We love this car. It is everything we were looking for in a small commuter car. My wife calls it the Hummingbird, because it requires so little fuel to get around. We chose the "S" and Power package, which gives you all the features you need. My only complaint is that the Turn-signal indicator is too quiet. We choose the Manual 5-spd and have no regrets. Seats are firm, visibility is OK, center-mount dash layout takes a little while to get use to, but is very nice at night, since there is no light distraction directly in front of you. And we love the style and look of the "S" model.
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.
The instrument panel "cyclops" central location is an excellent idea. I no longer have to look over or through the steering wheel to see the speedometer. There are 3 large compartments that open up on the dashboard. One is right in front of the steering wheel and other two on the right side of dash.
The only thing is a visible temperature and oil gauge instead of lights.
Great car except for driving. Poor handling, steering imprecise at highway speeds, shifting into 5th is clunky, visibility out of vehicle poor (thick door posts, headrests block lines of sight), bigger blind spot than my old car. Our old 1978 or 1981 Civics would eat the Yaris alive and spit out the pieces. Driving is now a chore, not an enjoyable experience. No ash tray (good for storing insurance card, etc.), no external antenna (degrades reception), speedometer needle hard to see when wearing sunglasses, have to check proper operation, but rear seat seat belts seem to be obstacles when the seat is down.
I purchased this car as a third car for my commute. I have a Tacoma but the gas was killing me. My wife drives a Prius but we did not feel like spending 24,000 for another car. We got the Yaris for 13,000 out the door and it has been great. No problems at all. Fun to drive, first few tanks of gas has been averaging 36- 39 mpg. Very fun to drive.
Gas mileage is wonderful. Not 50mpg, but, 40 for a third of the price. Really enjoy the ease of driving around town.
For some reason my clutch seems to need to be pushed really hard to change gears, other than that no problems.
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.
Copious storage compartments. Reclining rear seats. Standard ABS and side curtain airbags.
The instrument panel is spartan. A few more crucial gauges would have been nice. Standard remote-operated mirrors would have been nice.