Toyota Yaris (2011 – 2020) Review

Looking for a Toyota Yaris (2011 - 2020)?
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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.

New prices start from £15,450, brokers can source from £17,129
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

Can you recommend a safe, small, used car for me?
"I'm looking for a sturdy, used, small car. I have been considering the Honda Jazz, Skoda Fabia (which I currently have), Toyota Yaris and not sure after that. Economical, safe and an easy drive is important to me. Do you recommend any cars, please? I'm looking to spend around £9000. Although I'm well into my 60s, I enjoy driving and I drive a lot. I would be very grateful for any advice. Also, not sure in regards to petrol, diesel or hybrid - or manual or automatic. I haven't got a clue in reality! Thanks."
The good news is that your shortlist is already very strong. We'd recommend a small petrol or hybrid model (unless you cover a lot of motorway miles – more than 12,000 a year, in which case a diesel might be more appropriate). Deciding between automatic or manual is down to personal preference, really, although the DSG automatic gearbox used in the Fabia isn't the most reliable. A hybrid Toyota Yaris would be a very sensible choice – cheap to run and very reliable. We'd also recommend the Hyundai i20.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the most reliable hatchback for £6000?
"I'm looking for a reliable, 5-door hatchback for £6000 and wondered what is the best option? I would really appreciate some solid advice. Cheers."
We'd recommend a Toyota Yaris, Honda Jazz, Suzuki Swift or a Ford Fiesta with the reliable 1.25-litre petrol engine.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What's the best car to share with a young driver, considering reliability and insurance?
"What would be the best car to buy for my 19-year-old and myself to share? Budget is around £5000 and it would only be to use on short journeys. What would be the best bet for reliability, whilst thinking about insurance premiums for a young driver? Thank you."
Toyota Yaris 1.0-litre petrol: It's cheap to fuel and insure. What's more, being a Toyota, it has a bulletproof reputation for reliability.
Answered by Dan Powell
What's the best first car for a first time driver?
"My daughter will hopefully pass her driving test soon, and we are helping her to buy a small automatic car. Budget is roughly £5000. Is this doable? I want her to be safe at all times (like any other parent). She is 21, I might add. Or would it be better buying a newer car on PCP or HP rather than an older car on cash purchase?"
Toyota Yaris 1.33 petrol CVT: Toyota has a good reputation for reliability and its CVT gearbox is very robust. The Yaris was given a maximum 5-star Euro NCAP crash score when it was first tested in 2011 and another 5-star score when the facelifted model was tested in 2017.
Answered by Dan Powell

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

Buy new from £17,129 (list price from £19,910)