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 marks the introduction of an all- new Yaris – tailored to specifically cater to the needs of the ever-evolving South African customer.

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. Seven stylish colours are on offer: Diamond Silver Metallic, Attitude Black, Glacier White, Crimson Metallic, 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. 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 140 Nm. A singular engine option is carried across the range.

Top speed for the manual models is 180 km/h with the CVT model being geared for a slightly lower 170 km/h peak terminal velocity. Fuel consumption is listed as 5.9 and 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres, for the manual and CVT respectively. On the road the new Yaris exudes a sense of solidity, and provides excellent damping of road conditions with an extremely composed ‘driving feel’. 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.

Four grade options are provided, catering to a broad customer base. 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.

The all-new Yaris boasts a very comprehensive standard specification list – aligned to increasing customer demands and the ‘upsize-mantra’. The entry-level Xi models 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” 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.

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. In addition to the convenience specification, 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). All Yaris models come with a 3-year/45 000 kilometre service plan and 3-year/100 000 kilometre warranty. — Motorpress.