As is typical for me when it comes to a buying decision, I research obsessively, chart the pros and cons, read debates and articles, test drive, etc. and so on. Essentially my choice is between these two cars' sets of advantages:
- Cheaper. Configured about equally to the Honda Fit, the Yaris is about $600 cheaper. If I forwent ABS, side airbags, power locks and windows, and the 4-door coupe (getting a hatchback instead), it's $2500 cheaper; I could afford that without a thought.
- Standard cruise control, which I find an incredible convenience on the highway.
- Slightly better MPG and bigger gas tank.
- mp3 playback and an audio-in jack so that I can plug in any player I like.
- More HP, better acceleration, generally more highly reviewed in driving tests; more "fun".
- Much better cargo--about a third more than what's available in the Yaris hatchback. Folding down the back seats makes the area look positively cavernous.
- Better safety features and ratings
- Hatchback styling--I'm bored of sedans, and don't like the Yaris' hatchback as much.
- Somewhat better name and reputation; more likely to be desirable years down the line.
Depending on how my talk with a dealership goes tomorrow, I may have a new car. Chances are good--they have the colors I like and the sales guy is telling me that Honda can give me a better loan than my credit union.