What should I look for in a used Toyota Yaris hatchback?
Being so easy to drive and cheap to run mean the Toyota Yaris makes a great first car as well as a good urban runabout. As a result, it’s important to check for damage to body panels and alloy wheels. Check for signs of a worn clutch such as a very high biting point. In addition, Toyota’s almost bulletproof reliability record could tempt owners to skimp on servicing, so aim for a car with a fully stamped service book.
So far, so simple. But there are a few recalls to be aware of. The first applies to all third-generation models built up to 2016 and involves checking the anchor points for the rear seatbelts. Another recall concerns the airbags on models built between 2011 and 2014 that could potentially rupture when deployed, sending out fragments that could injure occupants.
Cars built in 2013 were also recalled to rectify a potential brake fluid leak, while models built in 2015 required a recall for work on the front suspension, which could become damaged in a big impact such as hitting a bump at speed. Finally, Toyota carried out a recall on Yaris models built between 2014 and 2015 to ensure the bolts securing the wheel hub were correctly tightened at the time of build.
This might all sound a bit alarming, but Toyota’s online vehicle recall checker allows you to quickly identify if any work needs to be carried out – and, of course, if it does it will be completed free of charge.
What are the most common problems with a used Toyota Yaris hatchback?
All diesel versions of the Yaris are fitted with a diesel particulate filter that, in a few instances, have been known to suffer from costly regeneration problems. Unless you do a particularly high annual mileage, you might well find greater peace of mind by sticking with a petrol engine.
If the car you’re looking at is fitted with sat-nav, try programming it for your test drive. If it doesn’t work as expected, it’ll need a software upgrade, which is available from Toyota free of charge.
Unlike most rivals, the infotainment system fitted to the Yaris doesn’t allow you to connect your smartphone to it using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
Is a used Toyota Yaris hatchback reliable?
You’d hope that buying a Toyota over another brand comes with the reassurance of a solid reliability record – and the Yaris doesn’t disappoint. It scores very highly in the What Car? reliability survey and came second in the list of 21 small cars aged 0-3 years old. Toyota itself was third place out of 32 car brands – that's an exceptional result.
All third-generation models were sold as new with a five-year warranty, so it’s worth seeing if this is still valid.
If you would like to see the full reliability list for small cars, head to the What Car? reliability survey pages for more information.