2007 Toyota Yaris | new car review

Posted on Jun 25, 2009 by

Well on its way to becoming the world’s largest automotive manufacturer, is known for its acumen when it comes to recognising trends and immediately acting to seize opportunities. Its earlier offerings in the small car segment or the supermini class consisted of the funky xA which catered to the whims and fancies of the youth and the effervescent Echo that was a favourite with rental companies and women.

With these two models having been shelved, Toyota has taken cognisance of the growing threat from the opposition, especially from the Korean brands, and unleashed their latest supermini, the Yaris, to not only counter the menace but to greatly enhance their slice of the automotive pie in this category. The timing is also right as fuel prices have gone up in recent times and more people are veering away from gas-guzzling SUVs to much smaller cars with better fuel efficiency.

The Yaris has a degree of Frenchness about it, thanks to the design penned by ED2 Studio in Nice. On the exterior, the Yaris has a very cab-forward look with a snub nose incorporating one of the biggest bumper/grille mouldings ever seen in this segment. The treatment on the grille and headlight is every bit modern and the all-in-one shape with a rising waistline gives a kind of pounce-forward look. The whole car looks fresh and in quite a few ways almost futuristic.

Inside there is a sliding rear seat and a clearly marked central instrument panel. The cleverly-designed instrument panel and the vertical stack of rotary air-con controls also add to the futuristic appeal from inside. Light grey plastic features along the door trims, curving up into the extreme front and rear of the side windows, are a novel approach to making the interior more airy, too. Fit and finish is mostly good and there are no rattles or squeaks – the feeling inside the cabin is very solid.

You’d expect a car with Japanese genes to be easy to drive – and the Yaris is, with a light, positive gear change and well-judged weighting for the brakes. The 1.3-litre DOHC in-line four-cylinder unit mated to a 4-speed automatic (5-speed manual also available) and making 87 bhp, provides for generous city performance. Though the Yaris doesn’t have the most driver-involving suspension set-up around, it’s taut and precise enough to be quite fun and there’s just enough tightening of the cornering line.

Toyota introduced the Yaris sedan variant much later to keep the fleet owners happy. The sedan has a slightly different front design as compared to the and has been well received by the fleet fraternity as well as the average car-buyer.

Body TypeHatchback/Sedan
Price (in AED)40,500-46,000
Engine (litre)1.3
Power (bhp)87
Torque (Nm)120
Transmission5M/4A

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