It's an okay car. You buy it because it delivers reliability, economy, and excellent fuel mileage. I understand this car is an economy car and it's no Lexus - much less a Camry. I'm not comparing this car to a nicer car brand - it's entry level and I understand that. However, it's still not a car that I would buy again after having driven one - even if I was in the market for an economy car.
Economy - between the infrequent repairs (hasn't had any issues in nine years of ownership), the fuel economy, and the MSRP, it's possibly one of the cheapest to buy and undisputedly cheapest to run used cars out on the market today. It would make an excellent first car or a car for someone who just doesn't like driving and needs something easy to commute to work in.
Reliability - In 9 1/2 years of ownership (we bought this car in April 2006), we have had zero issues with it. Nada. Nothing. It is a solid little car - that's expected of most Toyotas or Hondas however.
Driving Dynamics - This car is scary on the highway. Trying to accelerate on a freeway entrance ramp is extremely difficult and downright dangerous. It's pretty peppy around the city, but trying to pass someone in this car is not for the faint at heart. Additionally, this car is from an era when electric assisted power steering was not quite as refined as it is today, so the steering feels pretty loose and a little "off" compared to older cars with hydraulic power steering. This gives the steering a "numb" feeling. I know this is a pretty subjective word to use, but the car just feels weird to drive. It's almost like driving a toy car or a golf cart. With an antiquated four speed automatic transmission, the engine gets pretty buzzy and it doesn't shift very smoothly.
Interior - Because of the starting price, I forgive the fact that there is hard plastics virtually everywhere, even on most places where your elbows rest. However, the interior is a bit too "Scion" in my opinion and not in a good way. Perhaps one of the biggest design flaws is the center mounted speedometer. Everyone in my family who has driven this car has had a few speeding tickets because it's easy to ignore the speedometer. I understand Toyota removed this in the newer generation of Yaris - thank goodness. Still - the center mounted speedometer is something that is hard to forgive and offers no benefit over a traditional steering wheel mounted speedometer. It's a classic example of form over function. Also, the seats are EXTREMELY uncomfortable - I often find myself hunching over the steering wheel with upper back pain because the seats are not very plush. The cloth is not soft and just feels really thin and not durable. The sound system is absolutely awful. Again - I get this is an economy car, but even my 2008 Toyota Corolla has a much better sounding stereo than the Yaris. The interior quality starts to show its age. We barely drive the car, but the plastics still rattle like crazy. The engine is extremely buzzy and there is a great deal of road noise in the cabin. The visibility is not terrible, but the exterior design gives it a pretty tall rear end, making the rear window a bit small. It also has EXTREMELY thick A-pillars which unfortunately block your view of pedestrians in the crosswalk. Overall, the interior of the Yaris is one of it's most pitiful downfalls.
Safety - this car seems like the perfect fit for your teenage daughter or God forbid your son (don't get him a Yaris). However - just look at the side impact crash test scores. The Yaris did NOT come with side impact airbags standard. This car is a death trap in a T-bone accident, which is the deadliest form of accident. Not to mention, a lot of these Yarisi have virtually NO anti-theft protection. This car doesn't even have a chipped key - so anyone with a screwdriver can start the car. Toyotas tend to be one of the most frequently stolen car brand, so the fact that Toyota didn't put this basic safety feature in the car is shameful. Even my 2000 Ford Taurus had a chipped key and thats approaching 16 years old! I wouldn't recommend this car if you live in an area with high car theft rates. IF you do, consider investing in a steering wheel club and/or an aftermarket alarm system.
Honestly - you can get that trademark Toyota reliability with just about any Toyota model out there. Consider investing in a 2000's era Camry instead (especially the '02-'06 generation) or a Toyota Corolla. You'll give up a few MPGs, but you'll get a safer, more comfortable car to commute in.
Love this car. No power complaints and I have driven t-birds and a range rover but then it's a stick. At 55,000 and still get low 40s mpg on the Highway and mid 30 in town. I love the design interior. And with the fuel situation being what it might be this is a great great car. Fifth in mileage and the top four are hybrids. Drive regularly up and down East Coast in great comfort so no idea what strange driving position is all about. So learn to drive a stick, i.e. real driving, and welcome to the future
The Yaris is great car for someone who is going to be driving in the car 90% of the time by themselves. Excellent real world fuel economy if you do not drive with a heavy foot. Very low maintenance if you take of this vehicle, it will take care of you. the car is very peppy on the road, but the location of the beverage holders in front of the vents is annoying. Great bang for the buck. Have almost 70,000 miles and im just getting started. will keep this yaris for the next 20 years. This car is better than a hybrid because you get excellent fuel economy,dependability and low maintenance costs and don't have to pay premium to get that with yaris. i love my yaris
good looks and dependability
20 horsepower boost make the Yaris fun to drive while keeping the same excellent fuel economy.
I have this Yaris since 08/2007 and by fun and pleasure I have traveled the 48 states of USA but Alaska, so far, in this car. I am going to let you know something about this little vehicle: I cannot complain at all about it. I have made 6 trips in order to cover all the USA and, as far as mechanical problems is concerned, nothing has happened to it. It has at this point in time 75,000 mi on it, and I have not even had the need to change neither brakes or clutch. It runs perfect, so far. Since I got it (0 mi) I have been changing oil every 3000 miles, not 5000 ones like the dealerships advice. Hopefully, if you have one of these toys do not let the opportunity of enjoying it go. Just do it.
I have been so happy with this car especially the fantastic mileage that I am getting. On long distance trips, I have figured that I get 50 miles to the gallon. I feel very safe and secure in this car and the maintenance has been insignificant. Just changing oil and the basics. I drive a great deal and it is wonderful in the winter weather. I will definitely stay with the Yaris.