Story & photos by Randy S. Peregrino
THERE’s another reason for subcompact hatchback enthusiasts to continue celebrating the New Year as Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) recently introduced the heftily updated 2018 Yaris. Unveiled last month, the Asian version of the leading auto manufacturer’s five-door hatchback now showcases a remodeled exterior figure, plus a new interior layout. There are two grades available sporting different engine displacements and trims—the 1.5 S CVT and the 1.3 E variants.
The fascia’s immense transformation puts this new model more aligned with the global form. Although it still doesn’t don an identical look, the design language suggests the same pattern of curvier than edgy. One, in particular, is the pronounced and shiny bumper grille, which complements Toyota’s signature “keen look” coming from the slim, yet stretched, headlights with subtle vents in between and a solid center piece housing the emblem. Even the standard fog lamps frame got replaced with a more chic-looking shape to further complement the bumper grille. Exclusive to the top spec model are the halogen projector-type head lamps with daylight running lights and sport radiator grille.
On the flanks, dissimilar pattern of delineations now highlights the flowing lines from the front end. But the black trims bordering the belt line and windows are still there for accentuations. As for the equally stunning rear end, just like the front part, it received a substantial makeover. The new shaped tail lights now extend to the tailgate with a glossy black garnish in between. While the C-pillar retained the black finish, the rear spoiler now is more evident and even got an additional shark-fin antenna on top. Moreover, the rear fog lamps underneath threw on a different shape along with the curvier rear bumper. Supplementing all the exterior enhancements are the new multispoke, 15-inch alloys rims wrapped in 185/60 series rubbers. Providing more distinctions to the 1.5 CVT S are the red accents in the front just below the bumper grille, side mirrors and rear garnish.
Inside is where you’ll see more of the new Yaris’s major changes. Evidently, its dashboard layout alone veered away from the shared design with its subcompact sedan sibling. It’s no longer has that downward structure but further emphasizes the center panel with polished metal and black trimmings outlined with metallic frames. The Optitron gauges now come in different casing along with the fresh steering wheel with embedded controls. Also came in standard is the touch-screen 7-inch Display Audio with CD/MP3, AUX, USB, Bluetooth, Voice Control and Weblink for iOS/Android. It’s clustered with the air-con vents and modern-looking push-button switches. Even the center console looks sleeker with its equal share of polished metal and black trimmings, plus metallic garnishes. The snug seats, meantime, offer the same unique fabric material with motifs and a 60:40 split folding back benches.
Retained under the hood is the more advanced and fuel-efficient four-cylinder NR petrol-engine series introduced back in late-2016. Propelling the top spec variant is the 1.5-liter 2NRFE motor with dual VVT-i dishing out 105 hp at 6,000 rpm with 141 Nm of maximum torque at 4,200 rpm. Meanwhile, the E-base models is powered by the 1.3-liter 1NRFE mill with Dual VVT-i generating 97 hp at 6,000 rpm with 121 Nm of maximum torque at 4,400 rpm. While both models come with CVT transmissions, the E variant offers a five-speed manual gearbox option.
Function-wise, all models come with Hill Start Assist feature and power door locks and windows, plus illuminated entry system. But solely available to the 1.5 S model are the push start starting system, eco and sport drive modes and auto climate control, among others. One of the new Yaris’s best steals are the safety elements as standard in both versions. These are the multiple SRS airbags, Vehicle Stability Control, ABS (Anti-Lock Brake System) with Electronic Brake Force Distribution, and Break Assist, Child Protection Lock, ISOFIX plus, the high mount LED brake lamp.
The 1.5 S CVT is priced at P1.006 million, while the 1.3 E CVT is being offered at P877,000. As for the 1.3 E five-speed version, it’s being offered at P825,000. There are seven available radiant colors to choose from namely: Citrus Mica Metallic, Orange Metallic, Gray Metallic, Red Mica Metallic, Thermalyte, Attitude Black and Freedom White.
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