back to article Toyota Yaris 2011

It’s a testament to the enduring popularity of the first two incarnations of Toyota’s little Yaris that between them they lasted for 12 years before the third version rolled off the production line. But has Yaris 3.0 still got what it takes to cut the mustard in the super-competitive B segment? At first glance, there's little …


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  1. jake Silver badge

    No, thank you.

    I'll stick to my 1962 Mini, and/or my 1972 Datsun 510 4-door, and/or my 1972 BMW 2002tii. All bone-stock (the Datsun has the battery remounted in the trunk(boot), for near 50/50 weight distribution).

    Fewer thingies to go wrong ... and easier to fix 'em if they break.

    Better price/performance ratio, and much better real-world mileage.

    1. jungle_jim


      You know it!

      i'd love to see what some of the old cars could achieve, fuel economy wise and performance wise, with a more modern engine - they weigh nothing compared to modern cars.

      (and ill stick to my '67 Cortina and '83 Capri)

      1. jake Silver badge


        Old Fords are a specialty of mine ... I just took delivery of a 1963 Ford Consul Capri GT. Should make for a good little runabout when she's restored in a year or two. Might take a few minutes to teach my wife how to shift gears with three-on-the-tree, but that's the cost of progress! :-)

        Just call me Dagenham Dave ... Stranglers version, not that 'orrible Morrissey thingie.

  2. DrXym

    Amazon link!

    I tried adding a Yaris to my basket but it wouldn't fit.

  3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    I just choked on my coffee

    Quote: It’s a testament to the enduring popularity of the first two incarnations of Toyota’s little Yaris that between them they lasted for 12 years before the third version rolled off the production line

    Utter bollocks. Just choked on my coffee on that one.

    It is a testament to the strength of Daihatsu Engineering and the Old pre-2005 engineering driven concept to market strategy of Toyota group. Yaris 2.0 is the uplifted Sirion (prior to the 2003 engine tune-ups), seat mechanics from YRV and a shell+dash made to look like it is really a descendant of Yaris 1.0. Dissassemble both of the three of them next to each other and you will see exactly what I mean (I know it first hand as I have used parts from one on the other).

    In the days of Toyota group greatness, the cheap/yoof innovation went into the Daihatsu line, the expensive/sporty/exec one into the Lexus and it all filtered down to Toyota proper only when it was tested by life itself for several years on the road (Prius is the sole exemption here, but it is neither yoof nor exec in its first incarnation).

    Yaris MK2 is a testament to the benefits of that methodology and philosophy. It is a testament to the triumph of engineering over excel spreadsheet juggling and defrauding the consumer by putting 20 different labels on what is effectively the same product.

    It is one of the best examples to confirm this:,9171,2081930,00.html [Times, Driven off the road by MBA]

    It will not give Clarkson a boner. It is however reliable, dependable and good enough for daily use for a decade and a half at the very least.

    As far as Yaris 3.0 I am not going to even consider looking at it. Toyota has been doing the "we want to be like GM and Ford" management/branding consultants merry dance for 7 years now and it shows with a vengeance. Recall after recall after total recall. No thanks.

  4. JDX Gold badge

    FROM £11k?!

    I thought a Yaris was supposed to be an option for a first car? I got my T3 new for my first job out of university in 2003 and it was more like £7k. Is the difference really just inflation or have they given up on the cheap market?

    1. annodomini2


      Scrappage scheme ruined it all, government said, we'll give you £2k towards a new car if you trade in a qualifying car.

      So dealers put their prices up by £2k overnight, thing is...

      When scrappage ended the prices stayed the same or more!

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Prices :(

      Yes, they're way up. A new mid-spec Focus cost £15,000 in 2006 and £20,000 in 2009. They've fallen back a bit, but costs have spiralled.

      4% inflation, my left tit.

  5. Zog The Undeniable

    Touch screen stereos are the work of the devil. My wife's car has one and it demands your full attention to select music because you can't do it by feel (on my old MP3 CD-capable unit I just press a button to change album or track). Lethal, even if you don't use it to txt msg people which no doubt people will.

    I had a Yaris T Sport, bought new, from 2001-2003, It was the only car I ever owned that broke down, and the paint was as soft as butter.

