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Review:  Feel the Pulse of the New Toyota Yaris

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]fter breaking cover at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, the new Toyota Yaris is now on sale in a revised range that offers customers much greater choice and improved equipment specifications across the board.

To signify new life being injected into the range, Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) has badged the updated Yaris as Pulse across the range.

Sporting more dynamic exterior styling and a higher quality cabin, the European-styled hatch is ready to make bold appearances at cool hangouts across the country – including Maboneng and Parkhurst, in Jo’burg, as well as Long Street and the Old Biscuit Mill in Cape Town.

TSAM Vice President of Marketing, Glenn Crompton, says: “In the revised Yaris range, Toyota has adopted new styling that is set to add further impetus to the competitive small hatchback segment. The car’s new exterior styling, with significant changes to the front and rear, presents a more active and dynamic look while also communicating a more refined direction.”


The redesign of the front of the car features a new front bumper that creates a “catamaran” shape with broad sections flowing down from new headlight units, flanking the wide, trapezoidal grille. The result is a more pronounced three-dimensional effect, and the sense of a wider, more planted road stance. A simplified design in the area around the central Toyota emblem adds to the overall dynamic impact.

The grille itself benefits from new treatments that contribute to the Yaris Pulse’s more resolute look, with an arrangement of “stepped” horizontal bars that deliver a more eye-catching, 3D effect. The integrated fog light housings either side of the grille have also been reworked with a more compact recess and a vertical line that arcs smoothly to follow the outer edge of the bumper – featuring a bright chrome trim detail on higher grade models.

The new headlamp units further develop the qualities of the frontal design, producing a new lighting signature that expresses confidence and individuality. The most striking detail is around the main lamp, where a distinctive forked pattern is created using slim chrome trim bars within the unit.

At the rear the added sense of refinement and the appearance of a broader stance is created by a new tailgate design that extends the horizontal emphasis with new rear light clusters that stretch from the rear wings to the door.

Following the same concept as the new frontal design, a “catamaran” architecture has also been created at the rear with a new bumper design that harmonises perfectly with the lines of the tailgate, projecting a low centre of gravity and wide on-road stance.

The powerful quality of this design is supported by re-shaping the area framing the licence plate and the addition of black garnish details in the lower bumper, edged with a reflector and finished with a pattern of horizontal lines.


To keep the look and ambience of the new Yaris’ cabin feeling fresh and modern, Toyota  has introduced new upholsteries, colours and trim details and upgrading the instrumentation and controls to ensure excellent ergonomics.

Changes to the interior includes a fashionable black and light grey trim on all models with the exception of the generously specced Yaris Pulse Plus CVT, which features a black trim.

The three-spoke steering wheel has a new look and boasts the addition of piano black trim inserts. A new chrome trim frames the combimeter, adding to the more refined effect.

Other detail changes include new propeller-style air vents, seamless execution of the multimedia screen and controls in the centre console, including new switches that are easier to operate.


It comes with new 1.5-litre petrol engine with VVT-iE, mated to a six-speed manual transmission or CVT (7 simulated gears with steering paddle shift) It is also said to come with an Improved fuel economy of up to 12%.

A testament to what Toyota can do to a naturally aspirated engine to make it more fuel-efficient, is imbue it with a high thermal efficiency value: 38,5%.

In addition, the new 1.5-litre engine is now also part of the ESTEC (Economy with Superior Thermal Efficient Combustion) engine family. It runs on a high compression ratio (13.5) and a cooled exhaust gas recirculation system.

Last but certainly not least, the 2017 Yaris 1.5 benefits from something called VVT-iE, with iE standing for “Intelligent System Electric motor.” This allows the phase shift of the intake camshaft to be controlled electrically, whereas the phase shift of the exhaust camshaft is hydraulic.

In South Africa, 2017 Yaris Pulse is said to be the only local car in its segment available with hybrid power. And to improve the hybrid driving experience, Toyota has introduced  a new subframe, engine mounts, front driveshafts and roll restrictor that make

The choice of powertrains is completed by the established 1.0-litre VVT-i three-cylinder petrol engine with five-speed manual transmission


Pulse (MT & CVT) Pulse Plus (CVT) Hybrid
Vehicle Stability Control Curtain and driver knee airbag Auto dual aircon
D+P+S airbag Projector headlamps Push start
Bluetooth Cruise control LED DRL
USB   LED Rear combination lamps
Leather steering and gear knob    
Front and rear fog lamps    
15” alloy wheels    
Front and rear power windows    
Remote central locking    
Bulb DRL    


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