By Mxolisi Mhlongo
Toyota South Africa has unveiled their latest model of the Yaris. This is just weeks after VW South Africa launched its latest Polo.
The Japanese car manufacturer takes pride in their successful sales across all models instead of just one segment. They are hoping the new Yaris will take them back to their glory days in the hatchback segment when the Run-X dominated the streets of South Africa.
The new Yaris has been widened by 165 mm in length and 5 mm in width, resulting in luggage capacity increasing by 8% to 310 litres compared to the outgoing model. There are seven colours to choose from including Diamond Silver Metallic, Attitude Black, Glacier White, Crimson Metallic, Graphite Grey as well as Inferno Metallic and Dark Blue metallic.
It looks a bit different from its predecessor with elegant finishing on the front while borrowing its rear design from its cousin, the Toyota Auris. The side gets a hatchback design with 15 to 16-inch alloy wheels. The rear gets black central garnish, light clusters with aero fins and a character line running from the side profile.
The interior is designed more for space utilisation rather than style, with what Toyota calls a cigar-shaped dashboard design. The controls section is furnished in piano black with chrome plated switchgear. The lower section features cup holders with LED mood lighting.
One negative I found about the car is the USB port that is mounted on the radio which makes it difficult to navigate the display while driving.
The interior spec is comprehensive with keyless entry, keyless start, multi-function display, air conditioning, electric mirrors and windows on the entry level spec. Powering the new Yaris is a 79kW/140Nm 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine driving the front wheels via either a five-speed manual or a CVT offering on Xs grade. The manual tops at 180km/h whilst the CVT tops at 170km/h. Fuel efficiency is claimed at 5.9l/100km (manual) and 5.8l/100km (CVT Auto).
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
All Yaris models come with a three-year/45 000-kilometer service plan and three-year/100 000-kilometer warranty. Service intervals are set at 15 000 kilometers.