The most recent car brought to me for review earlier this week was the new 2015 Toyota Yaris . The model was the 5-door SE Liftback in Blue Streak metallic paint. And I like blue, particularly this shade – it was coupled with nice, black fabric seats, and black and silver-colored, 16″ alloy five-spoke wheels.
The Yaris, which has been around since 2007, was substantially updated for the 2015 model and marketing of it started late last summer. A big change to the car involved production of it in France instead of in Japan. Styling is new in many respects, but drive train components are much like the 2014. The styling, by the way, is an improvement in my mind.
The name of this car is derived from the word Charis, the Greek goddess of elegance and beauty. And the German expression of affirmation, “ya” is added onto the front of the name. It could just as surely refer to the target market of this car, Young Adults. On balance, it is a suitable name, and the Toyota people probably don’t mind that the word looks like the cultural epicenter of Europe, Paris (in France).
Ruth and I jumped into the Yaris and drove to Cracker Barrel to get something to eat. Getting in the car wasn’t particularly difficult, and the highway manners were fine for a subcompact. The base price of the Yaris SE is 17,620.00, and the total M.S.R.P. is 18,625.00, including freight ($825.00) and carpeted floor and trunk mats ($180.00). Standard equipment on the Yaris included 4-speed automatic, front-wheel drive, real hand brake, electric power steering/windows/locks, color-keyed power mirrors, anti-lock braking system, air conditioning, remote keyless entry, CD/stereo with USB and aux. jack, tire pressure monitor, tilt wheel, and a 60/40 fold-down rear seat. Behind that last item is a 15.6 cu. ft. luggage compartment, with an articulating package tray above it.
Dimensions associated with the Yaris SE are overall length of 154.7″, wheelbase of 98.8″, and curb weight of 2,315 lbs. The fuel tank holds 11.1 gallons of regular unleaded gasoline and the car seats five people.
Yaris power is provided by a 1.5 liter, 4-cylinder, 106 hp (6,000 rpm) engine with variable valve timing. Torque is 103 lb. ft. (4,200 rpm), and acceleration is OK (zero to 60 in perhaps a touch under ten seconds.) Gas mileage ratings are 30 in town and 36 on the highway (an increase in highway mileage for 2015). I observed a reading of 32.5 overall. The car rides on P195/50R16 Bridgstone Turanza EL400 mud and snow radials. Turning circle of the Yaris is 36.1 feet.
On this day the food in Loveland was good, and the ride back was a pleasure and I was proud to be seen in the Yaris. I guess I looked a little old, but Ruth didn’t. Would I let one of our three daughters drive, buy, ride in, lease, or borrow a Yaris? I sure would.