Vehicle Type: Compact Car
History / Description: Available from 2006 to 2011 in its second generation, and its first generation in Canada after replacing the Echo, the Toyota Yaris packed four-cylinder power, a flexible interior and feature content including stability control, antilock brakes, air conditioning, cruise control, heated mirrors, power accessories and more – depending on the year and model. Alloy wheels and fog-lamps were available too, adding a sense of street-smart flare on selected units. Today, though Yaris commands relatively high residual values in its segment, shoppers should have little issue finding a few-year-old model at a reasonable price. Reliability and fuel efficiency are highly rated, making it a solid buy in a dependable and thrifty used car.
Engines / Trim: Models wearing the CE designation were entry-level units, while Yaris LE or RS represented higher-end models. Look for sedan or hatchback variants, depending on your need for space and flexibility.
All units got a 1.5L four-cylinder engine with just under 110 hp. A five-speed manual or four-speed automatic were available, and all models were front-wheel drive. Folding rear seats in the Yaris hatchback particularly helped enhance flexibility and day-to-day utility.
What Owners Like: Typically Toyota’s reputation, fuel-efficiency, flexibility, and a high degree of utility and maneuverability are raved about by Yaris owners. Handling dynamics, relatively speaking, are also highly rated. Fuel mileage and interior roominess round out the package.
What Owners Dislike: Common complaints include a less-than-stable feel driving in rain or snow, a lack of power and performance on automatic-equipped models, and limited at-hand storage for smaller items in the cabin. Finally, appreciation for the Yaris’s centre-mounted instrument cluster is mixed at best.
Here’s a look at some owner reviews
Common Issues: Yaris is a compact car with an all-star reputation for reliability –though it remains a machine built from parts and components that will wear out and require attention, and standard checks do apply. Further, the owners’ community has noted a few issues that potential used Yaris shoppers should be aware of.
Start a test-drive of a used Toyota Yaris with a walk-around, checking the paint for signs of chipping, scratches or rust. Some owners report that the Yaris’s bodywork is thin and lightweight, making it easy to scratch and dent. Front-facing surfaces, including the hood-edge and bumper, will tend to show the most wear, if present. Check for rust at the lower and inner edges of all doors, and at the lower, inner edge of the tailgate hatch or trunk, too. Excessive rust or damage to the finish should be called into pricing negotiations. Here’s a little more reading.
Check the speakers for proper operation at all volume ranges, as intermittent operation of front speakers is not unheard of. Buzzing sounds from the speakers, or total failure of the speakers to play your favourite Kenny Loggins song, also indicates an issue. Here’s some more reading. Shoppers should note that Yaris’s factory stereo system is said to be adequate at best – so budget for upgraded stereo system components as needed.