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|Body Styles:||3-door hatchback|
The Toyota Vitz and Platz are Toyota's current model of subcompact car, with the Vitz name used for hatchbacks and Platz for sedans in Japan. In Europe the hatchback and mini-MPV versions are sold as the Toyota Yaris. In the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, it is sold as the Toyota Echo.
It went on sale in Europe in early 1999, and migrated to North America first in 2000 as the Echo in a sedan variant, and later in 2004 in the European hatchback as the Echo Hatchback in Canada. The Yaris was voted European Car of the Year for 2000.
Instead of a conventional speedometer, the European Yaris has digital performance readings which are mounted in the centre of the dashboard. The Echo has a conventional speedometer but it is still mounted in the centre of the dashboard. Space for the driver and front seat passenger is reported to be large for a subcompact, while rear seat legroom can be altered via a sliding rear bench.
Engines powering the Yaris include 1.0l and 1.3l VVT-i petrol engines . The European Yaris T-Sport variant (introduced in 2001) contained a 1.5L engine (which powers the Echo and the xA). The T-Sport was marketed as more fun to drive than the base models because of a sportier suspension and an extra 20 kW of power (80 kW). The European market also got a 1.4l D4-D diesel engine producing 55 kW and offering fuel efficiency of 4.4 l/100km.
New to the Yaris range in 2000 was the Yaris Verso, a mini-MPV which used the same running gear as the conventional hatchback but was designed to have an even more practical interior. In Japan, the model bears the unusual (to English ears) name of Funcargo.
Toyota Echo (USA)
In the United States, the Echo has been a rare flop for Toyota. The initial year of almost 50,000 sales was promising, but after the Echo sold just half that many for 2003, the product was no longer stocked at dealerships. Sales for much of 2004 have reached just 3,593, with another year of production left before the product is replaced.
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