The Japanese cars maker, Toyota, has updated this subcompact vehicle to be in style for the current decade with sportier lines, improved features, and a more conventional design for the interior. It might be a marketing nightmare for the Yaris if its positioned next to the Prius C which has a good legroom and enough space for cargo and a way better mileage f 50 miles per gallon compared to its 32 mpg.
What can Yaris have to stand against its cousin the Prius C? Well the Toyota Yaris still has the conventional petrol engine for those who still does not have the confidence on the hybrid. The Yaris also has a very competitive sticker price. The new Yaris goes for about $14,115 or about $4,800 cheaper than the smallest hybrid in the lineup of Toyota. There might also be discounts to come with the Yaris while the demand is high for the Prius C hybrid.
Buyers should also note that Scio, a sister brand of Toyota, markets the xD hatchback which is about the same size as the Yaris but positioned to be a hipper and cooler ride.
The new Yaris looks good but is not a stand out among its competitions. The SE trim gives you a sportier look with its special rims, big air dams, and other elements which gives it a more aggressive look. It does not have enough though to get that second look once the newness of the design tires the consumer eyes a bit.
The interior of the car though received a good amount of improvement compared to its older sibling. Toyota designers used better materials with soft to touch surfaces, and a more conventional cluster of instruments. The front seats and the rear bench are a lot more comfortable. Unlike the Honda Fit’s rear bench, that of Yaris’ does not fold which limits its cargo room compared to the competition.
The powerplant of the 2012 Yaris does not give you any options as it still relies on the 4-cylinder, 1.5L engine which has not been changed much from the older models of the Yaris. Toyota does not go with the flow unlike other carmakers with Kia and Hyundai giving their small rides with direct injection and the Sonic by Chevrolet getting a turbocharged engine. The Yaris gets a 5 speed manual transmission while some trims get the six speed option. The automatic gearbox though is quite disappointing with only four speeds which lags behind other car manufacturers that fits their vehicles with at least a 5-speed or even a six speed automatic transmission.
The handling of the Toyota Yaris is good and responsive. Another good point is the seal of approval of the IIHS in terms of the safety of the 2012 Yaris.
The highest trim of the Yaris goes for $16,400. For this year, there will only be the 3- and 5-door hatchback but we can expect a sedan to be rolled out by next year.