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New 2021 Toyota Yaris jumps in price, hybrid from $29k, spec makes huge leap

The 2021 Toyota Yaris Ascent Sport shown here in green

Pricing announced this afternoon for the new 2021 Toyota Yaris has revealed a range that has jumped in price by $6,740 over the outgoing third-generation shape. The all-new 2021 Toyota Yaris will be offered in a three-range lineup that starts at $22,130 with a new 1.5-litre petrol engine, while the first-ever Yaris Hybrid for Australia will start from $29,020.

In a briefing to motoring media today, Toyota was at pains to demonstrate that the new Yaris is a far more substantial change between generations than normal. Sitting the company’s new TNGA-B platform, the 2021 Yaris introduces a comprehensive safety package – including new features like centre airbags, intersection emergency braking and automated lane tracing – but Australian buyers will be asked to stump up much more cash than before. Other city-sized small cars, like the Volkswagen Polo, are now officially more affordable.

In fact, Toyota Australia’s vice president of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, made the argument that the new entry point to the brand’s lineup in Australia – which has long been the Yaris – is now in effect the Toyota’s Certified Pre-Owned used car purchasing scheme.

The Toyota Yaris 2021 interior and dashboard
A look at the interior of the new Toyota Yaris ZR

Mr Hanley said that the pricing changes to the Toyota Yaris represent “a strategic shift in our approach, but we remain confident of the performance and role that this new generation Yaris will play in the Toyota lineup.”

“There is a cost involved in bringing this level of technology and safety to market,” Mr Hanley said. Yet Mr Hanley did not rule out the notion that as the costs behind hybrid and autonomous safety technologies decrease over time, entry-level vehicles like the Yaris may become more affordable later on.

Key to the appeal of the 2021 Yaris is the introduction of a new 1.5-litre three-cylinder ‘Dynamic Force’ naturally aspirated petrol engine for all grades. This powertrain will be supported by an optional hybrid system that will make the new Yaris the most fuel-efficient combustion vehicle ever sold in Australia. In petrol form, the 2021 Yaris produces 88kW/145Nm, while the hybrid produces a combined 85kW, pairing a 67kW/120Nm tune of the 1.5-litre engine with an electric motor that produces 59kW/141Nm.

The Toyota Yaris 2021 ZR shown here in blue
The new Yaris steps up in price and equipment

Three familiar grades will be available in the 2021 Toyota Yaris – but only the two highest-specification variants will be available with the optional hybrid that consumes just 3.3L/100km of petrol on the combined cycle, while the petrol engine consumes 4.9L/100km with an automatic gearbox and 5.4L/100km with the manual.

The Yaris hybrid powertrain will be priced $2,000 higher than its petrol counterpart. Mr Hanley told Chasing Cars that in future, as the cost of hybrid components continues to decrease, the pricing gap between petrol and hybrid could tighten.

Starting from $22,130 before on-road costs as a manual (about $25,000 driveaway), the 2021 Yaris Ascent Sport kicks off the range with autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection night and day, and daytime cyclist detection. Lane tracing assist, active cruise control, intersection braking, road sign assist, a reversing camera and automatic high beam round off the included autonomous features, while eight airbags – including two centre airbags – are included.

Toyota Yaris 2021 petrol engine
The Yaris makes use of a new 1.5-litre petrol three-cylinder, with or without hybrid help

A seven-inch touchscreen will be standard, including wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (through the sole USB port in the cabin). DAB+ digital radio is included, while six speakers link to all audio sources including a Bluetooth connection. A 4.2-inch trip computer display sits ahead of the driver, who uses a plastic steering wheel and shifter. The seats are covered in fabric.

Outside, the Ascent Sport grade will wear 15-inch steel wheels with plastic wheel covers, while sporting halogen headlights and LED tail lights. There are ventilated disc brakes up front and rear leading-trailing drum brakes, plus a physical handbrake inside. The suspension is MacPherson strut at the front and torsion beam at the rear.

For the Yaris Ascent Sport, a CVT automatic gearbox for the 1.5-litre petrol engine is a $1,500 option. For more expensive grades, no manual will be available.

The Toyota Yaris SX 2021 shown here in red
The mid-spec Yaris SX will be the most affordable hybrid offer, priced at $29k

Moving up to the mid-specification Yaris SX ($27,020 petrol, $29,020 hybrid) represents a $3,390 upgrade. The SX brings 15-inch alloy wheels along with LED headlights and indicators, plus privacy glass outside. Inside, the seven-inch touchscreen gains satellite navigation with live traffic and a junction view. SX buyers also get automatic air conditioning, full keyless entry for the front doors and boot plus push-button start, a digital speedometer, soft-touch dashboard, leather steering wheel, and silver-coloured interior trim.

The Yaris SX is the first step in the new range where Australians will be able to option the Yaris with the hybrid, which is priced $2,000 above the petrol-only version, at $29,020 plus on-road costs. 

Finally, the top-specification Yaris ZR ($30,100 petrol, $32,100 hybrid) is a further $3,080 upgrade over the SX. The ZR adds larger 16-inch alloy wheels with a rear spoiler and a range of two-tone paint options outside, while inside, buyers will find sports front seats with embossed Y-print fabric, plus paddle shifters (for the petrol only), plus red trim highlights and a head-up display. The ZR completes the safety suite with the addition of blind spot monitoring.

The Toyota Yaris 2021 range shown in Ascent Sport, SX, and ZR grades
The 2021 Toyota Yaris launches in Australia this month