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Old 08-01-2006, 06:25 AM   #1
CanadaCraig
 
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I test drove a Yaris, Versa and FIT

Hi Everyone!!

I hope you're OK.

A 2007 Toyota Yaris RS, a 2007 Nissan Versa and a 2007 Honda FIT.

Here are my impressions of each car based on a 20 to 30 minute test drive of each one.

2007 Honda FIT

First Impression? How SMALL it is on the OUTSIDE. Second impression? How BIG it is on the INSIDE. It's pretty quick off the line - too - and feels good [power wise] on city streets - but it's [almost] painfully slow getting up to freeway/highway speeds. In fact - for most of the test drive - the gas pedal was flat on the floor!! lol [but I'm sure one would get used to that] It really is surprisingly roomy inside with TONS of headroom. I can sit behind me comfortably. [if you know what I mean] It feels solid and secure and has a nice looking dashboard. [with 'Acura-like' gauges] It is mostly comfortable except for the fact that the center console cup holders jabbed against my leg. [a problem I have with many center consoles] The seats are also a bit firmer than I think they have to be. But maybe that's good - especially on longer trips. Hard to tell if it handles great - given the fact that during the 30 minute 'test drive' it was mostly stop and go traffic. The A/C cooled the car down quickly. All in all - it's a very nice car.

2007 Nissan Versa

First impression? How 'tinny' [and cheap] sounding the doors were when opening or closing. Second impression? How comfortable the driver's seat was. Apparently the Versa's front seats are the same that one would find in a Maxima. They're big seats. So big - in fact - the reclining levers are on the center console side of the seats. [no room between seat and door] The feeling of 'cheapness' carried on through to the dashboard. It's also a bit utilitarian looking. [could have easily come from a small pick-up truck] That's not necessarily bad - but having just tested the FIT - it was an impression I couldn't ignore. [The FIT being put together so nicely AND with better materials and plastics] The Versa 'S' that I tested [which is the base model] had a 6-speed manual transmission. It shifted well enough but was [here I go again] a bit 'truck-like' in feel. [somewhat 'notchy' - if you know what I mean] The clutch was also quite sensitive and would take some practice to engage [and disengage] smoothly. [Easier to manipulate than the Yaris clutch - however] The Versa felt BIG inside - too - like the FIT - but in a more clumsy sort of way. In fact - another 'first impression' I had was that it reminded me of a Lada. LOL [and I mean one of the first Lada's that we could buy in Canada - the ones built using the old Fiat 128 body and chassis - if any of you remember those] Based on what you just read - you might think that I didn't like the Versa. But that's not the case. It had sort of an awkward 'charm'. I liked it but I'm not really sure why.

2007 Toyota Yaris RS

First impression? Nicest looking of the three. Second impression? How the passenger doors on the 2 door Yaris RS hatchback reminded me of an old 2-door Buick or Oldsmobile when being shut. [Or opened - for that matter] The doors felt VERY heavy. [and not in a good way] The Yaris - like the Versa - looked a bit cheap inside. Lots and LOTS of flat black plastic. And although the gauge cluster looked pretty good [lighting up just like a Lexus] the fact that it was in the middle of the dashboard was a bit annoying. [at least at first] And I'm not sure I like the fact that EVERYONE in the car can tell [just as well as you can] how fast you're going. The seat backs were a bit tight on MY back [the RS having so-called 'sport seats] but were comfortable none-the-less. The engine was smooth and quite willing and able to move the car. The shifter was really nice but the clutch - YIKES!! It was one of those 'on/off' clutches. I only made a few smooth shifts throughout the entire test drive. The salesman even warned me before we left about how difficult it is to smoothly engage the clutch. In time - that would become extremely annoying. The Yaris felt tight and secure and was a nice car to drive. [except for that clutch]

So there you have it.

Based on those three test drives - I'd have to say that [overall] the FIT was the best with the Versa a surprisingly close second and the Yaris third. [but probably - come to think of it - only because of that awful clutch]

As far as 'looks' are concerned - It's almost too close to call. But in order of preference I'd say the Yaris was the best looking with the FIT and Versa tied for second. To be honest - I don't think the FIT or Versa are good looking cars.

Still not sure what to do. Trouble is - I went a Mazda dealer last night to look at the Mazda 3 and 5 serious. The salesman [almost immediately] 'warned' me about how little I'd get for my car in trade. So I'm not sure what to think. I'm bringing my Lexus in for service on Tuesday [which is later today - as I write] and I'm going to take yet another serious look a the Yaris. [and other Toyotas too - even though I can't afford them]

Thanks,
Craig!!
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:21 AM   #2
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Good write up
Switch it up a bit, next time drive a 4 door auto....
I too did not like the oversized heavy doors of the 3 door and the 5 speeds was ok for me but I think the wife would have fried the clutch trying to get a feel for it. (NOT a strong standard driver)
We also test rode every econobox including the FIT and the 5 door RS Automatic was our pick... second was the fit.
For me I though the FIT felt slower off the line and even around town then the Automatic Yaris, even my wife was not impressed with the power. As much as I liked the interior layout of the fit it just felt like driving a mini van
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Old 08-01-2006, 01:00 PM   #3
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I think it is more personal preference.. I feels more safe of the heavy doors from the Yaris, and I found the doors form Fit is just skinny. It has the same solid feeling like my Bimmer and MINI.
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Old 08-01-2006, 04:27 PM   #4
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I also think it is more personal preference. If i buy a small econ car I never chose Nissian. Ok now cut down to two choice. Fit or Yaris, I believe their preformance pretty close to each other, may be Fit a bit better according to some car magazines(some). But I tested 2 cars they are pretty close. Fit has better look inside than Yaris. However, if I got a Fit I need to spend a lot of money on the body kit which like the pic I attach to this post, only rims side and front skirts not enough for me, and the car still looks like a Mini Mini Van, I hate driving Van(my personal preference). On the other hand Yaris stock car already looks pretty good. If added side, front skirts, spoiler and rims the car looks very charm and unique.

