106HP come to the boil at 6,000 RPM but despite this, it isn’t as “peaky” as many small engines. Torque is rated at 103 lb-ft at a lower 4,200 RPM. I’d like to say this makes the Yaris quick off the line, but the lack of a tach really hampered my fun with the 5-speed manual. Adding insult to injury, our LE tester mates the modern engine with an ancient 4-speed automatic. The lack of cogs is the most likely reason the Yaris misses the 40MPG mark with the 5-speed manual posting 30MPG city and 38MPG highway and the automatic dropping to a ho-hum 30MPG city and 35MPG highway according to the EPA. I experienced an average of 31MPG on my daily commute. If these numbers bother you, then you’re missing the point of the Yaris which strangely enough isn’t to be the most efficient small Toyota, but the cheapest to buy.

It Turns!

Out on the road the Yaris’s short 98.8-inch wheelbase, light curb weight of 2,300lbs and somewhat stiff springs combine to make for a choppy ride on washboard pavement. All 3-door Yaris models come with 10-inch vented discs up front, drum brakes out back and 175 width, 65 series tires on steel wheels. Despite being shod with tall all-season rubber, the lightweight Yaris handles surprisingly well with a well-balanced chassis, direct (albeit numb) steering and a tight 30-foot turning radius. Thanks to the fairly wide stance and “wheels in the corners” design, the 3-door is actually a willing companion when the going gets twisty. Because the chassis is a willing dance partner on windy mountain roads, the budget nature of the braking system becomes more obvious than in the previous generation with smoke and fade following a session of aggressive corner carving. While I doubt many shoppers will feel the need to push their subcompact to the limits, beware that the chassis writes checks the brakes can’t cash.

There’s competition!

While many Toyota shoppers are brand monogamists who won’t so much as look at another woman car, the Yaris is positioned as an entry-level vehicle hoping to attract the younger generation and train them to be a lifelong Toyota customer. While it’s easy to compare the 5-door Yaris to the slick 5-door Hyundai Accent with its refined interior and more efficient and powerful drivetrain, it has a few too many doors. Indeed, all the competition save the Fiat 500 and Golf have too many doors. Compared to the Golf (starting at $17,995) the Yaris’ cheaper interior and old-school cog swapper can be forgiven because of the low sticker price, and compared to the Fiat, the Yaris is simply more car. In many ways the Yaris’ fiercest competitor is in the family: the all-new Prius c. Based loosely on the unholy marriage of a Yaris and a Prius to begin with, the baby Prius starts at $18,950 and with a solid 50MPG average (as tested by TTAC) vs the Yaris’ 30MPG average (as tested by TTAC), it wouldn’t take long to save the $3,325 difference in MSRP.

I started scratching my head about the Yaris at the release event for the Prius c a few months ago and after spending a week in the Yaris I’m more confused then when I started. It’s not the Yaris’ fault. It’s a cheap car that fulfills the mission of cheap and cheerful transportation with a totally unexpected dose of fun and simplicity. The problem is Toyota makes a much better car; the Prius c. With 50 MPG on tap and $4.40 gasoline in Northern California it would only take 55,500 miles to break even. If you’re worried about a loss of fun, despite the 200lb heavier curb weight of the Prius c, it handles almost as well as the Yaris and the hybrid drivetrain actually helps solve the braking complaints. If you’re in the market for a compact car, it seems the Yaris is really only a good option if you really want a new car but can’t stretch yourself to the Prius c or one of the other more premium subcompact options.

Toyota provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30: 3.05 seconds

0-60: 9.0 seconds

1/4 Mile: 17.02 seconds @ 79.5MPH

Average economy: 30.5MPG over 689 miles

 

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69 Comments on “Review: 2012 Toyota Yaris 3-Door...”


  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    I don’t see the Prius-C as competition… The target demographic likely doesn’t have much downpayment to begin with, so they’re not in the mindset of buying more to save later.

    Everything about it is right except the loos. The old Yaris hatch had a nice design. Terrible interior this one and the old one. The Fit’s interior is pretty cheap as well, but at the very least, it doesn’t make you feel like a cheap person.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    It has chrome door handles? Really? Sign me up!

