Stylish Yaris comes of age

THE Yaris is one of the most popular models in the Toyota line-up, a small compact hatchback which offers surprising levels of space for driver and passengers making it an ideal car for city dwellers.

THE Yaris is one of the most popular models in the Toyota line-up, a small compact hatchback which offers surprising levels of space for driver and passengers making it an ideal car for city dwellers.

The Yaris has been on our roads since the late 1990s; however our latest encounter was behind the wheel of the latest generation model. While it may well bear the name tag of a car from a Japanese manufacturer, it is in fact built in Europe and all the better for that as it has been tuned to suit our roads.

Two positives, interior space and build quality. In these two key areas you certainly will not be disappointed. Four grades are offered in the Irish market and the TR is probably the most popular. This version features touch screen controls, Bluetooth and a rear view camera with very affordable Toyota Touch and Go upgrade for sat nav and connected multimedia services.

Car critics certainly were very impressed how accurate the sat nav system was and as a bonus very user friendly. You can of course enter the world of the new Yaris via the T2 version, this version offers budget motoring. On the road the new model has a firmish ride and handling is sharp and precise thanks to a revised suspension design and another pleasure is the electric power steering and for passengers the news is good, there is much more rear legroom, this is very important particularly with a small car, and boot space has been increased.

Delivering the power, two petrol engines, a one litre VVT-I and a 1.33 litre VVT-i. For those who prefer a diesel engine then there is the 89bhp 1.4 D-4D.

With many downsizing comes the quest to have all the creature comforts they enjoyed with a larger car; well with the new Yaris the word sacrifice does not come into the equation as the top of the line T Spirit bristles with goodies, such as panoramic glass roof, automatic headlights and wipers, Smart Entry and Start and dual-zone climate control. Styling is very important in this modern age we are design led and here there is a vast improvement over the previous model. The overall look is more of a grown up car and the frontal area bears the style that all future Toyota models will have.

The new car is longer, but it is lower in height and this adds to its on road stance.

A great car for city and town trips as it has a class leading turning circle of just 4.7 metres, ideal for those tight twists and turns that often confront in the urban environment.

Good news on insurance, the ratings are 4E, 8E and 11E and for added good measure economy is also wallet pleasing.

The new Yaris is a good all rounder backed by a five year/100,000 mile warranty.

See also Toyota Avensis promises lower motoring costs