For 2007, Toyota is replacing the Echo with the Yaris-a car that has seen tremendous success in Europe and Japan. With lessons learned from Scion's success, the Yaris has an emphasis on modern styling, high economy, low prices, and strong value. The Yaris will be sold as a three-door hatchback (known as a liftback) and four-door sedan.
Travel to Europe and you'll see small cars from familiar manufacturers bearing unfamiliar names: Nissan Micra, Volkswagen Polo, Suzuki Alto, and Audi A2. Given America's traditional distaste for small hatchbacks, combined with the cost of meeting stringent U.S. safety and emissions standards, importing these cars doesn't make much sense. However, times have changed, and while one can only speculate on the reasons-rising gas prices, crowded roads, perhaps even some anti-SUV sentiment-the fact remains that small cars are experiencing a resurgence. Toyota has been reaping the benefits through its Scion division, which sells the subcompact xA hatchback. According to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM 2006 sales of the xA increased more than 16 percent over 2005.
The all-new Yaris replaces the Echo as Toyota's U.S.-market entry-level car. It is available in both four-door sedan and three-door hatchback models. Standard features include air conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, intermittent wipers, and an Audio Prep Package, consisting of four speakers and wiring but no stereo. The Yaris "S" sedan includes sporty body trim as well as a CD/MP3 player, a rear defogger, and a split-fold rear seat, optional on all Yaris models. An optional Power Package includes anti-lock brakes, cruise control, power windows/locks/mirrors, a CD/MP3 player, larger wheels, a tachometer, and a 60/40 split-fold rear seat. Remote keyless entry, alloy wheels, fog lamps, and a rear spoiler are available separately but require the Power Package. Side air bags and anti-lock brakes are the only true stand-alone options.
Like the xA, xB, and Echo, the front-wheel-drive Yaris is powered by a 1.5L four-cylinder engine. Output is 106 hp and 103 lb.-ft. of torque. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard, while a 4-speed automatic is optional.
The Toyota Yaris competes in the Compact Basic segment, which consists of nine models. Buyers in this segment look for fuel economy, reliability, and low maintenance costs, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Toyota Yaris (70,308 units sold in its first year on the market), Chevrolet Aveo (58,244), and Hyundai Accent (34,735). Other models offered in the Compact Basic segment include the Scion xA, Kia Rio, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, and Suzuki Aerio and Reno.
|Base (M5)||5 speed manual||$12,025||106-hp / 1.5L 4-cyl||34/40|
|S (M5)||5 speed manual||$13,525||106-hp / 1.5L 4-cyl||34/40|