New Toyota Yaris hatchback range launched in Europe

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In the world of Toyota, things can and will always be improved. This principle – kaizen – is exemplified in the innovations and enhancements introduced in the new Yaris. The latest generation of Toyota’s hybrid electric hatchback has enjoyed great success since its launch in 2020; now it’s set to be even better.

The new range builds on Yaris’ previous achievements, strengthening its appeal in key areas and embracing new technologies to make it an even more compelling proposition. Performance, safety and styling have all been scrutinised to ensure the model remains a leading player in the highly competitive B-segment in Europe.

The key updates include an additional, more powerful new hybrid electric powertrain; significant new and enhanced safety and driver assistance features; and all-new driver’s instrumentation and multimedia system that exploit the potential of digital technology.

These are introduced without diminishing the qualities that have made Yaris enduring popular: a car with lasting quality that’s easy to live with, fun to drive and exceptionally efficient.

Built in Europe for European customers, the new Yaris reinforces the model’s award-winning reputation for innovation and excellence in small car design and engineering.

The new Yaris offers customers the option of a new, more powerful full hybrid electric powertrain, the “Hybrid 130”. Joining the established “Hybrid 115” powertrain option in the line-up, the new “Hybrid 130” reaps the benefits of fifth generation Toyota hybrid technology to give sharper acceleration, allied to the car’s fundamentally nimble character.

It’s the kind of performance profile that’s increasingly a priority for B-segment customers, particularly those looking to downsize their choice of vehicle. And with a new “dual hybrid” product strategy, Toyota is widening Yaris’ appeal in a critical area: hybrid is the top purchase consideration for most buyers.

The 1.5-litre full hybrid electric system has a great track record since its launch, founded on leading fuel and emissions efficiency and its ability to go further and for longer in all-electric EV mode. These qualities are maintained and re-engineered for increased output.

The key change is the introduction of a new hybrid transaxle with a more powerful electric motor-generator (output up from 59 kW to 62 kW), together with adjustments to the software and hardware in the power control unit (PCU). The result is a 12% uplift in total system output, from 116 DIN hp/85 kW to 130 DIN hp/96 kW. It’s not just about headline power, there is more muscle, too, with maximum torque from the MG2 electric motor increased by 30%, from 141 Nm to 185 Nm, available across the entire rev range.

This translates to faster acceleration, half a second quicker to bring the 0-100 km/h benchmark down to 9.2 seconds. Similarly, there’s more rapid performance at overtaking speeds, with 80-120 km/h accomplished in 7.5 seconds.

Toyota’s long-standing experience of hybrid technology ensures that the CO2 emissions remains best-in-class at 87-98 g/km while fuel consumption remains robust at 3.9-4.3 l/100 km (WLTP combined cycle data).

Fuel economy is further enhanced with features such as the Predictive State of Charge Control for downhill and congestion driving conditions by using a combination of data from the navigation system to ensure the battery charge level maximises EV driving to enhance fuel efficiency depending on route, traffic, and gradient.

The new “Hybrid 130” is available as standard in the new Yaris Premiere Edition and GR Sport models. In some European markets it is also available in the High grade.

Toyota is also transforming the new Yaris’ user experience with digital technology, extending from driver information to on-board entertainment and connectivity and even access to the vehicle.

Depending on model grade, a 7- or 12.3-inch digital driver’s instrument display is fitted. Both have sharply defined full colour graphics that are easy to read in all lighting conditions.

The 12.3-inch version (High, Premiere Edition and GR SPORT grades) can be customised to suit the driver’s preference for information content and presentation style. There are 12 display pattern options, with left, centre, and right-side multi-information displays.

The central multi-information display is dedicated to the most frequently used information, such as advanced safety system status, settings, and driver alerts. The left and right displays cover details such as journey information, fuel consumption, audio, and navigation details. Widgets can also be added to the left and right displays to access more information, using the switches on the steering wheel. Up to three different lay-out combinations can be stored for use on different types of journeys.

Further customisation is provided with a choice of four display themes – Casual, Smart, Tough and Sporty – and one, two or no dials. The 7-inch display (Mid grade) offers nine patterns, three styles and a choice of three function displays – tachometer, hybrid system indicator and an analogue speedometer.

The new Yaris sees the introduction of the latest Toyota Smart Connect multimedia package, designed for easier, more intuitive operation with a fast-reacting interface. It includes access to a cloud-based navigation system that helps ensure time-efficient journey planning with up-to-the-minute information on routes, traffic events and delays.

The system is accessed via a 10.5-inch touchscreen, or by spoken commands. Voice recognition has moved to another level, with the “Hey Toyota” voice agent able to respond to requests using more natural, conversational forms of speech. For example, say “Hey Toyota, I’m cold” and the system will automatically raise the climate control temperature. The voice agent can listen to requests without having to lower or turn off audio playback.

Today’s customers want an easy, seamless smartphone connection when they use their car and in the new Yaris it could not be simpler with wireless integration for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems.

Toyota is also making life easier and simpler by delivering software updates for the multimedia functions and the advanced safety features over-the-air using the car’s data communications module. These can then be downloaded and installed when convenient for the owner, with no need for the car to be taken to service centre.

The Yaris’ digital makeover will include the new Smart Digital Key feature, provided as standard on the Premiere Edition and as an option for GR SPORT and Mid grade models.

Linked to Toyota’s MyT app, this allows up to five users to access the vehicle using their smartphone. It’s designed for complete convenience: you can lock, unlock, or start the vehicle without having to take your phone out of your bag or pocket.

It is compatible with both Apple and Android devices and one year’s connection is included in the car’s purchase price.

