Toyota will pack the new Yaris with a full suite of safety equipment when it arrives in August, including a first for mainstream cars Down Under.

    The company has confirmed preliminary specifications for the all-new 2020 Yaris light hatch, ahead of a sales launch in August 2020.

    Claimed to be the “new benchmark” for the segment, the Yaris range will be offered in three trim levels like the larger Corolla – Ascent Sport, SX and ZR.

    Pricing is yet to be confirmed, but a price rise from the current sub-$18,000 drive-away model is likely.

    Regardless of model, the cheapest new Toyota will feature a full suite of active safety features and a front-row centre airbag, designed to stop driver and passenger coming into contact in a crash.

    The upcoming dual-cab Mazda BT-50 ute will pack a central airbag, but the Yaris will be the first mainstream vehicle to feature the technology in Australia.

    Both petrol and petrol-electric hybrid variants will be offered, but unlike the Camry and Corolla – where hybrid is available across the range – only the SX and ZR will have the option of hybrid power in Australia.

    The Yaris Ascent Sport will come as standard with 15-inch steel wheels, LED daytime running lights, 60/40-split rear seats, a reversing camera, 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a suite of advanced safety systems including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, front cross-traffic AEB with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, and a front-row centre airbag.

    Toyota says the Yaris is the first model in its range locally to offer front cross-traffic AEB, and the on-board camera system can also recognise Australian speed signs and prompt drivers to adjust their speed.

    Moving up to the Yaris SX adds inbuilt satellite navigation to the 7.0-inch display, keyless entry with push-button start, 15-inch alloys, LED headlights and tail lights, piano black and satin interior trims, a leather-accented steering wheel and digital meters in the driver’s instrument cluster.

    Sitting atop the range is the Yaris ZR, which builds on the specification of the SX by adding 16-inch alloys, a rear spoiler, head-up display, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, sports seats and pedals, piano black interior trim, red interior accents, and paddle shifters for the petrol model.

    On the topic of powertrains, petrol versions of the new Yaris will use an all-new 1.5-litre three-cylinder motor with “high-speed combustion and other technologies that deliver more power and torque while using less fuel”.

    Compared to the outgoing 1.5-litre four-pot petrol, the new engine develops 10 per cent more power at 88kW, while fuel economy is down by around 15 per cent in CVT models compared to the old 1.3-litre engine, with claimed consumption rated at just 4.9L/100km.

    A manual transmission and CVT automatic will be available for the petrol engine locally.

    Headlining the new Yaris range, however, is the new hybrid option – a first for the nameplate in Australia.

    Using a hybrid optimised version of the same 1.5-litre petrol engine mated to an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack, which Toyota touts as its fourth-generation hybrid system.

    System power output is rated at 85kW – as usual, a combined torque figure isn’t quoted – while fuel consumption is down to just 3.3L/100km.

    Under the skin the Yaris rides on a compact version of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), which is stiffer and more agile than the outgoing model promising improved driver engagement and comfort.

    When it goes on sale in August, the Yaris will be offered with no less than 12 different exterior paint finishes, bolstered by the option of a contrasting black or white roof for ZR models with selected colours.

    Further details like pricing and full specifications will be announced closer to the Yaris’ launch in the third quarter.

    Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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