You Got to Be Kidding Me!

2009 Toyota Yaris

Posted in Four Wheels, Going Green by Stacy McMahon on September 9, 2008

Car and Driver has a write-up on the ’09 Yaris, including the new 5-door version. My father-in-law owns an ’08 three-door, which I borrowed for three days of commuting this spring. Since my daily drivers are a WRX and a high-wheel scooter, I was destined to be let down by the handling and acceleration of a microcar with 14-inch wheels and a 1500cc motor.

But, but… it was impressive. Body roll aside, the handling could fairly be called go kart-like. It stuck to my chosen heading and the engine was smooth and tractable, if hardly powerful. Beltway cruising was effortless and even reasonably quiet. Best of all, even the base version comes with an aux stereo input (not iPod controls, just an RCA jack) and underfloor cubbies in the wayback – one of the features that makes me such a big Subaru fan. It meets all the mission requirements for dad’s commuter car – decent ride comfort with economical operating costs and enough space for school/sports pickup in a pinch.

This one is on my shortlist along with the Honda Fit, and the new Insight.

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