In challenging times, car buyers tend to focus on the essentials – value, safety and fuel efficiency. That translates into a boon for the subcompact segment where Toyota boasts a perennial contender for best-in-class honors: The Yaris. At a time when watching the bottom line is a high-stakes game, the new 2011 Yaris puts your worries to bed by delivering all the space, comfort and drivability you need and want.
From its wind-cheating shape to its point-and-shoot handling, the new 2011 Toyota Yaris exceeds expectations for handling and refinement while still offering value, safety and gas mileage that ranks among the top of this hyper-competitive segment. Of course, the Yaris boasts one attribute the competition simply can’t match – Toyota dependability.
Toyota sells the five-passenger Yaris in three configurations: Three-Door Liftback (MSRP $13,155), Five-Door Liftback (MSRP $13,455) and Four-Door sedan (MSRP $13,715).
Darts through city traffic and highway-passing maneuvers are a breeze in the Yaris, thanks to its robust 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Making 106 hp and 103 lb/ft of torque, this four-cylinder packs a punch across a broad sweep of the rev band thanks to cutting-edge technology such as dual overhead cams and Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i). More good news for your wallet: The Yaris powerplant gets the job done using Regular 87 octane Unleaded fuel.
Regardless of model, the Yaris comes standard with a five-speed manual gearbox that helps to deliver a thrifty 36 mpg on the highway. The optional four-speed electronic automatic transmission uses “shift logic” to reduce gear hunting when driving in hilly stretches of road and helps to return an impressive 35 highway mpg.
The Yaris doesn’t scrimp when it comes to safety at speed. With the Toyota Star Safety System™, essential driver-assistance technology such as Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Traction Control (TRAC) come standard. Four-wheel antilock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA) also make the cut.
Enhancing its safety quotient, the Yaris features six airbags including dual-stage front units for the driver and passenger, as well as first- and second-row roll-sensing side-curtain units. Such attention to detail has its rewards: The Yaris earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) highest score for frontal- and side-impact protection for all occupants.
For all this talk about Yaris value and security, it’s important to remember that Car and Driver magazine pronounced it “surprisingly fun on twisty roads.” Credit goes to steering and suspension dialed in by Toyota engineers for responsive performance. The Yaris boasts a fully independent front suspension featuring MacPherson struts and a 23mm stabilizer bar, along with a hydroformed torsion-beam rear suspension. Standard wheels are 14-inch steel while 15-inch rims made of steel or aluminum alloy make the options list.
To make your choice even easier, the Yaris comes packed with standard features. Even the least expensive Three-Door Liftback delivers air conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, a rear-window defogger and a tachometer on models equipped with the manual transmission.
Personalizing the Yaris is a breeze thanks to a slate of option packages. The Convenience Package adds an AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system with an auxiliary audio jack and XM Satellite Radio compatibility. There’s also a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, which features reclining, sliding and fold-flat functions on Liftback models. Folding the seatback flat on the Liftback yields 25.7 cubic feet of cargo space while the sedan’s trunk offers a capacity of 12.9 cubic feet.
Stepping up to the Power Package nets everything in the Convenience Package plus power windows and door locks, power outside mirrors and remote keyless entry. The Yaris sedan also gets upgraded interior trim including an integrated audio faceplate.
Topping the list is the Sport Package, which broadens Yaris appeal with exclusives including integrated foglamps, iPod connectivity, front sport seats with sport fabric and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shiftknob. Even cruise control is available as a stand-alone option.
Regardless which direction the economic tide may turn, it’s clear that choosing the right subcompact is really no challenge at all. For driving pleasure, safety, fuel economy, comfort and value, the 2011 Toyota Yaris is the complete package. Be sure to contact us for a test drive.