Alongside its repackaged interior, its with the Yaris' suspension setup where you'll find the most change. There's a more rigid body structure, a stiffer torsion beam at the rear and softer springs at the front, all designed to improve the ride of this updated Yaris.

It's partially successful, because while the latest car does have a softer ride on the road, it also feels unsettled at speed. There's also the same noise problem as before - with both road and wind noise still an issue when cruising.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
The Toyota falls some way short of matching rivals like the Fiesta

Combined with light, easily manageable controls and a tight turning circle, the car makes for easy progress around town and is competent enough out of it to allow casual users to forget they’re driving it.

It’s in the likely more enthusiastic hands of the Fiesta’s fanbase that issues flare. The same straw-weight steering that makes car parks a breeze becomes as uncommunicative at pace as a severed phone line, and despite a 15mm increase in the front track over its predecessor, the Yaris’s footprint feels smaller and less well controlled with a bumpy B-road beneath its tyres.

A sympathetic observer might argue that it’s harsh to highlight handling shortcomings in a car tuned for urban economy rather than cross-country speed, but other mainstream manufacturers – including Kia, with its capable Rio – have shown that it’s possible to cover both bases more effectively than Toyota has done here.

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