Toyota Yaris enters the highly competitive mid-size sedan segment in Asia. Will it set the sales charts on fire and give its rivals a run for their money? Time will tell.
Toyota has finally managed to enter the C-segment sedan space in Asia with the Yaris. The segment is currently dominated by the Maruti Ciaz (which has not been featured in the comparison as a facelift is due soon), Hyundai Verna and the Honda City. There are a host of other rivals like the Skoda Rapid, Volkswagen Vento, Nissan Sunny and Fiat Linea as well. So, the Yaris definitely has its work cut out. We do a quick paper comparison to find out if this newcomer is really impressive enough to outdo its competition.
Exteriors – Having a sleek shape with a low-slung stance is the norm when it comes to mid-size sedans. The Yaris might disappoint when it comes to sheer length, wheelbase and even the road presence. The Toyota does not have the flair and oomph the Honda and Hyundai have to offer. The Yaris and Verna get projector headlamps while the City comes with LED units. The 15-inch alloy wheels in the Yaris are no match for the two-tone 16-inch alloy wheels on the Verna and City. Clearly, if understated looks aren’t any concern, then and only then, the Yaris will make sense. At 133 mm (Toyota still hasn’t given any official numbers on the ground clearance) off the ground, the Yaris sits very low when compared to its rivals and is definitely not a good choice if your drive to the office and back home has bad/broken section of roads. Since looks are subjective, we somehow find the City to be the most attractive. What about you? Drop your comments below.
Interiors and Features – Interiors play a crucial role in the mid-size sedan segment. A buyer looking for a car of this class demands enough space and goodies. The Yaris will not disappoint both in terms of features and space. In fact, the Yaris boasts of some segment-first features like roof-mounted rear AC vents, powered driver seat, a 4.2-inch colour TFT MID display, acoustic and vibration control glass, front parking sensors, 60:40 split rear seats, adjustable rear centre headrest and hand/air gestures for the infotainment system controls. Space is also on the generous side but the cabin does not feel as spacious as the Maruti Ciaz or the Honda City. That said, the flat floor in the rear does make it a comfortable 5-seater sedan. However, there are some features missing as well. Both the City and Verna offer an electric sunroof, but the Verna takes the cake here by offering features such as ventilated seats and hands-free smart trunk, both of which are convenient for Asian driving conditions.
Engine and Mileage – The Yaris, initially, will be available only with a petrol engine which is a big downer. The 1.5-litre dual VVT-i motor produces 105 HP of power and 140 Nm of torque and comes mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. An automatic 7-speed CVT-i gearbox will also be offered as optional starting from the lower trims. When it comes to performance, the Yaris takes the back seat because of the considerably lower power and torque figures. The Verna’s 1.6-litre mill is not only the biggest and most powerful but it is also the most refined. The Yaris claims a fuel efficiency of 17.1 km/l (MT) and 17.8 km/l (CVT) which is on par with its rivals.
Safety and Service – Every sedan here has utmost levels of safety but the Yaris packs in more. It gets 7 airbags with ABS, EBD and Brake Assist as standard across the range. The City and Verna do come with 6 airbags but only on the top trims. Dual airbags and ABS with EBD are standard across the range in case of the City and Verna. Toyota has taken the safety game a level ahead by offering all-wheel disc brakes, front and rear parking sensors, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, Hill Start Assist and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). The Yaris also takes the cake in the reliability, durability and after-sales service department. We all know how reliable, durable and cost-effective Toyota branded cars are to own and maintain. That said, the Japanese and Korean brands aren’t far behind when it comes to after-sales service.
Price and Verdict – Priced at Rs. 8.75 lakhs to Rs. 14.07 lakhs (ex-showroom), the Yaris isn’t a cheap car by any standards and comes at a premium to the already expensive Honda City. The Yaris might not be a good looker and might not impress you with its performance but what it claims to do better is to offer unparalleled levels of comfort and safety. Couple that with Toyota’s legendary quality, reliability and durability and the Yaris does make for a sensible buy in this segment, provided you don’t fancy looks and spirited performance.