OH, they grow up so fast, don’t they? It seems like only yesterday the Toyota Yaris first wowed the crowds and scooped up all those awards (yes, even more than Robbie Williams at the Brit Awards). It may be hard to believe, but that was over ten years ago – yes, Robbie and all. But the Yaris is rising from the east again, and my, hasn’t it grown.
Toyota took great pride in the Yaris’s roomy interior and compact exterior. However, this new model is bit bigger than the original, a good 10cms longer. It’s still not the tallest on the market, coming in at just under 3.9 metres.
Those extra inches, however, have led to a much more manly look to the exterior, Toyota clearly hoping to attract a few more male customers. But, in doing so, the new Yaris has lost a bit of its characteristic cuteness.
It is pitching itself at a couple of different markets, from the young driver seeking a motor which is easy on the car insurance to drivers of larger vehicles who need something slightly smaller due to rising driving costs.
There are a few nice tweaks to the cabin, which is intended to make it more driver-friendly. The instruments on the dash are now tucked in behind the steering wheel, a move away from the centre. There is also nice leather trim on the steering wheel and gearstick.
The old Yaris was always noteworthy for its ample legroom for such a compact car, and this is new model is no different, especially with the increase in length. Leg and headroom in the rear are quite generous, but the doors could do with opening a bit wider, especially if you’ve got some smaller passengers on board who require child seats.
Handling is a dream, with the easy steering and you’ll be able to squeeze into the tightest of parking spaces thanks to the 9.4m turning circle and nifty rear view camera.
As you can imagine, the Yaris is pretty nippy through the city, particularly handling speed bumps in urban areas well, but does get a bit shaky when you push it to the limit.
The 1.3litre engine with its six-speed manual gearbox comes with 98bhp and can go from 0-62mph in 11.7 seconds. The Yaris has a top speed of 109mph, but expect a bumpy ride if you reach anywhere near that.
Nice Standard Equipment Levels
The new five-door Yaris comes with some nice kit as standard, including 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, a nifty touch-screen display with audio controls, a rearview camera and Bluetooth connectivity. You can also have sat-nav thrown for a little bit extra.
Safety features can be a big bonus when it comes to getting cheap car insurance quotes and this new Yaris isn’t short on them with colour-coded door mirrors, see-me-home headlights, Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control plus seven airbags.
The 1.3litre petrol model will churn out around 52.3mpg, with the diesel version giving as much as 20 miles more per gallon. If you are travelling in and out of London, the bad news is that you will have to shell out for the congestion charge as CO2 emissions of 123g/km leave it a long way short of the 100g/km figure required. You’ll also pay up to £95 in road tax as the new Yaris is in band D. Considering many small similar cars in the class are much lower and even exempt from tax, the costs can soon add up.
However, the new Yaris may be looking to step up to a its own sub-class – not quite a compact and now quite a fully-fledged family hatchback.
The charm of the Yaris may have faded slightly in favour of a more robust look, reflecting Toyota’s drive to expand its appeal, but at an initial £13,260, that appeal may be limited. However, it remains a reliable, roomy and solid car with some welcome updates.
Whatever about the slightly higher running costs, you can always be certain of a great deal on your car insurance with Quantum.