No perfect car in the world just pick the one you like, and hopefully this make you more easy to pick.
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Old 08-06-2006, 05:42 AM   #5
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I have tested a Fit and I own a Yaris.The second is by far the better car!
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Old 08-06-2006, 08:17 AM   #6
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It took me a few days to get used to the Yaris clutch. Glad I'm not the only one! :) I love the heavy doors, however.
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Old 08-06-2006, 11:10 AM   #7
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What do you find difficult in using the clutch?Just out of simple curiosity.
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Old 08-06-2006, 02:27 PM   #8
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I love the heavy doors too. They sound nice when they close.
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Old 08-06-2006, 04:02 PM   #9
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However the windows must be closed in order to sense the ''sealed car'' feeling.
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Old 08-06-2006, 04:26 PM   #10
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I didn't test drive any other car when I ordered mine. I was sure that I was going to like it even though I didn't test drive it!! 9the dealer didn't have on in stock)
I like the heavy doors three. I'm still getting used to the clutch (I have been driving the car for a lil more than a week); I already got hang of it, but I'm still "perfecting" the technique. One thing though is that I drove an automatic for almost 2 years before switching back to standard.
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Old 08-07-2006, 02:52 AM   #11
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Ι got easily used to the clutch as I owned the previous model too.
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Old 09-11-2006, 02:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaCraig
Hi Everyone!!
The shifter was really nice but the clutch - YIKES!! It was one of those 'on/off' clutches. I only made a few smooth shifts throughout the entire test drive. The salesman even warned me before we left about how difficult it is to smoothly engage the clutch. In time - that would become extremely annoying. The Yaris felt tight and secure and was a nice car to drive. [except for that clutch]
Craig!!
The reason for the difficulty w/ the clutch is bc the Yaris is throttle-by-wire instead of the standard usual throttle-by-chain.

The type of clutch the Yaris has is going to be the next generation clutch thats going to become the norm eventually, I think, in most new cars.

I agree, its hard to shift smoothly, your RPMs hang a second before dropping..
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Old 09-11-2006, 03:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jem_hadar
The reason for the difficulty w/ the clutch is bc the Yaris is throttle-by-wire instead of the standard usual throttle-by-chain.

The type of clutch the Yaris has is going to be the next generation clutch thats going to become the norm eventually, I think, in most new cars.

I agree, its hard to shift smoothly, your RPMs hang a second before dropping..
yeah, that delay is an interesting one! after having our 5spd sedan for a week i've found it works best if you 1 - shift very quickly without hesitation, or 2, wait until it drops about 500rpm from where you initially shifted. if you don't pay attention, and only shift kinda fast (but sloppy) it'll be alittle jerky and over-rev alittle. bottom line at this point, some days are better than others!
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Old 09-11-2006, 03:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pxpaulx
yeah, that delay is an interesting one! after having our 5spd sedan for a week i've found it works best if you 1 - shift very quickly without hesitation, or 2, wait until it drops about 500rpm from where you initially shifted. if you don't pay attention, and only shift kinda fast (but sloppy) it'll be alittle jerky and over-rev alittle. bottom line at this point, some days are better than others!
Im still perfecting the smooth shift into first and 2nd... im not 100% all the time, but then again, this is my first stick ever, so I dont expect to be perfect.

Shifting to 3, 4, 5th are always smooth.

And downshifting is getting much better, that was a bigger challenge, downshifting smoothly w/o a jolt. In my buddys MX-3, upshifting or downshifting is always smooth for me practically 100% of the time.
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Old 09-12-2006, 12:44 PM   #15
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The Honda Fit is also drive-by-wire, but does it have the same "gas pedal problem" that the Yaris supposedly has (manual transmission)? I can't stand slow, unmatched, non-smooth shifting.

Last edited by glockprime; 09-12-2006 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 09-12-2006, 02:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glockprime
The Honda Fit is also drive-by-wire, but does it have the same "gas pedal problem" that the Yaris supposedly has (manual transmission)? I can't stand slow, unmatched, non-smooth shifting.
Well, if it continues to be unmatched and non-smooth for someone, thats more a take on that driver's ability to learn to drive a different type of manual transmision gearbox.

On most days shi'ts perfectly smooth for me, it just takes a little more skill than the usual kind.

And re: it being slower than the standard drive-by-chain, I have no idea if the drive-by-wire gearbox is any slower or not than the other.

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Old 09-12-2006, 04:45 PM   #17
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Well, I'm going to be test driving both the Yaris and Fit soon. Until then, I'd like to hear any comparisons between the two manual trannies.
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Old 09-12-2006, 05:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glockprime
Well, I'm going to be test driving both the Yaris and Fit soon. Until then, I'd like to hear any comparisons between the two manual trannies.
When I tested the Fit, I tested the auto, so unforunately I cant compare the two for you.

Im sure someone on here can though.



EDIT:

Man, I really wanna fucking test out the Nissan Versa so bad right now just for fun, so I can see how she looks, handles and feels in person. I think I'll look at doing that soon. I test drove a VW Rabbit a month back and it was fun. Still like my Yaris better I decided afterwards.

I wanna test the Versa to see which Id like better too (just for shits sake of course)
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