Toyota Yaris Bi Tone

VVT-i

Toyota Yaris, front
Toyota Yaris, front
Toyota Yaris, front
Toyota Yaris, side
Toyota Yaris, side
Toyota Yaris, rear
Toyota Yaris, interior
Toyota Yaris, boot

TOYOTA'S popular Yaris now comes with a new look, new engine and five doors on all models.

The three-door version is no longer available and diesel engines too have been dropped from the range.

But the introduction of a new 1.5-litre petrol engine designed to meet more stringent emission levels - in addition to a hybrid model - gives the new Yaris plenty of zip without compromising on economy.

In a major £76 million revamp of the latest car Toyota has introduced 900 new parts to the vehicle to improve its design, performance and safety.

For starters there's a new look front - including new headlights - which is very much in keeping with that of the Aygo in a bid to give the car a younger image.

And at the rear the tailgate has been redesigned as well as the light clusters and bumper.

That younger image is also helped by - in the case of my Bi Tone test car - the use of two colours, black for the roof and mirrors and a wide choice of alternatives for the body.

And this dual colour treatment is carried over onto the inside too to give a bright new look, aided by soft touch materials on the dashboard itself.

There's a touch screen set in the centre of the dashboard for numerous on-board functions as well as the satellite navigation system, and it doubles up as the monitor for the colour reversing camera.

There's also a colour TFT multi-information display in the driver's binnacle between the two main dials which now feature striking pale blue pointers which reminded me of the light sabres in the Star Wars films.

The Yaris has always been a big small car with its tall stance offering an abundance of space in relation to its size and nothing has changed there. Wide opening rear doors make getting in and out easy for those in the back but there are no rear cup holders.

Light and easy to handle the Yaris is one of those cars which will appeal to all members of the family to drive. The steering is on the light side but nevertheless there is good stability at high speed on the motorway with the little car always feeling well planted.

Toyota has obviously done some work on noise levels because the new car is now far quieter and has a more refined feel to it.

The 1.5-litre VVT-i engine is responsive and ensures the Yaris is quick off the mark and the six-speed manual gearbox is slick in operation.

FAST FACTS

Toyota Yaris Bi Tone VVT-i

Price: £17,595

Mechanical: 110bhp, 1,496cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 109mph

0-62mph: 11.0 seconds

Combined MPG: 58.9

Insurance Group: 12

C02 emissions: 112g/km

Bik rating: 21%

Warranty: 5yrs/100,000 miles

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