Improved in most aspects
Toyota has put a new spin on the old adage “don’t mess with success” in that the foundation of the Yaris has not changed. For 2012, Toyota will market a basic three-door CE, while the five-door hatchback will come in LE and SE trim.
The four-door sedan will remain unchanged for the time being; Toyota Canada states that sedan sales are decreasing while five-door sales are increasing, and they want to see where the market is going.
With the changes made to the design of the five-door model, it is easy to see why sales would increase. The rear hatch provides easy access to the cargo area and space utilization is better than in the sedan. Rumor has it that three hockey bags can fit in the back and that dad and the three kids can fit in the car comfortably, after their post-game shower.
All of this comes about because of minor sheet metal changes and major interior changes. On the outside, the roofline is 15 mm lower, the wheelbase is 55 mm longer and overall length has increased by 75 mm or 105 mm, depending on which of the two models you measure.
Overall, the Yaris hatchback looks better balanced than before. When you look at the car from different angles, it doesn’t have that pinched-in look and it flows from front to rear in a much more pleasing style. There is no way that you will mistake this car for anything other than a Yaris five-door.
More rear-seat legroom
Inside, it is equally impressive. That increase in wheelbase has translated into more rear-seat legroom, while a resculpting of the front seatback has added to the increase in kneeroom. Space is such that two full-sized adults can sit in the back comfortably for a couple of hours.
Up front, the seats are much more comfortable. The seat adjusting mechanisms have been redesigned, with more teeth on the adjustment gears so that it is much easier to find a comfortable driving position. For fine-tuning your driving position, the steering wheel is tilt adjustable but doesn’t telescope.
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