Toyota is looking to expand the customer base of its Yaris model and secure its place within the subcompact segment, which still generates around 35% of new car sales in Mexico.
To achieve this, the Japanese brand added a more equipped version of the emblematic sedan , responding to its motto of “Offering the right product, at the right time and at the right price in each of the segments”.
The new version, called Yaris S CVT Hi , will now be the top of the range and will incorporate the Safety Sense system , which reduces the risk of a frontal collision with a car or pedestrian, as well as a blind spot monitoring (BSM) and alert system. Rear Cross Traffic (RCTA), plus electronic parking brake and rear disc brakes.
With the arrival of this new version, which joins four others that Toyota already marketed in Mexico, the Japanese manufacturer expects to increase Yaris sales to 13,000 units in the next 12 months.
In 2021, Toyota sold 10,646 Yaris, of which 9,266 corresponded to the sedan body and 1,380 to the hatchback, according to Inegi data.
Luis Trujillo, deputy director of planning, product and price of the Japanese automaker, highlights in an interview with Expansión that behind the decision to add a more equipped version of Yaris there is an opportunity to capture those customers who are looking for greater security elements.
“There are customers who go one segment higher (compact), because they don’t find these security elements in the subcompact models. That allows us to capture those clients, who left for more security elements”, he details.
In addition to more safety-related assistance, Toyota added to this version synthetic leather seats, steering wheel and transmission lever, seven-inch infotainment screen, LED interior lights, automatic air conditioning, rear air vents, six speakers, adjustment depth in steering wheel and directional light in mirrors.
Below the Yaris S CVT Hi version, whose price will be 374,900 pesos , will be the S CVT versions of 338,900 pesos and S MT of 323,900 pesos, while the entry ones will be Base CVT and Base MT, which arrive at 313,900 and 298,900 . respectively.
These last two include a reverse camera, glass, mirrors and electric locks and four speakers.
Gerardo Romero, vice president of operations for Toyota in Mexico, explained that the new generation – the fourth that the automaker manufactures – is assembled in Thailand , just like the internal generation.
Since its arrival in April 2006, Yaris has positioned itself as a best seller of the company in the country, and in 2021 it was placed as the third best-selling Toyota model in Mexico, after Hilux and Avanza.
Toyota keeps manual transmission in Yaris
Toyota, which also stands out in the local market for being “the king of hybrids”, has gradually discontinued the manual transmission in its hybrid models and in several of its more expensive models. However, he has decided to keep it in this latest Yaris update.
Trujillo estimates that about 40% of customers in the subcompact sedan and hatchback segment still prefer the manual transmission , because of the feel, price, and fuel efficiency attributable to manual gearboxes.
“When you listen to customers and look at market studies, the manual transmission in this segment is still very attractive. There are people who like it because they associate very good driving with better fuel efficiency,” he argues.
All versions will feature a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, but it now makes 102 horsepower and 102 lb-ft; the past model made 107 hp and 104 lb-ft.
A hybrid Yaris?
Toyota confirmed that it will bring a hybrid version of the new Yaris to Mexico in the future , as it aims to offer an alternative of this type in each of the models it sells in the country, however, it does not yet have a scheduled date for its launch.