Toyota Yaris Review 2022

Toyota Yaris At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
The Toyota Yaris has crystal clear appeal. Okay, so it’s not the cheapest small car around, but its smart looks and high-tech interior make it feel like a pint-sized Lexus, a notion that’s backed up by its quiet hybrid drivetrain and standard autonomous driving aids.

+Looks great on the outside and isn't too shabby on the inside either. Hybrid engine is cheap to run and relaxing. Autonomous aids make long drives painless.

-You get lots of kit, but it is quite pricey. Not as well rounded as a Volkswagen Polo.

New prices start from £20,820
Insurance Groups are between 13–36

If you're looking for a small car you really are spoilt for choice. There's the Ford Fiesta which is great to drive, the Volkswagen Polo that is comfortable and practical and the Peugeot 208 which is stylish to the bone and also available as a pure electric car. The Toyota Yaris gets close to matching these cars in all areas while majoring on comfort and fuel economy – thanks to its suite of autonomous driving aids and petrol-electric setup. 

If the Toyota Yaris was a European country it would be Sweden. Famed for being taxing on the wallet, Sweden rewards your investment by providing an excellent quality of life. 

In much the same way, the Yaris comes loaded with technology that’s expensive but ultimately makes your life better. 

Thankfully, we can drop the Swedish analogy at the Yaris’s styling because it’s pure Japanese. A jumble of creases and curves, sharp edges, with a hint of origami, bookended by a gaping grille and pair of attractively protruding tail lights. It’s a Yaris that, whisper it, looks great. 

The inside doesn’t quite match these high standards. Its slabby looking infotainment screen rises awkwardly (if practically) out the top of the dashboard, but the rest of the cabin is lovingly sculpted. You even get a thick seam of squishy plastic that’ll keep Volkswagen’s head of perceived quality trembling under their duvet. 

Volkswagen’s head of practicality – if such a job existed – would get off more lightly because, while the Yaris is quite practical for its size, it’s not as spacious in the back as the Polo and it’s boot isn’t as well designed or as roomy.

That’s about where the negatives end, mind you, because the Yaris is near enough a class-leader in every other respect and it goes about it in its own unique way. 

Take the hybrid engine, it serves up spectacular fuel economy almost irrespective of how or where you drive. Its ability to drive in silent electric power almost all the time in town makes the Yaris extremely relaxing to potter about in and it’ll take you all the way up to motorway speeds without stirring the petrol engine.

It’s at this point that Yaris pulls another trick out its sleeve – its comprehensive suite of autonomous driving aids. Bang up to date, they’ll keep the Yaris arrow straight in its lane and around curves while braking and accelerating with a deft smoothness that serves only to expose the poor quality of driving of the humans around you. 

Sure, you have to keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel, but it cuts down on fatigue and makes long motorway slogs less exhausting as a result. It makes the Yaris the small car to have if you do lots of long-distance driving. 

It's worth saving your energy because when you turn off onto an A road you realise the Yaris is actually decent fun. It grips well and steers with precision. It’s not a genuine driver's car like a Ford Fiesta but, unlike the old Yaris, it is at least playing the same sport.

And anyway, like Sweden, you sense Toyota hasn’t tried to copy anyone else – it's made things better by going its own way. So, while the Yaris isn’t the last word in dynamics or the very best in terms of practicality, it makes up for that with its smart design, relaxing drive and unnervingly good fuel economy. And we can't ignore Toyota's enviable reputation for reliability

It's no longer just the safe choice, instead it's a desirable car that just so happens to also be very sensible. 

Looking for a second opinon? Why not read heycar's Toyota Yaris review.

Ask Honest John

What are the best websites to find a used car?
"What are the best websites to capture used cars for sale up to 5 years old? Are there any physical car supermarkets still in business or are they all like Cazoo where your chosen car is first seen when it's delivered to your door? My last purchase was 7 years ago so I'm out of date. I'm thinking of a Honda Jazz, Toyota Yaris or a similar small car with a high seat for a good view."
The majority of dealers (including car supermarkets) will advertise on classifieds sites such as AutoTrader and PistonHeads so I would advise using one of them to zero in on the car you're looking for based on your budget and the condition (age and mileage). That's the easiest way to find out what you can get for your money, armed with that knowledge you can then hunt out the same car on sites like Cazoo or heycar, which offers a warranty with all the cars it sells. Alternatively, you could look at our Honest John Cars for Sale site: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/cars-for-sale/search/ We rate both the Yaris and the Jazz, reviews of both are below. Yaris: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/toyota/yaris Jazz: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/honda/jazz/
Answered by Russell Campbell
Should I buy a Toyota Yaris or a Toyota Corolla?
"I want to buy a hatchback for mainly work travel (15 to 30 miles per day). I am interested in a Toyota Yaris/Yaris Cross and Corolla. I would like to get your advice. I have a Lexus NX for family use and long travel."
You won't go wrong with any of the Toyotas you've shortlisted. It probably depends on how much space you need - the Corolla will be biggest and most practical. We'd recommend the Yaris Cross, though. It's the newest, trendiest and will be very cheap to run.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you recommend a small automatic car for a short person?
"I have had a Toyota Yaris for the last 17 years (52 reg, 110,660 miles) and I am thinking about getting an automatic car, probably second hand. The Yaris has been very reliable and part of me thinks I should just hang on to it for as long as possible but the gears are becoming rather stiff and it has never had a new gearbox or clutch. What would you recommend and should I go for a petrol car or a hybrid? I am not confident enough to go all electric yet....I am only 4 foot 11 so I assume I will be limited as to make and model."
There's no reason why your Yaris couldn't go on for miles yet, so long as it's serviced correctly. If you do decide to make the change, the new Yaris is a great option. It's a petrol-electric hybrid that gets tremendous fuel economy and also has quite a tall driving position for a small car. It's a massive improvement on the old Yaris models so it will still feel like you're having a bit of a change. Here's our review: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/toyota/yaris-2020/
Answered by Russell Campbell
Honda Civic - should I trade it in for something newer or run it into the ground?
"I own a 2015 Honda Civic. It is in a high spec with just 27,000 miles on the clock. It is the best car I have ever owned. With the current inflated prices for used cars, is now the right time to part exchange? I am considering a Toyota Yaris Hybrid 2021 model. My conundrum is to run the Civic until it is no longer road worthy, which will take many, many years or to part exchange now?"
There's plenty of life left in your Honda Civic so it might be worth holding off for the new Civic which arrives later this year: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/news/new-cars/2022-01/2022-honda-civic-price-specs-and-release-date/ It'll be very similar to the Civic you own (and, by the sounds of it, love), but gets hybrid power, an updated infotainment system and more interior space. Having said that, we rate the latest Yaris – it's smart looking, reasonably practical for its size and gets brilliant fuel economy. It'll be also more than £5000 cheaper than the new Civic. Yaris review, here: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/toyota/yaris-2020/ New car prices are inflated, but so are the prices dealers are willing to pay for used models. You'll have to do your own calculations to know if the two balance out in your case.
Answered by Russell Campbell
More Questions

What does a Toyota Yaris cost?