The Indian C-sedan sedan segment has been witnessing an intense three-way battle between the Maruti Ciaz, Honda City and Hyundai Verna while the rest stand on sidelines as mere spectators. The rest includes the likes of Volkswagen Vento, Skoda Rapid, Nissan Sunny, Toyota Yaris, etc.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor, after remaining inactive in this attractive segment for all these years, finally decided to participate last year with the Yaris but the sedan didn’t manage to make a noticeable impact. July 2019 saw Yaris sales decline to just 51 units – lowest since launch.
The Yaris is well equipped, looks premium, is reasonably priced and is backed by Toyota’s solid reputation for reliability and after sales experience but despite all these positive traits, the sedan could only manage to garner meager monthly sales numbers.
To change this, Toyota is about to introduce (on September 3, tomorrow) a new base variant of Yaris in a bid to lower the entry price point and boost sales.
The sedan is currently available with an impressive list of standard equipment not the least of which are 7 airbags (dual front, side curtain and driver knee units). The new base variant will skip the side curtain bags to offer 3 airbags (dual front and drive knee units) as standard.
Apart from launching a lower priced variant, Toyota will also launch a more expensive top of the line variant. This will come with dual tone colour option, new machine cut dual tone alloys, leather interiors and much better seat comfort. The same has been teased by the company.
As far as the technical specifications are concerned, we won’t be seeing any change. The sedan comes with a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated VVT petrol engine which is tuned to produce 107 PS and 140 Nm of torque. The transmission options include a standard 6-speed manual or a 7-speed stepped CVT-i.
The manual and automatic variants return ARAI certified fuel economy of 17.1 and 17.8 kmpl respectively. The new variant introduction will most likely continue with BS4 engine. BS6 engine update for Yaris has not been confirmed yet.
Currently available in four trim levels (CVT is available as an option across all variants), the Toyota Yaris has a starting price of INR 9.29 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The deletion of side curtain airbags alone would bring the price below the 9 lakh mark, making it an attractive proposition.
While the move is expected to boost sales considerably, the segment leaders would have nothing to worry about. For comparison, Maruti Ciaz base price is Rs 8.2 lakhs, Honda City starts from Rs 10 lakhs, Hyundai Verna prices starts from Rs 8.18 lakhs.