2009 Toyota Yaris Adding Standard Side Airbags


Today, Toyota confirmed it would make side airbags standard for the 2009 model year Yaris. According to IIHS crash tests, the 2008 Yaris got top marks when equipped with the then-optional side airbags. Without them, it received the lowest side crash-test scores. 

Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong said there’s no official word that the four-door Yaris hatchback — currently on sale in other markets — will go on sale in the U.S. when the rest of the 2009 lineup goes on sale this fall, but the four-door hatch was mentioned during a recent conference call with Toyota executives and the media.

With the current hunger for all things efficient and affordable here in the States, we’d think selling the four-door Yaris hatchback would be a smart move. Standard side airbags make the 2009 Yaris a much smarter choice regardless.

By David Thomas | July 2, 2008 | Comments (22)



I know 3 people who considered Yaris and walked away do to the center placement of the speedometer, etc. I wonder how much that cuts into sales.

I know the Toyota gets away with it in the Prius, but that is a very unique car, with little competition.


what it really needs in stability control and four wheel disk brakes.


Side air bags are great and I am glad that it improves the safety rating. I have been looking to get a Yaris with ABS for over a year now in the Chicago area and it does not exist. Why don't they at least give the option especially for Chicago winters. I would think that this would be a no brainer but apparantely not!


It's about time... Where's the stability control and ABS, though?


Agreed. About time! I cannot be the only person who would love the 5 door hatch but would never consider the sedan (too ugly) or 3-door (i have friends you know?). The 5 door should be the no-brainer in the range really.


Also, why do so many people hate the central speedo. I drove the old model in Europe and it had a spooky deep set LCD speedo there and I loved it. I guess there is an arguement that it means taking your eyes off the road, but otherwise I dont get it. Aesthetically, it's nicer than the Mini's central speedo, even if here in the US we have to make do with cheapo analogue dials as opposed to the lovely "floating" digital read-out you get elsewhere.


I see the 5-door every so often (Canadians who visit Boston) and it actually is quite nice looking. However, to those complaining about the center controls or lack of a 5-door should just look at the xD. I think the 5-door Yaris would eat into xD sales.


Mart: My guess about the central speedo dislike is that the speedo on all cars has been in the same place forever - conveniently in front of you.

My guess as to why Toyota put it in the middle is so they could save money. Now, wit the denter mount, all they have to move is the steering wheel and steering column mounted controls for the right hand drive and left hand drive markets.

Side air bags are not enough. Please look at my website www.safersmallcars.com
to see how to add side crumple zones to cars.

The car companies have rejected my ideas, but that was before $4 gas. Maybe they will reconsider?


yeah, i had a saturn ion for a while and actually grew to really like the central speedo. it is one of those things you have to get used to though. it was wierd switching back and forth between cars, but after a while i found i preferred the central speedo over the conventional locations (looking over vs. looking down).

why do so many people want stability control? i understand it's necessity in a big suv or a high powered sports sedan, but is it REALLY necessary in a 2400lbs front wheel drive economy car with modest power??? come on...if you need stability control in this car, you probably need to modify your driving style a bit...


Shopa, side crumple zones and retractable wheelbases... We haven't had this much fun on this blog since Toyota Troll was around.

Cody, studies have shown that stability control reduces fatal crashes by a significant percentage on standard cars, not just SUVs. It has little to do with the amount of power a car has. It helps prevent a car from sliding out of control, especially in inclement weather. If the computer can keep the car out of a slide, the chances of crashing are reduced.



agreed, but it's still the driver not driving within the limits of the vehicle or the weather...for the most part. i mean, i've been driving for over 20 years now, and i haven't owned one car w/stability control...and i'm still alive.

i've never lost control of my vehicle. i've driven in rain and snow, and in different countries w/different climates.


After my experience with Ford and VW, I would take a stripper Toyota anything over a fully loaded Ford or VW. I've never had two bigger p.o.s. than my Passat and Fusion. My previous Tercel and Camry both went over 150k with basic maintenance. As far as I'm concerned side air bags are nice to have, but if the car don't run what's the point.


how did ford and vw come into this? and you own both a passat and a fusion...why? hmm...


"come on...if you need stability control in this car, you probably need to modify your driving style a bit..."

come on...some cars have a teandancy to let their tail ends swing out quite a bit. that includes sedans like the Subaru Legacy, Nissan Sentra and Altima, the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln MKZ, Pontiac G6, Saturn Aura, Dodge Avanger, and Chrystler Sebring. It has nothing to do with driving habits. if you think that stability control should be for those who drive like maniacs, then maybe YOU should rethink your driving habits.

Jaxon- all people that i know that have had VW's and acctually taken care of them have had no problems. that means oil changes when they are recommended, and using premium in cars with turbos. my friend has a '95 Jetta TDI with almost 250,000 miles on it, and has taken care of it since the day he bought it 13 years ago. no major problems still.



Please did you list every sized sedan you could think of? And an AWD subbie?? How hard were you driving all of these cars when you tested them...since you obviously tested them all and found them to be dangerous. I just don't know how those of us who were driving before stability control was thought of survived....

Why would I need to change my driving habits if I've never had trouble driving within the limits of the car and the conditions???

Ed Mc GrAW

when I first got my yaris haTCHBACK i GO made allittle fun of, now everbody wish;s thay had one. I use my yaris as a service vehicle and get an average of 33 to 35 mph in town and 39 to 42 hwy. At times I wish it had allittle my room and still retain the sames mileage. I love my yaris



If ABS isn't available in your region, you simply
find a dealer that is willing to search for what you want in another region.
My state is also located in the Chicago region and I purchased an ABS equipted Yaris. The dealer located the Yaris with the options I wanted
in PA and brought it back to IN.


It's official. The 2009 Yaris line will feature the 5-door along with anti-lock brake system (ABS), front seat-mounted side airbags and front and rear curtain side airbags as standard equipment.



I agree with Cody, the only way you would ever be on a full on slide is due to speeding or going too fast for climate conditions. As far as all the cars AV posted, they slide out in the rear because they are much longer than the Yaris. Even so, you have to be going pretty quick to get them to slide out like that. All that the Yaris would need is ABS with active brake distribution and for people who don't know how to drive in snow, Traction control.

Where did everybody go?

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