    • 0 avatar
      OmarCCXR

      Oh my god, chrome door handles!
      Reminds me of an ad I saw a while back announcing a Suzuki SX4 and they thought they would easily sell you the car just based on the fact that it came with “free!” floormats.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        I thought hard about the SX4 instead of the Escape I settled on.

        It’s a small AWD wagon, very close to what I was looking for. But the MPG was pretty lousy for such a small vehicle, and I was concerned about the availability of parts and service in my town. Also, there was some ambiguity over its towing capacity when I was researching it.

        Still, at first glance glance, it was close to the wagon I was looking for.

  • avatar
    rodface

    This is my office for an hour, at 8AM and at 5PM:

    http://image.automobilemag.com/f/2009_kia_rio/2305875658921569066+ppromo_amag_large/cockpit.jpg

    I think it’s much easier on the eyes than the Corolla or Yaris interior. Unfortunately it’s not as solid nor as durable, which is what really counts when you’re going to own the thing for the next five to ten years.

  • avatar
    missinginvlissingen

    Nice writeup.

    I don’t think it makes sense to restrict the competition to Golf & Fiat based on others (Accent) having “too many doors”. In this price range, the door count is just one feature among many considerations. If I were shopping in this market, I’d cross shop with all the 5-doors — Fit, Accent, Rio5, Mazda2, Fiesta — plus some of the sedans (Versa). And while this Yaris seems vastly better than the old one (driving dynamics and interior/exterior styling), it still falls short of most competitors when you measure content. (No tachometer in 2012? Amazing.)

    This car’s purpose is to capture buyers who want the least expensive path to a new car with Toyota reliability. Other competitors may be more fun to drive (Mazda2, Fit), have more space (Versa, Fit), or more content (Accent, Fiesta), but Toyota seems to be aiming for a middle-of-the-road mix to please its appliance-buying fan base. Looks like they succeeded.

    Most importantly, I’m glad there is one less car being sold with a center-mounted IP. Good riddance to that stupid design.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      “No tachometer in 2012? Amazing.”

      I thought something very similar to this and I have to ask myself, and I’m sure I’m not the only one, if it wouldn’t be cheaper just to have a single dashboard across the line? Why should you make two different dashboards? Then I realized that it’s a shameless attempt to make you get the higher optioned car. Par for the course I guess.

      With regards to the mileage, I guess I don’t have to upset that I ‘only’ get 27-29 in my slightly larger car, rated 25/34 (I never was upset). Good to know.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        You would think they’d include a shift light or something?

        in fact many race cars have a green, yellow then red led to signify shifts… why do not do that?

        just smacks of senseless cost cutting… you’d seriously buy a Kia Rio or something hey?

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        No tach?

        Shoot look at the picture, there isn’t a coolant temp gauge either!

      • 0 avatar

        Tach is not just for drag racing. BTW, I bought a 1997 Neon without a tach and then installed a tach for $28. It worked great for 10 years and 180k miles. The design of the dash in Yaris, however, is plainly offensive with that blind spot. I think I’d need to get a cluster from a junk yard. Although I am not sure if swapping those electronic clusters is possible. On Neon one had to remove the old counting wheel and reinstall it inside the new cluster, but this is different, isn’t it? I wish a spirit of St. Murlee guided me here.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      The importance of a tach for an automatic cannot be underestimated. Leaving a large blank space is a little rude though.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Don’t forget the Scion iQ, priced between the Yaris and the PriusC which fights for even more of a reason to exist in the North American market.

    I’m really left scratching my head on why anyone would buy a Corolla or Yaris given how strong the B-Segment and C-segment competition is. Only the Versa might be worse and close to as primitive. In this segment this car is under powered, under equipped, and gets middling fuel economy. Ya, but it’s a Toyota. That only carries water for so many years before the spawning salmon start looking at other bright shiny objects.

    $13,900 gets me a 29/36 MPG rated Kia Soul.
    $13,600 gets me a 30/40 MPG Kia Rio 5-door.
    $15,860 gets me a 29/40 MPG Chevy Sonic sedan LT1.
    $15,345 gets me a Hyundai Elantra (admittedly very stripped)
    $15,175 gets me a Honda Fit, which even stripped is darn nice
    $14,530 gets me a Mazda2. I’m sure Mazda dealers are hungry to move inventory and you can drive down the price.
    $15,670 gets me a Ford Fiesta, and with massive inventory, plenty of dealer wiggle room to drive down the price.

