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).
This is a nice looking car, it looks somehow like a sports car. But dont get misled. The Yaris driving is less inspired than many others. Driving position is simply wrong: the steering is too far for taller drivers compared with any other car on the market, therefore driving pleasure and feeling are much reduced. Good front visibility but dangerous blind spots on the sides. Excellent build quality, however the paint chips easily. Very poor clutch conception, hard to engage smoothly or quickly, automatic transmission its a must for this car. Gas mileage is less than expected, especially in city driving.
Interior space, build quality and reliability, how it looks.
Driving position should absolutely be corrected. Would like better shock quality, better clutch quality.
Timing couldn't be more perfect. In the small cars category, Toyota brought a Europe-proven model to the US market and beats the rest in the category for value and reliability with fuel efficiency, kick in the drive and my 4-door sedan Yaris is the biggest small car at this price! Even driving at my high speed average of 82 mph on highway commute, fuel efficiency is still at good 37 mpg.