2009 Toyota Yaris VS. 2009 Honda Fit
2009 Toyota Yaris
The Toyota Yaris is the lowest priced Toyota and the model that best represents the value of good, basic transportation. But, the Yaris is better than just good. It boasts handsome looks, pleasant road manners, perky performance, and a well-tailored interior.
For 2009, the biggest change is the addition of a five-door Liftback model to the lineup, which includes the three-door Liftback and the four-door Sedan. This makes the Yaris the only vehicle in its category to offer buyers three distinct body styles.
All 2009 Yaris models now come standard with anti-lock brakes, front seat-mounted side airbags and front and rear side-curtain airbags. Cruise control is available on 2009 Liftback models and audio systems are satellite-capable.
Styling and Trims
All Yaris models combine an inexpensive sticker price, outstanding fuel mileage and the solid integrity that underlies every Toyota. While some of the hybrid-powered vehicles offer superior fuel economy, they're significantly more expensive than the Yaris, so it would require many miles at very high fuel prices to balance that equation. When viewed in terms of total ownership costs, the Yaris is one of the least expensive new cars available today.
Options include the automatic transmission ($800). A Convenience Package for Liftback ($680) and Sedan ($840) models adds the radio, 15-inch wheels and tires, rear defroster, and 60/40 split/fold-down rear seats for the Sedan and a rear wiper for the Liftback. There are a variety of Power Packages that add power door locks, windows, cruise control, upgraded trim, an LCD screen for audio, and mirrors and features such as a 60/40 split rear seat that slides, reclines, and folds completely flat. Other options: fog lights ($110) and remote keyless entry ($230).
The Yaris is a marvel of space efficiency with clever cockpit packaging. Its relatively long wheelbase makes the Yaris cockpit feel quite spacious, especially in the Liftback with its tall, extended roofline. Legroom isn't quite as generous as headroom, though six-footers can occupy every seat except the center rear without complaint.
The standard fabric upholstery is classy looking, durable and provides good grip in the corners. The black upholstery studded with blue dots that came in one of our test cars was especially handsome. The front seats have supportive, deeply dished backs; but the bottom cushions are flat and short, so long-legged drivers may not enjoy optimum comfort and lower-body support. The seating position is nicely upright and allows excellent forward sightlines, but it feels awkward relative to the steering wheel.
The economical 1.5-liter engine has more than enough power to keep up with the pack, the supple ride smoothes out most bumps and dips, the handling is almost sporty when the road opens up, the steering feels much better than what you might expect in an entry-level car, and the brakes haul the 2,300-pound Yaris to a halt with confidence. Pedal feel is direct, and even though the rear brakes are drums and not discs, stopping power is more than sufficient. Pedal feel is especially good (something we can't say about some of the upscale electronic braking systems on the market).
The Toyota Yaris proves that inexpensive should not be confused with cheap. From their well sculptured exterior lines to the tailored, upscale look of their interiors, little about the Yaris lift back or sedan suggests the cutting of corners. The Yaris is practical and convenient. Agile and zippy, the Yaris excels around town and works well for commuting.
2009 Honda Fit
The small car is king. Truly, in this time of gas price roller coaster rides, environmental activism and economic uncertainty, people who can make the switch to small and efficient vehicles are doing so, and in droves. This is especially the case when you see and drive the thoroughly new 2009 Honda Fit: there's little by way of sacrifice if you choose Honda's smallest car, from its innovative and upgraded interior to its fun-to-drive character and efficient bottom line. Simply put, the Honda Fit fits what many people actually need from their cars.
Of course, Honda sees what's going on, and is aggressively trying to stay one
step ahead of an ever-growing crowd of competitors like the Nissan Versa, Scion
xD and more. To that end, they've kept the Fit fresh, giving it a redo just two
years after its debut in North America as a 2007 model.
The 2009 Honda Fit comes in two models with three trim variations, Fit, Fit Sport ($16,060), and Fit Sport with Navi ($17,910). The primary differences center around equipment and technology upgrades. The Fit Sport offers one-inch larger wheels, and the Fit Sport with Navi includes satellite navigation and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA).
The Fit comes with a five-speed manual gearbox ($14,550) or a five-speed automatic ($15,350). Standard features include 15-inch wheels, black side mirrors, telescoping steering wheel, auxiliary input jack for your iPod, MP3/WMA playback and 160-watt stereo with four speakers.
The Fit Sport ($16,060) upgrades with larger wheels wheels, a sporty front bumper, body-colored side mirrors, keyless entry, leather-wrapped steering wheel, USB connectivity, a driver side armrest and map lights. The Sport comes with a five-speed automatic or five-speed automatic transmission with sport mode and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters ($16,910).
The Fit Sport with Navi ($17,910) comes with manual transmission or five-speed automatic with paddle shifters ($18,760). The Fit Sport with Navi adds satellite navigation and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA).
Though the Fit has always been considered modern, few people considered the
outgoing 2008 model stylish. That changes with the 2009 Honda Fit, thanks to a
new style that's functional and attractive, with sharply styled headlights,
larger front quarter windows and a more aerodynamic front design.
The Fit is fun to drive. For everyday driving it's an obedient and comfortable conveyance, thanks to new seats and suspension changes that smoothed out the previous model's ride.
EPA and Engine
While the Fit's power supply is modest, we found driving a model with either the manual transmission or automatic with paddle shifters upped the fun meter by allowing drivers to dip down into the vehicle's torque band when needed.
Fit delivers an EPA-estimated 27/30 miles per gallon City/Highway, so it's a nice fit between fun-to-drive and frugality.
Case in point: on twisty corners, the Fit is much more fun, and almost as efficient as the Scion xD or Nissan Versa. Most of the time, the rear of the car nicely follows the front, even under aggressive duress, and with a new electric steering set up that's improved, but still lacks touch, the Fit communicates its intent clearly, if not with authority. We found the Fit to be quite tossable, the kind of car that's easy and predictable under spirited driving, without much wallow or ungainly lean in the corners.
2009 First Conclusions
The Toyota Yaris is a small vehicle. It lacks the punch of
the Honda Fit's engine but is still an incredibly versatile vehicle for the
consumer who wants great fuel economy, a roomy interior, and doesn't mind the
inability to add major features that you will find in a luxury automobile. The
Honda Fit is a peppy vehicle with a nicely sized interior. The driver feels in
control while driving and doesn't lose anything due to the overall small size of
the car in terms of window view ability."Having replaced the slow-selling Echo
two years back, the Yaris has gained in popularity and, although it remains the
smallest and least expensive vehicle in the Toyota brand line-up, it is still
packed with value." says
Kelley Blue Book. The Honda gets an edge due to the
overall fun factor. "If there's a better combination of thrift, practicality,
and fun-to-drive, we haven't seen it yet." says
Car and Driver about the Fit. The Yaris is a good fit if you don't mind losing some of
that fun. It will get you from point A to B without sacrificing quality for
cheapness. Overall the full decision will be determined due to the consumers
choice for the all around look of the vehicle.