With the recent spike in gas prices, it’s not surprising that more and more people are setting their sights on fuel-efficient cars. With that in mind, here’s candid look at the Toyota Yaris model that performed well in our fuel-economy tests, but didn’t wow us otherwise, especially compared to competing “budget cars.” We tested both the two-door hatchback model and sedan version (with the automatic). They rang in at $12,569 and $15,543, respectively.
The major test-result differences we found between the lighter, manual transmission hatchback and the automatic-equipped sedan were in 0-60 mph acceleration times (hatch: 9.3 seconds, sedan: 11.4) and braking distances (hatch: 0-60 dry 163 ft, sedan: 139 ft).
The non-ABS-equipped hatchback took much longer to stop from 60 mph than the automatic, which had ABS, in both dry and wet tests. Also, at its handling limits, the hatchback is less forgiving, with a tendency to oversteer when you come off the throttle quickly. Fuel economy numbers are about the same: 34 mpg overall for the manual vs. 33 for the auto.