2012 Toyota Yaris (US-spec): official details, photos, specs and price

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 19, 2011

Among the core features of the redesigned 2012 Toyota Yaris are the almost $1,000 higher price of entry, the two inches more wheelbase and the three inches added to the length. This newest entry from Toyota into a subcompact segment comes with a carryover engine and transmission in a slightly larger package.

This segment is rapidly becoming more competitive as evidenced by the Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Accent. The extra length and wheelbase seem to have gone into the cargo area and back seat. A passenger who stands six foot can now comfortably sit behind a 6-foot driver. He would even have plenty of headroom and sufficient legroom.

With the rear seats folded down, the cargo area has gained 70 percent compared to the old version. However, at a time when subcompact rivals are offering five and six-speed automatics, Toyota remained conservative with a choice of a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.

This is because executives at Toyota believe that the more automatic gear ratios, when combined with a small four-cylinder engine, will result in a lot of uncomfortable gear hunting which deviates from experiencing a smooth-shifting ride. Regarding the price bump, the company explained that it added significant standard features to all models that were optional before.

Thus, transaction prices will probably stay about the same. Among these standard content that were optional before include a radio with CD player and USB port, a rear-window wiper, power door locks and 15-inch wheels.

Three more airbags are also added to the vehicle, for a total of nine. However, the base Yaris L model still has side-view mirrors adjustable with a thumb as well as crank windows. The base MSRP will range from $14,115 for the L grade three-door liftback with a five-speed manual transmission to $17,200 for the SE grade five-door liftback with a four-speed automatic transmission.

The Sport-Tuned Yaris SE

The Yaris SE is designed for a more exhilarating drive with its interior design, sportier style, quicker ratio steering and, of course, sport-tuned suspension. It utilises front and rear disc brakes, where the diameter of the front discs is nearly an inch more than in the L and LE models. Its alloy wheels are fitted with P195/50R16 tyres.

The SE stands out among other Yaris models with its colour-keyed grille inserted with sport mesh, smoke-trim multi-reflector halogen headlights and integrated fog lights. The front and rear lower spoilers are also colour-keyed, while the spoiler and diffuser at the rear are contrasted by the chrome exhaust outlet and SE logo.

The SE’s interior features a sportier instrument panel which has a digital multi-instrument display, analogue speedometer, tachometer and fuel gauge. The tilt three-spoke steering wheel is enhanced with a leather trim and incorporates the audio controls and the standard cruise control. The seats are designed for comfortably controlled dynamic driving with more support to the shoulder level. The sport fabric trimmed driver and passenger seats are six-way and four-way adjustable, respectively.

Exterior Design

The new 2012 Yaris has undergone a bold makeover, with more length, a lower stance and a longer wheelbase. From any view, the car has a strong presence, thanks to details such as its unique protuberant front shape featuring wide headlights with integrated signal indicators.

The car’s side view shows the beltline slanted at a pronounced angle, and curves that flow to create an image of greater length. The shoulder creases curve around the rear end, resulting in an assertively polished appearance.

The 2012 Yaris is available in eight colours: Super White, Classic Silver Metallic, Black Sand Pearl, Magnetic Grey Metallic, Lagoon Blue Mica, Blazing Blue Pearl, Wave Line Pearl and Absolutely Red.

Interior Design

The design enhancement of the new Yaris is also clearly seen in its interior, which features details only usually seen in more premium automotive segments. The doors close authoritatively and smoothly. There are also more vibration and sound damping materials used to ensure a more peaceful ride. More premium fabrics and soft-touch dash provide a dynamically elegant interior. The new front seats are wider and contoured for enhanced comfort especially on long journeys.

Driving the new Yaris is also made more pleasant due to such features such as the new tilt three-spoke steering wheel with a thicker grip and a flat-bottom shape for less knee interference. The new instrument cluster has been moved from the centre to the front of the driver. Its display includes the average speed, odometer, twin trip meters, outside temperature reading, clock, fuel economy display and Eco-Driving indicator.

The rear seats differ in various Yaris models. The LE and SE variants have a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, while the L models have a one-piece version.

