the 1999 Yaris was a statement of style, the 2004 Passo must be a
of practicality. Its exterior design is neither pretty nor elegant. Its
cabin design is uninspiring. Plastic quality is average. It innovates
It does not set any new standard in any areas. Nevertheless, it is
a practical, easy-living hatchback. Its squarer shape provides plenty
interior space, so is the long wheelbase that exceeds Yaris by 70mm.
large doors enables the passengers to access conveniently. A huge and
tailgate aids luggage access. Rear seats fold flat to form a flat load
area. A pair of simple hooks allow 2 tilt angles for the rear
has a twins sister named Daihatsu Boon. They are the first joint
between Toyota and its subsidiary Daihatsu. Basically, they are the
car with just the slightest deviations in packaging. To Toyota, Passo
in the space under Yaris to be the company's bottom of the range. On
contrary, Boon replaces Sirion (Storia) to be Daihatsu's top model.
to insiders, the twins were basically engineered by Toyota but the
packaging was developed by Daihatsu taking advantage of its
and width as Yaris, raising concern whether it will create internal
However, Yaris is 5 years old now and I expect the next generation will
grow in size again to avoid competition with Passo. Moreover, Yaris
have better styling and higher quality packaging to ask for a higher
Therefore the lean Passo will be Toyota's cheapest model.
from a lower price tag, the Passo is also designed to be cheap to run.
It employs a pair of newly developed engines. The base engine is a
VVT-i three-cylinder. Using one fewer cylinder helps it to achieve
thermal and frictional loss hence it can return more miles per gallon
fuel. Its character is smooth, lively and surprisingly powerful, if
at high rev. Another engine is a new 1.3-litre VVT-i four-cylinder,
longer stroke and smaller bore than the Yaris' unit to enhance torque
The chassis of
nothing exciting. It gets the usual suspension design and the usual
tuning. In other words, priority is put on ride comfort instead of body
control. If you push it into corners, you will find it rolls and
more severely than European hatchbacks. Besides, the steering is also
to the light side, opposing to the taste of keen drivers. At the
setup, Passo is not going to please car enthusiasts. However, once it
exported to Europe - more likely to be in Daihatsu form - it will
get some treatment. But even so, it is not going to attract many
The point is, Passo lacks a clear character to distinguish itself from
countless of other fine superminis.