Toyota Yaris Review

About a month ago, Courtney and I decided we needed a new car. She had previously driven a Toyota RAV4, which was not only old and falling apart, it did not get the kind of fuel economy we were looking for given the current price of gasoline. We settled on the Toyota Yaris, and headed over to the dealership to see what we could find.

The first thing they told us what that the Yaris was so popular they could not keep them in stock, and there was absolutely nothing they could to about the price. Furthermore, they indicated that they MIGHT be able to give us $500 for Courtney’s old RAV4, a car that blue booked for trade in at $3,000. I told them that I would sell the car private party and most not likely come back because they had insulted me. The deal-making was on and 5 hours later, we had agreed on a deal that not only got us the whole $3,000 trade in, but a nicely discounted Yaris as well.

We’ve been driving the car for about a month now, and overall, it is actually quite nice. Some people complain about the road noise, but it does not bother me much. The gauge console being directly in the center of the dash took about a day to get used to, but it’s really no big deal either. The seats are comfortable, and 3,000 miles later, we are starting to see the 40 miles-per-gallon fuel economy we had expected. There is even some indication that it will continue to improve until the engine is fully broken in at 10,000 miles. With gas prices continuing to soar, I sure hope so!

There are really only a few things that I don’t like about the Yaris. First, the front of the car is, in my opinion, far too low to the ground, and you have to be constantly be on the lookout for curbs when you are parking. It can also be a problem when you are going over larger dips in the road. It would have been nice for the car to be lifted another inch or so off the ground to keep from having to worry about it so much.

Secondly, the knobs controlling the heater / air conditioning / environmental system seem to be very cheaply made. It’s not big deal, but they feel flimsy, which sucks when you just dropped $12,000 on a new car.

Finally, Toyota’s warranty is absolutely miserable! 3 years or 30,000 miles is still a brand-new car and it sucks that they don’t offer the 100,000 mile warranty that is becoming more popular these days. They seem to be banking entirely on the fact that the company has developed a good reputation for reliability.

Aside from the couple of complaints, however, it’s a good car that seems to be worth having, but not made out of solid gold as Toyota seems to think it is. How it holds up over the long haul remains to be seem, as does the vehicle’s ability to handle in the snow. It would seem, however, that you could certainly do worse.

14 thoughts on “Toyota Yaris Review

  1. But. . . Don’t you hate cars anyway? Joking aside, hooray for new car! Maybe you’ll make it to the southlands a little more regularly. :-) I’ll be interested in finding out more about the car, like snow handling etc as you drive it. Amanda’s car is reaching end of lifespan sooner then we would like and we’ll want to know as much as possible about fuel efficient options.

  2. What Cliffy forgot to mention as a major selling point (over the Corolla), is that the Yaris has an auxiliary jack, perfect for plugging in an iPod. And it even plays mp3 cds. My Rav4 only had a cassette deck, so you can imagine my excitement. An aux jack and cruise control, and I am one happy girl!

  3. I contemplated the Yaris in March ’06 when I was retiring my 280K Volvo. It hadn’t hit the lots yet, and I ultimately decided on a 2004 Scion Xb. The Xb is made by Toyota and runs on the same 4-cyl engine as the Yaris. Expert reviewers had the same gripes with the Xb that you discussed: road noise, center-mounted guages, low clearance. As for the warranty, would you rather have a car with a warranty or one that was made not to break down?

  4. Writing from Toronto Canada after a record breaking snow season here. This last weekend of March 8 I had to do 200 km in a snow storm that most people stayed home from. The roads were barren (alomst no cars). I was shocked when the Yaris I rented with all season tires performed on par with the SUV’s and had to see what others were saying. No joke, I think if you equiped that thing with snow tires you would be the most nible thing on the snow. Although, it was kinda scraping the bottom when I ran into deeper snow but the handleing allowed me to go 20-30 km faster than others. Oh, and the model i had was the hatchback. I doubt the model with the trunk would fare better.

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  6. To all Yaris owners…….please have your seatbelts checked. I was in a frontal collision in our yaris and the seatbelt did not engage. I notified Toyota of this (after recovering..thankfully)….and received the royal run around. Only after reporting them to BBB and Consumer affairs, etc……I finally got an inspector to come out and check the belt……I took time off work…..and this joker pulled the seatbelt out a bit…..yanked on it hard and said “it works”…….so pathetic. I did not ask Toyota to pay for anything…..I only wanted them to truly assess the safety of the seatbelts. My family owns 5 toyotas……and will gladly be trading them in for a carmaker that will stand behind thier product!!! Be safe though….have them checked!!

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  8. Love my Toyota Yaris. It easy to part, has a available automatic and power steering. I bought the 3 door hatchback. The four storage compartments and 2 fold out cup holders are great. It took me a couple of weeks to figure out that I could take advantage of Toyota moving the speedometer to the center of the dash. I used the empty sloped down area behind the steering wheel to mount a aftermarket navigation system. I got 35 mpg highway new, with the Yaris loaded with stuff to the roof.

  9. Just traded in my excellent Rav for five door Yaris & agree with previous comments about being too low to the ground it means taking great, quite at home with the centre consul and road noise.
    But if it is as reliable as my Rav was I will never complain.

  10. I’ve owned several Toyotas, and I haven’t been impressed by any of them. We bought a Yaris just before last winter. For anyone that says, “Would you rather have a warranty, or a car that doesn’t break?” I have an answer. Whatever isn’t a Yaris. Our e-brake got stuck when the temperature dropped below freezing. It was the middle of a blizzard and I was stranded fifty miles from home. When I had the car towed to the dealership, they took a quick look…and by that time the e-brake had “unfrozen”. They laughed at me, and asked if I knew to push the button to disengage. Wow. What a great car, what great service. I have a friend that only buys Chevy because contrary to popular belief they make a quality small car, and stand by it after its made!!!

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