THE RIDE:

2012 Toyota Yaris LE 5-Door Liftback

THE REVIEW:

The Toyota Yaris is the symbol of cheap, highly reliable transportation. Unfortunately, it is also known for being rather unexciting. The 2012 Toyota Yaris 5-door liftback is largely new for 
2012, although the extent of its overhaul may not be that apparent
 upon first glance.

Beneath the Yaris’ tiny hood sits the same 1.5L inline-four-cylinder
that we saw last year. It is still putting out 106 horsepower and 103
lb-ft of torque. The four-cylinder is enough to get Yaris to highway
speeds easy enough, but it isn’t an inspiring presence compared to the
Fiesta’s 120 hp or the Sonic’s 135 hp.

When it comes to moving the power to the wheels the Yaris gets an
optional 4-speed automatic transmission, again not something to write
 home about when the competition is boasting trendy 6-speed gearboxes.
My Yaris was equipped with a {*******check photos*******} “Our Yaris
LE 5-door was equipped with a 5-speed manual, which we were glad to 
sample.”

Toyota claims the Yaris’ received a suspension retune for 2012, the
only improvement of note though is a slightly thicker stabilizer bar.
Unfortunately, the Yaris still isn’t the most rewarding subcompact to
drive compared to its friskier competition.

Fuel economy is slightly improved for 2012, with the manual receiving
30mpg city/ 38mpg highway and the 4-speed automatic coming in at
30/35. My average was 33mpg for the week I had the Yaris.

The first thing I noticed when I sat down in the new Yaris was that
the instrument panel had moved to where I would normally look for it. 
I never was a fan of the center dash pod.

Heating and ventilation knobs are now horizontally aligned instead of
being stacked and overall the dash looks more modern and is more 
functional in usage. The dash did, however, lose its flip-out 
cupholders and the storage bin behind the steering wheel is now gone.
The Yaris’ interior boasts two-tone fabric seats to go along with the
grey and black dashboard. I didn’t care for the industrial cloth used
on the sides of the seat cushion, but otherwise the interior aesthetic
 was good. I also really like having a center armrest, but the Yaris
 Liftback doesn’t offer one.

The greatest improvement in the 2012 Yaris is the increased cargo
space. The wheelbase of the liftback increased by about 2 inches this
year and overall length is up about 3 inches and cargo volume has
climbed to a respectable 15.5 cu-ft. Fold down the rear seating and
you can squeeze out even more room.

The 2012 Yaris packs in more standard equipment than its
predescessors, you now get; four speaker audio, a new stereo with USB
 input and Bluetooth connectivity, a heigh-adjustable driver’s seat, a
60/40 folding rear seat, power door locks, a rear window wiper and
nine airbags. Air conditioning is still optional. A $1,100 Convenience
Package adds A/C, cruise control, keyless entry and power windows.

BRAGGING RIGHTS:

It’s a big improvement over the 2011 Yaris.

THE PRICE:

My Yaris LE 5-Door Liftback came in at $17,290 delivered.

WINDUP:

The 2012 Yaris LE though significantly better than its predecessor is still trying to catch up to its more fuel-efficient, often better equipped, more fun to drive competition.

THE PHOTOS: