Toyota has launched a completely new Yaris, and it’s a far cry from the original Yaris that your sister drove at varsity.
Words by Stephen Smith
Most notably, the new Yaris, which is the sole vehicle to be built on its new chassis, is much bigger, to the extent that Toyota could have used the opportunity for a whole new nameplate – it’s 165mm longer and 5mm wider. This means, importantly, a far more spacious boot in addition to more space for occupants.
An all-new design takes centre stage, with a profile reminiscent of its larger sibling, the Auris. The front design features sleek headlamps, which flow smoothly towards the central focal point by ways of black ‘fins’ flanking the centrally-mounted Toyota emblem. The headlamps themselves feature chrome inner accents, creating an elegant appearance. Daytime running lights are standard.
The interior has been changed just as much as the exterior, and on Xs, Cross and Sport models focuses on a new touchscreen infotainment system. In addition to the standard AM/FM, USB and Bluetooth functionality, the new audio system features full Smartphone integration and support via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto +. Whilst CarPlay uses standardised Apple applications with Siri integration, Android users are able to fully customise which ‘apps’ they would like to ‘mirror’ on the audio screen. In tune with smartphone operation, users are able to customise the home screen layout via a ‘drag and drop’ technique. Additional apps can be added via Wi-Fi connectivity.
In addition, a built-in satellite navigation system is also included – allowing users to maintain turn-by-turn guidance even when their smartphone is not connected. The system includes speed limit information and provides a GPS-sourced vehicle speed read-out in real time.
Something more familiar is the 1.5-litre engine – the only option in the range, which is essentially the same as the one used in the Etios. Using dual VVT-i and a DOHC 16-valve layout, the engine delivers 79kW and 140 Nm. Claimed fuel consumption is 5.9 and 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres, for the manual and CVT respectively.
Buyers have the choice of either a 5-speed manual transmission or Toyota ‘Multidrive’ Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), driving the front wheels.
Four models are avaialble: the gateway model to the range is the Xi, which is followed by the mid-grade Xs, Cross and Sport variants. Both Sport and Cross models feature bespoke exterior treatment to deliver unique personalities. The CVT offering is only available in Xs grade.
In terms of safety kit, Xi, Xs and Cross models are equipped with driver and passenger airbags, Isofix points, ABS with Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), seat belt pretentioner and force limiters as well as Hill Assist Control (HAC).
Sport derivatives also get side, curtain and driver knee airbags.
All Yaris models come with a 3-year/45 000km service plan and 3-year/100 000 kilometre warranty.
1.5 Xi MT – R 230 800
1.5 Xs MT – R 253 400
1.5 Xs CVT – R 268 500
1.5 Cross – R 268 500
1.5 Sport – R 286 000