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 several regions of the world have been blessed with high-performance Gazoo Racing (GR) spicy derivatives. You can also get hold of it as a rebadged Mazda2, and going forward, there’s a new sedan for emerging markets. The subcompact sedan made its debut this week in Thailand.
Known as the Yaris Ativ, it serves as a solid alternative to the B-segment crossover by offering many features for a very affordable car priced between $15,300 to $19,500 (converted from Thai Baht) depending on trim level. Even the base Sport model gets 16-inch alloy wheels and LED headlights, along with an eight-inch touchscreen and start button. The move to Smart and infotainment grew to nine inches and Toyota added a dashcam and rear USB port.
In Premium trim, this subcompact sedan has automatic climate control and rear air conditioning vents, not to mention adaptive cruise control. The high-end Premium Luxury comes with a Pioneer sound system. Toyota also doesn’t skimp on safety features as the Yaris Ativ gets pre-collision warning and Front/Line Departure Warning as standard, with more systems on the high-end trim.
The infotainment supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto while the top trim gets ambient lighting in 64 colors. Synthetic and genuine leather upholstery is available as an upgrade from standard fabric upholstery. Various exterior upgrades are available, including stripes and two different trunk lid spoilers.
The Yaris Ativ was clearly not developed to set the record for the fastest sedan on the Nürburgring. Power is provided by a naturally aspirated 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine with 94 hp (69 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 110 Nm (81 lb-ft) of torque at 4,400 rpm which is sent to the wheels via a CVT. You get the Sport mode for a number of reasons, but more importantly the disc brakes all around. The suspension is predictable, with front MacPherson struts and rear torsion beam.
In a sea of SUVs trying to be what they aren’t, the Yaris Ativ is very honest and would be a solid Dacia Logan rival in Europe. Production will take place in Thailand at the Toyota Gateway Plant and exported from there to more than 35 countries.