What is it?
A more spacious, even more economical, better equipped, higher quality Toyota Yaris. That's all good, as is the Toyota's inclusion of some real big-car technology via its Touch system - which adds a parking camera, Bluetooth connection and usb mp3 audio to the specification. Upgrade that to Touch and Go - or get it free if you're among the first Yaris customers - and you can add sat nav with Google Maps and Facebook connection to that, too. All very clever, but whether it's enough to attract the more youthful audience Toyota wants remains to be seen.
Is it any good?
By every measurable standard the Yaris is an improvement over its predecessor. There's more space - which given the already generous accommodation of the old car means it's a genuine 'adults in the rear seats' proposition. It's quieter, more comfortable, more economical and better equipped. It's better to drive too, with nicely weighted steering and a crisp gear change. The 1.3-litre VVT-i petrol engine is smooth and reasonably willing and returns 52.3mpg on the official combined cycle.
It rides decently on our potholed roads, even when specified with the 10mm lower suspension with the SR model. The driving position is good, too, as is all-round visibility, though the dashboard is made from hard and shiny plastics - Korean rivals Kia and Hyundai now delivering more tactile and quality interiors than Toyota here.
It's etter to drive, admittedly, but still fairly forgettable compared to rivals like Ford's Fiesta or Mazda's 2. It'll get you to your destination but you won't remember the drive. Unless you stopped to Facebook friends or receive an amusing text message via Touch and Go€
Should I call the bank manager?
They'll be impressed with the five-year, 100,000-mile warranty and standard equipment list though it's not quite as cheap as the aforementioned Korean alternatives. Decent equipment makes up for that, though, and the Yaris is sensibly priced against it's most obvious rivals.
A predictable replacement from Toyota for its big selling supermini. Nothing too radical, even if Touch and Go is a real first in the segment. It's doubtful whether it'll have younger buyers flooding into Toyota showrooms and it's not a particularly memorable car to drive, but existing buyers will appreciate the additional space, greater comfort and improved economy.