New eye-catching Yaris is small but has a lot to offer

toyota yaris 2
toyota yaris 2

“COMPACT outside, spacious inside” was the concept for the first Yaris in 1999 and Toyota has retained this packaging policy for what is now the third generation.

That’s not to say that nothing has changed in the newcomer – far from it.

toyota yaris

toyota yaris

This is a much sharper looking and stylish car which appears to have far better build quality than its predecessors and is also better to drive.

Yaris has got a little bit longer – 100mm – but is still one of the most compact models in the B segment and has a surprising amount of space inside.

There’s plenty of room for driver and front passenger and rear passengers aren’t cramped either with extended legroom.

The three and five-door models offer four grades – T2, TR, SR and T Spirit – with a choice of two petrol and one diesel engine.

The test car was a five-door TR 1.33 VVTi model and this 89bhp petrol engine proved quite nippy.

It actually felt quicker than the zero to 62mph time of 11.7 seconds figure and the six-speed manual transmission was smooth and slick.

With a top speed of 109mph, there wasn’t too much noise at motorway speeds and the ride was fairly smooth.

The Yaris is ideal in town and would have been simple to park even without its rear-view camera.

The camera is just one of many gadgets you will find in the equipment-packed new model.

Standard on the TR model is the Toyota Touch system with a full colour touchscreen for audio, telephone and Bluetooth controls.

The test car was equipped with the £500 Touch and Go option which includes sat nav, speed and camera alerts, Google local search button with the ability to connect with local information services.

This model scores well in the economy stakes, achieving 52.3mpg combined, 62.7mpg extra urban and 41.5mpg urban and also comes with a five year/100,000-mile warranty.

The new Yaris is more eye-catching and should prove popular with on-the-road prices ranging from £11,170 to £15,385.

The test car cost was £14,210 which included the Touch and Go option as well as the £450 metallic paint charge.