Toyota Yaris review
The new Toyota Yaris is a spacious and reliable supermini, which rivals the Ford Fiesta and Hyundai i20
This all-new Toyota Yaris was introduced at the end of 2011, and offers more space, more kit and more efficiency than before. It rivals cars like the Ford Fiesta, Suzuki Swift and Mazda 2, and is available as a three or five-door. There are four trim levels and, although entry-level cars come with very little kit, mid-spec TR cars do get 15-inch alloys, air-con and Toyota's clever 6.1-inch touch screen sat-nav which doubles up as a reversing camera. There's two petrol engines and one diesel to choose from. A hybrid version is available for just a £600 premium over the cheapest five-door Yaris, and is capable of emitting just 79g/km and has a claimed economy figure of 80.7mpg.
Our choice: Yaris 1.33 VVT-i TR 5dr
The new Yaris is 100mm longer and has a roofline that's 20mm lower than the outgoing model, which gives the new supermini a sportier stance. It looks more modern, too, but it's unlikely to set pulses racing. The front end reflects the latest family look as seen on the Verso S, while there's echoes of the outgoing model in the shape of the doors and high-shoulder line, and the rear bumper and tailgate take their cue from the bigger Auris. There are a few clever touches on the inside, but the trim feels very low-rent. There are four trim levels. Entry-level T2 models get 15-inch steel wheels and black door handles, but mid-spec TR cars come fitted with 15-inch alloys, electric door mirrors, air-con, Bluetooth and Toyota's clever 6.1-inch touch screen sat-nav which doubles up as a reversing camera. Sporty SR trim adds a roof spoiler and sports suspension, while T Spirit cars get a panoramic roof, automatic lights and wipers, front fog lights, dual-zone air-con, as well as keyless entry and start.
There are two petrol engines, one diesel and a hybrid to choose from. Petrol buyers can choose from a 1.0-litre with 69bhp or a four-cylinder 1.33-litre with 99bhp. This 1.33-litre engine is familiar from the outgoing car, and feels quick to respond at any sped - although it does feel strained at higher revs, meaning extracting its performance isn’t a relaxing experience. The 1.4-litre D-4D diesel, which produces 89bhp and 205Nm of torque for a 0-62mph time of 10.8 seconds and a top speed of 109mph. The hybrid version is powered by a rather noisy 1.5-litre petrol and a more compact electric motor than the Prius or Auris Hybrid. Together they produce 98bhp and can accelerate the Yaris Hybrid from 0-62mph in 11.8 seconds. But the hybrid is only available with a CVT gearbox, which is constantly adjusting the revs. The Yaris is at home around town, where its light controls make for easy driving. At motorway speeds, though, there's a lot of wind noise around the A-pillars and the ride is unsettled - a VW Polo is miles ahead when it comes to comfort and refinement. And the Yaris is no match for its rivals when it comes to driving dynamics, either. The steering provides very little feedback, theres not enough grip in corners and body control is poor. In short, it's far less engaging to drive than a Ford Fiesta.
The Yaris has a full five-star EuroNCAP crash test rating. It received 89 per cent for adult occupant and 86 per cent of safety assist. Standard safety kit includes seven airbags, ABS, ESP, brake assist and traction control as standard. While the new Yaris is too new for us to judge its long-term reliability, the second-generation Yaris finished 49th in the 2012 Driver Power Top 100. Toyota finished an impressive fifth out of 30 overall, too. The range of engines have been carried over from the previous model so are tried and tested. All Toyotas come with a five-year, 100,000 mile warranty, too.
The new Yaris is 100mm longer than the previous model, which means there's a bigger boot and more interior space. In fact, the boot has grown by 25 per cent to 286 litres, which is more than the VW Polo but a little less than the Ford Fiesta. Split-folding rear seats are standard across the range and fold flat to create a 768-litre load area. There's lots of head and legroom for rear seats passengers, despite the lower roofline. There's a decent amount of storage in he cabin, too - there's even space for a one-litre bottle. The raked A-pillars do cause nasty blindspots, though.
The entry-level three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol returns average fuel economy of 58.9mpg and Co2 emissions of 111g/km. The 1.33-litre petrol can manage 52.3mpg and 123g/km, but it's actually more efficient when combined with the Multidrive S automatic gearbox, when it can do 55.4mpg and 118g/km of CO2. The diesel version can manage 72.4mpg and returns 104g/km, which means it's cheap to tax. The hybrid version is the only model that's free to tax, with emissions of just 79g/km and a claimed economy figure of 80.7mpg. These figures are good but can't match those of the 88mpg Kia Rio 1.1D.