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2007 Toyota Yaris Sub-Compact Economy Hatchback and Sedan

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Base MSRP Starting at: $13,325 - $14,050

Base Invoice Range: $12,525 - $13,206

MSRP As Tested: Not available

Versions: Liftback, Sedan

Vehicle Category: Sub-Compact Economy Hatchback Coupe and Sedan

Engine Location: Front Engine

Drive Wheels: Front-Wheel Drive<.

Standard Engine: Dual Overhead Cam, 16-valves, I-4, 106 -horsepower at 6000rpm< and 103 lb-ft torque at 4200 rpm.

Transmission: Four-speed automatic, Five-speed manual.

Fuel Economy (city/hwy): 34/40.

Standard Safety Features: Dual stage driver and front passenger advanced airbags, Available front side airbags and side curtain airbags for both rows, Child protector rear door locks, Head-impact protection structure, Three-point front seatbelts with pretensioners and force limiters, Three-point rear seatbelts, Available Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Daytime running lights (Liftback only).

Competition: Chevrolet Aveo, Dodge Neon, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Mazda 3, Nissan Sentra, Pontiac Sunfire, Scion xA, Suzuki Aerio, Volkswagen Golf and GTI.


Despite having what most Americans would consider a rather odd name, the 2007 Toyota Yaris is expected to do very well state-side once it hits showroom floors in mid-spring. The Yaris will replace the Echo as Toyota's vastly improved entry in the sub-compact category. First introduced in Europe in 1999, the Yaris gained notoriety in 2000 after being named both European Car of the Year and Japan Car of the Year. It is the first vehicle to win both awards in the same year.

With that solid ground to support it, Toyota took the overseas model a step further by widening and lengthening it, as well as building it on an all-new platform (which both the Yaris liftback and sedan share). With three trim levels - CE, LE, and the sedan-only S - this is a commuter's dream car, getting 34 miles to the gallon in the city and 40 MPG on the highway. With gas prices being what they are right now, the '07 Yaris is should be a definite consideration for anyone who drives a lot but still wants to maintain a level of fun and sophistication while having ample storage space.


In a country where monstrous gas guzzlers crowd the highways, the Yaris looks at first to be too miniscule to do much more than get run over. The two-door liftback resembles a Disney-esque cartoon insect, with rounded bumpers and a tiny hood that's much longer than it is wide. There's not much to the front end - but then, there's not a whole lot of engine there to need it. The four-door sedan is part liftback, part Avalon and Corolla, but never quite leaves behind that Euro-feel. A rear spoiler adds to the sportiness of the sedan, which takes on a fantastic look in the form of the S trim level. The S adds a neat little body kit that compliments the integrated fog lamps and gives the car a more expensive look.

The windshield on both models is quite large, allowing the driver a great view of the road. The overall shape of both the sedan and liftback is visually pleasing; the light hits the right angles, making for a reasonable yet fashionable car that's not too trendy or funky to appeal to the larger audience Toyota is shooting for.

And Toyota hits that audience again with its incredible number of color choices: 15 in all. The liftback and sedan share just two of these colors predictably, black and white.

The only thing we're not too fond of? The tiny 15-inch wheels. You can upgrade to alloy, which is recommended, but don't expect to go out and buy 18's and expect them to fit.


Those who dislike European cars also won't be too happy with Toyota's placement of the instrument panel, which is located in the center of the dash above the air conditioning and audio controls.It is different than what the average American is used to. Some Saturns and Mini Coopers also do this. In fact, after a few minutes of driving, one can easily see Toyota's logic in choosing to place the dials in the center - it's actually more convenient to glance down vertically to the middle of the dash, rather than have to duck and bob around a steering wheel that obstructs your view of the speedometer. Plus, aesthetically, it's cleaner, and frees up room behind the steering wheel for a mini glove compartment that's great for storing sunglasses, maps, a wallet and whatever else you can shove in there.

Another odd-at-first feature is the headrests, which are integrated into the rear seats and can be adjusted up and down according to the rear passengers' preference. But we like this feature - especially considering that there's already limited visibility out the back window of the sedan models. Having adjustable headrests make visibility better because you don't always have to look around a big headrest. Plus, it makes folding down the seats 60/40 (a feature that's standard on both LE models and the S) even easier.

With the rear seats down, you'll get a surprising 14 cubic feet of cargo room. In fact, as far as space goes, the Yaris impresses at every turn - even in the liftback. There's ample head, shoulder and legroom, even in the rear. The sedan offers two more inches of legroom for passengers. You sit in comfortable seats that have a great shape for longer trips (unless you're traveling with a car-load in the liftback). Around tight corners, you'll slide around a bit because of the lack of side bolsters, but it's not distracting or dangerous.

Toyota adds a bit edginess to the interior with interesting mesh-like cloth seats and silver-tone accents around the dash controls. They've also added a ton of neat little cubbies, from the water-bottle holder in the door panel to the dual glove compartments located in the dash in front of the front passenger. We're not thrilled with the fold-down cup holder that partially blocks the air conditioning vents, but it's nice to have them fold up and out of your way under the vents when they're not in use.

