Toyota has pulled the covers back on an all-new Yaris compact hatchback, revealing a number of firsts for the light hatch segment and the Japanese manufacturer.
New engines, more safety and Toyota's excellent new global platform are the key gains for the five-seat, five-door hatch, which - despite the drop in popularity of the compact hatch segment - is still a popular car for Australian buyers.
Headlining the long list of updates, Toyota will bring hybrid technology to the Yaris for the first time via a new 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine matched to a lithium-ion battery.
The ‘Dynamic Force’ petrol engine is new to Toyota, and will also be available without the hybrid technology. Much like its bigger Corolla brother, the engine will be matched to a continuously variable transmission equipped with a mechanical first gear for a more natural-feeling take-off.
Toyota Yaris range review
The duo of engines is closely related to those in the Corolla, RAV4 and Camry models, albeit smaller.
The updated looks are now much more synonymous with the rest of the current range, introducing a sportier front apron, subtly pumped guards and a more tapered roofline.
The Yaris will receive a plethora of new advanced safety features, one of which is a centre airbag which sits between the driver and passenger to prevent occupants from striking each other in the event of a side impact.
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Additionally, Toyota says its new pre-collision safety system will go above and beyond current technology by preventing accidents when turning at intersections and detect pedestrians crossing the road.
The Yaris will also receive adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and lane-keep assist at no cost.
Other items included as standard are a set of LED headlights, a tablet-style infotainment system, a multi-information instrument cluster screen and a 10.0-inch head-up display is available as an option.
Buyers who have been hanging out for the new Yaris will be pleased to learn the new car is based on a variant of the TNGA platform that underpins much of the new Toyota range including the Corolla, Camry, Prius, RAV4 and C-HR.
This means much-improved use of space compared to the previous car, with a 5mm reduction in length and a 40mm reduction in height still representing uncompromised headroom overall. Occupants are sat lower, which in addition to a lower cowl height aids outward visibility.
The wheelbase is now 50mm longer too, which Toyota suggests will make the Yaris “agile and manoeuvrable in city driving and parking while contributing to generous occupant space.”
Toyota wants this car to win in the around-town environment, with Toyota Australia's vice president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley saying the “all-new Yaris has been designed to be Australia's safest compact car while meeting the increasing challenges of everyday urban life.”
We’ll know more about the Toyota Yaris (including pricing) closer to its Australian arrival but for now, click through the gallery above to familiarise yourself with the new car.