The Yaris seat is very comfortable. It is just not very padded. It is a great seat for around town and for a couple of hours or so. On all day trips it gets a little uncomfortable, but then all seats do. Because of my weight, I feel uncomfortable sooner than most.
"Fun to drive and looks great."
I feel the same way about my Toyota Echo, although I can't say it looks as good as a Yaris. I've read many posts and reviews that say the Yaris is fun to drive. I posted this on a Fiesta review, and all I got were disbelievers and angry comments.
Many think the Yaris is boring, and no fun. A car with modest horsepower can still be very fun to drive. There is weight to power ratio, and the Yaris excels in this.
Actually with only 106 HP and a power-to-weight ratio of 21.8 lbs. per HP, the Yaris isn't exactly a speed demon. 0-60 takes 9 seconds even with a manual transmission. The Yaris is however very well known for having excellent handling characteristics. With a McPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear, the Yaris has a pretty tight chassis. Reviews always praise the Yaris for its handling.
I aspire to the cliche of 'it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.' Having said that, 0 - 6 in 9 seconds isn't bad for an economy car, especially considering the engine is almost the same as the one introduced in the 2000 Echo. Even the brand new Nissan Versa sedan with 109 hp takes 11.0 seconds to go from 0 - 60.
The 2012 Yaris SE can still keep up with its rivals, but Toyota needs to wake up and realize they are no longer the only player in the subcompact game. I've seen the new Yaris, and the interior and exterior are huge improvements, but it still has the same engine and transmissions introduced in 2006.
The driving position in the first gen Echo was perfect. I'm 6'2, and yes it was tight, but the steering would be at the right distance. In the second gen Echo (or Yaris) the steering would always be too far away, and I couldn't adjust the seat closer, because then the pedals would be too closer. Poor design. It's actually the relative position between the steering wheel (not telescopically adjustable) and the pedals that was bad in this car; never had a similar problem in another car of any size. Even the Geo Metro I did my driving license with was OK.
Had my Yaris for two months, and love it. No problems with the driving position. I have really long arms, so maybe that's why.
Your stats are slightly misleading. Horsepower doesn't matter so much as torque. Yes, the car only has 106 HP, but it only produces 103 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 RPM. This dearth in torque is why the car can't pull up hills too well with multiple people in it, and why it'll have problems maintaining high speeds on the highway.