There's no audio system at all in the base CE sedan or liftback (though it's audio-prepped). It's weird to find a car without at least a radio in it. However, the LE comes equipped with an AM/FM/CD/MP3 player with four speakers that pump out surprisingly clear sound.

Upping the sophistication factor is that oh-so-subtle sound when you close the doors. Thanks to energy-absorbing door panels, the doors are incredibly quiet, and have that same, muffled "thud" you find in BMWs and other expensive brands.


Though there's not a lot under the hood, the Yaris isn't built for speed. It's meant for those who like its gas-saving and commuter-friendly aspects, so keep that in mind when the Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) 16-valve 1.5-liter, inline-4 cylinder engine doesn't scream. With 106 horsepower (at 6,000 RPM) and 103 lb-ft of torque (at 4,200 RPM), it's got the right amount of kick considering its size, price range, and purpose. The engine does, however, come with Toyota's Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which helps conserve gas and make the best engine choices depending on driving conditions.

You'll have the choice of a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. That automatic comes with the convenient uphill/downhill shift logic, which recognizes the angle of the road and helps avoid annoying repeated up- and down-shifting. You'll find front disc and rear drum brakes standard on all models (although ABS is offered as an upgrade to this). And that's too bad because there is no reason that a modern vehicle should have anything but four-wheel disc brakes.

The stronger, stiffer chassis is due to the all-new suspension: rigid L-arm Macpherson struts in the front and rear torsion beams in the back. The torsion beams are hydroformed, giving the car a necessary anti-roll stabilization and eliminating the need for a separate anti-roll bar. This new suspension system is 40 percent stiffer than the suspension found on the Echo, meaning a firmer, safer ride.


These are fun cars to drive considering the price. They're sensible and inexpensive, but seem to understand the connection between driver and the gas pedal. Acceleration is adequate in the automatic, although the manual transmission has a lot more pep. Throttle response is above average, though the manual feels a little too tight between the first and second gears. It takes a few stoplights before you'll become accustomed to this.

The liquid-filled engine mounts mean the ride is quieter, too - another characteristic that's hard to find in comparably-priced cars. Freeway driving is comfortable and quiet, with little float. You'll feel the bumps only occasionally, and there's practically no major blind spots in the car - always a great plus.


While we are always of the mind that Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS) should come standard on all vehicles, it is not standard on the Yaris. However you won't pay an arm and a leg to upgrade a Yaris to include this important feature. Features that are standard include front and rear crumple zones that work together with the energy-absorbing materials in the roof and doors. These together make for a reinforced cabin that's rarely found in cars under $20,000.

Three-point seat belts and headrests are also standard for all five occupants, and the front safety belts boasts pretensioners and force limiters. In the rear, you'll find the kid-friendly LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) and child safety door locks. Both front seats have dual-stage airbags that inflate depending on the severity of the collision. An occupant sensor for the front passenger seat determines whether there's anyone there, and will deploy the airbag only if it needs to. This saves you cash on costly repairs.

Optional safety features include: driver and passenger side airbags, and front and rear side curtain airbags with rollover sensors.


This isn't a car you buy for its safety features. And it isn't a car you buy for speed or sportiness. Buy it because it is a fun little vehicle that will get you where you - and all your stuff - need to go, and do it for relatively little money. It mixes functionality with convenience and personality, and will appeal to a younger audience who breathe a sigh of relief when they discover it is an Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle (ULEV-II).

The 2007 Toyota Yaris is highly-recommended for those on a budget, who need a functional car, and whom can do with out bells and whistles. If money is paramount, and you want a brand new car, Yaris should be on the top of your shopping list.

Pros: Inexpensive. Good, basic transportation. Build quality.

Cons: For the Yaris S, the S stands for "sedan", rather than "sport" as is the case with most other brands -- a bit deceptive. Dinky 15" wheels.

Ratings (1-10)

  • Style: 5 (sedan: 6)
  • Performance: 4
  • Price: 9
  • Handling: 5
  • Ride: 6
  • Comfort: 6
  • Quality: 6
  • Overall: 6

More Data

Where Built: USA

Major Options: Convenience package includes: AM/FM/CD with MP3 capability and MP3 mini-jack, rear defroster, 60/40 split fold 15-inch steel wheels with cover, and rear wiper, and 15-inch steel. Power package includes: anti-lock brakes, power slide/recline/fold flat multi-function rear seat door, locks, power windows, power mirrors, (requires Convenience package) cruise control, unique interior trim, and tachometer (requires Convenience package) Driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags and side curtain airbags, Anti-lock brakes, Cold area package (excludes rear defroster on Convenience package or Power package), 15-inch alloy wheels (requires Power package), Rear spoiler (requires Power package), Fog lamps (requires Power package), Remote keyless entry (requires Power package).

Seating: 4

Number of Rows: 2

Length in Inches: 150.0 -169.3

Warranties: 3 years/36,000 miles Comprehensive, 5 years/60,000 miles Powertrain, 5 years/unlimited miles Corrosion protection.

Weight in Pounds: 2292 lbs - 2326 lbs.

Cargo Capacity in Pounds: Not available.

Gross Maximum Vehicle Weight in Pounds: Not available.

Towing Capacity in Pounds: Not available.

Gas Tank Capacity in Gallons: 11.1

Destination Charge: $580