In-depth reviews

Toyota Yaris review - a frugal hybrid supermini

"The Toyota Yaris Hybrid is the ideal supermini for navigating towns and suburbs"

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Very economical
  • Stylish design
  • Well equipped

Cons

  • Dull interior
  • Can get expensive
  • Mediocre boot space

Verdict - Is the Toyota Yaris a good car?

Toyota has focused on hybrid technology for its latest Yaris supermini, making it one of the most affordable cars to run in its class in the process. Not only that, but the Yaris looks better than before, and it’s good to drive. Traditional Toyota values like reliability shouldn’t be an issue, and it’s backed up by a long warranty. There aren’t many negatives, but an uninspiring interior design and CVT automatic transmission won’t be for everyone.

Toyota Yaris models, specs and alternatives

Now in its fourth generation, the Toyota Yaris is solely available as a hybrid. Hybrid versions of the previous generation were available, seeming quite niche for a supermini at the time, but with low emissions and frugal fuel economy now of top priority, the latest Yaris Hybrid should be on any savvy supermini-buyer’s shortlist. If you need a little more practicality, Toyota also makes a closely related model with SUV styling, a higher ride height and added space, called the Toyota Yaris Cross.

Other manufacturers have got in on the act with hybrid superminis such as the Renault Clio E-Tech and Honda Jazz, and the Yaris Hybrid along with these rivals might make more sense than fully-electric models such as the Vauxhall Corsa Electric and Peugeot E-208 for some buyers; they’re cheaper to buy and their hybrid systems are self-charging, so you won’t need a home wallbox charger to keep them topped up.

The best hybrid carsTop 10 best hybrid cars 2024

Other rivals are conventional petrol-powered hatchbacks such as the Volkswagen Polo, SEAT Ibiza, Hyundai i20 and standard versions of the Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208. The Yaris Hybrid is more expensive to buy than many of these rivals, but running costs should be lower. For great value for money, you might even consider the Skoda Fabia, Citroen C3 or Dacia Sandero for supermini space on a budget, and while these use basic engine technology, they won’t cost the world to run either.

On the road, the Yaris Hybrid performs beautifully in towns and cities. Its CVT automatic gearbox and electric motor are smooth and quiet much of the time, before the 1.5-litre petrol engine kicks in. In normal town and city driving conditions drivers can expect up to 68.8mpg, but take the Yaris Hybrid onto the motorway where the petrol engine has to do more of the work and fuel economy will suffer.

The Yaris Hybrid underwent a facelift for the 2024 model year, bringing the choice between two models: the well-established Yaris 115 with the same hybrid system as before, or a second Yaris 130 version with a power boost from 114bhp to 129bhp. The update also brings improved interior tech. Lower-spec models now get a nine-inch touchscreen as standard, plus a seven-inch digital gauge cluster – these are 10.5 inches and 12.3 inches in higher trims respectively. The infotainment system also gains a more sophisticated voice assistant – this can respond to phrases such as “Hey Toyota, I’m cold” by increasing the cabin temperature, among other advanced commands.

You wouldn’t expect a car of its type to be the most fun to drive, but the Yaris Hybrid’s chassis is fairly accomplished. That means it’s quite agile, particularly when the Yaris is specced with 17-inch alloy wheels, although the automatic gearbox (the only option on the Yaris) isn’t as engaging as a manual would be on a back road.

For out-and-out performance and driving engagement there’s the GR Yaris hot hatch, but in all honestly it has very little in common with the standard Yaris at all. It’s the only ‘Yaris’ now available with a manual gearbox, coming with a very powerful 1.6-litre petrol engine – we’ve reviewed that model separately.

In typical Toyota fashion, the Yaris Hybrid's interior feels well made and boasts an improved infotainment setup featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but it isn't as stylish as the Clio or Jazz. There are too many black plastics, which is a shame given that the exterior now looks more desirable.