  6. That Awful Puppy

    "Despite the official combined fuel economy figure of 55.4mpg, during a week spent driving on predominately rural roads I only averaged 44mpg, which was a little disappointing. CO2 emissions are, at 118g/km, par for the course.

    If you want to get more from each gallon you’ll need to either buy the lesser but utterly gutless three-cylinder 1.0 litre version, the diesel - or wait until next year for the hybrid model."

    Well, no. My 2006 Civic with its 2.2 l diesel engine does about 55 mpg, if I don't trash it about too much. Why? Because the engine is big enough not to strain at motorway speeds. I drove a Yaris 2 and it was a lovely little car, but on the motorway, the mileage dropped down to approximately 30ish mpg.

    It's the ultimate in false economy and has quite a lot to do with the way the mileage testing is performed.

    Want decent real-life low consumption and decent performance? Buy a big-ish diesel.

    Want lovely mileage on paper and awful performance? Buy one of these small yet heavy cars with tiny engines.

    1. Toxteth O'Gravy


      Want to pump even more toxic shit out of your tailpipe? Buy a big-ish diesel.

      Cough, cough...

      1. That Awful Puppy

        Actually, despite what you were taught in your Media Studies course, the actual amount of "toxic shit" that spews out of one's tailpipe, as you so eloquently put it, is directly proportional to the amount of fuel you burn.

        In reality, therefore, my nasty old car actually spews out less "toxic shit" out of its two tailpipes than the brand new oh-so-eco Yaris with its tiny straining engine does.

    2. Bassey

      Re; That awful puppy

      "I drove a Yaris 2 and it was a lovely little car, but on the motorway, the mileage dropped down to approximately 30ish mpg."

      "Want decent real-life low consumption and decent performance? Buy a big-ish diesel."

      Why would "real life economy" for a city car be based around motorway driving? It is a CITY CAR? It clearly says so in the review, on their website and in ALL the marketing gumpf. What your post just said is;

      I took a city car, thrashed it up and down a motorway and came to the conclusion it isn't as well designed for driving on motorways as a car designed to be driven up and down motorways.


      1. That Awful Puppy

        Well, you're wrong.

        I didn't trash it up and down the motorway - I drove well within the legal speed limit. Not that it would go much faster than that, mind.

        What I'm saying is that the author of the review clearly states that the stated fuel economy is not achieved in real life driving, and my experience supports that.

        Now if you would just provide evidence that the majority (50% + 1 car) of these cars (what's the plural, Yarii?) are used exclusively in the city, never wandering even onto a humble bypass, and that this same majority achieves the fuel consuption figures stated by the manufacturer (+/- 5%), I will shut up and consider myself to be an utter tit.

      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        WTF is a "City car"?

        The 1950s called. They want their quaint road system back. All the cities that I'm familiar with have motorways and dual carriageways for anyone who wants to go further than round the block. (And without getting too dark a shade of green, perhaps even a city car isn't the appropriate vehicle for that journey.)

        In the meantime, any car that needs special pleading to explain its motorway performance is unfit for the consumer market.

  7. Meerkatdawg
    Thumb Down



  8. Nev
    Thumb Up

    Fresh as a lemon enema.....

  9. PhilipN Silver badge
    Paris Hilton


    Why do I feel that I have no idea what the above posters are talking about?

    Conversely I read the article and understood it perfectly.

  10. Peter Bond

    WTF are you babbling about?

    @ Voland's right hand

    Sorry, at what point is your rant supposed to contradict what the author has said? Who gives a stuff what bit of the corporate parts bin the Yaris was made from? It's has sold well, especially compared to Starlet that came before it, and a 6-year life cycle per model is well above the industry average but despite that both Yaris 1 and 2 sold well strongly up until replaced by the new model.

    In short the author is bang on with his opening statement which anyway is the short opening of a review not a detailed analysys of Toyota's design and engineering philosophy since the late 1990s.


  11. djswivel

    Reversing Camera!?!?

    If you need a reversing camera on a car that small, you shouldn't be driving.

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      Not to mention the insignificance of drag coefficient on a car that will spend its whole life in traffic jams on the school run.


  12. Jim 59

    Good car

    Looks good, and must be a very pleasant drive with all the AV kit and great visibility. A touch too expensive, but with current market conditions, they will likely sell you one for less. 44 mpg is a disappointing though.

  13. Blake St. Claire

    Yaris 2011?

