Driving this Toyota Yaris Design gave us all the feels

We were invited to test drive the Toyota Yaris Design and it was so much fun. Read on to hear what we thought

Icurrently drive a 2013 Toyota Yaris 1.33 Vtt but recently I was given the pleasure of driving the 2017 Toyota Yaris Design 1.5.

Pinkstones Toyota, located at Trentham Lakes in Stoke-on-Trent, had very kindly agreed to set up the test drive. So, armed with an open mind and ready for some fun on the open road, off I went. 

The Exterior

From the moment I saw the new Toyota Yaris Design, it was plain to see that they had a younger audience in mind, helping to rid that ‘Grandma’ car image that many of us think of when we think of Toyota.

On to the bodywork; the front grille has a honeycomb effect which makes the car look more meatier than previous models and the added design element where the doors meet on the side of the car gives an edgier look than my older 2013 model.

The new 16-inch machined black alloys are beautiful – the bare metal works well with the black, and the jagged spokes are much more Gran Turismo than Grandma. The back passenger and rear windows are tinted which adds to the sporty feel this model has throughout.

When comparing the back of both cars, there aren’t any major changes, except for the shape of the lights, but it’s all the small changes that make a huge difference when trying to create a more modern look to the car – it was definitely a cooler version of the hatchback.  

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The Interior

Inside the car the upgrades become much more apparent. The black and grey seats now match the exterior of the car far better than the bluey/green colour strip that runs through the middle of the seats on my current older model. The sporty front seats are very comfortable and loosely wrap around the top half of the body for a more pleasurable driving experience.

The dashboard control panel now has a new 4.2” coloured TFT multi-information display and the rev counter, speedometer, engine temperature and fuel gauge have been revamped with a beautiful bright blue needle and bright white light display which is so much more luxurious than the standard display in previous models.

The Toyota Touch® 2 multimedia system with 7” display has been updated and now matches the blue and white theme from the dashboard and has a bigger and brighter display. Operating the system is now done by sleek silver push buttons rather than the bulky buttons from previous models and added features like the DAB radio and USB port for playing music are fantastic. 

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Toyota Yaris Design – the drive

The Yaris, including my own, has 6 speeds, which is brilliant for driving on A-roads or on the motorway, and makes the car extremely economical. Accelerating is effortless and the Toyota Yaris Design clearly has much more pulling power than other models. 

Little features worth mentioning are the shift lights, which advise when to move up or down a gear and a Pre-Collison system. Another handy tool is the Road Sign Assist, which warns of any changes in speed limits, and the Design has Cruise Control too which I find extremely useful for long distance driving.

I teamed my car review with a date night and took my partner to Cineworld in my home town of Stoke-on-Trent to see Wonder Woman. Heading to the Potteries multi-storey car park (my local shopping centre) was the perfect opportunity to see how the car handles in tight spaces. But we had no issues, the car handles well through the winding car park structure, due to the ultra-light steering and reversing cameras as standard, which is then displayed on the 7” display.

Over the course of the weekend I fell more and more in love with the car. It drives smoothly, and feels so light it almost glides. All the added extras from the safety features to the entertainment system make long distance journeys an absolute pleasure. And it looks the part too – sportier, edgy, younger.

If you are looking for a new, practical hatchback but don’t want to compromise on style, mod-cons and value then the Toyota Yaris Design is the car for you.

The Tech

  • It’s the only model in its segment available with a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, offering a greater fuel economy, lower emissions and a refined drive.
  • New upholsteries, colours, trim details and an upgrade in the instrumentation and controls.
  • The new 1.5-litre engine is 10% more powerful than the outgoing 1.33 yet offers 12% better fuel economy
  • All versions of the new Yaris are equipped with Toyota Safety Sense active safety systems as standard (automatic emergency braking, lane assist, road sign assist and more)
  • The range will be extended later in the year to include the high-performance Yaris GRMN, inspired by Toyota’s return to the World Rally Championship

Toyota Yaris Design Specification

16″ machined black alloy wheels
Piano black side sills
Privacy glass
Rear spoiler
Honeycomb grille
Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system with Bluetooth connectivity & DAB Radio
Toyota Safety Sense with Road Sign Assist
Air conditioning
Reversing camera
Cruise control
Rain sensing wipers
Radio and Bluetooth connectivity

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