Car review: Toyota Yaris Pulse

Breathing life back in to Yaris

The first time we saw the Toyota Yaris was back in 2007, gosh how I loved that car…all modern and funky! Over the years, it has somewhat faded in to the back of my mind. But this new facelifted Yaris with it’s name amendment (Pulse has been added to the badge so, Toyota Yaris Pulse) has certainly brought it back to life (expect many a pun with a name like Pulse).

The dynamic styling makes me think of the Aygo (which I love the look of), in the front anyway. But overall, it feels modern again. The front grille and bumper has been updated and we now see an integrated rear design. It’s no longer old fashioned.

Inside is just as modern and refreshed. The Yaris Pulse features new colours, trim and upholstery. The instrument panel as well as the air vents have been updated. And new switches are neater and easier to operate. The only real negative is the boot space, with only 286-litres on hand, you will be lucky to fit two carry-on bags in there. However, if you put the rear seats flat you will obviously fit more in.

The 1,3-litre engine has been replaced with the new 1,5-litre petrol engine. But don’t despair, because it has more power than the 1,3-litre AND is 12% more efficient. You’re looking at 82 kW of power and 136 N.m of torque and let me tell you something, this car is zooty! The 6-speed manual  transmission would be my first choice (you can opt for a CVT) with its slick shifting. Power delivery is impressive, even at the top end of that rev counter. What’s even more impressive is that the claimed fuel consumption on the 1,5-litre is the same as the 1,0-litre model. Say what???  That’s 5.0 l/100 km for both the 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre engine with manual transmissions (The CVT derivative is claimed at 4.8 L/100 km). The entry level model will still get the familiar 1,0-litre 3-cylinder engine.

Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) is now standard across the range as well as ABS with EBD, Brake Assist and Hill Assist. You can opt for either the Pulse or Pulse Plus…not forgetting the Hybrid. The Pulse Plus gets features such as  cruise control, projector headlamps, additional airbags (curtain and driver knee airbag) and a unique upholstery design.

With competitors like the Volkswagen Polo, Kia Rio, Hyundai i20 and Ford Fiesta, it won’t be an easy sell for the Toyota Yaris Pulse, but with that said, it is priced competitively and a part from an array of standard features, the badge alone offers peace of mind.

All Yaris Pulse models are offered with a 3-years/45 000km service plan and a 3-years/100 000km warranty:


–       1.0 Pulse MT: R199 000

–       1.5 Pulse MT: R228 700

–       1.5 Pulse CVT: R241 400

–       1.5 Pulse Plus CVT: R249 600

–       Hybrid: R307 200