The Yaris is a safe and strong small car with an all-round performance. Toyota currently do not recommend a child restraint to their customers, but they tell us they are working on this. The side impact for a car without a side airbag was exceptional, but the dummy’s head was exposed to the outside through the side window.
The Yaris maintains the occupant’s survival space in the frontal crash. Airbags are standard for both the driver and passenger and these worked well deploying early giving a stable contact. The car was equipped with reel mounted seat belt pretensioners that are designed to limit forward movement in the event of a crash. The seat belts also were fitted with load limiters to reduce the loads put onto the driver’s and passenger’s chests. However only a simple two point static belt was fitted in the centre rear seat, which can cause severe spinal and abdominal injuries.
The Yaris lost no points in side impact which is remarkable for a car without side airbags. The effect on the dummy was unusual as there was a very marked push early on the dummy’ pelvis and abdomen which caused the body to rotate forcing the head complexly out of the side window. This seems to have kept the chest away from the incoming door for a longer time than is usual, hence reducing the load seen on the ribs. The outboard seat wing also has an insert made from polyurethane which is designed to push on the pelvis and abdomen which works with a dummy but may not with a human. In our test the head contacted nothing but in real life a head exposed outside the car is dangerous.
Toyota do not recommend to their customers a child seat for the Yaris, but they tell us they are working on a vehicle specific child restraint which will use special points which are already installed in the car. A label is fixed so it can be seen on the stowed passenger’s sun visor that warns of death of serious injury if a rear facing child restraint is used on the front passenger seat. The belts in the rear are specially adapted to provide a means of tightening the seat belts around a child restraint. The child restraints they recommended to us were both forward facing. The ½-half-year old’s restraint did not protect the child’s neck in the frontal test which is a common problem for forward facing seats for this age of child.
Two of the leg impact sites were graded as giving weak protection but other than this the pedestrian protection score come almost entirely from the adult and child impact assessments. This result is the same as most of the cars we have tested in this class.