2012 Toyota Yaris 5-Door Liftback Review

The car brought to me for review earlier this week was the Toyota Yaris. The model was the 5-door LE Liftback in Absolutely red paint.  And that is exactly what color it was, like a fire truck.  Well, not exactly.  Absolutely.  And I like red – it was coupled with nice gray and black fabric seats and silver-colored 15” hub caps.

The odd name of this car is derived from the word Charis, the Greek goddess of elegance and beauty.  And the German expression of affirmation, “ya” is tacked onto the front of the name.  It could just as surely refer to the target market of this car, Young Adults.  On balance, it is a suitable name, and the Toyota people probably don’t mind that the word looks like the cultural epicenter of Europe, Paris.

Ruth and I jumped into the Yaris and buzzed  through Platteville for a ride to the Brighton Starbucks.  Getting in the car wasn’t particularly difficult, and the highway manners were fine for a subcompact.  The car had optional cruise control ($250), as well as a carpeted floor/cargo mat set ($150).  Those items, coupled with the base price of $16,100.00 brought the M.S.R.P. to $17,250.00, F.O.B. Denver.  That last initialism stands for “freight on board,” or in street parlance, “where delivered to.”  Standard equipment on the Yaris included 4-speed automatic, front-wheel drive, real hand brake, electric power steering/windows/locks, color-keyed power mirrors, anti-lock braking system, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, CD/stereo with USB and aux. jack, tire pressure monitor, tilt wheel, and a 60/40 fold-down rear seat.  Behind that last item is a 9.3 cu. ft. compartment, not a trunk.  In fact from the outside, the little guy looks like someone stole the trunk.  But I was pleased with, and I received compliments on, the styling of the Yaris.

Yaris power is provided by a 1.5 liter, 4-cylinder, 106 hp engine with variable valve timing.  Torque is 103 lb. ft., and acceleration is OK (zero to 60 in perhaps a touch under ten seconds.)  Gas mileage ratings are 30 in town and 35 on the highway.  I observed a reading of 32.5 overall.  The car rides on P175/65R15 Goodyear Assurance radials with steel wheels.

On this day the coffee at Starbucks was a little strong, but the ride back was a pleasure and I was proud to be seen in the Yaris.  I guess I looked a little old, but Ruth didn’t.  Would I let one of our three daughters drive, buy, ride in, lease, or borrow a Yaris?  Absolutely.

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