If you have an eye on running costs and the environment but aren't sure about fully electric cars like the Renault ZOE just yet, the Yaris Hybrid could be the ideal choice. It's affordable, good to look at and ideally suited to the driving most superminis are used for. It can also have an unrivalled 10-year warranty, so long as you don't mind sticking to Toyota servicing.

Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

Recommended

Top 10 best small company cars 2024
Best small company cars
Best cars
23 Feb 2024

Top 10 best small company cars 2024

Vauxhall Astra gets new mild-hybrid tech for improved fuel efficiency
Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer front quarter
News
21 Feb 2024

Vauxhall Astra gets new mild-hybrid tech for improved fuel efficiency

Dacia Duster review – a great-value SUV that owners love
Dacia Duster SUV
In-depth reviews
20 Feb 2024

Dacia Duster review – a great-value SUV that owners love

Hyundai i30 review – A worthy family hatchback
2021 Hyundai i30 driving
In-depth reviews
16 Feb 2024

Hyundai i30 review – A worthy family hatchback

Have You Considered

Vauxhall Corsa Electric review - cheap to run, but expensive to buy
Vauxhall Corsa Electric facelift UK drive front dynamic
In-depth reviews
3 Jan 2024

Vauxhall Corsa Electric review - cheap to run, but expensive to buy

Dacia Sandero Stepway hatchback review
2023 Dacia Sandero Stepway - front tracking
In-depth reviews
26 Sep 2023

Dacia Sandero Stepway hatchback review

Most Popular

Hot car deal: sporty Skoda Octavia vRS Estate for £278 a month
octavia vrs hot deal
Deals
19 Feb 2024

Hot car deal: sporty Skoda Octavia vRS Estate for £278 a month

Hot car deal: racy Cupra Ateca SUV for just £234 a month
cupra ateca
Deals
16 Feb 2024

Hot car deal: racy Cupra Ateca SUV for just £234 a month

All-new KGM Torres is a £35k SUV from reborn SsangYong
KGM Torres front quarter
News
19 Feb 2024

All-new KGM Torres is a £35k SUV from reborn SsangYong

More on Yaris

Top 10 best small company cars 2024
Best small company cars
Best cars
23 Feb 2024

Top 10 best small company cars 2024

Are you after a small company car with equally compact Benefit-in-Kind bills? These 10 cars should be on your shortlist
Top 10 best driver's cars 2024
Best drivers cars
Best cars
21 Feb 2024

Top 10 best driver's cars 2024

You don’t need a supercar to enjoy a twisty road – these driver’s cars offer just as much fun
The facelifted Toyota GR Yaris is even more driver-focused – even with the auto box
Facelifted 2024 Toyota GR Yaris front
News
12 Jan 2024

The facelifted Toyota GR Yaris is even more driver-focused – even with the auto box

The Toyota GR Yaris is getting a facelift for 2024, addressing its main criticisms and bringing an automatic model
Top 10 best small hybrid cars 2024
The best small hybrid cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best small hybrid cars 2024

If you're after an economical car that doesn't take up much space and doesn't have a diesel engine, you'll want to read our guide to the best small hy…
The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024

While hatchbacks might normally be used for trips to the shops, the hot hatch power war has resulted in the fastest models being quicker than most spo…
Top 10 best hot hatchbacks 2024
Best hot hatchbacks
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best hot hatchbacks 2024

A hot hatch should combine driving thrills with everyday usability at a reasonable price – we round up the best
Top 10 best cars with panoramic sunroofs
Toyota Yaris
Best cars
16 Jan 2023

Top 10 best cars with panoramic sunroofs

Putting a hole in the roof can add a real feeling of light and warmth to a car's interior. Here's our rundown of the best panoramic sunroofs
Hyundai i20 vs Kia Rio vs Toyota Yaris: which should you buy?
Hyundai i20 vs Toyota Yaris vs Kia Rio
News
2 May 2022

Hyundai i20 vs Kia Rio vs Toyota Yaris: which should you buy?

