2008 Toyota Yaris Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 106 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 29/35 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Toyota Yaris

  • The 2008 Toyota Yaris broadens it lineup and appeal with a new sport liftback, but still faces tough competition from other worthy rivals in the crowded subcompact segment.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Very fuel-efficient, comfortable ride, handsome interior, liftback's available multifunction rear seat.

  • Cons

    Acceleration-sapping automatic transmission, awkward seating position, centrally placed gauges.

  • What's New for 2008

    Introduced last year, the affordable 2008 Toyota Yaris adds a sporty three-door "S" hatchback to its lineup, which shares features like 15-inch wheels, front and rear spoilers, CD/MP3 player and other upgrades with its S sedan counterpart.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (14 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Perfect

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Yaris S 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

I recently went car shopping for two cars. My first one was a Nissan Versa hatchback, and the second was the '08 Yaris S type. I got a little carried away with adding things on to it like cruise, a sun roof, tinted windows, etc., and my total came out almost $4,000 more than my brand new Versa. I found that very disheartening, especially since the Versa came stock with cruise and the features I had to add. I was even told that the Yaris S type can not have power doors and locks added on. I find that very hard to believe, but that's what I ended up with. Other than the price being more and the non auto lock/window it's perfect for going around town and a little interstate.




Yar for kar!!!!

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Yaris S 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

I am so happy with this car!!! There are tons of compartments for storage, and 5 cupholders! There is no front seat console unfortunately, but I found a website where I can get an aftermarket one that will fit my little car. I got the hatchback SPORT edition, and although that wasn't what I initially set out for, I'm so glad I got it! It's so fun, and people are always smiling at it and saying things like "sweet"! The hatchback is great for a single person like me, or just a couple, but if you have kids, the hatchback really isn't as practical as the sedan would be. This car has a lot of pick-up and power, it can climb steep hills with the best of them, especially with that 3rd gear.




I love my new yaris

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Yaris S 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

This little Yaris is the coolest car on the planet. I just am amazed with it. People look at me more than when i drove my Xterra . The gas mileage is awesome. My only concern is how this car will take the winter and sleet/snow. The S package does come with bigger tires so you do lose some gas mileage but the handling is better. The AC is great. The interior room is plenty. I do give Toyota lots of credit for making a peppy 1.5 16 valve . The Yaris should pass every test possible that my BF will put it through. I look forward to the east coast winter and see if it really is all that. Oh I did add my own GPS and Sirius and tinted the glass. Let's rock this Yaris.




Great little vehicle, love it

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Yaris S 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

It'll be two weeks tomorrow that I've owned this car. The gas mileage is very good. I got about 380 miles out of the first tank (11.1 gallons) and I think that once I'm more accustomed to it, I'll do a bit better (I had a 94 escort, so this has much better acceleration than I'm used to). It drives better on the interstate than I thought it would with enough passing speed. Turning radius is tight, handling is better than expected and the ride is smooth for a sub-compact. Interior is roomy, I'm 6'2" and have no problem with leg/head room, but it sits me a little too high. The cargo space is amazing for its size, having 3 glove boxes is nice. All around, I'm very pleased.




Great car for the money

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Yaris S 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

I bought the 2008 Yaris for one reason,gas prices. But I am pleased at the quality of this car. I bought the automatic which has no acceleration problems. This car is fun to drive and comfortable! I love going to the gas station. Have been offered more than I paid for it!




Surprise

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Vehicle: 2008 Toyota Yaris S 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

Traded a Hyundai Santa Fe because of the gas prices. Stunned by the room in the back, better knee room than the Santa Fe. We were drawn by the looks and the Toyota reputation for high quality. Love to drive this car. No intimidation feeling on the highway around semis. No load road noise. Parking is wonderful. Control is like a larger car. Interior layout is brilliant. Simple 2000's style transportation.



Full 2008 Toyota Yaris Review

What's New for 2008

Introduced last year, the affordable 2008 Toyota Yaris adds a sporty three-door "S" hatchback to its lineup, which shares features like 15-inch wheels, front and rear spoilers, CD/MP3 player and other upgrades with its S sedan counterpart.

Introduction

The subcompact economy class has traditionally been characterized by products that could be summed up in a single word: cheap. As in, cheap price, cheap design, cheap materials and cheap construction. And while that's still true in a relative sense, today's highly competitive marketplace has forced the low end of the automotive spectrum to evolve along with the rest of the industry in terms of quality standards, feature content and overall bang for the buck. For proof of this, look no further than the 2008 Toyota Yaris.

Introduced last year, the Yaris replaced the mediocre and oddly proportioned Echo as the least expensive offering in Toyota's showroom. For the budget-conscious shopper, it's a much better product all the way around -- one that combines attractive styling and outstanding fuel economy with competitive equipment levels, respectable performance and a general likability that was lacking in its predecessor.

