If spaciousness were the sole factor by which small hatchbacks were judged, the Yaris would be a serious contender for class leader.

Arguably the biggest change which comes with the facelifted Yaris is inside, updates range far beyond the realm of a usual facelift. 

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
Equipment levels on the entry-level models aren't exactly impressive

There's a new, cleaner look inside, with much of the fascia given over to Toyota's Touch 2 infotainment system. It's a pleasing design, and worked well on our test route in the German city of Düsseldorf. Maps are displayed clearly and other functions including multimedia are all easily controllable.

Space is ample up front, and although taller passengers should only be confined to the rear bench on short journeys the Yaris' seats are supportive and comfortable.

Toyota insists that it has improved the quality of materials used to dress the new frame, but there’s more economising on display than is apparent in the European or even Korean opposition, and some misjudged experimentation with different grains produces an ugly swathe of eye-catching scratchy plastic. 

A new soft-touch strip across the centre of the car is a prime example, because while it does lend a premium air to the Yaris' cabin it also serves to highlight other, cheaper-feeling fixtures and fittings.

Entry-level Active models come with 15in steel wheels, heated door mirrors, electric front windows, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, and Toyota's full suite of safety technology as standard. Upgrade to Icon and you'll find alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, manual air conditioning, road sign recognition, a rear view camera and Toyota's Touch 2 infotainment system with Bluetooth and DAB radio included.

New for 2017, is the Icon Tech trim which adds sat nav and front parking sensors to the package, while the mid-range Design model includes 16in alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, tinted rear windows and a sporty bodykit. For those after a bit more personalisation, the Bi-Tone trims may be worth considering with its black wing mirrors and roof, rear LED lights, LED day-running lights, electric rear windows and colour co-ordinated interiors, as well as the choice of four snazzy colours - Nebula Blue, Tokyo Red, Glacier Pearl and Platinum Bronze.

Topping the range is the Excel trim which adorns the supermini with a height adjustable passenger seat, 16in alloy wheels, a half-leather and half-Alcantara interior, and automatic lights and wipers. While those opting for the hybrid version of the Yaris can choose any of the six trims and will find dual-zone climate control and a push button ignition included in the package.

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