Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Toyota to Debut 2018 Yaris at New York International Auto Show

2018 Toyota Yaris SE

Toyota is set to debt its refreshed 2018 Yaris liftback at the 2017 New York International Auto Show, April 14–23. Toyota is billing the car as "Sporty." That being said, there is no mention of the truly sporty supercharged Yaris GRMN that was announced for Europe at the Geneva International Auto Show earlier in the month. So what changes will the North American Yaris liftback get?

According to Toyota, the French-built Yaris hatchback will get a sportier, more dynamic look for '18. There will be a new front fascia on the L and LE trim levels; the SE grade will get a sportier front fascia featuring a piano black mesh grille and chrome accents. This helps to provide a wider look and stance. The SE will also continue to come with 16-inch alloy wheels with black accents. Ew.

Toyota says there will also be other significant interior upgrades. The base L model will get standard tilt and a three-spoke steering wheel with audio controls. The L and LE will get the same sport analog instrumentation currently on the SE, which includes a speedometer, tachometer, and fuel gauge; LCD display with odometer, tripmeters, clock, outside temperature, current/average fuel economy, distance to empty, average speed and shift position; ECO-driving indicator and warning messages (automatic transmission only). Welcome to the 21st century, Toyota!

Audio upgrades will include Entune audio on all models, which includes a 6.1-inch touch-screen display, AM/FM/CD, six speakers, aux jack, USB 2.0, voice recognition, and Bluetooth features. Stepping up to the SE will net you Entune plus a 7.0-inch high-res touch-screen, HD tuner, navigation, SirisXM satellite radio, and host of other infotainment bits.

Noticeably missing from the press release was any talk of us getting the 1.8-liter supercharged Yaris GRMN that debuted at Geneva, which is set to compete against the Ford Fiesta ST and Fiat 500 Abarth, among other hot hatches, in Europe. One can only assume this means the North American Yaris will soldier on with its ancient venerable 17-year old 1.5-liter 1NZ-FE engine, mated to either a five-speed manual or archaic four-speed automatic transmission. It makes 106 hp. and 103 lbs/ft of torque.

The Yaris will be available in eight colors including two new selections: Blue Eclipse (replacing Blue Streak Metallic) and two-ton Blue Eclipse with a Black Sand Pearl Roof (replacing two-tone Crushed Ice with Black Sand Pearl Roof).

While it's good to see the Yaris continue to be sold and updated for North America, it is disappointing—yet totally unsurprising—to see no talk of Toyota offering the 210 hp Yaris GRMN in the U.S. Perhaps it's coming down at a later year? It's more likely that it's not coming at all. However, I've been wrong before.

Toyota sold nearly 28,000 Yaris models in 2016. The vehicle was first sold in North America in 2006.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great article, thanks. Sharp-looking little car IMO - even more so than the 2015-2017 (SE Trim) model. If you don't like the front-end grill design, buying the car in black (or even dark gray) will make it all but invisible, and really tone it down to a more-conservative look. Hopefully the US/NA version won't have the lower-end, skimped-out taillights, climate controls, etc. compared to the its European and Asian counterparts - like was the case with the 2015-2017 Yaris.