The front exterior of a blue Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris review

Reliable, roomy and well equipped, the Toyota Yaris is comfortable and has good road visibility. It’s simple to drive and low cost to buy and run.

Pros

  • The design looks good
  • It's the only hybrid model available in its class
  • Very low running costs

Cons

  • It's not the most fun to drive
  • Boot space isn't as good as some rivals
  • Interior materials are quite basic

Summary

“The Yaris is a great option if you're looking for low cost, efficient motoring.”

The Yaris has a fresh design and a comfortable interior. The ride is good, the engines are decent for most daily needs and there’s even a performance model.

The Yaris is also the only supermini available in the UK that's a proper petrol-electric hybrid so you can whizz around town in electric mode for short periods. 

It's been refreshed with design and tech updates, but the focus of the Yaris continues to be on good value motoring with a touch of style.

The side exterior of a blue Toyota Yaris

What's the interior like?

“Lots of different models and trims means there's a Yaris for everyone.”

The interior is simple and well laid out with everything easy to use. There's a lot of hard black plastic but some models have a dash of colour to brighten things up.

The five-door models offer the best practicality, especially for small families.

There are also over 20 model options so you can find everything from the base spec model to much higher-end cars that come with touchscreen infotainment systems and cruise control, as well as other useful features. The fully-loaded Yaris comes with leather upholstery.

Boot space is 286 litres which is big enough for several bags and a similar size to the market-leading Ford Fiesta. You don’t lose any boot space in the hybrid model, which can be an issue in some models with the electric motor taking up space. This is one reason why it’s a very popular choice.

The interior of a Toyota Yaris with steering wheel and dashboard in shot

What's it like to drive?

“It's very comfortable and promises a sensible drive. ”

The Yaris is great if you’re looking for a small, reliable car that can carry a few passengers from time to time or to use for the weekly shop. 

It may not be as enjoyable to drive as rivals such as the Fiesta, but the seats are comfortable even on longer journeys. The driving position is decent so you won’t feel too tired on a cross-country journey. The light steering is great in town and its good, all-round visibility makes urban driving and parking easy.

Production of diesel engines stopped in 2017 but it’s best to opt for petrol, unless you do a high mileage (over 12,000 miles a year). If you’re planning longer trips, go for the manual which has a smooth gearbox. The automatic (CVT single-speed) gearbox will better suit those who spend their time in cities. Regular automatics are also available and are the best option for the hybrid model.

Boot space shot of the Toyota Yaris

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“From purchasing to running costs, the Yaris is great value for money .”

The hybrid models hold their value the best so you’ll pay slightly more for one, while diesels lose the most.

Petrol cars will return very good consumption figures in the 50s. The diesels will be better but the difference isn't significant. 

With the exception of the sporty and rare GRMN, insurance and road tax costs are all very low and Toyota servicing and parts are also low cost, making the Yaris one of the most cost-effective cars to run.

The rear exterior of a blue Toyota Yaris

How reliable and safe is it?

“Toyota reliability is excellent and later models have lots of electronic safety aids.”

Toyota prides itself on the reliability of its cars and the Yaris is no exception. Although there have been recalls for the model, including a global airbag recall, all should have been fixed through regular services. 

Safety is good and the Yaris received five stars from the Euro NCAP crash test. Further safety improvements came in 2017 when Toyota’s active safety systems became standard across the range.

Engine shot of the Toyota Yaris

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 1.5 Hybrid

Best for family - 1.5 5dr (2017 onwards)

Best for fun - GRMN

There's a wide range of Yaris models to choose from, so you should find one to suit your needs. Many have modern essentials like a touchscreen multimedia system, USB ports and a DAB radio as well as a remote central locking system and cruise control. 

The 1.3-litre petrol engines offer the best balance of performance and economy but choose the diesel version if you do a lot of long-distance driving. The hybrids are also a great option and their popularity means there are lots of them available.

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