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2008 Toyota Yaris

Created by dave. Last edited by dave, 15 years and 332 days ago. Viewed 7,365 times. #3
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2008 Toyota Yaris LE

Red 4-door hatch

Purchased April 2008 from Kanata Toyota

Engine: 1.5L inline 4

Drivetrain: Front Wheel Drive

Transmission: Automatic

Brakes: Power disc/drum

Interior Appointments:

  • Air Conditioning
  • power windows
  • power mirrors
  • power steering
  • 4 speaker AM/FM CD MP3 stereo (Toyota original equipment)
  • keyless entry
Wheels and Tyres:

Body Condition: Brand new

General Comments:

So… um… yeah. The >>Subaru is no more, and in its place we have this… thing.

What's to like?

  • Price. We got the car brand new, and it's one of the cheaper cars on the market. It's cheaper than the Honda Fit. And on top of that, it qualifies for the $1000 fuel economy rebate from the federal government.
  • Name Brand. It's a Toyota, so we expect that we will get at least the twelve years of service that the Subaru gave us.
  • Fuel Economy. In practice, it goes as far on 40L as the Subaru did on 60L. Same driver (me), same driving load (more or less).
  • Big Mirrors. Yep, the side-view mirrors are half-again the size of anything else I've driven save the gigantic moving van the wife and I rented to pick up a "free" couch. You get a pretty good view of what's going on behind you with these mirrors.
  • It Drives Better Than A 2008 Hyundai Accent. When test driving the Accent, I got in it, made the right turn onto the street, and thought: "No." The drive quality just isn't there, and even though the Accent has much more standard equipment and was way (and I mean wa-a-a-y) cheaper than the Yaris, I just didn't want one.

What's not so good?

  • Seating Position. I sit more upright in this car than in the old one. This is because the car is shorter, but I always feel slightly cramped.
  • Viewing Position. After six weeks with the car, I'm still having trouble seeing around the A-pillars, they always seem to be where I need to look to avoid hitting pedestrians and other cars. I also don't like the rearview mirror for the same reason, I'm always having to look under it.
  • Engine Power. The car has a 100bhp motor, but it's tuned for economy. Plus, on our car, it's mated to a...
  • Automatic Transmission. The wife is reluctant to learn a manual, so we got the automatic. The engine pulls away smartly in first gear, but once it shifts above that, performance becomes measurable with a sundial.
  • Cabin Noise. The car is very buzzy when going down the road. This is probably due to limited noise-dampening material in the car, which was undoubtedly omitted for cost and weight reasons.
  • Traction. Now sure, I'm spoiled because I came from a larger, heavier, AWD car. I don't like wheelspin. To be sure, you don't get it very often with the engine and transmission combination we have, but it still happens.
  • Rear Seat Space. Jenn's had some of her friends in the back and they say it's OK, but I can't get some of my gear in the car the way I could with the Legacy. I can't imagine having to do a long range trip in this car.
  • Trunk Space. There's very little room in the back with the rear seats up. There is some good storage under the trunk in where the spare tire lives, but for day-to-day groceries, space is at a premium.
  • Sound System. By default, the stereo is to bass-y, with the higher sounds getting lost in the buzzy interior noise. It seems to have been designed to impress teenagers who think bass is where it's at. By dialing down the bass and boosting the volume you can hear things better, but overall the cabin is too hostile an environment to do "serious" listening.
  • Fun To Drive. As in, it isn't. Take all of the above, and you have a car that's good for taking you and (some) of your stuff from where it is to where you want it to be. Seriously, the only people who would consider it "fun" would be that those who have never driven before, or those who have owned some other "first car" like some 15-year-old clapped out Pontiac. There's absolutely no incentive to hustle the car, and no reward should you even try.

Overall Impression

All my complaints are possibly valid ones, but what do you expect? It's a Yaris. It will be perfectly adequate for getting me around on a day-to-day basis. The fact that I don't have as much fun with it as I had with its predecessor doesn't really factor.

And with fuel prices behaving the way they have over the last year or so, it may turn out to be a stunningly smart move.

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