    If I have the Cheddar for an LE Yaris, I’m going with the Kia Soul. Way more car, way more utility, same price, better MPG.

    • 0 avatar
      Banger

      If you’ve got the Cheddar for a Kia Soul, I might also recommend you check out a Nissan Cube. We found the interior more comfortable.

      And your pricing strategy depends heavily on your dealer’s attitude. Our local Ford dealership has plenty of Fiestas, but barely budges on price. Ditto our local Honda dealership with the Fit. Not sure about our Hyundai lot. The Kia Rio is a looker, but is brand new. Wouldn’t expect to find many base-spec Rio five-doors out there right now, and what few are out there are likely to sell very close to MSRP.

      As for Chevy, the Sonic’s dirty little secret is that you have to take LT trim to get that spicy 1.4-liter 40-mpg mill. The cheaper car in LS form only comes with the 1.8-liter (and 38 mpg, IIRC?) engine. Still good, but not the magic “40″ everyone sells you on. Chevy dealers seem confident in their pricing on these in our area, but again, it’s a brand new design that is still getting quite a bit of interest from the public. If it becomes a slug on the lot like the old Aveo did, we might see some decent discounting.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Yup, and I noted that in my pricing on the Chevy Sonic above, going with the 1LT trim with the 1.4L 4-banger turbo for the MPG advantage.

        Seeing a lot of Souls, Sonics, and Fits out in the wild.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Are you sure this is a DI engine?

  • avatar
    tparkit

    I like the dash layout… very 20-years-ago, and dispensing with buttons in favor of what appear to be dials that can be found by feel and turned with gloves on.

    I understand Toyota’s reluctance to gussy up this car; with our permanently poorer society exposed by the crumbling of a phony, debt-inflated global economy, the yaris is about all a lot of folks will be able to afford. For the seller, keeping the monthly payments low is key to moving the metal. (BTW, get ready for a whole flock of even smaller, cheaper cars; we’re going down hard.)

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      It is also a marked improvement over the outgoing one. The center-stack-console “world dash” had to have satisfied exactly no one.

      Cheap and cheerful can be a lot of fun. With reliable, cheap, and cheerful, Toyota’s going to get a lot of first time buyers who will stick with this car forever — whether things stay down and the Yaris can stay frivolity-free, or things come back and then the Yaris can inch up-market as they retire the Avalon and push the Camry into the Avalon position and Corolla into the Camry position.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        I love the center-mounted gauges on my 05 xB. At 6’6″, I get tired of having the steering wheel block the 40-80 mph marks, and the higher position of the gauges mean your eyes are diverted from the road for less time.

      • 0 avatar
        tankinbeans

        gslippy –

        I like center mounted gauges too, but ’tis a fool’s errand to convince people that their choices won’t necessarily work for you. C’est la vie. I drove my friend’s 03 Ion 4-door coupe thingy with suicide doors and it took me all of 2 seconds to get used to the gauges.

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      Guess what? for that money, I’ll take a 2 yr old Corolla, better in every way and close enough in the mpg dept.

      • 0 avatar

        Corolla is only better for short people. It is counter-intuitive, but trust me, it’s my head that’s bumping against the headliner in it. I think it has something with seats in Yaris being lower or something.

  • avatar
    roverv8i

    While it should add hardly anything to the cost whats the big deal about no tach? Just figure out what speed you are going at each red line shift point. I would even go out on a limb and say this might be listed in the owners manual? I remember driving a 72 Beetle that had the shift points marked on the speedometer. The only need for a tach is because it’s easier to read a a glance since on most cars you have to memorize the speed points and there is not much space between them on a speedometer. Or you could mark them with a sharpie……

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    My first car had no tachometer. It was a 1991 Toyota Tercel 2-door with a 4-speed manual (and manual steering). Driving by sound was fine, and if you get an automatic then it hardly matters at all (to many people).

    I think this is a watershed moment though. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a reviewer recommend that we buy the hybrid version instead while citing a short break-even distance. This is big news!

    • 0 avatar
      OmarCCXR

      I learned to drive manual on one of those. It was awful.

      • 0 avatar
        stuntmonkey

        I learned stick on a 1990 Tercel. Midway through my driving course the school was switching to the 1991′s, which was a new body style. Coming from the old sewing machine on wheels, the 1991 was luxury.

