Though the Toyota Yaris hatchback has already been released in Canada as a 2006 model, it will only come out - along with the sedan version - in the USA in April 2006 as a 2007 model.

The model is powered by a 1.5-liter, 16 valve inline used in the Scion xA and xB models. Equipped with variable valve timing (VVT-i), this engine makes 106 hp at 6,000 rpm and 103 pound-feet of torque at 4,200 rpm. It’s mated with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox, but the EPA says it gets about the same mileage with either - 34 city/40 highway for the manual and 34/39 for the automatic.

The Yaris will be at Toyota dealers in April 2006 and, at this writing, is expected to have a starting price of well under $13,000. For that figure, you get a whole lot more that a stripped down econo-box. For instance, air conditioning is standard! A fully dressed, comfortable interior with a tilt steering column and height adjustable driver’s seat (on the sedan) is also part of the base package.
Yaris is a new name to the US market, but it is actually a second generation car. The previous generation Toyota Yaris has been the best selling car in Europe since its introduction in 1999. This next generation Yaris is a leap forward in the sub-compact segment.

The new Yaris is a simple car with pride of ownership as standard equipment. I fully expect it to be a good seller for Toyota with many people even stepping down from a more expensive car simply because they like the way this car looks.

What do you think?
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