The 2014 Toyota Yaris is hardly a striking design from the outside. It can be viewed as a close-to-generic small hatchback, with a family resemblance to other Toyotas and tidy, serviceable lines. The front air dam has a slightly aggressive appearance, and this generation looks brawnier and more chiseled, with a pronounced side crease, large door handles, and taillamps that flare out from the body. The sporty SE model has a chunky rear bumper shield that gives it a rally-car look.
Inside, however, the cabin is far more stylish and practical than previous Yaris generations. The model has finally acquired an instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, where it should be. (Yaris models through 2011 had their instruments in a pod mounted centrally on the dashboard, which proved both distracting and confusing.)
The dash has horizontal, shelf-like lines and the controls are simple, cheerful, and easy to understand. There’s also a large cohort of built-in storage spaces, in the form of trays, cupholders, bins, and the like—including a long tray at the bottom of the dash on the passenger side.