The latest Yaris was always intended to swallow a battery pack, but Toyota’s engineers still deserve credit for preserving the car’s internal dimensions, and they can take pride in the fact that spaciousness remains one of the car’s most compelling assets.
An extra 20mm on the front overhang may have nudged the Yaris close to four metres but, seated inside, it would be hard to persuade a blindfolded rear cabin passenger that the model wasn’t much bigger than that. As well as accommodating adult-sized thigh bones, it feels airy in a way that’s matched only by its closest rival, the Jazz Hybrid.
The Yaris swaps its revcounter for a backlit battery dial that shuffles between Charge, Eco and Power. Similarly, there are now two buttons adjacent to the handbrake, for selecting Eco and EV modes.
Otherwise, a splash of Prius-blue switchgear are all that distinguishes the model from a standard Yaris. Such a policy may be useful in helping to lever Toyota’s conservative supermini demographic into a new-fangled hybrid, but the cockpit could also be interpreted as a missed opportunity for distinctiveness. The company continues to mass-produce robustness better than anyone, but its mainstream competitors have moved interior style several streets ahead. The facelift saw more standard equipment fitted and the interior was given a light refresh to make it appear more sporty.