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Yaris aims for Edge over Getz

Stacked: Toyota's Yaris YR gets goodies, including alloys, six-stack CD player and USB connection.

Toyota releases a limited-edition Yaris as it strives to stave off rising Getz

Toyota logo28 Jul 2009

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

TOYOTA has added a new, limited-run version of its popular base-model Yaris YR.

Aimed at keeping the hard-charging Hyundai Getz from stealing Toyota’s six-in-a-row light car sales crown, the Edge features $1000 worth of extras for $500 above the list price of the $15,690 Yaris YR.

Among the goodies are Bluetooth telephone and audio streaming capabilities, a USB connection, six-stack CD player with an LCD display, front fog lights, branded mats, and 15-inch alloy wheels in lieu of the 14-inch steel items found on the regular YR.

Like all Yaris models, the Edge include dual front airbags, air-conditioning, ABS anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, power windows, electric mirrors, seatbelt pretensioners and force limiters for the front seats and power steering.

Prices kick off from $16,190 for the Yaris Edge three-door hatch fitted with the 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and five-speed manual gearbox.

Toyota is keen to keep the Yaris youthful in the face of younger rivals like the Ford Fiesta and Honda Jazz.

But the Edge is out to arrest the Getz’s rebirth in the sub-$25,000 light car segment.

Year-to-date sales to the end of June show that the Yaris is just 572 units ahead of the Hyundai, revealing a worrying 26.3 per cent drop from 2008 levels.

By contrast, the Getz – despite advancing years (it was released in September 2002) – is enjoying an 8.3 per cent volume surge. Its 16.5 per cent sales share of the class is only 0.9 per cent shy of the tiny Toyota’s.

Out of the 10 best-selling babies, only the two most recent arrivals join the Hyundai in registering sales increases in the first six months of this year compared to the same time in 2008 – the Fiesta at 12.6 per cent and Jazz at 0.8 per cent.

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