2013 Toyota Yaris Trend review

* New Toyota Yaris Trend driven in UK * Gets cosmetic upgrades inside and out * On sale now, priced from 14,570...

2013 Toyota Yaris Trend review

The Toyota Yaris Trend is a version of the Yaris supermini that's designed to address criticisms of the standard car's bland styling.

Black rear and central pillars help to create a 'floating roof' effect similar to that of Citroen's DS3, plus Toyota has fitted a roof spoiler and the LED rear light clusters from the Yaris Hybrid.

The Trend also gets smart two-tone alloys, silver door mirrors and extra chrome trim.

What's the 2013 Toyota Yaris Trend like to drive?
The Trend is available with the 1.33-litre petrol engine and receives no mechanical changes.

This means the engine feels perky enough in town and isn't lumbered with overly long gearing, but you do have to rev it hard to make swift progress on faster roads.

Refinement suffers as a result, and the engine never completely settles down on the motorway. However, it's wind noise that does most to harm the Yaris's cruising abilities.

Comfort could also be better, because the ride becomes jittery over patchy surfaces, while the car feels quite nervous at speed.

Still, it's not all bad news, because there's plenty of grip in corners, and the Trend's light steering and tight turning circle make it easy to negotiate busy city streets.

What's the 2013 Toyota Yaris Trend like inside?
The standard Yaris cabin is utterly cheerless, but Toyota has made more of an effort with the Trend.

White inserts help to brighten up its dashboard, centre console and doors, while the steering wheel and gearlever feature yellow stitching, and the seats have contrasting centres.

However, for all the changes, the interior plastics still look and feel cheap.

The touch-screen infotainment system is more appealing because it reduces clutter and is comparatively easy to use. Plus, the Trend is just as practical as other Yaris versions, offering good visibility, space for four adults, and a competitive 286-litre boot.

Unlike some other versions of the Yaris, the Trend is available only as a five-door.

Should I buy one?
Standard equipment is pretty generous; you get air-conditioning, Bluetooth, a reversing camera and seven airbags. However, a 1.33-litre TR-spec Yaris offers all of this and it costs 1000 less than the Trend.

Ultimately, then, you're just paying extra for exterior and interior styling tweaks, and we don't think they're worth 1000.

If you've got 14.5k to spend on a supermini, the Ford Fiesta Ecoboost 100, Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 90 and Volkswagen Polo 1.4 are all much better buys.

What Car? says

Ford Fiesta
VW Polo

Read the full Toyota Yaris review >>

Engine size 1.33-litre petrol
Price from 14,570
Power 98bhp
Torque 92lb ft
0-62mph 11.7 seconds
Top speed 109mph
Fuel economy 51.4mpg
CO2 emissions 127g/km

By Steve Huntingford