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  • 2021 Toyota Yaris
    RM 751/Month RM 70,940

Overview

Toyota Yaris 2021 Review

Selling hatchbacks in Malaysia is a peculiar business. With the exception of our extremely popular local models, most Malaysians still prefer a sedan, or even a crossover or SUV, to the diminutive hatchback layout. Why that is the case is down to a variety of reasons – perceived practicality, value for money, or safety – but despite all this, the Toyota Yaris is a car that manages to rise above it all.

This wasn’t always the case. The Yaris is a model with a very odd and convoluted history. Toyota Malaysia did try to introduce the Yaris to Malaysians back in the mid 2000s, though the problem was that it was still very much a global car – which meant that even the pure construction of it, sans features, was already extremely expensive.

The reason for the expense was because of standards and requirements in places like Europe and America where NVH and comfort are placed above everything else. Eventually, Toyota developed a separate Yaris specifically for Asia, which was more cost effective to build and essentially shared a platform with the Vios that we know and love. In some markets, the Mazda 2 is even rebadged as a Yaris for various other reasons.

Whatever it is, we finally have an entry level hatchback from Toyota that is competitively priced in the Malaysian market. For the most part the mechanicals are similar to the Vios, but the form factor is what sets the Yaris apart. One engine, one transmission, and three variants.


Toyota Yaris 2021 Specifications

Which came first: the Toyota Yaris or the Toyota Vios? In reality, it doesn’t matter – they are one and the same – at least from a mechanical perspective. The wheelbase is identical at 2,550 mm, the widths are identical at 1,700 to 1,730 mm, and the heights range between 1,475 and 1,500 mm for both models. It’s only the length that makes a difference, with the Yaris being roughly 300 mm shorter than its sedan sister.

What beats at the heart of the Yaris is identical to the Vios: it’s the 2NR-FE 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol powerplant, pushing 107 PS and 140 Nm of torque, delivering power to the front wheels via a CVT-type automatic transmission with seven virtual gears. Rather surprisingly, despite being a shorter overall car, the Yaris is only FIVE kilograms lighter than the Vios with each variant.

Where the big difference lies is, of course, in the boot space. The Vios has a decent 506 litres of space, while the Yaris makes do with 286 litres until you drop the 40:60 split-folding rear seats. That being said, the overall height of the available space does let you get more creative with fitting taller items and luggage – something sedans struggle with.


Toyota Yaris 2021 Exterior

It would be odd to say “business in the front, party in the back” with the Toyota Yaris, but you could say that it looks pretty much identical to the Vios from the front half onwards. Where the Yaris really stands out is of course in its rear hatch and design, maintaining a classic two-box hatchback form and accentuating the bodywork and roofline with black-coloured pillars along the side.

The rear lights are reminiscent of the Caldina – perhaps in an oddly charming way – making the Yaris look like a pleasant homage to the wagon we never received. It’s definitely a pretty thing to look at – though we wish Toyota had made more of an effort to distinguish the front end from the Vios. Only the entry level model gets 15-inch alloy wheels, while the remaining two variants get 16-inch alloys. With the 2021 facelift, the Yaris is only made available in Red Mica Metallic, Silver Metallic, and Platinum White Pearl paint options.


Toyota Yaris 2021 Interior

It wouldn’t really be surprising that the Toyota Yaris shares its interior with the Vios, given how much else of the car is shared. There’s nothing wrong with this – the Yaris possesses an interior that is more functional than it is luxurious, but it still provides enough amenities and luxuries to feel like a proper car for this day and age.

All variants of the Yaris get black fabric seats, unlike the Vios where the top-spec model get perforated leather. Like the Vios, the Optitron display for the instrument cluster is only for the mid and top spec variants, as is the seven-inch display audio with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality. All variants of the Yaris also get illuminated scuff plates and blue interior lighting for your footwells. All in, there is some give-and-take in terms of what you get – but nothing so drastic in comparison to the Vios.


Toyota Yaris 2021 Safety Features

It has long been Toyota’s aim to revamp their image regarding safety systems in their vehicles across the range – and the Yaris is included in this effort. The safety features available mirror that of the Vios, with both the top and mid spec variants getting the majority of the safety features – Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Assist, 3D Panoramic View Monitor, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control, and Hill-start Assist Control are all on the list.

More passive systems such as seven airbags, ISOFIX for the rear seats, and pre-tensioning seatbelts are standard across the range. You even get vehicle telematics as part of the package so you can track where your vehicle goes and how fast it’s travelling – though this is optional for the entry level J spec model.


Toyota Yaris 2021 Strengths and Weaknesses

The strength of the Toyota Yaris is in its ease of parking, while the weaknesses are in explaining to your relatives why you bought a hatchback. Jokes aside, the Yaris is a fantastic counterpart to the Vios, especially for those willing to trade a little bit of boot space in favour of a little more practicality and ease of maneuverability. Threading your way through traffic and gauging the overall length of a car is that little bit easier with a hatchback than a sedan.

