In-depth reviews

Toyota Yaris review

With sharper styling and frugal hybrid-petrol engines, the Toyota Yaris is ready to compete with the best in the supermini class.

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

The Toyota Yaris is arguably the manufacturer’s most focused supermini 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.

More on Yaris

Honda Jazz vs Toyota Yaris
Hybrid cars
28 Sep 2020

Honda Jazz vs Toyota Yaris

It's a battle for small hybrid supremacy as we test the Toyota Yaris against the Honda Jazz
New Toyota Yaris 2020 review
Toyota Yaris Hatchback
11 Aug 2020

New Toyota Yaris 2020 review

The new hybrid-only Toyota Yaris supermini is a serious rival for the Ford Fiesta
New 2020 Toyota Yaris supermini to cost from £19,910 in the UK
Toyota Yaris
31 Jul 2020

New 2020 Toyota Yaris supermini to cost from £19,910 in the UK

UK prices and specs for the new Toyota Yaris supermini have been revealed, with first deliveries expected in September
New 2021 Toyota Yaris Cross: small SUV arrives to take on the Nissan Juke
Toyota Yaris Cross
29 Apr 2020

New 2021 Toyota Yaris Cross: small SUV arrives to take on the Nissan Juke

The new Toyota Yaris Cross SUV has been launched. It's a new Nissan Juke-sized crossover based on the same platform as the latest Yaris supermini
New 2020 Toyota GR Yaris: pricing announced
Toyota GR Yaris - front 3/4 static
Toyota Yaris
5 Mar 2020

New 2020 Toyota GR Yaris: pricing announced

The 257bhp, four-wheel-drive Toyota GR Yaris will go on sale in the UK shortly, with prices starting from £29,995
Toyota Yaris review
Toyota Yaris - front
Toyota Yaris Hatchback
3 Feb 2020

Toyota Yaris review

Rivals beat the Toyota Yaris for fun driving and quality feel, but the Toyota is a practical and reliable supermini
New US market Toyota Yaris makes debut at New York
US Toyota Yaris - New York front
Toyota Yaris
17 Apr 2019

New US market Toyota Yaris makes debut at New York

Toyota has released a hatchback version of the Mazda 2-based Yaris saloon ahead of its debut in New York, but it won't be coming to Europe
Toyota Yaris GR Sport vs Ford Fiesta ST-Line
Toyota Yaris GR Sport vs Ford Fiesta ST-Line - header
Toyota Yaris
2 Mar 2019

Toyota Yaris GR Sport vs Ford Fiesta ST-Line

It’s a warm hatch showdown as the new Toyota Yaris GR Sport goes head-to-head with the Ford Fiesta ST-Line
New Toyota Yaris GR Sport 2019 review
Toyota Yaris GR Sport - front
Toyota Yaris Hatchback
29 Jan 2019

New Toyota Yaris GR Sport 2019 review

The new Toyota Yaris GR Sport blends the looks of a hot hatch with the brand's more modest hybrid powertrain
New Toyota Yaris Y20 and GR Sport trim levels announced
Toyota Yaris GR Sport - Paris front
Toyota Yaris Hatchback
16 Jan 2019

New Toyota Yaris Y20 and GR Sport trim levels announced

Toyota launches two new trim packages for the Yaris, inspired by its original 1998 model and hardcore GRMN model
Used Toyota Yaris review
Used Toyota Yaris - front
Toyota Yaris Hatchback
9 Oct 2018

Used Toyota Yaris review

A full used buyer’s guide on the Toyota Yaris covering the Yaris Mk3 (2011-date)
Toyota Yaris Y20 Launch Edition unveiled
Toyota Yaris Y20 Launch Edition - front
Toyota Yaris
14 Sep 2018

Toyota Yaris Y20 Launch Edition unveiled

New limited edition Toyota Yaris Y20 celebrates 20 years of the Japanese supermini
Toyota Yaris 1.0 Active – cheapest cars to insure
Toyota Yaris - front cornering
Toyota Yaris
21 Jun 2018

Toyota Yaris 1.0 Active – cheapest cars to insure

The Toyota Yaris is a decent supermini choice, and the 1.0-litre Active model makes the argument further sitting in group 2 for insurance
Toyota Yaris GRMN vs Peugeot 208 GTi
Toyota Yaris GRMN vs Peugeot 208 GTi - header
Toyota Yaris
19 Apr 2018

Toyota Yaris GRMN vs Peugeot 208 GTi

The limited edition Toyota Yaris GRMN has entered the hot hatch fray, but is it a match for the Peugeot 208 GTi?
New Toyota Yaris GRMN 2018 review
Toyota Yaris GRMN - front
Toyota Yaris Hatchback
16 Mar 2018

New Toyota Yaris GRMN 2018 review

Does the pricey Toyota Yaris GRMN hatch deliver the performance goods?
Toyota Yaris Yellow Edition brightens up new Yaris range
Toyota Yaris
10 Jul 2017

Toyota Yaris Yellow Edition brightens up new Yaris range

Bright yellow Toyota Yaris arrives on sale this summer, priced from £17,595
Suzuki Swift vs Toyota Yaris vs Skoda Fabia
Suzuki Swift vs Toyota Yaris vs Skoda Fabia - header
Suzuki Swift
20 May 2017

Suzuki Swift vs Toyota Yaris vs Skoda Fabia

Can the new Suzuki Swift take the lead in the supermini market with a turbocharged engine? It takes on the Toyota Yaris and Skoda Fabia
Toyota Yaris Hybrid 2017 review
Toyota Yaris Hybrid Bi-Tone - front
Toyota Yaris Hatchback
20 Apr 2017

Toyota Yaris Hybrid 2017 review

The Toyota Yaris Hybrid is the easiest car to drive in the updated range, but it comes at a price
New Toyota Yaris 2017 review
Toyota Yaris - front
Toyota Yaris Hatchback
11 Apr 2017

New Toyota Yaris 2017 review

The Toyota Yaris has been updated for 2017, but are the changes enough for it to stand out in the supermini class?
2017 Toyota Yaris: UK prices and specs revealed
New Yaris Geneva front quarter
Toyota Yaris
16 Mar 2017

2017 Toyota Yaris: UK prices and specs revealed

Toyota's Yaris supermini gets an extensive facelift ushering in a sharper look, more driver assists and a 1.5-litre petrol engine
Toyota Yaris GRMN hot hatch makes 2017 Geneva show debut
Toyota Yaris GRMN hot hatch 2017 - Geneva front quarter
Toyota Yaris Hatchback
7 Mar 2017

Toyota Yaris GRMN hot hatch makes 2017 Geneva show debut

Supercharger power and limited-slip differential for new Ford Fiesta ST rival
New Toyota Yaris WRC car blasts in for 2017 season
New Toyota Yaris WRC rally car - reveal front quarter 2
Toyota Yaris
13 Dec 2016

New Toyota Yaris WRC car blasts in for 2017 season

Toyota has revealed its 2017 World Rally Championships entrant, the Yaris WRC...
Toyota's new WRC car, easily the fastest Yaris in Paris
Toyota Yaris WRC
Toyota Yaris
29 Sep 2016

Toyota's new WRC car, easily the fastest Yaris in Paris

Toyota reveals new Yaris rally car and Microsoft partnership for 2017 WRC challenge