Advance auto zone blog about fast cars and auto trader

Advance auto zone blog about cool fast cars, and auto trader

2007 Toyota Yaris Preview

The Yaris is built on a new platform that is longer and wider than its predecessor, and will be offered in both three-door ``liftback'' (sounds like ``hatchback'' is still considered a bad word by U.S. marketers) and four-door sedan body styles. Both are conventional contemporary subcompacts in layout, with a transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive chassis, independent front suspension by MacPherson struts, and a torsion beam rear axle. Brakes are disc in front, drum at the rear, with antilock available. As in larger, more-expensive cars, standard dual front airbags use the Occupant Classification System to determine deployment of the front passenger airbag, and front side and side curtain airbags are available.

Although the Yaris is considered a subcompact, and takes a small space on the road or in the parking lot, space efficiency is the name of the game inside. Both versions were designed to have "class-above'' ambiance, with clean, contemporary styling and first-rate materials. The Liftback's rear seat can be folded flat for a large amount of cargo space; the sedan's has a 60/40 split for the same purpose. Both, like the Echo and the Scions, have center-mounted instrument clusters. The standard equipment level is high, including amenities such as bright Optitron gauges - just like in a Lexus - a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, tinted glass, intermittent wipers with mist control, and useful interior lighting.

Power is from the 1NZ-FE 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine familiar from the Scions and the Prius. Here is makes 106 horsepower at 6000 rpm, with 103 lb-ft of torque at 4200 rpm, and drives the front wheels through either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Like most current Toyota engines, it is an aluminum alloy unit with dual overhead cams, four valves per cylinder, VVT-i variable valve timing, coil-on-plug direct ignition, and electronic throttle control. There is a timing chain, not a belt, for lower maintenance.

Fuel economy with the manual is 34 city, 40 highway, with a 37 average. The automatic rates 34/39/36. The engine has a ULEV-II emissions rating.

With no quirks in handling in daily driving situations, the new Yaris looks to be a good choice for anyone looking for inexpensive and economical transportation. The price wasn't announced at the introduction, except to say "under $13,000 base.'' Expect the 2007 Toyota Yaris in showrooms this coming Spring.


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