      • 0 avatar
        dundurrbay

        My first car didn’t have a tachometer either, a Nissan Sentra Classic . . which was essentially the body style from the late 80′s that was sold alongside the redesigned for 1992 sentra for a couple years. It wasnt a bad car, but it was the definition of bare bones.

    • 0 avatar
      firemachine69

      I had one of those. Of course you didn’t need the tach. 48HP IIRC in a gas engine, you’re going to make the engine sing just to get moving…

  • avatar
    ajla

    I like the content level on the Yaris L, but I wish it started at around $12500.

  • avatar
    rem83

    Interesting write up. I notice you mention cost savings over and over again, but when I go and look this thing up – the 2 door is priced right between the Sonic Sedan and Hatch. In fact, it seems to be right in the middle of the B-segment price wise, but with is outclassed in every on paper and most aesthetic metrics by every car it competes with. Versa quality with Sonic price?

    I also don’t consider the two-door hatch to be it’s own market segment. I’m not sure why someone would want a two-door hatch over a four door besides cost savings (well, and there’s always aesthetic, but I think that argument isn’t relevant here…)

  • avatar
    Marko

    If you didn’t see a tachometer on the manual version, you must have driven a pre-production model or a Canadian CE, since that is the only reference to a tach-less manual 2012 Yaris that I could find.

    I’ve said it before, but the appeal of the Yaris is its low cost of operation for many year and proven reliability. “Inexpensive and built to stay that way,” so to speak.

    As much as we love to criticize the Corolla, same goes for it, and the Corolla is indeed the best-selling car in the world.

  • avatar
    JimR

    I’m marrying into a ’07 Yaris. The car was purchased new before I entered the picture, so no one car-literate was there to explain the merits of a clean used car with better comfort and feature content for less money.

    As much as I loathe the road roar, poor ride, and prolific cheapness of the Yaris, there is nothing to break. Crank windows, manual locks, and all. This is a rare remaining example of a Toyota that established the company’s reputation. It’s early nineties quality with late aughts long service intervals.

    A showroom-new, poverty-spec Toyota carries a sort of vanilla, trouble-free cache that overrides superior economic propositions for some buyers.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    It would be interesting to see the sales figures for the Yaris 3-door. I can’t imagine the volume being much more than a niche vehicle. It would seem like most 3-door Yaris buyers would fall into one of two categories: first-time buyers who simply must have a Toyota, regardless of the trade-off in driving dynamics in comparison with the competition, and well-off RV owners who only need occasional transportation when parked at the RV park (although they might be gravitating towards the Scion iQ now).

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    Interestingly, in this day and age of 4 or 5 door cars, seeing as many 2 door hatchbacks sold in and around Seattle says something.

    I see lots of Hyundai hatchbacks, many of then the previous generation 3 door hatchback. I see lots of Yari out there too, and many of them are the base 3 door hatchback. I hardly see the 5 door that I’m aware of and see a few of the sedans.

    The Focus and Fiesta, it seems I see more of those in the hatchback than I do the sedans so hatchbacks DO seem to be selling in decent numbers and if a 2 door hatchback is offered, I see those selling too and they don’t seem terribly rare these days and this is Seattle mind you.

    As far as this car is concerned, it does not seem to be as much a penalty box as a car in this trim level/size than a similar car was in the past for a similar price range.

    I like what they’ve done to it as well, it’s a pleasant looking hatchback, both inside and out.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Until the current generation, the Accent hatch was sold in the US only as a 3-door. The previous Yaris hatch was also 3-door only for the first few years.

  • avatar
    Joss

    I think Tojo’s set to work near term on: Pay less for moderate mileage or pay more for the technology of better.

    • 0 avatar
      Banger

      It’s all about total cost of ownership, which is something Nissan is actually marketing a bit on the even-cheaper Nissan Versa. Most potential owners probably won’t do the math, but would be well-served to do so.

      In my case, for the kind of driving I do, this kind of uber-cheap car actually makes sense financially. I keep wanting to see a base-model Versa with the manual transmission, but no dealer stocks them. Ditto for the base-model Yaris M/T. Gotta admit I’d rather have the five-door Yaris with a stick, but that option is forbidden by Toyota, at least in my ZIP code, according to their website configurator.

