Toyota Yaris hatchback
Price £10,995 - £17,095
- Economical engines
- Spacious interior
- Good reliability
- Bland looks
- Cheap-feeling cabin
- Not much fun to drive
At a glance
"The latest Toyota Yaris supermini is 100mm longer than its predecessor, which makes for a larger boot and a more spacious interior."
The Yaris is Toyota's supermini, which goes head-to-head with established rivals such as the Ford Fiesta, the Volkswagen Polo and the Vauxhall Corsa. Its strong suits are good reliability, a spacious interior and a long warranty.
It's also very cheap to run. Many models in the range have CO2 emissions so low that they are exempt from road tax and even the highest emitting model won’t cost you any more than £30 a year as it produces 119g/km. The most efficient version of all is the hybrid, but we’re concerned with the petrol and diesel versions here.
The Yaris is available with both three and five doors and it's very easy to drive. The steering is light, the brakes are strong and the gearshift is smooth. A soft ride means it's comfortable and doesn’t feel too sporty, though it does lean a bit during corners.
Equally, it isn’t hard to find a supermini that's more fun to drive than the Yaris – the best-selling Ford Fiesta being a fine example. However, sharp handling is unlikely to be as much of a priority for Yaris buyers.
Along with the aforementioned hybrid, the Yaris is available with several different engines. The more powerful 1.33-litre unit is our favourite among the petrols because it's nippy at low speeds but is powerful enough to tackle longer trips as well. The 1.4-litre diesel Yaris is the fastest model and also very economical but you have to be doing serious miles to justify the extra cost and the price of the fuel, so it's unlikely to be a big seller.
The Yaris's spacious interior is one of its strongest suits, so much so that it can give some larger family hatchbacks a run for their money in terms of passenger space. To keep things straightforward, there are only four trim levels available: Active, Icon, Sport and Excel.
Entry-level Active has electric front windows, a USB socket and a multi-function steering wheel, though the Icon trim level is a better buy if you can stretch to it, as it has classier materials in the cabin and air conditioning.
The Yaris scored the full five stars in the Euro NCAP crash test and it has plenty of safety equipment, including seven airbags, front and rear seatbelt warning buzzers and electronic stability control. Toyota's Safety sense feature is a worthwhile option, as it includes a system that automatically applies the brakes if it senses an impending low-speed accident.
Low running costs feature throughout the Toyota Yaris range, but the hybrid model is also exempt from the London Congestion Charge
It’s easy to drive, but the Toyota Yaris can’t entertain like a Ford Fiesta can
All Toyota Yaris models could do with being a little quieter, but the Hybrid model is the noisiest of them all
The Toyota Yaris comes with a choice of three or five doors and has passenger space to rival cars from the class above
The Yaris has an enviable reputation for reliability and safety in the supermini class