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~ ~ I’ve a fair few mates and colleagues who have bought the Toyota Yaris over the past while, some as run-arounds, and others as “second” cars. This car competes in the same lucrative sector as the Ford Ka, the Seat Arosa, and the Volkswagen Lupo, but in my honest opinion beats them all into a cocked hat.
~ ~ The main problem with cars in this “sub-supermini” market is their size. Try as they will, manufacturers simply cannot make a BIG car out of a small one. By their very nature they’re small, sometimes very small. Most don’t have 5 doors, and their main selling points are low fuel consumption, easy parking, cheap insurance, and, off course, a lower than usual purchase price.
~ ~ The Yaris does its level best to give you the best of both worlds. It has all the benefits of a larger and faster car like the Ford Fiesta, but still hangs onto the pluses of a smaller vehicle. Maybe this is the reason it was voted European Car of the Year in 2000.
~ ~ It’s interior size is not immediately apparent at first glance. It’s overall length and exterior shell is still smaller than a Fiesta sized vehicle, and hardly any larger than your average, run off the mill, city runabout. It’s when you get INSIDE the car that you realise the small miracle that Toyota has achieved. Thanks to an innovative sliding rear bench seat, there is FAR more head and leg room both in both the back and the front seats. You could almost be fooled into thinking you were sitting in a much larger car altogether, like the Ford Focus or the Vauxhall Astra. The body is also deceptively wide, which again has the effect of giving front seat passengers in particular far more room than they could rightly expect from such a small car.
~ ~ The boot is fairly small, but Toyota even have this covered. If boot space and carrying capacity is a must, then you can opt for the Yaris Versio, which is based on the standard car, but with an extended platform, that actually gives it more interior space than even the far pricier Renault Scenic MPV. And with all the seats folded down, it has more luggage space than even a Mercedes E-Class!!! There’s also a lot of really useful storage space dotted around the cabin – more than 15 litres in total. It has cubbyholes for everything from your mobile phone to your tape cassettes, and even though most models boast a passenger airbag, there’s also a good-sized, split-level glovebox.
~ ~ In other departments as well it compares very favourably with larger (and more expensive) models. Prices for the base 1-litre model start at only £10,320 (Irish Punts) or, in the UK, £6,995 Sterling. The 1.3-litre starts at £13,685 (Irish Punts) or £10,195 Sterling. But the option of five doors, and the highly impressive equipment levels, means you get real value for your buck. When it was first introduced it only came in the basic 1-litre, 67bhp model, but now you can opt for the more powerful 1.3-litre, 85bhp, version of the same unit, or even the 1.5-litre turbo model that is now available. (that is if you really want to take on the “boy racers” at their own game; 0 to 60mph in nine seconds!!)
~ ~ But whatever model you opt for, from the moment you ease yourself into the driver’s seat, it’s immediately obvious that this is no “ordinary” little car. For a start, there’s no traditional dashboard as such, and you’re left wondering just what the h*ll they’ve done with all the instruments until you actually turn on the ignition. Then everything suddenly lights up in a central console something like the digital display you would expect on a Formula One racing car. This is unique in a car of this class, (as far as I’m aware, anyway) and is, in fact, seen on very few road cars. The console is angled slightly towards the driver so that it can be read more easily, and shows both the speed and the revs in numbers. All models also have a very useful trip computer that shows info like your average fuel consumption, your average speed on a trip, how many more miles before you run out of petrol, and the outside air temperature.
~ ~ If all these benefits weren’t enough, the Yaris also has Toyota’s award-winning Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVTi) technology. This uses a sophisticated computer to vary the air intake to the engine in different driving conditions and with different driving loads, which in simple terms means that the engine can deliver extra torque (pulling power) right throughout the different gears whenever it is required. This delivers not only better acceleration, but better fuel economy and less exhaust emissions as well, when compared to a conventional engine. Talking about acceleration, the new 1.3-litre engine should broaden the appeal of the Yaris considerably. It improves the 0 to 60 mph time from 14.1 seconds (the 1-litre) to a very respectable 11.7 seconds, and the top speed from 96mph to 109mph. Yet at the same time it doesn’t dis-improve the fuel consumption figure too much, still returning an average 47.8mpg across the board. (50.4mpg for the 1-litre) The larger engine also allows Toyota to offer the Yaris in an automatic version as an option for the first time.
~ ~ More car for less pennies; that just about sums up the Yaris for me.
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in menu item "product details"!Brand new, ready-to-fit, first class quality product including a 2 year warranty!Price including VAT!It is illegal to fit a non-type approved catalytic converter to a vehicle registered from 1st March 2001. You need a type approved catalytic converter IF your vehicle is registered on or before March 2001.