2012 Toyota Yaris LE Subcompact Hatchback: Drive Report

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Toyota Yaris hatchback I

2012 Toyota Yaris LE Hatchback: Drive Report

Toyota Yaris LE three-door road test, Hudson NY, Feb 2012

2012 Toyota LE three-door hatchback, road Hudson Valley, NY, Feb 2012

It was small and very, very

This weekend’s test a 2012 Toyota Yaris LE liftback, attracted far more than we expected. Pedestrians and drivers turned their

Even our New York City attendant mumbled, unprompted, Muy muy, muy bonita! as he took the

So, OK, a bright red 2012 Yaris can attention. But is Toyota’s all-new likely to attract buyers?

The answer is, probably, but it’s up more and better competition ever.


Compared to the grim and slab-sided generation, the new Yaris LE is stylish, a pleasant two-tone interior and an instrument cluster in front of the rather than centrally

Its 106-horsepower, 1.5-liter engine well enough, though many subcompact hatchbacks, it to match the fuel economy of (and hence more compact sedans. Our test car had an four-speed automatic transmission, one of the few in new cars these days.

our 305 miles of our weekend test, of which is highway mileage, we 31.5 miles per gallon.

Toyota Yaris

That’s close to the 2012 EPA-rated gas mileage of 32 mpg combined for the model—but lower than we got in the Hyundai Elantra or Chevrolet Eco compact sedans.

It’s much lower than hybrids like the 50-mpg Prius hatchback or the new 2012 Prius V wagon, at 42 mpg.

tougher, there’s the new 2012 Prius C compact hatchback, has an EPA combined rating of 50 mpg and a base below $19,000 (watch for details of the Prius C later week).

Overall, our impression of the Yaris was that it was competent but Compared to, say, the 2012 Sonic (we tested in both and hatchback models), it lacks a wow

We liked:

The Yaris may be short, but it feels from the inside, meaning passengers don’t experience it as

Acceleration is adequate, though not as fun as, say, the turbocharged 1.4-liter in the Chevy Sonic

The floor of the passenger compartment is flat, no tunnel, making three at least plausible

The instrument is well designed and easy to with three large, knobs for the ventilation system

The cubbies, bins, trays, and bottle holders handled all our possessions (but all lacked pads, meaning stuff around on the hard plastic)

We like:

Toyota Yaris hatchback I

While the steering tilts, it doesn’t telescope, it too close to the dash for drivers who their seat back

The 2012 Yaris is noisy at speed that to hear the it has to be turned up—and even background noise muffles of the music

The four-speed automatic has enough ratios that can be abrupt and are often noisy

The door window offers but no auto-up, an important safety when pulling away toll booths

The rear-seat block huge swathes of the through the rear window, they’re (thankfully) removable

One end of the rear seatbelt dangled and loose from the roof, as if were too cheap to spring for a to hold it against the headliner

2012 Toyota Yaris LE hatchback, road test, Valley, NY, Feb 2012

As tested, our Toyota Yaris LE 3-door had a sticker price of $16,884. a base price of $15,625, a mandatory $760 destination and three options: cruise ($250), carpeted mats for the and load bay ($180), and the useful net for holding grocery bags

In the end, we didn’t dislike the Yaris. We just didn’t it offered much that the doesn’t offer as well.

of it is the price. Toyota is being by the yen-dollar rate, and so our mid-level cost almost $17K.

have been a lot more if it were, say, $14K.

+++++++++++

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Toyota Yaris hatchback I
Toyota Yaris hatchback I
Toyota Yaris hatchback I
Toyota Yaris hatchback I

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