Its dimensions may be compact, but the new generation Toyota Yaris has proved itself every bit as robust as its larger stablemates with a top safety rating in the latest round of Euro NCAP testing.
The Yaris, shortlisted for European Car of the Year, has been awarded a full five stars for adult passenger protection, its score of 35 points matching the previous high total for a Toyota, set by the Corolla Verso. It joins the Verso, Avensis and Prius in gaining the five-star classification.
The achievement is a just reward for the skills Toyota’s designers and engineers brought to building high safety standards into a vehicle of relatively small dimensions. The very short front overhang presented a particular challenge when it came to providing effective crash protection, but the results speak for themselves.
The Yaris’s body structure was developed using Toyota’s Minimal Intrusion Cabin System (MICS) technology. Front or side impact forces are dispersed through the vehicle’s body, channelled away from the passenger cell and minimising the amount of cabin deformation.
Driver and passenger front and side airbags, curtain shield airbags and the first driver’s knee airbag to be offered in the segment will all be available on the new Yaris, together with a dual-stage seatbelt warning system for the driver and front seat passenger.
The Yaris is the first model Toyota has developed using its own, more stringent in-house car-to-car crash test standards. These simulate side and rear 50 per cent offset impacts with a two-tonne vehicle, with both vehicles travelling at 34mph (55km/h).
The new Toyota Yaris goes on sale in the UK on 1 January 2006. Full specifications and further details will be announced nearer to the launch date.
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