The MyT app also provides useful functions such as remote vehicle locking and unlocking, climate control operation to warm or cool the cabin ahead of a journey and hazard light activation to help spot the car in a crowded parking lot.

The current generation Toyota Yaris was designed from the outset with the aim of being a segment leader in terms of safety, equipped with a wealth of active and passive safety equipment.

The new Yaris goes even further, with additional and enhanced features that will strengthen its all-round safety leadership and help Toyota progress towards its ultimate goal of eliminating all road traffic accidents.

Toyota T-Mate embraces all the advanced features that make the new Yaris safer and easier to drive and park, features that have been made more effective than ever with new and enhanced functions. These include the latest generation Toyota Safety Sense driver assistance systems.

The new Yaris is equipped with a new camera and radar which can scan further ahead and wider than before, significantly increasing the scope for accident risk detection. For example, this means the Pre-Collision System (PCS) can now additionally recognise a potential head-on impact and wider range of objects in the car’s path, including pedestrians, cyclists and, for the first time, motorcycles.

Acceleration Suppression is a new Toyota Safety Sense feature which will intervene to slow any sudden acceleration of the car when there is a risk of a collision with a vehicle ahead.

Proactive Driving Assist (PDA) is also new, designed to help avoid familiar accident hazards when driving at low speeds. It provides smooth deceleration when the driver comes off the throttle to slow down when coming up behind a slower vehicle, or when entering a bend. PDA also provides Steering Assist: when the car is approaching a bend, this will adjust steering force to help the driver make a smooth and stable turn.

The new Emergency Driving Stop System (EDSS) can support the driver should they be taken ill or be incapacitated. Active when Lane Trace Assist is engaged, this detects if the driver has made no steering, braking or acceleration inputs for a certain amount of time. Initially the driver will receive audio and visual warnings, and if there is still no response from the driver it will bring the car to a gentle stop, activate the hazard lights and unlock the doors.

Safe Exit Assist (SEA), available as an option, provides visual and audio warnings to help prevent a car door being opened inadvertently into the path of vehicles and cyclists approaching the rear. The Rear Seat Reminder System (RSRS) is another innovation that reminds the driver with warnings and audio alerts if they have left a child or pet on the back seat, helping avoid the risk of “hot car” incidents.

As well as these additional functions, the new Yaris benefits from upgrades to established Toyota Safety Sense features. The Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) has been revised for quicker response and to operate with a more natural and reassuring feel. For example, when another vehicle moves into the Yaris’ traffic lane, deceleration is more gradual. The driver can also select a longer vehicle-to-vehicle gap setting and the system’s curve speed reduction function activates earlier, giving smoother speed control.

New systems have been added to the ACC, designed to make overtaking safer. Overtaking Prevention Support prevents unintentional passing on the wrong side of a vehicle (“undertaking”) and Preliminary Deceleration/Turn Signal-Linked Control helps the driver safely re-join the traffic lane after overtaking, at an appropriate speed and distance from other vehicles.

The Lane Departure Alert has been revised so that it will recognise when the driver has steered out of a lane when trying to avoid an obstacle (pedestrian or other road users) and temporarily cancel the Lane Departure Warning.

The Lane Trace Assist’s (LTA) lane-centring function has been recalibrated to work with a more natural feeling and now just a one-touch adjustment of the speed limiter is all that’s needed to match traffic sign information relayed by the Road Sign Assist.

PREMIERE EDITION LEADS REFRESHED MODEL LINE-UP

The Yaris line-up has new top-of-the-range model in the form of the Premiere Edition, a version which goes to the maximum in terms of equipment specification and is powered exclusively by the new “Hybrid 130” powertrain.

It stands out on the street with a bi-tone paint finish that combines an exclusive new Neptune Blue with contrasting gloss black roof and pillars and newly designed 17-inch black machined alloys. Blue is the highlight colour in the cabin as well, featured in the seat upholstery stitching and deco lines that highlight the instrument and door panels.

There is also the choice of Platinum Pearl or Silver Metallic bi-tone paintwork for the Premiere Edition, as well as a new Juniper Blue for other model grades.

Elsewhere in the range there is a new five-spoke alloy wheel design – silver for Mid grade and with a machined finish for the Mid+ model. The cabin also has a freshened look with a new seat upholstery pattern.

GR SPORT HAS THE EDGE

For customers looking for sportier styling, the GR SPORT grade delivers styling flourishes that capture the spirit of Toyota’s highly successful, multiple World Championship-winning motorsport outfit, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing.

The GR SPORT feature exclusive 18-inch machined allaoys with highlighting red deco lines, front sport seats with red upholstery and trim stitching, sports pedals, perforated leather steering wheel trim and GR badging on the seats, starter button and steering wheel.

The Dynamic Grey exterior colour is also exclusive to the grade with GR SPORT badges on the front and rear of the car, as well as G-shaped front grille motif for a standout look.

EXTERIOR MUSCLE, INTERIOR SPACIOUSNESS

The Yaris retains the muscular, agile lines that set it apart from its segment rivals, with a sporty profile that projects energy and dynamism. The styling is true to its agile, poised handling and responsive chassis, underpinned by the quality of its GA-B platform as part of the Toyota New Global Architecture. While height and length are compact, the car has a comparatively long wheelbase and wide front and tracks. This makes for a roomy cabin and a solid road stance. The proportions are ideal for urban streets and tight parking spaces, with short overhangs and a compact 5.2 m turning circle (models with 16-inch wheels).

The interior exudes quality and a spacious feel, designed with a “less is more” approach. The focus is on sensory appeal with harmonious lines and soft-to-the-touch elements such as a padded dashboard and felt door panel inserts. The layout is distinguished by a low-set hood for the driver’s instrument binnacle, a wide centre console and a sporty small-diameter steering wheel.