Comparison review: 10 subcompact hatchbacks (10th place) — National Cars…

17 Янв 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Toyota Echo hatchback

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When parked, the Toyota Yaris up well.

A recent 2012-model brought a higher grade of trim, a superior dash and far more comfortable seats, and now among the class’s best in of those areas. It retains dimensions – handy in tight – and already-impressive gas mileage improved

But although Toyota dedicated effort to making the Yaris’s competitive with the latest new driving the car indicates where models have advanced of and this car has not.

Previous subcompacts – first the 2000 and then the 2007 first-generation – suffered from a lack of control and a generally insubstantial on the road compared to their As before, the 2012 Yaris has but the competition is better still. car is out of its comfort zone either on the or on a twisty road.

Furthermore, the engine and four-speed automatic haven’t changed much the 2000 Echo, and more competitors offer better refinement and fuel economy, at high speeds.

Since the Echo, and even since the Yaris, there has been an in interest from consumers and alike in the subcompact segment. New have added premium and premium driving dynamics, and are commanding premium prices for it.

Toyota, meanwhile, is selling a old-school subcompact: a basic, little car that’s more to be in than the old Yaris. And for sure, room in the market for a decently basic car. But Toyota has the competition in charging premium-subcompact – more than $17,000 as with an options sheet short of decadent – for a basic And when there are an increasing of alternatives available, that’s to justify.

Dull to drive

mounting evidence to the contrary, is no shortage of people who believe a car is by design a slow, dull and loathsome piece of trash no one buys if they can possibly anything bigger. Of the 10 models in comparison, the Yaris would be the likely to dissuade them.

start with “slow.” reviewer has not been one to criticize light cars – the Yaris is 2,315 pounds, the least in comparison – but something in this doesn’t give it any sort of

The competing Mazda2 manages an zip that makes it feel in low-speed city driving, if the illusion is lost when you get moving. The Yaris feels adequate in gentle driving, and and strained when you summon “go.” Both the Toyota and the are likely limited by their automatic transmissions, which fewer gear ratios to from than more competitors, and consequently have a time hitting their spot for power delivery.

Besides feeling like only just barely up to the of high-speed acceleration, the Yaris gets loud. The engine smooth, but it’s intrusively The lack of a relaxed additional or two for cruising also makes the less pleasant for a long – it can move along the highway at extra-legal speed you favor, but most other subcompacts do so more quietly.

The Yaris’s also impacts its overall efficiency, though it’s more than competitive. It for best-in-class city mileage of an 30 mpg, but it’s less at 35 miles per gallon on the highway.

fuel economy is more influenced in high consumption-per-mile though, which helps the land just 1 mpg behind comparison’s best despite models’ 40-mpg highway

Moving on to “dull,” the Yaris from a soft suspension, tires and light, vague There’s an inherent agility in a light car, but Toyota has it. Car and Driver magazine raved its tested Yaris SE model, has firmer suspension tuning, but was none of that happening in the LE far more common on dealer Each competitor is more fun to The Yaris also has a surprisingly turning circle of 36.6 just inches better Toyota’s Sienna minivan .

Soft suspension tuning keep the Yaris from around over low-speed but it lacks the planted feel of models on the highway. It’s a up from Yarises past, but the has also improved.

The above with the drone from an engine to reach the third “Generally loathsome” is too strong for particular car, but someone who the substantial feel of a bigger would find very of that going down the in the Yaris.

Someone used to and with subcompact cars, might not notice anything out of the (someone has to be responsible for the car’s improved sales) but would get a experience in a competitor.


only so much room a car can offer, but the 2012 Yaris – its nearly-as-small predecessor – maximizes space.

The front seats are and well-bolstered, among the class’s and a step up from the thinner, chairs offered in the previous The rear seat’s cushion is improved, and it’s high off the floor to offer good support. It has no excess leg space, – passengers’ knees will be touching the front seatbacks.

Note that some have long complained not finding a comfortable driving in the Yaris, and that it still a telescoping steering column. reviewer was comfortable in both the and a previously tested 2009

Toyota reports a decent cubic feet of cargo behind the rear seat, but the slopes in to make it difficult to anything bulky without down the rear seat. The folds flush with the floor but doesn’t lie flat, and you either adjust the front or remove the rear head Toyota doesn’t publish a for maximum cargo volume the rear seat folded, but it not be among the best in this (A three-door hatchback is also but Toyota no longer sells a sedan.)

On the positive side, the rigid cargo cover is to remove than in competing it rests in place and can lift up rather than having to be loose.

In a further positive, the has one of the nicest interiors in this Toyota did not go for an upscale appearance, but feel solid and are nicely including a rubbery section of the The seat fabrics are also improved over the previous There’s no center armrest, and the padding on the doors is thin.

And in the obvious improvement to the interior, relocated the gauge cluster the center of the dash behind the wheel, and enlarged the speedometer in the Unfortunately, though the gauge was clearly designed to accommodate a the tested car only had a large area where it would go. In ergonomic foible, the stereo’s button is small and too far from the controls are otherwise straightforward.

Toyota Echo hatchback

Toyota’s apparently successful campaign is based around the “It’s a car! ” The message is pushing is that if you just affordable transportation, skip the competitors and go for a Yaris.

Unfortunately for makers of competing products rightly declare of their that “It’s a better Driving dynamics, refinement and space lag many models nearly identical purchase and operating costs. An estimated out the door (see notes on is rather steep to accept in such fundamental areas.

not to say that the Yaris is without As a city car, it excels for its size, and it drives decently at low Interior comfort and quality are above the norm, as is city efficiency. If you’re looking for a car to be used primarily in urban the Yaris surely rates last place.

But if you spend any amount of time on the highway, or interior room over dimensions, you’d likely be off choosing one of the other nine.

Overall grade: C

See also:

2,315 pounds

Cargo behind rear seat: cubic feet

Cargo with rear seat Not published

Turning circle: feet

Engine: 1.5-liter I4 106 horsepower

Transmission (as tested): automatic

EPA city mileage: 30 per gallon

*Prices as comparable to cars with an automatic power windows, locks and a Bluetooth cell phone alloy wheels; and cloth or the nearest equivalent.

Toyota Echo hatchback


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