Choosing an urban car - Nortones2
Opinions please: we're about to replace a 7 yr old VW with a reliable smallish car (wifes instruction) for use by wife and offspring, on mostly town and minor road work. Narrowed down on reliability and insurance cost grounds to new or nearly new Honda Civic 1.4, Jazz (1.4 of course) or Yaris 1.3. I'm a little more inclined to the Civic, but the Yaris looks neat to the females. All seem competent and much the same price, within about £1000, with some shopping around. The mix is brand new discounted Yaris T3 (the revised one), nearly new Civic 3-door S (garage courtesy car) and low mileage pre-May update yellowish Jazz SE. I can't make a rational choice except I think maybe the Civic could have been thrashed by the uncaring. The Jazz is a horrid colour, so the Yaris is leading by a nose. Anything I've overlooked?
Choosing an urban car - andymc {P}
Does the 3-door Civic have the dash-mounted gearstick arrangement of the 5-door? Apparently this is a boon to families with small children as the lack of transmission tunnel makes access to the rear of the car for wiping up spills (or tears!) a lot easier, no longer necessitating exiting the car. As you have kids, the more room you can get in the back the better, not just for them, but for you in terms of being able to put in child seats, lift kids/objects out without bending at right angles, etc. Bigger is better!
The ride quality on the Jazz has come in for a lot of criticism, again not good for sleeping babes or driver comfort. New Jazz claimed to address this, but apparently still not fully resolved.
No real drawbacks to the Yaris other than practicality - it's the smallest of the three. How important is this?
Could you get a Nissan Almera in your price range? It's reliable, decent levels of driver enjoyment, and has been around long enough to get cheaper used examples with 5 doors for practicality. Possibly less likely to have been thrashed than the Civic.
Choosing an urban car - Nortones2
Andymyc "Does the 3-door Civic have the dash-mounted gearstick arrangement of the 5-door?" : yep, the very same! Room of Civic would be useful, but Yaris would be OK, I'm told. Nissan being left out for the time being, altho I hear of their reliability from friends.
Choosing an urban car - SteveH42
While I love the car, I'd best point out you need to think carefully about what the car will be used for before going for a Yaris. It can either carry 5 passengers in comfort, or carry a reasonable amount of luggage. Not both I'm afraid!

Have you test driven any BTW? If you're mainly around town then you may find that the 1.0 will be more than good enough for your needs. I only occasionally find it lacking out in the countryside and that is more than made up for by the ease of driving and fuel economy around town.
Choosing an urban car - peterb
Test drove 1.3 Yaris on Saturday with Mrsb. I don't really like small cars but was very impressed: it's roomy inside, has plenty of go and apparently has excellent crach protection. Also, it probably won't go wrong.
Choosing an urban car - Nortones2
Steve:we have a Civic type S for heavier work, so Yaris will be OK for its task. I think. Tried 1.0 and 1.3 Yari, but favour the 1.3 as we have hills:) However, the 1.4 diesel is my favourite but a bit too pricey. Door rattled on the used one we tried so that put us off - is this common?
Choosing an urban car - SteveH42
I can put up with the 1.0 as I only rarely get out of town or off motorways, but I can see the draw of the 1.3. I'm surprised the D4D is that much more expensive - seems about £600 or so on top of the 1.3. As for rattles, I must admit mine had a few when I got it (2nd hand) but the dealer went out of their way to rectify them. Considering the cost of the car I think you can allow them a few minor build issues and the advantages are worth this IMO.
Choosing an urban car - TrevP
May I suggest a new Fabia 1.2 at £6995 List?

Better seats and ride than the Yaris, and speedo in the proper place.
Choosing an urban car - TrevP
Oh, sorry, forgot - Insurance Group 1 (yes, ONE)
Choosing an urban car - SteveH42
Nothing too bad about the Yaris ride, but not special either. Seats are fine on GLS and above with the Velour trim. As for the speedo, I think it's a love it or hate it thing. For me, it's a lot better.
Choosing an urban car - Nortones2
Can't say the VW is without rattles, but distaff side doesn't notice. Wheels could fall off, lights flash etc: therefore must be A1 reliable. Skoda: that has crossed my mind but some doubts re faults (Which et al). Teenage daughter would never drive it for fear of ridicule. Hmm....
Choosing an urban car - peterb
Must say I got used to the Yaris speedo *very* quickly. The theory that a central speedo means you take your eyes off the road for less time also seems to be true.
Choosing an urban car - TrevP
"The theory that a central speedo means you take your eyes off the road for less time also seems to be true."

I must have missed that theory.

Are you suggesting that ergonomically, the Yaris design is "better" than the "in front of you" version that nearly everybody else does?
Choosing an urban car - SteveH42
TBH, Trev, it has a number of advantages. It's higher and not 'behind' the steering wheel so you have less clutter for the brain to filter out before it processes the actual reading. Also, the fancy mirrors and stuff make it seem further away so your eye doesn't have to refocus as much. Having it to the side means it's easier to use your peripheral vision than having to look down.

TBH, it's up to you whether you like it or not. I find it better than the traditional dials behind the wheel, but as with everything else, not all people will find that.
Choosing an urban car - GTLK
I'm friedly with the local Honda dealer so have driven a Civic and Jazz. The Civic is very good especially with the gear level 'on high'. But I felt that the dash was made from cheap plastic. The Jazz felt much better in terms of build and quality of plastic and was much more fun to drive.

Mates have Yaris' and all are satisfied, but Honda has more cachet surely? Engines are much better.
Choosing an urban car - Nortones2
Yes, I agree the Jazz is well planned and attractive internally and the seats feel much better than the Yaris. It goes well also. I'm determined not to pay the inflated list price so might not resolve this as quickly as we'd like!

 

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