From £10,114
New Yaris generates good first impressions, but leaves question marks with its packaging

Our Verdict

Toyota Yaris
Toyota’s supermini chases the Fiesta and Polo buyer

The original Toyota Yaris was a landmark car, but it then lost ground to more talented rivals. Can it regain its crown?

19 January 2011

What is it?

It's a crucial car for Toyota in Europe: the next-generation Yaris. This is by far Toyota’s most successful model in this region (it’s built in France) and it badly needs a refresh to give it a chance against the latest Polo and Fiesta.

To help with this, the new Yaris grows - by 85mm - and gets a 50mm longer wheelbase to boot. The engine line-up includes new versions of Toyota’s proven 1.33 and 1.5-litre petrol motors, and a tweaked 1.4-litre turbodiesel.

What's it like?

We tested the 1.3-litre model with Toyota’s stop-start technology (a cost option) and it’s probably the pick of the range. The system takes just 0.35sec to restart after cutting the engine at idle, making a relatively painless contribution of around 2.3mpg to a combined fuel economy figure of 61.5mpg.

Toyota clearly sees the 1.3 as the sweet spot of the range too. European specs may vary, but in Japan only the 1.3 is offered with VSC and TRC traction control; these aren’t even optional on the other variants.

Inside, the car does feel bigger, but Toyota’s efforts to minimise costs while improving packaging have met with mixed results in trim quality.

On the road the 1.3 feels adequate but not quick; it’s clearly been tuned for fuel economy and CO2 emissions, rather than outright performance. Our test car had a revised version of Toyota’s CVT gearbox, and it pulled smartly from 2000rpm and stayed strong through to the mid-range. European models will get a five-speed manual, incidentally - and a rev-counter, an item missing from the domestic version.

This Yaris gets a stiffer body structure, a more compliant ride and more responsive steering.

Should I buy one?

European specs will be crucial, really - because while the new Yaris does handle better than the old model and looks considerably smarter, it feels like it’s been short-changed on a few interior elements and performance is middling rather than genuinely impressive. It’ll need those missing toys and a few more besides if it’s to stand out in Europe when it arrives here in the autumn.

Peter Lyon

Toyota Yaris 1.3L

Price: £13,300 (est); Top speed: 105mph; 0-62mph: 9.0sec; Economy: 61.5mpg; (combined); CO2: Under 115g/km; Kerb weight: 1000kg; Engine: 4 cyls, 1329cc, petrol; Power: 94hp at 6000rpm; Torque: 89lb ft at 4000rpm; Gearbox: CVT

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Comments
28

19 January 2011

Looks like VW and Ford can rest easy, Toyota still haven't worked out what it needs to compete in Europe.

19 January 2011

Toyota have managed to go from a good looking car to produce this ugly thing.

19 January 2011

Toyota and Good Looking in the same sentence did i hear! its a terrible looking car would explain why i have never seen anyone under the age of 30 driving one ever.

20 January 2011

[quote VX220EDDIE] its a terrible looking car would explain why i have never seen anyone under the age of 30 driving one ever.[/quote]Well it isn't even out yet, so you won't have seen anyone driving one. If, of course, you're referring to the old Yaris, then maybe you live in an area with OAPs :P because Yaris' are hugely popular with young drivers, due to the cheap insurance, pocket size and low running costs. Three people at my sixth form had them, in the same year! Maybe slightly different for the current model, but I think these pictures are actually a bit more flattering than the ones that greeted us a few weeks ago. And if anyone actually bothers to read the story before looking at the pictures, you'll see that it's actually improved in many areas. I'm immediately put off by that tacky interior, though. That's the one thing Autocar say needs improving.

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

20 January 2011

The interior is horrid, and the exterior seems inspired in the Auris ('nuff said!), albeit with a few sharp edges.

Forgettable, in true Toyota style.

20 January 2011

Honda Jazz style, but nastly adjusted. Dull Honda Jazz blue rinse colour too. The original Yaris was the best. I'd rather have an Aygo than this monster.

20 January 2011

Mr£4worth wrote the following post at Jan 20, 2011 1:03 AM:

Honda Jazz style, but nastly adjusted. Dull Honda Jazz blue rinse colour too. The original Yaris was the best. I'd rather have an Aygo than this monster
I agree the Original Yaris was the best and I think another reason young people liked the last Yaris models in a lot off places was the engines were indeed very good and very nippy , fast like and lively good revs in them too . But this new Yaris is Hidious like something from China or Malaysis it would look good with a Proton badge I think but as a Toyota not good think they are getting worse at there designs a pity as a few off there cars look good like the Avensis and the last two Yaris models .

20 January 2011

I actually smiled at how misguided Toyota are in this segment.

It actually looks like they've given it to China and said, design us a new Yaris. It looks like one of those "Copycat" models from China made by guandingdongwanoyong.

That can never be a good thing.

Toyota=Fail these days. Not a single car in their entire line up that I would even care to look at. I dont understand why anyone would buy this over the very talented competition in this sector.

I actually think I would much rather the new Chevrolet Aveo which looks great. Fiesta also good but up a price notch.

20 January 2011

[quote fhp11]Toyota=Fail these days. Not a single car in their entire line up that I would even care to look at. I dont understand why anyone would buy this over the very talented competition in this sector.[/quote]

Its hardly suprising that the car makers are using China as a base for design, after all thats where all the money is... Its sad though, in a way its drawn me closer to Renault and Citroen who are coming out with some great designed cars

20 January 2011

I disagree with you and all other comments on Yaris, Yaris is a lesson of good Japanese industrial design. I do like the dashboard -very original compared to dull ones in Polo and Fiesta. But success in new Yaris case will depend on pricing.

Regards

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