2012 Toyota Yaris Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Toyota Yaris Hatchback

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Toyota Yaris Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 106 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 30/35 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2012 Toyota Yaris

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • With more cargo capacity, sharper sheet metal and sportier suspension tuning, the redesigned 2012 Toyota Yaris moves up a few notches on the economy-hatch hierarchy.

  • Safety | Rating Details
  • Pros

    High fuel efficiency; agreeable handling; simple but stylish interior.

  • Cons

    Less cargo capacity than some rivals; no telescoping steering wheel.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Toyota Yaris is fully redesigned.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Avoid stick shift with size

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Vehicle: 2012 Toyota Yaris L 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)

If you rest your shoe on the L model's dead pedal, it constantly gets caught under the clutch pedal, and you end up having to hover that foot above the clutch when you anticipate a gear change soon. The gear shift feels very crude and notchy. Stick shift does yield more zoom-zoom over automatic, but the LE model with automatic shift and more creature comforts - such as power windows - will make your drive more enjoyable. I had an LE model in 2006 which easily survived being T-boned in the driver door by pickup truck, and I traded it for a VW Rabbit. My 2012 L stick easily yielded 32 mpg in short city drives, but after 5 months I'm dumping it for a great Mazda3 iTouring hatch.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

I do not recommend the

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Vehicle: 2012 Toyota Yaris SE 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

I've owned my 2012 Yaris almost one year and I regret having bought it. The only good thing I can say about it is the gas mileage (I average 33.5). The construction is shoddy. The front bumper is barely held onto the frame. There is no foam under the rear bumper. The front wheel wells are made of the thinnest, cheapest plastic I've ever seen used in this manner on a car. The car lacks sound dampening and the noise intrusion into the cabin at highway speeds is deafening. Not even the cheap stock stereo can drown out the noise. The steering wheel does not telescope, leading to a very uncomfortable seating position. Buy a 9th generation Corolla instead. Much better quality. Same MPG.



9 of 9 people found this review helpful

My 1st toyota

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Vehicle: 2012 Toyota Yaris LE 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

After 12 years i have left ford and selected a Toyota Yaris. I test drove the fiesta and loved it but after researching and hearing possible problems with their new transmissions and the price of the car i decided to look at the kia soul which i really liked, but then i researched them and found it was a nightmare with customer neglect and warranty drama. So i researched the Yaris and found mostly positive information. I read and watched every review on youtube so i decided to test drive it and fell in love. Yes it's not a ford mustang but the engine in that car speeds like you cant imagine on the freeway. The ride is super soft and coming from ford thats a gift from god. so i bought it!



3 of 6 people found this review helpful

This car is awsome!

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Vehicle: 2012 Toyota Yaris LE 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

I have this car now for about a few weeks and love every ride out of it. Very impressed with its slick performance and styling. I did not expect much cargo space for it's segment, but can easily fit my weekly grocery and then some. Lots of leg room and convenient interior design. Reduced my stops at the gas station. It could use a center storage and an arm rest.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

I love my 2012 yaris

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Vehicle: 2012 Toyota Yaris LE 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

I didn't like my 2010 Honda Fit 4 door because I felt crunched in the drivers side and looked at the 2012 Yaris and knew it was for me. I had a previous 2008 Toyota Yaris ( basic) traded it in for a 2010 Honda and now realized that I should have kept my old Honda fit, but realized that I have a great 2012 Toyota Yaris, which I will keep for many years.



2 of 15 people found this review helpful

Good economic car

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Vehicle: 2012 Toyota Yaris LE 4dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

Good car economical. It could use a middle consold but overall exellent reliable keeping the Toyota high standarts.



Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 30
  • cty
/
  • 35
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Toyota Yaris Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Toyota Yaris is fully redesigned.

Introduction

For an example of Darwinian evolution, just take a look at the 2012 Toyota Yaris. As the economy-car segment grew more competitive, the previous-generation Yaris found itself at the back of the pack in terms of overall appeal. Shoppers flocked to newer models that offered greater utility, better handling and more refinement. Though reasonably popular when it debuted back in 2007, the Yaris eventually became one of the poorest-selling models in the segment.

To ensure its survival, the Yaris needed to adapt, and with this in mind, Toyota has given it a top-to-bottom overhaul for 2012. The new model is longer by 2.9 inches, and that's been utilized to free up considerably more luggage space. Suspension tuning has been adjusted for improved driving feel, and both the sheet metal and cabin benefit from face-lifts -- the previous generation's much-derided center-mounted gauges are a thing of the past.

