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2012 Toyota Yaris Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Toyota Yaris was new.


Interior: 7.1

The Yaris’ interior updates are a big deal for the model, but they’re not a big deal for the class. The 2011 Yaris didn’t have MP3 playback or USB and auxiliary audio ports, and while the 2012 Yaris does, reviewers are unimpressed because many small cars already offer these features standard.

The 2012 Yaris is also roomier thanks to a longer wheelbase, but seating space is still typical for the class. Seats are relatively comfortable, and four, not five, will be happy on longer trips.

  • "Like the design, the materials inside the Yaris are improved, too. The asymmetrical dashboard is set off by large swaths of light-gray accent trim that is made of soft-touch material on LE and SE trims. (The only soft-touch anything on base L models is the seat fabric, which actually is quite good.)" -- Car and Driver 
  • "The Yaris’s interior is fresh and modern, though its plastics don’t feel quite as nice as the ones in Hyundai’s new Accent. Still, it’s a pleasant place to spend time." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "The greatest compliment we can pay to the Yaris’s interior is that it no longer offends." -- Car and Driver


Though the Yaris’ wheelbase increased by about two inches, this compact’s interior space is still typical for the class. Reviewers say seats are relatively comfortable in the base model, but upgrading to the SE model, which has sport bucket seats for the front passenger and driver, increases comfort because there’s more bolstering and lumbar support. Like most small cars, reviewers advise limiting rear seat passengers to two, but if you do need to squeeze five high school students or adults in the back, they’ll sit hit-to-hip.

  • "They're both plenty roomy - we sat in front and in back and had lots of headroom and knee room." -- AutoWeek
  • "The front ‘sport’ buckets on SE models get more aggressive side bolsters, although lumbar support is lacking in any and all Yaris front seats. The rear seats, however flat the cushions might be, have reasonably good seating positioning and nice, theater-style views ahead." -- Car and Driver
  • "Filling all five seatbelts causes hip-to-hip seating across the rear bench for all but the skinniest passengers." -- Autoblog 

Interior Features

Thanks to a standard features list that is packed with tech goodies like USB and auxiliary audio ports and a standard AM/FM/CD player with MP3 playback capabilities, the Toyota Yaris is more class-competitive than the 2011 model, which offered these as optional features.

Reviewers are pleased that there are more standard features, but they don’t comment much on the Yaris’ interior quality. Instead, they spend a lot of time discussing the dash layout, which is angled toward the driver and very easy to navigate. This is, perhaps, their favorite interior update. 

  • "The climate controls protrude from under the radio head unit in their own pod and are an easy reach for the driver." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "The outgoing interior is often derided for its centrally located instrument cluster, but that getup is gone. For 2012, the tachometer (only present with the five-speed manual), speedometer, fuel gauge, and information display can be found directly in front of the driver, rather than on a slab in the middle of the dash. That meant the center stack needed to be refashioned, and the end result is akin to a Scion tC." -- Motor Trend
  • "Meanwhile, the climate control system uses a trio of knob-like dials that keeps heating and cooling tasks blissfully simple and straightforward." -- Autoblog


Now that the Toyota Yaris is larger, it has more cargo space, and reviewers are satisfied with the increase. With five passengers, there’s 15.3 cubic feet available in the three-door model, and 15.6 available in the five-door. So far, Toyota hasn’t said how much space will be available with the rear seats flipped forward.

  • "Available only as a hatchback, the Yaris is now large enough to be considered a trunkless alternative to the Corolla (available only with a traditional boot)." -- Autoblog

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