New Toyota Yaris 2017 Reviewed

In Car Reviews, Toyota by Tim Barnes-Clay

The 2017 Toyota Yaris is aimed at a more varied customer base. The new model line-up offers more choice and a profusion of features for cabin comfort and safety.

Tim Barnes-Clay, tulip time, at the launch of the New Toyota Yaris in Holland

Behind all that is Toyota’s standing for reliable engines. Everything is made to last.

But can the meek, yet admirable, 2017 Toyota Yaris ever be thought of as ‘sexy’? ‘No’ is the frank answer. That said; the updated model has more kerbside appeal, with a fresh design.

The 2017 Yaris boasts a different front bumper that somehow manages to make the car look wider and a tad aggressive. Then there’s a new streamlined design in the area around the central Toyota logo that enhances the whole dynamic effect.

The grille profits from treatments that add to the 2017 Yaris’ more tenacious look, while the assimilated fog light housings have been revised, with a perpendicular line that curves slickly to track the external edge of the front bumper.

Alterations to the cabin give a more modern-day feel, particularly with new trims, colours, and a colour multi-information display in the instrument binnacle.

The Japanese car maker’s commitment to making its vehicles safer is also notable. Every 2017 Yaris now comes with factory-fitted Toyota Safety Sense active safety systems. The tech encompasses Pre-Collision System with Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beam and Road Sign Assist.

There isn’t a lot of mileage in mentioning zero to 62mph dashes when it comes to the Toyota Yaris, especially the Hybrid model we drove. Far more noteworthy is that this supermini is cost-effective to run, returning over 85mpg.

The 2017 Yaris Hybrid is propelled by an amalgamation of a 1.5-litre petrol unit and an electric motor, which, together, make a seemingly humble 100PS. But, the torque of the motor makes it pull as though the Yaris has a much bigger engine.

In town, you can potter along for around a mile in electric-only mode if you feather the throttle, and when the petrol powerplant does start up, it’s anything but uncivilised. Power goes to the Yaris’ front wheels by means of an e-CVT, and the power pack is essentially a downscaled version of Prius’.

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With the 2017 Yaris, things have been tweaked quite a bit under the skin, resulting in a hushed and smoother drive. As always, the Yaris Hybrid is at the top of its game in town traffic. Ride quality is supple, and the steering is also more exact than you might anticipate. It feels progressive and like a higher-priced motor.

Away from town, body roll is noticeable if you toss the Yaris about on country lanes. But there is enough precision for you to go quickly without doing this. Furthermore, it doesn’t feel like it’s going to disintegrate if you do launch it into curves – body lean is no indication of a vehicle deficient in suspension consistency. What it isn’t, though, is stimulating. Somewhat stylish and sensible, yes, but more Skoda Fabia than Ford Fiesta.

Indisputably, thanks to its rebooted styling and behind-the-scenes adjustments, the 2017 Yaris will be an uncomplicated car to live with, just like a Japanese supermini should be. It’s a gifted, well-bolted-together compact machine, and even if you don’t give a hoot about fuel efficiency, you’ll be impressed with its urban ride quality and effortless powertrain.

Select the entry-level ‘Active’ Hybrid model and you’ll be getting a lot of metal for £15,995 on the road.

Car reviewed: Toyota Yaris 1.5 Hybrid e-CVT auto – On the road £15,995 0-62mph 11.8 secs Top speed 102mph limited Fuel Economy combined 85.6mpg CO2 emissions 75g/km Engine 1497cc petrol and hybrid electric Max Power 100PS (total system)

  • Rides well on most surfaces

  • Well selected cabin materials

  • Good value and efficient

  • Slightly unexciting

About the author
Tim Barnes-Clay

Tim Barnes-Clay


Tim Barnes-Clay qualified as a journalist in 1994 and is a member of the Midland Group of Motoring Writers. He initially trained in broadcast journalism and has worked as a reporter and news reader at various radio stations in East Anglia and the Midlands. He has also been a motoring journalist for the Mirror Group’s L!ve TV cable network and a presenter, reporter and producer at ITV Central in Birmingham. Tim is now an automotive writer, focusing on car reviews. He has media accreditation with all motor manufacturers’ press offices, and this enables him to test drive the latest cars. He also attends new vehicle press launches at home and abroad.

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