Toyota’s hatch gets a comprehensive £69m overhaul comprising a substantially revised interior, updated exterior styling and new options

Toyota has poured £68m and 576,000 hours of development into its Yaris hatchback in order to help it compete in the increasingly competitive and style-conscious compact car market.

Over 1000 new parts have made their way into the 2014 Yaris, with the chief changes comprising a heavily restyled interior, more modern and distinctive exterior styling and a host of ride and refinement tweaks.

Alessandro Massimino, Toyota’s European product manager, said: “The Yaris was always extremely strong in its rational dimensions. What we wanted to achieve was to connect the model not only with our customers’ brains, but also with their hearts.”

“We identified that the Yaris delivered on the packaging, durability and cost of ownership front, but wanted to make the car more engaging and emotionally connected.”

Externally the main changes comprise the adoption of the more distinctive cross-shaped front-end styling that recently debuted on the new Aygo. The rear has also received some attention, in the form of a redesigned bumper with an integral diffuser, LED light clusters and a reshaped registration plate surround.

The Toyota's interior has benefitted from a significant revamp, consisting of a redesigned dash and door panels that grant it a sleeker look, higher-quality materials and a larger display for the integrated 'Touch 2' multimedia system.

Minor tweaks like satin chrome trim where there would have previously been plain chrome further serve to give the cabin a more upmarket look, while refinement upgrades including a wind deflector integrated in the cowl and more silencing materials to quell road and engine noise.

Toyota has looked to tap into the increasingly popularity of customisation too, consequently offering the new Yaris with a wider range of trim levels that grant buyers access to varying colour schemes, trim materials and wheels.

Underneath the Yaris benefits from a new torsion-beam rear end and a modified platform. Toyota has added additional spot welds, a thicker bulkhead, new windscreen bonding material and structurally modified the tunnel, wheel tubs and rear bumper structure to stiffen the chassis.

The car's suspension has seen some upgrades too, including new springs and retuned dampers, while the electronic power steering has been recalibrated to deliver more feedback.

Efforts to bolster the Yaris' on-road engagement further include the likes of raising the interior's centre console, allowing for a 30mm reduction in length of the gear lever, reputedly improving the feel of the car's gear shift.

“In the past, the project management was done in Japan,” says Yaris senior project manager Serkan Karaman. “But this time we were in the driver’s seat. As a result, the new Yaris really incorporates European know-how and European taste.”

Engine options remain as before, comprising a 1.0- and 1.33-litre petrol, a 1.4-litre diesel and the range-topping hybrid. Claimed reductions in noise and vibration are touted for all but the most notable change is to the 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine. It is said to perform much better on all fronts while emitting 99g/km of CO2, down from 110g/km – entailing free road tax for buyers.

Despite being one of the more costly options, the hybrid still accounts around 31 per cent of Yaris sales. Minor adjustments mean it now emits just 75g/km of CO2, compared to 79g/km of CO2, and Toyota claims it will average an impressive 86mpg, up from 80.7mpg.

Standard equipment for the new Yaris includes air-con and Toyota's Touch 2 multimedia system, while options include LED daytime running lights, a rear parking camera, auto-folding door mirrors, cruise control, dual-zone climate and leather seats.

The new Toyota Yaris will go on sale later this year. Official pricing is yet to be announced by is expected to remain “competitive with its rivals”.

It’s likely, as a result, that the model will continue to start at around the £10,000 mark, with prices rising to around £16,000 for the hybrid.

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Our Verdict

Toyota Yaris

The original Toyota Yaris was a landmark car, since then it has lost ground to more talented rivals. Can it regain its crown from the formidable and long in the tooth Ford Fiesta?

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Comments
13

28 May 2014
So does that make the revised hybrid the only non-plug in to be exempt from the London Congestion charge? 75g/km is a very impressive test result!

28 May 2014
artill wrote:

So does that make the revised hybrid the only non-plug in to be exempt from the London Congestion charge? 75g/km is a very impressive test result!

Are all sub-100g/km cars still exempt or is it just hybrids and electric vehicles? I struggle to keep up! Citroen are launching a new 79g/km diesel engine in the DS3 which is also fairly impressive.


"Work hard and be nice to people"

28 May 2014
artill wrote:

So does that make the revised hybrid the only non-plug in to be exempt from the London Congestion charge? 75g/km is a very impressive test result!

A very apt question that the story should have covered. At 75g\km it is the only non-plug-in that seems to meet the Boris Johnson criteria.

28 May 2014
The new front end styling looks like its modelled on a british beergut poking out from a T shirt on Yarmouth sea front. Hand responsibiltiy back to Tokyo quickly :)

The new Aygo is a whole lot more successful.

rxl

28 May 2014
come on ??! how can you don't like this new Yaris? it looks way more sleek sporty and refined that the pre-face...to me they made a very good job...Japan can keep the mechanics R&D but , at least this time the design was well achieved. it look way more nice than PSA cars ou VAG.

28 May 2014
rxl wrote:

come on ??! how can you don't like this new Yaris? it looks way more sleek sporty and refined that the pre-face...to me they made a very good job...Japan can keep the mechanics R&D but , at least this time the design was well achieved. it look way more nice than PSA cars ou VAG.

Hmmm well, I also see it as an improvement, but that isn't saying much. It still doesn't look as good as it should do, a fiesta looks loads better IMO

rxl

29 May 2014
superstevie wrote:
rxl wrote:

come on ??! how can you don't like this new Yaris? it looks way more sleek sporty and refined that the pre-face...to me they made a very good job...Japan can keep the mechanics R&D but , at least this time the design was well achieved. it look way more nice than PSA cars ou VAG.

Hmmm well, I also see it as an improvement, but that isn't saying much. It still doesn't look as good as it should do, a fiesta looks loads better IMO

well that is why i don't mention the Fiesta... but this new Yaris, to me, is better as PSA and VAG... although the Fiesta looks better

28 May 2014
I see a fair few hybrid badges on these Yaris photo's which is a bit worrying for the big reveal. The Hybrids usually look a bit different from the standard Yaris so what will be lost in translation?

rxl

29 May 2014
C2_Matt wrote:

I see a fair few hybrid badges on these Yaris photo's which is a bit worrying for the big reveal. The Hybrids usually look a bit different from the standard Yaris so what will be lost in translation?

from what i see, the hybrid version use exclusive alloy wheels , and the come moustache border grille on chrome... so the regular Yaris wont be bad...

29 May 2014
I still prefer the Yaris I bought in 1999. The VVTI engine, a four cylinder 1.0, was very economical and the car was a deserving Car of The Year. I'd have bought another in 2002 but it suffered the worst build up of static electricity I'd ever experienced in a car. I made sure my next car was less shocking and, sadly, that meant it wasn't a Yaris.

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