Toyota’s third generation Yaris supermini is a very class-competitive proposition. So much so that you might be surprised to find that a £12,000 budget can actually net you a quite appealing one. Enter the Yaris Edition.
Though this car looks quite sporty, there are no changes beneath the bonnet to get excited about.
The Edition is powered by the range’s entry-level 1.0-litre VTi petrol engine that’s really designed for urban use. Rest to 60 takes 15.3s on the way to a top speed of 96mph.
In compensation though, on the open road, there’s a ride and handling balance that’s difficult to better in this class. At lower speeds, the ride is a bit lumpy, but you’d be happy to accept that in return for standards of refinement good enough to give the feeling of your being in something from the next class up. Copious amounts of insulation and a sound-deadening acoustic windscreen see to that.
Beneath the visual frippery of these special edition models lurks a sensible supermini. Pronounced V-sculpting of the radiator grille and eased-out wheelarches give the latest Yaris a studier, more purposeful look, and the chrome strip running along the boot combines with the small tailgate spoiler to carry through the slightly sportier mein. The 100mm increase in length over the previous generation Yaris has made a big difference to cabin room that you can most easily feel in the back; 6ft adults can be accommodated with ease. The 286-litre boot (within 9-litres of a Fiesta) expands to 347-litres if you load up to the roof. Push forward the 60:40 split-folding rear seats and a useful 768-litres of total space is freed up.
And at the wheel? Well, traditional instruments behind the steering wheel replace the binnacle in the centre of the dash of older Yaris models. And while it’s certainly true that there are classier-feeling cabins in this sector with higher quality plastics, none is better screwed together. It certainly looks very smart.
Apart from the redesigned multifunction steering wheel - and the clever Touch & Go multi-media system – the well laid out and ergonomically sound interior hasn’t changed much. .
This small Toyota proves that a small budget needn’t necessarily limit you to a small helping of style. The 1.0-litre petrol engine you’ll find beneath the bonnet of the Yaris Edition won’t take you very fast, but it is frugal and fun to rev. And the car itself is a smart looking townie choice.
If that’s all you seek in a supermini of this kind, then look no further.