From £10,114
Sensible and risk-free, but its not as comfortable or enjoyable as it should be

Our Verdict

Toyota Yaris

The original Toyota Yaris was a landmark car, since then it has lost ground to more talented rivals. Can it regain its crown from the formidable and long in the tooth Ford Fiesta?

What is it?

This is the new, updated Toyota Yaris. Improvements include stop-start technology, a six-speed gearbox and a tweaked version of the 1.3-litre engine, which has been upped from 85bhp to 100bhp. Torque is also up from 89 to 98lb ft, while economy and emissions are now 55.4mpg and 120g/km.

What’s it like?

The Toyota Yaris has always been a good car: practical, well equipped, comfortable, reliable and affordable to run. This generation of Yaris has also always suffered from a total lack of flair. This facelift does nothing to change that.

The Yaris does make a convincing case for itself in other ways due to class-leading economy and emissions and a decent list price, and it is not an unpleasant car to drive.

Thanks to the engine upgrade and new gearbox the Yaris is now more flexible and responsive. With the extra urge readily available and the engine willing to be worked through the new standard six-speed gearbox the Yaris can be reasonably involving.

Turn-in is precise and the steering is light and linear, which makes it very capable at normal urban driving, although there is none of the precision or encouragement you get from some other superminis.

A well-judged, pliant ride quality also makes the Yaris one of the more comfortable cars around town and other manufacturers could learn something from the impressively rattle-free engine start that the Yaris benefits from when automatic stop-start kicks in.

Where the Toyota really fails to impress is inside. Spacious though it is, the cabin is dominated by a bland fascia with centrally mounted dials that fail to break up the expanse of cheap-feeling plastics, and seats that don’t offer a broad enough range of adjustment and are too firm. There is none of the style, interest or high-end quality that is fast becoming the norm in this class.

Should I buy one?

If your priorities are running costs and reliability, and very little else, then yes. The Toyota Yaris is still a sensible and risk-free option, and it is perfectly decent to drive. For many that is enough.

But it is not as comfortable, nor as enjoyable or even as spacious as others that are available at similar cost. It has roughly the same appeal as a home-made cardigan at Paris fashion week. Practical and cheap it may be, but for many the lure of Armani will be too strong.

Join the debate

Comments
1

14 February 2010

Pity its so plug ugly ! One wonders whether and when it will be recalled............

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Genesis G70
    First Drive
    22 September 2017
    Based on the Kia Stinger, Genesis' new G70 saloon shows plenty of promising signs that it could be a hit in Europe
  • Lamborghini Aventador S
    First Drive
    22 September 2017
    Still visceral and dramatic as ever, but does the vast number of mechanical changes and tweaks help make the Lamborghini Aventador S more engaging?
  • Renault Koleos
    Car review
    22 September 2017
    Renault’s new crossover sees the Koleos name return, attached to an SUV of a quite different stripe
  • Nissan X-Trail
    First Drive
    21 September 2017
    On our first chance to get the facelifted Nissan X-Trail on UK roads, the petrol proves a viable alternative, although for outright pulling power the 2.0 dCi is the better bet
  • Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.2d 210
    First Drive
    21 September 2017
    Most powerful diesel version of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is swift and more frugal than its closest rivals, but makes less sense than the range-topping petrol version