First introduced in Thailand for the 2012 model year, the ASEAN model Yaris has finally been introduced to the Taiwanese market on September 10,2014. The new Yaris replaces the previous generation which had been on the market since 2006, where as the U.S.A received the 2nd generation Yaris autumn 2011. The style of the ASEAN Yaris is drastically different from the USDM model, which is more plain jane compared to the new ancient warrior that is the ASEAN version.
The ancient warrior gets aggressive with its new styling when compared to the outgoing plain jane model. Outside maybe a completely redesigned car, but underneath it is still the same Yaris as before. The 1NZ-FE 1.5L engine is a carry over as is the ancient 4 speed automatic transmission. The Taiwan market this car only comes in automatic. Hey if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! The starting price for the new Yaris is NT$555,000 ($18,500 USD). The top of the line hits close to NT$619,000 ($20,500 USD). The Yaris I tested included an aftermarket heads up display (pretends to be a fighter jet or a sports car), GPS, and a backup camera (which is essential because you don’t know what idiot will be behind you when backing up) with a price of NT$596,000 ($19,735 USD).
As you can see from the front end it looks like the Yaris has grown a mustache. The headlights have been raked to make it more stylish. It has been given a meaner look which helps make it stand out more from the crowd. In my opinion it looks like an ancient Chinese master or warrior with a overgrown mustache. Toyotas definitely are generic, but recently they have been putting more effort in the styling by making they’re cars such as this Yaris more sportier looking. The interior has been upgraded with soft touch materials and stitching to make this economy car steer away from being cheap inside. The center console sees its controls all simple and within the driver’s reach. The leather seats are very soft and comfortable, providing good support for the back. As with the previous Yaris storage bins are everywhere including 4 cup holders! Though t driver and front passengers can get their beverages cooled or warmed by the HVAC!
The backseat is spacious for an subcompact, which is important because people in Taiwan like to take families out and they all may ride in one car. The car may also be the only car they have especially on road trips. Rear cargo room has also been increased and can now fit large luggage.
The rear of the car the c-pillar gains a black piece of plastic to make the car’s outward appearance have better styling flow, which makes it looks like there is a small window, but in reality its not. The rear of the car reminds me of the 2002-08 Toyota Matrix due to the design of the tail lights and the tailgate.
On the road:
How does it drive? Well after taking it for a spin around town its definitely not that powerful of a car thats for sure. With the A/C on the car suffered quite a bit when it came to acceleration. The engine is noisy as with the previous Yaris, it felt particularly worse in this one especially when pushed hard. Imagine if the car had 4 extra passengers, it would definitely struggle even more pushing those 109 horses to the point of exhaustion! The steering is light and the car is easy to steer. The tight turning radius makes quick maneuvers easy. The suspension has been re-tuned for the new Yaris, which gives it slightly better handling. The pot hole ladened streets in Taiwan definitely give the suspension a workout and the Yaris absorbs the bumps well enough that the people in the car don’t feel the pain after stepping out.
2 out of 5
Overall the Yaris is just a car that is really just basic transportation from point A to B. Styling is not what is going to help sell this car. People in Taiwan mostly prefer an affordable and efficient car and the Yaris fits all that in one package. Nothing more, nothing less.