July 2, 2008

Icelandastic! Toyota Finally Bringing 5-Door Yaris To US


That's my wife, patiently waiting for me to get a handle on the unexpected pleasure that was afforded us on a boat in Nassau by Fatima Blush. No wait, that was the Renault R5T2. I meant the unexpected pleasure that was afforded us in a 5-door Toyota Yaris we rented in Iceland a couple of summers ago.

It's baffled me why Toyota has kept this great little car out of the US, but my bafflement is coming to an end with the 2009 model year. That's when Toyota finally stops discriminating against car seat-owning Americans by adding the 5-door to the US lineup. Like other great sub-compacts such as the Honda Fit and the can't-get-it-here BMW 1-series we rented in France, the rear doors contain some kind of space/time disruptor field that allows the tiny cars to have remarkably comfortable, roomy interiors. It's like Stargate, but in a 40mpg car. And minus James Spader.

Toyota Yaris 5-door rolls into U.S. for '09 [autobloggreen via dt reader cam]
Can't get this one yet: Toyota Yaris 5D, Canadian-style [toyota.ca]


I'm glad to see it come over too. I like hatchbacks & stationwagons a LOT, so it's now pretty high on our list for a replacement if/when we replace our Toyota Matrix. As to why it isn't already here, Toyota probably figured there was no need to sell this with the larger Matrix (5 door hatch) and Scion xD (5 door hatch) also out there. Given the super hot Yaris sales of late, it's a no-brainer to toss this into the mix as well. I will have to do some back-to-back comparisons with this and the Scion xD (which has a larger engine, much worse styling, and slightly higher price).

If toyota would just bring a Yaris TS over, I'd sign the paperwork today!

[yeah, I didn't even want to link to the TS; its unavailability is a huge buzzkill -ed.]

The fact that the Yaris didn't have a five door model was the main reason we decided on the very comparable (but five-doored) Nissan Versa.

Lack of five doors for the U.S. Yaris is sorta perplexing, though.

The two closest cars to us in our car-sharing co-op are a brand new Versa and a two-year old Yaris 5-door, so I've driven both of them quite a few times.

I actually like the Versa a bit more, and it'd be my choice if I were buying a little car (although the new Fit is nice too), but the Yaris is a lot of fun to drive, easy to park, and can actually fit the stroller (not much else, mind you) in the back.

The Versa 5 door reminds me of the Renault 5-doors we saw running around Europe last Spring (I wonder why), except that the Renault had this weird shelf-butt back end.

Yeah, if they'd bring over the turbo engine from the Renaultsport Megane in a Versa and do a treatment like that 2-door concept based on the Versa a couple years back (here's a pic from Nissan's PR site) but with all 4 doors intact, the Versa could be a nice little VW GTI fighter...

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