Refreshed Toyota Yaris Debuts in Geneva

Toyota's entry-level gets spruced up.

The Toyota Yaris gets a bad rap for being cheap. After all, it's the manufacturer's, erg, most affordable vehicle that pushes volume over everything else. They appear to be tired of the stereotype as they have now redesigned the Euro Spec Yaris for the next model year. It receives a list of exterior changes as well as quality improvements, much to the pleasure of budget-conscious buyers.

It's been put through the wringer of Toyota's new parts bin. The automaker claims that they have included over 900 unique improvements throughout the car's structure, powertrain, and safety systems. The most obvious of these is the facelift for 2017.

Initially, the Yaris is a cheerful looking car. Toyota did this on purpose in hopes of personifying the car's affordable spirit, which we'll leave you to decide on their success in that. The front fascia features the most noteworthy changes including a pronounced headlight and bumper design. You'll see that the same theme continues on to the rear of the Yaris, developing a logical succession of design language.

Then we move on to quality. Materials throughout have been improved to give off a more upscale cabin feel. You'll also notice a revised information display, making the interior feel more contemporary than dated. Toyota also claims that they have redesigned small parts throughout the structure. New motor mounts reduce engine vibration along with a sub-silencer for the car's exhaust, making it a quieter and comfier place to be.

The European Spec takes a tip from our version in terms of powertrain options. Formerly, the Euro Yaris was driven by a tiny 1 1/3 liter engine that merely pushed it around, but that's now changed. It will now receive the same 1.5L four cylinder that we get here in the States, increasing power to 106 HP and 103 lb. ft. of torque. This option will accompany the Yaris Hybrid across the pond, a model that makes up for 40 percent of Yaris sales.

Lastly, Toyota also introduces a heap of safety features to their compact. Toyota Safety Sense will be available, providing automatic emergency braking, auto high beam headlights, and lane departure assist.

It'll be interesting to see if all of these changes transfer to the U.S. spec of the Yaris. They all contribute to make the Yaris a better package, something consumers certainly want in America.