      • 0 avatar
        pdog

        I wanted to look at the base Versa, too, but there was only one within a 3 state radius. I ended up test driving a loaded CVT version and, while it was surprisingly decent given the horrible reviews, I left not knowing whether it was representative of the manual transmission version at all.

        I hope there is a market for a simple car that doesn’t have a lot of stuff to go wrong. I’m just not sure that it is priced correctly at >$14K. That’s dangerously close to the entry prices for the C-segment cars, which tend to offer a lot more bang for the buck.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    CR ripped this “new” Yaris a new one in their report, same engine, same tranny, basically same car, only thing they did away with the center speedo, no improved handling, no 5 speed, no 1.6 engine. Toyota continues to play it safe and why not, they still have their built-in fan base that won’t stray due to their reputation as bullet proof, only now I think the Corolla is a better buy.

  • avatar
    djsyndrome

    “Our tester, as with the rest of the lineup gets a round blank spot that illuminates at night to remind you that you didn’t pop for the SE.”

    The 3-door manual transmission L model – if you can find one – has a tachometer.

    • 0 avatar
      12YarisHatch

      I bought a ’12 3-door w/the 5-speed. Same blazing blue pearl like the test car here.

      No. I don’t like vanilla. No. I’m not an accountant.

      This car offers excellent value for my money, is fun-to-drive, and looks sharp in 3-door trim. I wanted a 3-door with roll-up windows, and great long-term reliability (as I am entering grad school soon–and will not tolerate any reliability excuses while there).

      Basic is good. Hate it all you want, but this car offers value and (unlike the old one), style.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        Why fail to make US bound small cars handle better than they do, it’s always trying to give them a “bigger” car ride, well if I wanted a bigger car ride, I’d buy a bigger car, Duh!!!

      • 0 avatar
        nikita

        Its the low rolling resistance all season tires. I upgraded the tires on my Fit and it really helped, without increasing noise or a harsher ride. (Dunlop SP31 –> Yokohama Avid Envigor)

      • 0 avatar
        supersleuth

        Oh God yes. Those Dunlops (09 base Fit) were, in every way, the worst tires I have ever had on a car. If they hadn’t worn out in not much over 30k miles I’d have gotten rid of them by then anyway.

        I think manufacturers would be smarter to spend a bit more on OEM tires and adjust the car price accordingly. Quite a few cars would make a lot better test-drive impression with even half-decent tires instead of the garbage that comes on them now.

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        Was replacing the word “tires” with an eBay Motors link done by the posters, here, or by TTAC? What’s going on? Are we going to have random advertisements injected into our comments from now on?

        [Fontaine Futuristics: Making Rapture Better!]

        edit: well I guess that answers my question; I certainly didn’t put that link there.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        By failing to make a Yaris sedan, Toyota will allow Nissan to sell more Versas for people that just won’t buy ANY hatchback.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    here’s an interesting factoid:

    in my market the Prius C starts at $24,000

    the various mini cars in the Yaris class start at $14,000

    if you want a Suzuki Alto 1.0 liter class mini they are as low as $12,000-$13,000.

    Now with the margin that big you gotta think again. The Cruze and Focus which I think as far as interior quality and drive refinement goes, would absolutely kill all these cars… they both start at $20,000.

    So in some markets I can see where the cheaper super minis make sense.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I bought a car this past Saturday. Here was my list:

    ’12 Scion iQ ($16,320 / 94 hp / CVT / 74 cu ft passenger volume / 3.5 cu ft cargo volume / no sunroof)

    ’12 Yaris 3-Door LE ($16,815 / 106 hp / 4-speed auto / 84 cu ft passenger volume / 15 cu ft cargo volume / no sunroof)

    ’12 Kia Rio 5-door LX ($16,450 / 138 hp / 6-speed auto / 88 cu ft passenger volume / 15 cu ft cargo volume / no sunroof)

    ’12 Hyundai Accent 5-door GS ($16,765 / 138 hp / 6-speed auto / 90 cu ft passenger volume / 21 cu ft cargo volume / no sunroof)

    ’12 Chevy Sonic 5-door LT ($15,395 / 138 hp / 6-speed auto / 91 cu ft passenger volume / 19 cu ft cargo volume / no sunroof)

