The Yaris Liftback model rides on a very short, 96.9-inch wheelbase and is one of the shortest new vehicles, at about 150 inches long, so it can get pitchy or bouncy on certain types of roads. Despite the fact that the sedan is 169.3 inches long, compared to the 150.6 inches shared by both the three- and five-door Liftback models, the Liftback models still, surprisingly, have more interior space. "The interior is very cleverly thought out, with a lot more space and storage than expected, and on-target ergonomics," asserts Autoblog, while Car and Driver reports space in the Toyota Yaris Liftback's backseat is sufficient, and "the hatchback has a clever back seat that slides forward for more cargo space and also has reclining seatbacks." That goes for both three- and five-door Liftback models.
However, TheCarConnection.com's editors aren't the only ones to find the short, flat front seats and driving position unappealing. An MSN Autos reviewer reports trouble tilting the steering wheel high enough to clear his legs, and Car and Driver points out the lack of telescopic adjustment in the steering wheel—which TheCarConnection.com's editors note very few cars in the Yaris' class yet have. ConsumerGuide says, "Long-legged drivers may want more rearward seat travel," adding that some testers find the steering wheel too distant and pedals too close.
Getting more intimate with the Yaris, you'll notice an interior that's obviously been affected by cost-cutting. While the instrument panel looks quite good from a few paces away, it's actually made of hard, easily scratched plastics. Autoblog criticizes the easily scuffed hard plastic, surfaces that don't quite match, and storage compartment lids that feel vulnerable, and Car and Driver notes the "hard plastic everywhere."
The Yaris does quite well with reviewers when it comes to cup holders and places to put smaller items. Autoblog points to driver and passenger cup holders that "cleverly fold out of the dashboard," also noting "storage cubbies on either side of the center stack, as well as two covered bins in the top of the dashboard and a conventional glovebox on the passenger side."
The centrally mounted instrument cluster gets no love; TheCarConnection.com can't find a single reviewer who reports liking it. ConsumerGuide says that the gauges aren't even canted toward the driver, and that "testers find its location diverts attention from road." Car and Driver reveals why Toyota might have chosen the odd layout in the first place, calling it "a cost-cutting annoyance that allows easy assembly for multiple global markets."