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Old 02-17-2014, 12:12 AM   #1
Drives: 2('14+'07)MT 3d ,wHandCrWndws!
Join Date: May 2009
Location: S.MontgomeryCnty,TX(HoustonMSA) '07=BayouBlue=300,125miles=OrigOwnr '14=ClassicSilvr=29,059miles
Posts: 4,839
2nd Gen owner's impressions: 3 days with a 3rd Gen (2013 5-door LE 18k miles)

I was recently rear ended by a woman in a Camry. I was waiting to pull out onto a multi-lane feeder road next to I-45 (most freeways in metropolitan areas at least...have one way multi-lane feeder roads on each side). Last weekend (2/8-2/9) I was rethinking why this woman rear ended me, and I came to the conclusion she was probably texting . I took my car in for the repair (Camry's insurance company--Nationwide--to pay) on Tuesday morning, 2-11-14. The repair was supposed to take 2 days, but they found more damage than the 'looking just at the outside' preliminary estimate indicated (had to obtain more parts), so the repair took 3 days (picked it up late in the afternoon on Thursday 2-13-14).


OUTSIDE ----- I like the Classic Silver Metallic on the 3rd Gen a bit more than the Bayou Blue on my 2nd Gen. I like the front and rear of my 2nd Gen a bit more than the 5-door 3rd Gen, but I prefer the side profile of the 5-door 3rd Gen. I prefer the radio antennae on the 3rd Gen, but I prefer the OEM tire size on my 2nd Gen (my 2nd Gen has the Convenience Package, which includes an upgraded rim and tire size).

DOORS (interior) -----
I like that the doors on the 3rd Gen are almost completely plastic.....easier to clean and less likely to fade (than all the cloth on the doors of my 2nd Gen) in the SE Texas sun. Are the front doors on the 3rd Gen 5-door and 3-door the same width? I searched re this, but couldn't find the answer.

ROOF (interior) ----- I know.....the headliner . I like the light setup better in the 3rd Gen.....all centered near the windshield, rather than the central dome light in the 2nd Gen being away from the other lights.

ACCESS -----
The keyless entry in this 3rd Gen was convenient, but I wouldn't want to pay for it. I don't like the required 'special key', and I don't like that the hatch on this 3rd Gen wasn't keyed. If the transmitter in the key goes kaput, can you open the hatch without buying another key? I don't know if the current (2014) 3-door L 5-speed manual has a keyed hatch or not.

Far better in the 3rd Gen (but this doesn't make up for the changes re the dash ). The 3 cup holders (two at the front end of the console and one at the rear) grip well, and I like the curved area in front of the dual cup holders (holds a tri-folded 8 1/2 by 11 letter --- those that come in a normal envelope in the mail --- very well). I also like that the 'backside' of those cup holders is removeable, creating one bigger 'tray'. That 'tray' area in front of the shifter in my 2nd Gen doesn't really suit my use/needs.

I like the seat cushion better in my 2nd gen, but the seat back in the 3rd gen is far superior. It 'cradles' you fairly well, and is well integrated with the headrest. I felt supported from my lower back to the top of my head . I definitely would NOT drive without the driver headrest in a 3rd Gen Yaris with this seat (L or LE). I don't like the "polka dot pattern" of my 2nd Gen seats, but I like that they are 'all dark' (no light insert). I know at some point after 2007, the "polka dot pattern" was (thankfully) updated. I think one of the biggest mistakes Toyota made with the USDM 3rd Gen L and the LE was putting the light colored inserts on the seats. This 3rd Gen I drove (from the dealer's own rental operation) had just been thoroughly cleaned, but the light colored inserts still looked dingy after 18k plus rental miles (of course this can be avoided by purchasing quality seat covers when you purchase the car ). I was able to find a very comfortable driving position by adjusting the up/down 'direction' (the additional 5th and 6th 'ways' on the 6-way driver's seat on the LE and the SE). I later learned (after talking to a rep in the parts department) that the 'up/down' is controlled by an air filled bladder inside the seat bottom. I don't know what the 'default/stationary/one position' height is for the driver's seat in the L (4-way seat vs 6-way seat), as they didn't have any 3-door L or 5-door L Yari in stock. I didn't sit in any of the other seats, but I don't like the execution of the rear headrest design in the 3rd Gen, nor the execution of the 60/40 seat with the light colored seat insert.....much better in the Gen 2 after the switch to the integrated headrests (alas, my 2nd Gen has the rear seat 'bench' seat back).

I like that the load floor cover in the 3rd Gen is 'hinged', and there also seems to be more room in the spare tire area in the 3rd Gen.

