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Brand New Toyota Yaris

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Steane Klose | Oct 22, 2008

Not content with just adding extra value to the RAV4 range, Toyota has also increased the active safety and comfort of its Yaris hatch and sedan range in line with an overall model facelift.

Upgrades aside, the big news is that manual versions of the Yaris have been awarded the maximum five-star rating on the Federal Government's Green Vehicle Guide. Only petrol-engined vehicles can achieve five stars, and Toyota points out that it is the only manufacturer to achieve the rating with cars that run on regular unleaded (Yaris and Prius).

Fuel consumption for the 1.3-litre Yaris manual models is 6.0 l/100km with CO2 of just 141grams/km, based on the official combined cycle. The 1.5-litre manual models return 6.1 l/100km and 145 g/km.

In addition to the green credentials, the new Yaris hatch benefits from improved headlamps with increased reflector area, telescopic steering column adjustment on the entry-level YR hatch and illumination for the steering wheel-mounted audio switches on Yaris YRS and YRX hatch.

Toyota has also increased the number of assist grips in all Yaris models, and supplies two remote keys with each vehicle, while all automatic sedan models are fitted with an automatic gear shift position indicator in the dashboard. The seat trim is now an improved Jacquard-weave, with individual Dark Grey patterns for the YR and YRS hatch, YRX hatch, and both the YRS and YRX sedan.

The Yaris hatch now features a 'warm silver' look to the centre cluster of all models, while the YRS and YRX models also have chrome rings on the air-conditioning registers.

The exterior has been subtly enhanced as well, with new front and rear bumpers, new front grille and new tail lamps (in addition to the new headlamp design). The new tail lamps have light-emitting diode (LED) stop lamps (for increased visibility and reliability). Exterior body kits for both YRX hatch and sedan have been refreshed, and a new body-coloured radiator grille insert has been adopted with the hatchback body kit.

There's also a new wheel cover design on the YR hatch model and a new eight-spoke 15-inch alloy wheel design on YRX hatch model. Three new Yaris hatch exterior colours have been added to the palette - Graphite, Lustre (Silky Gold Mica Metallic) and Sting (Yellow).

The Yaris sedan has a new block-pattern radiator grille, along with revised side turn indicators and exterior mirrors and like the hatch has some new 'rolling stock'. The YRS sedan has a new wheel cap design, and the YRX sedan gets new eight-spoke alloy wheels.

YRS has a new wheel cap design and YRX has new eight-spoke alloy wheels. There are also two new Yaris sedan exterior colours - Santorini and Tidal Blue.

If you are at all confused by the Yaris range, then remember the basics: it is made up of three-door and five-door hatchback models, and a four-door sedan model - all of which come with the choice of manual or electronically-controlled automatic transmission.

Two VVT-i engines are offered across the range, a 1.3-litre and a 1.5-litre, and there are three equipment grades in the hatch (YR, YRS and YRX), and two equipment grades in the sedan (YRS and YRX).

All Yaris grades have an optional Enhanced Safety Pack, with additional SRS airbags.

Yaris pricing starts at $15,190 for the three-door YR (manual) and $16,390 for the five-door YR (manual).

Toyota has advised that prices on all YRS and YRX hatch models have been reduced between $50 and $250, while the sedan variants have had price increases of $200-$400.

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