A car that best describes a Toyota

A car that best describes a Toyota

Toyota Yaris

The ultimate moment for the ever-anticipating car market in India is to behold a magnificent product from one of the world’s largest carmakers. And it’s hard not to expect something revolutionary or groundbreaking from a company of such pedigree.

The carmaker, Toyota, whose Innova and Etios are popular models in India no doubt, hadn’t sizzled with a major exclusive launch in a long time. And that wait has been successfully broken by the sensational Yaris, a sedan that simply depicts the great things that the Japanese automotive colossus can do and achieve.

At a time when the market had begun to savour the car marvels of the mid-segments, it was but natural for Toyota Kirloskar Motor to drive in one of its own beauties. The competition has just gotten hotter, and the Yaris is sure to add a lot of spice to the car cauldron, much to the excited taste-buds of the discerning Indian customer. 

The Yaris truly releases a breeze of fresh air not only to the Toyota stable, but also to the overall market. A segment that has been ruled by products from the Honda and Hyundai portfolios for years, is now accommodating the Yaris, on the back of which Toyota is keen to secure more market share, as also capture customer imagination to a greater extent.

Something Special 

What makes the Yaris so special? It’s a sedan like no other, at least where some extraordinary features are considered. It also brings a fresh perspective in the realm of exterior car design, and is a ‘New Toyota’, way ahead of what the Etios was and is. While the latter – famed for its rugged run and easy upkeep – is a favourite of the ‘cab segment’, the Yaris, with its contemporary appeal, is made for the car lover.

Another aspect of the car that best describes the Yaris – Versatility – that packs in Quality, Durability and Reliability – in short, the promise of Toyota, that just knows how to build great cars.

The Yaris is a smart, upright car to look at, decorated with a sleek body design that extends from the elegant projector headlamps with LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) to the LED Line Guide in rear combination lamps.

The front of the car is where the difference lies. The swooping headlamps, flanking the cool Toyota emblem sitting proudly on some body-coloured panelling, below which rests the wide masculine bumper, all add to its attractiveness. Little premium specs, such as the chrome door handles, do their bit too. The rear of the car, while being quite simple and on predictable lines, doesn’t fall out of place when holding the entire car’s exterior appearance together.

The car, however, is quite compact – standing at 4,425 mm x 1,730 mm x 1,495 mm, in length x width x height. But one mustn’t be fooled by these stats, for looks can be deceptive. Just look at the space within the cabin, and you’ll know why.

The Yaris is a medium-built car, but it has left no stone unturned when it comes to interior space. Once inside the cabin, one can see the amount of roominess and breathing space around, with ample headroom, legroom, shoulder-room and under-thigh support. The rear seat can effortlessly allow three occupants, preferably of average size. Then there are ample spaces to keep little things and essentials, like water bottles.

The interior space is also one of the most elegant aspects of the car. While there is the air of sophistication, there is also a whiff of understated charm about it.

The Yaris’ design language translates into the interiors with the Waterfall Design Dashboard and Piano Black Accents, characterised by the perfectly contoured perforated leather seats. And these seats are so very comfortable, best suited for the longest drives.

The overall layout of the dash, with the 7.0-inch LED touch-screen slanting downwards, meeting the pair of pleasant air-con vents, with some well-built set of buttons and knobs, look very good embellished with chrome-like accents on either side. This layout flows majestically to the air-con vents on the two sides. 


The design aesthetics of the vehicle go beyond elegant looks and focus more on delivering the most comfortable and complete driving experience. The Toyota Yaris offers multiple best-in-class features like Power Driver Seat (adjustment) and an infotainment system with audio gesture control and navigation. The latter is a brilliant addition to the car’s arsenal of cutting-edge smart innovations. While on the drive, just wave your hand across the LED touch-screen, and you would be able to control a series of commands, such as setting a needed FM station, increase and reduce volume, etc.

Then for the rear seat passengers, the greatest gift the Yaris provides is the roof-mounted air vents with ambient illumination. This can be controlled by the passengers themselves. This is by far among the best rear-seat AC systems in any car in the market. It works just perfectly, unlike the eyewash that most other players offer as a rear AC. And the ambient illumination makes for some fun.

The car comes in two gearboxes – manual and CVT-i. While the automatic gear lever appears to be suiting the cabin, the designers shouldn’t have used the ‘cab-looking’ modified version of the Etios’ gear lever for the manual. It would have been great if they would designed something exclusive just for this car.

Meanwhile, the car’s music system works well, with audio, phone and MID controls on the steering wheel. The boot space boasts of 476 litres, with provision for more room with 60:40 split seats. Smart and keyless entry features make the overall experience all the more convenient. Passengers within the cabin are in for some much needed respite from the beating sunshine outside, with the high solar energy absorption front windshield with infrared cut-off and rear sunshade, along with acoustic and vibration control glass enabling a noise-free cabin. The rain-sensing wipers are a required addition, for that complete all-weather drive time.

Petrol is back

Ignition on and getting the foot on the accelerator pedal, gets one clear that the car sports a petrol engine. Shedding off its ‘cab provider’ credentials, Toyota in India is clear. It has provided the Yaris only in petrol, which is a grand risk in the Indian market, which is so carried away by diesel. But it’s worth the word to state that this one fact is a major selling point of the car, for it would appeal to conservative, urban mobile customers, along with young professionals, who have begun to drift back to petrol automobiles.

The Yaris, which underpins Toyota’s presence in the Indian car market, is offered in a 1.5L Dual VVTi gasoline engine, with a 7-speed CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission) and 6-speed MT (Manual Transmission) options.

Catering to the emerging need for automatics in the segment, the CVT option is made available across all trims, another spectacular move by the company.

The CVT option works seamlessly. The car takes off within no time, and there is no feeling of any head nod or nudge, the ride begins to be smooth from the beginning.

The car’s 1,496 cc powertrain dishes out 107 PS @ 6,000 rpm of power, mated to 140 Nm @ 4,200 rpm of torque. This makes the car hit a high power band quickly, with quicker bursts in acceleration, thanks to a superior throttle response.

At 1,580 kg in gross vehicle weight, the car is light to handle even in unpredictable traffic situations. Its 5.1 metres of turning radius, with a wheelbase of 2,550 metres, gets the car to be manoeuvred through tight situations on the road. This makes the Yaris perfect for city, as well as highway usage, effected by cruise control and paddle shift, hitting a top speed of over 170 kmph. Also, it can efficiently take on steep inclines and hillside tracts, without any drop in breath. Throughout, the braking is simply superb.

With a 42-litre fuel tank, the Yaris offers a mileage of 17.8 kmpl (CVT-i) and 17.1 kmpl (MT). While the manual variant works equally well, we prefer the CVT, as it suits the current needs and trends of the Indian market, as well as a blessing in the prevailing traffic torment.        

On the safety front, the Toyota Yaris has gone all out, keeping the customer in mind. It offers 7 SRS airbags (SRS D+P airbags, SRS side airbags, SRS Curtain Shield Airbags and SRS knee airbag) as standard, apart from Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Tyre-Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Vehicle Stability Control, front and rear parking sensors, and All 4-wheel disc brakes. 

Currently, the Toyota Yaris is available at an introductory price range of Rs 8,75,000 to Rs 14,07,000, acroos the country. This car is expected to script a novel saga for Toyota in India. The hope, however, will be for the legendary car manufacturer to continue bringing its best to the country, sending home the point why Toyota rules the global market.