Toyota Yaris: The Perfect Vehicle for Every Driver

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 6/27/2013, 9:40 p.m. | Updated on 6/27/2013, 9:40 p.m.
All things get better with time and cars are most definitely included in that statement. The last time I reviewed ...

All things get better with time and cars are most definitely included in that statement. The last time I reviewed the Toyota Yaris (before the redesigned in 2012) I loved its fuel economy, low operational costs, and most certainly the sticker price. However, I thought the Yaris’ cabin was rather small for all my cargo and I felt a little closed in. With the passage of time and customers’ feedback the Toyota Yaris has been redesigned to become an even bigger standout in the subcompact vehicle segment.

My test vehicle was at the top of the trim level for the line, a black 2013 Toyota Yaris 5-door SE lifttback. Available in three trim levels – L, LE, and sporty SE, the Toyota Yaris comes only as a hatchback with 2 or 4 doors. Looking at the Toyota Yaris and I instantly noticed that it appeared to be larger than I previously remembered. My thoughts were confirmed once I reached the inside of the cabin. Taller passengers will appreciate the added head- and legroom that makes the backseat roomier. The larger cargo area was also a winner for me since I always carry a lot of cargo with me as a journalist.

No shortcuts were taken in designing the inside of the Yaris. Seat covering were not boring with basic black but were jazzed up a bit with a black and electric blue weave pattern, which is an upgrade for the SE trim level. The Toyota Yaris was equipped with AM/FM/CD player with MP3, six speakers, HD radio, auxiliary jack, USB port with iPod connection, ASL, and Bluetooth with voice command. Audio controls were located on the leather wrapped steering wheel. The only thing I really missed on the inside of the Yaris was a center armrest but that really was not too bothersome during my weeklong test drive. Luckily the Yaris had enough compartments in the doors and by the cup holders to hold my odds and ends. I also missed having a navigation system but the addition of that would also increase the price.

Since the Toyota Yaris is a small vehicle, the engine is small but powerful. Powered by a 1.5 liter 4 cylinder engine that made 106 horsepower and 103 feet-pounds of torque. EPA fuel ratings are 30-mpg city and 36-mpg highway for a combined city and highway of 32-mpg. The Toyota Yaris has a 4-speed automatic transmission. It is also important to note that with the SE trim level comes with a sport-tuned suspension and upgraded 16-inch alloy wheels. Driving the Yaris was fun because acceleration, although a bit forced, was a rush to me when revving up the engine. Because of the size of the Yaris I easily glided through traffic and fit in almost any parking space.

As a brand Toyota is really big on safety and the Yaris is outfitted with great safety features such as the star safety system that includes VSC, TRAC, anti-lock brake system, EBD, brake assist and smart stop technology; 9 airbags-front, side curtain, and driver knee; whiplash-injury lessening front seats; 3-point seatbelts in all seat positions; lower anchor and tethers for children; child-protector rear door locks; tire pressure monitor system; and engine immobilizer.

Based price at $17,280, the Toyota Yaris is perfect for first time car buyers, retired individuals, and those that like saving money at the pump. In other words, the 2013 Toyota Yaris is perfect for every driver. Get to know the 2013 Toyota Yaris SE online at Toyota.com or visit your local Toyota dealer.