Well, Toyota hasn’t had a very good time this year, have they? I’m sure the last thing they need is for me to make fun of one of their flagship products…but they just give me so much opportunity…

Okay, so the Yaris. May I ask — what’s up with the name? It made more sense when they called it the Echo, and it didn’t make much sense then. If someone could please write in and tell me what it could mean, I’d be most grateful. Because every time I look at it, I see Yar’s…as in Yar’s Revenge, the timeless Atari 2600 classic. But I’m an aging nerd, so I guess that explains that part.

Speaking of video games, did you happen to play the Yaris game on Xbox live? Probably not, because the only way that you’d play it would be by accident. If you had any forewarning of any element of the game, you’d get into your own car and drive as far away from a network-enabled 360 as possible (is it really that bad? Well, yes. And the naked marketing to targeted demographics makes me a bit nauseous, too).

And then there’s the car itself. Oddly enough, I don’t hate it. It is what it is; a roomy little car that does the job and is even kind of cute, in a nerdy way (hey, I just described my first four girlfriends). People who appreciate economy and ecology will definitely have to consider it (though if they’re serious about the latter, I’m afraid that it still runs on the black blood of a terminally-wounded Planet Earth, so you’ll have to only kinda appreciate ecology).

Okay, Toyota, I’m going to let you go. It’s no fun beating a dead horse. But next time you want to sell a car to all the hip and happening kidz out there, please don’t be so obvious about it. Try to grow the brand by shifting the paradigm outside of the box next time.

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