When I was a young man…er…younger man, if you bought an economy car, by gosh everyone on the planet earth knew it.
You got plain Jane looks, small wheels, tiny engines, a stick shift, and a ride that gives you a new appreciation for ioneers bouncing west in a wagon train.
Now, there is a whole new class of econoboxes, and they are attractive, well screwed together, and not at all uncomfortable.
Like our Toyota Yaris with the automatic transmission option. The only problem with that is it makes me yearn for the manual.
That’s because it is mated to a 1.5-liter engine producing all of 106-horsepower. Now granted, my wife, and most Americans these days hate shifting gears, that of course being like a visit by the Spanish Inquisition.
But we also like to get where we’re going on time, and with the automatic Yaris, you need to leave early. 0-60 takes over 10 seconds, but of course, your patience is rewarded with 30 miles per gallon city, 35 on the highway.
Inside, the Yaris is roomy and basic, but not in the old sense of basic which meant bare metal and a tinny AM radio.
The quality of interior materials is really quite good, and the seats are very comfy, which is good because with this kind of performance, you’ll be in them for awhile.
OK, enough slow jokes. The Yaris actually handles rather well, and with a full set of options came to $16,800.
I don’t know about you, but I think that is a terrific price considering you get Toyota quality and resale.
I’d opt for the manual transmission though. It would subtract $800 bucks from the price and substitute a bit of fun.
That’s a pretty good trade.