THE Yaris nameplate is no stranger to South Africa; launched in 2005, four iterations of the compact city hatchback have been sold on the local market.
This year marks the introduction of a new Yaris – tailored to specifically cater to the needs of the ever-evolving South African customer.
Bigger and bolder
The new Yaris has also grown in stature and is poised to offer even more than before. Dimensionally the new Yaris grows by 165mm lengthways and 5mm in width – providing a boost in exterior size and corresponding interior space.
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 headlights feature chrome inner accents, creating an elegant appearance.
A prominent trapezoidal grille occupies the lower apron complete with honeycomb-patterned screen. The top corners house the Daytime Running Lights (DRL), visually aligned by a slim air aperture. The side profile is classic hatchback with a style line extending from the bumper corners to the rear of the vehicle – enhancing the feeling of continuity. A tapering rear window line and blacked-out C-pillar promote a sporty appearance.
The rear bumper design also includes aerodynamic fins to smooth airflow within the wheel housing and limit airflow into the rear bumper – in order to reduce aerodynamic drag and improve fuel efficiency.
Seven stylish colours are on offer: diamond silver metallic, attitude black, glacier white, crimson metallic and graphite grey including two new exciting hues - inferno metallic and dark blue metallic.
The grown-up feel continues indoors as the new Yaris features a spacious and inviting interior space. A cigar-shaped upper dashboard design creates a sense of width which is complimented by the stylised metal accents which surround the air vents - adding both style and sophistication.
The operation zone is furnished in piano black trim with chrome-plated switchgear – which exudes a sense of style and solidity. The lower section also features two cup holders, softly illuminated by an LED mood-light.
Powering the new Yaris is 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.
Ride and handling
A proven McPherson strut-type front suspension has been adopted, while the rear features a torsion beam layout offering great reliability and space-efficient construction. The coil spring and shock absorber characteristics have been optimised to provide first-rate ride comfort.
A great balance has been struck between ride comfort and dynamic composure. A large quantity of spot welds and a large under-body brace enhance body rigidity and promote excellent handling stability. Depending on the model, the rolling-stock consists of either 15- or 16-inch wheels. Models equipped with 16-inch rubber feature directional-design alloy wheels (with machined face treatment) and 195/50/R16 tyres.
The all-new Yaris boasts a comprehensive standard specification list – aligned to customer demands and the upsize-mantra.
The entry-level Xi feature 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, electric power steering and manual air-conditioning.
Xs models add automatic lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, retractable exterior mirrors, rear power windows, leather steering wheel and gear knob, steering switches as well as LED daytime running lights.
The Cross variant is based on the Xs grade and inherits roof rails, black side moulding, brushed metal apron treatment (front and rear) and black over fenders - affording it a rugged, urban feel.
Serving as the flagship to the range is the Sport model, which features a host of sporty enhancements to create a visually striking package.
Connectivity for Millenials
A standout feature on Xs, Cross and Sport models is the advanced 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 + protocols. While 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.
A strong focus has been placed on both active and passive safety kit. With this in mind, 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 are additionally outfitted with side -, curtain and driver knee airbags.
- 1.5 Xi MT – R230 800
- 1.5 Xs MT – R253 400
- 1.5 Xs CVT – R268 500
- 1.5 Cross – R268 500
- 1.5 Sport – R286 000