We drive Toyota's first C-segment (mid-size sedan) offering for India — the Yaris.
Does the Yaris tempt buyers away from the Honda City, Hyundai Verna and the Maruti Ciaz? Is it a match or an over-engineered car from Toyota? Let's find out.
The Yaris is a global nameplate for Toyota. But, the model offered in India differs from the car sold in European markets. Also, the Yaris for India is offered only in petrol as globally Toyota is witnessing a dip in diesel car sales.
Design & Styling
The Toyota Yaris looks ‘different' in terms of styling. Its unveiling at the Auto Expo 2018 in India, invited some mixed reviews on the design front. In the end, liking a car design is one's personal preference, and the trust of Indians in Toyota will make up for it.
While there are a lot of grille formations at the front of the car, the face of the Toyota Yaris is dominated by a large inverted-trapezoidal grille on the bumper. At the bottom centre, rests a small body-coloured garnish. The fog lamps lie on either side of the bumper, in a curvy enclosure.
Look closer and you will find the sleek LED DRLs hiding under the headlamps. The elongated headlamps flank the Toyota logo. A pair of horizontal slats on either side of the logo, advance into the headlamps as well.
Coming to the side profile, the new Toyota Yaris sits on a set of 15-inch six-spoke alloys. Being a toned-down version of an international variant, the sedan has large wheel wells to accompany the rather small wheels.
The tail section presents perhaps the best aesthetics in the Toyota Yaris. The sleek semi-LED tail lamps blend neatly with the curvy proportions. Down at the extreme corners of the bumper, rest the rear fog lamps.
The Toyota Yaris is a smart buy if you are feature-focused. Under the bulky design is a spacious cabin with an abundance of functional and aesthetic elements.
The dual-tone dashboard with silver accents running across offers an upmarket finish. Also, the soft-touch climate control buttons are illuminated and offer good readability. The centre console follows a pattern Toyota refers to as the ‘Waterfall Design'.
Resting at the centre of the dashboard is the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The highlight of the system is its gesture control function. By moving your palm in front of the unit, you can change the track or adjust the volume without touching the screen. In spite of having this party trick, the Yaris's infotainment system misses out on both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The manual stick is wrapped in premium black leather and fits well in the palm. The cup holders sit in front of the lever. As for the automatic variant, the gated shifter gets a neat combination of leather, brushed metal and chrome.
The three-spoke steering wheel gets button controls on either side, along with a silver garnish that swoops down. The black leather offers good grip and feel to the otherwise unassuming design. Opt for the automatic Toyota Yaris and you get a pair of silver paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.
The instrument cluster looks modern with an analogue + digital combination. The instrument console shows real-time data of the Yaris's mileage. The panel is easy to read with white dials against black and a trippy blue backlight. There is also a gear-shift indicator.
Those at the back will have little to complain about. The rear seats of the Yaris are roomy and relaxing. The seats are wide and offer good support to the back and thighs. In addition to this, the Yaris gets roof-mounted air-conditioning vents and a flat floor that offers decent middle-seat comfort.
Engine, Performance & Driving Impressions
The Yaris is only available in a petrol variant. The engine is a 1.5-litre, inline four-cylinder dual variable valve timing intelligence (VVT-i) unit. The engine is rated at 105bhp and 140Nm of torque paired with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT). The addition of the dual VVT-i system allows both the intake and exhaust valves to have variable timing.
In a regular VVT-i system, only the intake valves have variable timing. But in a dual VVT-i system, both the intake and exhaust valves have variable timing. The variable timing on exhaust valves helps regulate emissions and efficiency.
Driving engagement isn't really the Yaris's strong suit, and leisurely speeds up to 100kph. The petrol engine is slow to respond and has some vigour only between 4000 – 6000rpm. Also, any overtaking manoeuvres need to be well-planned as you will have to lug it through its gears for the revs to build up. And when you plant the throttle, the thrum from the all-aluminium engine is audible; but, the vibration sounds from the engine compartment is kept well distanced from the cabin due to the excellent noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels.
