Toyota has long been a name synonymous with reliability and practicality. In India, it has been at the top of the MUV sales charts with its Innova and the SUV charts with the Fortuner. Toyota has now become the 4th largest car manufacturer in India and it sells 3 other sedans, namely the Etios, Corolla and the Camry. Toyota’s sedans have never sold in very good numbers and hence Toyota is looking to expand its customer base. It has had no offering for the Indian customers in the premium mid-size sedan market, but only up until now! Even while being very late to the party, Toyota has finally launched its first midsize premium sedan, the Toyota Yaris. With the love for the SUVs on the rise, taking a toll on every other segment of cars, Toyota has arrived at a party, which is soon might even be over. But now it's time to see how good of a party crasher the Yaris is.
The Yaris, currently in its 3rd generation, has been developed only for the ASEAN markets and is sold in other countries under the nameplates of Ativ and Vios. It takes up arms against three of its main rivals, namely, the Honda City, Hyundai Verna and the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. The prices start at Rs. 8,76,000 (Ex-Showroom Delhi) and go all the way up to Rs. 14,18,000 (Ex-Showroom Delhi). The pricing of the Toyota Yaris can be a bit of a bummer for some as the Yaris is more expensive than the City, with the difference in pricing reaching as much as Rs. 1,70,000. We believe that the Yaris should have been priced more competitively, at least initially. Nonetheless, the Yaris comes with some segment-first features and the most reliable batch on the front.
Loaded to the gills with equipment
Comes with top-notch safety package
Feels more durable and robust than its rivals
Comes with Toyota’s excellent after-sales
Comes with a smooth CVT for all variants
Overpriced for its segment
Engine feels just about adequate, more powerful options available
No diesel engine on offer
Below average infotainment system
Marks Toyota’s entry into the midsize premium sedan segment in India.
The Yaris brings to the table a total of 7 variants and each one of them is available with a 6-speed manual or a 7 speed CVT gearbox. The root variants which Toyota calls Grades are namely J, G, V and VX. The J, G and V variants are available with an optional pack. The Yaris is available by default with 7 airbags, hence to keep the prices in check, the optional pack only comes with only 3 airbags in the J and G variant, which costs cheaper than the normal variant. In the V variant, the optional pack adds leatherette seats and hence it is more expensive with 7 airbags. The Yaris is the only car in its segment which is not available with a diesel engine option as only a petrol engine is available. The price of the base variant with the 6-speed manual gearbox (J-Optional) is priced at Rs. 8,76,000 and the top of the line variant (VX), mated to a 7-speed CVT gearbox is priced at Rs. 14,18,000.
J / J Optional
Price Manual (Ex-Delhi) in INR
9,40,000 / 8,76,000
10,55,000 / 9,74,000
11,74,000 / 12,08,000
Price CVT (Ex-Delhi) in INR
10,10,000 / 9,46,000
11,75,000 / 10,94,000
12,94,000 / 13,28,000
All features of J Variant and:
All features of G Variant and:
All features of V Variant and:
4 Speakers audio unit
ORVM Turn Indicator
Cooled Glove Box
Fully Automatic with Temperature Controlled AC
Driver Seat Height Adjust
Rear Reading Lamp
7 airbags as standard
Navigation & Gesture Control in Audio
Roof Mounted Air Vent with Ambient light
Front parking sensors
Rain Sensing Wipers
Electrically Adjustable & ORVM
Push Start Stop
Paddle Shift (CVT-i Only)
Rear Seats with 60:40 Split
Audio, Phone & MID Controls on Steering Wheel
Follow-Me Home Headlamps
Hill Start Assist Control
The G (O) variant with the CVT gearbox which is priced at Rs. 10,94,000 (Ex-Showroom Delhi) is the most value for money variant of the Yaris. It comes with all the necessary features and you can go with the non-optional variant to get the 7-airbags, which are a benchmark of safety in the segment. The CVT option will make it easy to nip through city traffic but you can also go with the 6-speed manual gearbox which is more than a lakh cheaper than the CVT variant. The Yaris does come at a premium when compared to its rivals but the G variant is priced almost in line with the segment.
