Home / Reviews / First Drive / All New Toyota Yaris First Drive Review – Elegance Meets Technology


Toyota Yaris eng web

Armed with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that’s refined and tuned, the Toyota Yaris packs more than a decent amount of firepower. With dual variable valve timing, the 16-valve engine revs up to 6,000 rpm where it makes its peak 107 PS. The peak torque of 140 Nm arrives at 4,200 rpm. The car we were allotted was the automatic. The continuously variable transmission behaves as you would expect, managing the power delivery depending on the pressure from your right foot on the throttle. Drive easy and the Yaris CVT gets up to about 2,500 rpm and manages ratios from there. Find an open road and the cruise control is a boon. The paddle-shifters behind the wheel? Yes, they work well, too. In fact, the seven-speed programme allows the engine to be kept on the ready and provides seamless acceleration as you need it. From 3,000 to 4,000 rpm, the engine sounds quite loud and doesn’t feel like it wants to be pushed. However, get past 4,500 and it starts to sound a lot sportier – as if it enjoys the speed. Drive dynamically and it feels agile, responsive, and the steering wheel feels heavier, weighted just right to inspire confidence, and allows composed changes of direction.

Toyota Yaris 4 web

The Yaris, then, is no slouch. While it doesn’t make you feel like pushing it, it won’t disappoint you if you do. The brakes are fantastic, too. Standard ABS and disc brakes all round make for quick and sure-footed braking performance. Some tight bends presented slight body-roll but, for most part, it behaves very well indeed. It’s also well sprung, albeit on the firmer side. The suspension absorbs all sorts of bumps from rough patches and bad roads with aplomb, not letting them through to the cabin. The ride height, however, seems a bit lower. Toyota haven’t mentioned what it exactly is, but it would be less than 160 mm. Not really a concern, though, unless you come across some unnecessarily high speed-humps or significant level changes. After all of that, the Yaris still showed an efficiency figure of 10 km/l. Not bad for a CVT weighing 1,135 kg. The onboard computer even lets you input fuel cost and informs you of your savings on the trip, if any.

We had spent enough time in the city and in some winding roads in the hills to realise the Yaris is a great all-rounder. It’s an extremely comfortable city car, but can devour highways when it needs to. The huge boot – 476 litres – rivals some German luxury sedans, and – with four of us in the car – easily swallowed all our overnighter bags plus camera equipment with room to spare. Its refinement, features, relaxing nature, and advanced sense of simplicity in all the right places make it a wonderful car to be in. The price isn’t out yet. With its kit, it won’t be cheap. Expect something around Rs 9 lakh onward, with this top-spec CVT costing close to Rs 14 lakh.

Toyota Yaris 5 web

Whether you’re upgrading from a hatch to a sedan, or simply buying your first car for the family, the Yaris makes a strong case for itself. What’s in a name? ‘Yaris’ is essentially derived from ‘charis’ – a symbol of beauty and elegance, with a German ‘ja’ – meaning ‘yes’, to add to its appeal in Europe. It is. While beauty may be subjective, there’s no denying its elegance in both form and function. It’s a ‘Yes’.

Toyota Yaris 6 web


Toyota Yaris MT web

Did You Check the Manual?

We did. Toyota will offer the CVT on all trim levels, including the base ‘J’ trim, but the default transmission on offer is the six-speed manual; which we managed to nip out for a drive after handing in the CVT model. While there is a top-spec ‘VX’ trim level, this wasn’t it. We had the ‘V’, That meant getting a first-hand experience of the one-from-top trim that boasts many goodies, except, noticeably, the LED light strips, chrome door handles, and the leather interior.

The six-speed manual allows a good connection with the engine, although the first two gears have really short throws. It isn’t the quickest off the line, but the 1.5-litre petrol motor does pack good bottom- to mid-range performance. Enough to easily deal with commutes and highway jaunts, and with a clutch light enough to not be a bother in stop-and-go traffic.

Toyota Yaris MT int web


Price: Rs 12.50 lakh / 14 lakh (estimated)

Engine: 1,496 cc, in-line four, petrol
Max Power: 107 PS at 6,000 rpm
Max Torque: 140 Nm at 4,200 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual / continuously variable transmission automatic, front-wheel drive
Weight: 1,105 kg / 1,135 kg


About the author: Jim Gorde


Automotive Correspondent at Bike India and Car India.
Believes that learning never stops. Loves V8 engines as much as a good breakfast.
t: @BikeIndia / @CarIndia


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