Toyota Yaris vs. Mazda Mazda2

In the compact hatchback car segment, buyers have more than half a dozen models to choose from. To help drivers narrow down their choice, in this post we make a Toyota Yaris vs. Mazda Mazda2 comparison and decide which offers the most features and convenience equipment for the price paid.

Engine And Powertrain

Both the 2012 Toyota Yaris and Mazda2 have a 1.5liter engine, but Yaris gets about 38 mpg highway compared to 35 mpg for Mazda2. The Yaris also delivers about 106 horsepower compared to 100 in the Mazda2. Both cars are front-wheel drive, have independent front suspension, and come with variable valve timing.

The cars are almost identical in weight, about 2,300 pounds. Both come standard with a 5-speed manual transmission, offer good handling, and are easy to park in tight spaces. Despite being behind in the numbers, Mazdas are well known for their solid driving dynamics making the Mazda2 a more fun car to drive.

Mazda 2

Exterior Features Comparison

The size of the two vehicles is comparable, but the Yaris is more like a coupe in terms of the shape and dimensions of the doors. Both models are available in a wide variety of colors, and the standard features are virtually the same. Both cars have a remote fuel filler door release, intermittent wipers, and come equipped with steel wheels.

Interior Amenities

Considering the price of the two models, the number of interior convenience features is impressive. Both Yaris and Mazda2 have climate control, auxiliary input jack, side guard door beams, single zone climate control, and power door locks. One advantage for the 2012 Toyota Yaris is the addition of an outside temperature gauge, something left out on Mazda2.

The Yaris also comes equipped with a cargo area light and an onboard computer, both of which are not available on the base trim Mazda2. The seatback storage is also standard on Yaris and missing entirely from Mazda2.

The front and rear headroom is virtually the same on both models. There is 39.3 inches of front headroom on the Yaris, compared to 39.1 on Mazda2. Hip room is also identical, but Mazda2 has about 87 cubic feet of interior volume compared to 84 cubic feet inside the Yaris.

Toyota Yaris Sport 2012

Safety For Driver And Passengers

Both Yaris and Mazda2 have the latest in safety technology built into the vehicle. Electronic brake distribution, 4-wheel ABS brakes, and seat belt height adjustors are standard on both models. Front deployment airbags and front side curtain airbags are included.

Halogen headlights are also standard on both Yaris and Mazda2. The vehicles have a low tire pressure indicator and pretensioners on the seat belts.

Warranty Information

Toyota and Mazda offer outstanding warranties on all models. Both Yaris and Mazda2 have an unlimited anti-corrosion protection no matter how many miles have been driven. The powertrain warranty is 60,000 miles on both vehicles, with a 36-month bumper-to-bumper protection plan.

Toyotas are highly regarded for their lengthy reliability. However, Mazdas have also proven to be reliable in recent years.

Pricing Information

The MSRP on Yaris is $14,875, and the ticker price for the 2012 Mazda2 base trim is $15,325. Comparably equipped, Mazda2 will cost on average about $450 more than Yaris. The resale value of Mazda2 is superior, however. Buyers will want to remember that the Yaris depreciates more rapidly, especially the base trim.

These two vehicles should be strongly considered in the compact hatchback class. The features are nearly identical, so buyers comparing a Toyota Yaris vs. Mazda Mazda2 will probably want to test-drive both models before making a choice about which car to purchase.

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Originally posted 2012-06-04 16:48:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Best Selling Small Car

When you are talking about small cars these days, you are talking about subcompacts and “mini-cars” such as the Smart Fortwo, Mini Cooper, and Fiat 500. These are the ‘A’ and ‘B’ segments of the automotive industry. So which is the best selling small car among 2011 models in the U.S.? The winner is the Nissan Versa, and the margin is wide. According to Nissan, they sold 99,705 Versa in the U.S. in 2010. This compares to 55,000 Honda Fit, its closest competitor.

The 2011 Versa comes in six trim lines; four are in sedan form (1.6 base, 1.6, 1.8 S, and 1.8 SL) and two are in hatchback (1.8S and 1.8SL). The 1.6 base sedan is a car largely for marketing purposes. It is the one of the cheapest 2011 cars you can buy with an MSRP of $9,990. However, this trim is so decontented it does not even come with a radio! It is largely just for Nissan to publicize they sell a car for less than $10,000. The Versa is assembled in Mexico.

