As far as price hikes go, they don’t come much more savage than those just announced by Toyota for its entry-level light match, the Yaris.
Yes, the all-new fourth-generation car is a far more sophisticated B-segment car; yes all three grades share the same comprehensive and advanced safety suite, and yes, a hybrid powertrain is available on both middle- and top-spec versions.
But brace yourself, because from a previously circa-$16K drive-away figure for the entry-level car, you’ll now pay closer to $25,000 to drive away in the manual range opener, called the Ascent Sport.
Adding the 10-step CVT automatic transmission is another $1500, which brings the base-spec Toyota Yaris to a retail of around $26,500 drive-away.
At the other end of the spectrum sits the auto-only ZR range-topper at $31,100 in three-cylinder petrol form.
Opting for the hybrid’s motor (and now, significantly, a lithium-ion battery) adds to performance and cuts consumption, but bumps the price by $2000. Two-tone paint is $450, so its possible to now spend $32,550 (plus on-roads) for Toyota’s poshest baby.
For context, the previous Yaris ZR (offered as petrol-only, no hybrid) was $22,670 plus on roads.
And let’s not forget you can buy a Corolla hybrid in SX spec from the class above for just under $30,000 plus on-roads (see below for full model line-up and pricing.)
The petrol engine variants are powered by a new-generation 1.5-litre three-cylinder producing 88kW/145Nm paired to either a six-speed manual (base Ascent Sport only) or CVT auto.
Hybrid models pair the 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine to an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery, the latter promising more energy from a more compact pack compared to the old-tech nickel-metal hydride units used elsewhere across Toyota’s hybrid models.
Its 67kW/120Nm numbers are boosted by a 59kW/141Nm electric motor-generator, for a combined power output of 85kW.
Toyota claims combined fuel economy figures of 5.4 litres/100km for the manual and 4.9 litres/100km for the CVT. The hybrid uses as little as 2.8L/100km, according to the company.
The new car is built on a version of the TNGA platform used by current Corolla, RAV4 and Prius, and bucks the usual trend by being 5mm shorter and 5mm lower than the outgoing model. However, the wheelbase grows by a hefty 40mm.
As for that safety suite standard on all three grades, it brings twin-centre airbags between the front seats (a first for the class) autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian, cyclist and intersection detection, lane-keeping assistance and a rear-view camera.
However, additional safety features, such as blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear AEB are only available on the most expensive ZR spec.
The base model has an analogue instrument cluster, SX and ZR grades have a digital instrument display. All models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via a 7.0-inch touchscreen, SX and ZR models gain navigation, LED headlights and tail-lights, keyless entry and start, and a leather-accented steering wheel.
Read next: Toyota Yaris AP4 rally car review
ZR brings a rear spoiler and 10-inch head-up display, among other equipment upgrades. The Ascent Sport model has 15-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, the SX has 15-inch alloys, while the ZR has 16-inch alloys. All models include a space-saver spare.
Warranty for private buyers remains five years/unlimited kilometres, and service intervals have improved from six months/10,000km to 12 months/15,000km.
Capped-price servicing costs are $195 per visit for routine maintenance up to five years/75,000km.
2021 TOYOTA YARIS PRICING FOR AUSTRALIA
- Ascent Sport manual - $22,130
- Ascent Sport CVT - $23,630
- SX CVT - $27,020
- ZR CVT - $30,100
- SX Hybrid CVT - $29,020
- ZR Hybrid CVT - $32,100
- Premium paint: $500
- Two-tone paint: $450
NOTE: prices exclude on-road costs