The boot area is now 5.7 inches longer and 2.1 inches wider, resulting in 64 and 68 percent more cargo volume in the 3-door and 5-door versions, respectively. With the rear seats up, maximum cargo capacity is 15.3 cu. ft. for the 3-door and 15.6 cu. ft. for the 5-door.

Press Release

All-New Yaris Sized Right for Fun and Function

With the right size for drivers who need an agile and functional vehicle, the all-new 2012 Toyota Yaris Liftback arrives this fall with sporty styling, outstanding safety features and improved fuel economy.

“There is a lot of excitement in the subcompact category today, but the all-new 2012 Toyota Yaris is at the top of the list when it comes to combining value and fuel efficiency with style and fun,” said Toyota Division Group Vice President and General Manager Bob Carter. “Today’s young, price-conscious shoppers want the complete package that the new Yaris offers: room for their friends and gear, along with a strong list of standard convenience and safety features.”

The all-new Yaris features a remarkable attention to detail in the design and engineering of the vehicle. From its smart, interior design and quiet, refined passenger cabin to its responsive driving dynamics, the 2012 Yaris answers car-shoppers’ demands for a no-compromise vehicle.

Liftback for Today’s Lifestyles
Today, liftback body styles dominate the subcompact vehicle segment, preferred by 70 percent of new retail car buyers in this category. The new Yaris Liftback has been completely redesigned for 2012, featuring a more sporty, aggressive look. The wheelbase has been lengthened by two inches, to 98.8 inches, with the overall length of the vehicle growing by 2.9 inches, to 153.5 inches. The height of the new Yaris is also reduced by 0.6 inches for a stance that is both lower and longer. The result is up to 68 percent more cargo room along with additional headroom and passenger volume, all within a highly aerodynamic body yielding a 0.30 coefficient of drag.

The 2012 Yaris is equally at home navigating through city traffic, heading to the mall or hitting the highway for a road trip. With a tight turning circle and quick, responsive steering, the new Yaris is easy to maneuver on crowded streets and parks in tight spots.

Grade Strategy
The new Yaris will be offered in three grades, with the entry-level L and value-packaged LE editions available either as a three-door liftback or five-door liftback. The sport-tuned SE is available only as a five-door. Standard equipment levels have been improved across all grades while simplifying options to make it easier for customers to find the car they want at an affordable price.

Emphasis on Driving and Performance
The all-new Yaris was designed for fun and functionality. Both three-door and five-door models are powered by a 1.5-liter, 16-valve, four-cylinder DOHC engine equipped with variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i), producing 106 hp at 6,000 rpm and 103 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,200 rpm. The broad torque curve provides plenty of response for both manual transmission and automatic transmission vehicles.

All Yaris L, LE and SE models are available with a new four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, featuring a more compact, lighter-weight design and reduced friction for greater fuel efficiency. A smooth-shifting five-speed manual transmission is available on L and SE models only.

For the all-new Yaris, both the front MacPherson-strut and rear torsion-beam suspension have been tuned to deliver a better ride and improved driving feel. The front stabilizer bar has been increased to 24.2 mm (0.95 in.). Standard tire sizes are increased as well to 15-inch on L and LE versions, and 16-inch on the SE.

Electric power steering provides good road feel at highway speeds while aiding low-speed parking maneuvers.

Nine Standard Airbags Lead Impressive List of Safety Features
Starting with nine standard airbags, the all-new Yaris offers an impressive array of safety features. Standard driver and front-passenger dual-stage airbags (SRS) are complemented by front-seat mounted side airbags and a knee airbag for the driver. Roll-sensing side airbags are fitted to both front- and rear-row seats for a total of nine airbags.

In common with all Toyota vehicles, the Yaris features Toyota’s Star Safety System™, which includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. The new Yaris also features Smart Stop Technology, Toyota’s brake-override system, as standard.

New to the 2012 Yaris is Toyota’s Advanced Whiplash Injury-Lessening (WIL) front-seat structure. The design helps to ensure that all areas from the head to the lower back are equally supported, helping to reduce whiplash-type injuries during certain types of collisions.

The new Yaris features an impact-absorbing body structure utilizing high-tensile strength steel to effectively distribute collision forces.

For the first time, Toyota has engineered a single-windshield wiper with wet-arm system for reduced weight and better performance. The system sprays washer fluid from the base of the wiper arm directly in the path of the blade for improved cleaning and wiping action.

