We were impressed by Toyota's little Yaris hatchback when we first encountered it in Frankfurt and pleasantly surprised when it was announced the car would also be sold in North America. Edmunds as usual is the first to get behind the wheel of the hatchback as well as the sedan, both of which were actually developed by two different teams and therefore exhibit quite different personalities. The two even have completely different dashes, the hatch sporting no less than three gloveboxes and the sedan two.

Nearly every auto critic has had his or her chance to pummel the outgoing Echo with verbal jabs, and it seems Toyota took the beatings to heart. Both Yarii in response feature the same 106-hp, 1.5L four-cylinder engines used by Scion in the xA and xB that feature VVT-i, as well as a more buttoned-down suspension. EPA estimates for fuel economy clock in at 34/40 manual-equipped and 34/39 with an automatic. The Yaris hatchback (or Liftback as Toyota press material would prefer we say) will start at under $13,000, making the entry-level compact class crowded with competitors that include the 2006 Kia Rio, upcoming Hyundai Accent, Honda Fit and Nissan Versa.

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