Pity the workload of a Toyota designer. You pen what turns out to be a massive selling multi-award winning car that receives plaudits the world over and no sooner have you finished that job, than you are expected to do the same again. But better. With more space. Oh, and could you make it more economical and cleaner as well please? It's the equivalent of Manchester United winning the treble and then the board demanding that the following year they repeat the task but get their shambolic act together in the League Cup.
The second generation Yaris landed in dealerships in December 2005 and had to contend with a bunch of rivals that weren't around when the first generation car was launched in 1999. The intervening years had seen the Honda Jazz, the Ford Fiesta, the Nissan Micra, the Mazda2 and the Citroen C3 all attempt to muscle the Yaris aside and Toyota had equipped the Yaris with the weapons to meet and beat these cars.
Zinc and Ion special editions, then SR sporty versions were also added to the range but the most significant car in this Yaris' development has, in many ways, been the tiny Aygo city car that was installed beneath it in the Toyota hierarchy. With a product as strong as this, and the much improved Auris above it, the Yaris didn't need to try too hard. Toyota has all the small car bases covered.
The Yaris received a mild facelift early in 2009 which brought a neater integration of the bonnet and bumper. The T3 trim level was dropped giving buyers the choice of T2, TR, SR or T Spirit. The major news was the arrival of the 1.33-litre engine with Stop & Start technology and the wider Yaris range also took a more committed approach to lowing economy and emissions with a series of weight saving, efficiency and aerodynamic tweaks made under Toyota's Optimal Drive banner. The SR level was dropped a few months later.