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For the ninth month in a row, the top-selling car in Japan is the Toyota Prius, helping hybrids make up more than 20-percent of all auto sales in Japan.
In February, Toyota sold 35,875 Prius hybrids, while the Honda Fit came in second place with 24,973 units sold. That’s quite the gap, especially considering third place was the new Toyota Aqua (Prius c in America – read our review here) that sold 21,951.
Hybrid models are now making up nearly half of Toyota total sales in Japan while Honda announced that 60-percent of their Fit sales are hybrid variants. Rounding off the top five was the Honda Freed in fourth place (13,293 sold) and the Toyota Vitz in fifth (11,288 sold). Over 40-percent of the Honda Freed sales are also hybrids.
The more interesting news is the fact that the Aqua hybrid production isn’t even keeping up with demand. The Japanese automaker originally planned to build 12,000 Aquas per month but now overwhelming demand has customers waiting almost six months for their vehicle if they placed their orders today.
Toyota’s new Yaris is built on the strengths the Yaris has become known for including its durability, versatility, efficient engines and easy to drive nature. Toyota has now taken these key aspects into the new model and gone further to offer a sharper, more agile, more contemporary looking vehicle.
The Yaris will also appeal both to technology-focused customers and drivers who value quality, practicality and price when considering a new car.
The Touch audio system includes touchscreen controls, provides Bluetooth, a USB port and a rear parking camera. The Toyota Touch and Go system is also available providing full map satellite navigation and has a range of connected information services that can be accessed and downloaded through a dedicated customer portal.
Engines include a 1.0 and 1.33-liter gas engine as well as a 1.4-liter turbodiesel engine. The three cylinder 1.0-liter engine is coupled to a five speed manual transmission generating 68-hp at 6,000 rpm. Fuel consumption has been improved to 58.9 mpg. The 1.3-liter produces 98-hp and achieves 56.5 mpg. The 1.4-liter diesel engine is matched to a six speed manual transmission, producing 89-hp at 3,800 rpm and 205 lb-ft of torque. This engine achieves 72.4 mpg. However these engines are almost certainly for world markets only, and the U.S. will definitely see some beefier engine choices.
Gallery: Toyota Yaris
The all new stylish 2012 Toyota Vitz model, sold here as the Yaris, appears to have new photos, that is if these pics from a Hungarian Toyota dealership’s Facebook page are anything to go by.
In an age where fuel economy is a major selling aspect, the subcompact B-segment is more important than ever, and the new Yaris fits the description.
The new Yaris functionally has gained some size. In total, the Yaris grows 100mm from end to end, with half of that between the wheelbase for more interior room. The car has also grown 20mm shorter overall, probably to lower the center of gravity and improve handling. The new model in Japan has a range of small four cylinder engines, but we should expect a 1.5L version as the sole option.
Stay tuned for more details!
GALLERY: 2012 Toyota Yaris