First drive: 2015 Toyota Yaris in the UAE

First drive: 2015 Toyota Yaris in the UAE

2015 Toyota Yaris in the UAE
The outgoing Japanese-built Toyota Yaris has had a rather short life-cycle in the GCC. Launched here in 2012, it’s already been replaced by an all-new Thai-built Yaris hatchback that’s been on sale in South Asia since late last year, and is a direct cousin to the current Yaris sedan. If the global politics confuses you, don’t worry about it — the 2015 Yaris is a nicer car than the one it replaces.

The new Yaris is larger and more flamboyantly styled, although Toyota’s constant insistence that it is “sporty” isn’t going to convince anybody. It looks good, but the new design direction may not sit well with those used to more staid modes of transport. But they’ll still buy it anyway, so no worries.

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Inside, the dash and possibly everything else are straight out of the Yaris sedan. That means you get a very nice design and hard-plastic everything, all shamelessly moulded to look like stitched leather. It’s spacious and comes with just enough convenience tech, such as keyless entry and power mirrors. Our top-spec model, as signified by a silver grille, even came with a starter button and single-zone auto a/c. The stereo has a USB port but not Bluetooth, the latter of which used to be standard on the old model.

While the base model gets an 86 hp 1.3-litre, our car thankfully had the 107 hp 1.5-litre 4-cylinder. When you’re playing at this level, you need every single horsepower you can muster. And while a 4-speed automatic doesn’t help matters, the overall driving experience is fine in city-driving. Drive casually, time your moves, and it’s perfectly fine even at highway speeds.

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While wind noise is ever-present, it’s no louder than most of its rivals, and the ride is fairly smooth too. More interestingly, it handles very well too, with limited body roll, mildly-weighted steering with a bit of feedback, and responsive controls, except maybe for the mushy brake pedal. Don’t push it too hard though. At some point it runs out of grip, and your “hot hatch” ends up going wide and off the road.

This is probably the first time we’ve found a Yaris to be interesting, desirable even, given its new-found “controversial” style. Although that sentiment will likely change once the city is overrun by millions of fleet-spec insects, there is no denying the fact that it is still a good car at a good price.

For detailed prices and specs, visit the Toyota Yaris buyer guide.

What do you think?



  1. Looks good. The front and the orange colour reminds me of the GT86 for some reason. Don’t know why.

  2. I think its trying to look like the Tida. The gearbox is only 4 speed and the interior is really normal and boring. Toyota should really try harder in making fun cars, new tech or new options. The new Mazda 3 hatchback and the Tida are really more fun, quiter and more fuel efficient.

  3. Why Toyota is so confused on the gear boxes. Even 2 lit. Corola has 4 speed, where else the rest of the world has reached till 7-8 for similar size engines from German rivals. Even Camry was using 4 speed for such a long time, then upgraded to 5 and immediately to 6 within a short time. We expect better upgrades from Toyota considering their prices are much higher than the competition.

  4. Hahahahaha STILL 4 speed auto… Oh boy Toyota really knows how to fool it’s customers.

  5. Guys, I have 6 speed auto car and its the only thing I hate

    • I have an 8 speed auto car and its perfect.

      The 6 speed auto will be much better at extracting every bit of power and economy from these underpowered 1.3L and 1.5L engines, while a 4 speed auto might be “OK” for a cheap car like Yaris its certainly not acceptable for the Corolla.

  6. i like it..looks good and it gets you from Point A to B with good fuel efficiency…plus you wont lose out on the resale value because it’s a Toyota. i don’t know maybe its just me but the front grille looks slightly inspired from the new Lexus range as well.

  7. The avanza also launched with this?shows up on the toyota site..

  8. It’s a rat car, it goes like *chui chui chui chui chui*. If a cow comes in front of the Yaris, and does a “moooo”, yaris will go back in reverse inspite of being in 4th gear at 80KPH

  9. tale lamps a copy paste of peugeot 208 .

  10. The Front Looks Like As If It Has A Fake Version Of The Lexus Spindle Grille…

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