When Toyota unveiled the Yaris at the 2018 Auto Expo, it was very clear who the car will be going up against. Its aim is to target the upper echelons of the C-segment and has strongly set in sight the Honda City. More specifically, Toyota appears to be targeting the top spec ZX variant with its equivalent 1.5 VX CVT variant. Here is how they stack up.
The cars participating in this fray are both Japanese and that is pretty obvious in their looks. The Yaris exercises restraint but is hard to miss thanks to the sharp face, double barrel headlamps and massive bumper. However, the City, despite its softer lines has generous amount of chrome all around, making it a more premium looking car straight away. On the side, we can see that the Yaris and City both sport roughly the same kind of design but latter’s is more prominent due to the strong shoulder line that runs below the door handles.
Finally at the rear, the City was one of the first budget cars to sport the wraparound tail lamps and in this current avatar it’s a three-stripe design that gives the car a distinct identity. However, to make up, the Yaris gets a massive rear light package that is both wraparound and has LED inserts. The lamps play in well with the rest of the rear setup and give the car a distinct image.
If the Yaris struggled a bit with the exterior design to match the City then it beats the Honda by quite a bit. When the City arrived with this mid-life update it was considered the most feature loaded car in this segment. You get climate control with rear vents, touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, projector headlamps and a reverse camera.
Looking to target those very attributes, Toyota is offering this Yaris VX 1.5 CVT with seven airbags, TPMS, front and rear parking sensors, roof mounted second climate control vents as well as a powered driver’s seat. These are all new to the segment and the Yaris is the first car to debut them.
Engine and performance
When launched, the Yaris will be offered with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol motor producing 108bhp/140Nm and can be had with a six-speed manual or a CVT. Toyota has said that there will be no diesel option for the Yaris at present and in the future, it may actually go in for a hybrid setup in place of a diesel.
The City’s petrol motor is the tried and tested 1.5-litre i-VTEC unit producing 117bhp/145Nm and can be had with a six-speed manual or a CVT unit. The City also gets a 1.5-litre diesel unit that produces 100bhp/200Nm and can be had only with a six-speed manual.
On paper, the Yaris has what it takes to fight the Honda City in terms of features and performance. The City is a brand in itself and that is something that the Yaris will have to develop if it wants to take on the City. However, Toyota does have this kind of experience thanks to the Fortuner and Innova and this should help it move along nicely.
The Honda City’s petrol range is priced from Rs 9.68 lakhs to Rs 15.68 lakhs for the ZX CVT that we have featured in the spec comparo. We believe that Toyota will be able undercut the City, variant-for-variant, by Rs 50,000 or lesser.