The Yaris comes with a 1.5-litre 4 cylinder dual VVT-i petrol motor which churns out 106 Bhp at 6000 rpm and 140 Nm of peak torque at 4200 rpm. These power figures put the Yaris behind almost all of its rivals except the Ciaz. There is no option of a diesel motor available with the Yaris which already puts it at a disadvantage in an already competitive market. Nevertheless, the petrol motor can be clubbed with a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed CVT gearbox option.
The engine transmits a negligible amount of noise and vibrations to the car’s cabin once fired up. At idle, this motor is super silent and can rev up to 6300 rpm. The engine is superbly refined and can give even a Hyundai motor, a run for its money. Throttle response is satisfactory and once you press the gas pedal, the input is converted to power quickly. This helps in stop-go traffic situations as well as overtaking slow-moving traffic quickly. Within the city conditions, the driveability is good as Yaris can pull from anything above 1,250 rpm. This makes it an able city crawler but not as good as its younger sibling, the Etios.
Hyundai Verna VTVT 1.6 SX
Maruti Suzuki CIaz Delta
Honda City i-VTEC V
Price (Ex-Delhi) in INR
1497 cc, 4-cylinder
Once on the highway, the performance feels adequate but nothing that you would call explosive or sprightly. The power delivery is linear and the Yaris feels the most active in the mid-range. Overtaking trucks on highways is as simple as pressing the gas pedal if you are in the right gear. Clutch action is on the lighter side and the 6-speed manual gearbox is quite slick-shifting. The CVT gearbox is also very smooth and makes dealing with the everyday city traffic, a breezy affair. The overall performance from this engine is satisfactory but nothing that will be to the taste of an enthusiast. There are better performing engines available in the segment and that too at a cheaper price than the Yaris.
Outright performance is not really thifty for car manufacturers in this segment which is evident from Yaris’s 0-100 kmph time of 12 seconds. Toyota has tuned Yaris’s engine for better fuel efficiency rather than performance. It manages to beat Suzuki’s Ciaz but only by a margin. If engaged in a stoplight sprint with City or Verna, the Yaris will be eating dust as both have better outright performance than the Yaris
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz
2NR FE, Dual VVT-i
Kappa Dual VTVT Petrol
K12 VVT Engine
The fastest car of its segment has long been the Honda City due to its excellent engine tuning. The Yaris not only comes with a weaker engine than the City but also has a heavier kerb weight and hence it loses out to the City in terms of outright performance. The only car that comes with lower engine power output is the Ciaz but it manages to match the performance of Yaris due to its lighter weight.
While the performance is what concerns the driver the most, the ride quality is what concerns the passengers the most. Yaris comes with typical suspension hardware and the ride quality is on the stiffer side, compared to other Toyota cars. Hence, the body roll is well contained and the suspension keeps the excessive vertical movements under check. Although the slow city ride of the Yaris is not without its flaws. It soaks up small bumps and potholes easily but once you take it on broken roads, the suspension is not able to protect its occupants from sharper bumps or potholes. Once the Yaris picks up speed though, things improve considerably and Yaris shows mature riding dynamics. The high-speed ride of the Yaris is simply the best in its segment. Hence, the suspension is suited more for the highway rather than the city.
The steering of the Yaris remains light at city speeds but not as light as the Verna’s. But you won’t find anything to complain at city speeds as the steering is light enough to park in and out of the tight spaces. Once on the highway doing triple speeds, the steering weighs up adequately but lacks feedback. Yaris remains well glued to the tarmac and shows no signs of any nervousness. What helps in the city is also its smallest turning radius in the segment at 5.1m, which makes taking a U-turn a breezy affair. With 175 mm of ground clearance, it is easy for the Yaris to clear even the bigger speed breakers without scrapping its underbelly. Overall, the ride and handling package of the Yaris is satisfactory and most customers will find nothing to complain about it.
