Toyota’s all-new Yaris Ativ is a four-door sedan tailored to eco-car rules
The new four-door Ativ is a rehashed Vios with power borrowed from the Yaris hatchback.
But theVios has just been facelifted this year…
True, the Toyota Vios sedan received a cosmetic upgrade earlier this year after getting a new engine and transmission in 2016, so it should have soldiered on for another two years before the Thai Toyota office decided to make another four-door car for the B-segment.
Toyota couldn’t wait, though, as it now sees the opportunity to regain lost market share. The result is the all-new Yaris Ativ tailored to eco-car rules.
The Ativ is essentially a rehashed Vios with sleeker design cues; the same goes for the interior (available in either black or beige), which has been restyled to look different from the Vios fanfare. Expect the facelifted Yaris hatchback, due later this year, to come with some design elements of the Ativ.
The Ativ strategy is very similar to that applied in China, where the Yaris has both hatchback and sedan bodies. The North American version, called the Yaris sedan, is a rebadged version of the Mazda 2.
I see. Is the Ativ built to eco-car Phase 2 rules?
No, it isn’t. The Ativ comes with the same 1.2-litre petrol engine and CVT automatic transmission as the Yaris, conforming to eco-car Phase 1 regs, including a 20kpl minimum requirement in fuel economy and a 120g/km maximum for CO2 tailpipe emissions.
The four-cylinder engine, code- named 3NR-FE, produces the same 86hp at 6,000rpm and 108Nm at 4,000rpm as does the Yaris. The 2NR-FE-designated 1.5- litre motor in the Vios, in contrast, generates 108hp at 6,000rpm and 140Nm at a higher 4,200rpm.
Since the Ativ is designed to slot below the Vios in price, the CVT transmission it shares with the Yaris is less sophisticated than that of the Vios, which additionally has a seven-speed manual override.
As well, the Ativ doesn’t get all-round disc brakes in any grade. But to soothe Asean NCAP crash test results, there are seven airbags: two front, side and curtain, plus one for the driver’s knee.
How does the Ativ fare against other roomy eco-car sedans?
If you’re placing priority on cabin room, the only credible rivals are the Nissan Almera and the Suzuki Ciaz. Although slightly shorter at 2,550mm in wheelbase length (the same as in the Vios and the Yaris), the Ativ can still compete with the Almera and the Ciaz in this particular facet.
The rest are much smaller in comparison: the Honda Brio Amaze, the Mazda 2 and the Mitsubishi Attrage, though the latter two have better records made to eco-car Phase 2 rules, like 23.3kpl and 100g/km.
The Ativ has four grades and is priced exactly the same as the Yaris: J Eco at 469,000 baht, J at 519,000 baht, E at 549,000 baht and G at 599,000 baht. But the Ativ gets an additional S trim to cost 619,000 baht.
The price range of the Vios is 609,000-789,000 baht. Although it will target buyers who want bigger performance, the Vios may eventually be phased out.
When equipped with automatic transmission, the Almera has a higher price range of 537,000- 637,000 baht. The same goes for the Ciaz, which costs 559,000- 675,000 baht.
With such prices, the Ativ is expected to become the best-selling passenger car in Thailand.