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October 25, 2005

European "Yaris" More Hip than American "Echo"?

Toyota Yaris.gif Have you ever heard of Toyota Yaris? No? Well, apparently, Europe has never heard of the Toyota Echo. Instead, the Europeans have always had the Toyota Yaris. UK auto review site called the 2000 Yaris Verso a car "aimed squarely at the over-50s." Now Toyota of Canada is trying to catch the attention of the under-25s by introducing a promotion campaign called (who looks a bit young to be anyone's uncle) in an attempt to change the image of the Toyota Echo along with its name.

What's wrong with "Echo"? Well, called the Echo a "clown's car," possibly after Echo the Clown. That might not make "Echo" the equivalent of "Bozo," but it does suggest that echo was a less than felicitous choice. The essential problem with an echo is that it can't say anything original.

Since "Yaris" doesn't mean anything in either English or any other European languages, it's immuned to those automatic negative connotations. What "Yaris" does have is a meaning by association, and the "Uncle Yaris" campaign shows that Toyota hopes "Yaris" will mean "European-and-therefore-cool" to prospective North American buyers.

I dont' agree with that, but time will tell.

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Posted by William Lozito at October 25, 2005 4:41 PM
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» Yaris: One of Toyota's Five-Star Models from Toyota Fans' Blog
The new generation Toyota Yaris innovation is another commendable achievement for Toyota including its designers and engineers. Their efforts in building a high safety standard for such a small car had paid off, with the Yaris bagging the top safety ... [Read More]

Tracked on December 12, 2005 8:17 PM


I get the feeling Edmunds' main problem with the Echo is its "cartoonish styling, annoying gauge placement,[and] shaky handling." Source:

And if the Yaris is the same car with a different name I doubt their opinion of it will change much.

I think the Yaris is a great little car and I think it will do well with the younger crowd especially with that "Uncle Yaris" advertising. Which does a nice job of changing how people look at the car, more so than the usual car ads with the car driving aimlessly along counrty roads.

yaris in turkish means to race or racey

yaris is also an anagram for syria, a place very near and dear to american consumers of oil.

I love my Yaris... just bought one yesterday... nothing like the "Echo" in handling, look, or feel... I traded my Hyundai Tiburon SE for it... and I am very happy I did...

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