Red Toyota Yaris driving down a country road

Toyota Yaris review (2020-2023)

Reliable, fuel-efficient and well equipped, the Toyota Yaris is comfortable and has good road visibility. It’s simple to drive and low cost to run thanks to hybrid power across the range.

Pros

  • Very low running costs
  • Excellent reliability record
  • Drives well

Cons

  • Boot space isn't as good as some rivals
  • Interior materials are quite basic
  • Ride is on the firm side

Summary

“The Yaris has a stylish design and a comfortable interior, with excellent reliability and fuel economy.”

The Toyota Yaris has a stylish design and a comfortable interior, with an excellent reputation for reliability and very good fuel economy thanks to its hybrid-only enginbe lineup. There's even a performance model called the GR Yaris, which is one of the finest hot hatches or recent years.

The focus of the Yaris is on good value motoring with a touch of style and it manages that very well. Some rivals have an edge in certain areas, such as back-seat space and interior quality, but the Yaris is a very decent all-rounder.

What's the interior like?

“Material quality is good, and better than some rivals.”

The interior of the Toyota Yaris 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.

Infotainment duties are taken care of through a touchscreen, with larger screens on higher trim levels. There are also physical buttons to jump between different features, which is something you don't get on a lot of rivals and makes it much easier to alter settings on the move. A digital instrument panel replaces traditional analogue dials.

The driver's seat has lots of adjustment (as does the steering wheel), although the seat is low for this type of car. That's great if you like a sporty feeling, but if you prefer a higher, more commanding view then something like a Honda Jazz might better suit you. The Jazz has more room in the back seats, as do several other rivals, including the Renault Clio. The boot space in the Yaris is on the small side for this type of car but there's a variable-height boot floor which lets you make the best use of the space you do get.

Material quality is good, and better than some rivals such as the Ford Fiesta and Hyundai i20. But it doesn't feel particularly premium compared to cars like the Volkswagen Polo or as stylish as the Peugeot 208.

What's it like to drive?

“The hybrid system is great around town, where its electric motor gives zippy acceleration ”

With an all-hybrid engine line-up (apart from the performance GR Yaris model), the Toyota Yaris is set up for efficiency rather than performance. There are several power outputs to choose from, although none are particularly enthusiastic in their delivery.

But that's great for around town, where it's particularly effective and can really use its electric motor to the best effect with zippy acceleration. It's less sprightly on faster roads, but it does steer nicely and feels composed and stable.

The ride quality is on the firm side compared to some rivals, such as the Honda Jazz, especially on the sporty GR Sport trim level, which has stiffer suspension. But most lumps and bumps on the road are well contained.

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“It's hard to find a more efficient petrol-powered car of this type.”

Save for the sporty and very desirable GR Yaris, the Toyota Yaris range is powered by hybrid technology which keeps fuel consumption impressively low. According to official figures you can expect up to 68.9mpg – it's hard to find a more efficient petrol-powered car of this type.

Toyota is noted for its excellent relaiability, backed up by a three-year warranty that extends up to 10 years if you service it at an official dealer. Service, maintenance and repair costs are likely to be very reasonable, and with insurance groups between 13 and 14 (of 50), premiums should be affordable too.

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Which one is best for you?

With a single hybrid engine option your only choice is what power output to go for. For around-town driving the lower-powered 116bhp model will be fine for most, although if you do longer journeys you might appreciate the extra oomph of the 129bhp version.

As for trim level, the GR Sport model looks great but has a harsh ride quality. We think the Design trim balances cost and features very nicely.

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