What is it?
The hatchback version of the ever-popular Yaris sedan.
Why is it important?
Excellent question. Besides the obvious attraction of a cheap and cheerful hatchback – especially in price- and style-conscious Quebec – there’s the interesting fact the new Yaris hatch is basically a rebadged Mazda.
Those taken aback by such badge-engineering should know that Toyota also sources its fleet little 86 sports car from Subaru; and the hatch’s four-door sibling, the Yaris sedan, is also a Mazda under the skin. Besides, the 2, despite the fact Mazda Canada doesn’t import it into this country, is one of the best econo-boxes extant.
Yaris is powered by an effervescent-like 1.5-litre four with 106 horsepower that boasts 5.8 L/100 km highway fuel economy. A six-speed automatic is available, but max performance and economy comes from rowing the manual’s six speeds your own self.
In keeping with Toyota’s recent focus on passenger safety, the latest Yaris boast no less than six airbags and a full complement of electronic nannies: Active Safety System that includes Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Brake Override System (BOS). There’s also a 7-inch six-speaker Multimedia System with Apple CarPlay.
Perhaps the Yaris’ best foot forward, however, is its aggressive styling. The front grille, for instance, is surprisingly assertive while the rear end is deliciously jelly-bean’ed. As tiny little itty-bitty cars go, it may be the most attractive in Canada.
When will Canada get it?
Look forward to it in September. We’ll hopefully know pricing details closer to that date, too.
Should you buy it?
Well, being so price dependent, I can’t make a final recommendation on the Yaris hatch without knowing its MSRP. But, it’s a fetching little runabout with a fair bit of standard equipment, and the Mazda2 is getting rave reviews in Europe. In other words, if you’re shopping econocars, it’s definitely worth a look.
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