New Toyota Yaris, or is it a Mazda?


As part of a small car resource sharing agreement, this new Yaris isn’t a Toyota.

One of the big surprises for the upcoming 2019 New York Auto Show later this month has been revealed ahead of time. It’s the new Toyota Yaris, which is in fact, a Mazda.

The consequence of a complicated joint venture between Japan’s largest automaker, Toyota, and Mazda, these rebadged hatchbacks will go on sale in the U.S. first, before possibly expanding to other markets.

Viewed in its side profile, the new Yaris is obviously a Mazda2, whilst the rear three-quarter aspect is also unmistakably influenced by designers from Hiroshima, instead of Aichi. The alloy wheel centres roll Toyota’s emblem though, to remind you that this is, at least in name, a Yaris.

From the front you can see the slightly revised grille, with the small Toyota logo at its centre. Inside the cabin is typically Mazda in design: clean and minimalist, with a Toyota steering wheel boss badge, the only revealing symbol of its Yaris marketing differentiation.

The new Yaris features distinct Mazda design cues. 

Equipment grades for the new Yaris will be tabled as LE and XLE, with the lower-specification LE rolling on 16-inch wheels and featuring push-button starting and fog lights. XLE grade models will add LED headlights, climate control, moisture sensitive wipers and a 7-inch infotainment screen which plays nice with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Smartphone integration.

Although the current Mazda2 architecture isn’t new, having launched in 2014, it is one of the better compact car platforms. Powering the Yaris badged version is a familiar 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated engine, good for 82 kW and 145 Nm of torque and is mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission with Sport Mode for quicker acceleration response. 

Safety equipment includes 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, Brake Assist, Brake Overide and Dynamic Stability Control with Traction Control.

More details will be revealed when the Toyota Yaris is shown at the New York Auto Show on 19 April 2019. 

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