First drive review: Toyota Yaris

Toyota, finally, has a rival to the Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, VW Vento and Skoda Rapid. Can it shake up the segment?

Words: Sirish Chandran

Photography: Rohit G Mane

Better late than never, that all but sums up the Toyota Yaris. The B+ segment has been a gaping hole in Toyota’s India line-up, a segment in which Honda has made hay for the longest time, and a gap that was hard to explain considering that Toyota hasn’t left the City unchallenged in South East Asia. Our Asian neighbours call it the Vios, in India it is called the Yaris, but the target is the same – Honda’s City and all the other rivals that have washed ashore over the past years.

No boring cars, at least to look at

We’ve been vocal, vehement and unrestrained in our criticism of bland Toyota’s and they’ve taken all that to heart, addressing it most recognisably in the styling department. Today Toyota does not make a boring car to look at. Polarising for sure, but not boring. Same holds true for the Yaris that has a dramatic front end with the gaping grille flanked by slinky headlamps cutting a striking and, I have to say, quite attractive shape. Move to the flanks though and it’s obvious that this car is a mid-life facelift of what was once a rather boring car. The flanks are bland and unadorned while the 15-inch wheels together with the raised-for-Indian-roads ride height make it look very undertyred. Things get much better at the rear with the slim and stretched-out taillamps with the LED lighting strip, but the Yaris is a car best viewed from up front.

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