The New 2014 Toyota Yaris

28 May 2014

Developed in Europe, delivered to the world

  • Toyota delivers significant improvements in new 2014 Yaris
  • New exterior and interior styling with a focus on more distinctive design and sensory quality
  • Improved powertrains delivering better fuel economy, emissions levels and noise and vibration performance
  • Three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine re-engineered for exceptional thermal efficiency, bringing CO2 emissions below 100g/km
  • Yaris Hybrid revised for even greater efficiency, with CO2 levels down from 79 to 75g/km
  • First vehicle project in which Toyota’s European-based product planning, design and R&D departments have worked together as a regional hub, in line with Toyota’s Global Vision
  • 2014 Yaris to go on sale this summer, with UK prices and specifications to be announced later


The new 2014 Yaris, arriving this summer, marks the most significant changes to Toyota’s European sales leader since the current generation model was launched. Going far beyond a mid-life facelift, the project brings substantial improvements in the ride, handling, comfort, NVH and engine performance across the range.

Moreover, these improvements have been made with direct reference to public feedback – from Toyota customers, motorists in general and the media. Toyota has listened to their views about what they like and what they don’t like in order to strengthen Yaris’s established appeal and extend its qualities in crucial areas, particularly in styling and sensory appeal.

The new model follows the trend set by new Aygo in adopting a more distinctive look, notably a new cross-shaped arrangement of the front end with new headlight units and a new bumper, diffuser and light cluster arrangement at the rear.

Important modifications have been made in the cabin as well, with an emphasis on the quality of the materials, which look and feel better. Equipment and colour choices have also been increased.

Under the skin important modifications have been made to improve the suspension, handling and ride comfort, as well as significantly reducing noise and vibration levels.

The powertrain choice is unchanged, with two petrol engines, a diesel and a hybrid. The three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol unit has been substantially improved for greater thermal efficiency, delivering better fuel economy and taking CO2 emissions below 100g/km. Likewise, adjustments to the hybrid system have reduced CO2 levels from 79 to 75g/km, with a concurrent improvement in combined cycle fuel economy to 85.6mpg.

The overall aim has been to give Yaris more emotional appeal, but without sacrificing any of its successful rational qualities, such its packaging, durability and cost of ownership.

Alessandro Massimino, Toyota’s Brussels-based product manager, said: “Yaris was always extremely strong in its rational dimensions. What we wanted to achieve was to connect the model not only with our customers’ brains, but also with their hearts.”

The project itself marks a major milestone in the history of Toyota in Europe, with the Europe-based product planning, research and development and design departments working together to deliver new designs and changes to the vehicle platform that are being adopted for other Toyota models around the world.

This exchange of know-how is the first tangible application, for Toyota Motor Europe, of the new thinking advocated in the Global Vision presented by Toyota president Akio Toyoda in 2011.


Toyota has made significant investments in money and resources to deliver the new 2014 Yaris, the latest development of its best-selling model in Europe. Almost £70 million and 576,000 hours of R&D work were committed to the project, and more than 1,000 new parts have been produced. Toyota Motor Europe invested 75 per cent of the total, compared to the 25 per cent it contributed to the launch of the third-generation Yaris in 2011.

The focus of the product planning team has been to strengthen the features and qualities which have made Yaris a success, in particular the unique proposition of its hybrid powertrain; Yaris Hybrid now accounts for almost one in three Yaris sales in Europe.

Analysis of press coverage and public surveys (including the opinions of non-Toyota customers) has helped Toyota gain an in-depth insight into what the restyling programme should achieve. Comments converged on the need to give the car an emotive, dynamic dimension, in addition to its widely appreciated functional qualities.

The research confirmed that the key purchase consideration for European supermini customers is a car’s appearance; both the design and the sensory quality have to be just right.

These findings were backed up by market trends analysis, enabling the product planning team to give a clear brief to Toyota’s ED2 design studio and its R&D engineers and to initiate a close working collaboration between the departments at each step of the project.

From a design point of view, it was recognised that it was important to affirm the car’s character, an initiative that had already been launched with the styling of the hybrid model in 2012. For their part, engineers at Toyota’s R&D Centre in Zavantem, Belgium produced the specifications needed for the technical modifications, after carrying out in-depth investigations into the current Yaris’s comfort, performance and sound insulation.

