Ever since its inception, the Toyota Yaris has been an object lesson in the advantages of neat packaging, but although 100mm of extra length has been turned into even more legroom, the latest model’s appearance seems more a consequence of the concerted shift in design criteria for superminis than a clever accommodation ploy.

Frumpy compact MPVs have pinched the Yaris’s high roofline party trick, leaving the segment to the domination of sculpted, vacuum-packed hatchbacks like the Fiesta and Polo.

Richard Bremner Autocar

Richard Bremner

Senior contributing editor
The Toyota Yaris is a neatly packaged and practical small car

The latest facelift attempts to bring some of the style found on the new Aygo into the mix, particularly by adopting that model's X-faced front-end design. It's an effective move, giving the latest Yaris a playful look. The 2017 facelift did little to disrupt this on the exterior, with under the skin changes made to the Hybrid to help improve its ride and handling.

There's also less of the old model's anonymity on the road - this is instantly recognisable as a modern Toyota.

The Hybrid version looks hunkered down compared to the standard car in the interests of aerodynamic efficiency. The more eagle-eyed will also note that different versions of the Yaris get their own subtle styling tweaks, including chrome trim around the front grille.

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