The Toyota Yaris is more important to the brand than you might think. Over the years superminis have become the biggest sellers in the UK, making competition in this category fierce. The result of all this is that the Yaris is comfortably the best selling Toyota, so there is a certain amount of pressure to get the new one right.
The third generation of Yaris has grown slightly but despite this it remains one of the most compact superminis at just under 3.9 metres in length. The extra length has been put to particularly good use providing a little extra leg room for occupants and a very impressive 347 litres of boot space, which is not only significantly bigger than key rivals but is a match for cars from the next class up.
Despite being a new model there are no new engines at launch. This means that the entry-level model makes do with the characterful 1-litre three-cylinder engine which provides good fuel economy but is a little over-worked in the Yaris. As a result performance is limited and both fuel consumption and refinement take a hit if you start to work it hard.
Toyota has made more sweeping changes in the design of both the interior and exterior. The latest Yaris is the most grown-up iteration yet with a square-jawed stance and a more conventional dashboard design which moves the instruments from the centre of the dashboard to a more conventional layout. However there are too many cheap-looking plastics on show to match the best in class and it lacks some design flair.
The Toyota Yaris achieves good fuel economy and combines excellent boot space with compact dimensions. However material quality is disappointing, performance is limited and it isn't the most dynamic supermini to drive. The optional 'Touch and Go' system offers sat nav and excellent connectivity through a full colour touch screen at a fraction of the cost of competitors’ systems, but it isn't available on the entry level T2 model.