New car preview: 2021 Toyota Yaris

The new generation Yaris comes with class-leading tech and safety features.

The 2021 Toyota Yaris is poised to set the benchmark for safety in the light-car segment and become the cheapest car fitted with a centre airbag in Australia when released in August.

The class-leading safety feature sits between the two front seats and provides additional protection between the driver and front passenger in side crashes or for passenger-side crashes when the driver is the only occupant. 

Currently, the only new vehicle with this feature in Australia is a $200,000 Audi A8 limousine. 

Safety-wise, the 2021 Yaris also features a pre-collision safety system that uses a camera, radar and autonomous braking to avoid or mitigate the effects of a crash. The system can detect cyclists during the day and vehicles and pedestrians, day or night. 

2021 Toyota Yaris

Further, the system can detect and automatically brake to avoid other vehicles and pedestrians when turning at an intersection. The on-board cameras also recognise Australian speed signs and can alert drivers to amend their speed.

If that wasn’t enough, the Yaris is also equipped with lane-keeping technologies which can apply force to the steering wheel to keep the vehicle on track. 

All models also come with a reversing camera and the ZR variants also feature front and rear parking sensors which can trigger the brakes to avoid contact. 

All grades will feature a 7.0-inch display screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and enhanced voice recognition from the Toyota multimedia system.


The 2021 Yaris will come in three variants – the Ascent Sport, SX and ZR, with the latter two available in hybrid or petrol.

The current  1.3 and 1.5-litre four-cylinder engines have been replaced by a 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine which Toyota claims will provide a power increase of 10% (88kW) and a 15% improvement to fuel economy (4.9L/100km). 

The fourth-generation hybrid system will feature a high-density lithium-ion battery, said to produce a combined 85kW of power and fuel economy of 3.3 litres/100km – achieved in test conditions. 

2021 Toyota Yaris

The base model Ascent Sport will be available in manual or automatic CVT transmissions and comes with 15-inch wheels, LED daytime running lamps, 60/40 rear split-fold seats and USB charging. 

The mid-range SX adds satellite navigation, keyless smart entry, push-button ignition, 15-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and rear lights, piano-black and satin interior finishes, leather-accented steering wheel and digital meters. 

The top-of-the-line, ZR comes standard with 16-inch alloys, rear spoiler, heads-up display, blind-spot monitor, intelligent front and rear parking sensors, sports seats and pedals, piano-black trim, red inserts and paddle shifters on the petrol variants. 

Pricing for the 2021 Toyota Yaris and Yaris Hybrid will be announced closer to release in August. 

2021 Toyota Yaris