Toyota has introduced the new, significantly revised Yaris in Europe but instead of a simple mid-life “facelift,” the company has come up with the more than 900 new parts to improve the car’s design, dynamic performance and safety, part of the company’s €90 million programme. The car’s new look, with significant changes to the front and rear styling, has been created at Toyota’s ED2 design studio in the South of France.
This is also the first time that changes developed for the Yaris in Europe will be adopted directly for its sister Vitz model, manufactured in Japan.
In terms of its overall looks, the Yaris appearance is now more refined, where the front of the car features a new front bumper that creates a “catamaran” shape with broad sections flowing down from new headlight units, flanking the wide, trapezoidal grille. Meanwhile, the area around the central Toyota emblem has a much simplified design.
The grille itself benefits from new treatments with a honeycomb design for Bi-tone grades and arrangement of “stepped” horizontal bars for other grades. The integrated fog light housings either side of the grille have also been reworked with a more compact recess and a vertical line that arcs smoothly to follow the outer edge of the bumper – featuring a bright chrome trim detail on higher grade versions that’s also available as an option on Mid grades.
Changes to the rear section includes a new tailgate design that extends the horizontal emphasis with new rear light clusters that extend from the rear wings onto the door itself. According to model grade, the rear lights feature LED stop and tail lights with light guides.
The same “catamaran” architecture has been created at the rear of the car with a new bumper design that harmonises perfectly with the lines of the tailgate. The new design is supported by a re-shaping of the area framing the licence plate and the addition of black garnish details in the lower bumper, edged with reflector and finished with a pattern of straked, horizontal lines.
Aside from that, two new colours called Hydro Blue and Tokyo Red have been added to the range of paint finishes for the Yaris taking the total to 10 different shades.
Changes to the interior promote a more modern feel, in particular with new colours, trims and improvements to the instruments and controls. All versions apart from the Entry grade model now feature a new 4.2-inch colour display in the driver’s instrument panel.
Other detail changes include new propeller-style air vents, cool blue instrument illumination and a more streamlined, seamless execution of the multimedia screen and controls in the centre console, including new switches that are both neater in appearance and easier to operate.
As mentioned in our previous post, the 2017 Yaris now comes with a new 1.5-litre petrol engine in place of the previous 1.33-litre unit, designed to meet more stringent Euro 6c emissions standards and future homologation requirements that address “real world” fuel economy. The new unit delivers 10% more power and torque than the previous 1.33-litre engine, yet also posts an improvement in fuel economy of up to 12%.
The naturally aspirated 1.5-litre engine develops a maximum output of 111 hp and peak torque of 136 Nm. Compared to the 1.33-litre unit, it is 0.8 seconds quicker in acceleration from 0 – 100km/h (11.0 versus 11.8), while at overtaking speed in 5thgear the improvement is more than a second, moving from 80 to 120km/h in 17.6 seconds compared to 18.8.
In terms of safety, 2017 Yaris willcome equipped with Toyota Safety Sense active safety systems as standard, including a Pre-Collision System with Autonomous Emergency Braking, Automatic High Beam, Lane Departure Alert and Road Sign Assist.