Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Road - Yaris surprise

The Toyota Yaris is a perfect example of Toyota's approach to automobile manufacturing. Get the engineering right and worry about the styling afterwards. At least that's how it seems to those of us on the outside.

So when the Yaris was delivered two weeks ago, I wasn't quite full of enthusiasm at the thought, but after a wheen of miles over two weeks I changed my opinion quite radically.

The metamorphosis happened one day when I was running late and needed to press on and started to explore the hitherto unexplored regions at the top end of the rev counter. It's no road rocket, but honestly get this pensioner perambulator above 4000 rpm and it becomes quite entertaining, with a six speed close-ratio gearbox allowing the driver to make the most of its modest 98 bhp.

Complementing the performance is the degree of comfort inside. It really is a full four seater including those in the back who won't have to put their legs in their pockets to get in. As for the driving position, I found it quite superb and added to the fun factor, making it feel quicker than it actually was. The seats are quite broad and flat, and because of that, they will accommodate most shapes and sizes, including the overfed festive face-stuffers who had to relax a couple of buttons after the Christmas pud.

So although not a fan of the styling, I can't fault the engineering. Prices start from just over 12 and half grand for the five door, 1300 motor, and maybe we'll all have to re-think our opinion that this small Toyota is just for the elderly. It put a smile on my face.

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