Toyota adds style to customary Yaris substance

The new Toyota Yaris is now available in Ireland from €14,760.

My first reaction to the pictures of the new Yaris was that this is a much more stylish car, and let's face it, Toyota's supermini needed to be. And when I was able to see it up close, I was pleasantly surprised that it was indeed a stylish new arrival.

Staying with the exterior, it is the first vehicle to feature the distinctive new face of the next generation Toyota family. And the Yaris is available in a choice of 10 exterior colours. Bringing a more colourful palette to the Yaris, four colours are newly adopted by the model range.

New Yaris is available in three grades, Terra, Luna and Sol, providing an even more spacious interior and bigger boot space, while remaining one of the most compact B-segment cars on the outside.

Spending an hour behind the wheel on all kinds of roads and surfaces in north county Dublin, I satisfied myself that all the substance that is the hallmark of the current Yaris remains intact, and has been enhanced.

The driving experience in the new Yaris provides improved agility, in addition to the assured handling and ride quality associated with this model line. Excellent safety features include electric power steering, seven airbags, vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock braking system, electonic brakeforce distribution and break assist, as standard on all grades. In addition, a sound insulating acoustic windscreen and new aerodynamic door mirrors make for a much quieter ride with reduced wind noise.

The Yaris is available with a choice of three engines; 1.0 and 1.33 litre VVT-I petrol engines, and a 1.4 litre D-4D turbo diesel, all of which feature Toyota 'optimal drive', a range of engineering measures designed to maximise performance and driving enjoyment while minimising fuel consumption and generating low, tax-efficient CO2 emissions.

The Yaris delivers 58.9mpg (4.8l/100km ) combined cycle (1.0 litre VVT-i ) with 111g/km CO2 emissions, qualifying it for an annual road tax rate of €104.

Despite being a run-out model, Yaris remained the second best selling model in the big volume B-segment that accounts for 21 per cent of new cars sold here in Ireland. This should give the new third-generation Yaris every chance when competing for the top slot in this class next year in a market that Toyota forecasts will be slightly down on this year. New Yaris will be helped when a hybrid version joins the range during 2012.

The new Yaris builds on the clever packaging DNA of its predecessors with an even more spacious and practical interior. It also takes a clear step-up with a segment breakthrough in affordable multimedia connectivity for all but the entry level models.

There is a new layout in front of the driver, including new analogue dials. The high-quality interior also includes air vents trimmed with gun metal finish, and the controls and switchgear feature chrome plated convex cross-sections.

The 6.1 inch full colour, touch screen interface represents a new approach to affordable, on-board multimedia systems. It incorporates AM/FM radio, a CD/MP3 player, Bluetooth mobile phone hands free connectivity with a music streaming facility, and automatic phonebook synchronisation at each connection. A USB port allows for the connection of portable music players including iPod, with the facility to display iTunes album cover art.

On-screen vehicle information displays include remaining fuel range, instant fuel consumption and average fuel consumption per minute over the last 15 minutes. In addition, the system incorporates a rear view camera.

From November, 2011 Sol drivers can add the optional Toyota Touch & Go satellite navigation system.

Its promised fuel-efficient, low emission powertrains and innovative transmissions combine with revised suspension and EPS systems to offer customers the ideal balance of comfort and the greater agility essential to urban driving.

Positioned at the heart of the B-segment, the new Yaris sets out to meet the demands of both progressive, technology-focused customers and more conventional users who place an emphasis on quality, practicality and, of course, value for money.

New Yaris is stronger model and looks wider. While being slightly longer, it is actually lighter and sits somewhat lower on the road that the predecessor. The boot space is also bigger in new Yaris.

The new model boasts improvements in both rigidity and erodynamic efficiency and Yaris still boasts an excellent turning circle.

The five-door Luna for me offers the best value at €15,895, which is a reduction of €800 on the out-going model and much enhanced specification (including Toyota Touch ), except for the dropping of air conditioning, which can be had as an optional extra at a costly €1,100.

If you are in the market for a new supermini now or for early next year, you simply must include the new Yaris on your shortlist. Check it out.

For a test drive of the new Yaris, contact Tony Burke Motors, Ballybrit. (091 ) 480123

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