There are three models in the Yaris family: the Yaris hatchback, the GR Yaris and the forthcoming Yaris Cross SUV. Each Toyota Yaris design has its own distinctive character, packing it into a small car footprint.
The Toyota Yaris hatchback is the 2021 European Car Of The Year. A host of styling features work in harmony, making it look nimble, sporty and tough.
With wheels placed at each corner, the design of the Toyota Yaris hatchback is intended to look poised from every viewpoint, and large wheel arches plant it on the tarmac, suggesting it is very agile in tight situations. The rear wheel arches are especially pronounced, making the car look like it is leaping forward.
The front lights are angled towards the grille creating a sense of alertness, and the outline of the grille is formed from bold angles that underline the car’s attitude. The surfaces either side of the grille curve upwards to form strong highlights and downwards to form deep shadows. Altogether, the front end conjures a larger than life personality, making the Yaris hatchback look like it can hold its own in traffic.
A sharp feature line darts backwards from the front lights, then springs upwards at the rear wheel arch, suggesting that the Yaris hatchback responds quickly to the driver’s wishes. Similarly, the side window is angled upwards towards the rear spoiler, adding to the feeling of sprightliness.
At the rear, a distinctive horizontal feature houses the lights. This visually widens the car, adding to the sense that the Yaris hatchback is bigger than it actually is. The rear light housing has a strong three-dimensional appearance, helping the car to pop out of traffic. The rear bumper also has a three-dimensional aesthetic, pushing out beyond the boot lid to make the Yaris hatchback appear strong and safe.
The GR Yaris has won a whole host of awards. Its design emphasises the fact that it is a road-going version of the Toyota GR Yaris WRC rally car. It is lower, longer and wider than the hatchback, and the roof slopes down markedly to meet the rear windscreen. These elements give it a very sporty silhouette. In addition, it has three doors and flared wheel arches that maximise a feeling of sure-footedness.
At the front, the grille is large and set into the bumper, visually lowering the centre of gravity, making the GR Yaris appear ready to bolt from the starting blocks. Both the main grille and the intakes either side of it are sharp-edged, further underlining GR Yaris’ raw and aggressive character.
Design elements on the side of the GR Yaris continue the sharped-edged, dynamic look. The sill beneath the door shut line creates a dramatic dart, kicking up toward the rear wheel. In addition, the rear fender has a pronounced feature line running along it, this helps to lead the eye along the body of the car, visually lowering it and helping to complete the sporty aesthetic.
The Yaris Cross SUV has a much more rugged design – indeed some of its styling features echo those of its larger sibling, the RAV4. For example, large, angled wheel arches help to give it a confident, go-anywhere appearance.
The Yaris Cross has a higher ride height than the hatchback, and styling elements work together to make it appear light on its feet. For example, the feature line beneath the bottom of the side glass rises dramatically when it reaches the rear door, providing a sense of acceleration. Also, the sill is coloured differently from the bodywork. In the area between the front and rear wheels this colour break forms a distinctive edge that dives forward creating a feeling of agility and purpose.
The design of the front end contributes to a self-assured aesthetic. The front grille has a lower and upper portion, and the sides of both are angled downwards and out to the sides, visually anchoring the car to the road, making it feel stable.
Complementary design cues are found at the rear end. For example, the sides of the recess housing the number plate point down and outwards, underlining the impression that the Yaris Cross is a safe and tough vehicle.