You're right. Each generation adds more and more. A Yaris is more
advanced than a mid-level car from 15 years ago. But now, it's
considered a plain econo-box.
I think it's partly the fault of auto journalists who put simple cars
like the Yaris down while lifting up the more feature filled cars such
as the Fit (that of course cost more).
But today's consumers generally demand more and more while expecting
prices to stay low and for fuel efficiency to go up even with a heavier
car. They've gotten spoiled.
So it's pretty certain that Toyota will be forced to compete with more
expensively engineered cars because of the negatives that the auto
media has labeled the Yaris with (especially when compared to Fit).
They'll have to make a more upscale interior, engineer better handling,
It is too bad.