20180208

2018 Auto Expo - Toyota unveils Yaris sedan for India

On the opening day of the 2018 Auto Expo in New Delhi, Toyota unveiled its next model for India, the Yaris sedan. A popular car in the South Asian markets like Singapore and Thailand where Toyota dominates the sales charts, the Yaris sedan would finally see Toyota battling with arch-rival Honda in the mid-size segment. Let's not forget the City has been ruling the roost in this segment for two decades now with the Ciaz and Verna challenging for the throne in recent years.
  

Unlike the Etios that was developed exclusively for emerging markets like India and therefore had evident cost cutting, the Yaris is a global Toyota model. And you realize that the moment you look at the car. Yes, the Yaris gets the proper Toyota treatment and looks like a smaller interpretation of the Corolla Altis. 

Up front, large swept-back headlights are placed on either side of a thin split grille that houses the logo. Underneath it is a large trapezoidal grille with black horizontal slats. LED DRLs are placed on the outermost edges of the grille while fog lamps get their own enclosures at the two corners of the bumper. A nice touch is the body-coloured lip underlining the bumper. The well-proportioned profile has a trio of subtle creases that break the monotony while the rear has large wraparound taillights that extend into the tailgate.


The interiors, like most Toyotas, are expected to be more functional than stylish featuring a dual-tone dashboard with a multi-functional steering wheel and a waterfall-like center console. Toyota appears to be gunning for the premium card here with the Yaris coming fully loaded with features like seven airbags, Traction Control System, Hill Start Assist, front parking sensors, powered front seats, roof-mounted rear air-conditioning vents and front and rear disc brakes amongst the other regular ones expected in a car from this segment.

Powering the Yaris would be the 1.5-liter petrol engine borrowed from the Etios, albeit in a higher state of tune. Producing a modest 108 horsepower, the engine is mated with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed CVT-based automatic transmission. There will be no diesel option initially though a launch at a later date remains very much a possibility. 

Toyota has announced that the Yaris sedan would hit the dealerships this April with deliveries starting soon afterwards. Knowing Toyota, expect this sedan to be priced at a premium compared to its rivals from Maruti-Suzuki, Hyundai and Honda. That said, Toyota's strong brand pull and the fact that the Yaris is a well-known nameplate means there are high chances of this becoming yet another success story for the Japanese car-maker in India.

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