A few weeks before the sporty GR version, and a few months before its transformation into a small SUV in a highly anticipated Cross version, we were able to take the wheel of the new Yaris.

With 7% market share in France, the city car of the Japanese manufacturer is a nugget that is very difficult to touch. But that’s what Toyota has done with a fourth generation that changes almost everything.

The most glaring change concerns the design of the Yaris. Exit the curves and jovial style of the previous version. The manufacturer is aiming for a rejuvenation of its target and has designed its car accordingly. The new Yaris is therefore much sharper in its lines, with its slight boomerang effect on the fenders. Its very dynamic aspect is significantly reinforced. This aesthetic evolution is quite successful, especially since the Yaris, unlike most of its rivals, didn’t need to lie down or strain. At less than 4m in length, it is still one of the smallest cars in the B segment.

The other major change concerns the mechanical part of the car. This 4th generation is now based on a new platform, the TNGA, which served as the basis for the C-HR, the brand’s small SUV. Consequence: with a much lower center of gravity (- 12 mm), and a modified driving position, the driving sensations have been improved. Compared to previous models, the new Yaris has a smaller steering wheel, and closer to the driver. In fact, the more dynamic driving position follows the aesthetic evolution of the car.

Consumption: the new strong point of the Yaris

And on the road? It’s the same thing. Our top-of-the-range version got out of the bends of the Bauges Alpine Road without a hitch. Once on the shores of Lake Annecy and in a more urban environment, the hybrid engine took over to relieve the 3 cylinders but also the wallet. Indeed at the end of our test journey, we were able to observe an average consumption of 4.3L / 100 km. It was even possible for us to go under the 4L in town by adopting a particularly flexible driving. Rather anecdotal about previous versions of the Yaris, the hybrid seems to have made a significant leap forward here. In fact, on the Yaris 3, it only accompanied the engine up to 75 km / h. From now on, it plays its role even at 130 km / h, even if in this configuration the battery drains at the speed of light. So you have to play on the brakes, or take advantage of mode B (for brake) to extend the use of the battery and avoid as much as possible on the gasoline engine.

CarPlay and Android Auto save the system

Finally, it is inside the car that the changes are least obvious. Very traditional, the dashboard of the Yaris is centered around a main screen for the management of the infotainment. The driver is entitled to fairly standard instrumentation and, in the most upscale version, to a well-stocked head-up display, since it even displays the energy recovery zones. On the other hand, Toyota still has efforts to make in terms of multimedia system. Its fairly basic interface suffers from comparison with the most recent models, as for its GPS, it is a few years behind. Fortunately, and that’s what saves her on this part, the Yaris comes standard with iOS and Android Auto compatibility. The user will only have to plug in his smartphone (no Bluetooth management) to enjoy a more modern and intuitive interface.

Driving aids galore

It is by following the same logic that Toyota has decided to provide its “Safety Sense” system from the first level of equipment, which makes the Yaris one of the best-equipped B-segment cars in terms of vehicle assistance. conduct. Detection of vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists, assistant of crossing lines or intersection, everything is there. And what about adaptive cruise control for lane keeping and directional emergency assistance (aid that reinforces the steering wheel when the driver detects danger)? These are generally reserved for high-end models and with this Yaris become much more accessible.

Indeed, at 20,950 starting price, this new version of Toyota’s city car seems perfectly positioned. It is undoubtedly the intermediate model at 22,450 euros which will represent the bulk of sales since it will allow future buyers to enjoy a better screen, more complete instrumentation and rims. The premium version at 24,950 adds a head-up display, blind spot sensors and a pretty decent JBL sound system.

Finally, Toyota is relying heavily on its new rental formula starting at 199 euros per month (with a contribution of 2990 euros) which includes a six-month trial without commitment. The Japanese manufacturer is therefore betting that future owners will not return their Yaris to the dealership after a few weeks of testing. From what we’ve seen of this city car over the past two days of testing, Toyota has reason to be confident.

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