Toyota has showcased their all-new middle-weight sedan, the Yaris, the one that will sit between the Etios and the Corolla Altis in the Indian car market. With the Yaris, Toyota is targeting car buyers that are looking for a premium feel in the family sedan segment, something to go head to head with the Honda City.
The Yaris looks its part as a premium sedan, especially with the gaping grille in the front, pointy nose and the swept back headlamps that house projector units. While there is a LED strip in the headlamps itself, there are independent LED DRLs on the front bumper along with fog lamps. The length of the car is not apparent until you move across to the profile. The Yaris has flowing lines that add elegance to the aggressive face with a defined shoulder line and slightly flared wheel arches filled with 15-inch alloys. The multi-surface tail design looks nice with the horizontal LED-detailed tail lamps.
As step inside the cabin, the Yaris feels roomy thanks to the beige interior. The dashboard design is not too busy with the touchscreen display dominating the proceedings on the waterfall centre console. It gets automatic climate control with the first-in-its-class roof-mounted vents for the rear passenger for effective cooling. The instrument cluster is all new and gets a large multi-function display for all the essentials including distance-to-empty, trip logs and temperature.
The seats feel spacious with enough leg room for all five passengers while the driver is pampered with an electrically adjustable seat. It also gets split rear seats with cabin-boot access and of course a rear armrest. Toyota has emphasised on the safety aspect by offering seven airbags on the top-spec trim along with the tyre-pressure monitoring system, another first in this segment. ABS and EBD will be standard while the lower trims will get two airbags standard.
In terms of powertrains, Toyota is introducing the Yaris with a petrol option to start with. It is the 1.5-litre dual-VTVT four-cylinder engine that should develop close to 100bhp of power, something that will be at par with the segment benchmarks. The petrol mill will be offered with a six-speed manual gearbox and a CVT automatic gearbox option. Surely there will a diesel in the pipeline and we are pretty sure it will be the tried and tested 1.4-litre turbo-diesel mated to another six-speed manual. The Yaris also gets all-four disc brakes to make sure you have enough stopping performance as well.
Overall, the Toyota Yaris seems to a capable contender for the sedan segment, ready to take on the Honda City and the Hyundai Verna that sit at the higher end of the segment as against the Ciaz which focusses on the economies. With a price tag starting somewhere between Rs 9 lakh to Rs 10 lakhs, Toyota would want the Yaris to make a niche for itself like they have managed with the Corolla and the Innova.