I’m 18 & I Need a Car…

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One of the popular choices for a run around first car, driven.

Before I start this article off, please can I ask all the other fan boys and finger pointers to sit down. Yes, I know that this segment is very competitive and over the last few years it has evolved into a high school popularity contest. We know there are those who win it all at times, but there are a few kids in the class that if you pay enough attention to, will actually surprise you.

You’ve just got your license, now you need a car…

There are plenty cars to choose from, but the Yaris makes a strong case for itself. Starting at R230 800 and maxing out at R286 000 as seen above here, it offers somewhat fair pricing in it’s market. I have always had a great relationship with the Toyota Yaris, it was one of the first cars I learnt to drive in and like many in particular for varsity, became the affordable choice for first car. It had all the right things, all in a good price your parents were happy with. Even if you aren’t in varsity and you are looking for a good affordable car, you are looking in the right direction as an option.

So the new Yaris, what’s new?

For starters, the looks. Borrowing some style from the Auris in some way the new car has a very grown up feel to it. The styled stretched headlights with LED line guiding at the front along with bonnet lines and large grille makes it look super stylish, while the teardrop LED Fog Lamps gives it a distinctive look.

The car’s dimensions have grown on the outside by 165 mm in length and 5 mm in width, this also means a bigger boot at 310 litres. By no means can you actually call a car like this small anymore. The leg room space gets a space boost too and in my time with the car I could easily get 5 people without a squish inside. Pictured above is the top of the range Sport version with all the pretty and sharp Japanese styling you would expect, however in a base model form, the car looks very distinct and pretty.

The inside?

This is where you will notice the big difference in the Yaris, while it does feature the familiar hard plastics and finishes in the aid of durability and typical Toyota fashion, the 2018 model will feature a large centre console screen.

Standard naturally will be radio, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, however the big news in the Sport version is that there is now full smartphone integration and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Whilst CarPlay uses Apple applications with Siri integration, Android users are able to fully customise apps they would like to mirror but in my opinion CarPlay seems to be the superior of the two for now.


Only one engine will be offered with this new Yaris, a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol with 79 kW and 140 Nm. With that, you have a choice of either a 5-speed manual or a 5 speed automatic. Fuel economy is claimed at 5.9 and 5.8 L/100km, for the manual and automatic, however in real world testing I got around 7 litres per hundred which still is not bad. The engine is great but compared to its rivals the only thing that it lacks right now is a turbocharger, if this is added to the next version then it will seriously be a great powerhouse of a car.

Affordable is safe right?

Yes! New Yaris is well equipped from base to top of the range all models with driver and passenger airbags, ISOFIX points for those with car seats for kids, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist for better breaking and helpful in a tricky situation should you need stopping power, Vehicle Stability Control to help when the car slides and loses traction, seat belt pre-tensioner and force limiters as well as Hill Assist Control, my favourite feature which allows you not to stall on an uphill. The Sport models come with additional airbags in the form of curtain and driver’s knee airbags.
Toyota have really done a great job on the new Yaris. It’s affordable and well equipped, and if you are part of the brand-loyal families out there, this becomes a no brainer choice if you are looking for a fun affordable run around, or starter car with decent space and features. All models come with a 3-year/45 000 km service plan and 3-year/100 000 km warranty and can be extended to prolong the life of your new baby.

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