Now , I would like to say from the start that I have never been a fan of the Yaris. I found the car to be quite a bore, and felt that it was only created to add more profits to Toyota. I always felt that it had a body over the mechanics because if it didn’t, it wouldn’t have sold. It just never stood out in the roads,and frankly I always believeed that there were better cars on the market that have more character than the Yaris and are much better looking.
It seems however, that Toyota is taking notice of the consumer’s needs, and realised that if they wants to compete in Europe, design is very important. To my eyes, it seems as though that the designers have spent to much time looking at the Peugeot 207 and the Renault Clio. From the back, it is unmistakably similar to the 207, whilst the C-pillar seems to be directly lifted from the Renault Clio.
The interior is very well designed, with easy to reach controls. The touchscreen interface is very responsive, but the UI is not very user friendly, and takes time to get used to. Materials on the main centre console is good enough, although other parts of the interior seem to be made of very cheap plastics, especially the whole bottom bit between the two front seats where the handbrake and gear lever are found. Let a nine year old loose into that car and he would be able to take apart the entire interior in a matter of seconds. Not something I expect from Toyota.
There are three engines on offer the base 1.0l petrol with 69bhp costs €15,000 with lots of standard equipment, including air conditioning, alloy wheels, Cd player with mp3 connectivity, a multimedia touchscreen, 6 speakers, a reversing camera, Bluetooth connectivity, power steering, steering audio controls, front electric windows, ABS, airbags and a host of other things. For €15,600, one can upgrade to the 1.3l petrol engine with 99bhp with the same array of standard equipment. There will also be a 1.4l diesel version producing 90bhp. Prices for the diesel version have yet to be verified.
Whilst the standard equipment is impressive, I am not fully convinced with this car.I think that European manufacturers are better looking, and in areas, better built than this Toyota. Also, and this is a personal thing, I do not think I could bring myself to buy a Toyota, after the brake problems they had very recently.