We recently took possession of a new Toyota Yaris, courtesy of UMW Toyota Motor. The Yaris which mimics the Vios to the dot is as good as it gets for a sub-compact. Its outlook and overall package proves that Toyota Malaysia is on the right track to reclaim back the no. 1 spot for non-national brands.

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With that goal in mind, Toyota M’sia not only introduce the new Toyota Vios with an overly expressive outlook and fully-loaded offerings, they also reworked the new Yaris to make sure it stands for a long term admiration by today’s youths. In fact, the new Yaris is somewhat a comeback for the model, since its last debut back in 2010. And this time round, did Toyota make the right move to introduce this car in such a competitive B-segment market, largely dominated by the local and non-National brands?

The new Toyota Yaris is rather similar to the current Vios, as most petrolheads would notice in an instant. You can’t really spot the difference if you look at it upfront. However, the  side and rear are a give-away and tells you that it is a Yaris. The front and rear lights have the same combinations like the Vios, with halogen fronts and rear LED combis, as do the wheel and tyre sizes.

The interior list of the Vios are also apparent on the Yaris. From the whole dashboard to the seats, things are practically inherited from the Vios to the Yaris, saved for some nitty gritty stuff. Toyota did manage to improve some issues that customers have brought to their attention. One of the items is the 360 camera, which is now accessible when you hit reverse, while the PVM button only work when you’re reversing.

The other unique for the Yaris is the fabric seats with blue stitchings, both front and rear. Even the center armrest is a fabric type. Fabric is a suitable choice due to its soft touch and compatibility to the hot and humid Malaysian climate. At the rear, the Yaris with its hatchback form offers a boot space of just 286 liters and the space goes up when you fold down the seats.

The 2019 Toyota Yaris is quite well-equipped when it comes to safety, taking up plenty of features off the Vios. The list included 7 airbags, ABS, VSC, Hill-stat Assist Control (HAC), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), and front and rear DVR system that comes with Lane departure warning, and forward collision warning. The blind spot monitoring system has been reconfigured to not having a high pitch beep when it detects a car on the blind spot.

On the drive, the first thing anyone would notice between a Yaris and Vios is a steering with more feel to give better feedbacks. The steering gets tighter at high speeds and becomes lighter when you’re slowing or parking the car. This puts a smile on your face especially when you chuck it around corners. Acceleration is a lot more effective compared to the Vios, even when fully loaded with occupants.

Here’s the big question: is the Yaris a better car than the Vios? I would say yes and no. Yes is for those who enjoy a little more fun when comes to driving but yet you still want a fuss-free drrive. Whereas if you want an out and out practical car, the Vios does the job a lot better because it has more space. Priced from RM 70,888 to RM 83,888, the Yaris is now a true sub-compact in the competitive B-segment market.  The color options are: Citrus Mica Metallic, Red Mica Metallic, Attitude Black, Silver Metallic and Super White II.

Text/Images: Zhanwei