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Behind the wheel of the small, cool and oh so comfy Toyota Yaris |


Behind the wheel of the small, cool and oh so comfy Toyota Yaris

MISS TECH - Kathy Moran - The Philippine Star

Small cars are cool — especially if one is stuck in traffic. These little beasts of beauty can be the just the vehicle for that smooth overtaking in a tight situation.

And, the Toyota Yaris, which I recently got to take on a spin, was definitely just an answered prayer for this traffic-hating, need-for-overtaking driver like me.

Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) designed the all-new Yaris with a sportier, more confident and oh so stylish design. What I noticed immediately was that the Yaris is significantly larger than its predecessor. I must add that I did get a few looks from envious drivers because this already-famous hatchback is also one great looker.

From the outside, the new generation Yaris has been given a substantial upgrade in its length by over +315mm, making it more spacious and comfortable. Moreover, it cops the right balance between sharp edges and smooth surfaces — expressing the vehicle’s personality of being a very fashion-forward car.  Let me add that it is not all about looks — the Yaris has been redesigned with an aerodynamic design that gives it a more revitalized drive.  Add to these its projector type headlamps, extended tail lamps and blacked out quarter panels.

Step inside

Not to be overwhelmed by what the Yaris looks like form the outside, I did take a few minutes to get familiar with its interiors. I read that the legroom is now 77 mm more and the cargo room has been extended to 81 liters.

So, I sat in the back seat for a bit and imagined what it would be like to be stuck here for a few hours. Although I am a small driver, I was amazed at the legroom the backseat passengers have. Not bad for a small hatchback. Of course, it helps that the vehicle has interior trimmings of leather, chrome and silver accents that boost its sporty and lavish status.

For the trunk space I loaded a few suitcases I had at home, and then I also added a few grocery bags, which were filled. There was still some space to spare, which is always a good thing.



Yet, we all know that a good car must have an engine that can power it no matter the load. The Yaris is equipped with a 1.5G engine. There is also another variant, the 1.3E, which was introduced to achieve fuel economy while remaining robust on the road. Both units come with the same reliable four-cylinder in-line 16-valve DOHC with VVT-I engine.

Just drive

Behind the wheel of the Yaris there is nothing not to like.  With its timely acceleration, it makes the most of the available power it is equipped with while dicing with city traffic.  I also liked the way the Yaris handled itself when tackling a twisty road or a tight traffic situation.

Of course, it can’t be helped that there are lots of stop situations on EDSA. I welcomed these because I got a good view of the cockpit. I fell in love with the nifty dashboard, which is simple and had all the knobs for the radio, air-con and glove compartment close at hand. I appreciate the attention to detail because when one is driving there are times when the driver does not have the luxury of time — and an easy-to-handle dashboard is a blessing.

Sure, I was stuck in traffic for what seemed like forever, but, in the cockpit of the Yaris, I whispered to myself, “Traffic be damned — I am having one cool and comfy drive.”

* * *

The Toyota Yaris is available in Freedom White, Attitude Black, Thermalyte, Gray Metallic and its new shades of Orange Mica Metallic, Red Mica Metallic and Frozen Blue Mica Metallic.

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