    ’12 Honda Fit 5-door ($16,745 / 117 hp / 5-speed auto / 90 cu ft passenger volume / 21 cu ft cargo volume / no sunroof)

    ’12 Honda Civic 4-door DX ($17,375 / 140 hp / 5-speed auto / 95 cu ft passenger volume / 12.5 cu ft cargo volume / no sunroof)

    ’09 Honda Civic 4-door EX ($15,988 / 35K mi / 140 hp / 5-speed auto / 88 cu ft passenger volume / 12 cu ft cargo volume / sunroof)

    All the 2012 cars prices are from the “build your own” sections of their respective websites, but (not surprisingly) I couldn’t find anything resembling these prices on the actual dealer lots.

    Because I wasn’t going to spend upwards of $17K on anything without a sunroof (an indulgence, but a firm one), I instead decided on the ’09 Civic, a loaded model that was cheaper than a new stripper Civic or Fit. I like it. Compared to my ’98 (which I traded in), it’s like driving the future.

    I would have preferred a 3-door hatchback, but Honda only offers the CR-Z, and the other extant 3-door options weren’t enough car for the money when the checkbook hit the desk.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    This car is a reincarnation of the 04-07 Scion xA – same drivetrain, options, shape, and price point when optioned similarly.

    Back then, I bought the 05 xB box with the same drivetrain as the xA and Yaris today.

    The engine is fine, but I wouldn’t call it ‘thoroughly modern’ since it lacks direct injection and the benefits of more power and fuel economy. Toyota’s 1.5L has been around forever, and it is ultra reliable.

    Given the similarities of my 7-year-old car and this one, I don’t think Toyota has moved the ball much.

  • avatar
    KitaIkki

    “If you’re in the market for a compact car, it seems the Yaris is really only a good option if you really want a new car but can’t stretch yourself to the Prius c”

    Or if you insist on a manual transmission.

    • 0 avatar
      Banger

      “Or if you insist on a manual transmission.”

      The folks at Manual Transmission Preservation Society approve of this point.

      As someone who insists on a stick in each vehicle he owns, this is an important consideration. Sad the stick is only available in the three-door Yaris, though.

  • avatar
    x-hdtestrider

    Excuse my L.A. high education. Is it pronounced (Your-Ass) ?

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    What is the point of the Yaris? To prove that Toyota buyers refuse to believe that any other car manufacturer can build a good product to the point that they will buy this cheaply assembled, overpriced, underpowered turd?

    Toyota, its dealers and buyers live in some kind of vacuum, both seemingly oblivious to the fact that this segment is literally flooded with better choices and a “just good enough” entry will only satisfy those annoying west coasters who somehow equate the bulletproof reliability of 80s and 90s era ‘yotas (and the lack of rust in Cali that killed all of them off elsewehere in the country) to the modern age.

    • 0 avatar
      Marko

      Do you really think the Yaris won’t be reliable? It won’t win any competitions on paper, but those seeking reliability and low TCO will buy it as they have in the past.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Oh you younguns today and yer’ high-falutin’ ports and whatever-less and all those other fancy terms, jargon and lingo.

    I grasp for the simplicity of the 69 Dodge Dart I owned for far too short of a time back in ’89 or so.

    Even with a slush-box of the 3-speed (4 if counting reverse and…. 7 if tossing in neutral and park!!!) variety and lovingly residing under the hood was the marvel of the slant-6.

    Sigh.

    The dash was delightful in its simplicity and the AM-only radio was ample for me.

    Oh that critter would have been so dern’ purdy parked in front of the shanty.

    Sniff.

    Will work for money but unable to perform past duties providing a minimal income likely due to those life-providing tasks (food and shelter for the masses) were jobs that “Americans will not do.”

    Alms accepted!!!

    Not too proud to beg.

    Nor grovel.

    Need a minion?

  • avatar
    BlackDynamiteOnline

    Has generally gotten solid reviews.
    Needs a 6-speed auto, pronto!
    BD

  • avatar
    adrew

    All manual transmission trims of the Yaris have a tach — I just bought a base, 5-speed, 3-door “L” and it has one.

  • avatar
    JEM

    Another Toyota with big fat nearly horizontal A-pillars pushed out to the front bumper. Can’t put up with the forward visibility in all these things.


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