For 2012, the Yaris Liftback (hatchback) gets a complete redesign, while the Yaris sedan is carried over for one more year before it gets some of the same changes and updates.
The 2012 Yaris Liftback seems to have inherited many of the very same cues that the Scion xD hatchback got a few years ago (Scion is Toyota's youth-oriented sub-brand). In front and in back, edgier air dams make the corners look a little more aggressive, and the dash gets more bins and practical goodness.
The has about the same stance as the outgoing model from the front or back, but from the side it looks longer and lower (it's slightly longer). We see a pretty heavy Subaru influence in the beltline, with the big door handles and the side crease leading into flared-out taillamps—as well as the rally-racer-ish, chunky rear fascia.
However, to our eyes, from some steps back, the new finished product just isn’t as charming as the previous model. On the outside, where the previous model has an outgoing, Euro-hip design that never seemed to look dated, that’s a bad thing.
Inside, where the instrument cluster was a centrally mounted oddity in the outgoing version, and controls and displays weren’t quite as straightforward as they could be, we welcome the changes. The 2012 Yaris' interior and IP are quite cheerful and well-designed. The dash has more of a horizontal, shelf-like orientation, and there are various bins built into the center tray as well as the doors and lower dash—plus a long tray at the bottom of the dash at the passenger side.