I was willing to like driving an automatic. Result.....I didn't like driving an automatic . This was partly due to the particular automatic, and partly due to the boredom and feeling of 'less control' that (IMO) would come from driving any automatic. I found the 4-speed automatic in the LE about mid-pack or lower (among other automatics I've driven) in responsiveness, smoothness, and confidence (confidence = re reliability and performance) generated by how it sounds. I was thinking about the Prius c as a 'next car', but I wonder how much different the CVT would feel. The transmission and the clutch in my 2nd Gen Yaris are two of the few things that don't 'feel new', but I still prefer the feeling of control I derive from driving 'my manual'.

THE DASH -----
Just before my Yaris was rear-ended, I bought a wonderful 'snap apart' see-through Stanley tool box at Home Depot for about $20.00. I planned to put a few tools in it, but planned to use most of the many pockets/compartments to store most of the things (some itty-bitty) that I store in the myriad of storage compartments in my 2nd Gen Yaris (centralized access, and more portability utilizing the Stanley box).
I don't like shape, nor the 'multi-color' aspect of the 3rd Gen dash. As others have noted, the beloved multiple compartments are gone . The little shelf directly in front of the instrumentation on the 2nd Gen is (IMO) useless, and the 'nubby' dash texture is irritating, but almost everything else re the 2nd Gen dash (contour/shape, storage, etc) is superior to the 3rd Gen dash. I am also one of those fuel gauge 'bar people' . I prefer the fuel bars on the 2nd Gen gauge to the needle on the 3rd Gen gauge. Re the location of the instruments.....given the good execution of the instrumentation on the 3rd Gen, either location is fine. I can easily see the instruments through the steering wheel (I have a tall torso for my height...just over 6'3"). I do like the 'illumination colors' better on the 3rd Gen (easier on the eyes, IMO). I also like the 'expanded functions' (MPG, outside temp, etc.) beyond the odometer and 2 trip odometers on that 'info screen'. The 3rd Gen does feel 'more like a cockpit' with the sight lines (re controls) oriented toward the driver.

I like the window arrangement/shapes/configuration in the 3rd Gen 5-door.....better than any other Yaris trim level. I don't see that much difference between the windows in the 2nd Gen 3-door and the 3rd Gen 3-door. The shape of the outside mirrors on the 3rd Gen is different from the 2nd Gen, but I don't see a difference re effectiveness. Re the wipers, the mono wiper on the 3rd Gen is more effective (it rained while I had the 3rd Gen) than the dual wipers on the 2nd Gen re clearing rain. However, I found the rear wiper on the 3rd Gen to be less effective than the rear wiper on my 2nd Gen.
The biggest issue re the windows (for me) is power vs. hank crank. I drive with the window (closest to the steering wheel) cracked open just a little bit. The width of 'cracked open' varies based on temperature, inclement weather, day vs. night, etc. I couldn't get the power window on the LE to adjust in small enough increments to suit me. I also feel the power windows are just one more thing to go wrong....and are a drain on the battery if the engine isn't running.

STEREO -----
It took a bit of time to get used to the stereo on the 3rd Gen, but I found it to be better (sound and features) than the OEM stereo in my 2nd Gen Yaris. The title display on HD radio stations....great feature.

The tires (size and other attributes) on my 2nd Gen inspire more confidence than the tires on the 3rd Gen rental. Other than that (re confidence) the 3rd Gen felt like an even tighter, as good or slightly better built, obviously newer version of my 2nd Gen. If this LE model (otherwise nicely equipped) had hand crank windows and the 5-speed manual with the tach, I'd probably mark a new one as my next car (I like the 5-door 3rd Gen slightly more than the 3rd gen 3-door, and I imagine the same size tires that are on my 2nd Gen would fit..and seat covers could always be added) . Unfortunately, the 5-door LE only comes with power windows and an automatic transmission. While looking for an 'L' for me to sit in, the rep I spoke with (right after I got my 2nd Gen back on Thursday) learned the number of 5-speed manual L models that are in inventory in the 5-state area that distributor Gulf States Toyota! This is the same scenario encountered by another SE Texas member (brg88tx ?). The rep said that he (and some others) are under the impression that this might be because some feel that it is not that much of a stretch (up in price, and down in fuel economy) to get a customer (financially and comfort re lifestyle) into a 6-speed manual 2014 Corolla. If I decide to eventually get a 3rd Gen 3-door 5-speed manual, it looks as though I'll have to find one in another state. After the accident, but before I took my yaris in for repair, I searched for Yari on Yahoo! Autos. I pugged in a local zip code and selected the 200 mile range. I was amazed to find close to 10 (overall) 2nd and 3rd Gen manual transmission Yari (the oldest was a 2008) and all had under 40k miles. The least driven one had only about 8k miles on the odometer.
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