Used Toyota Yaris (Mk3, 2011-2020) review

Rivals beat the Toyota Yaris for fun driving and quality feel, but the Toyota is a practical and reliable supermini

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

  • Efficient engines
  • Hybrid option
  • Reliable
  • Not fun to drive
  • Cheap interior
  • More spacious rivals out there


The supermini sector has seen some of the most impressive strides in recent years, but Toyota did a good job of keeping the Toyota Yaris up-to-date. The Mk3 Yaris is unique in this class because it’s available in petrol, diesel or hybrid forms, with the latter very popular in the UK. You should find all models are easy to live with, but healthy demand on used car forecourts means asking prices can be high (especially for Hybrid editions). The Yaris’s looks are sharper than its driving experience, so try a few alternatives before buying too readily.

Which one should I buy?

  • Best Toyota Yaris for low costs: 1.0 VVT-i Active
  • Best Toyota Yaris for fuel economy: 1.4 D-4D Icon
  • Best Toyota Yaris for driving fun: GRMN

Diesel models are very frugal, but the Hybrid is better suited to endless short journeys, especially urban ones.

Entry-level cars are spartan, so aim for at least TR/Icon trims, with 15-inch alloys, air-con, Bluetooth, a rear parking camera and a touchscreen without nav.

The SR and Sport bring part-leather trim, 16-inch wheels, privacy glass, lowered suspension and sportier detailing. The range-topping T Spirit and Excel feature a glass roof, dual-zone climate control, automatic lights and wipers, plus an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. Cars with the Touch and Go touchscreen multimedia system include sat-nav plus a raft of connected services. 

What are the alternatives?

Ford’s Fiesta is the best all-round used supermini because it’s plentiful, cheap, fun to drive and generally well equipped. The Vauxhall Corsa and SEAT Ibiza share most of these attributes, but neither model is as engaging to drive.

Both the Hyundai i20 and Kia Rio play the value card more heavily, because most models are well equipped and reliable. You get smart styling and great driving dynamics in the Mazda 2, and while Volkswagen’s Polo isn’t as affordable as most rivals, it’s well made, spacious and good to drive.

The MINI has a strong image and decent dynamics, but prices are high. Other options include the Peugeot 208, Renault Clio and Skoda Fabia.

Suzuki Swift vs Toyota Yaris vs Skoda Fabia 

Yaris Group 1

To mark the arrival of the new Suzuki Swift, we pitched it against two of the best value superminis on the market. By 2017, the Toyota Yaris was beginning to feel its age, so it was no match for the Skoda Fabia, which took class honours in this triple test. Read the full test here...

Toyota Yaris vs Volkswagen Polo

Back in 2014, the recently facelifted Toyota Yaris faced an uphill battle when we tested it against the safe and dependable Volkswagen Polo. While the new styling and updated infotainment system were positive steps forward, the Yaris couldn’t topple the high-quality Polo. Read the full test here...

Toyota Yaris Hybrid vs Peugeot 208

A lot has changed in a decade. Back in 2012, we wanted to identify which supermini worked best in the city: diesel or hybrid? Today, we’d be pitching electric against hybrid, but things were different at the beginning of the last decade, when a diesel Peugeot 208 beat the Toyota Yaris Hybrid. Read the full test here...

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