Today, live via the interweb, Toyota New Zealand introduced us to the all-new 4th Generation Yaris. It offers more European design character, more safety, more range, more value and more fun, what’s more, it now comes with a Hybrid powertrain option too.
Since first launched at the turn of the century (1999 Echo), the Yaris has been a welcome sight in towns and cities around the world, but for 2020, Toyota has focussed their attention on this compact hatch nameplate and boy does it show.
Not resting on the Yaris’s two-decade history, Toyota has stripped the model back to the bone and rebuilt an all-new version. Based on their TNGA (Toyota New Generation Architecture) and the GA-B compact platform, Toyota has revolutionalised the way this popular compact car handles and drives. It has a lower centre of gravity than before which provides a more dynamic drive and when coupled with either its 3-cylinder 1.5L engine or hybrid variant, gives plenty of pep under foot too.
To match with Toyota New Zealand’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% (2005-2030), the new Yaris emits just 76g/km (hybrid) and 114g/km (petrol) and sips fuel at a class-leading rate of just 3.3L/100km (hybrid).
Despite being just 3.94m in length and 1.75m wide, the new Yaris comes simply crammed full of safety features with ‘Safety Sense’ coming as standard. Aside from it boasting 8-air bags (with a segment-first ‘front seat centre airbag), the new Yaris comes with intersection turning monitors (an extra set of eyes when turning corners), parking support (so you’re covered in tight parking spots) and a rear-seat monitor to ensure that no package or no person is left alone back there when leaving – Horror movie franchises will need to come with another plot.
Designwise, the new Yaris has more Euro influence and appeal. Accentuated lines and curves with more overall character. Less chance in simply blending in. Inside, the seating position has been improved so much that it’s now a talking point and there’s a racy trim all round. What’s more, the interior comes with more tech too. The 4.2-inch instrument cluster is digital while the 7-inch infotainment screen now connects to your Apple or Android apps.
Being ‘virtual’ we didn’t get to drive the new Yaris yet, but we are on the schedule pretty soon, which after that press launch, I’m really looking forward to.
Oh and the new Yaris’s offerings don’t stop at the hatch. According to Toyota New Zealand, the lightning-fast GR Yaris and Yaris Cross are also in the pipeline and due to land on New Zealand shores in the next few months – racetracks and countryside drives at the ready.
Photography by Shaun Jeffers