Look for influence from Toyota Gazoo Racing's WRC Yaris rally racer.
Ever wonder where automakers get the names for their cars? You're not alone. The sitcom Seinfeld opened Episode 94 – the one where George Costanza buys a Chrysler LeBaron instead of a Volvo – with a bit about nameplates like Integra, Supra and Impreza. Toyota, clearly, is not exempt from choosing evocative but enigmatic names for its models, and now the Japanese automaker is taking us through the etymology of some of its nameplates.
Advertising firms have done an admirable job convincing consumers that the easiest way to find a best-in-segment car or truck is by looking at a few key metrics. In the most elementary terms, the vehicle with the highest horsepower, most gears in its transmission housing, lowest acceleration times and best fuel economy most certainly must be the class benchmark.
Globally, the Toyota Yaris has bred more variants than we can shake a stick at. It's been known in different markets as the Vitz, the Platz, the Bella, the Vios and, to us, as the Echo. The first-generation model bred a small cargo van called the Yaris Verso – a mini minivan riding on the shortest wheelbase in its class - which was renamed the Verso-S for Europe and alternatively known as the Space Verso, the Ractis, the Ractis Verso and even the Subaru Trezia in certain markets. And now T
Toyota first launched the Yaris in 1999, though that model was sold in the North America as the Echo. The second generation arrived in 2005, replaced by the third in 2011. Sometime next year, Toyota is expected to roll out a new Yaris for North America, to be built in Mexico on the same platform as the next Mazda2. But before that comes to pass, Toyota has introduced a mild facelift for the Yaris in markets other than ours.
As basic transportation goes, there's not a lot to complain about with the Toyota Yaris. The five-door hatch (not to mention its JDM cousin, the Vitz) are due for upgrades, though, having toddled along in its current form since the 2011 model year. Now, we have what looks to be leaked images of the new Yaris, straight from a Japanese brochure.
It looks like Toyota is going to have a little more zoom-zoom in the future. The giant Japanese automaker has struck a deal with Mazda to use its Skyactiv engines for the possible replacement to the Yaris. The new subcompact will be built under contract by Mazda at its new factory in Mexico.
- Most and least efficient car companies
- Fastest-depreciating cars in the United States
- Find and compare 2017 Models