Yaris' instrument panel

Discussion in 'Toyota' started by Smile-n-Nod, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod Well-Known Member

    Yesterday at the Texas State Fair, I climbed into a Yaris that was on display. After I sat down and looked at the steering wheel, the first thing I noticed was that there was no instrument panel! Actually, it was there; it was just located in the center of the dash rather than directly in front of the driver.

    Having never seen that configuration, I am wondering if it makes sense to located the speedometer in the center of the dash. Any thoughts?
  2. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    No, it doesn't make sense. The instruments should be in front of the driver, where the eyes are more on the road.

    It does make cents for Toyota, though. More shared parts for left- and right-hand drive cars in different markets.
  3. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod Well-Known Member

    Which other cars have center-dash speedometer and tachometer?
  4. voodoo22

    voodoo22 Cheaper than the bus

    Doesn't the Mini have some of it's gauges in the centre? The gauges in the centre have never made one bit of difference to me, but seems like some people can't get over different things like that. If it allows Toyota to keep the price a little lower, I'm all for it and also have no opinion on it all at the same time.

    There's no difference for me to look directly down or down at an angle.
  5. WoodyWoodchuck

    WoodyWoodchuck Sophomore Hypermiler

    I hear it bothers folks also. I got used to it by the second time I drove it. The only thing I have to do differently is ‘estimate’ the speed due to looking at the gauge at an angle. You see 59 MPH so it is actually 55 MPH. I really do not look at it anymore, I have the SG on the column so I just look down at the LOD and MPG readings and drive by them. Only time I worry about MPH is when approaching a few uphill grades that I have to be going a certain speed when I hit them to make it up getting the best MPG possible. As with Voodoo22, if it keeps the cost down it’s fine with me.
  6. YarSwiss

    YarSwiss C'est quoi 'hypermile' en Francais?

    Having driven many cars without a center-gauge, and currently owning a Yaris hatch for over 2 years, I can say that having a center-stack is much more efficient and safe.

    Your eyes should never be affixed on a single spot on the road, but should fluctuate around the middle of the road, which is around the center of your windshield. If your eyes are constantly looking at a slight down angle right in front of you, you lose perspective depth and are less able to estimate speeds/distance of oncoming obstacles. The center stack is not only squarely where your eyes should be facing on the road, it is also further out, so it "blends in" with the windshield.

    While the Yarii center gauges were primarily designed for decreasing production costs (it's very easy to build a left hand drive or right hand drive vehicle around a center console), it is actually a safety boon that is being used more and more in modern cars, and not only econoboxes.

    Most people who complain about the center dash really just haven't gotten used to it. How much work is it to tilt your head 5 degrees to the right and glance at the conveniently eye-level gauges? People who find this too bothersome are just not used to it or lazy.
  7. Smile-n-Nod

    Smile-n-Nod Well-Known Member

    If you look at the center of your windshield, you'll not be facing the middle of the road, rather you'll be looking over your right headlight at the shoulder (verge) of the road. If you want to see the center of the road, look straight ahead or maybe a degree or two down and to the right.

    Looking downward a few more degrees doesn't affect depth perception; having to focus from far to near to far again does. The center gauges on the Yaris are almost the same distance from the driver's eyes as they would be in the conventional location, so there's not much difference in depth perception.

    It's a lot more than 5 degrees (which is less than the angle a second-hand on a clock jumps every second), probably closer to 20 or 30 degrees. The ideal position (visually) for an instrument panel would be directly in front of you, except that it would block your view of the road. Next best is somewhere close to straight ahead so that you don't have to move your eyes much to see the instruments. The further the instruments are from the normal viewing direction, the more time it takes to find the gauges and then look back at the road.

    The problem I see with the Yaris is in having to turn one's eyes farther from the straight-ahead viewing orientation. The center-dash location may not make much of a difference in real life driving, but I don't see how it could be better than the traditional location.
  8. YarSwiss

    YarSwiss C'est quoi 'hypermile' en Francais?

    When it comes down to it, it is all really a matter of opinion. Until you have driven a bit in the Yaris, you can't really bash or support the center dash.

    Personally, I like the ergonomic styling, and as an added perk due to the saved space, the Yaris has more "glove" compartments than any other cars I have ever been in; 4, as well as 7 cup holders:D. I've grown so accustomed to it that driving a "regular" car feels awkward, as I constantly have to stare down to find out the info I need.

    Once you go Yaris you don't go back...:p
  9. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    I drove Brian's 5MT hatchback Yaris when I was in Reno last February -- very nice car. At 6'5" I fit just fine and the car returned some nice numbers on an unfamiliar route with a bit of highway P&G thrown in for good measure. It only took a few seconds to accustom myself to the center gauge cluster location, but I still prefer the more traditional location.

    For the price and the FE, I could put up with the location of that gauge cluster. ;)
  10. voodoo22

    voodoo22 Cheaper than the bus

    You don't get all those glove compartment in the sedan though.
  11. YarSwiss

    YarSwiss C'est quoi 'hypermile' en Francais?

    But you do get the the 2 extra grooves on the side of the dash, and a tach on certain models. Only the Yaris S liftback with all the bells and whistles has a tach.:(
  12. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    The answer is easy. It gives you an uncluttered view of your Scangauge setting directly in front of you.:D

  13. voodoo22

    voodoo22 Cheaper than the bus

    Yes, I do find the glove compartment a little small, and I only discovered the little compartment on the dash near the drivers door a few months ago.

    One thing I do wonder about the centre gauge cluster is if Toyota took perspective into account on the display. As someone noted, the speed needle it pointing to a different number depending on if you're in the drivers seat, passenger seat or looking at it dead on.
  14. WoodyWoodchuck

    WoodyWoodchuck Sophomore Hypermiler

    Comparing to the SG, Toyota did not make any correction for drivers perspective. The console speedometer reads correctly when viewed straight on. Nice that the Yaris is so narrow, I can lean a little and look at it that way! I can also roll up/down the passenger window without leaning too far either, very thoughtful of Toyota.
  15. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    That was one of my favorite characteristics of the '70 Beetle I learned to drive in. :D
  16. voodoo22

    voodoo22 Cheaper than the bus

    Thanks for the info. Maybe this is why people get upset when I'm going 80 km/h from my perspective :)

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