Vijay Pattni29 May 2014

It’s the new Toyota Yaris! Really!

Japan's previously beige Fiesta rival gets kerrazy new anime face. What's going on at Toyota?

This is the new Toyota Yaris. No, seriously, it's the new Toyota Yaris. It's the subject of £70 million worth of investment and 576,000 hours of R&D work. But admit it, all you're looking at is the face, right?

Though Toyota tells us its new supermini has been treated to more than just a facelift, it is now infinitely more identifiable, taking its cue from the ident set by its Aygo baby brother; an Aygo that took inspiration from the Astroboy cartoon.

First drive: the new Toyota Aygo

So, New Yaris gets that cross-shape arrangement on the front, new headlights, and a new bumper, diffuser and light cluster at the back. There are LED daytime running lights, new 15 and 16in wheels, and even new wing mirrors.

It's been given a spruce up inside, too, with a thinner instrument panel, a new door panel with more ‘soft-touch' areas (steady), a raised centre console and shorter gear lever, thicker padding around the dashboard and a 7-inch central touchscreen.

For the helmsmiths amongst you, the new Yaris has been treated to a more rigid upper and lower body structure, a stiffer rear torsion beam, softer coil springs front and back, a new shock absorber valve tech that promises to improve ride quality and a new control logic in the electric power steering. It's never been the most involving to drive, the Yaris, so here's hoping these improvements bring it closer to the Fiesta in the handling department.

Then there's the work to the noise, vibration and harshness properties: the Yaris now gets a redesigned dashboard silencer, better sound absorption material and even ‘noise-optimised' carpet. We're thinking it's, um, thicker.

Engines remain the same as before, so you're looking at the 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol with 99g/km of CO2, a 1.33-litre petrol, a 1.4-litre diesel and the hybrid which promises 85.6mpg and emissions as low as 75g/km of CO2.

The overhauled Yaris will go on sale later this summer, and UK prices will be announced just before. Is Toyota finally getting its mojo back?

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