Collection in Action – Y

An alphabetical series of short driving impressions of some of the museum’s car collection. This month we, er, well, like have had to cheat a bit. Why? Because there is nothing old or classic in the collection beginning with a Y…

So, how about a not-yet-eligible-but-one-day-maybe Yaris. Not just any Yaris, though, but FMM’s Senior Front of House Manager Magdaleen Wepener’s 2006 T3 model that she has owned and learnt to love and trust since it was new. Introduced that year to bridge the gap between the Toyota’s Tazz and RunX models, it entered a fiercely-contested market segment with looks that certainly were attractive – clean and cute. It was one of the car’s aspects that won Magdaleen over.

The interior is roomy for its size and features a centrally-mounted digital instrument cluster atop the facia, quite funky at this level at the time. The steering has rake and reach adjustment and the driver’s seat has height adjust, although the seat is mounted high to start with. The bucket not particularly form-hugging but they are comfortable. There are plenty of storage spaces spread around the cabin and the 60:40 split rear seat can slide for/aft independently and offers a variety of accommodation/storage options, making the Yaris a versatile vehicle. According to a CAR magazine road test, practical luggage space ranges from 136 to 920 dm3.

Initially available only with a 1 298 cm3 motor, the Yaris’ VVT-i twin-cam 16-valve inline-4 offers variable valve timing and delivers 63 kW at 6 000 r/min and 121 N.m of torque at 4 400. CAR achieved a 0-100 km/h time of 12,52 seconds and a top speed of 173 km/h, but commented that below 2 000 r/min the motor is sluggish. More interesting, the fuel index was calculated 6,89 litres/100 km giving a 42-litre tank range of 609 km, but Magdaleen’s loosened-up Yaris gets close to 700 km between fill-ups.

Ride and handling are top notch and it is easy to understand Magdaleen’s attachment to her car, which has done 210 000 km from new. During that time it has been driven mainly on dirt roads but regular servicing has helped prevent any serious problems – it still has its original shocks and exhaust system. There are the inevitable car park nicks and scratches adding patina to the car’s appearance, but it is accident free. Tyres have been replaced, otherwise ‘everything keeps going right’ as Toyota’s old advertising jingle used to say… Nice one, Magdaleen! MM