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The 2012 Toyota Yaris features a new aesthetic that is less anonymous than that of the previous generation. There are hints of Prius, Matrix, and Camry to be found in its new fascia, and I rather like it.
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The automaker's promotional materials proudly proclaim that the Yaris "is a car!" Yep, you hit the nail right on the head there, Toyota.
The 106-horsepower four-cylinder engine may not wow you with its performance, but it certainly doesn't disappoint, either. Less can be more.
The four-speed automatic gearbox probably costs the Yaris dearly when the time comes tally the miles traveled per gallon of fuel.
A small footprint, particularly like our three-door tester's, is beneficial in a city car.
With lots of glass all around, the Yaris offers excellent 360-degree visibility, making it easy to park and maneuver.
Part of the Yaris' allure is that the small vehicle offers a great deal of interior space.
The rear hatch offers enough space for a few carry-on bags or a load of groceries.
Folding the rear seats flat opens up a ton of space for cargo.
Beneath a false floor, you'll find a space-saver spare tire--and what seems like a ton of wasted storage space.
A single massive wiper handles rain-clearing duties for the front windshield.
The Yaris' cabin is simple and nearly devoid of potential distractions.
Audio controls can be found on the steering wheel.
The instrumentation is basic, just a speedometer and a fuel meter. Stepping up to the SE trim level nets you a tachometer to fill the empty third gauge.
Bluetooth audio streaming is present and accounted for, but a weird AVRCP glitch prevents it from really being useful.
HD Radio, USB/iPod connectivity, and an analog audio connection round out the Yaris' audio sources.
Toyota placed the Yaris' digital audio connections in the glove compartment, rather than at the base of the center stack where they'd be useful.
If you're a fan of Google's Voice Search or Apple's Siri, you'll love the Yaris' hands-free system because it hands off voice control to your smartphone.