The 2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan has officially been unveiled, three years after the original debutant landed in the West. If you find the design somewhat familiar, that’s because the US-only Yaris sedan, formerly known as the Scion iA, is essentially a re-skinned version of the Mazda 2 sedan.

This facelift exercise sees minor updates made to its exterior. Starting from the front, the Yaris gets a new honeycomb grille, redesigned headlamps and some piano black and chrome exterior highlights. But the bigger news is that the subcompact car can now be had with three trims – Yaris L, Yaris LE and range-topping Yaris XLE.

All variants are equipped with a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system (same MZD interface, different colour scheme), low-speed automated front emergency braking, cruise control, power mirrors and windows, and a 60:40 split-folding rear seat. The update also includes a sleeker LED headlights, illuminated entry and new 16-inch alloys with dark gunmetal finish.

No changes to the mechanical side of things – as before, Mazda’s 1.5 litre direct injection Skyactiv petrol engine with 106 hp and 139 Nm lies under the bonnet, and it’s paired to either a six-speed manual (one of the sweetest-shifting manuals around, it is claimed) or six-speed automatic gearbox. Fuel efficiency is rated at 6.7 l/100 km (combined cycle) for the manual gearbox and 6.4 l/100 km for the automatic. Sport Mode is available with the flip of a switch.

Safety-wise, every Yaris is equipped with an Active Safety System that includes Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD), Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and a Brake Over-Ride System (BOS). Six airbags and tyre pressure monitoring system are standard.

Also on are Low-Speed Pre-Collision System, which scans the road ahead for potential vehicle collisions. If the system detects a potential frontal collision, an audio/visual alert and braking assistance are designed to automatically activate. Should the driver not respond, this system may automatically apply the brakes.

No prices have been revealed as yet, but expect the entry-level Yaris L to be priced similar to the outgoing model’s US $16,995 (RM65,847) base price. What do you think of the updated Yaris? Do you prefer this over its donor model? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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