We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For Cheap to run; practical; drives well

Against Firm ride; three-door’s poor rear seat access

Verdict Quality for a low price, but rivals better it for comfort

Go for… 1.3 VVTi GS 5dr

Avoid… 1.0 S 3dr

Toyota Yaris Hatchback
  • 1. Whining gearboxes should have been replaced under the manufacturer’s three-year warranty
  • 2. Slipping clutches are a common complaint, especially on cars used mainly in town
  • 3. Uneven tyre wear is an indication of misaligned suspension; look for kerb-damaged wheels, too
  • 4. Interior is spacious for the class, and quirkily styled
advertisement

Toyota Yaris Hatchback full review with expert trade views

The Toyota Yaris made the competition look very outdated when it was launched. Its perky styling was - and still is - fresh and the interior provides the sort of space many associate with cars from a class above. The front seats offer superb comfort, and pretty much the only problem is that getting in and out of the rear seat of a three-door model can be tricky.

The dash also sets the Yaris apart from the herd, as the instruments are housed in a ‘floating’ binnacle in the centre of the dash with a digital display. However, some may find this a bit hard to get used to.

They probably also won't like the uncomfortable ride - the price you pay for the car's sharp handling - and the fact that the 1.0- and 1.3-litre petrol engines have to be pushed hard to keep pace with traffic. On the other hand, the T-Sport’s 105bhp 1.5-litre engine turns the Yaris into a junior hot hatch, while the 1.4 turbodiesel is quiet and frugal.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Excellent reliability, very low average bills of £80 make this small car a fantastic buy

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

Unless you spend your whole driving life in town or are determined to make every gallon of fuel go as far as possible, we’d recommend opting for the 1.3-litre petrol engine for its greater flexibility. We’d also choose the five-door body as access to the rear seats is much better.

The basic S spec doesn’t get power steering or twin front airbags so is best avoided. The GS (which we reckon has the best blend of kit and cost) has the power steering and airbags, as well as a better stereo, while the GLS has a sunroof and the CDX has air-con. There’s also the sporty SR with alloy wheels.

In early 2002, the trim levels were simplified in line with Toyota’s other models, so T2 replaced GS, T3 arrived in place of GLS and T Spirit took over from CDX, but there were no changes to the amount of equipment on each.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Demand as strong as ever, especially automatics and Colour Collections

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The Yaris can be run on a tight budget without having to skimp on proper servicing. Toyota dealers provide a good service, but independent specialists can offer cheaper labour rates.

Toyota reduced the cost of its spare parts in 2002, so keeping a Yaris in the best of health need not be expensive. And, with service intervals of 20,000 miles, you may not have to see a garage for long periods.

To cap it all, everday running costs are also very good. Unless you choose the 1.5-litre engine in the T-Sport model, insurance will be cheap, while low-emission engines also mean the Yaris sits at the bottom end of the road tax scale.

Last, but not least, the fuel economy is among the best, and the 1.4 turbodiesel can return a claimed 67mpg, which is superb. The 1.0-litre petrol is good for 50mpg, the 1.3 returns 47mpg and even the T-Sport can manage 41mpg.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Excellent reliability, very low average bills of £80 make this small car a fantastic buy

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

By far and away the biggest complaint about the Yaris, according to Warranty Direct, is the transmission. There have been reports of whining gearboxes, but most of these should have been replaced under the manufacturer’s three-year warranty.

More common are slipping clutches, especially if the car has been used mainly in town, while uneven tyre wear is an indication of misaligned suspension, so look for kerb-damaged wheels.

Otherwise, the Yaris is a hard wearing supermini with a much higher than average rating for reliability, which explains its continually strong showings in the JD Power survey and our own reliability reports.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Demand as strong as ever, especially automatics and Colour Collections

James Ruppert
Used car guru
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014