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Here’s how well the Yaris does on paper in comparison to the competition:
The Yaris is slightly smaller than the City and the Verna, which are longer by 15mm in length and 50mm in the wheelbase. The Ciaz is the longest in length here and has the longest wheelbase. The City is taller by 20mm and the Verna by 10mm but the Yaris and Ciaz are the widest. The Maruti is the biggest overall but is also the lightest.
The final details of the car aren’t out but what it could get includes a touchscreen infotainment system, a tyre pressure-monitoring system, 60:40 rear seat split, adjustable three-neck restraints for the rear seat, a roof-mounted rear AC with ambient lighting, a powered driver’s seat, front parking sensors and a reversing camera. There will be disc brakes all around, seven airbags, Hill-Start Assist, ABS, EBD and ESP as far as safety tech is concerned.
Hyundai’s cars are usually the most feature-rich – the Verna offers ventilated front seats (a segment-first), is no exception. Right now, you get the most from the Hyundai, but we’ll have a clearer idea if the Yaris can match up once Toyota releases more details.
The Yaris is only available as a petrol – it uses a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated, four-cylinder, petrol engine. It makes less power than the Verna’s 1.6-litre mill and the City’s 1.5-litre unit, but makes more than the Ciaz. Since the top version of the Yaris is the lightest here it may have a performance advantage.
Expect the Yaris to be priced cheaper than the City. Toyota could price the car between ₹8.7 lakh and ₹13.7 lakh. The Ciaz is the cheapest while the Verna starts high at ₹9.8 lakh for the base 1.6-litre version (the Verna is also available with a cheaper 1.4-litre motor priced at ₹7.8 - 9.1 lakh) but ends at a respectable ₹12.6 lakh for the top-spec automatic (all-prices, ex-showroom, Delhi).
If the Yaris comes with a lot of tech and is priced well then it will be a real challenger to its established mid-size sedan rivals. For now, the current segment leader, the Hyundai Verna is difficult to beat.