This third-generation Yaris is a fraction longer, but lower, than its predecessor. It has a more angular look than before, with chunkier bumpers and a large lower front grille.
Toyota is focusing much of its attention on the new car's interior. A longer wheelbase helps to give more passenger space; Toyota says there’s 35mm more rear legroom than in the version it replaces. Boot space has increased to an overall capacity of 347 litres.
We've sat in the car and can confirm Toyota's claims that it has a classier, more modern feel about it. First impressions are that it still isn't a match for the VW Polo's classy cabin, though. It's also worth noting that, unlike previous versions, the new Yaris no longer has a sliding rear seat. This is because the new model has a usefully longer boot, Toyota says.
Three engines are available. The petrol choices are a 68bhp three-cylinder 1.0-litre, or a 98bhp four-cylinder 1.33-litre. The diesel option is an 89bhp 1.4-litre. A hybrid version using a 1.5-litre petrol engine that can also run purely on electric power for short distances will be launched in summer 2012.
Four trims will be available. Entry-level T2 cars will be very basic, with steel wheels and black door mirrors and door handles. Toyota expects the mid-range TR will be the most popular trim, accounting for two-thirds of Yaris sales. It adds 15-inch alloys, air-conditioning, Toyota Touch, leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearknob and colour-coded door mirrors.
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SR versions have sportier exterior and interior details, part-leather upholstery and lowered suspension. T Spirit trim is the luxury option and includes a panoramic glass roof, dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights and wipers and keyless entry.
Prices start at £11,170 and rise to £15,385. The new Toyota Yaris goes on sale in August.