US Bound: 2012 Toyota Yaris Hatchback


Toyota reveals the redesigned Yaris hatchback for the North American market.

Only a month ago, Toyota revealed its all-new Yaris hatchback for the European market, and now the Japanese automaker prepares to launch the new Yaris to the North American market. The all-new Yaris will be available in three-door and five-door variations as well as base L, mid-grade LE and sportier SE trim levels. Toyota says it improved interior fabrics, added a soft-touch dash and a more spacious design to give passengers additional room.

Changes to the Yaris design include an all-new look throughout, additional 2.9-inches in the total length of the vehicle, a 6-inch lower roof height and an updated interior. The new design gives as much as 68 percent more interior cargo room than the current model. The upcoming Yaris will come powered by a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter 16 valve four-cylinder DOHC engine using VVT-i. The 1.5-liter engine produces an output of 106hp and 103 lb-ft of torque, falling just short of the 138 horses churned out by its main South Korean rival, the Hyundai Accent.

The interior features a sporty instrumentation package that includes an analog speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge and digital Multi-Instrument Display. Exclusive sport seats add shoulder-level support for better control and more comfort. The Yaris SE also features a six-way way adjustable driver's seat and four-way adjustable passenger seat with sport fabric trim. Toyota engineers also modified the Yaris with a sport-tuned suspension and a choice of 15- or 16-inch wheels. The SE features both front and rear disc brakes with front disc nearly an inch larger in diameter than L and LE versions.

The base price will range from $14,115 for the L grade three-door hatch with a five-speed manual transmission to $17,200 for the SE grade five-door hatch mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. Sales should begin this fall.

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