On the transmission front, the manual gearbox is reasonably light with short throws to engage gears; the clutch is nicely weighted too. The CVT, on the other hand, works well and delivers a smooth and quiet driving experience, if you're gentle on the throttle. Go hard on the gas pedal, and it hits a rev point and stays there, while the car accelerates (a typical 'rubber band' feeling of traditional CVTs). For those interested in controlling the CVT, it comes with paddle shifters behind the steering with seven ratios to choose from, namely D1 – D7.
The steering is precise, albeit a little light and numb. The big talking point is the suspension that delivers a cosseted and well-balanced ride nearly everywhere. On highways, the Yaris settles down into a relaxed cruise and glides over rough surfaces and hits back at potholes and speed bumps impressively. On the braking front, the Yaris is offered with all-wheel disc brakes (V and VX variant). The brakes are strong and a light tap on the brake pedal offers superb stopping power.
Toyota Yaris Variant-wise Price, Mileage & Colours
The Yaris is offered in four variants and six colours: Super White, Pearl White, Silver, Wildfire Red (review car), Phantom Brown and Grey.
The fuel tank capacity of the Yaris is 42-litres. The ARAI mileage claims are 17.1km/l for the six-speed manual and 17.8km/l for the seven-speed CVT.
|Variant||Manual ||CVT |
|J||₹ 8,75,000||₹ 9,95,000|
|G||₹ 10,56,000||₹ 11,76,000|
|V||₹ 11,70,000||₹ 12,90,000|
|VX||₹ 12,85,000||₹ 14,07,000|
Safety & Key Features
The Yaris comes with a first-in-segment seven supplemental restraint system (SRS) airbags. These include driver + passenger units, side, curtain bags and knee airbags.
Here are some of the other safety features of the Yaris:
- Disc brakes on all four wheels **
- Electronic stability control ***
- Impact-sensing door lock *
- Hill start assist ***
- Front & rear parking sensors *
- Reverse camera **
- Cruise control **
- Tyre pressure monitoring system **
- ABS + EBD + BA
Availability On Variants: *G, **V, ***VX
Other notable first-in-segment features include:
- 60:40 rear split seats
- 8-way adjustable driver seat
- Infotainment with gesture control and navigation
- Roof-mounted air-conditioning vents for the rear passengers
- Front and rear parking sensors
In addition to all this, the international variant of the Yaris also holds a five-star crash test rating in The New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asia (ASEAN NCAP).
C-Segment Sedans Fact Sheet
|Petrol (Manual)||cc||bhp/Nm||Mileage (km/l)|
|Petrol (Automatic)||cc||bhp/Nm||Mileage (km/l)|
|Toyota Yaris ||1496cc||106/140||17.8|
|Honda City ||1497cc||117/145||18 |
|Hyundai Verna ||1591cc||121/151||17.1|
|Maruti Ciaz ||1373cc||91/130||19.12|
*The Hyundai Verna given here is the 1.4-litre petrol (manual) variant. There is also a 1.6-litre petrol (manual) variant.
Booking & Launch Details
The Toyota Yaris can be booked for an amount of Rs 50,000. The Yaris will be launched in India on May 18, 2018.
A limited engine line-up and a bland driving experience restrict the Yaris's appeal. Even so, Toyota's aggressive pricing makes the Yaris a solid contender that buyers should not overlook.
|Model||Manual (Petrol)||Automatic (Petrol)|
|Toyota Yaris||₹ 8,75,000||₹ 9,95,000 (CVT)|
|Honda City||₹ 8,91,000||₹ 9,95,000 (CVT)|
|Hyundai Verna||₹ 7,80,000||₹ 10,56,000 (AT)|
|Maruti Ciaz||₹ 8,04,000||₹ 9,64,000 (AT)|
₹ Prices are ex-showroom.
Jobo Kuruvilla Thinks!
The Toyota Yaris is a sensible family runaround sedan that's easy to like, but difficult to love. And range-extenders such as Honda City, Hyundai Verna and Maruti Ciaz should not take this capable all-rounder from Toyota, breezily.