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Toyota lifts the bar on pricing at the most affordable end of the market with its all-new Yaris hatch

Last week I spoke of a survey of new young car buyers who had recently obtained their driver’s license – 70 per cent of whom indicated purchase price rated a close second to fuel efficiency as the most important purchase criteria, safety third, brand recognition fourth, styling fifth, in car technology sixth. So the big surprise this week was Toyota launching their latest five-door Yaris hatchback from $24,990 drive-away, a rise of $9,000 on the outgoing model. The new Yaris now tops out in a welcome new hybrid variant at around $34,000 drive-away. Toyota’s sales and marketing chief Sean Handley says advanced safety features and new technology in an all new design have pushed up Yaris prices, suggesting, “This level of pricing and specification is what it takes to bring a car to market in 2020.” Maybe so, but going on the survey result, the new Yaris could well have priced itself out of the market.

I’m David Berthon

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