The Toyota Suzuki Partnership did exactly what the former was expecting from the collaboration, reviving it in the mass selling segments. With great sales churning out of Glanza (rebadged Baleno) and the Urban Cruiser SUV (rebadged Maruti Vitara Brezza), it’s no wonder Toyota will be heading next towards its dormant sedan segment. And with the perfect recipe already in Suzuki’s kitchen, it will be just another simple nametag swap work for its homeland partner.
Toyota will launch the Belta, a rebadged Maruti Suzuki Ciaz replacing the Yaris, whose production has reportedly been stopped in India. Some dealers informed they still have a stock of the Yaris which further convinces us that Toyota’s making a good decision to stop selling it. The company will soon make space for a larger and better value for money Toyota Belta. The rebadged Maruti Ciaz is expected to hit showrooms towards the middle of August.
Well, this was inevitable and long overdue, to be honest. With rivals like Honda City and Hyundai Verna, Toyota’s Yaris was never able to leave its mark in the Indian sedan market. Yaris sales have struggled to go beyond three figures a month this year and the best it registered was 871 units in March 2021. And with the launch of the Urban Cruiser, the sedan was cutting into its own brand’s lineup due to identical pricing. So it’s a goodbye for the Yaris!
But wait there’s a twist in the story! The Yaris is also called Belta in other markets like Japan, China and Malaysia. So it won’t be technically discontinued, I guess. Automakers and their naming schemes; don’t get me started! Anyways, coming back to the new name, according to Toyota, the name Belta is inspired by the Latin word Belle which means beautiful.
As seen with the previous rebadged Suzuki cars, there isn’t going to be any real difference between the Maruti Ciaz and Toyota Belta. That means the two sedans should have an identical dimension with a wheelbase of 2,650mm and a ground clearance of 170mm. Besides the replaced logo and a few minor cosmetic changes, expect the Toyota Belta to have a familiar sloping roofline, a muscular bonnet, a sleek chromed grille, a wide air dam, narrow LED headlights with DRLs, indicator-mounted ORVMs, designer wheels and wrap-around LED taillamps.
Mechanically too, the rebadged sedan will be a carbon copy of its soul twin. It will be powered by the same mild-hybrid 105hp, 1.5-litre K Series petrol engine, paired with the ongoing 4-speed automatic transmission.
The interior of the car is also expected to be identical to the Ciaz, with a pretty much similar story on the feature front too. A spacious 5-seater cabin with auto climate control, rear AC vents, parking sensors, key-less entry, a power steering wheel with cruise control, an Android Auto/Apple CarPlay enabled 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, multiple airbags, ABS with EBD, everything will be carried from the Ciaz to the Belta as it is (mostly).
However, there’s one change that you can expect on the Toyota Belta, a more robust warranty package than Suzuki, just like the Glaza and Urban Cruiser. And with marginally lower sales, you can also expect a slightly smoother overall experience in the rush-free Toyota dealerships. (If you’re in India, think of it like a Public Bank-Private Bank situation).