Review

Toyota Yaris hatchback

Price  £10,995 - £16,695

Toyota Yaris hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Reliable
  • Roomy interior
  • Fuel-efficient engines
Cons
  • Dull styling
  • Cheap-feeling interior
  • Not as fun to drive as rivals

At a glance

The greenest
1.0 VVT-i Active 5dr £11,595
The cheapest
1.0 VVT-i Active 3dr £10,995
The fastest
1.4 D-4D Icon 5dr £15,595
Top of the range
1.33 VVT-i I Excel M-drive S 5dr £16,695

"This Toyota Yaris supermini is 100mm larger than the previous version, resulting in a bigger boot and more interior space."

The Toyota Yaris is a smart-looking supermini that's Toyota's alternative to models such as the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta. While it doesn’t feel as solidly built as the Polo or as fun to drive as the Fiesta, the Yaris is a dependable hatchback that comes with either three or five doors.

Running costs are one area where the Yaris excels, as half the range qualifies for free road tax. Toyota also offers the car as a hybrid – a relative rarity in a car of this size – which returns claimed fuel economy of up to 80.7mpg. You can read more about it in our separate review.

Get behind the wheel of the Yaris and it's clear driver enjoyment wasn’t high on the engineers’ priority list. Instead, Toyota has focused on making the car easy to drive, with light controls that aren’t overly sensitive to inputs. It's an ideal choice for older drivers looking to avoid heavy steering and weighty pedals.

As a result, the little Toyota is unlikely to spend much of its time careering round corners, so the fact that it's not as much fun to drive as the Fiesta won’t put its target audience off. What they will miss, though, is the Fiesta's cushioned suspension that does a much better job of taking the edge off Britain's poorly surfaced roads.

Meanwhile, if it's quality you want, the Volkswagen Polo – with its soft-touch plastics and clearly laid-out dashboard – makes a much better fist of things than the Yaris. If anything, though, Toyota's reputation for reliability is even better than Volkswagen's.

In 2014, the Yaris model range was given a light shakeup, so the trim levels are now called Active, Icon, Sport and top-of-the-range Excel. All cars come with seven airbags, a tyre-pressure monitoring system and electric windows, plus electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors. At the time of writing, Toyota is also offering a series of deals, with up to £1,000 off or free insurance on selected models.

Not sure what you're looking for? Find out what we think is the best small car by watching our video below.

 

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.9 / 5

Low running costs feature throughout the Toyota Yaris range, but the hybrid model is also exempt from the London Congestion Charge

Engines, drive & performance

2.4 / 5

It’s easy to drive, but the Toyota Yaris can’t entertain like a Ford Fiesta can

Interior & comfort

3.3 / 5

All Toyota Yaris models could do with being a little quieter, but the Hybrid model is the noisiest of them all

Practicality & boot space

3.9 / 5

The Toyota Yaris comes with a choice of three or five doors and has passenger space to rival cars from the class above

Reliability & safety

4.1 / 5

The Yaris has an enviable reputation for reliability and safety in the supermini class

What the others say

3.2 / 5
based on 3 reviews
3 / 5
Progress is smooth and hushed at city speeds but, as peak torque arrives at 4,000rpm, the engine note becomes more strained once you reach the motorway. The manual gearbox could be more precise too, and while the optional Multidrive S automatic is smoother, it can get noisy unless you change gears yourself using the steering wheel-mounted paddles.
3.5 / 5
Previously the Yaris has majored in bulletproof reliability, a spacious well-built cabin, a strong range of economical engines and low running costs.
3 / 5
"The Toyota Yaris is a decent bet if you want lots of space and luxury kit for an affordable price, but there are numerous other superminis out there that'll make your motoring classier and more fun."
What owners say 
4.1981308411215
4.2 /5 based on 428 reviews
59%
 people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
11 Aug 2014

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