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Old 01-03-2008, 10:14 AM   #1
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Toyota Yaris NorthAmerica 2007/2008

My car is a 5spd Flint Mica 2008 Sedan Non S model with power package (Flint mica is a fancy term for dark grey with shiny stuff in it to catch the eye)

Pros/cons..opinions discussion

While I can write a review of my own, the following review and link to the original review is very thorough, more than I could ever say in so few words.

I would like to add an MPG opinion since this forum is related to all and many things efficiency that one can get very good MPGs with the yaris. With the help of this forum (learning the gas saving methods) and the scan gauge 2, I am starting to note an average of 45 mpgs (mainly highway). I am quite sure if all my miles were highway, I could easily hit 50mpgs. Around town, I can easily hit 30-35 mpgs, 40mpgs if I am careful and lucky. Note that I've only had this car since middle November 2007 (it's a 2008 model), the date today is January 2008.

Model years 2007 and 2008 are basically identical. 2008 is a carry over with the "S" package added as an available for the 3 door hatch in the States. Also new to all models I believe is a tire pressure monitoring system.

The 5 door hatch can be found in Canada, but can not be found in the US as it would be a direct competition for the Scion xA (cousin to the Yaris)

Interior wise, the 3/5 door have slightly different amenities to the sedan but the overall design is the same. One of the differences is that the sedan does not have the glove box over the drivers side and another is while the HVAC controls for the 3/5 is 3 knobs ontop of eachother, the sedan has them in a triangular fashion.

With no futher adieu:

jianye3's Review: Yaris Sedan provided by
4/5 stars Great money saving car
Sep 25, 2007
Pros: cheap to buy, insure, fuel. easy to park, maneuver.
Cons: small may equal more injuries in collisions with almost any other car
The Bottom Line: great car for the money

Reliability: 5/5 stars
Seat Comfort: 3/5 stars
Build Quality 4/5 stars
Roominess: 4/5 stars
Owns this vehicle: null/5 stars
Condition: null/5 stars
Model Year: null/5 stars

Full Review

The Toyota Yaris is the most affordable Toyota around, but it really doesn't feel entry level. Overall, the car's engine is surprisingly sufficient. On paper, numbers such as 106 hp at a high 6000 rpm and 103 lbs-ft torque at 4200 rpm would lead you to believe that this tiny, little 1.5 liter engine would take 10 years to hit 70mph, and that the engine would be as loud as a rock band concert. But this tiny, little car with a comfortable but short wheelbase of only 100 inches and 169" overall length, weighs a mere 2300 pounds. This light weight and overall small size enable the Yaris to hold its own on the road.

You won't be slowing people behind you down, even from a red light that just turned green. In like manner, once the engine is already in motion producing midrange torque, the ability to accelerate is more pronounced, and even easier to drive. In a phrase, Yaris is a sufficient car for most day to day activities. So, the Yaris has a capable engine for its light weight.

Is it safe to drive such a small, light car? Let's put aside the potential safety issues of a small, light car aside for a moment. The light weight of 2300 pounds gives two big benefits. For one, since the car is light, the engine is capable of propelling the Yaris around. Many website reviews (expert and consumer alike), describe the engine and car as "zippy" or "peppy". I will describe the engine as surprisingly adequate. True, it may take 1 or 2 more seconds or maybe just a little more foot pressure to keep up with a Camry or an Accord... but consider this automatic 4 door 40mpg car is only $15k with a power and convenience package.

The other benefit of light weight is that this car has possibly the best gas mileage for a non-hybrid car. While the EPA estimates gas mileage can be as high as 40, most consumers and car authorities estimate real gas mileage in the low 30's.

The gas pedal is very light. There is almost no resistance at all to press it all the way down. The steering wheel is really loose. In part, this loose steering wheel makes a turning radius of 32.6 feet easily obtainable. Changing lanes, passing someone slower, and parking, are all easy in the Yaris in a capable driver.

In addition to being easy to park, the 169" long, 67" wide Yaris (with mirrors that fold in), can go where other cars might not be able to. For example, pretend you're on a busy street. A big, wide truck double parked, and he's blocking most people from safely passing. The narrow Yaris has a lot more room to maneuver than almost any other car on the road. Or, imagine you're in the New York City looking for a parking spot. The Yaris, being 3 feet less than big brother Camry, can slide into a spot a Camry would have to pass up.

