2012 Toyota Yaris SE

Posted on 18. Feb, 2012 by in Auto News

Are you thinking of the legendary Toyota Tercel Was sorry, there is no trick question legendary Toyota Tercel. Between 1980 and 2000 five generations of small Toyota came and went, so nary a trace of lore in car type. Toyota Tercel was followed by the Echo. The new car was memorable … Gen Y for ridiculous marketing, an ugly exterior. a cheap interior, Bobbly handling and a rough ride All admit, however, failure, Toyota not only let the echo on the vine as a "special order only" car die, but at a page from the GM playbook, put down the name plate as well. A Yaris successor succeeded that it continued the tradition of complete unmemorability Tercel. Encouraged by this success Toyota has not only maintained the Yaris nameplate for a second generation, but is pitching a SE version to people who really like to drive. Are we looking at this one, and for the right reasons?

Drooling over this photo? Then your drug has at least one unpleasant side effect. Nevertheless, I must admit a fondness for the car outside. The look is currently with the wheels pushed all the way from aero-friendly sharp corners. Search insectoid swoopy styling? Look elsewhere. To the SE tweaks (aggressive front facia, gunmetal gray eight-spoke 16-inch wheels) good work, effectively communicate the car sporting ambitions. Draw the three-door body style? Then SE is not for you. It is only available with the five-door. (The limousine was dropped with the redesign.)

Interior design highlights include interestingly patterned blue cloth and some muddy areas (the light gray bits). But the instrument panel is suffering the odd design details and clumsy attempts at coherence, which have afflicted many Toyota interiors in the past decade. Round or rectangular air vents? Why not both! Then reflect both forms with an open storage cubby northwest of the instruments (for easy viewing by passersby) and a prominent circular surround overlap the left of the audio system thick bezel. The latter houses an unhappy cohabiting hazard button and passenger airbag indicator light, because you might have trouble otherwise. Then there's the audio system, removed with a tiny power button in the upper right corner (and thus beyond the reach due to the system to the right shift of the hazard button surround) and sound adjustments so that my children are not localized, they buried hidden.

Only the car at night, and all is well. The steering wheel is not too thick padded and warmly decorated. The seats are comfortable and supportive. The side windows are generously sized, especially by today's standards. The windshield, not so much. How many lately, the instrument panel is high, perhaps under the impression that the Yaris give larger and more extensive than it actually is. Or avoid the minivanish seating position of Honda Fit. It succeeds on both counts. The rear seat is roomier than the industry average. Adults with an average size will fit perhaps to spare with a whole inch. The freight volume is average at best, that is, the Honda Fit is the clear winner.

SE regardless of the PS has not made war on the Yaris. A 1.5-liter four-cylinder good for a mere 106 horses at 6,000 rpm remains the only available engine. But the Yaris has not pounds, as most competitors have packed, and even checked in the south of 2,300 (about 300 fewer than a Fiesta or Sonic). Hitched to a five-speed manual gearbox, the engine feels peppy. Unlike the Mazda2, any displacement is not under go the motor in a torque-free zone from which they originate fights. More of an issue than power: when revved the four produces a soft wheezy buzz. If it's not a brand new Toyota, I would have hunted for a small exhaust leak. Shift feel is okay, not as good as the Honda Fit is not as craptastic as the Hyundai Accent.

With a small engine and low weight, the Yaris SE should be stellar fuel economy. Unfortunately, it's impact against the same invisible ceiling as any other car in the segment, and so prices "only" 30 city and 38 highway by the EPA about the same as the larger, heavier and more powerful cars in the next class. In S-driving, the trip computer reported numbers usually in the low to mid 30s. Despite its higher curb weight and more powerful engine, the Chevrolet Sonic tends 1.4T (29/40, reviewed last week) to do a little better, especially at higher speeds, where his sixth gear comes into play.

Toyota's recent efforts in sports variants of its small cars have nothing more than the appearance of packages. Fortunately, it went with the Yaris SE, tweaking the steering and suspension. Aided by the thin padded wheel and a modest level to support the power steering is more communicative than most. The SE chassis, far more than the misbegotten echo ready compares well with those of competitors. Add in the low weight and compact dimensions also by segment standards (a Hyundai Accent 8.5 centimeters longer), and the Yaris SE competes with the Mazda2 for the class title "most tossable." Unlike the systems in the three Koreans, the stability control does not kill the joy by early. The handling is so sure that it will not need to cut at all. The price for this agile handling: a slightly rough (but still livable) ride and traditional levels of wind and road noise.

Contrary to conventional wisdom (well, at least that before the scare UA) all Toyotas are not as reliable. Usually, as with most other manufacturers, they are smaller and simpler, the less problems they have. And the Yaris is the smallest, easiest car in the line. It is too early to have any reliable statistics on the 2012 car, but the first generation Yaris Car Reliability Survey consistently been the most reliable models True Delta.

This justified reputation for reliability has long enabled Toyota to charge more. With floor mats, the Yaris SE lists for $ 17,310. An Accent SE stickers for $ 16,650. In the past, people would gladly pay $ 660 more for a smaller, less powerful, less stylish Toyota.

By conventional measures, the Toyota Yaris is not very competitive. It is smaller, less powerful and equipped with less effort than most competitors, but not cost less, or go further on a gallon of gas. The redesigned exterior is attractive, at least in SE spec, but others are probably more stylish. On the interior's enough said. But I think I will remember my time with this little Toyota, as it no longer do something most competitors offer. Imposing instrument panel aside, the Yaris is a small car that's okay a small car. Although unlikely that the favor of the typical non-SE buyers curry, this is not entirely a bad thing for car guys. There is a directness of control and agility to the chassis can not be found in small car hatches with raised aspirations.Unlike its predecessor, the Yaris is a fun car to drive, minimally competent powertrain spite. And if Toyota has managed to compete a drivetrain fully that? In the Hyundai field I would definitely remember that car.

Toyota provided the car with insurance and a tank of gas.

Michael Karesh operates TrueDelta.com, an online provider of car reliability and real-world fuel economy information.