Toyota offered Yaris first time in 1998, and it became a good seller. It provided above average space, or at least feeling of it, due to the unusual design of the interior, which many fancied enough to buy it. The second generation came in 2005, and it represented an evolution of the same idea, while third, introduced in 2010 took a different approach. Six years after launch, we will review what 2017 Toyota Yaris still has to offer.
Look out Ford Fiesta ST, the new Yaris is coming to get you. The Japanese automaker decided to intrigue its fans with a drawing of the new attractive Yaris. When Toyota released the sketch, it said that it “will use experience gained from [our] full-blooded return to the World Rally Championship to develop and improve its road car technology, and expand the Yaris range with a new performance-focused model.”
The new vehicle will be associated with the name Gazoo. In fact, all Toyota’s future performance-oriental models will bear the same moniker, the name of Toyota’s factory race team.
Although no official details have been out, the Yaris Gazoo will most likely run on a 1.6-liter four cylinder turbocharged engine which is similar to that the Yaris WRC has. Although it has only around 200 hp, it has the same output as its competition the Peugeot 208 Gti, Vauxhall Corsa VXR and Ford Fiesta ST.
The car will be able to go from standstill to 60 mph in around 6.5 seconds, and the maximum speed the vehicle could reach will be around 140 mph. If the real thing is going to be like the sketch above, the Toyota Yaris Gazoo will be low and wide and will feature big wheels along with pumped-up fenders. The vehicle might also have a front splitter and rear diffuser, and an obvious rear wing. Toyota decided to go with a subtle rather than a wild rally car design.
Unlike most modern small cars, the new Yaris will keep its three-door bodyshell. Nowadays, many manufacturers opt for a five-door setup, and it will be interesting to see whether the fans will like it. The Yaris and its small hot hatch siblings are becoming more and more popular by the day, and it is no wonder that other car manufacturers want the piece of the pie. For instance, Kia plans to launch the Rio GT in the near future, and Nissan already started building the Micra model.
2017 Toyota Yaris LOOKS
Toyota has always played with Yaris on the usual card, so puppy eyes look and rounded-chubby cuteness mark the design clues for the two first generations. In 2010 they decided to give it a touch of sportiness in design which made the third generation different than previous and more capable of attracting male part of the population.
Finally, in 2014, they decided to go all out, so eyes become angrier, and bumper transformed itself into the gaping jaw. Regardless of, no more roundness and overall sharpness, maybe even some brave girl, not threatened with its looks, can go for it.
This generation left the unique solutions from past, and we have more usual looks of it. It is not strange as before but is rather nice and imaginative enough for a class in question. You can touch soft materials in front of you and metallic, and chrome accent trim is used throughout in higher trims. Also, there is a lot of storage space for a little car like this one and front seats are long and comfortable enough.
Although, keep in mind that tall persons could find challenging to settle in good driving position especially as there is no telescoping, only tilting for the steering wheel. Back seats are more suitable for kids, and if you try to fit adults, front passengers need to renounce some of their space and move seats up front. The boot is decent for this class as 15.3 cubic feet of cargo volume is available.
PERFORMANCE AND RIDE
For US market there is only one choice in the engine bay. Sluggish 1.5-liter inline-4 that makes 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque, will get you nowhere in fun department and if you are looking for its weak power surge, you need to go the upper rev echelons. Don’t even think about 4-speed automatic, with jerky shifts and widely separated gears, with whom the whole package looks even worse, instead just go for 5-speed manual and try to extract the best you can of it.
Mentioned refresh brought better sound insulation and retuned suspension, which made it somewhat better in ride quality department, but it is not even close in responsiveness when compared to VW Polo or fun as Suzuki Swift. Consider opting for SE model as it comes with stiffer suspension and thicker anti-sway bars, which allows flatter cornering and road holding without much impact on ride comfort.
EQUIPMENT AND PRICE
Standard equipment includes 15-inch wheels, power door locks, air conditioning, Toyota’s base safety systems and a 6.1-inch touchscreen for infotainment.
Higher LE model has cruise control, keyless entry, and a black grille as addition and top SE offers 16-inch wheels, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, rear spoiler, a different suspension setup, disc brakes for the rear wheels, fog lights, and a better instrument cluster. The price starts at $17,250.
SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY
It got four stars, out of 5, in federal testing, but keep in mind that this is a city dweller. To calm you down it has some advanced safety features such as forward collision warning, lane departure alert, and automatic high beams, along with more standard airbags, traction and stability control systems.
In the end, 2017 Toyota Yaris is still an equal match to its rivals, with distinctive looks, nice comfort in front of the cabin, but lacking in engine department and space at the back. It sadly turned to a shark just with the exterior, but anyway we can say it is still worthy of consideration.