Many other reviews on the net comment that one drawback is engine noise. Indeed, if you press the pedal all the way down, this car is going to make noise... but how often will you slam the pedal all the way to the metal?
When the car is stopped at a red light, you can't even hear the engine. Its so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. When moving from 0 to 30 and 30 to 60 under normal driving conditions, there is no annoying engine noise either. Only when you slam the gas suddenly is annoying noise produced.

In addition to engine noise, the "merging onto a highway" test is also important. The truth is that you will probably have to wait a little longer in this car for an opening to appear on the highway. And you'll need more time and space between other cars before you can get on the highway. But this is not a bad trade off for 40mpg. And the car is not weak in normal, everyday traffic. It just needs a few more seconds and a little more space in fast highway merging.

In normal safe driving, there is no body roll. Admittedly, if you drive fast, Yaris can oversteer and lean a little. But the suspension will absorb most small dips and bumps nicely in normal driving. The car offers a comfortable ride, with linear (not especially fast) acceleration.

Exterior colors available include white, mid-grey, dark grey, red, light blue, navy blue, black, beige, and the ever popular silver. Interior colors for the standard fabrice include black and beige. There is no such thing as leather for this entry level car... not yet anyway....

Interior Space
I have lots of space to stretch my legs in the front. When i first sat in it, i was surprised that my 6' tall frame sat so comfortably and that I was almost able to extend my legs fully straight. I was also surprised that even in this entry level car, the head rest is height adjustable.

There is definitely lots of back seat room. When the front driver's seat is all the way back, a 6' tall person could fit in the back comortably for a short trip. And, there are four doors making this a practical car.

Inches of room (front/rear):
leg room 40.3/33.8
head room 39.4/37.9
shoulder room 51.4/50.4
hip room 50.0/46.7
Trunk: 12.9 cu feet (plenty)

The best overall word for the interior is "simple". It is not a complex or distracting design, and everything is laid out fairly spaciously. But, while Yaris is spacious, and simple on the inside, some things are boring. Fabric is plain, almost cheap - but still comfy. The back seat looks more like an inexpensive bench, rather than seats sculpted to look like the would hold individual human beings. The stereo looks nice with an attractive silver console when you have the cd package.

Yaris does have an mp3 player connection available that you can purchase as an option. So you could make cd's, and the yaris can hook up to an iPod, and play lots of your music.

As is typical with most Toyotas, control dials for the stereo and heat/ac systems are large and easy to control. And, as is typical for Toyotas, there are lots of storage spaces.

Here is one thing Yaris owners may gripe about for this model: what Toyota jokingly calls a cup holder is mid way between the steering wheel and the ouside side mirror, almost at the same level as your shoulder. This is not very easy (or safe) to reach for when you're driving. The "cup holder" is only an inch deep. Translation: if you put a cup of coffee in that supposed cup holder, even in normal, safe driving.... that morning black coffee is going to spill all over your business clothes and the rest of the car, making an awful mess.... not the best way to start off your day.

A note regarding the tachometer: it is not standard for all Yaris hatchback or sedan models. Toyota was probably looking for every single little way to cut down on production costs when designing the car so it could be sold at a low price. If you want a tachometer, make sure you address this with the dealer.

The tach and speedometer (along with fuel gauge and trip odometer) are in the center of the car. It is not dead ahead of you under the steering wheel as is the convention with almost every other car on the road. As others on the net have convincingly reasoned out, toyota saves production money by putting the gauges in the center.

In europe, where drivers are on the right of the car, the Yaris also has the display dead center. If toyota made one set of dashes with gauges on the left for America, and another set with gauges on the right, this leads to an extra production line. But in making one universal dash with everything dead center, they can use this dash for america and europe, cutting down on production costs and therfore price to consumer.

Lots of people hate the center mount, some people like this, and then there's pretty much everybody else who thinks, "I'll just get used to it."
I personally like it for one true reason: it is a safer design. when i was looking at the speedometer and tachometer, my eyes were still able to watch the cars in front of me. And it seems easier and faster to find with my eyes than if i had to look under the steering wheel, as is the usual convention. While you may think that 1 or 2 seconds won't matter, consider the guy behind you driving fast who takes 1 or 2 seconds to look at his speed instead of your tail lights. I personally would feel safer if the guy behind me was always paying attention to the road, not the inside of his car.

