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Toyota Yaris ZR 2014 review

Chris Riley road tests and reviews the 2014 Toyota Yaris ZR with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Toyota has updated its Yaris lineup, ditching the three-door version and reducing the number of grades from four to three.

It has also made some external changes to the hatch, grafting the Corolla's pointy nose to the front in a bid to make the car funkier and more appealing.

With a stiffer body and retuned suspension, the company  claims it's now more enjoyable to drive too, however power remains the same and there have been no other mechanical changes.

2014 Toyota Yaris

Explore the 2014 Toyota Yaris range

Yaris is currently the number three car in its segment behind the Hyundai i20 and Mazda2, with the Suzuki Swift bringing up the rear.

That doesn't factor in the Kia Rio which is a better buy with a six-speed auto and more powerful direct injection engine - not to mention the brand new Mazda2 which about to hit showrooms.


Yaris is still priced from $15,690 for the entry level Ascent, with the mid-range SX at $17,790 and the top of the range ZR at $22,690.

The first two come with steel wheels and wheel covers while the ZR scores 15 inch alloys.

Ascent has been upgraded from 14 to 15-inch wheels, given a reversing camera, cruise control and 6.1-inch touch screen, and represents $2000 in increased value.

For $400 more SX gets about $1000 worth of new features including fog lights, rear and side privacy glass plus new wheel covers.

For $1300 more ZR adds new auto-levelling LED lights, rear spoiler and diffuser, side skirts and Toyota Link connected mobility.


There's some bright new colours and the cabin has been upgraded to make it feel roomier and more stylish.

A grain finish on the dash and around the instrument panel combined with brighter ornamentation for the air vents and door switches promote a more up-market look.

The glovebox cover has been redesigned for a more integrated appearance with the rest of the dashboard while making better use of the available space.

The steering wheel is now reach adjustable, the hazard lights flash automatically during emergency braking, phone controls have been added to the wheel and the audio system now boasts six speakers instead of four.

Cruise control now comes standard.

ZR audio adds voice recognition in addition to Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming, with satellite navigation, climate control, sports front seats, premium three-spoke steering wheel and newly designed seat covers. 


There are two engines in the mix, a 1.3-litre and a 1.5-litre - both of them four cylinder petrol engines.

The 1.3 which powers the Ascent produces 63kW and 121Nm, while the larger 1.5-litre unit in the SX and ZR delivers 80kW and 142Nm, the latter at 4200 revs.

There's a choice of either five-speed manual or four speed automatic, except the ZR which is automatic only.

Fuel economy for the 1.3 is 5.7L/100km, the 1.5 auto 6.3L/100km.


Gets a full five stars for safety, with seven airbags including a driver's knee bag, plus traction and stability control, along with anti-lock brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution.

A rear view camera is now standard across the range too. 


A four-speed auto? With multi-point injection? That doesn't even get one-touch blinkers?


Cars were equipped this way 20 years ago. When is Toyota going to realise the modern consumer is more savvy than this.

The powertrain is off the pace and it shows in both the car's performance and economy.

Our test vehicle was the top of the line 1.5-litre ZR auto and it certainly looks smart and sassy, but the car didn't sweep us off our feet.

The paint job is impeccable, fit and finish is first rate and it is reasonably comfortable for a small car, but you've got to flog it to extract any sort of performance.

Punch the accelerator, the engine roars and the transmission tries hard, then suddenly it finds third gear and it's all over.

Regardless the car does feel nice and tight, sits well on the road and corners flat. Another plus is that the navigation system includes speed camera warnings.

We were getting 7.0L/100km after about 300km which realistically isn't that good for a car this size.


Looks good. Goes pretty well, but the economy is not there and the competition is better value for money. Time has moved on and being a Toyota is no longer enough for an easy victory.

Pricing guides

Based on 106 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

Ascent 1.3L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $7,200 – 11,220 2014 Toyota Yaris 2014 Ascent Pricing and Specs
SX 1.5L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $7,000 – 10,780 2014 Toyota Yaris 2014 SX Pricing and Specs
YR 1.3L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $5,900 – 9,130 2014 Toyota Yaris 2014 YR Pricing and Specs
YRS 1.5L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $6,300 – 9,790 2014 Toyota Yaris 2014 YRS Pricing and Specs
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.