By Ali Mphaki
Hot on the heels of the launch of the new Vivo Polo enters the new Toyota Yaris, in a bolder, bigger and more modern interpretation. With a total of 1 000 new parts, the sight of the newcomer is likely to bring a cheer on Yaris lovers who will no doubt appreciate the new wide grille and new headlights, which clearly distinguishes the new model from the one its replaces. Most enthusiasts agree that it was time for a revamp of their favourite model, which debuted on South African soil in 2005.
At first sight you might be tempted to think the new Yaris has been given “self-raising flour” treatment, as it is 163 mm longer and 5 mm wider and boasts a new modern rear. nterestingly, the increase in size and new design produces a profile reminiscent of its larger sibling, the Auris. This Auris/Yaris similarity may be the newcomer’s shortcoming as it is likely to cause some confusion among buyers.
Toyota did not compromise on the treatment they gave to the interior of the new Yaris either. From keyless entry and push-button start, four speaker audio system with USB and Bluetooth functionality, multi information display, electrically-adjustable exterior mirrors, front power windows, electrically-adjustable exterior mirrors, electric power steering and manual air conditioning all conspire to make the interior hip and modern.
Power delivery is taken care of by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, utilising dual VVT-i and a DOHC 16-valve layout.
The engine delivers a rev-happy 79kW and 140Nm. A singular engine option is carried across the range and the whole range uses 15-inch alloy wheels, which offers a solid ride, typical of Toyota products. Top speed for the manual models is 180km/h, with the CVT model is geared for 170km/h. Toyota says fuel consumption is 5.9 litres and 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres, for the manual and CVT respectively.
The new Yaris models from the entry level 1.5 Xi MT will set you back R230,800 with the top of the range 1.5 Sport priced at R286,000 , which is about R11 000 more than the most expensive Polo. Price aside, the new Yaris has its work cut out as it is in the same highly competitive compact hatch market where there are the likes of Renault Clio, Ford Fiesta and the Polo Vivo all revving up for the same customers.
It remains to be seen how the new Yaris will square up with the opposition, but Toyota is confident that when it comes to their products “everything keeps going right”.
All Yaris models come with a 3-year/45,000km service plan and 3-year/100,000km warranty. Service intervals are set at 15,000 kilometres.