As the name indicates Versa 1.6 base sedan comes with a 1.6-liter liter four-cylinder engine producing 107 horsepower. While the model does offer driver, passenger, and side airbags, anti-lock brakes are optional and traction control and stability control are not available. Most new cars have these features standard. The five-speed manual transmission returns EPA rated fuel economy of 26-mpg city and 34-mpg highway.

On the other end of the trim range is the 1.8 SL hatchback. It has an MSRP of $17,190. This price point gets buyers a standard continuously variable transmission, CD player, air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control. The 1.8-liter engine produces 122 horsepower, with EPA rated fuel economy of 28-mpg city and 34-mpg highway.

The Versa has a model name derived from the word versatility. Hatchback trims have 17.8 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and 50 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. This is actually more than the Nissan’s sporty Juke subcompact SUV, which has curvy styling. Versa sedans have 14 cubic feet of trunk space.

While the Versa is relatively large for the subcompact class, it falls short to the Honda Fit in cargo room as the 2011 Fit has 20.6 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and 57.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. The Fit actually has more cargo room than some compact SUVs such as the Hyundai Tucson. However, Versa are also known for their roomy interiors with good legroom.

The Versa accounts for about 20% of subcompact sales in the U.S, 2/3 of which are for hatchback trims. This is a shift, as U.S. buyers historically have been known to favor sedans over hatchbacks. However, hatchbacks offer more cargo room with comparable fuel economy to sedans.

Nissan is releasing a revised Versa for the 2012 model year, which is said to have significantly better fuel economy than the 2011 model. The 2012 Versa sedan made its debut in April at the New York Auto Show. Surprisingly, these changes for 2012 are for sedan trims only. Hatchback buyers will have to wait until the 2012 calendar year for these changes to show up in Versa hatchbacks. With the improvements in the 2012 Versa, the days of a sub $10,000 Nissan may be numbered but it should remain in the running for best selling small car.

Originally posted 2011-05-08 14:37:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Mini Roadster

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a clear choice if you are looking for an affordable two-seat convertible. It is the cheapest two-seat convertible you can buy as a 2012 model with a starting price under $25,000 and has been highly regarded since it debuted more than 20 years ago for the driving experience it provides.

After the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky ended their brief runs after the 2009 model year, the MX-5 Miata was the only model of this type available in its price range. It has no direct competition. However, this is about to change as the Mini Roadster will go on sale in North America in mid-2012.

A True Convertible

Mini already offers a convertible offering for the four-seat Cooper. It is a fully automatic soft-top that retracts in just 15 seconds. The soft-top also has a built in sun roof. The Cooper convertible starts at an MSRP of $25,650 offering Mini’s 1.6-liter 121 horsepower base engine.

The convertible is also available in the Cooper S trim,with the turbocharged 181 horsepower engine, and the John Cooper Works trim, which gets 208 horsepower out of its turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

What separates the new Mini Roadster is that it is a true two-seat convertible. The concept of the model was first shown at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show and the model is set to make its formal debut at the January 2012 Detroit auto show.

MINI auf der IAA 2009
Creative Commons License photo credit: Jürgen Stemper // Bloemche

Engine and Power

The Mini Roadster will feature the same engines as the Cooper. The base model with the 121 horsepower engine is expected to start at about $24,000, which is comparable to the MX-5 Miata. However, the Mazda offers a 2.0-liter 167 horsepower engine and a 0-60 time of about 7 seconds. The base Mini Roadster will be significantly slower but should offer very crisp, agile handling.

To have superior acceleration, buyers will need to step up the Mini Roadster S or Mini Roadster John Cooper Works. However, the Roadster S will likely start at a price near $30,000.

Differences Between the Cooper Convertible

Mini began offering the Mini Coupe for the 2012 model year. It is a two-seater with a trunk, unlike other Cooper models that have a hatchback. The Roadster will essentially be the convertible version of the Coupe. The Roadster will have stainless-steel rollover bars, a more steeply raked windshield, and have a roof height 0.9 inches lower than the Cooper convertible.

The Roadster will also have a manual soft-top, with a center-mounted latch on the windshield header. However, raising the roof is made easier by a push button that activates pneumatic springs to hasten the time it takes to put the roof in place. Unlike the Cooper convertible, which comes in three different colors and racing stripes, the Roadster will only be offered with a black top.

MINI Cooper Cabrio * MIautumn
Creative Commons License photo credit: jiazi

Advantages and Disadvantages the MX-5 Miata

The Mini Roadster has several advantages over the MX-5 Miata. One clear edge is in trunk space. The Roadster has 8.5 cubic feet compared to just 5.3 cubic feet for the Mazda. It also offers an optional six-speed automatic transmission whereas the Mazda has just a five-speed automatic transmission.