    What's up with that? Aren't the 2012 models out?

    Or did I just take a trip through a wormhole and not notice?

  14. All names Taken

    What about Chevrolet Kalos?

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      What about it?

  15. andy gibson

    Small engined diesels

    The problem with small engined diesels is that they are generally used around towns and on short runs. The problem with diesels is that this kind of use fills the engine with crap. Yes, diesel particulate filters will help a bit but soon get clogged. I've seen loads of small second hand cars with clogged EGR valves and Diesel Particulate Filters which look like bargains but cost several hundred pounds to get sorted.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yaris figures are way too conservative

    I have a 2007 Yaris and am disappointed if my average is less than 55 mpg *in town*, and I have regularly had it over 60 mpg (once almost 70 mpg).

    It's a D4D 1.4 diesel, so sluggish right?

    Well, no. I regularly cruise at around 65 mph as I see no need to rush, but if I had tested it :) I would have discovered that far from the top speed of under a hundred it reached 115 mph with 1,000 revs left.

  17. fixit_f

    Yes and no

    My old dear has had a mk1 and mk2 Yaris, absolutely excellent little cars. I might have the mk2 off her for the missis at some point.

    But I'd never buy a car brand new, you'd have to be a mug to do so, and the above mentioned scrappage scheme has put many perfectly efficient little cars prematurely off the road.

    If you want long term value for money versus a couple less miles per gallon buy a 4 year old car. You'll spend much less overall, and you won't be wasting all of that energy that goes into producing a new car. I know El Reg will get some sort of backhander for reviewing new cars, however guys for the sake of balance can we see an article with a cost/benefit/C02 analysis of new versus slightly less new?

  18. Karl Austin

    The 1.0 Litre is awful on a motorway...

    ... had one of the last gen ones as a courtesy car (Not what you'd like when you're taking a Lotus in for service, but hey ho) and it was woeful on the motorway at getting up to speed - I could have pushed it faster from 50-60-70mph.

  19. MJI Silver badge

    Scrappage was evil

    So many decent cars scrapped just to bolster the Korean car industry.

  20. MJI Silver badge

    Some thoughts

    My 10 year old largish car has a lower CD than that.

    New small cars are too tall.

    Stepd in a CVT transmission - what an odd idea.

    What is wrong with leaving the engine at most effient revs?

  21. Jim 59


    Doubtless the USB function reads fat16 and fat32 file systems only. Microsoft can now flog a license on every new car so equipped. We are surrounded by free and far better file systems - ext3, ext4, btrfs etc, but MS can force the car industry into using a 20 year old file system simply because most car owners have Windows PCs.

    My household does not use Windows at all. But I have still paid MS for FAT on 7 or 8 devices (USB sticks, media players, satnav) for the privilage of bringing this poor technology into my life. Will there be no end to their wheeling and dealing ?

    1. Gordon 10

      Get a life ffs

      So we are talking about a car that is probable the subject of hundreds of patent license fees most of them in excess of the ms fat patent fee which has no visible impact on the cars list price.

      But you want to whine about something non functional about the cars stereo - is your life really that empty?

      1. Jim 59

        IT Angle

        No, I was "making conversation" with an IT angle. I am delighted with the USB in my car. But it is ironic that is uses an antique file system when better technology abouds. This is a small example of what market dominance brings to the consumer.

  22. Audrey S. Thackeray
    Paris Hilton

    How much?

    Don't know a lot about cars, only time I ever drove one I backed into a volcano (true).

    So excuse me if I am just out of touch but isn't this incredibly fecking expensive?

    I mean I went round the world for a year for less than two-thirds that amount (this century).

    Am I naive to be shocked at the idea of paying over ten grand for what looks like a pretty ordinary car?

    Paris because she rhymes with Yaris and knows all about how a seemingly straightforward ride can end up costing you more than you were expecting.

  23. J. Cook Silver badge

    Re:Jim 59 (FAT16/32 on USB sticks)...

    I don't think it's the licensing- Toyota is likely not directly paying MS, but rather whoever makes the chipset in their radios paid the license, (that's at least two degrees of removal- Toyota OEMs the radio from a company that buys the chipset from the manufacturer.) While I'd dearly love it if it supported every single known filesystem on the planet, it's not cost effective, so the chipset manufacturer goes for the low hanging fruit instead of making an all-signing, all-dancing super chip that costs a ton of money that has stuff that only about 2% of the paying public will ever use.

