Car Reviews | Toyota Yaris 1.5 Sport

Toyota Yaris 1.5 Sport

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New Doors Open for You
When it comes to sturdy reliability and dependable mechanics, Toyota have mastered the art of weaving Japanese philosophies into likeable design, and producing brilliant vehicles as a result. The new Yaris is testament to this. Built on the successes of the previous iterations, the new Yaris boasts efficiency, comfort, affordability, and the uncomplicated excellence we have come to expect from the automaker. This is one hatchback you have to have on your shortlist.

The Concept
This urban hatch is trendy and dynamic, yet also practical and unpretentious – this makes it ideal for the vibey young student, the small family, or even those enjoying their twilight years. Five seats mean you can ferry around friends and family, and its small size makes it ideal for city traffic and busy parking lots. This is the perfect balance of affordability and versatility, with a generous helping of comfort and style added, thanks to Toyota’s intuitive design and forward thinking.

The Look
The latest design is sharper, edgier, and more assertive than ever before. We love the duality of the cheeky, angular headlights and imposing grille with the sensual clam-shell of the bonnet and flowing lines sweeping the sides. The Yaris looks both cheeky and charming at the same time, which means it appeals to a broad audience. 16-inch alloy wheels and attractive side skirts, as well as a roof spoiler, shark fin antenna, and chromed features hint at a little sportiness, too. Projector beam headlights and follow-me-home lighting are standard, with full LEDs lighting up the rear end, while power-retractable and colour-coded exterior mirrors round out the side profile.

The Feel
As long-time fans of the brand, we have always appreciated Toyota’s ability to merge durability and ease of use together with style and class, and the interior of the Yaris follows this trend, too. The cabin is beautifully appointed with partial leather upholstery on the seats, featuring contrast red stitching on certain key touchpoints – ideal for this Sport derivative. Even the steering wheel and gear lever are leather-clad and look and feel quite premium. There is also ample space for even those on the taller side, although the rear middle seat is best left for little kids. Still, it’s comfortable for all occupants, and feels modern in all the right ways. The boot has a 310-litre capacity for your convenience with grocery shopping or the school run. Outward visibility is good, thanks to large windows and slender c-pillars, and when seated behind the wheel, there’s a wonderful sense of confidence and peace of mind, with everything just within arm’s reach.

The Features
The touchscreen display is equipped with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, and a USB port for added convenience, and audio is channelled through six speakers. Android users will also be pleased with the Auto Plus Show, which allows an Android smartphone to ‘mirror’ onto the vehicle’s display screen. Comfort and convenience features include a push-to-start function, automatic air conditioning, power steering and electric windows, an impressive list considering the starting price of the car. As is expected from Toyota, safety and security has also been prioritised with ABS, brake assist, EBD, hill assist, vehicle stability control, ISOFIX child seat anchorage, an immobiliser and an alarm system, too. The hatch has a full consignment of airbags as well, including curtain, driver and front passenger, and driver’s knee, for added protection. A nifty feature also included is a speed sensing power door lock that is activated when the car has been started and pulls off.

The Drive
One of Toyota’s core philosophies is to provide its customers with an economical engine that doesn’t compromise on performance. What’s under the bonnet in the Yaris does a pretty good job of living up to this expectation. The 1.5-litre, four-cylinder engine produces 79 kW of power and 140 Nm of torque, which is more than enough punch to comfortably transport you from point A to point B as well as to easily flow with everyday city traffic. The upside of the diminutive engine is a low 5.9-litre per 100km fuel consumption figure, which – on a full 42-litre fuel tank – will mean fewer stops at the pumps. The driving experience is also commendable, and although it may take a little bit of urging to get up to speed, it’s not a struggle to get moving from a standstill. The Yaris is responsive and with the butter-smooth five-speed manual transmission (an automatic option is also available for the more leisure-focused drivers) and spunky nature, it makes for good fun out on the road. Handling and stability on this hatch are excellent too, thanks to the improved suspension, fresh shock absorbers, enhanced coil springs and a few aerodynamic features such as stabilising fins. The overall package is ideal for easy city manoeuvring, and the Yaris seems eager to please, doing exactly what you ask of it. As far as small hatchbacks go, this is the one of the best. It is, after all, a Toyota.

Where to find it
Visit www.toyota.co.za to check out or learn more about this tenacious Toyota.
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