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Mazda2-bred Toyota Yaris won't make it to Australia

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Toyota has unveiled a Mazda2-bred Yaris hatchback that will be unveiled at the New York Auto Show - but the fetching city car won't be making it to Australia.

The new Yaris borrows its key underpinnings and its interior from the Mazda2 hatchback, matching the strategy Toyota in America has taken with the Yaris sedan.

The new hatch is being sold as the perfect ride for America’s “urban dwellers”, boasting compact dimensions and a diminutive turning circle often missing from the jumbo SUVs and trucks that prowl the States.

The front-end design isn’t that different to Australian-spec cars, which are Toyota's own and built in Japan, but the hexagon front grille is even more pronounced, and the roof line is less sharply raked. Side-on, though, the Mazda2 is clearly visible, as it is in the interior, which is taken directly from Toyota's Japanese stablemate.

American-spec cars also arrive with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, fed through a 7.0-inch touchscreen - something still missing from the Australian line-up, though Toyota is working on changing that.

“That’s a North American model , and isn’t on the plan for Australia at this time,” a Toyota spokesperson told CarsGuide. “Our vehicles come from Japan, and their design is aligned with Europe."

Our Yaris is also due for an update, though Toyota tells us "we have no announcements at this time".

Do you prefer the look of the American Yaris? Tell us in the comments below. 

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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