The Toyota Yaris has a Problem…

The Toyota Yaris has a Problem... 1

It has been a while since Pakistan saw a good subcompact sedan. The 4th gen City (iDSI) was an attractive option, it offered good features with an appealing design. Then came this “new” City which WAS new in 2009 but now it just feels like the old grumpy employee that nobody likes who JUST won’t retire.

Related: Will Honda Introduce 6th Gen City to Replace the 5th Gen?

Since 2014 Honda Atlas has been posting vague images of epic reveals which people initially thought would be the new city but it always turned out to be another disappointing facelift (shout out to the incredible innovation that was the shark funteena). And honestly, the shark fin antenna was probably the tipping point. 

The Toyota Yaris has a Problem... 2

Come 2020 we were excited about the all-new Yaris. No more the obsolete 1.3 engine in an oversized body of the GLi and XLi but instead  new, more efficient and more powerful 1.3 and 1.5 liter engines in a sufficiently sized body and all of that came with the option of a CVT instead of the outdated 4 speed automatics that game in the GLi and XLi! And it doesn’t stop there; dual frontal airbags and traction control as standard where the City doesn’t even offer any of this even in the top trim. The new Yaris gives you more features for the money you spendit offers way better value than the city. And it isn’t even very expensive compared to the aging City ji. We should call the city ‘ji’ because it’s so old.

Related: Toyota Yaris- Here vs There

But then you look at it and instantly notice how there’s something wrong with the way it looks and this is where the problem(s) for the Yaris begin. That Yaris takes the lead from 5th gen Honda City in every single way, except looks. Appearance is a subjective thing and it varies from person to person. But my opinion is that it doesn’t really look all that nice from the front. It has a face that can only be described as something a mother could love and sure you or I could have gotten used to it but Toyota Indus had to go and raise its ride height to the point where it just looks comical. You could fit a family of four just inside those wheel arches they’re that massive. 

The Toyota Yaris has a Problem... 3

Keep in mind that we are comparing its looks to, what is essentially, an 11 year old car and the 11 year old car still looks better. Once the “new” city, or rather the old new city, comes out, the Yaris will look even worse in comparison.

Various images of the abnormally raised Toyota Yaris in Pakistan

IMC intentionally raised it for the Pakistani roads. They wanted it to have the monster truck level suspension travel and the soft as butter suspension just like the (good?) ol’ XLi and GLi did. While I appreciate that it is able to somehow carry on the legacy of the XLi and GLi, it ends up looking ugly in the process. And I wouldn’t mind the raised version there was a NORMAL heighted “urban” variant too, but the fact is there isn’t and it makes me sad. Looks aside, having it raised is good for taking it on unpaved and rural roads but it also takes a toll on the handling because the center of gravity is raised. 

The Toyota Yaris has a Problem... 13

The Yaris, though a good car, is trying to fill two gaps at once– one created by the XLi and GLi and the second by the Honda City. The Yaris can’t fill City’s shoes because Indus Motors decided to put more focus on its rural capabilities and probably hoped people who will be driving it in urban areas wouldn’t care about the massive arches. The City is more of an urban car and has a low ground clearance and thus a low center of gravity and better handling, that’s one of the things us urban people like about it.

Related: Toyota Yaris and Yaris Ativ Facelift Launched in Thailand

There are a lot of burger bachay out there who prefer a nice normal heighted subcompact car, the kind who’ll almost never take it out of DHA, Bahria Town or the other posh areas of the city. Hey if someone from IMC is reading this, maybe please bring the Ativ X version down a bit so we can enjoy the good handling and the feel as our fellows in Thailand do?


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About Muhammad Abdullah

A proud Pakistani and automotive enthusiastic with a dream to see Pakistani Automotive industry flourish. Runs a Youtube channel called Dem Lahori Guys specialized in automotive videography and reviews. Currently a student at FAST-NU. Drives FAW V2 and a cute little Merhan(choti) on a daily basis.

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1 month ago

Legitimate observation!

1 month ago

your thinking have problem not yaris

1 month ago

This is basically because they want to adapt urban cars for local characteristics such as sub-standard speed breakers and really, really broken roads. Carmakers have options but don’t use them. E.g Suzuki can bring in Suzuki Kei/Ignis which by default have good ground clearance. They did sell the 1st gen Ignis in Sri Lanka under the Swift name, but here they want to sell Alto 8th gen which has super-low bumpers and floorboards. Similarly Toyota can dig in their old designs such as Cami, hotrod it for a lower ride height, fit in newer engines and other technologies and sell… Read more »

1 month ago

I have the exact same observation. Yaris definitely beats city in every aspect but when the new city comes out, it will face some issues in sales as the new city will be more sexier alternative. And Yaris ground clearance is very high and kinda funny. But man I tell u I have both the cars and Yaris is very fun to drive.

Reply to  Umar
1 month ago

Well, as the article writer has already stated that Honda cars are popular with burger kids, I doubt that a person traveling to other cities of Sind or even visiting Balochistan would fall for City’s looks. No matter how good it looks. Honda has never been popular among frequent travelers to and from different cities of Sind, as infrastructure is not so good. Furthermore, fact remains that Honda cars maintenance is way pricier than Toyota cars, why then would a person other than a burger kid or abnormally high buying power is going to go for looks alone while deciding… Read more »

1 month ago

Increasing height does make sense especially for Karachi. Car can easily pass through bumps.,pot holes and huge grave like speed breakers. Other options are to install those die casted aluminum spacers which we all have installed in our cars. We have to compromise road grip and drive quality.

Yasir Khan
1 month ago

Yes I noticed this too. It is very high and therefore looks ugly. Also i am sure, with this height, the handling and comfort would have been compromised.