Tough love for new Yaris launch

2011-11-13 05:05

Toyota’s popular Yaris hatch line-up now has a brand-new 13-model range with two engine options and in three specification levels. The sedan range, for now, remains unchanged in styling and price.

Nestling between the baby Aygo and Auris in the Toyota line-up is a new-look Yaris hatch. Interestingly the sub-B segment (entry level) where the Yaris is positioned has shown about 28% growth since 2005. Back then there were 11 models - today there are more than 20 automakers vying for your business!


You might not take your Yaris to a racetrack or a 4x4 circuit but that’s exactly what Toyota decided on to showcase the new of hatches this week. No “namby-pamby” driving through leafy suburbs or visiting the local mall to prove just how cool you might look.

Toyota’s world-class testing facility near Durban proved quite an eye-opener. High-speed lane changes and skid-pan exercises were just some of the playtimes conducted and, with hand on heart, the Yaris came through with colours flying

The car is bolder and sharper-looking, unashamedly aimed at the younger set (but that’s not to say empty-nesters or seniors need not apply to join in the fun of ownership).

Dezi Nagaya, the chief designer tasked with producing the very first vehicle featuring the distinctive new face of Toyota, was upbeat about his creation by commenting: “The protruding nose features slim, subtly slanted, horizontal headlights, smiley radiator grille treatment and deep lower air-intakes to give the impression of a wide stance."

MAKE YOUR CHOICE: There are two specification levels for the new Yaris and a choice of two engines. But whichever you choose, it's still a cute-looking car.

Under the bonnet the familiar one-litre, three-cylinder engine can still be found (51kW/93Nm) but an all-new 1.3 four-cylinder (73kW/125Nm) is some 16% stronger than that in the outgoing model but now offers a six-speed manual gearbox or, for those who enjoy automatic, there’s now a CVT option - complete with race-car style shift paddles behind the multifunction steering wheel.

The interior has also been overhauled with heavy focus placed on a “fun-to-drive” cockpit. Toyota has deemed it prudent to reposition the instrument binnacle in front of the driver’s line of sight and there’s new-look soft-padding liberally to be found, along with gunmetal detailing strips to highlight controls and switches.   

Comfort feature levels across the board include electric power-steering (along with tilt and telescopic adjustment), multifunction information display, a good audio system with CD/MP3 player, USB and iPod sockets, gear-shift indicator within the speedometer and 60:40 split folding rear seats.

Move up from the basic spec model (Xi) and in the Xs derivative there’s aircon, power windows and mirrors, a touch-screen audio system, Bluetooth cellphone compatibility, a leather gear knob and steering wheel, fog lights, tinted glass, auto aircon, rain sensors, auto headlights and an eight-speaker, high-power sound system.

FUN AT THE WHEEL: The new Yaris's audio system is high-grade, just part of what Toyota describes as "a fun-to-drive cockpit".

Once again Toyota’s Yaris has attained top marks in EuroNCAP results. Apparently the fundamental strength of the car’s structure counts for plenty, assisted by as many as seven air bags, including one for the driver’s knees. Factor in some active safety features such as anti-lock brakes with emergency pressure assistance and electronic fluid distribution) and follow-me-home headlights and it’s clear the new Yaris makes a lot of sense. 

Prices start at R124 000 for the one-litre Xi three-door hatch rising to R157 900 for the five-door XR. The 1.3 range starts at R157 000, rising to a R203 700 for the three-door flagship XR.

The new Yaris comes with a four-year or 60 000 km service plan; service intervals are 15 000 km) and there’s a comprehensive three-year or 100 000 km warranty. It’s supported by 24-hour roadside assistance.

Yaris 1.0Xi 3dr - R124 000
Yaris 1.0Xi 5dr - R130 000
Yaris 1.0Xs 3dr - R141 000
Yaris 1.0Xs 5dr - R147 400
Yaris 1.0XR 3dr - R151 100
Yaris 1.0XR 5dr - R157 900

Yaris 1.3Xi 3dr - R157 000
Yaris 1.3Xi 5dr - R163 000
Yaris 1.3Xs 3dr - R171 600
Yaris 1.3Xs 5dr - R177 600
Yaris 1.3Xs 5dr - R189 000
Yaris 1.3XR 3dr - R203 700
Yaris 1.3XR 5dr - R200 600

  • Miguel - 2011-11-14 08:09

    Toyota seems to be trying to price itself out of the market. How can it fight for the No.1 spot as the world's biggest car manufacturer when it's products cost more than it's competitors? It wrestled the position from GM by producing better quality at lower prices. Now you can buy a bigger Chevrolet Cruz with good build quality and decent spec for less than a Yaris?

      David - 2011-11-15 08:11

      Guys, guys, guys, You don't understand the concept of supply and demand. While I won't buy a Yaris at these prices, there are a lot of people that will. Yaris is not builtb in South Africa, they are imported. Which means that Toyota are getting an allocation of Yarisses which they must sell. They won't get more or less, they get their allocation and that's it. Pricing these cars lower will mean the demand is going to outstrip the supply and you are going to get a lot of angry customers because they have to wait too long for their cars. Pricing the cars too high and they wont sell them and they will have to discount them which will anger the customers that has bought their cars at the "inflated prices". So I can guarentee that a lot of thought has gone into the pricing of these vehicles. So theyare in a situation where they have to consider the economies of scale. Why make less money and face a barrage of disgruntled customers when they can charge more (make more money)and still sell everything they have because they will. There are enough gullible customers in this country to buy these vehicles at these prices. Simple question: Will you sell your vehicle to any one of say 30 interested buyers for say R100000 if you can sell it to one at R150000. Because once you sold it, it's gone - you do not have another to sell. Point is: Will I buy a Yaris at these prices? No!, of course not....but several other people will.