Good braking performance is one of the most important aspects that accounts for the overall safety of a car. The Yaris then comes with ABS and EBD as standard on all variants. It has disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear which is true for its rivals as well. The V and VX variant get discs on all four wheels. But we feel that Toyota could have added discs at the rear too, keeping in mind the premium it comes at. Nevertheless, the braking performance of the Yaris is at par with the segment and the Yaris stops from triple-digit speeds without much drama. The brake pedal also provides adequate feel and feedback and most customers will be impressed with its braking performance.
Maruti Suzuki CIaz
Curb Weight (kg)
*only available on V and VX variant
The top two trims in the Yaris provide superb braking ability which cannot be matched by any other car in its segment. No other car provides disc brakes on all four wheels which just goes on to portray how much Toyota has actually foche safety of the Yaris.
In a price-sensitive market like India, mileage is one of the most important factors for the customers. The Yaris scores no boundaries when it comes to mileage but it’s at par with the segment. It returns a fuel economy of 17.10 kmpl which is the second-best in its segment.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz
Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres)
Hyundai’s Verna has the biggest fuel tank capacity because of its lower fuel economy. The queen of this department is undoubtedly the Suzuki Ciaz which returns the best-in-class fuel economy just like every other Suzuki. The mild-hybrid version of the Ciaz returns a whopping 30 kmpl of mileage. The Yaris and the City are neck and neck in terms of mileage.
The exterior of the Yaris is probably the most polarising aspect of the car. The design looks quite busy in the front which also makes it the most exciting part of the exterior. The front has a large black grille on the lower half which dominates the front. Use of chrome is kept in check as it is limited to the Toyota badging. The placement of the DRLs has been done in the middle of the front end with the fog lamps being placed on each corner of the bumper. Overall, the front looks fresh but fails to leave an impression due to too many design elements being put in one place.
The rear, however, is much more simple with a plain bumper and horizontal taillights and the use of chrome is kept in check at the rear as well. Where the front looks aggressive, the rear looks plain and boring. From the sides, the Yaris looks clean but the 15-inch tyres look a tad bit small due to the large wheel arches. Overall the exterior look of the Yaris is a mixed bag of understatement and funky design clues.
Maruti Suzuki CIaz
Kerb weight (kg)
Ground clearance (mm)
The Yaris is the shortest car in its segment and also has the shortest wheelbase. It is one of the widest cars in its segment though alongside Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. The Ciaz is the longest as well as the widest car in its segment.
The solid feel of the Yaris on the outside continues on the inside as well. Doors feel very robust as they open in a triple-stage action and close with a very Europea car thud. Once inside the cabin, you will be greeted to one of the most well put together cabins in the segment. It comes with a black and beige treatment which makes the cabin feel roomy. The dashboard layout lacks the wow factor but the quality of the materials used is among the best in the segment. You do not get any soft-touch materials like in the new Honda City. All the buttons and knobs have a tactile feel to them and are quite durable. The 7’ inch infotainment screen in the middle looks more like a tablet and the AC vents have been placed below it.
The front seats are supportive and provide excellent under-thigh support. Side bolstering also feels adequate and prevents you from being tossed around in sharp corners. It is easy to find a good comfortable driving position, thanks to the height-adjust feature of the driver’s seat. The steering though is only height adjustable and not reach adjustable. The rear seats come with excellent legroom on offer and even the 5th occupant gets an adjustable headrest. The front armrest protrudes a bit into the middle passenger’s knee room and it might be a cause of concern for some taller passengers. Nevertheless, the cabin provides enough shoulder-room and head-room making it easy to spend long hours inside it. There is enough storage space on the inside and you can easily store 1-litre water bottles and other nick-nacks all around the cabin. Overall, the cabin feels quite premium and feels more on the side of the Corolla than the Etios.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz
The cabin of the Ciaz definitely feels t which is due to its bigger physical dimension. But the Ciaz lacks the premium feel which the Yaris offers. On the other hand, the Hyundai Verna is one of the best put together cars in terms of cabin quality and feels the most contemporary from inside. The City and the Yaris are neck and neck in terms of the interior feel and quality but the City slightly edges past ahead of the Yaris due to the use of the soft to touch materials.
Creature comforts on offer?
