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Toyota’s refreshed Yaris arrives in SA: Feel the Pulse

2017-05-31 13:04

Sergio Davids

UPDATED YARIS: Toyota SA has launched its refreshed Yaris Pulse. Image: Wheels24 / Sergio Davids

  • New 1.5-litre petrol engine
  • Design tweaks throughout 
  • Yaris Hybrid re-engineered 

Cape Town - Toyota’s facelifted Yaris, revealed at the 2017 Geneva auto show in March, has arrived in South Africa. Toyota’s popular hatchback receives design tweaks, improved equipment and a new 1.5-litre petrol engine.

To signify its revised range, Toyota South Africa has badged its updated Yaris as the new ‘Pulse’. It's available with three petrol engine options (1.0, new 1.5 and hybrid variant), two transmission options (5-speed manual and CVT) and two trim levels (Pulse and Pulse Plus).

Gallery: 2017 Toyota Yaris Pulse

Prices start from R228 000 for the new 1.5 to R307 000 for the hybrid variant. Full prices as well as upcoming models from Toyota and Lexus at the end of this article.

Refreshed design

The Yaris Pulse sports design tweaks throughout. Exterior changes include new head and taillights, new grill and bumper as well as detailing along the bodywork. Inside, there's new cabin upholstery, trims and colour choices.

                                                                                                                  Image: Wheesl24 / Sergio Davids

Customers have a choice of three uni-colour tones (white, silver/metallic and blue) or bi-tones (paired with black roofs), including white, grey and red.

Why add a new model moniker?

Toyota SA says: “Toyota's approach to the Yaris Pulse is not just about improving the car, but also creating a stronger model range that is designed to meet the requirements and preferences of a wider and increasingly more selective customer base.” 

A new design and engine could make all the difference in the fiercely-competitive B-C hatchback segment.

Great day out in Cape Town driving the new #Yaris Pulse Plus. @Toyota_sa @wheels24_sa #hatchback #feelthepulse

A post shared by Sergio Davids (@davids_sergio) on

Interior improvements

Interior trim is black and light grey on all models with the exception of the Yaris Pulse Plus CVT, which features a black trim.

The three-spoke steering wheel has a new design with piano black trim. New chromed trim frames the combimeter.

Other detail changes include new propeller-style air vents, redesigned multimedia screen and controls within the centre console and updated switches.

New 1.5 litre engine

The new 1.5-litre VVT-iE petrol, capable of 82kW/136Nm, offers more power, higher efficiency and lower emissions than the 1.3-litre unit it replaces. It can be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or CVT (7 simulated gears with steering paddle shifts).

Compared to the 1.3-litre unit, it is 0.8 seconds quicker from 0-100km (11 seconds in the 1.5 MT and 11.2 seconds in the CVT).

The Yaris Pulse remains the only car in its segment available in hybrid guise. For 2017, the hybrid variant receives a new subframe, engine mounts, front driveshafts and roll restrictor that, says Toyota, makes “it even quieter and smoother, particularly under acceleration”.

The engine range is rounded-off with the 1.0-litre VVT-i three-cylinder petrol coupled with a five-speed manual.

2017 Toyota Yaris specifications

New Yaris Pulse vs 'competitors': Slides by Toyota

Yaris 1.5 Pulse plus

Yaris 1.0 Pulse plus

Driving it

The new 1.5 petrol is a welcome addition to the range, offering pleasant power delivery and a smooth ride especially in manual guise. The Yaris Pulse is in its element within SA cities and with its upgraded power, courtesy of the new 1.5, it transforms into a great budget-family car with enough torque to perform daily familial-driving tasks (read – a school run with kit).

Out on the open road, the 1.5 performs adequately along Cape Town’s winding mountain passes, instilling confidence to overtake and surprising performance despite its size.

The CVT however tends to struggle during a spirited drive, delaying cog-switching until the last possible moment. As with most CVT units, you’ll have to out-think the ‘box; lift your foot off, allow the transmission to change gear, and carry on driving. At low speeds (read: city driving), the CVT will suffice and could prove popular among first-time buyers.

Overall, it's hard not to like the Yaris Pulse. It has a funky, eye-catching design, intuitive controls and the new 1.5-litre petrol is great (provided it's mated to a manual box). The Yaris Pulse looks set to be another best-seller for Toyota.  

Click/Scroll for more images below:

Prices: 2017 Toyota Yaris Pulse 

1.0 Pulse MT - R199 000
1.5 Pulse MT - R228 700
1.5 Pulse CVT - R241 400
1.5 Pulse Plus CVT - R249 600
1.5 Hybrid - R307 200

The Yaris Pulse range is sold with a three-year or 45 000km service plan and a three-year or 100 000km warranty.

More from Toyota

Later in June/July 2017, Toyota will launch a new Hilux derivative as well as an updated version of its Aygo city car. Also in June 2017, Lexus will launch its new LC 500 locally. 

Image: Lexus

2017 Toyota Yaris specifications

Read more on:    toyota  |  launch  |  cape town  |  south africa  |  new models  |  yaris

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