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Ride: Toyota Ist

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The Ist is a subcompact car made in Japan by Toyota. It is exported to the US as the Scion xA and Scion xD and to Europe as the Urban Cruiser. The name “ist” is in reference to the suffix term “-ist”, which denotes something that adheres to, or is uniquely gifted in a specific talent, doctrine, or ability.

Based on the first generation Toyota Vitz hatchback, the first generation Ist shared a platform with the Toyota Platz sedan.

The Ist was developed from the Toyota Vitz supermini in a crossover SUV bodystyle offering the flexibility of larger SUVs, but with the advantage of better fuel economy from a smaller vehicle. It first appeared at the 2001 Tokyo Auto Show, and was placed into production in 2002.

The Ist is meant to cater to younger drivers. At its introduction, 42,000 ordered were received in Japan.

Its primary competitor is the Honda Fit and the Nissan March. The first generation car was used by the Shizuoka Prefectural Police in Japan as a police car. The Ist goes for about Shs16m.

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