My new Yaris 1.5 MT is very fuel efficient, 0-100 km acceleration is exhilarating. The center location of the gauges is CLEVER design. See, I have an additional compartment right in front of the steering wheel (can you imagine?), and another compartment on the side to chuck away some items secretly. The backlight of the gauges will dim when the headlights are on, which is helpful in reminding me that the headlights are on during a full sunshine midday drive. How do I know my headlights are on? 'Cause I can't read my speedometer. That's why. I just wish my car's clearance is 2 inches more. I have a 15 inch alloy wheel as standard.
I drive a 2005 Toyota Echo, and when it dies, I want a Yaris. The center mounted gauges are most likely a cost cutting measure on Toyota's part. The Yaris is a global vehicle. I found it strange at first, but then I got used to it after about two months. Now it doesn't bother me at all.
Also, the original VW Beetle was raft with problems. It's just that it had universal appeal to both men and women due to its looks and simplicity. It was very easy to fix. I wouldn't want one. I'd love a new Yaris, though.
Well, I actually own a 2008 Bug that I've had for three years now, and I'm actually looking at getting a Yaris. Quite simply, my Bug is junk. I bought it out of nostalgia because of Herbie, and I've regretted it ever since. The car has some pretty bad but accurate reviews on this site. And the costs of maintenance and repair are, of course, sometimes unbelievable. I had to have the transmission valve body replaced at 25,000 miles, and if it hadn't been under warranty, it would have cost $900. Just 25,000.
My overall experience with the Bug has been a nightmare. I have had a heap of issues I won't list, but it's pretty sad. I actually read some article on MSN (I think) of the top ten worst cars of the last ten years, and of course, the VW was on there. I remember it saying some like, "Despite more than a decade of production, VW was never able to sort out the problems in the New Beetle. It is easier to list the things that will work: suspension, air conditioning and brakes."
Before opting for a less-than-reliable Toyota, I'd strongly recommend looking at the new Ford Fiesta, or, if you can afford it, the slightly more expensive but incredible Focus (which is going into its third year as the world's best selling car).
I just helped my best friend get rid of his junky 2009 Corolla and buy a 2013 Focus. Because of a special sales incentive, he actually got the Focus for about the same as a Yaris. The build quality and reliability of the Fords is far higher than either VW or Toyota. And resale on the Focus will, of course, be far better because it is the world's best selling car.
Toyotas are NOT unreliable, they are still one of the most reliable brands out there IMHO. Fords would be OK, were it not for that horrid My Ford Touch system. Ford needs to get rid of that before I would EVER consider buying one.