2011 Toyota Yaris sedan
2011 Toyota Yaris sedan. Click image to enlarge

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Review and photos by Haney Louka

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2011 Toyota Yaris

This may come as a surprise, but I was really looking forward to driving the 2011 Yaris. Now before you write in to AJAC challenging my qualifications as an automotive journalist, let me be more clear: I had the opportunity to drive the Yaris after a week behind the wheel of a Honda CR-Z hybrid, a car that, despite its sporting pretensions, I drove as if I was burning the last tank of fuel on the planet.

The CR-Z’s approach to encourage efficient driving is very in-your-face. For example, there’s green-to-blue-to-red dash lighting to show you exactly how environmentally-friendly your driving habits are at any given moment. There’s also an Eco mode that introduces lazy throttle response and reduced climate control effectiveness to the driving experience. After one week of short-shifting at 1,700 rpm and holding up traffic while pulling away from every intersection, I found that my city-only consumption in the CR-Z hovered around 8.2 L/100 km.

2011 Toyota Yaris sedan
2011 Toyota Yaris sedan. Click image to enlarge

Enter the Yaris: a fairly basic compact car, the Yaris has none of the eco-frills of the CR-Z, and it will most certainly not be cross-shopped against the sporty two-seater. What it does provide, though, is an old-school approach to efficiency. The Yaris is a light car (at 1,060 kg, it undercuts the CR-Z by a full 150 kg) with its only propulsion coming from a gas-powered internal combustion engine. Fuel consumption is rated at 7.0 L/100 km in the city and 5.7 on the highway. Since we’re comparing, the CR-Z gets better ratings of 6.5 and 5.3, but I’m after real-world numbers.

So I drove the Yaris, sans trip computer, just as I would any other car. I accelerated smartly from stops, enjoyed what felt like spirited throttle response after Eco mode in the CR-Z, and on the odd occasion even drove more than one passenger around. After filling the tank, I calculated a consumption of 9.0 L/100 km, or only about 10 per cent higher than that of the painstakingly-driven CR-Z. Now, you tell me what’s more fun.

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