2015 Toyota Yaris | Livin’ With a Hatch – 1

Posted on Jan 8, 2015 by
2015 Toyota Yaris
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 3 stars
  • Good
AEDAED 57,500
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  • Published on:
  • Last modified: February 25, 2015
  • Exterior
    Editor: 75%
  • Interior
    Editor: 80%
  • Quality
    Editor: 65%
  • Features
    Editor: 70%
  • Performance
    Editor: 65%
  • Value for money
    Editor: 70%

Review Summary:

It isn't the prettiest mode of transportation on the streets. It isn't the quickest mode of transportation, either. But unlike our other reports that focus on performance, this series of long term reports for the next three weeks elaborates as the title reads, what it's like livin' with a hatch.

Pros

* Impressive amounts of cabin space.
* Looks edgier than the older model.

Cons

* The combination of a wheezy engine and an indecisive transmission don't make for the most exciting of drives.

Is there a more ubiquitous car on UAE roads than ’s bread-and-butter Yaris? Arguably only its Camry stablemate is a more visible vehicular entity around these parts. The secret to its sales success isn’t rocket science. The Yaris is relatively cheap, super-reliable and does exactly what it says on the box – not necessarily with a lot of panache, but that’s not what its target audience is looking for anyway.

2015 Toyota Yaris front

So when I floated the idea of a series of long-term reports on the entry-level Toyota to AutoMiddleEast.com head honcho Pankaj Dev, he greenlighted the proposal with no hesitation.

The Japan-sourced third-generation model sold worldwide since 2011 was recently replaced in the UAE by a Thai-built vehicle (dubbed XP150) and the car in question has stretched in all directions, liberating appreciably more cabin space than before.

The newbie is offered here with a choice of two powerplants, with the base model (AED51,000) propelled by a 1.3-litre engine that puts out a weedy 85hp at 6000rpm and 120Nm at 4400rpm. These outputs are channeled to the front wheels by a four-speed automatic transmission. Further up the pecking order is a 1.5-litre model (AED54,900) that ekes out 108hp and 141Nm, again shunted to the front wheels by the same four-speed auto.

2015 Toyota Yaris side

First things first, the packaging of the 2015 Toyota Yaris is pretty much beyond reproach. There’s ample head- and legroom front and rear, and the luggage compartment is capacious enough to swallow a couple of suitcases and more, as I discovered when collecting my mother from the airport yesterday (she’s never mastered the art of travelling light).

It’s evident the interior designers have tried to be creative, with ample use of sweeping lines and contrasting trim materials throughout the cabin. The trim itself is variable, with some surfaces pleasing to the eye and touch, while others feel cheap and plasticky. The 1.5-litre model gets a three-spoke leather steering wheel with red stitching, which endows the cabin at least a vaguely sporting ambience, even if the car itself is anything but. The SE+ model (AED57,500) we sampled also gets push-button start, which is a rarity in this segment.

Out on the road, you’ll soon discover the engine (even the 1.5) needs to be worked hard to extract anything resembling decent performance. The problem with this is that it results in noise levels rising disturbingly. The four-speed auto also has an annoying tendency to hunt between ratios when you’re giving it the beans.

2015 Toyota Yaris rear

On the plus side, the Yaris is a perfectly acceptable conveyance when driven sedately and it trundles along comfortably at a steady 120km/h cruise. The seats are also relatively comfortable, and the A/C has enough grunt to take the sting out of the midday sun.

Visually, I’m not sure if I like the 2015 Toyota Yaris better than the old one. It’s evident the stylists have tried to stretch the envelope with some edgy design elements, but the perky cuteness of the oldie has been lost in the process – although this is probably partly down to the stretch in dimensions.

Overall, not much to love or hate so far. Stay tuned for more over the next three weeks…

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