Driving a light and nimble subcompact car has its advantages. You can zip through traffic with ease, fit in virtually any parking space and run for weeks on end without ever stopping at a gas station. Featuring a completely new design, the 2012 Toyota Yaris boasts not only a sleeker, more attractive exterior look with a feather-light curb weight of around 2,300 pounds, but also two extra inches of wheelbase and a three-inch longer body to improve both ride quality and cabin space.
Offering three-door and five-door liftback body styles, the Yaris is versatile and practical, to the tune of 38 mph highway. The cargo hold in the 2012 Yaris three-door (MSRP $14,115) has grown 64 percent over the previous generation and now features 15.3 cubic feet of room with the rear seats up. The five-door models get a 68 percent increase in cargo space, up to 15.6 cubic feet.
Toyota engineers also completely retuned the suspension in the 2012 Yaris – adding thicker stabilizer bars and larger, 15-inch wheels – and the result is a car that handles with more agility and confidence than its predecessor. Electric power steering also helps improve road feel and makes quick work of tight parking maneuvers. Because of its longer wheelbase, the 2012 Yaris also has much more stable and confident road manners at freeway speeds, making for a more comfortable road trip machine.
Giving the Yaris its impressive numbers of 30 mpg city and 38 mpg highway is an eager, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) that delivers 106 hp and 103 lb/ft of torque to the front wheels through a standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic.
Inside the 2012 Yaris, the most immediately noticeable difference over the previous generation is the redesigned dashboard and instrument cluster; the speedometer has been moved from the center of the dash to the traditional location right in front of the steering wheel. There is one feature that is center mounted: a unique, single-arm windshield wiper that not only cleans the windshield more effectively, it is also lighter and more aerodynamic.
Back-seat passengers have ample leg- and headroom, and generous visibility out every window makes the Yaris feel even roomier. To further enhance the 2012 Yaris driving experience, extensive use of sound-absorbing materials makes for a noticeably quieter highway ride.
Buyers can choose between L and LE trims in both three-door and five-door models, and the five-door also offers a sporty SE trim. The L trims come generously equipped with air conditioning and a four-speaker stereo with CD player and MP3 and USB ports. Value-packed LE trims gain power windows and mirrors, a six-speaker stereo with Bluetooth music streaming, remote keyless entry and steering wheel audio controls.
For those seeking a bit more sportiness, the five-door SE trim features 16-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, quick-ratio steering and four-wheel disc braking. Visual accents include halogen headlamps; integrated fog lamps; a color-keyed grille, spoilers and rear diffuser; a chrome exhaust tip and special SE badging. Inside, driving enthusiasts will enjoy the leather-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel and exclusive six-way adjustable sport seats with added shoulder support.
New for 2012, every Yaris features an Advanced Whiplash Injury-Lessening (WIL) front-seat structure. By supporting all areas from the head to the lower back equally, the seats help reduce whiplash-type injuries in certain types of crashes. Every 2012 Yaris also comes with standard safety features like nine airbags and the Toyota-exclusive Star Safety System™ which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist and Smart Stop Technology for emergency brake-override.
All of these enhanced safety features helped the Yaris five-door earn the prestigious “2012 Top Safety Pick” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for its outstanding crash protection performance.
The 2012 Toyota Yaris is the perfect car for daily commuters, city dwellers and anyone looking for a safe, practical and fun vehicle. Stop in today and test-drive the 2012 Yaris.