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 and USB connectivity as standard, while hybrid models get dual-zone climate control and projector headlights as well. Upgrade to Icon and you'll find alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, tinted rear windows and Toyota's Touch 2 infotainment system with Bluetooth and DAB radio included, while those choosing the hybrid engine will also benefit from keyless start, dual-zone climate control and unique designed alloy wheels.

The mid-range Design model is split into four individual trims, but the standard car includes 16in alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and a sporty bodykit, while the White Bi-tone trim adds a black roof and numerous grey touches throughout the cabin. Opt for the Platinum bi-tone and you are treated to essentially a lighter shade of grey inside, while the Red bi-tone includes just a black roof and rear electric windows.

The Orange Edition Yaris gets a snazzy orange paint job, gloss black exterior details and a panoramic sunroof, while the range-topping Excel trim adorns the supermini with a height adjustable passenger seat, rear electric windows, a half-leather and half-Alcantara interior, and automatic lights and wipers.

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