Toyota Yaris - Used

Car Review

Toyota Yaris, front
Toyota Yaris, front
Toyota Yaris, side
Toyota Yaris, rear
Toyota Yaris, interior
Toyota Yaris, boot

THERE was a time when most of our family cars were pretty unreliable and many drivers remember when they carried a toolbox around in the boot just in case.

But one marque has stood out in the reliability stakes ever since it was launched here, and that's Toyota.

This long lasting strength extends right through the range and down to the supermini Yaris, a new model of which has just been launched.

However, the previous model had a nine year run and it's agile, very safe and fun to drive, with good handling and excellent roadholding plus a better ride than some other small cars.

Petrol engines are a 1.0-litre with 68bhp, a 1.3 with 99bhp, a 1.5 with 109 bhp and 1.5 petrol/electric hybrid with 98.

The 1.0-litre gets from 0 to 60 miles an hour in 14.8 seconds and is capable of an excellent 58 miles per gallon, while the 1.3 covers the benchmark sprint in 11.3 seconds and could manage 52mpg.

The 1.5 replaced the 1.3, and has an extra 10bhp. It covers the sprint in 10.6 seconds and at very best will do 47mpg, while later Hybrids take 11.4 seconds for the sprint and are rated at 80mpg - with very low emissions and no road tax.

A 1.4-litre diesel with 90bhp was also available until 2017 but it was dropped from the line up in favour of the hybrid models increasingly espoused by Toyota. At the same time, the three door model disppeared because it sold in far fewer numbers than the five door.

The hybrid models use the same drive system as the Prius, so they drive the front wheels through a CVT continuously variable automatic gearbox.

However, the cheaper petrol and diesel models have a better ride because of the extra weight of the hybrid's batteries.

The diesel is very economical too, and capable of 60+mpg, but even the 1.0-litre petrol can do 52, and of course, it is much more numerous secondhand and cheaper to buy and insure.

Despite a slow 0 to 60 time, this smallest engine doesn't feel particularly slow, with a peppy, free revving nature when pushed, whereas the 1.5 can sound harsh if pressed for higher revs. Also, the 1.0-litre is quite capable of longer journeys in good comfort

The Yaris is one of the safest cars in the supermini class thanks to standard driver, passenger, side, curtain and driver's knee airbags.

It also has stability control and anti-lock brakes that combine with emergency brake assist to apply full pressure on the brakes in critical conditions.

Standard from the 2017 facelift and optional before is the Toyota Safety Sense package, which brings automatic dipping headlights, traffic sign recognition, lane-departure warning and a collision prevention system with automatic emergency braking.

There is a bewildering range of models and special editions to choose from, so all I can say is - make sure you get all the kit you want.

All have audio remote control, height adjust driver's seat, reach and height adjust steering, lumbar support, front electric windows, remote locking and traction control.

Mid-range Sport models also have alloys, electric mirrors and parking sensors and above that, leather upholstery and parking sensors are included. but remmber that air conditioning was an extra on many models in the early days so if you want it, make sure you've got it!

Pay about £5,000 for a '16 16-reg 1 litre Active five door, or £11,850 for a '19 19-reg Icon Hybrid auto five door.

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