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2014 Kia Soul, Bright Silver, 30 mi., $18,310
Review of the 2012 Toyota Yaris
IntroductionThe Toyota Yaris is fully redesigned for the year 2012. The 2012 Toyota Yaris is an affordable passenger car in the Toyota lineup. The 2012 Toyota Yaris is a subcompact economy car available as either a two- or four-door hatchback. The L and LE trims are offered in both these configurations, while the sporty SE trim is offered only as a four-door.
Exterior Design and Special FeaturesStandard features on the L include 15-inch steel wheels, an intermittent front mono-arm windshield wiper, a rear windshield wiper, power door locks, air-conditioning, four-way-adjustable front seats, a tilt steering wheel, a trip computer, a fold-down rear bench seat, a cargo cover and a four-speaker CD player with an auxiliary audio jack, a USB audio interface and satellite radio. The LE trim gets power windows, remote keyless entry, a six-way-adjustable driver seat, auxiliary steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, upgraded interior trim, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity, and an upgraded six-speaker sound system with HD radio, while the SE trim get a sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, performance tires, four-wheel disc brakes, a unique grille, foglamps, cruise control, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and upgraded cloth upholstery. Cruise control is the only option offered on the Yaris, and it's available solely on the LE trim.
EngineThe 2012 Toyota Yaris is essentially a front-wheel-drive subcompact car and is powered by a 1.5-liter inline-4 engine with an output of 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, with a four-speed automatic available as an option.
SafetyStarting with nine standard airbags, the all-new Yaris offers an impressive array of safety features. Standard driver and front-passenger dual-stage airbags (SRS) are complemented by front-seat mounted side airbags and a knee airbag for the driver. Roll-sensing side airbags are fitted to both front- and rear-row seats for a total of nine airbags. The Yaris also features Toyota's Star Safety System, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. The new Yaris also features Smart Stop Technology, Toyota's brake-override system, as standard. The 2012 Toyota Yaris is equipped with Toyota's Advanced Whiplash Injury-Lessening (WIL) front-seat structure. The design helps to ensure that all areas from the head to the lower back are equally supported, helping to reduce whiplash-type injuries during certain types of collisions. The new Yaris features an impact-absorbing body structure utilizing high-tensile strength steel to effectively distribute collision forces. For the first time, Toyota has engineered a single-windshield wiper with wet-arm system for reduced weight and better performance. The system sprays washer fluid from the base of the wiper arm directly in the path of the blade for improved cleaning and wiping action.