Toyota’s upcoming mid-size sedan, the Yaris, has been spotted testing in India. The Honda City, Hyundai Verna and Maruti Ciaz rival will be displayed at the upcoming Auto Expo, and will slot above the Etios sedan in the Japanese brand’s India line-up when it launches in the second half of 2018. The Japanese carmaker has already begun teasing the upcoming model before its India debut.
The Yaris, also sold as the Vios in certain ASEAN markets, will come to India with specifications similar to the car sold in Singapore, including the 4,425mm length and 2,550mm-long wheelbase. The three-box model features a few design-based touches that are reminiscent of the larger Corolla, which means its styling isn’t radical and will be less polarising.
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On the inside, the cabin is typical Toyota – simple, functional and ergonomically well thought-out. The spy image shows a largish infotainment screen in the central console. The Japanese brand claims that the Yaris has the best-in-class cabin width in some of the markets it is sold in.
Under the hood, a 107hp, 1.5-litre petrol engine is expected at launch. A diesel engine is unlikely for now as Toyota doesn't have a small-capacity diesel that meets the upcoming BS-VI norms as yet. However, there is potential for a petrol-hybrid powertrain to be introduced at a later stage. Transmission options for the petrol engine will include a five-speed manual and a seven-step CVT automatic.
In order to make a dent in the Indian mid-size sedan segment, Toyota will have to price the Yaris competitively, in the Rs 8.5-11 lakh (ex-showroom) bracket. A well-priced product backed by Toyota’s reputation for reliability and aftersales service could see the sedan eat into the market share of the popular Verna, City and Ciaz.