Toyota Yaris review (2020)

12 Aug 2021, 9:53  •  Review  •  Door koen

The new Toyota Yaris is completely different. The Yaris is mainly known for being bourgeois, well-behaved and a bit boring. The reliability has remained, but the boring image shakes this new Yaris convincingly. This can rightly be called a nice car, in several respects.

Toyota Yaris Hybrid

Well, the Toyota Yaris. What would the Japanese car manufacturer do without this model? It is a very important car for Toyota in Europe. The numbers speak for themselves. In 2019, no less than 22 percent of Toyota’s total sales in Europe were Yaris. The brand sold 224,000! This means that more than 1 in 5 new Toyotas sold in Europe is a Yaris.

Toyota Yaris Hybrid (2020) – Goodbye ‘grey’ image! – ALL HIGHLIGHTS – AutoRAI TV

Yaris Sport and the Yaris GRMN

However successful the Yaris may be, the model has built up a somewhat frumpy image since its market launch in 1999. Reliable, that’s for sure. But exciting? No, not that. With the exception of a few special versions of course, such as the Yaris Sport and the Yaris GRMN. Toyota hopes to shake off that brave image of the Yaris with this completely new generation.

Toyota Yaris remodel

In terms of styling, she has already succeeded in that, because the proportions of the body are completely different from the previous model. The car is 5 centimeters wider, has a 4 centimeters lower roofline, the wheels are placed much more on the corners and the wheelbase has grown by 5 centimeters. Party, because that means more interior space!

Toyota GA-B

The new Yaris is built on the new GA-B platform, based on the modular Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) vehicle architecture. Toyota also uses the GA-B platform for the new Yaris Cross, which will be launched in 2021. This will be a five-door crossover with Yaris traits. The benefits of the platform? It is stiffer (+37 percent), lighter and the center of gravity is significantly lower.

Handling Toyota Yaris

A lower center of gravity? Of course! Toyota has placed various components lower in the car – including the seats – so that most of the weight is as low as possible in the car. Kind of like a battery placed in the bottom section of an electric car. That is favorable for road holding. Speaking of handling, it has been greatly improved. In fact, the Yaris is just a really fun car to drive.

You can throw and throw it nicely, but also drive very calmly if that suits you better. The car is slightly stiffer than before without being uncomfortable. You can feel what the car is doing. The handling has also been greatly improved. It has more feeling now.

Infotainmentsystem Toyota Yaris

The interior styling is unlike any other Toyota. Except for the 7-inch touchscreen of the Toyota Touch 2 infotainment system. It is in several Toyota models, such as the C-HR and Corolla. This infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but is not the most modern in terms of graphics on the market. Toyota could have taken extra points here. Well, it all works. In addition, the physical shortcuts on the side of the touchscreen remain handy.

Yaris unique dashboard

The Japanese develop a separate dashboard for each car. The one in the new Yaris looks cheerful and is full of handy storage spaces, including under the touchscreen and above the glove compartment. Large bottles fit in the door pockets and storage space has even been created in the narrow-looking armrest.

The clock shop is also unique to the Yaris. You look out on two round digital meters and a central display. Unfortunately, the two round meters are not always easy to read due to strong reflection in the high-gloss plastic. The central display is easier to read in that regard, but not too large either. You walk through the menu with buttons on the steering wheel.

Toyota Yaris interior

Speaking of which: Toyota places various buttons on the steering wheel, which creates a bit of pressure. You really have to look for the desired functions in the beginning, also because certain buttons are very small. Anyone who drives the Yaris for a longer period of time will probably get used to it. The steering wheel is very comfortable in the hand.

Unique to the interior of the new Yaris is a central airbag that deploys between the front seats. This must ensure that the driver and passenger do not touch each other. As far as safety equipment is concerned, the Yaris is a must. It comes standard with a collision avoidance system with vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist recognition, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, lane assist, automatic high beam, cross traffic warning and a smart dodge assistant.

Toyota head-up display

A blind spot assistant should come from the options list. Optionally, the Yaris is also available with a 10.2-inch head-up display. That display looks gigantic on paper, but is a bit small in practice. Nevertheless, it is nice that information is projected right in front of you in the windscreen. This prevents distraction while driving.

Spacious feel

There is a great sense of space on board the Yaris. The front seats are further apart and the rather narrow dashboard gives you the feeling of driving a larger car than in reality. Because the Yaris is not really big. It is now 3.94 meters long and has a turning circle of just 9.6 metres. That makes the Yaris manoeuvrable.

Toyota Yaris front seat

The seating position has been greatly improved compared to the previous model. The seat can now be much lower, offers more lateral support and the steering wheel is well adjustable in both height and depth. You can seriously adopt a sporty seat. The space in the rear is decent, but not the largest in this segment. You won’t find an armrest or USB charging points in the back either. There is only one in the front, as well as a wireless phone charger.

Luggage compartment

The luggage compartment is decent and has a double bottom floor. The rear seat can be easily folded down in two parts. This creates an almost flat loading floor. Well done, because that is sometimes different with other models in the B-segment.

Hybird powertrain

In the case of the new Toyota Yaris Hybrid, the lithium-ion battery pack is located under the rear seat. This battery is not only smaller, but also 12 kilograms lighter. In addition, the battery can now release and store energy more quickly. And you notice that especially on the road. The hybrid powertrain gives a much stronger electropush, making starting and intermediate accelerations even smoother. The cooperation between the petrol and electric motor is perfect. This is where Toyota’s expertise in hybrids is clearly visible.

Yaris fuel consumption

The fuel consumption is laughably low, especially in the city. Combined, we arrived at 4.1 l/100 kilometers, which is converted to 1 in 24.3. But in the city – where a hybrid is really in place – there was even 2.8 l/100 kilometers on the on-board computer. That’s 1 in 35.7! In the city you recover much more energy by braking, which means you can cover more meters electrically. You read that right: not kilometers, but meters. It is, of course, a hybrid.

Market forecast Yaris

The Yaris 1.5 Hybrid is directly the most expensive Yaris in the range. Yet Toyota has great expectations. Guido Roozekrans, spokesperson for Toyota Netherlands: “It is expected that 80 percent of Dutch buyers will go for the Yaris Hybrid. The remaining 20 percent will go for the 1.0 VVT-i or 1.5 VVT-i petrol versions.”

Three petrol engines

Yes, the Yaris is available with three petrol engines, one of which is a petrol hybrid. The base engine is a 1.0 VVT-i with 72 hp and manual gearbox. It is available from 17,895 euros, which is also the starting price of the new Yaris. Above that, Toyota positions a 1.5 VVT-i with 121 hp and manual gearbox, absolutely the choice for the sportier driver. This engine variant is available from 19,995 euros. The Toyota Yaris 1.5 Hybrid with 116 hp and CVT automatic transmission is available from 21,195 euros. The Yaris has never been cheap.

Toyota Yaris: private lease

Private lease is also possible. Then you have a Yaris from 299 euros per month based on 48 months and 10,000 kilometers per year. The Yaris Hybrid is available with a private lease from 329 euros per month, based on the same conditions.

Conclusion

You can feel everything that the new Toyota Yaris has improved. This has truly become a much nicer car. In terms of practicality, infotainment and drive technology, the new Yaris has become more mature again, but that does not apply to the driving experience. It has taken on a much more youthful character. More fun, absolutely not boring, just fun. In that respect, it is not surprising that the new Yaris forms the basis for a street-legal rally car: the GR Yaris with 261 hp and four-wheel drive. You probably won’t see much of that. This new Yaris does. It is inevitable that this model will score.

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