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Weekend Wheels: Test driving the 2016 Toyota Yaris

The Scion iA will be sold in Puerto Rico as an entry-level Yaris. (Credit: envivopr)

The entry-level Yaris is the new incarnation of the Scion iA, unveiled at last year’s NY International Auto Show. (Credit: envivopr)

After more than two years of absence in the local market, the Toyota Yaris sedan is making a comeback to Puerto Rico. In its 2016 edition, the totally redesigned sedan comes with attributes and features that promise to rekindle the attraction among its admirers.

This well-equipped, entry-level vehicle is not only a powerful ride, but an economical one as well. During a recent test drive, this reporter put more than 200 miles into the car — both on city and highway roads — spending just about a half a tank of gas.

The newly introduced vehicle was practically custom-made to cater to Puerto Rico’s consumer tastes, company officials said. The sedan, unveiled for the first time at the 2015 New York International Auto Show — as this media outlet reported — is now more equipped than its predecessors, featuring a stiffer chassis, better shock absorbers and a European-like style. The Yaris sedan is the new incarnation of the Scion iA, brought in to fill a void in the four-door category, Toyota officials said upon unveiling the vehicle last year.

“The return of this new model reaches deep into the mind of the Puerto Rican public, because for years the Yaris line has been loved by people, said Joseph Barba, director of sales and marketing at Toyota de Puerto Rico.

“The new sedan also features a complete redesign. Yaris sedan represents a new approach for a new generation of consumers who demand more value and bang for their buck,” he said.

Under the hood, the new drive train allows for a controlled and smooth acceleration, thanks to its four-cylinder, 1.5-liter, 16-valve build. Its 106 horsepower engine offers a quick response on any change. Its availability in an automatic or manual transmission with six speeds, results in high-efficiency fuel consumption.

The Yaris Sedan, as with all other vehicles in the Toyota lineup, features the “Star Safety System” that includes traction control, anti-block braking, electronic brake distribution, brake assist and brake override. The vehicle has been available at local dealerships since mid-October.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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