There is a lot of all around visibility from big, wide windows. the side mirrors mirrors are among the biggest mirrors i have seen in my life. i think they are about as big as SUV side mirrors. And as written before, the side mirrors can fold in. This makes it easier to slide in between cars if needed, or to provide more space to less competent drivers when you're parked and they're trying to snake around city traffic.

Yaris brakes are good. They impressed me in slowing down and stopping the car normally. When stopping from 60 to 0, the car has a reassuring distance of about 120 feet according to Side air bags are also available. But, Yaris S with the body panels is not widely available yet.

According to the dealer I spoke to, Yaris S at this point has to be specially ordered from the factory. And whenever you order something from a factory, you'll be waiting for months for it. I bet one reason yaris S isn't widely available is because yaris is so new, and yaris S is so expensive when nicely equipped... A yaris S with power package is $17k - that is a lot of money for a car supposedly entry level. Side note: The cheapest Yaris you can get is the 3 door hatchback manual. That runs for about $11k with barebone options. So you could spend as little as 11 or as much as 17. Is this not such a wide spectrum for an entry level car?

Salespeople at the two dealerships I spoke with both said all yaris cars are selling well. I believe it. It's not easy to test drive a Yaris, and numbers and reports published on the web say that lots of people are buying yarises. Btw - "Yaris" is a word Toyota made up supposed to mean charisma.

And if the car sells well, and it's only been out for a few months, that means the price cannot be negotiated. That's what the dealer told me. I believe him. A brand new model on the market usually doesn't get cheaper till months later, when competition catches up/surpasses it... or when another new car from the same company comes out.

{what i alluded to in that last line is that when the all-new 2008 corolla comes out mid '07, manufacture rebates and base price of the Yaris will make a $13,500 automatic yaris with power package possible. Till then, if you want a 4 door automatic, nicely equipped, it will be challenging to find one for less than 15k for the next several months.

Side note: the Corolla is being redesigned for '08 model year in large part because of the new Civic. the new civic is selling very well, possibly the best selling car in its market segment currently. It is indeed an excellent car. Toyota execs actually ordered designers to come up with a new Corolla soon in part because the Civic, Jetta, and Sentra, have all been fully redesigned. The Corolla has been unchanged since 2003 model year, and sales are starting to become stale.}

A note on model trims: The yaris S is about $1,500 more than regular yaris. Mainly, for that extra 1500 (which could be $2,000 when you include taxes and finance charges), the only thing you're getting is that extra plastic body stuff under the front, back, and sides of the car. There is also a jack for an mp3 player... but is all this worth $2000? Go for aftermarket stuff, and you could save at least a thousand dollars.

Now that much of the positive stuff has been mentioned, there is one other question that must be addressed: is it safe to drive such a small, light car?

While a small, light car has advantages, there are also disadvantages. If you had to drive in strong winds, rain, or snow, would you feel safe in a front wheel drive 2300 pound car? And if God forbid some drunk driver hits you when you have your child in the front seat, would you feel safe in a car whose hood is only 2.5 feet long at best?

As much as we would like to avoid thinking about it, we must consider that there are a lot of irresponsible (or not skilled) drivers on the road. Many unskilled people drive while holding a cell phone in their hand. Most cars on the road are near 4000 pounds, twice the mass of the Yaris. Consider some irresponsible, not skilled, or drunk driver going 70 mph... and hits your trunk which looks only 1 foot long on the outside... or he hits your thin driver or passenger door... would you feel safe? Seat belts, Air bags, and side bars are nice... but in the end, solid/heavy metal, distance, and luck are all very important in deciding if you live or die if someone really does hit you hard.

Safety concerns are very legitimate concerns you and your family should think about whenever you purchase any kind of car, small, or average, or big size.

Final words
If you want a pocket rocket, or drive and turn a car fast with no body roll or oversteer, Yaris is not the best choice for you. The 2007 Yaris is best for someone who just wants a simple, reliable point A to point B car that does't have to be fueled often and doesn't cost much to fuel either. Yaris also is good from an insurance point of view. For this subcompact would not cost much to insure. The Yaris engine is sufficiently adequate for a driver who needs a day to day car to go to work, get groceries, and perform other errands.

