With a coefficient of drag of just 0.29, both the sedan and Liftback slip through the air with ease, promising a quieter ride and greater fuel economy at freeway speeds.
With the suspension stiffened by 47 percent over the Echo, the Yaris feels buttoned-down and dare we say fun on curvy roads. The suspension design is nothing earth-shattering — tried-and-true MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam out back. But with redesigned bushings, a single upper mounting point for the front struts (rather than three as in the Echo), the firmer calibrations and a lower center of gravity, the Yaris doesn't even feel related to its wallowing forebear.
There's no slop in the Yaris' handling and the revamped suspension and longer wheelbases provide a smoother ride.
Helping to optimize fuel-efficiency is the electric power steering setup that takes away the engine-driven hydraulic pump of traditional power steering systems. Unlike some other systems of this kind, the Yaris' has a natural, crisp feel with even weighting.