The Toyota Yaris has been a byword for dependability during the past – it finished best rated in its class in the 2010 JD Power customer happiness review – so that bodes well. Plus, there's the reassurance of a five-yr/100,000-mile warranty. Quality inside of it is nice, however the hard, dimply plastics throughout the dash look great but do not have the excellent feel from the softer-touch plastics in many rivals.
You can choose between about three power plants: a 1.0 litre petrol also included in Toyota's baby Aygo; a 1.33-litre petrol having start-stop tech plus a 89bhp 1.4-litre diesel, giving you a reported 68.9mpg. Though it looks a little bit fragile on paper, even the most basic of the three performs amazingly fine in the Yaris.
The engines – particularly the 3-cylinder 1.0 litre petrol – tend to be vocal when pressed.
The Toyota would seem expensive compared with quite a few of its competition, though it really does keep its price much better than most, outgoings are low for many variants: the 1.0 and 1.33 petrols return in excess of 50 mpg, and the diesel tops 60 mpg. Insurance and servicing outlays tend to be cheap
The Yaris was given a complete 5-star occupant safety score in Euro NCAP accident testing, and is among a limited number of vehicles to receive three stars for pedestrian safety. All vehicles have 2 front airbags, and all but the basic trim feature side and curtain airbags, plus 1 to take care of the driver’s knees. Stability control is optional. There’s quite a lot of security equipment.
The Yaris’s dashboard is funky and different, but it isn't to all tastes. The centrally placed digital instruments tend to be difficult to see at a glance, while the heater controls are set really low on the centre console. The high-set driving posture won’t go well with absolutely everyone, either, plus the base vehicle misses out on driver's seat height adjustment. The steering wheel adjusts for height however, not reach.