    I'd also dearly love it if they supported more then the 'standard' trio of MP3/WAV/WMA- I have to either transcode my collection for the sole purpose of parking it on a thumb drive that holds my playlist, burn it to a CD*, or play it directly off my music player via line in)

    In addition, the radio I have (stock radio on a 2011 Tundra SR5, the us's bigger brother to the hilux) won't play certain mp3 files i have, because they have the wrong bitrate, or some other reason I've yet to determine, but am too lazy to transcode them to work with a single device.

    * Ah, burned CDs- the latest incarnation of the mix tape.

    Mines the one with the rockboxed'd sansa in the pocket, and a thumb drive with a bunch of mp3 files on it.

  24. Andus McCoatover

    At least they've got rid of that slab rear window.

    When they first came out, ex-Girlie and I tried one. It was October. In Finland, October is called 'Lokakuu', which equates approximately to 'muck-month'. As now, it's raining most days, mud washed off the streets onto the road. Apt name.

    In short, within a few kilometres, we couldn't see out of the back window.

    We took it straight back to the dealers, and bought a VW Bora instead.

    Don't Toyota have a wind tunnel??

  25. JDX Gold badge

    @Jim 59

    Well done on finding a way to cram your anti-MS rhetoric into a totally unrelated topic.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    1 litre Yaris

    Part of the problem with fuel economy on cars like the yaris is people drive them like diesels or old british junk ie low revs, letting it struggle up the rev counter while stamping on the throttle.

    Right way to drive is light pressure on the throttle, run it high on the revs to keep it in the powerband, shift up as you hit the top end of the power band (ie when it stops accelerating as much) and shift down when hill climbing so your in the power band not making the engine labour.

    Difference on 50 mile motorway trip, my parents 40 or less mpg driving as point 1, myself driving as point 2 with same weight in the car 48+ mpg and not hanging around dribbling along at 55 either.

    I've had 85+ ,mph out of a 1 litre T2 second gen yaris, so its not slow unless you expect not to have to shift down a gear or 3.

    Also whats the point of CVT??? Its not that hard to shift gears, and an auto box of any sort toasts your mpg...or is it as usual fat lazy journo syndrome?

    1. Gordon 10


      If you compare the manual/auto mpg of any modern car you'll find the diff is 1-2 mpg. I know it is on my car.

      Since city driving is stop-start and jammy an auto makes perfect sense.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    City Car?

    City Car means "sh*t on highway". Not only the lack of speed/oomph. That one only does matter on the slim occasion you have an empty road.

    But the silent-ish yet thrashy engines. Even when jammed and the long road lit to the horizon with red brake lights.

    Other stuff:

    - Short wheelbase so not good speed stability. I do mean anything around the speed limit on the highway. Maybe a good thing these have such dead, uncommunicative steering.

    - Tall because such a short car needs to feel roomy, so little composure in case of gusts of wind.

    - Needs to be light, but the safety systems make them heavy (for the size). Can't use lightweight+strong materials because it needs to be cheap.

    - Good for squeezing into small parking spaces, I give them that. So that's what the "City Car" means!


    So.. It's a cheap car, built to the current safety regulations, and a few cheap gimmicks thrown in so it'll be appealing. Cheap personal transport.

    I'm all for cheap cars, but hate the see-through marketspeak. They are cheap cars. Get over it.

    Since this one's Japanese, it's bound to be quite reliable. But I'm not entirely sure this is a boon in the long run.

    If you look at cars as "sneakers", as something to put on when you need to protect your soles on your trip to the shops these will do, torn and dirty they will function. If you like driving occasionally .. no.

    1. Rune Moberg

      Just buy an used car instead..?

      A little googling turns up several used Saabs that are much less expensive than this Toyota-strange-thingy. Usually with bigger engines, vastly better road handling (especially in the snow) and superb comfort.

      The money saved would buy quite a lot of fuel. The only dark horse as far as I can tell would be squeezing into small parking spaces...

  28. Arctic fox

    "Put the new Yaris and the new Kia Rio side by side........................

    ..................and remove the badges, and I dare you to tell them apart."

    And nobody is suing anyone for patent infringement? How refreshing.

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