22 September 2014
NEW-LOOK TOYOTA YARIS: BOLDER STYLING AND EVEN BETTER VALUE
Generous equipment levels feature across the range, with all grades now fitted with a reversing camera, cruise control, newly designed 15-inch wheels and a 6.1-inch display audio screen that provides touch, drag and flick operations familiar to users of smartphones or tablets.
Every Yaris hatch now includes telescopic steering-column adjustment for a more comfortable driving position, automatic flashing of the hazard lamps under emergency braking, a convenient telephone switch on the steering wheel, and two more speakers for a total of six.
Revised grade names start with the 1.3-litre Ascent, now fitted with 15-inch steel wheels instead of 14-inch. All the additional equipment fitted to the Ascent is valued at well over $2,000, yet Toyota has kept the price steady at $15,690*.
Mid-level SX and range-topping ZR, both powered by 1.5-litre engines, also represent better value. For just $400 more than its predecessor, the SX is equipped with around $1,000 of new features including reversing camera, fog lamps, rear and side privacy glass and new wheel covers.
The range peaks with the sporty ZR that is even more impressively equipped with new auto-levelling LED headlamps, rear spoiler and diffuser, side skirts and Toyota Link** connected mobility. It has at least $2,000 of extra equipment for just $1,300 more.
Driving pleasure in the upgraded Yaris hatch benefits from a stiffer body shell, retuned suspension components and a systematic reduction in noise and vibration.
Increased rigidity, achieved through additional spot welds, contributes to a more direct and linear steering response while also reducing unwanted vibration.
New suspension calibration results in improved ride comfort while maintaining balanced body control.
The use of improved seals and the increased surface area and thickness of sound-absorbing materials reduce the amount of noise entering the cabin, as does a new cowl louvre that cuts air turbulence at the base of the windscreen.
Toyota Australia executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the Japanese-built and European-styled Yaris hatch is pitched at customers wanting a flexible, spacious interior with the convenience of a compact exterior.
“The latest update to Yaris hatch will broaden its appeal, making it even more compelling as a stylish, affordable and economical car that promises to deliver a lot of fun to its owners,” Mr Cramb said.
“Standard reversing camera, cruise control and seven airbags emphasise the car’s inherent safety. Clever features such as innovative storage spaces, a large touch-screen audio display and available connected mobility make the new-look Yaris an even smarter choice for customers.”
Total Yaris sales have topped 186,000 hatches and sedans since the nameplate arrived in Australia in late 2005, making it the best-selling vehicle in its segment over that period.
Only three other Toyota passenger cars have achieved higher sales – Corolla, Camry and Corona.
The upgraded hatch is designed to add to the popularity of Yaris by employing Toyota’s more emotionally appealing “family look” – a strong and bold execution of the company’s signature design language and detailing.
A slimline upper grille and large, trapezoidal lower grille merge at the central Toyota logo to form a powerful cross-shaped structure.
The logo is underscored by a chrome trim bar that runs through the length of the upper grille into new headlamps (halogen for Ascent and SX, LED for ZR), unifying the front of the car and emphasising its width.
Ascent and SX have redesigned wheel covers while their rear light cluster and licence-plate garnish have been stretched horizontally to give the appearance of a broader, lower stance.
The sporty personality of the ZR grade has been enhanced with newly designed alloy wheels and distinctive rear combination lamps that feature LED tail lamps. All grades have LED stop lamps.
Toyota Link** in the ZR provides apps^ to help drivers find a destination, fuel, weather details and other information as well as roadside and other assistance. Users can connect compatible smartphones^^ and operate the apps entirely using the touchscreen.
ZR audio includes voice recognition in addition to the Yaris standard of Bluetooth®# phone connection and audio streaming.
These features complement the ZR’s satellite navigation+, automatic climate-control air-conditioning, sports front seats, premium three-spoke steering wheel and newly designed seat fabric.
The Yaris hatch palette of nine exterior colours includes a new Vivid Yellow that will further brighten the line-up. There are also two new blue hues – a cool Aura and a darker Tidal Blue.
Toyota has upgraded the Yaris cabin to increase its appeal in a fast-changing market, providing a greater feeling of roominess and style that enhance its quality.
A grain finish on the dash and around the instrument panel combined with brighter ornamentation for the air vents and door switches promote a more up-market look.
The glovebox cover is redesigned for a more integrated appearance with the rest of the dashboard while making better use of the available space.
Behind the cover, a partition can be used to create two separate storage areas while the design also includes a handy open tray with a second glovebox beneath.
Yaris hatch incorporates a complete safety package: seven airbags (including protection for the driver’s knee), plus vehicle stability and traction control, and anti-skid brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.
The two four-cylinder engines have intelligent variable valve timing (VVT-i) for maximum power and efficiency. Ascent and SX buyers have the choice of a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic transmission. ZR is auto only.