In-depth reviews

Toyota Yaris review

An efficient hybrid powertrain, sporty styling and high standard specs make the Toyota Yaris a key contender in the supermini segment.

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

  • Great economy
  • Good looks
  • Entry-level models well-equipped
  • Not as spacious as rivals
  • Noisy CVT transmission
  • Firm suspension

Toyota has decided that the key qualities for its Yaris supermini are stylish design, good fuel economy and plenty of kit thrown in as standard. It’s a convincing package, but one that can’t offer the practical space or fun driving dynamics of the best rivals.

The Yaris is a great performer around town, and certainly won’t be caught out on motorway stretches. However, high prices could prove to be a stumbling block and the dull cabin doesn’t do justice to the cool-looking exterior.

About the Toyota Yaris

While the marvellous GR Yaris hot hatch has been grabbing enthusiast headlines of late, the plain or cooking variety of Toyota’s Yaris supermini should be lauded as arguably the most focused yet. As a pioneer of hybrid technology, the Japanese brand has concentrated on delivering an increasingly green range. To this end, while most car makers continue to offer petrol and diesel vehicles in their lineups, the Yaris now features a single petrol-hybrid powertrain.

Rivals such as the Vauxhall Corsa, Peugeot 208 and Volkswagen Polo provide myriad engine and trim combinations, although customers considering the Yaris might also be drawn towards the Renault Clio E-TECH or Honda Jazz, which offer similar hybrid set-ups.

In an ultra-competitive supermini market, the five-door Yaris is keeping things simple. The sole 1.5-litre petrol hybrid engine delivers 114bhp and provides more than enough power to make it a capable performer around town. 

Toyota claims the hybrid model’s bigger battery will help it function in pure electric mode for around 80% of the time while on regular urban journeys, and it can be driven at up to 80mph before the petrol engine imperceptibly chips-in to support smooth progress.

The dimensions of this Yaris have actually shrunk compared to the previous model, with overall length slightly reduced and a lower roofline than before. The effect is a sporty, more muscular look, with the metallic and pearlescent bi-tone paint finishes particularly striking.

There are four core trim-levels to choose from; the entry-level Icon is well-equipped, followed by Design, Dynamic and the top-spec Excel equipment lines. Toyota has also introduced a Launch Edition specification with extra luxury kit.

Standard equipment for the Yaris is pretty comprehensive and includes 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, adaptive cruise control, air-con, a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity.

Starting from around £20,000, the Yaris is generally more expensive than its combustion-engined rivals, although it sits between the Clio E-TECH and Jazz hybrid in terms of list price.

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