- Engines include new 1.5 petrol engine – 1.3 is gone
- More dynamic, more refined, updated cabin
- Hybrid now quieter, smoother, more enjoyable
FRESH FROM the 2017 Geneva auto show comes a new Toyota Yaris, described by its maker as “a revised range that offers customers greater choice and improved equipment”.
Specifications have also been amended across the five-model range and the brand name changed for South Africa to the Yaris Pulse along with the dropping of the previous 1.3-litre engine in favour of a more powerful 1.5.
Toyota also claims the cars have a more dynamic look and a higher-quality cabin. And sees the cars very much as a younger person’s vehicle of choice.
Glenn Crompton, Toyota SA’s vice-president for marketing, told Carman’s Corner in a media release: “Toyota has adopted new styling for the Yaris Pulse that (he hopes) will add impetus to the small hatchback segment.
“The car’s new exterior styling – changes to the front and rear are significant – presents a more active, more dynamic look.”
He also sees the Pulse as having a more powerful style statement thanks to new front and rear designs. Toyota says they give the car a stronger harmony of design”.
The appearance is said to be more refined thanks to fresh detailing in the bodywork and cabin and new colours choices “that enhance the model’s already high levels of perceived quality”.
There are three engines: one- and 1.5-litre petrol and a petrol/electric hybrid.
Customers have a choice of three unicolour tones – white, silver metallic, blue – or two-tones (paired with a black roof) called in white, grey and red. There are three manual models and two with a constantly variable semi-auto gearbox:
Toyota Yaris 1.0 Pulse – 199 000
Toyota Yaris 1.5 Pulse – R228 700
Toyota Yaris 1.5 Pulse CVT – R241 400
Toyota Yaris 1.5 Pulse Plus CVT – R249 600
Toyota Yaris Hybrid – R307 200
The 1.5 petrol engine delivers 12% more power and torque than the previous 1.3 but, Toyota says, uses as much as 12% less fuel.
“With the hybrid,” the automaker adds, “comes an even quieter ride, particularly under acceleration, thanks to new engine mounts, roll restrictor, front drive shafts and sub-frame.”
The hybrid’s ride comfort and steering accuracy, it’s said, devolves from adjustment to the shock-absorbers and electric power-steering and the model range intended to meet the requirements and preferences of a wider, but more selective, customer base.
The cars, Toyota says, have a new grade strategy that targets qualities ranging from value for money to contemporary style and elegance.
SOME DESIGN BULLET POINTS…
• Updates focus on a more active, dynamic, look and more refinement
• Emphasis on horizontal lines and stronger three-dimensional architecture to project a wide vehicle stance and low centre-of-gravity
• New nose displays “catamaran shaped” architecture and has new headlight styles, new grille designs and a less fussy area around the Toyota badge
• New lower-door mouldings, tail hatch, rear lights and bumper
• New upholstery, trim and cabin colours
The grille treatment is said to contribute to the Yaris Pulse’s “more resolute” look. It involves (if you’d care to check the images) an arrangement of stepped” horizontal bars intended to deliver an eye-catching 3-D effect.
Foul-weather lights, one each side of the grille, shine from smaller recesses and the headlights of the revised cars, Toyota says, “develop the qualities of the front design to create a new lights signature that expresses confidence and individuality”.
The most striking detail is meant to be around the main lights, a forked pattern created by slim chromed trim bars. The tail has new rear light-clusters that stretch from the rear wings to the hatch.
“The powerful quality of this design,” Toyota explains, “is supported by the re-shaped area framing the registration plate and the addition of black garnish in the lower bumper, edged with a reflector and finished with a pattern of horizontal lines.”
AND TO THE CABIN…
The intent, Toyota says, was to keep the passenger cell’s look and ambience fresh and modern with new upholstery, colours and trim details and improvements to the instrumentation and controls.
The result, the company believes, is a more modern feel. The cabin trim is “a fashionable black and light grey” on all models except Yaris Pulse Plus CVT. It has black cloth.
The tri-spoked steering-wheel has been redesigned and decorated with shiny black trim; the air vents are meant to resemble propellers, there’s a multimedia screen and controls in the centre console. Switches are new; Toyota’s intent was that the be both neater in appearance and easier to operate.
… AND ON TO PERFORMANCE
• New 1.5-litre petrol engine with VVT-iE has more torque and power but better efficiency than the outsted 1.3
• Standard is six-speed manual transmission; the alternative the CVT with its seven auto choices – or the driver can paddle-shift through seven slots
• Fuel consumption down by a possible 12% (depends on how you drive – Ed)
The 1.5 engine is about a second quicker to 100km/h (around 11sec, if you really need to know) than the previous 1.3. Of technical interest: the engine runs on a high compression ratio (13.5) and uses cooled exhaust-gas recirculation).
There’s also a one-litre, three-cylinder model, the least costly in the range.
The Yaris is still the only general-sale car in its segment available with hybrid power.
- Every delivery will include a three-year or 45 000km service plan (that’s a bit mean if compared with the competition! – Ed) and a three-year or 100 000km warranty.