Toyota Yaris (2011 – 2020) Review

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Toyota Yaris (2011 – 2020) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Toyota Yaris feels a little dated these days, with a bland interior, inconsistent equipment levels, lacklustre performance and mediocre driving experience.

+Fairly big boot by class standards, tempting hybrid option, Toyota has an epic reliability record.

-Fairly uninspiring to drive, cabin doesn’t feel very posh, equipment levels are very mixed.

Insurance Groups are between 2–11
On average it achieves 80% of the official MPG figure

Compared with newer small hatchback rivals, the Toyota Yaris feels past its best. However, it might still make sense for those who aren’t bothered about such things. If it’s far more important to you that your hatchback is easy to drive and incredibly reliable, then the Yaris will suit you down to the ground. And if you fancy a hybrid drivetrain in your small car, it has that covered, too.

Looking for a Toyota Yaris (2011 - 2020)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Think back to 2011, if you can. That was a long time ago, and the world was a very different place. David Cameron hadn’t long been appointed Prime Minister, the charts were being monopolised by a newly-formed band named One Direction, and although most of the fighting had finished, the Iraq war was still yet to wrap up fully.

Another event that occurred in 2011 - albeit one of less historical or cultural significance - was the release of the third-generation Toyota Yaris.

By the standards of the day, it looked very appealing compared with rivals. Sharply styled, solidly built, impressively roomy and practical, and with a well-earned reputation for faultless reliability. Things looked bright.

Like we said, though, the world was a very different place back then, and things move on. Things including most of the Yaris’s rivals.

Gradually, over the years that followed, each one was replaced with a newer offering that added more driver appeal, more quality, more technology, more luxury equipment, and more of, well, everything. Meanwhile, the Yaris remained in service for a full nine years before eventually being replaced, and by the end of that considerable amount of time, it had been left way behind.

Judged by more modern standards, then, the Yaris is very mediocre in a vast number of areas. It’s neither particular fun nor particularly comfortable to drive, while its naturally aspirated engines don't feel particularly punchy compared with the turbocharged equivalents in rivals.

The cabin is no longer particularly roomy by class standards, and the interior feels rather dated and bland compared with newer, posher-feeling rivals.

Was it particularly cheap or particularly well equipped? Well, no, not particularly. Was it particularly refined or particularly impressive on safety?

Again, not particularly. Yes, it still had its impressive reputation for reliability to fall back on, a reputation that had since been justified by the Yaris’s impressive performance in this area, but in every other area, the Yaris had become particularly unremarkable.

For that reason, it’ll suit somebody looking for a dependable runabout that’ll get them from A to B without conking out. However, if you want your transport to have any degree of charm or polish, there are better choices out there.

Ask Honest John

What's the best first car for under £7000?
"I am looking for the first car for my daughter and can spend up to £7000. I will need to sell it on in 2.5 years so looking for something that may hold its value. She really needs cheap insurance and would like it to be a smaller car although not squishy. Safety, reliability and cheap to run top of our list - what do you suggest I buy?"
The old-shape Toyota Yaris has a strong reputation for reliability: I can't give you any guarantees in regards to the future values, but small cars are always desirable with young and new car buyers. Insurance for the Yaris is also affordable.
Answered by Dan Powell
Can you recommend a cheap, reliable runabout?
"We need to buy a secondhand car for my wife for local trips. She will probably do no more than 2000 miles per year. Can you please recommend something between £3000 and £5000, which hopefully would prove reliable? We can garage the car, too."
I would recommend a Suzuki Swift 1.2 petrol: or Toyota Yaris 1.3 petrol:
Answered by Dan Powell
What's the best automatic for a learner driver?
"My 21 year old daughter has applied for her provisional licence and is keen to learn on an automatic. We will need to buy a small auto and have up to £3500 budget. First question, if we get an auto box which has the option of semi auto changes can she legally drive this before or after passing her test? I would prefer a torque converter box but they are like hen's teeth at the moment. Can you recommend some options for the best cars for our budget? "
If your daughter learns and passes her test in an automatic car then her licence will be restricted to 'automatic only', which means she will not be able to drive a manual vehicle. The semi-auto gearbox will not change the 'automatic only' licence she will gain if she passes. The best auto? I'd probably say the Honda Jazz or Toyota Yaris. Both used CVTs (continuously variable transmissions) which have extremely good reputations for reliability.
Answered by Dan Powell
Best used small car for my 18-year-old son?
"What are your suggestions for the best used car for my 18-year-old son? Also, what is the best insurer for affordable cover for him?"
I can't tell you which insurer will be cheapest but NFU Mutual was named as the best in our 2020 Satisfaction Index: Best car? I'd recommend a Suzuki Swift 1.2 petrol, Ford Fiesta 1.25 petrol or Toyota Yaris 1.3 petrol. All are easy to drive, plentiful on the used market and have a good reputation for reliability.
Answered by Dan Powell

What does a Toyota Yaris (2011 – 2020) cost?

Buy new from £17,690 (list price from £20,205)