The new Toyota Yaris has made its debut, and it is the first to use the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) for a compact model application, here dubbed GA-B. This use of the platform increases torsional rigidity by 30% and lowers the centre of gravity by 15 mm, while being lighter by 50 kg compared to the previous generation, says Toyota.

The ground-up redesign extends to the line-up of engines for the Yaris, which is comprised of a 1.5 litre M15A Dynamic Force three-cylinder engine which can be paired with either a Direct Shift-CVT (available to pair with front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive) or six-speed manual gearbox.

This is joined by a 1.0 litre 1KR three-cylinder engine that has been revised for increased tumble flow, higher EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) rate and reduced friction to achieve lower fuel consumption, the company said. The 1.0 litre mill is paired to a Super CVT-i transmission.

Hybrid drive for the 2020 Yaris is the Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) electrified powertrain, which pairs the M15A Dynamic Force 1.5 litre engine with electric drive; this can be specified in front-wheel-drive or E-Four (electric four-wheel-drive) configurations. Suspension employs MacPherson struts in front, while rear suspension is by torsion beam for the FWD versions; AWD and E-Four AWD versions use double wishbone rear suspension.

Safety equipment for the new hatcback is comprised of the latest iteration of the Toyota Safety Sense active safety suite, which is now expanded to be capable of detecting oncoming cars and pedestrians when turning into a junction, features offered on a Toyota for the first time.

Also a Toyota first is the addition of Low Speed Acceleration Control which aims to prevent collisions due to misapplication of the throttle pedal at low speed. This employs millimetre-wave radar and a camera to recognise pedestrians directly in front of the car, and will suppress engine output or lightly apply the brakes if an object is detected in front of the car and the throttle pedal is depressed with excessive force from stationary or from low speeds.

The new Yaris also gets Secondary Collision Brake which aims to mitigate damage from secondary collisions, and is activated along with the brake lights when a collision and airbag deployment has been detected. Other safety features also available for the new Yaris include Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with full-speed range, Lane Tracing Assist to remain centred in the lane when using Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, auto high beam and road sign assist that will display detected road signs for the driver.

Another Toyota first appearing on the 2020 Yaris is Advanced Park, which supports automated parking manoeuvres that takes care of not just steering, but also throttle and brake application; the driver only needs to operate gear selection according to provided instructions. This system alerts the driver with audible warnings and will apply the brakes, while cameras and ultrasonic sensors monitor the car’s surroundings. Advanced Park can also park park in spaces not marked by white lines – a world first, says Toyota.

Connectivity for the Yaris comes courtesy of Helpnet, one of T-Connect services that provides drivers with assistance in case of an accident or sudden illness. A Helpnet button connects the vehicle to an operator who can arrange for emergency service based on the vehicle’s location, while the available D-Call Net determines whether or not a medical helicopter is required by connecting to an operator if airbags are deployed.

All versions of the Yaris come installed with a data communication module (DCM) and Display Audio infotainment which can connect with smartphones, enabling the use of subscription-based services. Conventional on-board navigation is also available via the Entry Navigation or T-Connect Navigation kits. Display Audio also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via USB cable for navigation, phone calls, messaging and music applications.

More innovations feature within the Yaris for occupant comfort, with the front seats in the new hatchback featuring a turn-tilt mechanism that enables occupants to enter and exit the vehicle more easily particularly when wearing more restrictive clothing such as a skirt or a kimono, says Toyota; this function also aids the movements of those with back pains or limited strength. The driver’s seat also features an easy return mechanism which recalls the driver’s manually chosen seating position.

The Yaris comes in three trim levels for each of the 1.0 litre, 1.5 litre and 1.5 litre hybrid powertrain options, and the hatchback is offered in 12 colours including new Ice Pink Metallic and Coral Crystal Shine colours; there are also six two-tone colour schemes which can be paired with either a white or a black roof finish.