To meet their targets for noise and vibration, they had to develop a new torsion beam and modify parts of the car’s platform itself – a first for the Zavantem centre.

With product planning, design and R&D operations all relatively close to each geographically, frequent meetings were possible for the project’s stakeholders, including parts suppliers. This made final adjustments easier to agree and sped up the decision-making process.

Serkan Karaman, Senior Project Manager at Zavantem, said: “What makes this project different from others we have worked on is the greater development content compared to a typical product facelift.

“We were able to take the lead in Europe for a global vehicle in which content is being adopted for other regions, such as Japan and North America. In the past, project management was mostly undertaken in Japan. They decided the schedule and assigned specific tasks to the team in Europe. This time we were in the driving seat, we had the freedom to decide what to do, when to do it and how to go about it.

“As a result, the new Yaris really incorporates European know-how and European taste. Our operations teams have also gained invaluable experience from the project.”


  • More assertive styling
  • New interior with improved sensory quality

For Alessandro Massimino, the Brussels-based product manager, the aim was clear: “Yaris already meets the essential requirements of supermini customers in its compactness relative to its roominess, its functional aspects and its innovative equipment, particularly its multimedia system and rear-view camera.

“Our surveys and the very positive response to the hybrid convinced us that we now had to move towards a more assertive style and increase the car’s overall dynamism, both in terms of design and driving pleasure.

“With this as our goal, we have worked closely with the design centre and R&D division to create the new 2014 Yaris.”

Exterior design

Elvio D’Aprile, who led the design programme, said: “The supermini segment is perhaps the most competitive in Europe. We had to do something which really stands out from the crowd, so our objectives were to avoid the B-segment stereotypes, to harmonise the overall style for all the powertrain derivatives and to dare to be different from the competition.”

Consequently, the new 2014 Yaris has a highly distinctive exterior that displays a more dynamic execution of Toyota’s contemporary frontal design language with sharp edged detailing.

The narrow upper and large trapezoidal grilles, a hallmark of Toyota’s current design, now merge at the point of the Toyota emblem to form a powerful cross shape.

The emblem is underscored by a chrome trim bar which runs through the length of the upper grille into new headlamp clusters, tying the frontal elements together in a powerful, horizontal emphasis of the car’s width.

The headlamps themselves use new projector technology for high and low beams and the clusters incorporate LED daytime running lights.

The lower grille is underlined by a ‘floating’ spoiler and draws attention to the lower part of the car and its dynamic potential, ground-hugging stance and low centre of gravity.

In profile, Yaris displays a new door belt moulding, door mirrors with an optional folding function and new-design 15 and 16-inch alloy wheels.

At the rear, a new bumper design gives the appearance of a broad, lower stance, with an integral diffuser adding to the car’s more sporting, self-confident road presence.

The lamp clusters feature a new LED graphic which adds to new Yaris’s personality, using light-guide technology to create a unique lighting signature.

The introduction of the new 2014 Yaris sees all versions – petrol, diesel and hybrid – sharing the same overall styling, with just a few subtle cues identifying each powertrain.

Elvio D’Aprile said: “The fact this project was managed entirely in Europe helped the final design enormously. We were able to hold daily discussions with engineering and product planning. Design elements that would normally have been rejected because they were incompatible with some preconception abut technical specifications, suddenly became negotiable. As a result were able to really carry our vision through from first proposals to the final car.”

Interior design

Pierre Romeo was in charge of the interior design for the new 2014 Yaris. He said: “The design is the result of three main objectives drawn from customer feedback. First, to enhance the feeling of roominess and dynamism in the cabin. Second to improve the sensory quality of the environment. And third, to combine an overall visual simplification with better colour variation and more sophisticated finishes.

The upper instrument panel has been made thinner, giving the dashboard a stronger horizontal line, and the upper surface of the driver’s instrument binnacle has been restyled to give a slimmer appearance. In conjunction with these changes, the door panel has also been redesigned with a more fluid look, a larger soft-touch area and greater functionality.

The centre console has been raised by 23mm so that the length of the gear lever can be reduced by 30mm, improving the ergonomics of gear changes. A closed storage area has also been added to the console.

Adopting the new Toyota Touch 2 multimedia systems has brought an increase in the size of the central touchscreen from 6.1 to seven inches, adding more visual emphasis to one of the features that sets Yaris apart.

