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August 19, 2020

Thailand Debuts a Sharper Looking, Better Speced 2021 Yaris Hatchback

About a month after the global debut of the “new look” Vios, Toyota has now grafted on the same serious-looking face on its hatchback sibling, the Yaris. But more than just giving it a more acceptable fascia, the Yaris in Thailand also levels up in terms of equipment that puts even the recently-launched Philippine market new Vios to shame.

Headlining the changes? The availability of Toyota Safety Sense or TSS on both the Thai market Yaris and Vios. Thanks to a radar system mounted behind the Toyota logo, it adds autonomous emergency braking (PCS in Toyota speak) and Lane Departure Alert. The other safety features are similar to the Philippine model such as 7 SRS airbags, ABS with EBD, stability control, and a rear parking camera.

Like its sedan counterpart, the Yaris is also made available with automatic LED headlights, LED front fog lights, and LED taillights with a “light guiding” pattern. But being the more fashionable of the two sub-compact siblings, a two-tone exterior is an available option on the highest-trim Sport Premium variant. Curiously, Toyota Thailand has opted to keep the wheel size to just 15 inchers shod with 185/60R15 tires (the Philippine-spec model uses 16 inchers).

Inside, the 2021 Yaris also gets a fancier new gauge cluster, a 6.7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, and in the case of the top-tier Yaris Sport Premium, leather seats, rain-sensing wipers, and an automatic diming rear view mirror. It also adds two USB charging ports for good measure.

Made to comply with Thailand’s Eco Car program, both the Yaris and Vios there are powered exclusively by the 3NR-FKE 1.2-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to a CVT. Fitted with Dual VVT-iE, it makes 92 horsepower and 109 Nm of torque. It also comes with an idle start/stop system which is enough for a 23.3 km/L fuel mileage figure.

While it’s pretty obvious that the Philippine market will receive the refreshed Yaris real soon albeit with a powertrain shared with the 2020 Vios (likely by early next year), it’s a big question mark whether Toyota Motor Philippines will offer things like Toyota Safety Sense or rain-sensing wipers in a price-sensitive segment. Given that the Yaris doesn’t play a big role in terms of fleet sales, here’s hoping the country’s number one carmaker carves a new path by offering more equipment to help its Yaris sub-compact hatchback stand out.


  1. Thailand/Malaysia always gets the better specs. I don't know why Toyota Motor Philippines don't bring a lot of features. I was really looking forward for the new features on the refreshed Vios but all i see was a new front face and LED headlights

  2. I hope that Yaris Refresh will arrive here in the PH by November 2020.


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