Toyota added a five-door Liftback to its popular, fuel-efficient Yaris subcompact model line for 2009. The versatile new five-door Yaris joins the three-door Liftback and four-door Sedan, making Yaris the only model line in its segment to offer a full complement of three body styles.
Also new for 2009, all Yaris models feature as standard equipment an anti-lock brake system (ABS), front seat-mounted side airbags and front and rear curtain side airbags. Cruise control is now available on Liftback models, and audio systems are satellite capable. Yaris delivers outstanding fuel economy and for 2008 was awarded the lowest cost of ownership in its segment according to Intellichoice(R). New colors on all Liftback models include Yellow Jolt and Carmine Red Metallic. New colors on Sedan include Zephyr Blue Metallic and Blue Streak Metallic. The Yaris offers the widest color palette in its segment.
Performance and Efficiency
The Toyota Yaris brings a high level of balanced value, safety and a fun-to-drive experience to the entry subcompact segment. Its 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine is equipped with variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and produces 106 hp at 6,000 rpm and 103 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,200 rpm. The optional four-speed automatic transmission features uphill/downhill shift logic to reduce gear "hunting" for smooth performance when driving in hills.
Handling and Ride
The Yaris is built around a highly rigid structure incorporating strategic use of high-tensile steel. Damping materials strategically located throughout the body structure reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) to help give Yaris a comfortable, quiet ride. Suspension and steering are tuned to deliver responsive handling, a smooth ride and excellent maneuverability, including a remarkably tight 32.6-ft. turning circle for the Sedan and 30.8-ft. for the Liftback.
The L-arm MacPherson strut front suspension includes a 0.9-inch stabilizer bar. A hydroformed torsion beam axle for the rear suspension provides the necessary anti-roll stabilization, eliminating the need for a separate anti-roll bar. Both the Yaris Liftback and Sedan ride on standard 175/65 R14 tires with steel wheels and full wheel covers (Sedan and Liftback S have standard 185/60 R15 tires) and offer available newly-styled 15-inch steel or aluminum-alloy wheels.
The sport-themed Liftback and Sedan S models feature color-keyed front and rear under-bumper spoilers; amber illuminated tachometer; sport seat fabric; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; rear window defroster; rear window wiper; AM/FM/CD player with MP3/WMA capability iPod(R) interface; auxiliary audio jack, satellite radio capability, CD text display function; and "S" badging. Aluminum-alloy wheels are available.
Safety and Security
Yaris helps protect its occupants with a reinforced cabin that integrates front and rear crumple zones and energy-absorbing materials on the roof and doors. All five seating positions are equipped with height-adjustable headrests and three-point seatbelts, and the front seatbelts integrate pretensioners and force limiters. Standard driver and passenger advanced dual-stage front airbags (SRS) inflate according to collision severity. A front seat passenger sensor is designed to detect weight capacity on the seat to determine whether the airbag should inflate and the correct inflation power.
Front-seat-mounted side airbags with first and second row roll-sensing side curtain airbags are newly standard for 2009. An anti-lock brake system (ABS) is standard for all 2009 Yaris models and the rear seat is equipped with the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) uniform child restraint anchorage system.
Comfort and Convenience
The comfortable cabin provides rear seating for three with headrests in all seating positions. A 60/40 split rear seatback is included in the optional Convenience Package on Sedan and Power Package on Liftback. Both Yaris models provide easy-to-reach audio and climate controls, an array of storage spaces including a center console with built-in storage, and cup holders in the front and rear. The rear seatback folds down to expand cargo capacity from 9.3 cubic feet to 25.7 cubic feet. The Yaris Liftback interior provides roominess that belies its exterior dimensions. With the 60/40 seatbacks up, the Sedan's spacious trunk offers nearly 12.9 cubic feet of capacity, and folding the seatbacks expands that to 25.7 cubic feet.
The instrument cluster is center-mounted and high on the dash to enhance forward visibility. Generous standard convenience features on Yaris Liftback and Sedan models include air conditioning; tilt steering wheel; digital clock; a map light; intermittent windshield wipers with mist control; and dual sunvisors with vanity mirrors.
Yaris is available with a number of comfort and convenience options, as well as a selection of accessories for individualization. A convenience package that is available on the Sedan and Liftback (standard on Sport models) adds an AM/FM CD player with MP3 capability auxiliary audio jack, satellite radio capability, and CD text display function; a rear defroster; 15-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers; 60/40 folding rear seatbacks (Sedan only); and a rear wiper (Liftback only).
The optional Power Package further equips Yaris with power door locks, windows, and mirrors. For the Sedan, the Power Package also includes upgraded trim and cruise control. For the Liftback, the Power Package also adds engine immobilizer and a 60/40 split rear seat that slides, reclines, and folds completely flat. With the Power Package selected, customers can individualize the Yaris with stand alone options, which include 15-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, remote keyless entry and engine immobilizer (Sedan only). The Liftback is available in six colors and the Sedan is offered in nine colors. Only two colors, Polar White and Black Sand Pearl, are shared by both body styles for an array of 13 color choices over the two bodystyles.
The Yaris Sedan rides on a longer version of the platform, with a 100.4-inch wheelbase versus 96.9 inches for both Liftback models. The Yaris Sedan has an overall length of 169.3 inches compared to 150.6 inches for the Liftback models, and the Sedan is 2.5 inches lower than the Liftbacks, as well. The Yaris Sedan is dimensionally different than the Liftback and distinguished by its own styling. In front, the grille is framed by sharp character lines integrated into the aerodynamic hood and windshield.
Like the Liftback, the Sedan features a "T" face grille that emphasizes the Toyota identity. Eliminating outer moldings from the windshield and door glass helps to enhance aerodynamics and reduce wind noise. In the rear, the tail lamps frame a wide trunk opening. The trunk lid extends down to the bumper molding to provide a substantial appearance as well as easy trunk access.
The distinctive rear styling features large taillights, and the wide liftgate provides easy cargo area access. Styled at Toyota's European design studio, ED², and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) Design Division, the Yaris Liftback features a strong, modern mono-form shape with short overhangs. Its arched beltline and wheels pushed outward at each corner give Yaris Liftback an assertive stance, while integrated bumpers, headlamps, and color-keyed door handles and mirrors lend sophisticated appearance.