Unveiled to the world in 2010, the third-generation Toyota Yaris (the international model, not the ASEAN- and China-specific one) has been facelifted again, gaining a series of small visual, mechanical and safety improvements inside and out. The new look was previewed on the Yaris WRC that was shown in December.

At the front, the car has been made to look even more aggressive, with the massive lower grille made even wider to emphasise the stance. The fog light surrounds have also been redesigned, while bi-LED headlights with LED daytime running lights are available as an option.

Moving to the rear, the Yaris gains new two-piece tail lights (LEDs optional), again to enhance the sense of width. The bumper has also been given a sportier look, and new wheel designs have been introduced. There’s also a new Sporty Package which adds a bodykit and 16-inch alloy wheels.

The colour palette has been expanded to 17 paint options, including the new Clear Blue Crystal Shine, Avant Garde Bronze Metallic, Dark Blue Mica and Olive Mica Metallic – the last two are only available on the Jewela trim level, which features Peugeot 208-style chrome door mirrors and door handles.

Inside, certain trim pieces have gone from silver to gloss black, while a new Barrel Brown interior colour scheme has been introduced for the top U trim level; there’s also a new burgundy Marsala colour scheme for Jewela models. Safety-wise, all models now come with the Toyota Safety Sense C collision avoidance assist package as standard, along with hill-start assist.

Japanese-market models (badged as the Vitz) soldier on with the same 69 PS/92 Nm 1NR-FE 1.0 litre and 99 PS/121 Nm 1NR-FKE 1.3 litre Dual VVT-i engines as before, mated to a CVT and available in either front- or four-wheel drive.

New to Japan is the Hybrid model that has been on sale in Europe for some time, using the Prius c’s 74 PS/111 Nm 1NZ-FXE 1.5 litre VVT-i engine and 61 PS/169 Nm electric motor to produce a total system output of 100 PS and a fuel consumption figure of 34.4 km per litre on the Japanese JC08 cycle.

Under the skin, the body has been made more rigid through the increase in the number of spot welds, thicker instrument panel bracing and more, while the dampers get a new structure. This is said to offer enhanced driving performance, giving increased manoeuvring stability and a more comfortable ride.