Friday, August 5, 2022

We Sold our 2007 Toyota Yaris. Long Live The Yaris. Long Live Subcompact Cars.


We sold our 2007 Toyota Yaris

Today was a big day. Today we sold our 2007 Toyota Yaris. This marks a lot of milestones. This marks the end of an era. 

We bought our 2007 Toyota Yaris liftback brand new in '07 from a local dealership in the Portland, OR area. We traded in our 2005 Scion xB for it. But this is the car that helped to start Subcompact Culture, and eventually led us to start Crankshaft Culture. This is the car that was a gateway to blogging, to automotive writing, to automotive journalism. This car was the beginning of a movement for us and perhaps many others.

Prior to this little go-kart of a car, I'd never owned a car for more than about two years. We had this car for nearly 15 years! And to this day, we've never had a car this long. 

The Beginnings of Subcompact Culture Included Our Yaris

At the advice of a friend who saw my passion for small cars, he suggested I start a blog. This was back in 2008. I remember asking him—do people really read blogs? It seems laughable now to type that. But this was back in the day. This was before social media took over the world. Before the massive popularity of Facebook, before Instagram, and well before TikTok.  

2007 Toyota Yaris lowered with Konig Daylite wheels

I figured there might be other people who appreciated cars like the Yaris and other subcompacts. And over the years we found that to be 100% true. We made our first post on SCC on January 23, 2008. It was simply titled Think Big, Drive Small and it featured a picture of our Yaris, complete with its first set of orange wheels. 

A Changing Automotive Landscape For Us And Others

The Yaris had been a constant for us for a decade and a half. When we got this car, we still had a 1998 Honda Civic sedan that we bought while still living in Wisconsin. We went through a lot of other cars while still holding onto the little liftback. This includes a 2009 Suzuki SX4, 2010 Suzuki SX4, 1995 Suzuki Sidekick, 2012 Subaru Forester, 2013 Subaru WRX, 2001 Jeep Cherokee, 1989 Mitsubishi Delica Star Wagon, 1998 Honda CR-V, and lastly, a 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage. But the little Yaris soldiered on as a fun-to-drive runabout. 

Then Covid hit. 

Once this pandemic was in full swing, we found ourselves working from home. This meant zero commuting and not much need for a commuter car—let alone two (we had the '17 Mirage at this time also). We opted to sell the Mirage to Carmax, and go down to our JDM 4WDs and our Yaris as the runabout. 

We simply weren't driving much at all with Covid, which kept the Yaris' miles down—it only had about 104,000 miles on it. We found ourselves using our 4WDs for longer trips. The Yaris isn't a great long-distance traveler (especially how ours was modified). It was low, rode stiffly, and was loud. I mean, it looked good, handled great, and sounded angry. It's been that way for 15 years! But the times—and ourselves—were changing. 

Of Road Trips and Aging 

We decided to take the Yaris on a rare road trip in 2021. We drove from Portland to Santa Rosa, CA. It'd been a long time since we'd taken the Yaris on such a long journey. It was refreshing to be in a car that could actually cruise at 75 MPH (unlike the JDM 4WDs we often write about on Crankshaft Culture). But after several hours, we remembered why it excelled on short trips. 

Toyota Yaris in Healdsburg, California

While driving along Highway 53, we noticed a huge plume of smoke ahead of us. We rounded the corner to see people fleeing a wildfire. We had to bust a u-turn. Thankfully, the Yaris has a great turning radius. Unfortunately, we had to drive off the pavement and onto dirt to escape. I remember thinking it'd be my luck that we take the lowered car on a trip and get hung up trying to avoid a wildfire when I have three 4WDs with tons of ground clearance at home. 

Thankfully, we didn't get stuck. But it was a bit of an eye-opener for us. We talked about this incident. What if we did get hung up? It'd be bad. Something with a bit more ground clearance would probably make a better all-around road trip car. But so be it. 

For weeks (maybe months) later, we remembered this incident. We also started talking about the practicality of owning a lowered car and JDM 4WDs that were, at a minimum, 26 years old. If we needed to get out of Dodge for a reason, a lowered Toyota Yaris wasn't going to be the car we'd need to have in the snow or to take over a snowy mountain pass. And while our JDM 4WDs have been reliable, we didn't want to have to rely on old turbodiesel JDM Mitsubishis in an emergency. 

Months later, we decided that maybe we should get something with more clearance, AWD, and the ability to go anywhere at any time. After all, we have older parents in the Midwest and we wanted something that we could drive back at any time in case of an emergency. We decided to buy a new 2022 Subaru Crosstrek. Ironically, we were going to buy a Crosstrek back in 2012, but ended up with a Forester instead, then a WRX. We were able to get a great deal on the car, and it was so good we couldn't pass it up. 

So then we thought: What are we going to do with the Yaris?

Time To Go. Long Live The Yaris!

We knew we wanted the Crosstrek, but what we didn't know was whether to keep our trusty runabout or not. We waited about three months for our Subaru to show, and when it came, we thought we might just keep the Yaris. But that means we'd have five cars, and on our small property, that's a lot. Plus we still get press vehicles from time to time and that means we'll have six cars in our driveway. Heck, we had seven cars here just a few weeks ago including our 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness for the Alcan 5000 rally

Our 2022 Subaru Crosstrek with a manual transmission

When we first posted the Crosstrek to social media, we were met with a flood of messages asking if we were going to sell the Yaris. We started getting offers. We started getting interest without ever posting it up for sale. 

Frankly, this was a sign. It's time to sell the Yaris. Long story long, the car went to rally friends of ours who will love it and appreciate it. We just sold it to them a couple of hours ago. Our fleet has been reduced and we don't look like a valet lot quite as much. We'll still own four cars with is more than enough. And hopefully, our new Crosstrek fills the need we are looking for.

That little Yaris was the best car we've ever owned. It had almost no problems. We maintained it and treated it right. It helped start this blog. It was on most of our Mount St. Helens cruises. It took us up to Canada for the first time. It was with us in times of prosperity and times of austerity. 

This also means this is the first time we've been without a subcompact car since 2005 when we bought our Scion xB. It's the first time we've been without a Toyota since then, too. But the only thing constant in life is change. 

Does this mean we're turning the lights out at Subcompact Culture? No. We'll still continue to post and our awesome Subcompact Culture Facebook Group will still run strong. 

You can continue to follow us over at our sister site, Crankshaft Culture. There you'll find more about our latest projects, adventures, and journeys. So while the Yaris might be gone, we're not going anywhere. 

2007 Toyota Yaris side shot
Long live the Yaris!


Mike Tayse said...

I just traded in my Mitsubishi Mirage for a 2022 Kia Rio. Pretty much a plain Jane sedan, but it's gets over 40mpg and is quieter and rides nicer than the Mirage. I'd stil like to buy a more compact car, but they are getting pretty rare. You'll like the Crosstek, two of my nieces have one and really like it.

Anonymous said...

Who makes that 4 spoke wheel?

Andy Lilienthal said...

They are Votex Lorados which were an optional VW wheel.