For my final car review of 2018, I drove the very adorable little Toyota IST. A tiny car engineered to use everything it is equipped with to excel wherever it matters. This is the sort of car that fits well for anyone that wants fuel economy but also wants to travel and live better than the average compact city car owner.
For in our society today, social class is a much-underappreciated means to one’s goals. We understand its importance, but we rub shoulders with almost everyone on social media. We forget to make proper connections and build meaningful relationships with these people.
Robert Kabushenga follows you on twitter and occasionally retweets your memes, therefore, you imagine he knows you well and if you ever reached out, he’d recognize you and pay attention. This is obviously an illusion of a generation that’s high on retweets and likes.
Proper connections with the people that matter takes a lot more effort offline.
Social class is, for the most part by impression. The people that see you will categorize you into a certain social class judging from some things about you. As we grow up, we realize that these things never change. Your watch, phone, clothes, accent, where you hang out, your hobbies etc.… the same stuff our high school mates based on, still apply in the “real world.”
The significant difference now is that we are classified by the cost of our expensive toys. These, are mostly cars. The car you own goes a long way in classifying and grading you into a certain social class. However, for every classification by the car one drives, there is a benchmark, the lowest qualification for one to be in that class.
The Toyota IST for the sort of money it costs and for how well built it is puts you at the top of city compact car owners’ social class. I was amazed by it and despite my excessive disapproval of anything below 6 cylinders, I drove this little car with a bias-free mind and I absolutely loved it.
The first thing that stands out is the shape. Very oddly shaped but its disguised ugliness inevitably grows on you. You become fond of it and then you realize the little smurf is not ugly at all. It has that understated beauty that’s not for everyone to appreciate. Kind of like Sheila Gashumba.
In this market, comparing it with its closest sibling rival the Toyota Vitz which I drove a couple of months ago, the IST is a much cooler kid. Built on the same platform as the Toyota Platz (stepsister to the Vitz), the IST makes better use both in build and space.
The space utilization is fascinating as you try to wrap your head around what they shade off to create all that interior space. Small as it looks and as it indeed is, it is more than averagely spaced. The leg room is adequate if you did not forget to be rich enough to buy a car that your long legs can fit in.
It is suitable for a single person or a very small family – literally. You should be tiny people and have not more than two children. For tiny people, it is adequate even for long journeys. I am a tiny person and I had sufficient space and for a person that almost never has any luggage, the boot space is something I can live with. The Toyota IST is a car I can live with.
Performance-wise, this is a compact city car and for that description, it performs as you’d expect it to. The power is exactly what you bargained for when you buy a 1.3-litre front wheel drive city car that produces about 100 Horsepower. It is astonishing on fuel economy, something you expect but it does it so well you have seconds where you wonder if the fuel gauge actually works. It does work.
There isn’t much to discuss on performance because you don’t buy this car for its performance. Interestingly, it has a 4WD version.
I love tiny cars, and if I had to buy one right now, the Toyota IST would be it. It creates a social class impression above the compact city car norm and this will get you attention from the right people. For everything that should matter about a compact city car, it excels.
Also Read: REVIEWS BY IAN PAUL: 2003 Toyota Vitz
Author: Ian Paul Byamugisha
Ian Paul Byamugisha is a writer/author/novelist and car journalist. As a writer for Newslibre, he writes car reviews, cars news, tech news and anything that one might find interesting to read. Currently working on a spy novel collection titled “Arthur Vintage.”