Other changes include larger wheels and the addition of a trick new mono-arm windshield wiper said to deliver better cleaning and wiping action. The lineup has been streamlined -- the sedan is gone, with only the two- and four-door hatchbacks remaining -- and safety has risen thanks to nine standard airbags and front seats designed to lessen whiplash injury. The 2012 Yaris is more expensive than last year, but Toyota has added more features as standard. There's also a new sportier SE trim for those seeking additional performance.

One thing that hasn't changed is the car's engine -- the previous generation's 1.5-liter, 106-horsepower four-cylinder soldiers on, and it's outclassed by choices like the Hyundai Accent's spiffy, direct-injection 138-hp mill. And while this Yaris offers much more cargo room than its predecessor, it continues to come up a little short relative to rivals like the Accent, Chevrolet Sonic and Nissan Versa.

This year's redesign clearly makes the 2012 Yaris a more appealing proposition at just the right time. While it may be shy of benchmark status for the subcompact segment, its added refinement and improved dynamics make it a competitive pick, along with the Accent, Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit. Still, with Toyota reliability, impressive safety features and handsome sheet metal on its side, this capable little hatch should have no problem building its audience.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Toyota Yaris is a subcompact economy car available as either a two- or four-door hatchback. The L and LE trims are offered in both these configurations, while the sporty SE trim is offered only as a four-door.

Standard features on the L include 15-inch steel wheels, an intermittent front mono-arm windshield wiper, a rear windshield wiper, power door locks, air-conditioning, four-way-adjustable front seats, a tilt steering wheel, a trip computer, a fold-down rear bench seat, a cargo cover and a four-speaker CD player with an auxiliary audio jack, a USB audio interface and satellite radio.

With the LE, you also get power windows, remote keyless entry, a six-way-adjustable driver seat, auxiliary steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, upgraded interior trim, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity, and an upgraded six-speaker sound system with HD radio. Those who opt for the SE trim get a sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, performance tires, four-wheel disc brakes, a unique grille, foglamps, cruise control, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and upgraded cloth upholstery.

Cruise control is the only option offered on the Yaris, and it's available solely on the LE trim.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive 2012 Toyota Yaris is powered by a 1.5-liter inline-4 engine with an output of 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, with a four-speed automatic available as an option. In an Edmunds test, a Yaris SE with the manual transmission took 9.3 seconds to reach 60 mph, a slightly quicker time than average for this class. An automatic-equipped car will likely be decidedly slower.

EPA estimates for the manual-equipped Yaris are 30 mpg city/38 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined; with the automatic, these numbers dip to 30/35/32 mpg. As such, while not quite as frugal as the class-leading Accent (30/40/33), the Yaris sips less gas than most of the competition.

Safety

Standard safety features include antilock brakes (rear drums for all models except the SE, which gets four-wheel discs), traction and stability control, active front head restraints front seat side airbags, front and rear side-curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. In Edmunds brake testing, the Yaris stopped from 60 mph in 121 feet: an average distance for this segment.

Interior Design and Special Features

Front seats in the 2012 Toyota Yaris are well-padded and supportive, and perched high to afford clear views of the road ahead. Backseat accommodations are generous, with ample leg- and toe room. Though materials quality isn't particularly ambitious, there are some nicely grained plastics in evidence. And while the cabin design is simple and its control layout is familiar, it's all executed with a modern flair that catches the eye.

A four-speaker stereo is now standard equipment, and its crisp, sharp sound quality is better than average for this segment. A factory-installed navigation system isn't available; however, given that there are many portable and handheld models on the market that do the job for thousands less, we imagine that this omission won't be an issue for many shoppers.

Luggage capacity behind the rear seats in the four-door Yaris is 15.6 cubic feet, or about the same as a Fiesta. While this is a huge improvement over the previous generation, it's still less room than you'll find in the Fit (20.6 cubic feet), Accent (21.2 cubic feet) and Versa (17.8 cubic feet).

Driving Impressions

Given that there are many six-speeds in this segment, the 2012 Yaris' four-speed automatic may seem archaic; still, the setup deserves credit for going about its business without the excessive, fuel-conscious race to top gear by 45 mph we've seen in other models. The Yaris has enough power to inspire confidence as it takes you through city traffic and comfortably up to freeway speeds. Its pleasant handling is certainly a plus; the Yaris has a sprightly, can-do demeanor and maintains its composure in corners. The SE is noticeably and measurably sportier, with quicker steering and a buttoned-down suspension. At our test facility, the SE's agility and grip were at or near the top of its class. However, its ride quality isn't as soft as either the L or LE, and its turning circle is noticeably wider as well.

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