Toyota is well known for making solid, efficient cars that last forever. That’s the reason Toyota is amongst the top 3 auto manufacturers worldwide. Their cars have an everlasting brand value about that.
In India so far, the cars that have been bestsellers for them have been the Qualis, Innova and Fortuner. Their range of sedans and hatchbacks haven’t exactly set the sales charts on fire.The Toyota Yaris was first introduced worldwide in 1999 under the name of the Toyota Echo. This was a time when the demand for fuel – efficient cars was on the upswing. In 2005 the name was changed globally to Toyota Yaris. The Yaris quickly became popular establishing itself as one of the top choices in the subcompact car segment.
As soon as you enter the Yaris, the all-round familiarity of a Toyota greets you. The cabin is nice looking, with beige coloured leather seats and black upholstery. The seats are well contoured, comfortable and offer good under thigh support.Press the start button and the car kicks to life quietly. There’s a relaxed tranquility about the way the Yaris sounds like while idling. Shift into Drive mode, press on the gas and the 1st thing you experience is how easy the car feels to drive. Toyota is known for having cars that possess a characteristic of underlying ease in terms of driving. The Yaris is no different.
In the first 10 minutes of driving the car, one thing was obvious… Toyota has designed this car to be the ideal vehicle to drive in the horrendous traffic in the city. The engine is responsive enough, with a smooth CVT transmission. It’s perfectly at home in the stop-go traffic, going about its job in an efficient fashion.
The quality of our roads isn’t the best. That didn’t bother the Yaris one bit. It went over potholes, unpaved, broken stretches of road without any fuss. The ride quality is top notch. The suspension has been perfectly setup for our roads, the relatively tall tyres providing the right amount of cushioning to make the daily drive a hassle-free activity.
So, what makes the Yaris stand out in the crowd?
Toyota understands that driving in the city is a pain. Drivers are looking for a vehicle that goes about it’s task in a smooth fashion. The visibility on offer is very good, the dimensions of the car are compact enough, the design language is sharp. Legroom on offer in the back row is adequate.The throttle response and braking are sharp and precise, the CVT transmission is very smooth and probably one of the best in the business.
The Yaris comes equipped with roof mounted air-conditioner vents which are a blessing in the peak of summer, offering consistent cooling in 40-degree temperatures. The infotainment system is decent with Bluetooth connectivity, one USB charging port and a CD player. I haven’t seen a CD player in a very long, so it was a pleasant surprise to find a car that comes with this! There are a few 12V mobile charging points available too.
But no review is complete without the mandatory highway test where one gets to experience the full range of the engine’s capacity and performance. The Yaris is a car that takes a tad bit to respond when you start accelerating. While this aspect is fine in the city, on the highway you want the car to respond in a brisker fashion. Overtaking is a bit of a task courtesy the flat mid-range of the engine.
The Yaris is extremely steady and planted at triple digit speeds. The CVT comes equipped with paddle shifters which were used quite often when trying to extract more power out of the 1.5 litre engine. The fuel efficiency figures in the Yaris are very good. Over the 400 kms I drove on this review, it returned an average of 10.5 kpl in traffic. On the highway the efficiency went up with the Yaris returning figures of 16kpl.
The Yaris is definitely a car I would like to drive again albeit for a longer period. Its smooth, hassle free character is endearing, the size perfect for our roads.
The technical specifications of the Yaris VX CVT that I drove are stated below.
- Fuel Type: Petrol, Engine(cc):1496, Max Power: 105.5bhp@6000rpm
- Max Torque: 140Nm@4200rpm
- Seating: 5 persons
- Engine Description: 1.5-litre 105.5bhp 16V Dual VVT-i Petrol Engine
- Transmission Type: Automatic
- Cargo Volume: 476 Litres
The pricing for the Toyota Yaris J manual starts at Rs 9.30 lakhs ex-showroom Mumbai, the J model CVT starts at Rs 10 lakhs ex-showroom Mumbai.