Hot diggery doo, Toyota loves reusing nameplates, because Toyota currently has the Yaris name affixed to 4 different models across the world! (Well, maybe 3 with an asterisk.)
This is the European Yaris, codename XP130. However, it’s not actually a Yaris, but a Toyota Vitz in Japan. Quite the chameleon, available from a yawn-inducing 5 door hybrid, to a rip-roaring 3 door hot hatch!
By the way, did you know the Yaris GRMN had a predecessor called the Vitz GRMN Turbo? It had 152bhp and a turbocharger, compared to the suoercharged GRMN with 209. Anyways...
The Mazda Demio has had a troubled life. Disowning it’s family, it discarded it’s family name, rechristened itself as the Mazda 2 (alphanumeric is edgy), as it fled from it’s home nation. But seeking a life in the States, it was smuggled in as an illegal immigrant, disguising itself as the Scion iA. It was soon caught and captured, stamped with a new slave name in the Toyota Yaris iA, and forced to pay it’s dues under it’s boss, the regular Yaris liftback. But it wasn’t enough. One fateful night, it breached the premises, and murdered the poor Yaris in cold oil, snatching the throne, and finally naming itself, as not Yaris iA, but the Yaris. It soon brought along a partner, a hatchback version.
There’s this very big name in Asia, known as the Toyota Vios (An older version was sold as the second gen Yaris sedan in America). Now the Asian Toyota Yaris is completely unrelated to the Vitz and is a hatchback based on the Vios. They both share the codename XP150 (If you’re wondering what the XP140 is, well it’s something completely different). Now keep in mind these are the 2013, pre-facelift versions pictured above.
Because they’ve since received some questionable updates, with the Vios aspiring to be a Camry, and the Yaris has grown a handlebar moustache. In China, it’s known as the Yaris L, (apparently as it’s slightly bigger than the “regular Yaris” despite it not being sold in China), and is built by the Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd (GAC), while the Vios is built by the FAW Group.
However, GAC was jealous that FAW got all the hatchback sales, and FAW was jealous that GAC got all the saloon sales, so they swapped some front clips. So the Yaris L saloon isn’t really a Yaris L, but a Vios with a different bumper! I mean, they’re all so similar there’s barely a difference anyways!
Here’s a snippet of the Toyota lineup in Thailand. Vios yes, still looking like Camry Jr., the Yaris has a different bumper outside of China, and wait, what’s the Yaris ATIV?
Why yes, in Thailand there is also a saloon version of the Yaris, known as the ATIV. And unlike the Chinese Yaris saloon, which remember, was a Vios with face surgery, they actually bothered developing a proper saloon version of the Yaris, as like a budget alternative to the Vios!
What’s more, the Yaris ATIV is sold as the Vios in alot of other nations, despite the two being different things! Elsewhere it’s often named just the Yaris, like in Mexico, where the Mazda 2 is sold as the Yaris R.
So to recap there is currently on sale:
- The European Toyota Yaris, which is actually a Japanese Toyota Vitz.
- The North American Toyota Yaris, which is actually a Mazda Demio.
- The Chinese Toyota Yaris L saloon, which is a Toyota Vios.
- The Worldwide Toyota Yaris, which is sometimes called a Toyota Vios.
Toyota, just make a global model when the next gen rolls around, it’ll be better for everyone.