The Yaris is available as a spunky three-door hatchback coupe (liftback in Toyota-speak) or a much longer and roomier four-door sedan with more conservative styling. These body styles are further differentiated inside by distinctive instrument panels and an available multifunction rear seat in the liftback that slides, reclines and folds to make up for its tighter rear quarters. For 2008, the littlest Toyota broadens its appeal further with a sporty new "S" hatchback to complement the existing uplevel S sedan. This model features larger 15-inch wheels, body-color front and rear spoilers, reworked rocker panels, amber-illuminated Optitron instrumentation, upgraded seats with sport fabric, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a CD player with MP3 capability and other extras.

Considering its entry-level nature, the Yaris has a lot going for it. In addition to excellent fuel economy, which counts for a lot in this segment, the Yaris reflects Toyota-style quality and is a competent performer that's stylish enough to avoid embarrassment when you leave it with the parking attendant (although don't expect it to be parked out front).

As decent as the 2008 Toyota Yaris is, however, there are several other subcompacts that deserve your attention. The Chevy Aveo and Kia Rio offer similar body style choices at slightly lower price tags, while the Nissan Versa and Honda Fit are desirable alternatives at a slightly higher price. Another choice to consider is the Yaris-based all-new Scion xD (replacing the xA), which should appeal to more youthful buyers seeking funky styling, vehicle customization and high-tech stereo options.

Although the Fit and xD are our top choices in the segment, they are available only as four-door hatchbacks, a body style Americans generally consider the absolute embodiment of undesirable transportation. That leaves the Yaris as a leading choice for those buyers who prioritize getting into a new sedan for the cheapest price possible. And while that price may be cheap, the Yaris goes to show that cheap doesn't have to be a bad thing.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Toyota Yaris subcompact is offered as a three-door hatchback coupe (dubbed liftback) or four-door sedan in two trim levels. Standard models are pretty basic, with 14-inch steel wheels, intermittent windshield wipers, air-conditioning, four-way adjustable front seats and a tilt steering wheel. S-trim equipment levels vary between coupes and sedans, but share 15-inch steel wheels, a ground-effects body kit and a CD/MP3 stereo with an auxiliary audio jack. Many model-specific package upgrades are available and include items like 15-inch alloy wheels, powered accessories, cruise control (sedan only), 60/40-split-folding rear seat (sedan), a sliding and reclining rear seat (liftback), a rear window defroster and upgraded interior trim. Remote keyless entry, foglamps and a rear spoiler are also offered as stand-alone factory options on all models. A full range of Toyota accessories are available to further personalize the Yaris.

Powertrains and Performance

All Toyota Yaris models are equipped with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. Power is transmitted to the front wheels through a standard five-speed manual or an optional four-speed automatic transmission. The Yaris accelerates adequately with the manual gearbox, but off-the-line performance feels sluggish with the automatic. EPA-estimated fuel economy with the manual transmission checks in at 29 mpg city and 36 mpg highway (35 mpg highway with the automatic). These figures are among the best found in the economy car segment.

Safety

As you might expect given its entry-level price tag, popular safety features like antilock brakes, front seat-mounted side airbags and side curtain airbags are optional on the Yaris. In government crash testing, the 2008 Toyota Yaris sedan earned four stars out of five for front occupant protection during frontal impacts. In side impacts without the optional airbag package, it received a middle-of-the-road three-star rating for front and rear occupants. The liftback model outperformed the sedan in frontal impact testing by scoring a perfect five stars for driver protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the Yaris earned the highest possible rating of "Good" for frontal-offset collisions. Side-impact testing also yielded a "Good" rating with the optional side airbags, but the lowest "Poor" score without.

Interior Design and Special Features

With 3 more inches of wheelbase and nearly 20 additional inches of overall length compared to the hatchback, the Yaris sedan is a space-efficient and reasonably roomy choice among subcompacts. As you might expect, the sedan is the more conservatively styled of the two, both inside and out. The hatchback offers optional sliding and reclining rear seats that add versatility and help compensate for its more restrictive backseat space.

Though both models feature centrally located instrumentation, the hatchback's dashboard is quite a bit different from the one found in the sedan and contains three gloveboxes -- including one uniquely positioned behind the steering wheel -- plus an unusually narrow center stack that coordinates well with its more playful exterior design.

The interior is not without its foibles. Those center-mounted instruments pull your eyes away from the road, while tall drivers will find the driving position akin to sitting atop a stool. Also, the tilt steering wheel cheaply drops like a 4-ton anchor when its lever is released.

Driving Impressions

The 2008 Toyota Yaris travels down the road with a reasonably solid feel. The electric power steering is mostly devoid of feel, but its super-light touch makes maneuvering easy. The Yaris' small four-cylinder engine is surprisingly peppy with the manual transmission, and reasonably smooth even when operating at higher speeds. Off-the-line acceleration suffers with the automatic transmission, but both combinations deliver enough midrange power for confident merging and passing on the highway.

Talk About The 2008 Yaris

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 29
  • cty
/
  • 35
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs