Toyota Yaris 1.5 Review
Through it all...

Story and pictures by Jeremy Chua
31 May 2009

Now who says all Toyotas had to look boring?

Toyota Yaris

Everyone agrees that if there's one thing you can be sure of, it's the very fact that life is unpredictable. As they say, even the best-laid plans can go awry. Much as we try to control the circumstances surrounding our daily lives, Murphy's Law will come into play sooner or later.

So to counter this unpredictability, we turn to outlets such as fortune tellers or tarot card readers. Newspapers even publish horoscopes on a daily basis. Don't like what the Western horoscope is telling you? There's always the Chinese version based on your animal sign.

The weather too, is unpredictable - despite our geographic location. The sun might be shining now, but with nary a moment's notice, could easily give way to dark clouds and a thunderstorm. So we have meteorologists, who take pressure readings and utilize the Doppler radar in an effort to give the public a weather forecast for the next few days.

On the upside, unpredictability can make life exciting. But not many people are ready to live their lives not knowing what lies around the bend - it's stability that almost everyone seeks.

What does this have to do with the facelifted Toyota Yaris then? Well, it has that predictability associated with Toyota - but it's also got a few pleasant surprises thrown into the mix...

Looks & styling

Approach the Yaris and the first thing you'll feel is that it exudes a bright and fun disposition, especially when it comes in the "Spicy Red" colour seen here (funky decals are optional). Roundish curves define this car, and it possesses the zippy look we love seeing on hatchbacks.

You'll notice that the front and rear bumpers are now wider, as compared to the previous model. The headlamps are larger, while the rear tail lamps received some mild alteration in the form of amber-covered turn signals. Wing mirrors now come with integrated signal repeaters, for added safety.

Hatchbacks make great city cars, thanks largely to their more compact dimensions. Measuring just 3,785mm long and 1,695mm wide, drivers shouldn't have any trouble getting in and out of our concrete jungle. Parking in the even tighter confines of CBD car parks should also be easier.

We're nitpicking, but the one feature we didn't like were those skinny 185/60 series tyres wrapped around the otherwise decent-looking 15-inch alloy rims. Those wheel arches could easily accommodate a larger and wider wheel/tyre combo to give the Yaris better handling, albeit at the expense of fuel economy and ride comfort.

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