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With 22 rivals in the light-car segment and the new Mazda2 taking some of the limelight away from Toyota’s Yaris, the Japanese giant has announced a special-edition Yaris RUSH model to give buyers a reason to come back to the Big T.

Not that Toyota needs to be worried, so far this year the Yaris has been the best selling light-car in Australia. Toyota has held this title with the Yaris and Echo for the last five years, but it never hurts to be more competitive.

Available for a limited time, Yaris RUSH is essentially a YR 5-door hatch with more than $1000 worth of added specification for $500.

The 14-inch steel wheels are replaced with 15-inch alloys from the more expensive YRX model and the standard single CD player has given way to a six-stack system with Bluetooth connectivity and added foglamps. Buyers also receive “Yaris”-branded mats and a special-edition badge.

2008 Toyota Yaris RUSH

Standard features of the YR model include twin front airbags, air-conditioning, anti-skid brakes, power windows and mirrors, seatbelt pretensioners and force limiters for the front seats and power steering.

Unfortunately buyers still need to pay an extra $750 for side and curtain airbags. Metallic paint is also an additional $300. The 1.3-litre four-cylinder Yaris is priced from $16,890 for the five-speed manual and $18,390 for the four-speed automatic.