2014 Toyota Yaris | Road Test

Posted on Nov 22, 2013 by
2014 Toyota Yaris
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 4 stars
  • Excellent
AEDAED 56,900 (As Tested)
  • 0/5 Avg. User Rating

  • Rated 0 stars
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  • 2014
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: December 8, 2014
  • Interior
    Editor: 60%
  • Exterior
    Editor: 80%
  • Overall Quality
    Editor: 30%
  • Features
    Editor: 50%
  • Performance
    Editor: 70%
  • Value for Money
    Editor: 90%

Review Summary:

So the 2014 Yaris definitely has a few flaws. But, at this price point there aren’t too many rivals out there that can out do it. As a value for money proposition it is extremely hard to beat and with the marginal price difference between the 1.3L and 1.5L engines it would be foolish not to go with the bigger engine. Just don’t expect any sort of refinement from this Japanese workhorse. Engine Specs: 1.5L, 4 Cylinder, 107hp @ 6000 rpm, 141 Nm @ 4200 rpm, 4 Speed automatic, FWD

Pros

A Yaris shouldn't look this good, Enough room to accommodate your extended family

Cons

Interior materials are made of the cheapest possible materials, Lack of ergonomics

Car rentals rejoice. The new Yaris is here!

The newly designed Yaris has got a serious upgrade in the looks department.

The newly designed Yaris has got a serious upgrade in the looks department.

Introduction and Summary

Ahh, the Toyota Yaris. We see loads of these on the road and with good reason. The poster boy of the cheap and cheerful urban automobile. The 2014 Toyota Yaris is pretty much the cheapest Toyota money can buy straight off the dealer floor today. Designed as a compact urban vehicle it has been hugely popular in our region among consumers on a limited budget while also being  popular with rentals.

So what has changed with the new model? The 2014 Toyota Yaris gets an upgrade with a redesigned exterior and interior while not straying too far from its roots. That is, offering a value for money proposition that is hard to beat in a package that is a frugal and efficient way to move around town.

Performance, Ride and Handling

In Sport trim, the 2014 Toyota Yaris comes with a not so bad looking bodykit

In Sport trim, the 2014 Toyota Yaris comes with a not so bad looking bodykit

Just like with the outgoing model, the 2014 Toyota Yaris can be had in two flavours, the hatchback and a sedan. Either one can be had with a choice of a not so exciting 1.3L or 1.5L engine. The sedan is available in one of 3 trim levels  with the 1.5L engine, while there are 2 trim levels to choose from on the 1.3L engine. The hatchback is available in 2 trims with the smaller engine and one fully loaded trim with the 1.5L powerplant. The exterior is now completely redesigned to make it look a lot more stylish and aggressive compared to the outgoing model. What this means is that you don’t get bullied as easily on our SUV dominated roads here. Toyota has given the Yaris a huge upgrade in its looks making this one of the smarter looking cars in this class. The sport trim comes with a bodykit all around that tries very hard to give it a sporty look. Still with a not so brawny 1.5L engine, so lets not get carried away.

Our test car was a ‘Quartz Brown’ 2014 Toyota Yaris Sedan in Sport trim. The 4 pot 1.5L engine has lesser displacement than your family size bottle of fizz but is good for 107 horses and 141 Nm of Torque. That is a fair amount of power for a city car whose duties will mostly involve zipping through busy streets during rush hour. Definitely not what we would classify as underpowered. We didn’t get a chance to drive the 1.3L sibling that puts out a measly 84 hp and 120 Nm of torque so we can’t really comment on that. Mated to a traditional 4 speed automatic there is nothing fancy here. This little guy loves high revs and all it needs is a little twitch from your right foot. Acceleration is decent and as long as you don’t mind being subject to the high pitched engine noise as you get closer to the red line, overtaking isn’t much of an issue.

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The 2014 Toyota Yaris does seem longer than the outgoing model

As part of our not so scientific testing process, we decided to put it through its paces by driving it to a little village in the outskirts of Ras Al Khaimah, bordering Musandam. Packed with 4 Adults and a little bit of a luggage in the trunk we headed off from Dubai. Surprisingly, acceleration was brisk even with the added weight and the new 2014 Toyota Yaris felt a lot more stable at highway speeds than the outgoing one. (possibly due to the added weight) The suspension comfortably soaked up minor imperfections in the road without allowing much to be transferred into the cabin making the ride pretty comfortable on the highway. Typical of supermini’s the handling has been tuned to make maneuverability in traffic easy. This does mean, the steering can be a little twitchy at higher speeds. However, the extremely tight turning radius will mean 3 point turns will mostly be unnecessary when you can make U-turns in the tightest of spots! Driving on country roads can be a little bumpy but not more than what you would expect from any other car in the same segment.

Comfort & Practicality

While much of the driveability of the 2014 Toyota Yaris does not change from the outgoing model, the biggest difference is on the inside. The interior feels extremely spacious and we were able to seat 4 adults comfortably even through a cross country drive. This interior however, is lined with cheap hard plastics all around. The sport trim comes with a leatherette wrapped steering wheel with blue stitching which looks far from classy while the rest of the interior feels cheap. The seats while comfortable are hardly the most supportive. Ergonomics seemed to have been skipped to meet the budget and it clearly shows. The driving position isn’t the best either and the lack of a telescopic steering means you have to just get used to the awkward driving position. You rarely find fault with Japanese ergonomics. The 2014 Toyota Yaris is an exception.

...

Taller passengers need not fight for the front seat anymore

With so much of interior space and sizeable storage space in the trunk this definitely scores high on practicality. Weekly shopping runs or the occasional trip to the airport can be managed while offering enough head and legroom for all passengers. The centre armrest however, is tiny and is guaranteed to start a fight between the driver and the passenger as to who gets to rest his/her elbow on. With a claimed fuel economy of 6.7L/100km, your fuel bills will hardly be something to worry about. The best reading we got during our tests was 8.0L/100km but we suspect that was because the engine with just over 1000kms was hardly broken in.

Plenty of space in the boot

Plenty of space in the boot

Features, Including Safety

The one department we felt the 2014 Toyota Yaris lacking was with the features. The stereo was lacking and bluetooth connectivity is only offered on the top of the line trim. Climate control is available on the full options model while cruise control is not offered on the entire range. For a 2014 model, we found it a bit strange for options like that to be left out. Storage space is limited to one cup holder for the rear passengers and not a lot of space for little things like your wallet, phone and other bits and bobs you might want to stow away while driving. ABS and Brake Assist are offered as standard while dual airbags are what you get on all trims except the base model.

The spartan interior is lined with cheap hard plastic all over.

The spartan interior is lined with cheap hard plastic all over.

Cost

The 2014 Toyota Yaris starts at AED 48,500 for the base ‘S’ model and goes all the way up to AED 57,900 for the top of the line ‘SE+’ model. Our test model, in Sport trim is priced at AED 56,900. The hatchback is only available in one trim level and costs AED 50,750.

Verdict

The 2014 Toyota Yaris has Value for Money written all over it. Just don't let the Sport badge fool you.

The 2014 Toyota Yaris has Value for Money written all over it. Just don’t let the Sport badge fool you.

So the 2014 Toyota Yaris definitely has a few flaws. But, at this price point there aren’t too many rivals out there that can out do it. As a value for money proposition it is extremely hard to beat and with the marginal price difference between the 1.3L and 1.5L engines it would be foolish not to go with the bigger engine. Just don’t expect any sort of refinement from this Japanese workhorse.

0 Responses to 2014 Toyota Yaris | Road Test

  1. Amit Reply

    May 26, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    awesome review

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