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Toyota Yaris saloon Spirit

Broadcast date : 11th June 2006


What have we here? A little car. More accurately, a big-little car.

This is the luxury T3 Spirit, and represents the fourth, most-expensive model in the range with its automatic transmission. 

More bulk, a relatively low torque one-comma-three litre motor, and fluid-drive make the going a little on the leisurely side.

The answer lies in the fact that the Yaris was engineered primarily as a city car. 

It’s larger sibling, the Corolla, comes with engines ranging in size from one-comma-four litres to two litres.

And in fact the Corolla one-comma-six GLE automatic, which boasts an extra twenty kilowatts, is just R14 000 more, with extra torque to provide the punch Hendrik was looking for.

The Yaris sedan, which has a longer wheelbase than the hatch, actually comes close to Corolla size.

With modern marketing trends towards covering every niche, we feel that the Spirit T3 Automatic sedan falls into an area where one of its biggest rivals is likely to be a car from its own stable – the Corolla sedan auto.

What the Yaris has going for it is more up-to-date styling.

In the handling department the Yaris sedan retains a large measure of the crispness that makes the hatchback so appealing.

Its mix of L-arm MacPherson strut up front, and a combination of transverse torsion-beam and coils at the rear provides predictable, solid handling on all surfaces, the rear suspension design also freeing up vital luggage space.

The styling for the Sedan sees more conservative nose treatment to go with the boot extension. This looks more like a baby Corolla than a Yaris to our eyes, which is a good thing in many people’s books.

Toyota Yaris saloon Spirit
  • Engine: Four-cylinder petrol, 1 298 cc
  • Power: 63 kW @ 6 000 rpm
  • Torque: 121 Nm @ 4 400 rpm
  • Transmission: Four-speed-speed automatic, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 12,7 seconds (claimed)
  • Top speed: 165 km/h (claimed)
  • Fuel consumption: 7,1 litres/100 km (claimed)
  • Price: R150 620
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