Shopping for a new Toyota Yaris?
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STYLING | 7 out of 10
looked understatedly playful
a face only a mother could love
Car and Driver
4-door Yaris sedan looks like the little brother of the Corolla
Road & Track
The Yaris still manages to look quite stylish compared to most other models in its class—especially as a hatchback—even though it's been three years since its U.S. introduction. The two body styles of this model clearly cater to two different classes. While the sedan is slightly more conservative in its trims and interior treatment, the three- and five-door Liftback models are more flamboyant, with a more aerodynamic look, European design influences, and a rear roof spoiler atop the hatch.
"The two-door hatch's funky styling was born in Toyota's European design studio," notes Automobile Magazine, while Road & Track proposes that the four-door Yaris sedan "looks like the little brother of the Corolla." Autoblog thinks "the design is deliberately weird enough" to be sold under Toyota's youth-oriented Scion brand instead. "Indeed," continues the Autoblog reviewer, "Toyota's supposedly hipper sub-brand offers the xD, a five-door on the same architecture as the three and four-door Yaris models." Car and Driver stands apart from most other reviewers and actively dislikes the styling, saying that it "shouts bland and inexpensive" and "has a face only a mother could love."
A Sport Package adds sport seats, larger wheels, a mild body kit, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, all resulting in a different look for this econocar. Autobytel reports, "Outside, the S body kit and 15-inch wheels worked wonders on our tester, at least implying some sport if not actually delivering it." Road & Track also points out that "Yaris owners can up the ante with TRD accessories including suspension modifications, sport exhaust and 18-in. alloy wheels."
Inside, the Yaris has a very unconventional look, with a center-mounted gauge cluster and Liftback models offering large storage areas behind a slim center stack of controls. The interior is a contrast of elements good and bad, desirable and tacky, as Toyota obviously is trying to make a fashionable cabin while watching its price very carefully. Regarding the unusual location of the speedometer, Automobile Magazine says, "Toyota insists that drivers eventually get used to the unconventional location—yeah, and convicts eventually get used to cell block D." But Road & Track sees more humor in the center-mounted gauges, quipping, "Now everybody in the car can see how fast you're going, or how much fuel you have left." But as controversial as it might be, the layout "lends the Yaris a bigger feel inside," notes Autoblog.
The 2010 Toyota Yaris proves that small economy cars don't have to look dull, even if the more daring styling stirs controversy in some areas.