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Huge price hike for all-new Toyota Yaris

Toyota’s fourth-gen Yaris city car kicks off from $22,130 – $6740 more than before

19 Aug 2020

TOYOTA Australia has officially left the sub-$20,000 price bracket by setting an opening gambit of $22,130 plus on-road costs for its all-new fourth-generation Yaris city car – an increase of almost $7000 compared to the outgoing series.


Miles away from the $12,990 driveaway battlelines waged between the major brands with their most affordable models a decade ago, Toyota’s push upmarket with the 2020 Yaris places it close to the one-size-larger Corolla (from $23,895) and sees the light-sized hatchback push up as high as $32,100 for the flagship ZR, which is $9430 more than before. 


Indeed, the outgoing $22,670 ZR is on a par, in pricing terms at least, with the new Ascent Sport range opener when either premium or two-tone paint are factored in.


But Toyota is unrepentant, pointing to the all-new nature of this latest generation, its advanced TNGA platform, significantly higher levels of safety equipment and new powertrains, including a hybrid system.


The hybrid carries a $2000 premium over the combustion-engined equivalent and is offered on the mid-spec SX (from $29,020) and top-flight ZR (from $32,100). Automatic transmission is standard on these two model grades, but adds $1500 onto the Ascent Sport.


Toyota Australia vice-president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley said Toyota never set out to radically reposition the city car.


“That really isn’t our intention,” he said. “Our goal is to produce ever-better cars and price them fairly to represent strong value for money.


“For Yaris, it started with our considerable investment in research and development – an all-new model, not a facelift.”


Power comes from a new 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that in the non-hybrid models produces 88kW of power at 6600rpm and 145Nm of torque from 4800-5200rpm, driving the front wheels via a six-speed manual in the Ascent Sport or a continuously variable transmission (CVT) elsewhere.


Fuel economy for the new powerplant is rated at 5.4 litres per 100km for the manual on the official combined cycle, down to 4.9L/100km with the auto. CO2 emissions come in at 126/114 grams per kilometre respectively.


The hybrid, meanwhile, is based on the same petrol engine running the Atkinson cycle and producing 67kW at 5500rpm and 120Nm at 3800-4800rpm. With a 59kW/141Nm AC synchronous/permanent magnet electric motor, and drawing from a 178-volt/4.3Ah lithium-ion battery, the hybrid system produces a combined 85kW and delivers outstanding fuel economy and emissions of just 3.3L/100km and 76g/km.


Toyota claims this is the world’s most fuel-efficient traditional series/parallel hybrid car.


To capitalise on the flexibility of the electrified drivetrain, the hybrid variants come with three driver modes – eco, power and full-electric power – which largely perform as their names suggest.


Eco mode is about conserving fuel, power mode sharpens things up for maximum performance and response while full-electric mode allows for “almost silent” emissions-free driving, however Toyota has not released the all-electric driving range.


As well as claiming the new Yaris is the most fuel-efficient car of its kind, Toyota also proclaims it to be the “world’s safest compact car” with even the base model coming as standard with front-row centre airbags, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, secondary collision braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beam, speed-sign recognition, lane-keep and cornering assist and a reversing camera.


The ZR also scores blind-spot monitoring, intelligent clearance sonar, front and rear parking sensors and a new parking support brake system.


Cabin accommodation and amenities in the Yaris also go up a notch, with Toyota executives saying the interior was designed around a “hands on the wheel, eyes on the road” concept with an emphasis on ergonomics and practicality.


A fully adjustable multifunction steering wheel heads things up here, behind which sits a 4.2-inch multi-information display as seen on other Toyota models.


A sophisticated standard-fit 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is also mounted high on the dashboard for ease of use and visibility.


Cloth seats are standard across the range, with the Ascent Sport interior swathed in piano-black trim and also including electric windows, automatic-folding mirrors, air-conditioning and six-speaker audio with digital radio, Bluetooth, voice recognition and the aforementioned smartphone mirroring.


All variants have a 60/40 split-fold rear seat, extending the standard cargo space which is rated at 270L.


The SX ups the ante with satellite navigation, a digital speedo and tacho, automatic air-con, keyless entry/start, a soft-touch instrument panel, silver interior trim, leather-accented steering wheel trim, 


It also has 15-inch alloy wheels, LED head- and tail-lights as well as privacy glass.


At the top of the range, the sporty ZR – in addition to the previously mentioned extra safety kit – features a 10-inch colour head-up display, sports front seats (embossed and Y-printed), red dash and door trim inserts, and paddle shifters on the non-hybrid variant.


It also has 16-inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler.


As GoAuto has reported, the fourth-generation hatch measures in 5mm shorter and lower than the outgoing model while sitting on a wheelbase that has been stretched by 40mm.


When all is said and done, the new model boasts a centre of gravity 15mm lower than its predecessor, aiding dynamics and handling ability.


Suspension duties are taken care of by a stiffer MacPherson strut arrangement at the front and a torsion beam set-up at the rear to further improve dynamics and reduce bodyroll while softer springs have been fitted in the name of ride comfort.


Compared to the outgoing model, the new Yaris boasts greatly enhanced styling and exudes a more aggressive, sporting look, in keeping with the ‘ready to go’ concept designers and engineers were working around.


The overall design is one based around chunkiness, with the front end dominated by a new black cascading grille above which sits an angry-looking headlight arrangement, including integrated LED daytime running lights.


Heavy body sculpting down the flanks enhance the overall look of muscularity and chunkiness, especially around the rear wheelarches.


At the back we find a fairly simple rear end continuing the same chunky theme as the rest of the body with a deep-set tailgate, black plastic diffuser-style bumper insert and a shiny black panel bridging the tail-light arrangements.


To complement its funky new styling, 12 colours are available on the Yaris, with chief engineer Yasunori Suezawa saying the team “had lots of fun with the colour range”.


All variants are covered by Toyota’s five-year warranty with the option to extend that period to seven years, while the first five scheduled services are capped at $195 each, coming at 15,000km intervals.


Through the first seven months of this year, Toyota sold 3324 examples of the current Yaris, accounting for 18.4 per cent of the sub-$25,000 light car segment and enough to see it take top spot ahead of the MG MG3 (2913/16.1%).


2020 Toyota Yaris pricing*

Ascent Sport $22,130
Ascent Sport (a) $23,630
SX (a) $27,020
SX Hybrid (a) $29,020
ZR (a) $30,100
ZR Hybrid (a) $32,100

*Excludes on-road costs

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