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Toyota Aqua launched in Japan as the smallest Toyota’s hybrid

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Toyota Aqua

The Toyota Aqua launched in Japan on Monday after its first debut at the Tokyo Motor Show about one month ago. The Aqua is also known as Toyota Prius C outside Japan and it will be available in the U.S in 2013. It is a four-door hatchback that is seems to be the biggest competitor for the Honda Fit. The Aqua is currently the smallest Toyota hybrid car in the market.

What about the performance? The Aqua is powered by a 1.5 liter engine rated at 72 hp and a 45 kW electric motor. It consists of two driving mode – ECO Mode and EV Mode. Under Japan’s JC08 test cycle, the Aqua has the fuel efficiency of 83 mpg and achieves 0 to 100 km/h in 10.7 seconds. As what we see, the 83 mpg is one big selling point for the car because it has an extra 32 miles compared to the best selling Toyota Prius.

What we say about the look? No other words, we “Wowed!!” It looks really nice like the son of Toyota Prius. A little bit similar to the Prius but also a little bit feel like the Toyota Vios. The most attractive part with the rear view is the rear lamp. This time, Toyota designed it in a different way. It looks silky smooth and alert the drivers who follow the car at the back.

Toyota Aqua interior

What we say about the interior? The interior makes car lovers really want to sit in and have the grip on the steering wheel. There are several buttons on both left and right side of the steering. Driver can control the stereo volume and air-condition temperature. A standard double din stereo is fitted in the middle. The stereo design looks little bit outdate to match with the hybrid system. There is also an auxiliary port and USB port in front of front passenger seats.

At the dashboard, it also features a digital speed meter where most of the people always wanted. The meter look nice with all the important dashboard symbols. A digital speed meter always makes a car look a little bit “high technology” than others. This could be one reason why the Honda Civic is the best selling cars because it was the only few cars with digital speed meter when it was launched. Another thing in a plain sight is the gear knob. It was designed with really nice blue interior lights. The interior is available in four colors – Earth brown, fresh green, cool blue and natural gray.

Price range? Currently the Aqua is available in Japan from 1.69 million yen to 1.85 million yen in three grades – L, S and G.

What is not so good about the car? Definitely is the car name. Aqua means water in Latin, but it means transsexual in Hokkien language which widely used in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and some other Hokkien villages. Luckily, Toyota named it Prius C for market outside Japan. Now we need to add the name Aqua to the list of car names.

Safety features in the car include ABS brake assist and Toyota’s famous VSC hill-start assist. Overall, we love the car and we look forward to see Toyota hit the sales at 12,000 Aquas a month in Japan as what they wish.

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