Of course, the only obvious weakness then is the fact that you don’t get as much boot space – though the real question is how often you will find yourself needing all of those extra 300 or so litres you lose by choosing a Yaris over a Vios. If the Yaris fits your lifestyle, by al means it’s a choice you won’t go wrong with.


Toyota Yaris 2021 Price

One of the benefits of the Toyota Yaris is that with less boot space, you also pay a little less money.

  • Toyota Yaris 2021 1.5J price - RM 70,940
  • Toyota Yaris 2021 1.5E price - RM 80,380
  • Toyota Yaris 2021 1.5G price - RM 84,808

This is ever so slightly cheaper than equivalent Vios variants – though again, you don’t get the leather seats for the top spec Yaris 1.5G.


Toyota Yaris 2021 Features

Keyless entry and start is common across the range of Toyota Yaris variants. Where the entry level loses out is in the lack of steering wheel switches, a Multi-Information Display for the instrument cluster, having a four-speaker setup over the six-speaker setup (only for the 1.5G), and having manual air-conditioning over automatic air-conditioning (only for the 1.5G as well).


Toyota Yaris 2021 Fuel Consumption

There are no official manufacturer figures for the Toyota Yaris, but if we had to follow that of the Vios, it would get a real world consumption of around 16 kilometres per litre. We even managed to get it up to 22 kilometres per litre with a bit of fiddling, and some have gone as far as 24.6 kilometres per litre – all done at between 40 km/h and 60 km/h.  

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Key Details

  • Body Type: Hatchback
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Engine Capacity: 1496 cc
  • Fuel Type: petrol
  • Seat Capacity: 5
  • Price: RM 70,940 - RM 84,808

Key Details

  • Body Type: Hatchback
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Engine Capacity: 1496 cc
  • Fuel Type: petrol
  • Seat Capacity: 5
  • Price: RM 70,940 - RM 84,808

Reviews

  • Adam Aubrey

    17 Sep 2020

    Review: What You Need To Know About the Toyota Yaris

    The most paramount of these is safety. Whichever Yaris you end up choosing, you will get Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control, as well as seven SRS airbags and ISOFIX at the rear to properly belt your child seat in – if you need to. If you want to go the distance and would like the Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, you will have to opt for the 1.5E or 1.5G models.

    View full review
  • Arvind

    17 Sep 2020

    Quick Review: All-New Toyota Yaris – Welcome Back

    There’s no beating around the bush with the exterior design of the all-new Yaris – the little hatchback is essentially a Vios with a hatchback rear end. However, eagle-eyed readers might have noticed some subtle differences up front, as the all-new Yaris adopts a different lower grille design. The bodykit design, although similar to the Vios, gets a slightly different finishing (black with some red highlights).

    View full review

User Review of Toyota Yaris

4.3 Excellent
Overall Rating
Performance
Interior Design
Safety
Exterior Design
Showing 16 reviews sorted by Latest Year
2 Fair
Ong
Owner of 2020 Toyota Yaris

Small but turning radius poor. Very unstable.

The car roll when ever go over bumps. Cant make u turn in one go because poor turning radius worse than beza or vw. - Less
18 person found this helpful
4 Very Good
Jazz
Owner of 2020 Toyota Yaris

Good car for city driving

After graduate and work for 2 years, finally got my first car 2 months ago. So far I am happy with my decision. For me, it probably is the best car I can have for my budget. The handling of this little car is superb as it gives me confident when comes to cornering. The nvh of this car is very good except the engine and transmission sound.? This car is very stable that I don't even know I'm driving in such a high speed. My little complaint about this car is the armrest should be bigger and more toward to the front, if the steering is telescopic will definitely be better and why don't just include the footrest in this car. Btw, the facelift version is coming out soon with additional TSS, I think it will attract more people to buy this car. - Less
3 person found this helpful
5 Excellent
Edward
Owner of 2020 Toyota Yaris

value for money

fun car to drive in daily busy city, easy to park, high safety features, sporty looking, 7 airbags, user friendly, value for money with all the features given - Less
10 person found this helpful
5 Excellent
Yarisfan
Owner of 2020 Toyota Yaris

very satisfied and comfortable ride

design is stylish and modern, very comfortable to drive, spacious, good airconds, soundproofing. best purchase from toyota, i definitely recommend this model - Less
4 person found this helpful
5 Excellent
Kian
Owner of 2020 Toyota Yaris

Best hatchback car

With full safety features and sporty design - Less
13 person found this helpful
See all reviews

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2021 Toyota Yaris
RM 751/Month RM 70,940
2021 Toyota Yaris
RM 751/Month RM 70,940

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