What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Small yet practical supermini with character.

Against Maybe too small for some. Some reliability issues, too.

Verdict Well designed and cute, but not a hit like the previous model.

Go for… 1.3 T3 5dr

Avoid… 1.8 SR 3dr

Toyota Yaris Hatchback
  • 1. Can feel unsettled on bumpier roads
  • 2. There are plenty of standard safety features
  • 3. High seating position means good visibility
  • 4. 1.3 petrol is our pick of the engines
  • 5. Be wary of gearbox problems, especially with automatics

Toyota Yaris Hatchback full review with expert trade views

The third-generation Yaris might have filled out a little, but it's still cute and perfectly formed. It's easy to drive, cleverly designed and shouldn't offend anyone.

It handles and rides fairly well, but it's not always comfortable, and can feel unsettled on bumpier roads. Also, compared with the best superminis such as the Vauxhall Corsa it's noticeably less refined, with more wind, road and engine noise.

There's a host of safety features as standard, including anti-lock brakes, two front airbags on the base model, and curtain airbags on the next model up. The car also gets a five-star occupant safety rating in Euro NCAP tests, and three stars for pedestrian protection.

The Yaris is one of the shorter cars in its class, but you still get a good amount of space inside considering it's a supermini. Rear passengers shouldn't complain, and those in the front enjoy good forward visibility because of a high seating position.

The car is also surprisingly practical, with the rear seats folding completely flat to enlarge the luggage space.

Trade view

The auto model has such a bad reputation it’s worth avoiding altogether.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Of the four engines available, we reckon the 1.3 petrol is best. You get an average of 47mpg, and it's by far the most popular version sold, so you won't have any trouble picking one up.

The 1.0-litre engine is a bit too small for a car this size, while the range-topping 131bhp 1.8 is fast but pricey to run.

The 1.4-litre diesel is the most fugal at 63mpg, but is far rarer and prices are noticeably higher than those of the others.

The five-door version is much more common on the used market, and is also slightly more expensive to buy second-hand. Other than better access to the rear seats, it's no more practical than the three-door.

The Yaris is fairly well equipped, but the lowest T2 trim comes only with a CD player, remote central locking and two airbags.

The better T3 model has air-con curtain airbags and an upgraded stereo, while T-Spirit gets climate control, alloy wheels, and keyless entry and start. The sporty SR has upgraded suspension and seats.

There is an automatic MMT gearbox option, but its jerky nature means it's generally not well liked by owners.

Trade view

The auto model has such a bad reputation it’s worth avoiding altogether.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

With insurance starting at group 1 for the 1.0-litre and 3 for the 1.3-litre, your premiums should be low. Fuel economy isn't bad, too, with these engines returning 52mpg and 47mpg respectively.

The smaller petrol Yaris models sit in car tax band C, while the diesel is in band B. The hot 1.8-litre SR lets the range down with an unhealthy group E and insurance at group 7.

The Yaris isn't the most expensive supermini to maintain, compared with some rivals such as the Renault Clio, but it's a little more expensive than the Vauxhall Corsa or Peugeot 207.

Toyota dealers aren't that expensive when it comes to getting your Yaris serviced, but you could save about 40% by switching to an independent garage.

Even the earliest cars are still covered by the three-year, 60,000-mile warranty, so you should be looking at least a year's worry-free motoring.

Trade view

The auto model has such a bad reputation it’s worth avoiding altogether.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The second-generation Yaris was known for its reliability, but so far this model hasn't always upheld that reputation.

Owners complain of lots of niggles, and What Car? readers give this Yaris three out of five stars for reliability.

Clutch judder and synchromesh problems on the gearbox appear to be common, and the engine warning light can also come on with the diesel model, resulting in a trip to the dealer. Fan belts can need adjusting and, in rare cases, the air-con can fail.

Owners of early cars with the MMT auto gearbox complained that it changed down gear while the revs were too high, or changed gear erratically. This appears to have been fixed on later cars, but a good test drive should reveal any faults.

There have also been a number of recalls on the Yaris, including headrest and airbag faults, and engines that stall, so make sure that any repair work has been done.

Trade view

The auto model has such a bad reputation it’s worth avoiding altogether.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2016