2009 Toyota Yaris Review | Edmunds.com

2009 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 2009 Toyota Yaris

  • The 2009 Toyota Yaris boasts a variety of body styles and a solid track record for reliability, but there are better choices for an economy car.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Very fuel-efficient, comfortable ride, handsome interior, multiple body styles, hatchback's available multifunction rear seat.

  • Cons

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

  • What's New for 2009

    For 2009, the Toyota Yaris becomes safer via standard side curtain airbags and antilock brakes. This year also brings a new addition to the lineup: a four-door hatchback.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

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

2 yrs review

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Yaris 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

after 2 yrs and 29000 miles the car has been a great commuter car. I consistently get 36-38 on my 56 mile daily commute. It did great in a very snowy minnesota winter with snow tires. I am happy with this $14k vehicle that has great value.

Hybrid-like gas mileage.

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Yaris 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

This is the closest you're going to get to a hybrid, without an electric or diesel motor. Right now I'm averaging about 36 mpg with aggressive 60/40 city/hwy driving. And get over 40 mpg hwy. It's an amazing car, with the room and comfort of some mid-sized vehicles. I also drive a Tacoma, and have found the Yaris more comfortable. Contrary to other posts, I have found my Yaris auto to be quite peppy. It won't set speed records, but it's very practical. I got a feeling that this will be a keeper for a long time to come.

Nice little car

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Yaris 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this car for my wife on our 19th wedding anniversary and almost a year later am completely satisfied. Contrary to Edmund's review, this car has very good pickup with an automatic transmission. It offers all options including power windows, locks, and mirrors, as well as a security system that automatically locks the doors after about 30 seconds. The gas mileage is a huge plus. I average around 40 mpg during normal every day driving. The center display takes some time to get used to but after a while is no problem and actually feels well placed. 15 inch tires makes it handle extremely well. Overall, this is one nice little car when upgraded with available options.

My cyclops

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Yaris 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

Really enjoying my 2009 Yaris liftback. Very quiet inside cabin while driving in town or on highways. Getting about 400 miles per 11 gallon fill up from 50/50 city and highway driving. Very responsive handling and without bending my neck do not hit my head while getting behind the steering wheel. I'm 6'0 tall. Car seems much larger sitting inside than when looking in from the outside. This is the first time I was able to get 2 vehicles inside my 2 car garage and with plenty of room to spare. The lift back door does not hit my garage door when both are fully opened and I can still stand up straight underneath the lift back fully opened with a couple inches to spare.

So far, awesome!

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Yaris 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

I have only had this car four months and I already have 20,000 miles and nothing has gone wrong. I am in my car all day for about 175 miles on average and I have nothing to complain about. Sure it's not the fastest thing in the world but who expected that? And everything else about it is perfect. Mine stays in a straight line for hours. Not to mention perfect gas mileage for not even being hybrid. I may not know everything but I love this car.

Terrible to drive!!

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Yaris 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 4A)

This car has the absolute WORST driveability of any car that I have recently driven. This purchase is a HUGE MISTAKE and I have nothing but REGRETS!!. It DOES NOT GO IN STRAIGHT LINE ON THE HIGHWAY!!!!!! It needs CONSTANT, and I mean CONSTANT, steering corrections to keep it going straight ahead. So your arms get EXTREMELY tired in a very short time (And yes, I've checked the alignment SEVERAL times). I had a friend's 2000 Geo Metro Hatchback for a couple months last year, and that car tracked waaaayy better (and that's a $1000 car for crying out loud!!!!!!!). It is impossible to take this car on anything more than a half hour drive without feeling your arms are going to fall off!!!

Full 2009 Toyota Yaris Review

What's New for 2009

For 2009, the Toyota Yaris becomes safer via standard side curtain airbags and antilock brakes. This year also brings a new addition to the lineup: a four-door hatchback.


The subcompact economy car class has historically been populated by vehicles that had all the materials and build quality of a plastic toy found in a box of Cocoa Puffs. To call some of these cheap would be an insult to cheap things. But in the past few years a more competitive market has forced these bottom feeders to up their game in terms of overall quality and the adoption of modern convenience and safety technologies. The 2009 Toyota Yaris is a prime example of this. This is Toyota's least expensive car, yet it offers a stylish-looking interior, a surprising amount of interior room and a respectable collection of standard and optional features.

The 2009 model, in particular, has a handful of changes that should expand the Yaris' appeal. Among the improvements are newly standard safety features (antilock brakes and side curtain airbags) and a new four-door hatchback. The latter makes for a well-rounded lineup in terms of body styles, which also include a cute-looking two-door hatchback and a more traditional four-door sedan. The sedan is distinctive in that it is practically a different model, as its headlights, body panels and even instrument panel are different from those of the hatchbacks.

All of these body styles boast superior fuel economy as well as Toyota's solid reputation for reliability and overall quality. Yet other carmakers have shown big improvements in those areas as well. Apart from the four-door version, the Yaris doesn't hold any significant advantages over other highly regarded small cars such as the Honda Fit, the Kia Rio and the Yaris' hip cousin, the Scion xD. The high-quality Honda offers a more enjoyable drive as well as more versatile cargo-carrying options, while the xD's odd, funky styling and variety of stereo options might appeal more to younger buyers. If you're not into hatchbacks, the Yaris sedan will likely hold considerable sway, though you could also consider the Nissan Versa sedan. Overall, Toyota's Yaris strikes us as a merely average choice in a continually improving segment.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Toyota Yaris subcompact is offered as a three-door hatchback, five-door hatchback and 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 hatchbacks 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 such as 15-inch alloy wheels, power accessories, cruise control, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat (sedan), a sliding and reclining rear seat (hatchback), a rear window defroster and upgraded interior trim. Keyless entry, foglamps and a rear spoiler are also offered as stand-alone factory options.

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 is sluggish with the automatic.

Fuel economy is a strong point for the Yaris. EPA estimates for a Yaris with the manual transmission check in at 29 mpg city/36 mpg highway and 32 mpg combined. Automatics rate 1 less mpg.


Standard safety features include antilock brakes and side curtain airbags. In government crash testing, the 2009 Toyota Yaris sedan earned four stars out of five for front occupant protection during frontal impacts. The two-door hatchback 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.

Interior Design and Special Features

With 3 more inches of wheelbase and nearly 20 additional inches of overall length compared to the hatchbacks, 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 hatchbacks offer optional sliding and reclining rear seats that add versatility and help compensate for their more restrictive backseat space.

Though all versions feature centrally located instrumentation, the hatchbacks' 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 their 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 an anchor when its lever is released.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 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 2009 Yaris

Read more about the 2009 Toyota Yaris

Gas Mileage


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