Discreet yet effective
There are very few changes to report for 2011. Aside from the redesigned hub caps that mask the 15-inch steel wheels, you won't find anything new in the exterior design.
On the other hand, electronic stability and traction control as well as ABS brakes (front discs, rear drums) have been added to the list of standard features.
The Toyota Yaris Sedan is now only available in a single trim level with two options packages. The ''base'' model is, well, pretty basic. At $14,990, you can forget about climate control, cruise control or power windows. You will get a 4-speaker stereo with auxiliary input, however. Consider this as a non-used alternative to a used car – with a 3-year/60,000-km comprehensive warranty.
For a more respectable ride, turn to the Convenience Package, which costs $1,725 regardless of the transmission selected. This will add air conditioning (with controls that look like the head of a Philishave razor), remote entry, heated power mirrors, power windows and four mudguards, not to mention body-coloured door handles, black window trim and chrome trunk accents.
I cannot wrap my head around the fact that Toyota charges an extra $530 for the Enhanced Convenience Package, which includes cruise control and nothing else. After all, if there's one feature that significantly helps improve fuel economy, this is it. I would happily trade all those chrome accents and body-coloured whatevers for cruise control with the less expensive package.
This marketing trick had me thinking that a fully-loaded Yaris landed in the Corolla's ballpark. I was wrong. A similarly-equipped Corolla CE with manual transmission and cruise control retails for $19,490. In my opinion, the $2,245 gap is substantial enough to sway budget-minded customers in favour of the Yaris.
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2011 Toyota Yaris Sedan Specifications
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