I've had my Yaris for nearly 4 years now and sadly I just sold it as I didn't need it any longer. But I can attest to great fuel economy, fantastic quality, and a terrific resale. I have 125000 klm's on this baby and never once in the dealer for ANY problems whatsoever. Regular oil changes 8-10000 k's etc., and never a moments problem. So much so, I now have a 2011 Corolla.
Fuel economy, reliability, cost-per-mile inexpensive, easy handling and just plain fun!
Better O.E. tires. Mine wore out at 53000 K's. Not good. And perhaps a slightly peppier engine but not much.
Our Yaris is a 2008 and we are now 3 1/2 years and 36,000 miles into our ownership. Car has been perfectly reliable and exceeds EPA ratings, we regularly see 40 to 44 mpg highway, 30+ in town.
Roomy up front, with lots of legroom, but narrow. Backseat has enough legroom & headroom for 6-footers and under. Large trunk. Lots of storage pockets, the center gauges are no problem, and the interior is pretty nice. Less road noise than the Fit.
Problems: The engine has enough power, but the 4 speed automatic needs another gear or two. Driving position is terrible for taller drivers; the wheel is too far away, and the pedals too close. Pay attention to this during your test drive.
Roomy for its size, very reliable and efficient, quick steering is accurate and makes the car fun to dart around town, good ride quality, fairly quiet on the highway, plenty of storage for wallet, phone, ipod, etc., engine is peppy enough around town, turns on a dime.
Four years in, and we don't regret the purchase.
Desperately needs a telescoping steering wheel.
5 or 6 speed automatic would help engine performance.
Sound quality from the stereo is really bad, with overblown murky bass and no midrange clarity, but this is nothing new for cheap cars.
New competitors like the Fiesta, Accent, and Sonic have improved since we bought our Yaris and have better driving positions, stronger engines, and similar fuel economy.
If I were shopping now, I would get one of those or wait until the Yaris is redesigned to see if they have improved some of the weaknesses.
I bought the Yaris in a pinch when my old one blew up and left me stranded. I needed a car in a hurry and I was craving reliability after that car maintenance fiasco - so I went straight to Toyota. I've had the car for a year an a half and 18,000 miles. I love it. No problems at all, drove it from St. Louis to Galveston and back comfortably with 2 people and a dog on board. It has better acceleration, a smoother and quieter ride and overall better quality than any other small car that I've ever had - or been riding in for that matter. Also easy to get in and out of, even the back seat, even for my 6'4" brother. I would recommend this car to anyone, 100 times over.
zippy acceleration, comfortable ride, amazing mileage (usually around 40 mpg), incredible price tag, low routine maintenance costs - I've learned to love the gauges in the middle of the dashboard - doesn't blind me when I drive at night.
My one and only complaint - that center console is in an awkward place. I have an automatic and rather short arms, and I still bump my elbow when I put it in gear. I pity the person who gets a manual and has long arms. I do like the convenience of it and it makes for a nice arm rest on long drives.
2009 Toyota Yaris Sedan S 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl 4A)
Absolutely love this car. Low initial cost and low cost to maintain. I have lifetime oil and filter changes. I am a no fuss guy who wants a reliable car with the lowest possible fuel consumption. Great steering wheel response. Super maneuverability and great road feel. This is equivalent to the Corolla of the 80's. A car for those of us who cannot be bothered with vehicle problems.