We’ve been here before. Small cars aren’t profitable. Americans don’t buy small cars. SUVs are the answer. Cancel all of the small cars and push buyers upmarket. What’s that? There’s an economic recession? Fuel prices are unstable? People are paying ten grand for old Geo Metros? Damn, wish we still sold the Yaris!
Toyota is killing the Mazda 2-based Yaris sedan and hatchback for the U.S. market. The news began circulating via a memo sent to dealerships, which was circulated on Reddit. A Toyota representative later confirmed to Roadshow that “There are no plans at this time to offer anything in that segment.” Which is a shame, because this has singlehandedly jumped the Toyota cost of entry $4,175 from the Yaris’ $15,650 entry price to the Corolla sedan’s $19,825.
You aren’t driving a new Toyota for less than twenty grand now. How did that happen?
Mazda 2 Yaris was a good car and it deserved better than this inauspicious death. Despite its ungainly front fascia, it was always a little bit comforting knowing I could hop down to the Toyota dealer and get a new car for a reasonable price. It was something of an automotive safety blanket for me, I guess.
If you follow the line from Tercel to Echo to Yaris, Toyota has offered a car in this subcompact space since 1980 here in the U.S. Maybe I’m the only one who will miss them, but there is something to be said for cheap, efficient, and reliable automobiles. I guess the Corolla is two of the three, but I’ll be damned if a twenty grand starting price is considered cheap.
So what’s left in the U.S. that can be considered a subcompact these days? The Honda Fit is probably on its way out as well, leaving the Hyundai Accent, Nissan Versa, and long-in-the-tooth Mitsubishi Mirage? I guess the Chevy Spark and Sonic are still available, but for how long? It’s a sad state these days when a Corolla has grown to four inches longer than a Camry was in 1990.
Of course, the Yaris lives on elsewhere in the world with a brand new chassis. And before you ask, yes, of course I’m mad that we aren’t getting that one here. The 4wd supercharged 3-cylinder GR Yaris looks like too much damn fun. And obviously “real Americans” hate fun.