Find out which of these top superminis is right for you with our in-depth three-way comparison
Toyota GR Yaris set to gain an automatic gearbox option
Automatic Toyota GR Yaris
News
21 Mar 2022

Toyota GR Yaris set to gain an automatic gearbox option

An automatic gearbox-equipped GR Yaris has competed in a Japanese rally challenge, and the transmission could be made available on the road car
Toyota Yaris hatchback review
Toyota Yaris Hybrid
In-depth reviews
1 Nov 2021

Toyota Yaris hatchback review

“More economical, comfortable and stylish than ever, the latest Toyota Yaris is the best small Toyota yet”
Toyota GR Yaris hatchback review
Toyota GR Yaris hatchback front cornering
In-depth reviews
17 Aug 2021

Toyota GR Yaris hatchback review

"The Toyota GR Yaris is a once-in-a-generation rally special, serving up a seriously impressive driving experience"
Toyota Yaris Hybrid review
toyota yaris hybrid
Toyota Yaris Hybrid hatchback
9 Sep 2020

Toyota Yaris Hybrid review

The Toyota Yaris Hybrid is the ideal supermini for navigating towns and suburbs
2020 Toyota Yaris will start from £19,910
News
31 Jul 2020

2020 Toyota Yaris will start from £19,910

Fourth generation Toyota Yaris supermini will arrive in UK showrooms in September
Toyota Yaris hatchback (2011-2020)
Toyota Yaris
In-depth reviews
27 Jan 2020

Toyota Yaris hatchback (2011-2020)

"The Toyota Yaris supermini is a reliable and efficient car, which is more stylish than ever and even comes as a hybrid"
New 2020 Toyota Yaris spotted for the first time
Toyota Yaris preproduction model
News
5 Jul 2019

New 2020 Toyota Yaris spotted for the first time

Next Toyota Yaris could be a rebodied Mazda2 and will prioritise hybrids
Updated Toyota Yaris to debut in October with new Y20 trim level
Toyota Yaris
18 Sep 2018

Updated Toyota Yaris to debut in October with new Y20 trim level

New Yaris Y20 trim level marks 20 years of Toyota's supermini
New Toyota Yaris GR Sport: specs, price and on-sale date
Toyota Yaris hatchback
14 Sep 2018

New Toyota Yaris GR Sport: specs, price and on-sale date

Hybrid-powered Yaris GR Sport is inspired by powerful limited-run Yaris GRMN
Toyota scrappage scheme extended: £2,000 off Toyota Aygo
News
6 Jun 2018

Toyota scrappage scheme extended: £2,000 off Toyota Aygo

Toyota has extended its scrappage car deal until June 2018, with £2,000 off the Toyota Aygo
Toyota Yaris Hybrid hatchback (2011-2020)
toyota yaris
In-depth reviews
31 May 2018

Toyota Yaris Hybrid hatchback (2011-2020)

"The Toyota Yaris Hybrid can be very economical and boasts a spacious interior, but it can't offer the driving fun of a Ford Fiesta"
Toyota Yaris GRMN hatchback (2018-2020)
Toyota Yaris GRMN cutout
In-depth reviews
19 Apr 2018

Toyota Yaris GRMN hatchback (2018-2020)

“The Toyota Yaris GRMN is the first small hot hatch sold by the brand in Europe – and it's a real attention-grabber"
Used Toyota Yaris buying guide: 2011-2015 (Mk3)
Toyota Yaris hatchback
3 Nov 2016

Used Toyota Yaris buying guide: 2011-2015 (Mk3)

The Toyota Yaris might not interest keen drivers, but its reliability and low running costs make it an appealing used buy
Toyota Yaris 2014 price and specs
Toyota Yaris hatchback
15 Jul 2014

Toyota Yaris 2014 price and specs

Updated Toyota Yaris Hybrid is Congestion Charge exempt and on sale now
New Toyota Yaris: release date, price and specs
News
22 Apr 2014

New Toyota Yaris: release date, price and specs

The facelifted Toyota Yaris gets a new look and an upmarket interior

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
19 Dec 2023

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
12 Apr 2023

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
The best electric cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024