The upper instrument panel has a new grain effect that has a better tactile quality and less glossy appearance. It is complemented by a thicker trim band.

Yaris’s trademark sculpted central dashboard panel has gained thicker soft padding and its surface is now made of PVC. Different graining patterns – Animal, Technical or Geometrical – are used according to model grade.

Around the cabin the soft-touch finishes cover a greater area. Throughout, the previous bright chrome trim has been replaced by a satin finish that gives a more modern and sophisticated appearance.

All-new seat trims are provided, with a new fabric pattern and colour for each grade. The differentiation between the grades has been strengthened with the addition of new interior colour schemes, with red, tan and black joining the established grey and dark grey.


  • Improved handling and greater comfort
  • New torsion beam
  • Shock absorber and steering modifications

The new 2014 Yaris features comprehensive, customer feedback-driven improvements to its ride comfort and handling, and significant reduction in NVH. Serkan Karaman, senior project manager, said: “For the first time in the history of the R&D division in Europe, we have taken the initiative and made important changes to the platform with regard to vehicle dynamics that go way beyond the boundaries of a facelift.”

Improved ride comfort and handling

The new 2014 Yaris has a more rigid upper and lower body structure, which offers a more direct and linear response to steering inputs. At the same time, it delivers a more comfortable ride and maintains balanced body control.

Front-end rigidity has been increased thanks to the use of a new windscreen bonding material and thicker dashboard bulkhead. The instrument panel beam and its connections to the dashboard and central tunnel have been stiffened to improve steering response.

Central and rear body rigidity have also been increased, with 36 additional weld sports, redesigned tunnel bracing to add rigidity to the vehicle floor, a redesigned wheelhouse area, and a reinforced rear bumper attachment to reduce body roll deformation.

The rear suspension has been redesigned to accommodate a new, stiffer torsion beam with softer coil springs and a new, long, polyurethane-bound stopper. This improves ride comfort while maintaining good body control, and also improves the vehicle’s balance of front and rear grip, reducing understeer tendencies.

Softer springs also feature in the front suspension and the introduction of rebound springs within the shock absorbers increases front anti-roll stiffness, which improves handling and reduces body roll when cornering.

New shock absorber valve technology reduces the transmission of vibrations from the road surface and improves ride quality without compromising handling agility.

Finally, a new control logic in the electric power steering takes advantage of the extra bodyshell stiffness and suspension changes to give the driver significantly improved steering feel, responsiveness and accuracy.

NVH reductions

As well as a reduction in unwanted vibration through thanks to a stiffer bodyshell and re-tuned suspension, the 2014 Yaris also benefits from markedly lower interior noise levels.

Toyota engineers used customer feedback to identify three noise reduction priorities. First, reduction of high-frequency noise from the engine and road surface; second, reduction of low frequency noise from the engine; and third, reduction of wind noise when driving at speed.

To minimise the penetration of high-frequency noise through the dashboard bulkhead and vehicle floor, the dashboard silencer has been completely re-engineered. The sound absorption material in the dashboard panel and console has been upgraded and a new noise-optimised carpet has been introduced.

The effort invested extends to detailed steps such as reducing the size of the feed-through apertures in the dashboard silencer to maximise its surface area. A similar principle has been applied to the instrument panel and console box cavities, which now feature double the previous quantity of sound-absorbing material.

Low-frequency engine booming has been minimised by using a new engine torque rod on versions powered by the 1.4 D-4D diesel engine, and by relocating the exhaust system hangers.

Wind noise intrusion at high speed has been cut by using a new, spoiler-shaped cowl louvre that reduces air turbulence at the base of the windscreen; a new door weather strip design which improves sealing, particularly around the door mirror area; and doubling the amount of sound absorption material in the door cavity.


  • New three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine with high thermal efficiency
  • Hybrid powertrain improved to further reduce fuel consumption

The 2014 Yaris is available with four powertrains – two petrol, one diesel and a hybrid. The hybrid system, which already accounts for more than a quarter all Yaris sales in the UK, benefits from adjustments which have brought its CO2 emissions down further, from 79 to 75g/km. Extremely fuel efficient (more than 85.6mpg) and clean (virtually zero NOx and particulate emissions), this powertrain remains a unique proposition in the supermini segment.

