The Japanese Big 3 — Toyota, Honda and Nissan — are bringing in smaller, more fuel-efficient sedans and hatchbacks to target younger buyers, hoping that those buyers will stay with the brand as they grow older and start making more money.
The Toyota Yaris, which replaces the Echo, will probably go on sale in the U.S. as two-door and four-door hatchbacks. At an estimated $11,000, it's the lowest-priced vehicle of the cars in question. It should go on sale next spring as a 2007 model.

The Nissan Versa, expected to start at about $12,000, pumps out 120 horsepower to the Yaris' 106. It's the biggest and probably the most powerful of the three, and will enter the market both as a hatchback and sedan. The hatchback will go on salenext spring as a 2007 model.

The Honda Fit, smaller and less expensive than the Civic, should start well below the Civic's $15K and will go on sale next spring as a 2007 model. We haven't been clued into what the engine will be like, but we have reason to believe it will be different than the 1.3 and 1.5L engines currently offered in Japan.



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