While fuel economy has not yet been announced, the Mini Coupe S has EPA-estimated fuel economy of 27-mpg city and 35-mpg highway, which is about 20% better than the Mazda. The 2012 MX-5 Miata has EPA-estimated fuel economy of 21-mpg city and 28-mpg highway.

The Roadster’s disadvantages to the MX-5 Miata are topped by the fact that it offers significantly less power at a comparable price. It also does not offer a power top, unlike the MX-5 Miata, which has retractable top trim lines. Learn more about affordable new convertibles in our Cheap Convertibles article.

Originally posted 2011-10-31 22:53:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Volkswagen Up!

A production version of Volkswagen’s new subcompact model, the up! has made its debut in advance of its formal debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show in September. The three-door Up! is smaller than the Volkswagen Polo, which is sold in overseas markets. At just 11.6 feet long, the model is smaller in length than the Mini Cooper.

The up! Is another example of the growth in the subcompact class. It is expected to be one of several new small cars from the German automaker, as people around the world want affordable, fuel-efficient transportation, with a hint of fun and smart use of interior passenger space.

The Up! Is nearly as tall as it is wide, which affords for more passenger and cargo room than many other subcompact models. It has 33.6 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, which is larger than the Mini Cooper Clubman.

The up! Should have tremendous fuel economy. It is being offered with both a 1.0-liter that produces 59 and 74 horsepower in different three-cylinder gas engines. Electric and natural gas engines are in development.

The up! boasts a host of new innovations that help make the car safer. For example, the up! is the first small car with optional City Emergency Braking that automatically activates the cars brakes at speeds under 18 mpg when its laser sensors detect an imminent collision.

The up! Is scheduled to go on sale in Europe in December 2011. It will be offered in three trim lines: the basic take up!, the mid-level move up!, and the top end high up!. The naming conventions are similar to the Kia Soul, which uses the “!”and “+” symbols in its trim lines.

The up! is being manufactured in Bratislava, Slovakia. Volkswagen hopes its small car expansion boosts sales as the company has aggressive growth targets. In a sense, the affordable up! returns the company to its roots, as Volkswagen in German literally means the “people’s car”.

A decision on whether or not to sell the up! in America has not been made. However, the up! was conceived primarily with markets in Europe and Asia in mind.

Originally posted 2011-08-21 22:07:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

2012 Toyota Yaris

The 2012 Toyota Yaris is a refreshed version of this subcompact model. While the model has many changes for 2012 perhaps the biggest change is that the sedan is no longer offered. With the growing sales of hatchbacks and their greater cargo capacity, Toyota has decided to refocus the Yaris as a hatchback only.

The Yaris comes in thee primary trim lines: L, LE, and SE. The SE trim is offered as a five-door only and has 16” alloy wheels. The L and LE offered three door trims. USB, Bluetooth, and auxiliary connections are standard.

2012 Changes

The 2012 Yaris has a sharper exterior with new front and rear fascias and new headlights and taillights. While the 2009-2011 Yaris had an awkward appearance, the 2012 Yaris looks a bit sportier, more along the lines of the new Hyundai Accent hatchback. The model’s height has been lowered by 0.6” inches to improve handling and balance.

The 2012 Yaris has a new instrument panel and redesigned thee-spoke steering wheel. The wheelbase grows by 1.9” allowing for greater interior room. Cargo room increases by an impressive 25% over the 2011 model. The Yaris also offers an impressive nine airbags standard.

Engine & Fuel Economy

Toyota seems to be going the way of Honda and making only modest engine changes. The model still has a 1.5-liter 106 horsepower four-cylinder engine.

The Yaris also retains its antiquated four-speed automatic transmission option (a five-speed manual is standard) while several of its competitors offer six-speed transmissions. Toyota has made the engine lighter and extracted more fuel economy in the Yaris.

The 2012 Yaris’ fuel economy improves to 30-mpg city and 38-mpg highway with the manual and 30/35 with the automatic, which is comparable to the Honda Fit and Mazda Mazda2. According to Motor Trend, the 2012 Yaris SE has a 0-60 time of 9.1 seconds with the manual.


The 2012 Toyota Yaris has a starting MSRP of $14,115 with the 3-door L model. The top line Yaris 5-Door SE with the four-speed automatic starts at $17,200. The 2012 Yaris is on sale now.

Originally posted 2011-12-05 01:19:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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