Few vehicle brands are as instantly recognisable to the point of being iconic than Toyotas, even though they are more everyday cars than luxury cars (however, if you popped a driver from 50 years ago into the control seat of the new 2014 Toyota Yaris Hatch, he or she would be astounded by the luxury surrounding them). The new Toyota Yaris Hatch is yet another instalment in the proud Toyota story – another fine example of a reliable and attractive vehicle that’s bound to be very popular.
However, I’m going to stick my neck out and say that there’s something just a tiny bit… girly about the new Toyota Yaris Hatch. If ever a car was designed for the young female market segment, it’s this car. This is not to say that a guy who plonks his behind onto the comfy driver’s seat is going to find his balls shrinking instantly; plenty of guys would enjoy driving the Toyota Yaris Hatch without compromising their masculinity in any way. But how many other small cars are proud to include shocking pink as one of the possible options in the exterior paint range (this is true of the Ascent and SX variants, but the ZR is a bit more conservative)? This is a car that looks like a fashion accessory, no matter what colour you get it in – and the range of colours would get old Henry “any colour as long as it’s black” Ford rolling in his grave. Maybe it’s the lines of the front bonnet that suggest an hourglass shape that make this something of a woman’s car. Perhaps it’s the overall cuteness of the car.
Saying that the Toyota Yaris Hatch is a wee bit girly is not to say that it’s a wimp (it’s more about the styling – and “girly” and “wimpy” should never be taken as synonymous anyway). It performs pretty well for a little city hatchback, with lots of zing and zoom on offer, whether you go with the 1.3-litre petrol (Ascent) or the the 1.5-litre petrol (SX and ZR). To be a bit more specific about this, the zing (power) comes along as 63 kW at 6000 rpm (Ascent) or 80 kW at 6000 rpm (SX/ZR); the zoom (torque) stacks up as 121 Nm at 4400 rpm (Ascent) or 141 Nm at 4200 (SX/ZR). The Ascent and the SX offer you the choice between five-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission; the ZR goes for just the auto.
For a small car, the Toyota Yaris Hatch is eminently practical, with seating for five and 60/40 folding rear seats to increase the load space if you need it. There are also plenty of little storage compartments tucked around the interior. The front seats are comfortable bucket-style ones with hard-wearing black cloth trim. The driver’s convenience is seen to with cruise control (a must in these days of hyper-vigilant traffic cops), a reverse camera, a 6.1-inch touchscreen display for the audio and Bluetooth prep, to name a few of the features found in just the Ascent variant. Other things you’ll find as standard include the steering wheel mounted controls for the 6-speaker audio system, an auxiliary power socket and a safety/stability package that includes ABS brakes for all wheels, EBD, brake assist and vehicle stability control. The SX throws in front fog lamps and a three-spoke steering wheel with shift lever. The ZR adds a bit more fun to the little package in the form of satellite navigation, a rear spoiler, voice recognition and 15-inch alloys instead of steels.
Safety is always important, especially in a small city car, so it’s good to know that the Toyota Yaris Hatch managed to score the full five stars in the ANCAP crash tests – although we have to add that in a collision between a little car and some whacking great big bruiser, the little hatch is always going to come off worse. However, it’s good to know that the pretensioned seatbelts for driver and front passenger and the full complement of airbags (front, side, curtain and driver’s knee) are ready to kick into action should you need them.
In short, you can probably expect to see plenty of examples of the Toyota Yaris Hatch buzzing around on Australian roads in the near future. And why not, seeing as this is a practical, fun and affordable hatchback – whether or not you think it’s girly.
Current model series include:
For any more information on the Toyota Yaris Hatch, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Toyota dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!