While the Toyota Vios has historically enjoyed sales numbers that make it the envy of practically every automaker in the Philippines, the same cannot be said about the Yaris. The hatchback version of the country’s best-selling vehicle isn’t flying off the showroom floor as quickly. However, Toyota Motor Philippines is making a conscious effort to change that by giving the understated Yaris a little nip and tuck.
Perhaps the most obvious change to the Yaris is the front fascia. The cool runabout has followed in the steps of the Vios with its restyled radiator grille, headlamps and fog-lamp housings. And to complement that bit of plastic surgery, there is a rather slick new hue in the form of Cyan Metallic and restyled 15-inch alloy wheels. Go for the range-topping 1.5 S trim level and the headlight assemblies get LED running light accents as well.
Passengers will be pleased to know that all Yaris variants now have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. If anything, this is an opportunity for us to humbly ask Toyota about making phone-integration features standard across its vehicles. Again, the 1.5 S gets additional goodies in the form of leather seats, paddle shifters, power-folding mirrors and a start button.
Because the Yaris is just a Vios with a tailgate, both cars are mechanically identical. Its 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine has 98hp and 123Nm on tap, while the larger 1.5-liter mill is good for 106hp and 140Nm—identical numbers to those of the Vios. However, keen drivers will be less than pleased with the gearbox choices as the refreshed Yaris can only be had with a continuously variable transmission.
With safety features aplenty such as antilock brakes, stability control, hill-start assist and no fewer than seven airbags, the updated Yaris is poised to get the traditional sedan crowd to consider living the hatchback life. Prices are pegged at P973,000 for the 1.3 E, and P1,114,000 for the 1.5 S.