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Toyota Yaris

SPACE - THE FINAL FRONTIER (some text hidden)

Toyota's improved Yaris is a car that really gets people talking. June Neary finds out why.

Will It Suit Me?word count: 340

Like most people in the thirty plus age group, as a child I was fascinated by the sci-fi series Doctor Who. Thankfully, none of that scary stuff could break the force field that kept my big brother and I safe from harm behind Dad's armchair. Having said that, even the greatest amount of imagination couldn't make the corner of the living room spacious and comfortable like the Doctor's Tardis. As we grew, and viewing conditions became even more cramped, we admitted defeat and watched from the settee. After all, you just can't make something that's small on the outside and big on the inside. Those were the days of black and white and it was probably then that car manufacturers first began working on making the 'Tardis' concept a reality. Today, Toyota has crossed the final frontier - enter the improved third generation Yaris, a car we're looking at here in its lightly updated form. For me, interior space is a top priority when choosing a car and that would probably be the case no matter what my lifestyle involved - it's not just important for mums with a couple of kids and a dog to find room for. In fact, it's a major issue whether you're a business woman with a load of kit to haul around, or simply run-of-the-mill like me (a shopaholic, chocaholic married to a tall football playing bloke who can rarely find enough leg/ headroom). Having said all that, most of us don't want to nip down to the chippy in something that resembles a small house, either. If you're wondering if there's a point to all this rambling, the answer is yes; and you'll understand when you step inside the latest Toyota Yaris. This car offers all the advantages of a tiny citycar - low fuel consumption, ease of parking, cheap insurance groupings and low purchase price - with most of the benefits of a larger, faster modern supermini. I probably don't have to tell you that a Yaris would definitely suit my needs.

Practicalitiesword count: 279

Give me a car for a week and within a couple of days the back seat will be lost under a sea of things that could just be useful - various CDs, food, drink (alcohol-free of course), spanners, sinks, things for recycling, etc. In fact, I like to think of a car's rear seating area as a handy extension of my handbag - but not in the Yaris. With tons of storage space, over 15 litres, lots of cubbies hidden around the cabin and a good-sized split-level glovebox, I turned into Mrs Tidy Car. The third generation Yaris model we're looking at here has been treated to a light facelift, along with a range of engine and interior trimming tweaks supposed to bring it back into contention in the tightly-fought supermini segment. As before, this car is still shorter than the latest generation of larger superminis such as the Ford Fiesta and the Renault Clio. Part of the reason why these cars are so relatively large is compliance with pedestrian impact legislation which is adding a few centimetres to the nose of many cars. The Yaris gets round this one by arcing the bonnet high over the unyielding mechanicals to provide a deformable surface. This means that despite being shorter on the outside, the Yaris is competitive in terms of interior space and easy to park at the same time. Fold the EasyFlat rear seats down and you're treated to the largest stowage area of any supermini. This system allows the rear bench to be split 60:40 and both sections to slide independently. Therefore it's possible to transport long, bulky items without impinging on a rear passenger's legroom allowance.

Behind the Wheelword count: 168

On the road the car's upgraded 1.0-litre petrol engine is both lively and economical. Toyota say the Yaris can reach a top speed of 96mph and achieve 0-62mph from rest in around 12 seconds. There is also a new petrol 1.5-litre variant with 110bhp and Stop & Start technology or you can choose a petrol/electric Hybrid. Most Yaris buyers though, go for the 1.0-litre petrol model I tried. With keen fuel economy and low emissions, it's a good choice for the urban sprawl and crawl. Marry that to the tight turning circle and you have a very agile and wieldy city scoot. As I climbed into the driver's seat for the first time I was teleported back into sci-fi land. The rather unconventional fascia looks removed from the supermini norm, with a 3D effect on the main display. More conservative buyers may find it a bit Buck Rogers but it's certainly distinctive. On the road, the Yaris lives up to Toyota's promises - it handles safely and competently.

Value For Moneyword count: 125

At prices that start from around the £12,000 mark, there's no denying that this car offers excellent value for money. Buyers have the option of three or five doors and all variants come with impressive equipment levels - just like a larger car. Even the most basic 'Active' version now gets the brand's 'Safety Sense' package which includes a 'Pre-Collision' autonomous braking system, 'Lane Departure Alert' and 'Automatic High Beam', features you won't find anywhere else as standard at the 'Active' variant's price point. This base trim level also gives you rain-sensing windscreen wipers, power front windows, Bluetooth and a six-speaker audio system. Hybrid models additionally feature automatic air conditioning and projector headlamps. The Yaris is also is covered by the company's comprehensive five-year warranty

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-60 mph (s):

10.8

15.3

Combined mpg:

57.6

85.6

Extra urban mpg:

67.3

91.1

Height (mm):

1510

Length (mm):

3885

3905

Max Speed (mph):

96

109

... and 5 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Compact Cars

Performance
60%
Handling
60%
Comfort
80%
Space
60%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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