The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
All Toyota Yaris trims have a height-adjustable driver’s seat, plus a steering wheel that moves in and out as well as up and down. What's more, the wheel is neatly aligned with the pedals and seat, and the seat is, in the main, supportive – although on longer jaunts you might bemoan the absence of adjustable lumbar support.
The controls for the air conditioning are within easy reach of the driver, and they're proper buttons and knobs so there's no need to faff around with a complicated touchscreen just to tweak the interior temperature. If you like to sit farther from the ground and in a more upright position, try the Honda Jazz.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
The Yaris isn't too tricky to see out of, especially when you're looking straight ahead, diagonally or to the side. Glance back over your shoulder, though, and you might wish the rear screen was a little bigger.
Fortunately, for extra help while reversing, all models have a rear-view camera as standard. If you want parking sensors, they’re optional on Dynamic trim and standard on range-topping Excel. All models get automatic headlights (LED on Design trim and up) and rain-sensing wipers.
Sat nav and infotainment
Entry-level Icon trim gets a centrally mounted 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system; all other models have a larger 8.0in screen. Either way, the screen is flanked by (rather small) shortcut buttons that you can use to hop straight to specific functions, for instance, from making a phone call to choosing a radio station.
Toyota's own operating system is rather clunky, but you can effectively bypass this by mirroring a cut-down version of your smartphone's operating onto the touchscreen using Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, which is standard across the range..
Every Yaris also comes with a DAB radio, Bluetooth and USB sockets to charge your phone. Upgrade to Dynamic trim and the standard four-speaker sounds system is replaced by a more powerful eight-speaker JBL system, although curiously you have to pay extra for this if you go for range-topping Excel trim.
The Yaris certainly doesn't feel low-rent inside; it's a cut above the Hyundai i20 and Ford Fiesta. However, while everything feels sturdily screwed together, the interior lacks the upmarket feel of a Peugeot 208 or Volkswagen Polo's – let alone a Mini's.
True, there's some squidgy plastic on the dashboard and the switches and stalks all feel well engineered, but there's also plenty of matt scratchy plastic on show that's either not present or is better hidden in the Yaris's best rivals.
A spacious small car that's decent to drive and should hold it...
The Ford Ka+ is decent to drive and has room for four adults...
An extremely practical small MPV that's classy inside, cheap t...
The Suzuki Baleno is not the cheapest or most premium feeling...