Automatic Climate Control
Paddle Shifts (only with CVT)
Push start/stop button
The infotainment system is one of the most important aspects of the interior of a car. The Yaris comes with a 7-inch touchscreen which provides you with a host of features. It feels very intuitive to use but there is a considerable amount of lag before the desired operation is executed. Once you put the Yaris in ignition mode, the infotainment system takes around 15 seconds to boot up which can become annoying for certain users.
Another issue with the touchscreen is its visibility under direct sunlight. What makes things worse is the fact that the brightness setting cannot be changed while in motion. The infotainment also misses out on apple car play and android auto, which could have improved the usability of the infotainment system. Overall, the infotainment unit is just about average and gets the job done for the most part. The 6 speaker unit offers satisfactory performance but nothing mind-blowing.
7” Touchscreen Infotainment system
Bluetooth, FM, AM
4 Speaker Audio System with 2 front tweeters
Hand Gesture Support
The Toyota Yaris’s infotainment system comes with gesture controls, wherein you don't have to touch the screen physically to change a track or the volume. In our tests, it worked 7 times out of 10.
Boot space is not one of the strongest points of the Yaris as it comes with the least amount of boot space in its segment. However, the boot on the Yaris comes with a very practical shape and the loading lip is on the lower side which makes it user-friendly.
The boot can easily gulp in a weekend worth of your luggage but rivals like the Honda City and Suzuki Ciaz have more boot space on offer.
Maruti Suzuki CIaz
Cargo Volume with rear seats up (Litres)
The City and the Ciaz rule the segment in terms of the boot space on offer. The rest of the two cars, the Yaris and the Verna are neck and neck in terms of the boot space. All the cars though are very well capable of hauling in a weekend worth of your luggage.
Indian consumers are growing more and more sensitive towards the safety package a car has to offer. Toyota has scored full marks in terms of the safety features on offer. The Yaris comes with first-in-class safety features and no other rival comes even close to the safety package it offers. The Yaris comes with 7 airbags which are available even on the base variant. It has received a 5-star rating in terms of safety in the ASEAN NCAP crash test. This goes on to show Toyota’s commitment towards providing safe cars for the Indian market.
ABS with EBD
Rear Parking Sensor
Rear Backup Camera
Driver side Load Pre-tensioner and limiter
Driver Seat Belt reminder
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
Front parking sensor
Speed-sensing door locks
Hyundai’s Verna has been on top of the sales chart for quite a while. It now comes with even more features and is available with a diesel engine as well. Verna’s cabin certainly looks more contemporary than that of the Yaris and offers a more premium experience. The infotainment system of the Hyundai Verna is also more fluid and easy to use. When compared to the Verna, the Yaris provides better fuel economy and comes with a better safety package. Even if the Yaris costs more than the Verna, we cannot call it a better car in every aspect when compared to Verna.
The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz is a car focused on comfort and convenience rather than performance. It provides the best in class fuel economy as well as cabin space. The Ciaz is available with a petrol engine and a diesel engine as well. But Suzuki has announced that it will stop the production of its DDIS diesel motor in 2020. When compared to the Yaris, the Ciaz fails to provide the solid quality that the Yaris provides. The performance of both the cars are almost the same but the Yaris comes with the best safety package which the Ciaz cannot match.
The Honda City is the second most expensive car in its segment, as the most expensive car is the Yaris. The City is known for its engaging drive and is also loaded to gills with features. The cabin of the Honda city feels a tad bit roomier than that of the Yaris and also provides more boot space. The Yaris beats the City in terms of safety and ride quality. For everything else, the City turns out to be a better car than the Yaris.
Today’s customer is not only looking for fuel-efficiency figures while purchasing a car but also the number of airbags it offers. As compact SUVs gain popularity in the Indian market, Yaris is already late to arrive in a segment which faces fierce competition from compact SUVs. The Yaris focuses the most on the safety aspects and provides some of the first in class safety features. There are certainly better performing cars in the segment which cost much less than the Yaris. But the Yaris comes with the bulletproof reliability offered by Toyota and excellent after-sales service. Hence, it is a car worth considering especially if you are looking for a hassle-free and the safest car experience that the segment has to offer.