Toyota Yaris: Big Small review
Toyota Yaris Hatchback is targeted to a market segment which contains strong competition: Volkswagen Polo, Peugeot 207, Renault Clio III, Opel Corsa, Fiat Grande Punto, Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa and Honda Fit.
The 2006 Yaris is 110 mm longer and 30 mm wider than the Echo Hatchback with a 90 mm longer wheelbase, improving interior room (headroom and rear seat legroom). (3750mm long, 1695 wide and 1530mm tall).
Four equipage versions (Aqua, Terra, Luna, Sol) and tree engines (1.0, 1.3 VVT-i and 1.4 D4D) make the Toyota Yaris ready for any taste and with prices between 10.700 – 16.200 euros ($14500 – 22.000) on the european market. The model we tested is Toyota Yaris Luna 1.0L (69Hp/51Kw) with a list price of $18.200 and the following main features:
• ABS, EBD, BA;
• 5* EuroNCap - 9 airbags – including curtain airbags and knee airbag (the only one in it’s class with knee airbag);
• MP3 & WMA player with 6 speakers;
• Air Conditioning;
• Trip Computer;
• 60/40 split, reclining, sliding, fold-flat rear seat;
• Digital speedometer;
The full options model (Yaris SOL) has the following extra features compared to Yaris Luna:
• Smart Entry & Push Start;
• Aluminum alloy wheels;
• Automatic air conditioning;
• Integrated fog lamps.
The other two engines develop more horse power 1.3L – 87 Hp/64Kw and the diesel engine 1.4D4D – 90Hp/66Kw.
On the inside, from the second you step in you will notice the central layout, confortable seats and perfectly placed controls. Also you will notice good finishing and quality materials, and maybe a little later you will discover all the hidden depositing spaces inside the car (9 on the board including the cup holders).
The large dials are easy to use and this layout frees up space on either side of the centre console for extra storage bins and more legroom. The heater includes a new fast warm-up device that allows warm air to flow more quickly.
The Yaris new body structure has been designed to achieve (and achieved) the highest government crash test ratings in the subcompact class, in the same time providing more protection for pedestrians.
On the road
Driver’s seat height adjustment allows you to have a good driving position and the sporty steering wheel will offer you a smooth ride and a very responsive car.
The model we tested was not a very powerful one (0-100km/h in 15.7s ) but if you want more power you can go for the 90HP diesel engine (0-100km/h in 10.7s). Manufacturer TopSpeed: 150 km/h for the 1L engine, 170 km/h for the 1.3L and 175 km/h for the D4D engine (1.4L).
What we like on Toyota Yaris:
• very good handling, superb manual gearbox;
• plenty of leg room for all passengers;
• tall (good head room);
• lots of depositing compartments (9 on the board + 4 for bottles);
• exceptional back folding seats (quick and easy to fold);
• very good fuel economy (on the tested model the highway consumption was 4.6l/100km and the city consumption 6.4 l/100km). Considering that the car was brand new and the fuel consumption is higher on new engines the fuel consumption is lower then Toyota announced;
• The safest car in it’s class with top EuroNCap ratings (5Stars – 35 points) - 9 airbags (including knee airbag, curtain airbags, side and frontal airbags).
What we didn’t like:
• electric windows just for the front doors; the windows work only when the contact is in the ON position;
• no cruise control;
• the suspension is to firm for our taste (considering that we tested the car on very poor streets).
Excellent 1.0L engine with exceptional handling. Might look small from the outside but it’s big enough for driver and four passengers to seat comfortably.
In this times of inflated fuel prices the Toyota Yaris may be an almost ideal vehicle. It has room, adequate power, great fuel economy and decent comfort. Most important, considering it’s a Toyota , it will run forever.