Plants First, Fish Next

The original intent of this journal was to chronicle the trials and tribulations of the struggling twenty-something, as I searched for love and happiness in the small city-burb of ManchVegas, NH. Now, I'm thirty-something, I've found love in many forms, happiness in even more, and now the struggle is just... well... life. And finding time to do the million and one things I want to do- including writing.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


To start, I still have faith in the Toyota brand even after the gas-pedal recall hullabaloo.  Recalls were widespread, sure, but they also resolved all the issues quickly and thoroughly.  My Runner and Face both drive Toyotas and are happy with their vehicles.  I've never heard anyone complain about having a "lemon" with a Toyota.  I'm a little over the typical Prius "I drive a hybrid so I can drive my car 1/4 mile down the road because I'm better than you" driver, but that's Society's fault, not Toyota's.  (I know not all Prius drivers are holier-than-thou- several of my damneder-than-thou relatives drive Priuses... just using a stereotype to save time.)

So, I like the idea of driving a Toyota.  The two hatch-back cars are the economy Yaris and the sedan Matrix.  Both have incredible standard safety features, like all Toyotas.  How do they stack up against the Fit, and my budget in general?

Toyota Yaris (5-door Hatch)
Base Model, ST, MSRP: $13,155
Est. MPG City/Hwy: 29/36

Need upgrade package for power locks & remote key.  Upgrade from radio also needs package.  Cruise control is an option.
Stability Control is standard.

Priced for my area w/convenience package (for CD player & aux jack, split fold-down back seats, and extra heating) price is $14,945.  Would want to add CC, but not an option on a "build a Yaris" so I'm not sure how that would affect the price.  

Consumer Report's video review.  Basically says outright it's a bit of crap for the money you spend, and the Fit's a superior car.  Other reviews (linked below) mention the same issues- pricey with options, noisy, sluggish response... Great mileage, though!  Breaking point?  Two measly cup holders for the front seats.  Pppphhhbbbbttttt!!!!!  Yaris, you're at the end of the list- yes, even below the Kia. 

Toyota Matrix 
Base Model, ST, MSRP: $16,700
Est. MPG City/Hwy: 26/32

As with Yaris, most convenience stuff is in a package- power locks, remote entry, etc.  It has a telescopic steering wheel adjust like the Fit, and at least the CD player/Aux Jack is standard.  Has the same great safety features including Stability Control all standard.  Have to go to the next model up, Matrix S AND get the AWD version for over $20k for AWD- not sure if it's needed, but would be interesting to drive the AWD model to see the difference.  Still, not really in the market for a $20k car.  Mileage kinda sucks, actually....

Priced for my area w/ "power package" which has extra winter stuff like a rear windshield wiper, plus power locks and keyless entry is $19,300.  Whelp, that's $20K which effectively prices the Matrix off of my list.  See ya!

The list as it currently stands:
1. Honda FIT
2. Kia Soul
? Hundai Accent (& Elantra Touring)
? Ford Fiesta
? Nissan Versa (& Cube)
? Mazda MAZDA A2 (& A3 5-door)
10. Toyota Yaris 

Kia Rio 5
Toyota Matrix



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