Comprehensive List of Standard Features
In addition to its many safety features, all Yaris models are well equipped with popular comfort, convenience and technology features.

Starting with the Yaris L, all models include standard electric power steering, power-assisted ventilated front disc brakes, power door locks and Cold Weather Package. Other standard features include air conditioning, six cup and bottle holders, and storage cover for the cargo area. Halogen headlamps and intermittent front windshield wiper are also standard.

All models also feature full audio connectivity via USB and auxiliary ports, along with a standard AM/FM/CD player with MP3 and WMA playback compatibility. LE and SE models feature an audio system with HD radio, six speakers and Bluetooth music streaming technology.

The Yaris LE includes standard power windows with driver’s auto-down, power mirrors, and a remote keyless entry system with Engine Immobilizer. The steering wheel features audio controls, and cruise control is available as an option on the LE.

Exterior Styling
The bold new design of the 2012 Yaris is longer and lower, with a longer wheelbase. Its assertive presence is visible from all angles, starting with the distinctive protruding front profile with wide headlamps and integrated turn signals.

The side profile displays a steeply sloped beltline, and flowing curves that appear to stretch the image of the vehicle. The shoulder lines continue around to the rear, creating a sharp, solid look.

Eight colors are available for the new Yaris, including Super White, Classic Silver Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Black Sand Pearl, Absolutely Red, Lagoon Blue Mica, Wave Line Pearl and Blazing Blue Pearl.

Interior Design
The interior has been completely redesigned on the new Yaris, providing a level of detail not often seen on cars in this price class. The doors close with a smooth, solid feel. Additional sound-absorbing and insulating materials make for a quieter ride. Upgraded fabrics and soft-touch dash highlight a more premium, sporty interior. The front seats are now wider, and sculpted to reduce fatigue on long trips.

The driver experience is heightened with a new tilt three-spoke steering wheel, featuring a thicker grip and a flat-bottom shape to reduce knee interference. The instrument cluster, center-mounted in the previous Yaris, is relocated in front of the driver and includes a multi-instrument display with odometer, twin trip meters, clock, outside temperature reading, fuel economy display, average speed and Eco-Driving indicator.

Yaris L models feature a one-piece folding rear seat, while LE and SE editions include a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat.

The luggage compartment area has been lengthened by 5.7 inches, and widened by 2.1 inches, to increase cargo volume by 64 percent in the 3-door and 68 percent in the 5-door. Cargo capacity with the seat up is 15.3 cu. ft. on the 3-door and 15.6 cu. ft. on the 5-door.

The Sport-Tuned Yaris SE
The Yaris SE provides even more driving fun with its sport-tuned suspension, quicker ratio steering, standout styling and driver-oriented interior. The SE features both front and rear disc brakes, with the front disc nearly an inch larger in diameter than L and LE versions. The SE is equipped with P195/50R16 tires and alloy wheels.

The SE makes a distinctive statement with smoke-trim multi-reflector halogen headlamps, integrated fog lamps and color-keyed grille with sport mesh insert. It features color-keyed front and rear underbody spoilers, rear spoiler and rear diffuser, set off by a chrome exhaust tip and SE badge.

Inside, a sporty instrumentation package faces the driver, with an analog speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, and digital Multi-Instrument Display. The leather-trimmed tilt three-spoke steering wheel includes audio controls and standard cruise control. Exclusive sport seats help add shoulder-level support for more comfort and control. The Yaris SE also includes a six-way adjustable driver’s seat and four-way adjustable passenger seat with sport fabric trim.

Toyota Quality, Warranty and Care
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-car warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against corrosion with no mileage limitation. The all-new Toyota Yaris will also come standard with Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Excellent Value Pricing
Yaris will continue to be an excellent value with more than $1,000 of additional standard equipment. Pricing for the all-new 2012 Yaris will be comparable to a previous-generation Yaris with the Convenience Package, with prices of most grades remaining unchanged, making the all-new and improved model a great value versus the previous model.

The base MSRP will range from $14,115 for the L grade three-door liftback with a five-speed manual transmission to $17,200 for the SE grade five-door liftback with a four-speed automatic transmission.

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