Everything in the Toyota Yaris’ cabin is easy to use but it can’t match the likes of the VW Polo for build quality
The Toyota Yaris’ cabin isn’t exactly a hallmark of style or sophistication. Entry-level models have to make do with a seemingly endless sea of cheap plastic trims and the standard-fit two-tone digital display in the dashboard looks incredibly old-fashioned.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Avoid the entry-level Toyota Yaris Active versions and you’ll have a much more high-tech seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system to play with. Mid-range Bi-Tone versions inject a little colour into the Yaris’ otherwise black and grey cabin in the form of red, blue or grey dashboard trims. It might sound simple, but they make a difference.
Pick a Design or Excel car and you’ll be treated to a panoramic glass roof that’s an optional extra on the rest of the range. Range-topping Excel cars also come with partial leather and suede-like Alcantara seats with contrasting grey stitching.
Bi-Tone models come with – you guessed it – multi-coloured interior trims that really help liven up the Yaris’ rather dull interior
Entry-level Toyota Yaris Active cars come with a basic six-speaker stereo with a CD player, USB port and Bluetooth connectivity. It’s well worth upgrading to an Icon model or above, however – they feature a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s much easier to use and comes with DAB digital radio as standard.
The touchscreen itself is bright, clear so it’s relatively easy to read on the move. But, the graphics look clunky and old-fashioned compared to the likes of the SEAT Ibiza. The menus are quite fiddly too, and selecting the right item requires a careful, well-placed prod – tricky when you’re trying to keep your eyes on the road.
Large physical buttons make jumping quickly from one menu to another much easier, however. A simple rotary dial for the stereo instead of on-screen buttons makes it a breeze to tweak your music volume.
Take one more step up the Toyota Yaris ladder to an Icon Tech model and you’ll get satellite navigation as standard. The maps are just as colourful as the rest of the menus, but it’s very laggy and nowhere near as user-friendly as the systems you’ll find in a VW Polo or Skoda Fabia. At least it’s fairly simple to add a waypoint, such as a petrol station, to your route.
Unfortunately, no model in the Toyota Yaris range comes with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone mirroring. As a result, you won’t be able to use your phone’s navigation or music streaming apps through the car’s built-in display.