Toyota's second-generation Yaris compact car is set to go on sale in the U.S. in spring 2006 as a 2007 model. Serving as a replacement for the automaker's Echo, the Yaris will be available in two-door-hatchback or sedan form. It will be Toyota's most affordable car in the U.S. market, according to the automaker. Now in its second generation, the Yaris has been sold in Europe since 1999.
The Yaris' hatchback design recalls the xA, a car built by Toyota's Scion brand. Styled in Europe, the Yaris has short overhangs, a forward-swept rear hatch and a snub nose. Body-colored mirrors and door handles are standard.
Measuring 150.6 inches long overall, the Yaris is more than 3 feet shorter than the Toyota Camry. However, at 60 inches in overall height, it's about an inch taller. The front suspension uses MacPherson struts, while a torsion beam setup is installed in back.
Like the Echo, the Yaris has a center-mounted instrument cluster. Three climate-control knobs are positioned vertically in the center control panel below the stereo, lending to the interior's interesting appearance.
A 60/40-split rear seat that can recline, slide fore and aft, and fold flat is optional. A stereo with MP3 playback capability and a mini-jack input, as well as power windows, mirrors and locks, are also available.
Under the Hood
A 1.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 106 horsepower and 103 pounds-feet of torque (preliminary specifications) powers the Yaris. Either a four-speed-automatic or five-speed-manual transmission can be installed.
Available safety features include antilock brakes, side-impact airbags and side curtain-type airbags.
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