Drive Toyota Yaris YRS Sedan Review

23 Фев 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Drive Toyota Yaris YRS Sedan Review отключены
Toyota Yaris Electric Cars

Bruce Newton

Make TOYOTA Model YARIS Price $17,690 (manual), $19,490 (auto), plus options and costs. Series Year 2006 Brakes Ventilated front discs and rear drums, ABS with EBD and BA. Dimensions Length 4300 mm, Width: 1690 mm, Height: 1460 mm, Wheelbase: 2550 mm Emissions Greenhouse: 7.5/10, Air pollution: 5.0/10, Overall: 3.5/5.0 (the GreenVehicleGuide).

Fuel Consumption 6.1 L/100km, ULP. Fuel Tank Size 42L tank. Insurance $577.80 (RACV, 40-year-old rating-one male, medium-risk suburb, $450 excess). Kerb Weight 1045 kg. Power 80 kW@6000 rpm.

Safety Equipment ABS with EBD and BA, Dual front airbags, Height adjustable front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, Five lap-sash seatbelts, Five adjustable headrests. Steering Rack and pinion power steering, 3.2 turns lock to lock. Suspension Front: Independent by MacPherson struts, L-shaped lower arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar. Rear: Trailing torsion beam, coil springs, hydraulic dampers, anti-roll bar. Torque 141 Nm@4000 rpm.

Transmission/Driven Wheels Five-speed manual, optional four-speed auto, front-wheel drive. Turning Circle 9.8m. Warranty Three years/100,000 km. Wheels/Tyres 15 x 5.5-steel wheels, tyres 185/60 R15.

Full size spare.

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You just can’t help but be impressed by Toyota sometimes. Sure, much of the range isn’t that exciting, but for orthodox practicality and solidity it’s a lineup with few peers.

The Yaris YRS sedan is an obvious example of this. The newest addition to Toyota’s light car range is unlikely to win any awards, but it is well thought out and clearly a better car than the old Echo sedan.

The biggest problem for Toyota is that people shopping at the bottom end of the Corolla sedan range may end up driving out of the showroom in a Yaris instead.

At $17,690 the single Yaris sedan model has a starting price more than $2000 cheaper than the entry-level Corolla Ascent.

In optional four-speed auto form the Yaris is still hundreds of dollars cheaper than the manual Corolla.

Run the tape over the two cars and you’ll find the Corolla only just edges the Yaris in the vital measures including overall length and wheelbase.

Thanks to its slatted nose the Yaris even looks a bit like the Corolla. It also looks a lot better than its unloved predecessor

Corolla’s most powerful argument is its 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine. But in these days of spiralling fuel prices plenty will be just as tempted by the Yaris 1.5’s excellent fuel economy.

Considering the traditional light sedan buyer isn’t a performance fiend — often a … person trading down to a retirement car — a claimed average of 6.1L/100km (manual) and 6.7L/100km (auto) is surely attractive.

These aren’t totally fanciful figures either. During Drive’s road test of an automatic Yaris it returned a real world 7.3L/100km over a 500km combination of roads that took in everything from freeways to suburbia.

That’s a good result and a tribute to continued fine tuning. The drivetrain is updated from the old Echo sedan, the most significant change being an electronic throttle. This aids fuel economy, responsiveness and helps the engine meet Euro IV emissions standards (Euro III is the requirement in Australia).

With all-alloy construction, variable timing on the inlet side, double overhead camshafts and four-valves per-cylinder this is an orthodox Toyota design. The 80kW and 141Nm outputs are basically unchanged from Echo.

It’s quite enthusiastic without being charismatic. Revs equal strong response for its size. Combine that with the reasonably intuitive staggered gate automatic and you’ll never have trouble keeping up in the traffic.

Overtaking or a quick launch from the lights requires plenty of throttle and with that comes a noticeable amount of noise. This is a reflection of a need for more sound deadening as much as the engine being overly vocal.

In normal running tyre roar tends to force the engine’s soundtrack to the background. It’s another indicator the Yaris is built (in Japan) to a pretty stringent price level.

The flat seats and basic interior design and materials are other pointers to this.

In fact, the look and feel of the dashboard and controls are no better than the Korean-built Holden Barina sedan, a car that is more than $3000 cheaper and no doubt giving Toyota migraines with its pricing.

However, the Yaris is a five-star NCAP crash test performer while the Barina (or its Chevrolet Aveo equivalent) managed only two stars with a strike (indicating fatal injury potential). You pay the money, you make the choice.

While the Yaris is basic inside it still gets the centre-mounted instrument pod, a signature piece carried over from the hatch. The digital readout is replaced by twin analogue gauges in deference to a more conservative audience. It’s not the only change in search of maturity.

The interior is darker and the hatches curious upswept armrests disappear.

Where the Yaris excels inside is space. Its wheelbase is 90mm longer than the hatchback and 180mm longer than the old Echo sedan. It’s also 30mm wider which means elbow room for two adults up-front as well as healthy knee and leg room for two more in the back. It feels like a medium rather than light car

At the rear you’ll find a huge 475 litre boot, which mushrooms when you split-fold the rear seat. Under the boot floor is a full size spare tyre.

It’s one of few equipment headlines the Yaris has to offer. YRS specification delivers the 1.5-litre engine and 15-inch steel wheels and apart from that you’ll find air-conditioning, remote central locking, power windows and body coloured mouldings.

Safety equipment is more impressive; dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and BA, lap-sash seatbelts and adjustable headrests for all passengers. An option worth considering is the $750 safety pack with side and curtain airbags.

Also impressive is the passenger ride comfort, something revealed by any rough road. Thanks to the long wheelbase, wider track and some quality suspension tuning it absorbs the patchwork quilt with truly outstanding suppleness.

Handling dynamics aren’t so highly pitched. Front-wheel drive understeer is predictable and the electric steering lacks meaningful feedback.

But it is quick and light, while a 9.8m turning circle make Yaris spot-on for negotiating city car parks and the suburban sprawl.

And that’s surely more important to Yaris sedan buyers than pin-sharp cornering — as worthy as that is. For them, space, a comfortable ride, fuel economy, engine responsiveness, manoeuvrability and safety are more likely to be the attractions.

Yaris sedan ticks all those boxes. Job done Toyota. Again.

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