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Yaris is cute, but Toyota's skimping isn't

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Weekend Drive

Yaris is cute, but Toyota's skimping isn't

Dan Neil / Los Angeles Times

Toyota Motor Corp. is the colossus of roads. It is, or soon will be, the largest car company in the world. Its worldwide sales are up year after year, as are its profits, as are its stock prices. In the U.S., the world's largest car market, Toyota's sales rose 12.5 percent in 2006, grabbing even more market share from the oxygen-starved domestics. To meet the demand, the company is putting down factories and expanding facilities in this country like it was playing automotive Monopoly.

The company builds Lexus, the best-selling luxury brand in the U.S. It builds the Prius, the hybrid shuttlecraft with more green cachet than macrobiotic tofu. It created Scion, which in three years went from a Scrabble word to the last word in Gen-Y branding.

So is this the company that can do no wrong? Not really.

I give you the Toyota Yaris, a surprisingly routine and summarily undelightful B-class subcompact that feels as mailed-in as if it had a stamp on it. Cute? Sure, in an entomological way, i.e., it kind of looks like a bug you would pin to a corkboard.

Cheap? Oh yes, to a fault. The $11,530 MSRP (with delivery) can't make room for things like a radio/CD/MP3, anti-lock brakes, rear-window wiper or rear fogger, or split-folding rear seat. Our test car had another $3,210 of options: alloy wheels, power windows and doors, four-speaker audio with CD/MP3 player, ABS, front side-air bags, side curtain air bags. But up against other recent B-class urban runabouts -- the Honda Fit, the Nissan Versa -- the Yaris is less car for more money. And tinny. Compared with the sealed and muffled character of the Honda Fit, this thing's got more ring-a-ding than Frank Sinatra at Caesars Palace.

:lol:

More

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic...UTO03/703310363

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Yeah, the Yaris is still a pile of crap. Kind just confirms what is fact. Like Echo, Toyota mystique (not achievement) sells it.

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It created Scion, which in three years went from a Scrabble word to the last word in Gen-Y branding.

75% of the Scions I see are driven by people who were alive durring the depression.

Scion is NOT some runaway Gen-Y success. Sorry.

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Is the Yaris not sold as-is in overseas markets? Although I am not a fan of it, keep in mind that in other markets (like Brazil) cheap, low-end vehicles have no instrumentation, no arm rests, not even power steering! Not only does it reduce the over all cost of the vehicle, it also cuts weight. For countries that are paying $9 a gallon - that is a big, big plus. Air bas, ABS, sound insulaton - all of those add weight, cost and complexity.

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Toyota had better start getting used to the tone of this article, because they'll be reading a lot of similar articles when they become #1.

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Lucky for Toyota, the Vitz/Vios/Yaris is a global car. Matching supply and demand is an easy task. Plus it gets real world 39 mpg.

Yes I think the interior sucks too.

But the outside is oozing cute. If Toyota makes over the interior, it could be great.

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But the outside is oozing cute.

Oozing as in what? The way puss leaks out of an infected wound?

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The 2 door looks like a puking ladybug and the 4 door is just a shrunkin Camry. The interior is a real pile too!

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The 2 door looks like a puking ladybug and the 4 door is just a shrunkin Camry. The interior is a real pile too!

Oh man you stole my post. :P

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Oh man you stole my post. :P

Thanks for this article. I just sent it to a friend of mine who is still looking at a Yaris 5-door despite my beg and plea to buy a Honda Fit instead.

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Oozing as in what? The way puss leaks out of an infected wound?

:pokeowned:

The 2 door looks like a puking ladybug and the 4 door is just a shrunkin Camry. The interior is a real pile too!

Yeah it looks like a ape's skull from the side. That thing is hideous. 4 doors is shrunken Crapry that bulged.

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And though I am loathe to admit it, the Yaris has a much MUCH better advertising campaign. I watched the new (finally!) episode of Heroes last night and was chewing on razor blades by the time I saw the 3rd or 4th Yaris commercial (if you guys are lucky, it is a Canada only campaign), including a cute piece where the Yaris spits out a MP3 player playing bad music.

In the same show, I saw a lame, LAME Cobalt ad that did not evoke any kind of emotion.

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