Re­sus­ci­tated Yaris has its fin­ger on the Pulse

The Star Early Edition - - NEW MODELS - JASON WOOSEY

THE TOY­OTA Yaris ‘Pulse’ has just gone on sale in South Africa and you can think of it as a re­sus­ci­tated Yaris, sport­ing fresh front and rear styling, a new 1.5-litre en­gine in most mod­els and a few mi­nor spec ad­just­ments.

This is the sec­ond time that the cur­rent Yaris hatch, in­tro­duced in 2011, has been given a makeover of sorts and un­like most facelifts, this one sees the most no­table styling al­ter­ations tak­ing place at the back end, where new hor­i­zon­tal tail­lights re­place the pre­vi­ous ver­ti­cal units and join a restyled tail­gate and bumper in repli­cat­ing the ‘cata­ma­ran’ de­sign theme that we see up front. Al­though frontal changes are less rad­i­cal, the Yaris does still get new head­light in­nards that flow into a re­designed bumper, while the new Plus model gains pro­jec­tor head­lights with a Y-shaped gar­nish that re­sem­bles the SA flag.

Most Yaris Pulse derivatives also re­ceive a per­for­mance boost com­pli­ments of a brand new 1.5-litre nor­mally as­pi­rated petrol en­gine. While the base 1-litre con­tin­ues at the bot­tom of the range with 51kW and 95Nm and the 74kW petrol-elec­tric hy­brid holds fort at the top of the line-up, the new 1.5 VVT-iE fleshes out the mid­dle ground.

Re­plac­ing the pre­vi­ous 1.3-litre unit, the 1.5 pro­duces 82kW and 136Nm, up from 73kW and 125Nm, and Toy­ota claims it’s 12 per­cent more fuel ef­fi­cient than its pre­de­ces­sor. To achieve this, the new mo­tor has plenty of tricks up its sleeve, in­clud­ing a rather high com­pres­sion ra­tio (13.5:1) and an elec­tronic con­trol mech­a­nism that op­ti­mises the phase shift of the in­take camshaft.

The 1.5 is mated to ei­ther a sixspeed man­ual or con­tin­u­ously vari­able (CVT) trans­mis­sion. I drove both ver­sions at the West­ern Cape­based launch and though I can’t tell you how they per­form at al­ti­tude, the en­gine felt par­tic­u­larly sprightly at the coast.

It’s quite a revvy lit­tle thing, and works best when mated to the slick-shift­ing man­ual ‘box. I found the CVT to be rather droney on throt­tle-stamp­ing oc­ca­sions such as over­tak­ing or climb­ing hills and ul­ti­mately it re­ally only feels at peace with the world un­der lighter loads.

No rad­i­cal al­ter­ations take place in the cabin of the Yaris Pulse, al­though there are a few new colours and trim de­tails as well as a re­vised three-spoke steer­ing wheel with pi­ano black in­serts.

Toy­ota’s Dis­play Au­dio touch­screen sound sys­tem with six speak­ers and Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity is stan­dard across the range, along with air con­di­tion­ing, re­mote cen­tral lock­ing, elec­tric win­dows, and a leather-cov­ered multi-func­tion steer­ing wheel. There are 15-inch al­loy wheels fit­ted across the line-up too, and safety comes in the form of front and side airbags, plus sta­bil­ity con­trol. You have to up­grade to the Pulse Plus, how­ever, to get cur­tain and driver’s knee airbags.

Over and above what the stan­dard mod­els of­fer, the Pulse Plus gains cruise con­trol, in ad­di­tion to the afore­men­tioned pro­jec­tor head­lights and a dif­fer­ent grille pat­tern that has a more ‘3D’ ef­fect. The range-top­ping Hy­brid adds dual zone cli­mate con­trol to the mix, as well as a start but­ton and LED day­time run­ning lights and tail­lamps.

All Yaris mod­els come with a three-year/100 000km war­ranty and a three-year/45 000km ser­vice plan. Six colour choices are on of­fer, com­pris­ing three sin­gle-tone op­tions (in­clud­ing the new Cos­mic Blue) and three dual-tone colour schemes, all giv­ing you a black roof.

YARIS PULSE PRICES 1.0 Pulse R199 000 1.5 Pulse R228 700 1.5 Pulse CVT R241 400 1.5 Pulse Plus CVT R249 600 1.5 Hy­brid R307 200

New head­light in­nards and a re­designed bumper.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.