LOS ANGELES -- Toyota will replace one of its rare failures, the Echo budget car, with the Yaris in the spring.
The previous-generation Yaris sold a million units worldwide over six years. In America, where it was sold as the Echo, the dowdy car fared poorly and was pulled from dealer lots before its life cycle was complete.
The redesigned Yaris is longer and wider than the Echo it replaces. The Yaris sedan has a longer wheelbase than the three-door hatchback version.
Standard features of the Yaris will include air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, 14-inch wheels, color-keyed mirrors and door handles. But side airbag curtains and antilock brakes, which are standard on the Hyundai Accent, are optional on the Yaris.
Toyota will price the Yaris three-door from $11,530, including freight, and the four-door will start at $12,430. Toyota hopes to sell 50,000 Yaris units in America in its truncated 2006 sales year and 70,000 annually thereafter.
In 2005, Toyota sold 1,544 Echos in the United States.
Toyota also announced prices for the FJ Cruiser SUV, which will start at $22,315 including freight, for the two-wheel-drive version. The 4x4 will start at $23,495 with a six-speed manual, and the five-speed automatic transmission version is priced from $23,905.
You may e-mail Mark Rechtin at [email protected]