Will ‘The Happenin’ New Yaris’ Help Toyota Salvage Its Dream?
The range has been widened with new optional trim levels and prices now start at Rs 8.65 lakh.
The Toyota Yaris. A safe, sensible choice for those who don’t want to bother looking for anything else. Such an audience does exist. They are popularly known as hardcore Toyota fanatics. Jokes aside, the Yaris should have sold well and yet somehow it didn’t. Even though it came with seven airbags as standard and the option of a CVT in all trim levels, it still fell well short of the competition. And, it took down its maker’s dream of grabbing a slice of the mass market share in the personal vehicle space.
Toyota now says that to understand what went wrong, it listened to consumer demands and based on the inputs received has improved the Yaris’ range. The updated portfolio has been christened as the ‘The Happenin’ New Yaris’. But, of course, it isn’t new. What the Japanese carmaker has done is widen the range with optional trim levels, get the starting price down to Rs 8.65 lakh from Rs 9.29 lakh and introduce a sporty-looking derivative.
First things first, there are no mechanical changes. The 1.5-litre petrol engine, which is good for 106hp/140Nm, can be had with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 7-speed CVT. The good thing is Toyota stuck with its original plan of offering both engine-transmission combinations in all trim levels. Speaking of which, the ladder now has optional trims (O) in J, G and V levels. The VX trim, however, sits on the top in all its smugness.
The simple matter of the fact is this – the widened range will attract a wider audience. And no, not just from the fanatic club! Apart from the J (O) and G (O) trims, which get just three airbags three (front driver’s, front passenger’s and driver’s knee), all others get seven airbags. Another development is that all of Yaris’ derivatives come with alloy wheels. Opting for the V (O) trim will get diamond-cut alloy wheels, four dual-tone colour options (red-black, grey-black, silver-black and white-black), black front grille and OVRMS, leatherette seat covers and leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob.
Everything covered? Oh! The price list! Here it is:
Do you think the changes made are enticing enough? If not, which sedan would you put your money down on in the same segment?