Yaris Hybrid also stands out for its silent running, comfort and easy handling, especially around town where the hybrid system allows the car to be driven for certain distances in electric mode, or with limited use of the petrol engine. The automatic transmission adds to the all-round smooth, quiet and comfortable driving experience.

The 1.33 VVT-i petrol and 1.4 D-4D diesel engines have undergone secondary modifications aimed at reducing noise and vibration. The diesel benefits from a new torque road and both feature better insulation for the exhaust system.

The three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine has undergone significant changes to improve its performance, reduce emissions and cut noise and vibration levels. Compliant with the forthcoming Euro 6 emissions standards, it achieves an excellent thermal efficiency level of more than 37 per cent (the proportion of energy contained in the fuel which is converted into mechanical energy). This compares to an average thermal efficiency for mass-produced petrol engines of between 30 and 35 per cent. One of the effects of this is a reduction in CO2 emissions from 110 to 99g/km.

Toyota engineers have achieved this principally by optimising the weight/power ratio, for example by creating a combined cylinder and exhaust manifold head that is more compact and weighs less.

To reduce fuel consumption while maintaining performance, the engine’s compression ratio has been increased to 11.5:1; the intake ports and pistons have been redesigned to increase the tumble effect in the combustion chamber; and piston cooling has been increased to delay knocking. Exhaust gas recirculation has been increased to promote combustion speed and reduce pumping losses, and the EGR valve now operates in conjunction with the VVT-i valve timing distribution system. The VVT-i has also been adapted in line with the engine’s new characteristics.

Lastly, friction levels have been reduced by altering the materials used for the valve actuator, treatment of the piston surfaces, and changes to the timing chain drive and the shape of the oil sump to ensure the engine gets up to temperature quicker.


  • A new grade differentiation strategy, reflecting tastes of a wider range of customers
  • Each grade to have its own character
  • Grade-specific interior colour schemes
  • UK grades, specifications and prices to be announced later

The 2014 Yaris will increase its appeal with a line-up that features more distinctive and clearly differentiated grades, matching the wider customer base in the supermini segment.

This differentiation will be reinforced through grade-specific interior colour schemes and different treatments of numerous exterior and interior elements, such as the lower grille, wheels, seats, centre console, instrument panel and steering wheel inserts.

For example, the different treatment of the lower grille (unpainted, metallic black or piano black) and the grille surround inserts (chrome, satin chrome or piano black) will be specific to each grade.

All grades will provide a high level of equipment, with standard features including a leather steering wheel trim, air conditioning and the Toyota Touch 2 multimedia system. Dual-zone air conditioning, rear privacy glass, push-button start, automatic headlights and wipers, cruise control and auto-folding mirrors will also be available.

Details of UK grades, specifications and prices will be announced nearer the on-sale date this summer.


  • Toyota Europe to take a leading role in planning compact cars
  • Toyota Motor Europe’s largest regionalised project, for global implementation.

Toyota’s Global Vision, led by president Akio Toyoda in 2011, outlines new thinking that recognises how Toyota’s 17 R&D centres need to be given greater responsibilities and more freedom in order to meet the different needs and desires of customers around the world.

This change in attitude in the group’s global strategy led to the creation of specialist hubs in each world region. Particular attention has been paid to Europe, where the car culture is most firmly established, and where vehicle manufacturers have built world-renowned expertise.

Toyota Europe’s global role

As Europe is the cradle of the compact car, Toyota Motor Europe has been given a leading role in defining the company’s future A, B and C-segment cars.

TME has also become Toyota’s skill centre in three areas that are fundamental to the European car market: the importance of the diesel engine, customer expectations for perceived quality, and customer demands for vehicle dynamics.

This specialisation is being achieved through increased collaboration with European suppliers, advanced research work with European universities, and local alliances, such as the agreement with BMW for diesel engines.

Ultimately the fruits of this better understanding of the European market will be shared worldwide and will help in the development of Toyota products on a global scale.

All of these new responsibilities fall specifically to Toyota’s product planning department, its R&D centre at Zaventem, near Brussels, and its ED2 design and development centre in the south of France. All three already have to their credit the restyled Avensis (2012), Verso (2013), Verso 1.6 D-4D (2014) and now the new Yaris.

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The New 2014 Toyota Yaris


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