SMALL CAR, BIG FAN BASE
USED CAR WITH GRAHAM SMITH: TOYOTA YARIS
These days, driving a small car like the Toyota Yaris doesn’t mean you are poverty stricken — it often means you’re smarter than rest.
Congestion makes cars a sensible choice for many who endure the daily commute. They’re easy to drive, easy to park and economical, with none of privations that made earlier small cars so hard live with. The Yaris slotted into the Toyota range under Corolla when it arrived in 2005. Its three- and five-door hatch and four-door sedan variants came in YR, YRS YRX spec.
Despite its dimensions, it was relatively roomy inside. Front passengers had decent head and legroom and those in the rear were similarly treated to surprising space comfort.
The boot wasn’t overly generous but seats folded increase the for carrying life’s necessities.
Power came from a pair of four-cylindar engines, 1.3-litre for the YR and 1.5 YRS and YRX. Both were acceptable performers but with more power torque the larger engine was naturally better choice, given that it only marginally thirstier.
Transmissions were fivespeed manual or conventional four-speed automatic. Most buyers chose the latter despite
few ratios and lack of a sporty shift function.
On road Yaris was easy to drive, handling balanced assured the ride, though it could be firm, was not uncomfortable.
Such is Toyota’s reputation that the mere mention of the brand conjures impression quality and reliability. Reviewing feedback from Yaris owners tells a similar tale, one of impeccable reliability
few, if any, problems to concern prospective owners.
In model that has been around for so long, and build quality are particularly important to look
in a second-hand example.
They are paramount if the car the car is intended for a young son or daughter.
Owners of cars that have done up to 200,000km still happy with them and this should give shoppers confidence to buy.
We fielded one complaint about tyre life but it was the only on that subject. One owner told us amazing brake he has experienced, yet to replace the pads after 11 years.
Another reported problems with peeling paint leaving conspicuous blotches, apparently an isolated example.
The Yaris engines have a timing chain, which means there’s no requirement for regular replacement.
Servicing is all-important; it’s what gives cars long and reliable lives. Check a service record to ensure the one you’ve chosen has been well looked after.
With four safety stars, Yaris isn’t at top of current tree but it dual front airbags, most important for young drivers, as well as anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency brake assist. The Yaris was released before electronic stability control mandated.
Dylan King I have owned a 2006 YRS since new. It now has over 200,000km on the clock. It is surprisingly spacious, reliable and economical, if not the most exciting drive. I have still to get brake pads replaced usually average 6.0L/100km. intend to keep it for years come, as is yet let me down. Rosie Jones I’ve had my manual YRS since 2006 and absolutely love it! It such an economical car has never
done 101,121km mechanic tells me it’s ageing beautifully! Robyn Matthews I find my 2009 model zippy and spacious for a small car, adore the ease of extending boot for groceries or dropping seats
something bigger. I also really like multiple glove boxes. It’s economical on fuel, easy to park and a great vehicle. Brian June Ralphs We have owned 2007 YRS fivedoor from new. Our experience has been pleasant one. like the performance have never let down. feel
car requires new tyres more often than expected; it’s now on its third set with only 73,000km clock. We also feel the one reversing light is totally inadequate. But the comfort, road noise, cargo capacity, manoeuvrability and parking are good.
A sound second-hand choice for parents wanting a safe, reliable car youngsters.