Toyota Yaris 2014Toyota will launch a facelifted Yaris supermini this summer and has previewed first details of the new range. 

Key change is a new Toyota Aygo-style front end, with the standout ‘cross shape’ nose that now includes a huge full-length lower grille. With what appear to be LED daytime running lights adding further glitz, there’ll be no missing this facelift.

There are also LED lights at the rear, plus (and we haven’t seen it yet) the “integration of a diffuser in the rear bumper”. Sounds like the Yaris is getting sporty…

The current Yaris cabin is well built but assembled from low-grade materials that make it look cheap and downmarket. Toyota says it has “invested a lot of work in enriching the Yaris’s cabin”. It’ll feel roomier, offer more colour and equipment choice… and, yes, show enhanced levels of perceived quality.

No word on engines other than that they’ll not be changed (1.0 and 1.33 petrol, 1.4 D-4D diesel and 1.5 hybrid – the only supermini to offer three types of powertrain) but will be quieter (indeed, overall noise levels will be lower). Ride and handling are improved too.

One thing we will be looking for is an improvement in fuel economy, particularly for the hybrid model. The current car emits 79g/km CO2, which makes it one of the greenest superminis you can buy… but isn’t quite low enough in legislators’ eyes.

The London Congestion Charge offers exemptions 100% discounts for cars emitting 75g/km or less. As the Yaris is so near, could the revised model be configured to now dip beneath this barrier?

It wasn’t so long ago that the Toyota Prius dominated in Central London thanks to its one-time Congestion Charge exemption. Could Toyota be about to repeat this popularity with the facelifted Yaris?

The new Yaris range arrives in the summer: more details will be announced soon.