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Day by Day Review: 2012 Toyota Yaris three door toyota daily car reviews
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Besides a refreshed exterior, the most noticeable change for 2012 on the Yaris is the interior. Some people absolutely hated the centre-mounted gauges from the previous generation; I, on the other hand, do not really care either way. You get used to the centre-mounted arrangement, which also offers more storage capacity in the dash: the previous-generation Yaris had three glove boxes of a good size, but this new design has just one small one.

The dash plastic is textured in the 2012 Yaris and looks more upscale than the dimpled plastic of old. There is also a vinyl piece across the front and around the doors that gives a two-tone look and a little more texture and quality feel.

Day by Day Review: 2012 Toyota Yaris three door toyota daily car reviews
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The new Yaris is a little longer but the same width and a little less tall than the outgoing model. It feels about the same inside, although cargo space does seem slightly larger. It passed the curling broom test, as I was able to squeeze mine into the trunk area, but I cannot do so on my 2008. The roof liner seems a little weaker though; flipping the sun-visors out of the way makes a very metallic-type sound.

What I find the most odd is the deletion of one windshield wiper — yes, you read that correctly. The new 2012 Yaris has only one front windshield wiper and I will unequivocally say that this design feature just falls flat. One wipe of the windshield this morning netted me a gigantic slurry of ice on the A-pillar, and later in the day when I needed to clean the windshield, the washer fluid spray was abysmal. It shoots out of the wiper arm itself in a very low trajectory and in a very small area, so it basically does nothing. I like visibility, and I was not impressed.

Toyota has done a good job with the interior lighting of the new Yaris though, including a dimmable radio display, which so many manufactures seem to miss.

That radio, though it does sound good — better than the radio in my 2008, in fact — has knobs that are difficult to turn with bare hands, and forget it with gloves on. The HVAC controls, on the other hand, are easy to use and see — a net zero difference between old and new generation.




About James Bergeron

James Bergeron is an Ottawa-based automotive journalist. He is also a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).