Car Review: the Toyota Yaris has been redesigned for 2012

The 2012 redesign of the Toyota Yaris put this car squarely at the top end of its competition.

DALLAS, February 6, 2012 — This is one car that is well worth the price you pay when you drive it off the lot. The 2012 Toyota Yaris that I drove was only in the $17,000 range and yet, unlike most cars at that price, it felt sturdy and long lasting.

The Yaris has been redesigned in 2012, and even though it’s a hatchback in the economy range, it’s worth it for any car buyer to take a look.  

Longer by almost three inches with the 2012 redesign, making its competition the Hyundai Accent, Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit and the Nissan Versa.  

There are three trims to consider when choosing the 2012 Toyota Yaris in the two or the four-door hatchback with L or LE for either choice. There is also the sportier SE trim offered on the four-door. 

On the L trim you get 15-inch steel wheels, an intermittent front windshield wiper and a rear windshield wiper, power door locks, four-way-adjustable front seats, a tilt steering wheel, and a fold-down rear bench seat.  

On the LE trim there are power windows, remote keyless entry, a six-way-adjustable driver seat, auxiliary steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, and 60/40-split fold-down rear seat. Only on the LE do you get cruise control too. For the sportier SE trim you can add a sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, performance tires, four-wheel disc brakes, fog lamps, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, and an upgraded upholstery.

Redesigned Toyota Yaris

With front-wheel-drive, the 2012 Yaris has a 1.5-liter inline-4 engine with 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. You get a five-speed manual transmission or an option to that is a four-speed automatic.

For safety the Yaris has antilock brakes with rear drums on all but the SE trim. The SE trim features four-wheel discs. There is also traction and stability control, front head restraints, front seat side airbags, and front and rear side-curtain and driver knee airbags. 

The interior of the 2012 Toyota Yaris is a success story too with a simple design inside, but seats are comfortable and well thought out. The layout is uncomplicated making everything easy to find, and the interior offers a fresh feel to it. The backseat has enough leg room for passengers to sit comfortably as well, not that common in economy cars these days.

For traveling, the Yaris is also not a bad choice with luggage space in the rear that offers a good amount of room. In the four-door there is 15.6 cubic-feet for hauling.  

A comfortable drive and definitely firm on the road, you will feel stable while driving the Yaris. For a fresh, eco-minded choice with great handling and a snazzy attitude on the road, check this one out for your next car.

Should You Need to Know: The 2012 redesign has given the 2012 Toyota Yaris an entirely new audience who can appreciate what it has to offer.  

Miles Per Gallon: In the city, the Yaris I drove came in at 30 miles per gallon and on the highway at 38 miles per gallon, making driving a pleasure again.

Cost:  I drove the SE liftback with a price tag of $17,340. 

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with has over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 13-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a radio show in Los Angeles called Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  She also contributes travel and auto to the Anthony Duva show, which can be heard live from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST every Sunday at  HYPERLINK “”  

Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association, writes for the Dallas Morning News Green Living Section as well as artist profiles and  HYPERLINK “http://www.greensourceDFW” www.greensourceDFW and spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books. Her latest book releases are both “Haunted Dallas” and “Haunted Fort Worth” from  HYPERLINK “”  You can also follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.



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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.


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