  • sizwev - 2011-11-14 08:37

    Those Electronic mirror buttons remind me of those in my uncle's '87 Cressida

  • DASTIG - 2011-11-14 10:24

    Wow over R200 000 for a Yaris has Toyota lost the plot, feel sorry for the punk that spends that much cash on a Yaris...

  • dean.m.w.za - 2011-11-14 10:31

    clearly Toyota, like a lot of the European manufacturers, are trying to charge us so much to help them recover from their financial crisis in their various regions

  • lehlohonolo.nkalai - 2011-11-14 11:39

    200K. No ways!! I could get a used BMW 330d E90 at 170K and put The remaining 30K in fund for maintenance!

  • Mogo - 2011-11-14 12:04

    Hahahaha you people are so gullible! It's obviously an April fools joke!...Oh hang on

  • shelvine - 2011-11-14 12:59

    200k for a 1.3 car , whatever toyota is smoking i will pay 200k for a bag full of that.

  • ayoub.banderker - 2011-11-14 13:15

    Yep, as i said in previous post...top of the range Kia Rio 1.4, with leather, etc comes in at R170k. Yaris over priced...but the gullible SA public will still buy....and if i was Toyota..i'd sell at that price......they can't be blamed for brand blind consumers...those with sense will look around.

  • Derick - 2011-11-14 13:16

    WHAT!!!!! R20000.00 for a Yaris Facelift?????

  • smithcza - 2011-11-14 13:25

    You can buy a 1.6 Polo for that price!!!!

  • jaunnas - 2011-11-14 13:48

    try and sell your Elantra or Cruze. Thats where the trick comes in. You might win now by buying something else, but be sure to struggle selling it.

      phillip.dekock1 - 2011-11-14 14:42

      Ja - try sell your R150k 3yrs old Yaris! Twat!

      Lloyd - 2011-11-14 16:04

      Look, all cars are grossly overpriced but may I give you a tip on buying any car? Phone the agent and tell them you have a one year old model but you have been transferred overseas and need to sell. {not trade in] Trust me when I tell you that if it's a Toyota product the used car manager will ask you to bring it in because they have buyers lined up. Mention most other models and they will tell you that they are overstocked or if it's a French or Italian car they will burst out laughing. Toyota is the market leader because of it's resale value, quality and reliability. Get over it.

  • Timothy - 2011-11-14 14:55

    Confused with lots of these model ranges. Good looking car though from the previous generation

  • phakiso.shadrack2 - 2011-11-14 15:53

    but on the other hand is too expensive for 1.3, how can i spend 190k for 1.3 car this is crazy anyway

  • raynoj - 2011-11-14 17:12

    I don't see why people go on about resale value...its not like buying a house. A car will lose its value no matter what, and paying that much for a 1.3 Yaris is like kicking yourself in the nuts. The styling looks great, but then again, I will rather settle for something....Sorry Toyota...just when I started to like you, you lost me with the price alone.

      Nitro - 2011-11-16 06:30

      Its not about resale value but about demand in the 2nd hand market. Toyota is still the popular choice for first time car buyers, student cars and run arounds because of its percieved quality and reliability. A yaris, or any toyota mainstream model does not sit on a dealers floor for more than a week, so you do get a higher trade in/outright purchase price from dealers. If you try and move a second hand korean car it is much harder so either you wait longer or take a below market value trade in on the car. Yes, all cars depreciate but certain do have a lower rate of depreciation than others. A toyota should on average only loose between 20 - 30% of its value within the first 4 years of purchase where a korean could lose between 40 - 60% of its value in the same period. This Yaris is steep considering its on stablemate the Auris start at 188K for the 1.4 so I do think the Auris is the better choice

  • Joe-Moer - 2011-11-15 09:02

    I see all the Ford, Mazda, Opel and used BMW owners are knocking Toyota again. Once a Toyota owner always a Toyota owner.

      Bielie - 2011-11-16 16:46

      I just bought one, the top of the range 1.3 XR 3 door for R205000. This is my fourth Toyota and I will not buy any Korean junk.

      Vickers - 2011-11-17 05:23

      Bielie you just proved that there is a lot of truth in the old saying "A fool and his money is easily parted"

  • Shaun - 2011-11-15 10:44

    Clearly Toyota didn't learn their lesson from their last Yaris model that hit R200k. No one bought it and that one had a 1.8 litre engine and was fully specced too. I'm sorry but if you have that much money to spend on a car and you really want a Toyota why don't you just buy a new or slightly used Auris? Seems like Toyota wants to give the Koreans this market.

      dean.m.w.za - 2011-11-16 09:49

      You could even buy a much larger Corolla at that price for the family

  • phillip.havenga - 2011-11-15 20:28

    Give me a KIA Rio over this any day.

  • thasmeel.singh - 2012-01-27 13:44

    Whose going to pay over R200 000 for a 1.3???????????????????????????????

  • thasmeel.singh - 2012-01-27 13:45

    Whose going to pay over R200 000 for a 1.3!????????????????????????????

  • Vickers - 2012-01-28 20:33

    According to the comparative test in CAR magazine, Feb 2012 p76. "In this test the Rio has landed a knock-out blow to the Yaris. It has beaten it in nearly all aspects"

  • Grandy Malesa - 2014-09-25 22:21

    Got 1.3xs at 144k @ 20 000km. Ant that a good deal?

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