A Note from the Editor: A stock image has been supplied.
I was really worried about the size of the Yaris, as I had never owned one beforehand. After driving one, it was hard to believe it was a small car. It has lots of leg room in both the front and back seats – and I'm just on 180cm tall – with lots of head room. It has all the mod cons needed for a short or long drive too.
It sits on the road smoothly at 100km/h with lots of power to overtake when needed. The five-speed manual is a short shift, easily moving through the gear changes and giving a sports feeling.
Bluetooth phone functions are easy to set up and use, the speedometer display is easy to read, the power windows and mirrors are simple to use, and it has great storage as a five-door hatchback.
With very little roll in cornering, it drives very well on tight mountain roads. It is able to brake quickly and smoothly, which gives a solid feeling of control. Rough roads become smoother, and it doesn't feel as tinny as I thought a small car would.
The Yaris fits five adults well. The centre rear seatbelt comes down from the roof in the centre and feels strange, but it works. The back seats fold down partly or fully, which is good for carrying items when you need that extra room or if you need to lie down. Not sure about sleeping, but it could work.
There are lots of cup holders throughout, good lighting in the hatchback part and back seats, and the rear windows are a great size to let in fresh air. The rear doors have a solid feel with the addition of armrests. There are built-in headrests in the rear seats, plus there's enough room to add screens on the rear of the front seats if needed, and there's still a nice amount of head room in the back.
The engine is easy to access with everything laid out within easy reach. I like the fact the petrol cap opens only from the inside and locks when it shuts. The spare tyre and jack are nicely packed away under the hatchback storage space, and you're able to lock and unlock the compartment it's stored in.
The Yaris has lots of storage in the front dashboard apart from the glovebox. There are little drawers everywhere, and I seem to come across new ones out of the blue.
Overall, it's been very impressive and I can't find any issues so far.