2012 Toyota Yaris SE Review- Video

New Yaris. New look. Same-old.

2012 Toyota Yaris SE Review- Video

Even the smallest of cars can get a driver’s attention and the 2012 Toyota Yaris is no exception. With it’s small size, zippy 1.5L engine and solid fuel economy the Yaris will get you to the grocery store and back with a little fun along the way.


1. The Yaris continues to use a 106 hp 1.5L 4-cylinder with a 30/38 mpg rating for the 5-speed manual or 30/35 mpg for the 4-speed automatic.

2. Yaris 3-door models start from $14,115 for the L and $15,480 for the LE. 5-door versions start at $15,140 for the L, $15,960 for the LE and $16,300 for the SE.

3. The tuned-up 5-door SE amplifies the driving experience with integrated fog lamps, 16-inch alloy wheels, hands-free phone capability, phone book access, and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology

It is, however, a basic car and promises little more than what it is. And though it’s not laid out like the comfiest commuter car, in a competitive category with contenders like the Hyundai Accent, Chevy Sonic and Honda Fit, what sets the Yaris apart is a brand legacy and, as of 2010, redefined styling.



The Yaris model options include both three and five-door hatchbacks, with several trims available. On the outside, the 2012 version hasn’t changed overtly compared to other subcompacts from manufacturers such as Chevy, Hyundai or Kia, plus there are several all-new models on the market now, like the Fiesta and Mazda2.

The Yaris’ exterior flows from front to back offering subtle aerodynamics yet nothing too out of the ordinary for a small car. Likewise, what lies beneath the hood is nothing more than required. Toyota continues to furnish the Yaris with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes a not-too-significant 106 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 103 lb-ft of torque at 4200 rpm.

2012 Toyota Yaris SE Back

That may sound unacceptably low, but with a curb weight of just 2,295 lbs it’s 250 lbs lighter than the Fit and more than 400 lbs lighter than the Sonic. As a result, acceleration isn’t as brutal as you’d expect, though don’t get your hopes up either.

The engine itself is surprisingly quiet though does make noise when pushed – as it should. As for the ride quality, the little Yaris is bumpy and feels its weight.

Available transmission options are both carryovers, with a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic, in an era of 6-speeds. Still, fuel economy is solid, though not the class-leading numbers we’ve come to expect from Toyota. There’s a slight increase with 30/38 mpg from the manual and 30/35 mpg from the automatic. The former delivers a combined 33 mpg rating, while the latter is just one mpg off.

Get the Flash Player to see this player.



The Yaris cabin is minimalistic with a dashboard and seating setup that offers basic functionality. The overall styling is casual and the materials, regardless of trim, are satisfactory but far from impressive. The foam within the seats feels good, though there’s a lack of lumbar support. The driver’s seat is also a little tight on the knees, regardless of the steering wheel’s tilt adjustment. A telescopic function would help solve this. Instead, it feels a bit cramped for six-footers.

2012 Toyota Yaris SE

Also absent is a central armrest, which seems inconsequential until you spend some time commuting. Surprisingly, however, there is a bevy of cup holder

An ode to analog, all the knobs and dials for in-cabin temperature regulation, air conditioning, and wipers work easily with a twist of the wrist. 

What we really like about the Yaris is the positive effort to ensure great entertainment and audio options. Standard in models such as the L and LE is an AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability and MP3 sound enhancement, six speakers, HD Radio, an auxiliary audio jack and USB port with iPod connectivity. Added to the SE model is hands-free phone capability, phone book access and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology plus an iPod interface. We were actually quite impressed with the sound system, Bluetooth connectivity and iPod/iPhone interface, both in terms of quality and ease of use.



2012 Toyota Yaris SE

At the starting price of $14,115, buyers can purchase the base model L which comes with A/C, a CD player, iPod and USB connectivity, power locks, a sporty throwback mono-windshield wiper and safety features such as stability control and nine airbags. If you want to step things up, for $16,385 the LE model offers a slicker metallic accented trim with power windows/mirrors, HD Radio, Bluetooth connectivity, split-folding rear seats and audio controls on the steering wheel.

We tested the $17,160 sporty SE (available only as a 5-door) with a bold leather-bound steering wheel that encourages you to daydream of being a race car driver behind the wheel of your first car. The SE styling and tuning improve the ride making it more fun to drive. With manual transmission, added is standard cruise control, sporty seats and silver accents on the dash cluster. The auto transmission is an extra $800.



The new Yaris stands out because of its pint-sized personality and lean design. Inside and out, it’s an improvement over its predecessor. It’s not a car for enthusiasts, it’s not fancy looking, nor is it filled with premium gadgetry, but it is a car that makes getting around feel new and playful.

2012 Toyota Yaris Se Profile

Toyota’s little roamer delivers the basics without a lot of extra fluff – which could be unfortunate if that’s what you want in a small car. However, if you’re in the market for a car that zig zags in and out of tight parking spots and commuter traffic, one that delivers the basics and one that brings solid fuel economy with legendary reliability, consider the Yaris option.

  • Ed J

    That video makes it look WAY better than I thought.

  • josefinahazel

    Major company provide what is called “Clearance Auto” reduce the rates for long-time auto insurance customers. They just now reduced my rates! need to save money gas prices is killing my travel

  • http://www.suwfall.com/ suwfall

    An ode to analog, all the knobs and dials for
    in-cabin temperature regulation, air conditioning, and wipers work
    easily with a twist of the wrist. 

  • http://www.keeko.com/ keeko

    One that delivers the basics and one that brings solid fuel economy with legendary reliability, consider the Yaris option.

  • Prissywade

    Blind spot is killing me and almost killed some poor pedestrians last night.  Anyway to fix that?

« Back

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked