2009 Toyota Yaris Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Toyota Yaris Hatchback

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Toyota Yaris Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 106 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 29/36 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 (15 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

Super little car

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Yaris 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)

We bought this car as a commuter as my husband drives 80 miles round trip daily. We have almost 34,000 miles on it and get 43-44 mpg on the highway consistently, driving at 65 mph. This car is fun to drive, corners nicely, accelerates quickly, and is amazingly quiet for a small car. I was a little antsy about safety in such a small car, until my husband hit a deer the other night at 55 mph and sustained no damage to the frame or engine compartment, nor to himself I am happy to say! We haven't experienced any problems at all with our Yaris, and plan to keep this car for a long time to come.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

My best car!

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Yaris 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this as my first brand new car and have not been disappointed one bit. In regards to the review by edmunds: When I test drove the automatic, I did notice more lack of power output. Its a good thing I was stubborn and would only buy a manual. Much higher power output. ;) And there is not a thing wrong with centrally placed gauges, its just different. It then allows for not 1, not 2...but 3 separate glove box storage areas.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Best small car for the

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Yaris 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)

Bought the car for a commuter, and it does its job nicely. No complaints at all. If you understand what a subcompact car is before you go car shopping, then, and only then will you understand that this car is worth every penny. BTW, I took it off roading a while back, not by choice, and it did better than expected. Very tough.

08 yaris - everything i

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Yaris 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)

I wanted a reliable, fuel efficient vehicle to get me to work, store, etc. This is it. I've had this car 10 months, put 16K miles on it, and it hasn't given me an ounce of trouble. On an average tank of gas, combination of highway/town, I get between 39-41mpg. I run 80mph on the interstate with plenty left, handles great. The dash in the middle takes getting used to, and the corner posts are too thick, impeding vision, especially backing out of a parking place, I would like to see a tach, temp gauges. Besides that, this car is great. No regrets.

All you need

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Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Yaris 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)

We are very happy with our choice. The Yaris ended up being exactly what we needed. This car looks tiny but has a bunch of room. A 6-ft, 160 lbs man can sit comfortably in the rear seats. Keep in mind this is an inexpensive economy car. What got that, combined with reliability, quality and somewhat surprising performance. A Toyota will hold its value far better than other competitors in this area (Kia, Hyndai) - except perhaps Honda, which costs quite a bit more.

Theres no competition.

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Toyota Yaris 2dr Hatchback (1.5L 4cyl 5M)

The price, the MPG, the style... this car has it all! There is no other car out there that can come close to competing with the yaris. This is overall an amazing car and you have to check it out before buying a new car.

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
  • 36
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs