By: IOL Motoring Staff

Toyota's Yaris has just been given a midlife makeover, although the facelifts differ depending on the region in which they will be sold.

While Japan and other markets receive a more conservative front end, South Africa will be getting the European version - which has a more radical face inspired by the new Aygo.

Here Toyota aimed to create a more emotional appeal with a daring new front end that sports a large lower intake that runs into the upper grille to create a distinctive 'cross shape'. Changes are more subtle at the back, but the new Yaris does gain new taillight clusters with LEDs, along with a rear diffuser and reshaped number plate surround.

On the inside, Toyota claims to have improved the “perceived quality” and European models will also offer more colour and equipment options.

Mechanical changes are limited to a revised suspension set-up that aims to improve ride and road holding and measures to reduce noise levels.

The engine range continues as before, offering a choice between 51kW 1-litre and 73kW 1.3-litre petrol engines and a 74kW petrol-electric hybrid.

More details on the new Yaris will be made available closer to launch, which takes place during the second quarter of this year in South Africa's case.