In-depth reviews

Toyota Yaris review - Interior, design and technology

The Yaris features striking good looks and a decent level of standard equipment, although the bleak interior doesn’t inspire

Toyota has bestowed the Yaris with a strong, distinctive look. The muscular wheel arches, large grille and sharp creases all contribute to a more purposeful stance than on the previous model, and an appearance which translates well to the beefed-up GR Yaris performance model.

Inside the cabin it’s a different matter. The interior design is typically Toyota - solid and practical, but with very little sparkle or sense of style. The fascia is enveloped in gloomy, black plastic, with just a few metal-effect accents on show to improve the mood.

On the plus side, there is a good level of standard equipment on offer. The entry-level Icon trim includes 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, adaptive cruise control, air conditioning, a reversing camera and a multi-function leather-trimmed steering wheel. 

Stepping up to the Design versions adds bigger 17-inch wheels, rear privacy glass, power-folding mirrors and keyless entry, while at the top end of the range, the GR Sport features 18-inch black alloys, sports suspension and keyless entry, while the Excel includes power folding mirrors, front and rear parking sensors and extra safety kit.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

All versions of the Yaris get the Toyota Touch 2 infotainment system, but Icon models use a seven-inch multimedia screen, compared with an eight-inch set-up for the rest of the range. 

The touchscreen itself is set high on the dashboard so it’s easy to see and reach, while the use of physical buttons and control knobs is a better solution than touch-sensitive keys, even if the buttons themselves are on the small side.

Toyota’s menu system isn’t quite as clear as we'd like, and there are a few too many sub-menus to navigate through if you want to change a setting – radio station selection is especially frustrating if you haven’t set up your favourites for instant access.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity is fitted as standard, so you can bypass Toyota’s system completely if you want.

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