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Toyota has at last revealed the pricing and specification details for the all-all-new Yaris, and the news isn’t all good for price-conscious shoppers.
So let’s get the tough stuff out of the way first: the new Yaris arrives in three trim levels - the Ascent Sport, SX and ZR - with the cheapest, manual-equipped vehicle costing $22,130, stretching to $32,100 for the most expensive, hybrid-powered ZR.
That marks an entry-point increase of almost $7000, with the former model’s cheapest offering being the $15,390 Ascent Manual - a price increase of more than 40 per cent.
Yes, it seems the sub-$20k new car is dead, at least at Toyota, with the brand now suggesting new-car shoppers buyers consider shopping for a certified second-hand vehicle instead.
"You might think we’re repositioning the Yaris, or moving up market, but that’s not our intention. Our mission is to provide ever-better cars, and price them fairly," says Toyota's sales and marketing chief, Sean Hanley.
"The value we’re providing is rock solid - there's an incredibly high level of standard safety and technology, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and everything else."
So let's get stuck in, shall we?
The new Yaris rides on the TNGA-B platform, and the range kicks off with the Ascent Sport, which can be had with a manual transmission ($22,130), or with a CVT automatic $23,630.
That money buys you a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder engine which will produce 88kW and 145Nm, paring with a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT auto.
You get electric power steering, disk brakes up front and drum brakes at the rear, and a torsion beam rear suspension set-up.
Outside, you get 15-inch steel wheels, halogen headlamps, LED DRLs and tail lights and rear fog lamps. Inside, you'll find fabric seats, manual air-con, a USB charge point and a 12v power outlet.
On the tech front, you'll find a 7.0-inch touchscreen inside with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a smaller 4.2-inch driver info screen. You'll also get a six-speaker stereo and DAB+ radio. In a rather nifty feature, you can also use the screen for USB-connected video playback.
But it's on the safety front where the tiny Yaris really shines, with the brand boldly declaring it the world's safest city car. That story begins with eight airbags - including two front centre airbags, the only car in this segment to get them - and the usual suite of braking and traction aids.
Then the tech steps up, with Toyota's pre-collision safety system, which has AEB with pedestrian and cyclist detection, as well as active cruise control, intersection turn assistance, lane trace assist with active steering, road-sign recognition and a reversing camera.
The range then steps up to the SX, which can be had with the conventional petrol ($27,020), or with a hybrid powertrain ($29,020), which adds a lithium-ion battery and electric motor for a combined power output of 85kW. The new hybrid system includes a pure EV driving mode, but Toyota is thus far unable to confirm now many electric-only kilometres it will deliver.
That extra spend also buys you navigation with live traffic, auto air-con, keyless entry and push-button start, a digital speedo, tachometer and hybrid use gauge, as well as a leather-accented wheel and better cabin materials.
Outside, you get 15-inch alloys, LED headlights, privacy glass and silver exterior design elements.
Finally, you can opt for the top-spec ZR, available as a petrol ($30,100) or hybrid ($32,100).
For that, you get optional two-tone paint, as well as 16-inch alloy wheels, and a rear spoiler. Inside, you get sport seats up front, paddle shifters for the non-hybrid model, and nicer interior design elements like piano black inserts and Y (for Yaris) embossed seats.
You also get a head-up display, blind-spot monitoring and an intelligent parking system.
The new Yaris measures 3940mm in length, 1695mm in width and 1505mm in height, and rides on a 2550mm, making it a bigger car than the vehicle it replaces. It will also serve up some 270 litres (VDA) of luggage space with the 60:40 rear seats in place.
“The all-new Yaris has sharper styling, a dynamic new platform, powerful and efficient new powertrains, an engaging new driving experience and the cutting-edge safety that is otherwise available only in luxury cars,” says Mr Hanley.
“Its capability and features – including quality, safety and connectivity – go beyond anything else offered in this segment and respond directly to the needs and preferences of compact-car buyers."