Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Toyota Vitz / Yaris -- A Review

Comfortable, good ride. Spacious and open interior. Superb engine. Excellent Road grip. Very good brakes.

Noisy interior. Average acceleration (auto transmission).


Complete Review

I got my 2002 Vitz (also known as Yaris in the U.S. and Europe) in Silver Metallic colour in Feb 2006. The car had 15000 Km on the odometer but the wear and tear suggested at least 25000. It cost me Rs. 665,000 from the dealer. The condition of the car was excellent. The exterior was mostly scratchless. The interior was above average, but with a little detailing , it improved considerably.

The car is fun to drive and quite comfortable. The steering feel and feedback is much better than other Toyotas I've driven. So are the brakes, specially with the ABS function. There is a lot of room, specially in the front. The car also feels open and airy, specially to the driver because the instrument cluster is in the center of the dashboard. It feels awkward at first but you get used to it pretty soon. The digital instrument panel is very exciting to look at, and not at all uncomfortable.

The tires I got with the car were skinny factory -fitted 155/65s, so I changed them to 175/75 Pirelli P3000s. The ride has improved considerably after that and it has also helped with the height. I should mention here that the car is pretty low for Pakistani roads. I have also installed a CNG Kit in the car (Italian Landi Renzo with Spark Advancer and Emulator). The car works surprisingly well with CNG, although it did have a few hiccups initially. The automatic transmission works well with the CNG setup. I had to get 'spacers' installed in the suspension assembly to increase height. Now it works pretty well with the high speed breakers and the deep deep pot holes :-)

The seats are very comfortable, specially in the front, with good lumbar support. The car's equipment list is long. Everything from a CD player to dual airbags. You also get power everything including power-retracting mirrors in later models. Sadly, not in mine but a feature I don't really miss. One advice for car owners in Karachi. Be careful where you park your car. My mirrors have been stolen once. I have now got my car's number sandblasted on the mirrors to prevent further attempts :-)

About fuel consumption, you can't really complain. This car has excellent fuel economy for an automatic. It gives an average of 12-13 km/ liter of petrol in city driving, with 40% of them on A/C. With the same driving conditions, it gives about 110 kms on Rs. 250 worth of CNG. Those are above average figures for an auto transmission car.

Resale value as everybody should know by now, is not that great for imported vehicles. This car has flooded the market already and that has led to really low prices lately. A car similar to mine now goes for 5.25 to 5.5 lacs. A straight loss of more than 1 lac in one year for me sadly. But the good news is, it is still a really good car to buy right now. The prices have fallen and the new value is likely to be retained as imports will be facing some sort of restriction pretty soon.

In conclusion, I think the Vitz is a great car to own in this small hatchback category. You just need to be careful when you are getting one. There is a huge choice of cars and with a little care, you can pick out the one you need. It will give you a comfortable city ride, good mileage, and lots of driving satisfaction. It is a car to buy, enjoy and keep. Great value for your money!


Sabah said...

Nice detailed review on the Vitz and pretty spot on too. Nice to check out your blog. Keep it up.

Salman said...

Nice article ...

SM said...

hahah, i thought only in Nairobi Kenya is where we have to sand blast our mirrors to keep them as part of our cars. I love the my vitz about a month ago and loving every second of it.

Kyoko Nitori said...

Great car! Camry has to be one of the most popular among Toyota products. It’s Handsome looking and great engine performing vehicle.

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