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The new Toyota Yaris hatchback has just been launched in Thailand, and surprise, surprise, it’s the Chinese-market five-door compact hatch of the same name, not the third-generation Yaris that’s sold in the rest of the world. It’s basically a hatchback version of the 2013 Toyota Vios that we’ve covered from top to bottom, and more.

It sits on the same 2,550 mm wheelbase of the new (and old) Vios sedan, though the hatchback is marginally shorter both in length and height. Specs aside, you wouldn’t be able to tell that the two are related, as the Thai Yaris gets its own set of clothes. The rear especially, features C-shaped rear lamps that make it unique within Toyota’s global range.

Inside, though, it’s all Vios. The dashboard appears like for like to that of the sedan it’s based on, bar minor detailing and spec differences. Without a protruding rear end, boot space takes a dip from 506 litres in the Vios to just 326 litres, though there’s a lot more vertical room to play with in the hatchback.

It’s what’s under the hood that distances the Yaris from its sedan sibling. There’s a new 3NR-FE 1.2 litre four-cylinder petrol engine with DOHC and Dual VVT-i that’s developed exclusively for the Thai market. It makes 86 hp at 6,000 rpm and 108 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, which is transferred to the front wheels via a Super CVT-i transmission.

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Manual or traditional automatic transmissions are not available, as the more efficient CVT gearbox is required to exceed an average fuel economy of 20 km per litre, which is the mandated minimum figure under Thailand’s eco-car tax incentives scheme. The 4,115 mm-long Yaris is the largest hatchback to qualify for the programme.

Four variants are available in Thailand: Yaris 1.2 J ECO, 1.2 J, 1.2 E and 1.2 G. With the model’s Eco-Car status, the Thai-built Yaris commands relatively low prices that range from 469,000 baht (RM48k) for the base 1.2 J ECO to 599,000 baht (RM61k) for the range-topping 1.2 G model. To put it into perspective, the Thai Vios range starts at 559,000 baht (RM57k) and goes up to 734,000 baht (RM75k).

Standard safety equipment across the range includes dual airbags, ABS, EBD, BA and seatbelts with pre-tensioner and force-limiter. The rest of the specifications mirror that of the Vios, with projector headlamps, keyless entry and push start button, steering-wheel mounted audio controls and acoustic windshield reserved for the most expensive variant.

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