There are compact cars driven by price, and there are compact cars driven by delivering a great driving experience. The 2014 Toyota Yaris is the latest generation for the Japanese manufacturer that looks to deliver something more than just a price point.
Starting around the $18,000 drive away, the new Yaris has a look that has been updated, providing a totally different personality. On the inside, there’s a flurry of new features and technology making the driver enjoy the trip that little bit more.
There are two engines available with the Yaris. The entry-level Ascent model receives the 1.3litre four-cylinder that produces 63kW of power and 121Nm of torque, with a claimed fuel consumption figure of 5.7L/100km.
The middle-range SX and the top-of-the-range ZR models receive the 1.5litre four-cylinder that pushes out a little more power with 80kW and 141Nm of torque. Fuel economy for these models is a claimed 5.8L/100km.
In this review, we are road testing the entry-level 2014 Toyota Yaris Ascent.
Previously, the Yaris never tried too hard to stand out from the crowd or so much to even look like it possessed the least bit of excitement. The new Yaris throws away any hint of the previous design with a totally new front and rear look that we absolutely love.
This new design approach has also been continued on the inside with a new steering wheel design, infotainment system and dash. All of which feels well fitted and finished and will stay modern for many years to come.
Even for larger passengers, there’s loads of headroom. The lounge chair like seats mean long drives don’t feel like you’re in a sardine can travelling at 100km/h.
It’s a fresh approach from Toyota, and when it comes to an impression, it’s excellent.
Toyota spends countless hours testing and retesting vehicles during development to ensure that the car provides the best possible experience on the road for the drive and their passengers.
After great deal of time clocking up the miles in our review model, it’s obvious that Toyota didn’t skimp on the quality control here. The driving feel, comfort, and even the cabin noise, is much better than what you would expect from a compact car.
Automatic headlights, reversing camera, Bluetooth phone and audio all add to this great experience too. Whether you’re a P Plater, busy parent or an older driver, this is one of the easiest cars to drive, with great fuel economy too.
During our test, we averaged 5.9L/100km, which in a real world situation with mostly city traffic driving, is quite impressive. On the highway, this improves considerably.
Safety wise, it’s exceptional with a 5-Star ANCAP safety rating being awarded to every model in the Yaris hatch range. From the emergency brake signals, stability and traction control, 7 airbags, and reversing camera, you’re in one safe little car.
The Toyota Yaris is entirely practical in a slightly different way compared to something like a 7 seat SUV. The Yaris is clever. It finds all the possible spots to hide things away and uses that space to the maximum.
In the boot, there are two levels of storage space and fold down 60:40 seats make packing larger items easy and quick to do. Oh, and if you love cup holders, there are plenty up front and in the back too with 5 available in total.
For those a little less mobile, the large door openings allow you to get both in and out extremely easy. The ride of the Yaris sits at just the right height to make sure you’re not climbing or diving to get in or out.
Oh, and we can’t forget the three child seat restraints in the rear too for the busy little family or keen grandparents either.
The 2014 Toyota Yaris commands a little bit of a price premium compared to most of its competitors, but they don’t quite match the Yaris for its comfort or fit and finish. Two things that influence how you feel about a car, quite a lot.
Pricing starts from $18,000 drive away for the model we reviewed. If you’re after a larger engine, or features like alloy wheels, satellite navigation or other convenience features, you’ll have to look at the Yaris SX or Yaris ZR.
Just like all other Toyota models, you’re covered by a 3 year/100,000km warranty and able to take advantage of the Capped Price Servicing program available for the first 6 standard scheduled services during the first 3 years or 60,00km. Each service will set you back just $130 under the program.
When we first saw the new 2014 Toyota Yaris, we got really excited. It looks fantastic on both the inside and outside.
It’s even better to know that it is comfortable and extremely easy to drive. Plus, the practicality for a compact car is great and appeals to a wide number of different people.
This is the best Yaris ever made, hands down.
If you would like to check out the 2014 Toyota Yaris for yourself, you can at Motorama Toyota in Moorooka or Browns Plains.