Toyota Yaris

European Toyota Yaris gets 210 hp Gazoo Racing-inspired version

European Toyota Yaris gets 210 hp Gazoo Racing-inspired version

While the GCC got a new Thai-built Toyota Yaris in 2015, Europe gets its own version of the econo-hatch. And the Europeans now have a 210 hp version. No, that wasn’t a typo. Toyota has revealed a spicy hot version of their Yaris hatchback. The name of the car isn’t confirmed yet but expect it to bear the ‘Gazoo’ moniker as Toyota has promised to include the name of its racing team in all its performance-oriented models.

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2017 Toyota Yaris now with CVT automatic in UAE and GCC

2017 Toyota Yaris now with CVT automatic in UAE and GCC

The 2017 Toyota Yaris sedan and hatchback have quietly gone on sale in the UAE, and will soon in other GCC markets if they haven’t already. Visually, they look exactly the same as the outgoing models, but the big news is that the new models have switched over to a CVT automatic transmission.

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We thrash two identical cars on Jebel Jais, with one big difference

We thrash two identical cars on Jebel Jais, with one big difference

You must’ve heard of Jebel Jais by now. Located in the outskirts of Ras Al Khaimah, it’s the tallest mountain in the United Arab Emirates, at about 1,910 metres. Saudi Arabia has an even taller mountain called the Jabal Sawda, at nearly 3,000 metres, but Jebel Jais has become a tourist spot for a reason — it has a perfectly-paved road leading up to the top. Wide, twisty and clear on a weekday morning, we decided to drive up and down that road in two identical cars. Well, identical in all but one aspect.

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First drive: 2015 Toyota Yaris TRD in the UAE

First drive: 2015 Toyota Yaris TRD in the UAE

The latest Toyota Yaris hatchback is a pretty good car. We’d even go as far as tell you to put it on your shopping list if you’re in the market for a new car in the Dhs 50,000 range, although we’d never buy one ourselves (because we’re one of those crazies who buy a decade-old BMW M Roadster for the same money). However, Toyota is now actively trying to spice up their model line-up for the “youths” and the Yaris has been a beneficiary of that campaign. Therefore, here’s the 2015 Toyota Yaris TRD.

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So we got a 2015 Toyota Yaris

So we got a 2015 Toyota Yaris


Truth be told, I like this car. I’ve liked it ever since I saw photos of it a year ago. Yes, it’s been around that long in South-East Asia while we were still seeing that generic Japanese-built one around here. This new one’s built in Thailand, but from what we saw, that hasn’t made an ounce of difference in quality — it feels just as cheap as the Japanese one.

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