What Does Yaris Even Mean, Anyway? Toyota Explains Its Model Names

Ever wondered how some auto makers choose their model names? Well, Toyota is decoding a few of their more popular model names for you.

As it turns out, the ever popular mid-sized Camry is not named after a camera or camouflage, it is named after the Japanese word kanmuri, which means Crown. That makes sense since the Camry has consistently held the top spot in mid-size sales over the years.

But what about Yaris? That one is a bit of a stretch as it turns out. According to Toyota it is “an amalgamation of words from Greek mythology and German. In Greek mythology, ‘Charis’ was a symbol of beauty and elegance. Toyota swapped the ‘Ch’ with ‘Ya’ – German for ‘yes’ – to symbolize the perceived reaction of European markets to the car’s styling.”

Uh, right.

The Prius, on the other hand, is a lot simpler. Prius in Latin means “previous” or “prior”. Back when the Prius was introduced in 1997, it was the first mass produced hybrid and there was none prior to its existence.

The Corolla? Well, you know flowers? Apparently the innermost ring of pedals around the centre of the flower is called the corolla. Don’t see how that applies to a car? Me neither. But good on Toyota for explaining some of its product names. Now you can say “I learned something today!”

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