Why the US is confused about the Toyota Yaris, and how much the hybrid is for NZ
Search Driven for Toyota for sale
Toyota Motor North America has announced that it will drop the Yaris from its lineup next year. And that’s okay, because it didn’t really have it in the first place.
Take a look at the images of the US-market Yaris here (in blue, below) and you’ll see that it’s essentially a Mazda2 with Toyota’s trademark snout glued on the front.
It’s been that way since 2017, when Yaris became a Mexico-made version of the little Mazda – one of several joint ventures between Toyota and Mazda for the US. But following a sales burst back then, the little Toyozda has been in sales decline and won’t return for 2021.
None of that is to be confused with the all-new (and authentically Toyota) Yaris heading to New Zealand in August, which brings petrol-electric hybrid power to the model for Kiwi buyers for the first time.
The new-generation Toyota Yaris GX hybrid is now the Japanese brand’s most economical Kiwi non-plug-in model: Combined fuel consumption of just 3.3l/100km is even better than the Prius (3.4l/100km, so just!).
At $27,990, the GX hybrid is $2000 more than the standard Yaris GX; the petrol-electric powertrain combines a new 1.5l three-cylinder engine with a lithium-ion battery pack, for total system output of 85kW.
By way of comparison, the standard Yaris GX gets the same 1.5l petrol engine in a higher state of tune, making 88kW/145Nm. It can’t match the hybrid’s fuel economy, but it’s hardly thirsty: the Combined figure is just 4.9l/100km.
Yaris is being launched in five-door hatchback form to start with, with GX and ZR specifications.
Toyota NZ is following the path it set with Corolla by offering the hybrid powertrain right across the range, including the range-topping ZR “Two Tone”, which adds a black roof to the ZR for an extra $500.
There’s much more to come from Yaris. At the end of this year we’ll see the Yaris Cross, a jacked-up SUV-style version with the same powertrain choices.
At the same time, Toyota NZ will turn the little three-cylinder engine up to 11 with the GR Yaris, a rally-inspired hot hatch that makes 200kW/360Nm and boasts a six-speed manual with a GR-Four all-wheel drive system.
Pricing is yet to be revealed for the GR Yaris. But trust us, it won’t be $25,990.