Toyota Yaris (11 on) - Review

Review by Parkers on
Last Updated: 07 Apr 2014
This is the third generation of the Toyota Yaris and the Japanese company believes it is so good that it will take sales from the class-leading Ford Fiesta. That’s a bold claim.

Toyota Yaris (11 on)
  • One of the safest cars in its class
  • Great looking design
  • Increased boot space
  • Steering is vague
  • Entry level petrol engine short on power

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    Parkers Rating:

    3.5 out of 5

    This is the third generation of the Toyota Yaris and the Japanese company believes it is so good that it will take sales from the class-leading Ford Fiesta. That’s a bold claim. Previously the Yaris has majored in bulletproof reliability, a spacious well-built cabin, a strong range of economical engines and low running costs. Add to this sharper styling and some of the best residuals in the class and it should do well. Toyota added the Hybrid version in mid-2012 to give the Yaris lower emissions and the opportunity of electric-only running for short periods in town. This means the Yaris is the only supermini on sale with the choice of petrol, diesel or hybrid power.

    Excellent safety

    The Toyota Yaris is one of the safest cars in its class thanks to every model coming with driver, passenger, side, curtain and driver’s knee airbags to give a total of seven ’bags. Only the Suzuki Swift can match that tally. The Yaris also comes with Toyota’s Vehicle Stability Control ESP to keep it on the right track even in slippery condition. Anti-lock brakes work in conjunction with emergency brake assist to apply full pressure on the brakes in critical conditions, while brakeforce distribution makes sure the stopping power is sent to where it can best be used to slow the Yaris as quickly and effectively as possible.

    Dull to drive

    While the 2011 Yaris is 20kg lighter than the car it replaced and it’s undeniable more agile, it’s still far from the most entertaining or involving car to drive in the supermini class. The lighter weight over its predecessor makes it more agile and the electrically assisted power steering is light for parking and town driving, the Yaris misses the feel and interaction found in the likes of the Ford Fiesta or Suzuki Swift or Volkswagen Polo. It also doesn’t have the same handling finesse as these models even though Toyota has widened the car by 15mm over the last model to make it more sure-footed through bends. Add in a ride that is often too firm over bumpy British roads and the Yaris is functional but not fun to drive.

    Update in 2013

    In 2013 a new trim level was introduced. The 'Trend' equipment level has been completely redesigned, aiming to appeal to younger buyers. It's available only with the 1.33-litre petrol engine and a choice of either six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes.

    Chrome detailing and blacked-out pillars are the main exterior changes along with a set of bespoke paint finishes and some 16-inch alloy wheels. Inside you get a black and white finish, while the gear shift on manual models has been shortened for a better driving experience.

    As part of the same update there was a pair of new option packs introduced. The Appearance Pack can be applied to TR or SR models, costing £250. It adds styling tweaks to make the Yaris that little bit more distinctive. To find out more, read the full Toyota Yaris review.

    Parkers Ratings


    3.5 out of 5


    3 out of 5


    3 out of 5


    3 out of 5


    3 out of 5

    Behind the wheel

    3 out of 5


    5 out of 5


    5 out of 5

    Running costs

    4.5 out of 5

    Green credentials

    3.5 out of 5

    Buying new

    3 out of 5

    Buying used

    3 out of 5


    4.5 out of 5


    4 out of 5

    What owners say...

     Reliability, safety, lots of room in it and low running costs. Also very comfortable.  

    5 out of 5

    Stephen Nicholls ,   15 Dec 2013    ... read more

     Ample sapce inside, radio and bluetooth controls on the steering wheel are always helpful. And the reverse parking camera is great fun!  

    5 out of 5

    Sean Powell ,   16 Jun 2012    ... read more

    See all Owners' Reviews

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