2012 Toyota Yaris review

15 Май 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2012 Toyota Yaris review отключены
Toyota Yaris Electric Cars

2012 Toyota Yaris review

Toyota’s Yaris has long been a favorite of mine because of its cheap price and bulletproof reliability. Now the Yaris is all new, more substantial, and more expensive — but is it still a car I would recommend? Read on.

First Glance: Toyota, why have you forsaken me?

For the past few years, the Yaris has been one of my go-to cars — one that I regularly recommended to my readers because it was cute, simple, reliable, brimming with character and loaded with value. I was probably the Yaris’ biggest booster.

So I was rather upset when Toyota, suddenly and without warning, announced an all-new Yaris for 2012. Did they ask for my input? No.

Did they give me any advance warning that my beloved Yaris was about to change? Nope. All I got was casual e-mail: Hi, Aaron, this is Toyota. Wife’s fine, kids are great, we’re headed down the Caribbean for a little rest and relaxation, maybe some snorkeling.

Oh, by the way, we’re completely redesigning the Yaris. Best wishes to the family. Love, Big T.

Not only did they keep the redesign from me, those duplicitous fiends did their best to cover it up! When I first saw the new 2012 Yaris, I thought Toyota had just given it a facelift — a little nip-‘n’-tuck to the sheet metal to make it look less cute and more aggressive. But no, this is indeed an all-new Yaris, although Toyota has retained the size and shape of the original, something I would have heartily approved of if they had bothered to ask.

Notably absent at our press preview — to which, I noted with dissatisfaction, Toyota had invited several journalists and not just me — was the sedan. Toyota explained that Yaris retail buyers have shown a strong preference for the 3- and 5-door hatchbacks, so they’ve dropped the four-door sedan, although they will continue to offer an unmodified sedan for fleet sales (read: car-rental companies). I actually found this rather interesting, but I did my best to feign indifference.

Two can play at this game, Toyota.

Interior has a more conventional layout but a more radical design; note simple A/C and stereo controls

In the Driver’s Seat: Completely different

Toyota Yaris Electric Cars

It was not until I sat behind the wheel that I realized the true level of Toyota’s contempt for yours truly. I liked the old Yaris’ interior (link goes to photo), with its oddball center-mounted gauge cluster, simple climate and stereo controls, and gloveboxes galore (it had three), even if the d cor was a bit bland. The new Yaris’ interior is more Scion than Toyota, with multiple shades and textures, including the elephant-skin pattern found in the pricier Toyotas like the Venza and Sienna. The idea is to increase the appeal to 20-somethings — this despite Toyota knowing full well that I just turned forty. Oh well, at least they retained the straightforward control layout.

Interior dimensions are similar to the old car, too, although the cargo bay is significantly larger, now up to a useful 15.3 cubic feet.

The new Yaris comes in L, LE and SE versions. Cheapest is the 3-door L, priced at $14,875, which is nearly $1,000 more than last year, but you now get a stereo, power door locks, and a staggering nine airbags, including one for the driver’s knees and another in the front seat cushions that ensure proper posture in a crash. (We wouldn’t want the paramedics to find us slouching!) But you’ll still have to crank down the windows — power windows only come on the $16,385 LE model, which also includes a better stereo, Bluetooth, a height-adjustable steering column, and an automatic transmission. Last year’s sporty Yaris S was an appearance package, but this year it gets a stiffer suspension and tighter steering, rear disc brakes, and alloy wheels, and a price tag of $17,160 with a manual transmission ($17,960 with an automatic), which I find rather pricey for the once-humble Yaris.

And that’s a shame, because despite high-quality materials throughout most of the cabin, there are some rather appalling examples of cost-cutting. The L model comes with manual side mirrors which you adjust by pushing on the glass with your fingers. I haven’t seen thumbprint mirrors since my first car (a 1982 Plymouth Reliant). And the seat tracks are hidden by cheap fabric skirts sewn to the side of the cushions. How cheesy can you get?

If you had asked me, Toyota, I would have told you to just leave the tracks exposed. But you didn’t ask me, did you?

On the Road: More of the same

Cargo bay now measures in at a useful 15.3 cubic feet

Toyota Yaris Electric Cars

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