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Yaris finally gets stability

Get a grip: Toyota's Yaris light car gets electronic stability control, and a price rise.

Toyota adds ESC to its top-selling Yaris, but only on 1.5-litre versions

28 Sep 2009

TOYOTA Australia has finally made the potentially life-saving electronic stability control (ESC) system available on its Yaris – but only for more expensive 1.5-litre models.

Widely recognised as one of the most effective active automotive safety technologies ever invented, ESC is now fitted as standard to most medium and large cars and SUVs, and will be mandated in Australia for all new-model passenger cars from November 2011.

Toyota’s Corolla was among the last small cars in Australia to become available with ESC, in January this year, and now selected versions of its Yaris – Australia’s second top-selling light-car – are also available with ESC, bringing Toyota’s smallest model into line with most of its competitors.

Fitted in tandem with traction control, Toyota’s vehicle stability control (VSC) system is now standard on all 1.5-litre versions of the Yaris, including YRS and YRX levels of the three and five-door hatch and four-door sedan.

For the privilege, buyers of the Yaris 1.5 YRS three-door pay an extra $650, with the manual price increasing to $17,990 and the automatic price rising to $19,590, while 1.5 YRX three-door prices increase by $500 to $20,390 (manual) and $21,990 (auto).

8 center imageSimilarly, 1.5-litre five-door prices increase by $450, to $18,990 (manual) and $20,590 (auto) for the YRS, and by $300 for the YRX – to $21,390 manual and $22,990 auto.

Finally, 1.5-litre YRS sedan prices are also up by $490, to $19,530 for the manual and $21,130 for the auto, while 1.5 YRX sedan prices rise by $340 – to $21,930 (manual) and $23,530 (auto).

An ‘enhanced safety pack’ – front-side airbags and side curtain airbags on the sedan, plus a driver’s knee airbag on both hatch models – continues to be a $750 option across the entire Yaris range, as does metallic paint ($300).

However, unlike many of its rivals, including the top-selling Hyundai Getz, ESC remains unavailable on the cheapest and most popular Yaris models, the 1.3-litre three and five-door hatchbacks.

The latest move follows the addition of Bluetooth and USB connectivity in the entry-level 1.3 YR last month, when base prices increased $200, and the addition of a new Edge model based on the base YR in July.

Pricing for the entry-level Yaris 1.3 models is unchanged, at least from a month ago, with the YR three-door costing $15,890 (manual) and $17,490 (auto) and the YR five-door priced at $17,090 (manual) and $18,690 (auto).

Toyota says ESC was specifically engineered for the 1.5-litre Yaris in the Australian market.

“Toyota is committed to adding safety features to its vehicles as and when they become available for our market,” said Toyota Australia senior executive director of sales and marketing David Buttner.

“The addition of vehicle stability and traction control to the Yaris models fitted with the 1.5-litre engine can potentially reduce the number and severity of impacts.

“We will continue to add a variety of safety features to models across our range as the opportunity arises,” he said.

Toyota Yaris pricing:
1.3 YR 3-dr $15,890
1.3 Edge 3-dr $16,190
1.3 YR 3-dr (a) $17,490
1.3 Edge 3-dr (a) $17,790
1.5 YRS 3-dr $17,990
1.5 YRS 3-dr (a) $19,590
1.5 YRX 3-dr $20,390
1.5 YRX 3-dr (a) $21,990
1.3 YR 5-dr $17,090
1.3 Edge 5-dr $17,390
1.3 YR 5-dr (a) $18,690
1.3 Edge 5-dr (a) $18,990
1.5 YRS 5-dr $18,990
1.5 YRS 5-dr (a) $20,590
1.5 YRX 5-dr $21,390
1.5 YRX 5-dr (a) $22,990
1.5 YRS sedan $19,530
1.5 YRS sedan (a) $21,130
1.5 YRX sedan $21,930
1.5 YRX sedan (a) $23,530

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