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Car reviews - Toyota - Yaris - YRS 3-dr hatch


Does Toyota's Yaris improve the light-car breed or is it just a funkier-bodied Echo?

17 Feb 2006

HAVING just got our heads around Toyota’s light car being called the Echo, we are now being asked to shelve that and embrace the Yaris. Never mind. The new baby Toyota is clearly a redesigned Echo with a new badge. Which is fine, because the Echo was always an impressively packaged, well-built and capable light car with a greater sense of substance than some of its peers. The Yaris is slightly bigger, quite a bit heavier and potentially safer than Echo – provided you pay for it - and drives a tad better too. If only the VVT engine – in manual-transmission form – were a little more driver-friendly. It suffers the worst case of electronic flywheel we’ve seen in years.
Model release date: 1 February 2006 to 1 September 2011

Previous model

Toyota Echo

Released: October 1999
Ended: January 2006
Family Tree: Yaris

Toyota effectively replaced its popular Starlet with the oddly-named Echo back in October 1999. Available in three and five-door hatch guises (with a 63kW/122Nm 1.3-litre four) plus a four-door sedan (80kW/142Nm 1.5), the Echo range was expanded by manual-only Sportivo versions of both hatches in March 2001 (offering an 80kW/145Nm 1.5). Echo received a mild facelift at the same time.

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