I expected the great gas mileage (I'm getting 35 pretty routinely and 38-40 on long trips), but the advertising doesn't tell you how much fun it is to drive! You sit up high - feels a little like an SUV in this regard - so road visibility is great. This thing turns on a dime, so you can zip in and out of really tight spots. Mine is a standard (5 sp) transmission, so pickup (even with the AC running) is a non-issue. Good passenger room (I have the 4-door.) Safety issue: there is a HUGE blind spot between the rt. rear passenger window and the back window - you really MUST use the passenger-side mirror to see what's coming up behind you on the rt. side.
Driver's seat sits you up higher than in many bigger cars. Interior room and trunk room are both unexpectedly generous for such a small car. Steering is steady and straight. Turning radius unbelievable.
RPMs increase audibly with each upshift! Toyota calls this "normal", but it's never happened in any other 5sp I've owned and wastes gas! Need better cupholder placement and space for small change. Replace plastic hubcaps. Fix rear rt. side blind spot. Upgrade cheap upholstery - it shows all lint!
I have had this car two weeks and have not put gas in it yet! I really enjoy this car and think it is worth the money. I have enjoyed my little go-kart so far and look forward to driving it for a long time.
I had an Accord for a while, but rising gas prices ($3.50 at the time) pushed me towards a more economical car. I settled on the Yaris for the fuel efficiency and cost; I get around 37 mpg on average, mostly highway driving (35 mile commute each way to work). It is a very basic vehicle, but it suits my needs just fine. I opted for the MP3/CD player which was well worth it. The AUX jack in the center console is very useful, but the placement (right below the shifter) is a little awkward. The car looks quite small on the inside, but my friends comment on how much room there is on the inside (more than they expected, at least).
Fuel economy, cost, MP3 compatibility with CD player, AUX jack, center mount dash widens visibility and works great with window mounts (satellite radio, GPS, etc.), handles well on the open road, tons of compartments and cup holders.
Gets beaten around by crosswinds, interior plastic scuffs easily (particularly with manual windows), poor placement of AUX jack, no interior controls for side mirrors, cruise non-standard, road noise is a little loud.
I had a Toyota Yaris hatchback and I loved it. I don't think there is a better value on the market. I am 6'5 and the car was very comfortable and could handle 3 passengers just fine (the car is way roomier than it looks). Gas mileage is fantastic (consistently 34+ mpg) and the cost-to-own is the lowest you're going to get. It won't set any speed records but I found that the car could easily get up to good freeway speeds and was fun to drive. I love the distinctive look. I got a lot of appreciative looks and positive comments. Also, I was impressed by how well the car absorbed the impact of a high speed collision.
The huge value that this car offers. Also, safety. I speak of the car in the past tense because our lovely Yaris was totalled by a drunk driver. We were rear-ended by a huge truck on the freeway. The Yaris was totalled but my wife and I managed to get out of it with surprisingly few injuries.
I think Toyota has really engineered a perfect car for those who are value-minded and there's not much room for improvement there. I do wish they'd offer a few more colors and make it easier to get a few options like ABS (we couldn't find any ABS models in the LA area).