The fourth-generation Toyota Yaris takes many forms depending on where you live. It's a three- or five-door hatchback as well as a high-riding Yaris Cross, while a few regions of the world have been blessed with the high-performance Gazoo Racing (GR) spicy derivative. You can also get the hatch as a rebadged Mazda2, and going forward, there's a new sedan for emerging markets. The subcompact saloon made its debut this week in Thailand.
Known as the Yaris Ativ, it serves as a solid alternative to B-segment crossovers by offering loads of features for an impressively affordable car priced between £12,500 to £16,000 (converted from Thai Baht) depending on the trim level. Even the base Sport model gets 16-inch alloy wheels and LED headlights, along with an eight-inch touchscreen and a start button. Step up to the Smart and the infotainment grows to nine inches and Toyota adds a dashcam and rear USB ports.
Toyota Yaris Ativ 2023
In the Premium trim, the subcompact saloon has automatic climate control and rear AC vents, not to mention adaptive cruise control. The range-topping Premium Luxury comes with a Pioneer sound system. Toyota doesn't skimp on safety features either as the Yaris Ativ gets pre-collision warning and Front/Lane Departure Alert as standard, with even more systems on the higher-end trims.
The infotainment supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto while the top trim gets ambient lighting in 64 colours. Synthetic and genuine leather upholsteries are available as an upgrade from the standard fabric seats. Various exterior upgrades are available, including stripes and two different boot lid spoilers.
The Yaris Ativ obviously wasn't developed to take down the record for the fastest sedan around the Nürburgring. Power is provided by a naturally aspirated 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine with 94 bhp (69 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 110 Nm (81 lb-ft) of torque at 4,400 rpm delivered to the wheels via a CVT. You do get a Sport mode for some reason, but more important are the disc brakes all-around. The suspension is predictably basic, with a front MacPherson strut and a rear torsion beam.
In a sea of SUVs trying to be what they're not, the Yaris Ativ is refreshingly honest and would make a solid Dacia Logan rival in Europe. Production will take place in Thailand at the Toyota Gateway Plant and exported from there to over 35 countries.