The only advice I would have for a buyer who has decided on a Yaris is: if you can, wait a few weeks, or months if possible. The yaris has only been out for a few months, and it is selling so well. Yaris S seems to require waiting times from the factory. There are no toyota rebate-promotions for it now. And if you buy a yaris now, you won't be able to negotiate much. Dealers are selling the car pretty much at sticker, and seem to be moving them within a week of them arriving on the lot. If you wait a few months, you could save several hundred dollars on that nice, little yaris.

acceleration/braking numbers and other specs are at


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Old 01-03-2008, 02:34 PM   #2
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As another Yaris user (I drive an LB), I can agree with very many things in the nice review above. Good job friend!

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Old 01-03-2008, 03:16 PM   #3
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Thank you.

I just want to make it clear that I my piece is only the addendum at the top portion of the review. I've read a lot of reviews for the yaris and this one is the closes to what I feel exactly. I wanted to have a yaris review for for others to read.

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Old 01-03-2008, 03:59 PM   #4
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Noted with thanks. Again, nice job posting/quoting the reviews!
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Old 01-03-2008, 05:21 PM   #5
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Thanks again!

I would like to invite any Yaris owners to post their experiences so the rest of the forum can get a more intimate feel for the car.

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Old 01-03-2008, 06:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by RningOnFumes View Post
Thanks again!

I would like to invite any Yaris owners to post their experiences so the rest of the forum can get a more intimate feel for the car.
My mom's got one for about a year now, put about 10000miles on it, and she loves it. She had a Accord 2001 V6 sedan, and she loves the confort, how easy the car is to drive, and at the pump! I did drove it for a 1000miles and I really find that this car (remembered its an ENTRY level...) as everything you need in a car, it as good FE, great reliability, kind of cheap, with room for legs and stuff, I don't know why they still sell those ENORMOUS Camry (they must have double size in 15 years...). And its a LOT of fun to drive in snow (with good SNOW tires...).
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:06 AM   #7
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You see quite a few of these in Europe where they pretty much specialize in small cars and it is conceived as one of the best smaller cars. Great quality inside out. Of course in Europe you can also choose the even smaller Aygo with a super lightweight engine that I hope Toyota will start bringing to the US as well as competition for cars as the Smart for Two.
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:58 AM   #8
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I have had my Yaris HB for 15 months, 15,000 miles, and still not one problem.
I paid new back then 12,200. As of today the KBB (kelley blue book) private party value for my used car is 11,925.
The 2007 Prius was rated the most reliable auto in 2007, by Consumer Reports owners, with the exception of the Yaris HB, which was the most reliable (trouble free).
I have been very happy with my decision to purchase my hatchback.
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Old 01-18-2008, 04:21 PM   #9
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its too bad they dont bring over the yaris 5-dr hatch, i think it would do very well in the us. just like the sedan, but a more usefull trunk/hatch.

they would really heat things up if they brough over the yaris diesel. i think that thing is getting close to 70mpg
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:47 AM   #10
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After reading all these topics on the Yaris and looking up consumer reviews and checking price, and building my own at

I called a local dealer and told them if they have any '07's for under $13,000 out the door, I'll be swinging by this weekend for my test drive.

I've never owned a new car, but did just get a promotion at work, which will free up some money (strongly needed money, but hey, I'm learning to get by on less) and with that new money, I was thinking, a car payment for a nice, new, more efficient car would be nice.

I only drive 9k per year, and at $3.00 for gas, the savings compared to my 27 mpg saturn will be $270 per year at 37mpg in a Yaris (I bet I could be in the 40's but I'm estimating low on purpose).

Insurance will cost double though, at least... I have a bad drivin record, and while having a loan on a new vehicle, I'll have to carry full coverage.

I want to open this discussion up more...

Those of you who researched the Yaris for fun, or out of interest in buying one, please post up what you saw as pro/con about his little car. I think I like the aesthetics of the Sedan better than the hatch, but I rarely carry passengers, so perhaps a hatch would suit me more practically. Essentially all I do is travel to-from work, to-from grocery store, and I'd guess of my 9,000 miles driven yearly, about half are commuting to/from the above mentioned, the other half is running around town/highway driving.

If money were no object (and I still really wanted a Yaris), I'd choose a Sedan 5-speed w/ power package and ABS. I'd add a scangauge and perhaps some underbelly covering.

Lets hear from you...?

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