Toyota's new Tazz

Toyota is going after VW's Vivo business - in a big way. 

* TRD version shown in images only available in the Philipines.

Its bakkies and SUVs might dominate the South African automotive landscape, but Toyota is bolstering its passenger car offering too.

Shortly after the launch of Starlet, the company’s local business unit has teased a new entry-level hatchback offering.

Toyota South Africa posted a Facebook content item teasing its ‘new model’, with the corresponding footage showing the company’s Agya (pronounced 'ug-ya'). The Agya is set to go on sale locally as soon as November 25 2020.

Since the Tazz was discontinued, Toyota has never quite managed to dominate South Africa’s entry-level hatchback market (the Etios never lived up to the success of the Tazz/Conquest). With Agya, which is also branded as Wigo in certain markets, the idea of a contemporary Tazz could become very real.

Much like the Starlet, this Agya is not strictly a Toyota design. It is engineered by Daihatsu, the compact car specialist which left South Africa in 2015 and has significant Toyota ownership.

The Agya has benefitted from a product update earlier this year and it is a delightfully small car, perfect for urban use. Measured bumper-to-bumper it is only 3 660 mm long, 1 600 mm across and stands 1 520 mm tall. These dimensions make it 200 mm longer and 60 mm taller than Toyota's current smallest model the Aygo. It's still some way short of the Polo Vivo by 300 mm in length. 

Those compact dimensions mean it is very light, at only 880 kg. Powering the Agya are two engine options, both naturally-aspirated petrols.

The 1-litre three-cylinder engine is good for 49 kW, whilst a larger 1.2-litre four-cylinder produces 65 kW. Both engines can be paired with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. South Africa will receive only the 1.2-litre variant but no mention has been made on whether both gearboxes will be offered.

With Agya and Starlet in Toyota’s local product portfolio, the company will have its most comprehensive value hatchback offering in decades.

The Agya will take over from the Aygo as the latter is being phased out. With the Agya being sourced from India, Toyota will aim to be extremely keen with its listing price and will likely hit the sales charts at under R200k.


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