Practical experience Toyota Yaris (2011-2020): this is what owners think of their car

The P130 generation Toyota Yaris has long been among us. It was introduced in 2011 and the last units did not leave the showroom until 2020. In the meantime, the model has been facelifted twice, once in 2014 and again three years later. After the first facelift, the Yaris looked considerably fresher into the world, after the second facelift its taillights continue into the tailgate. The Yaris is powered by a 1.0-liter three-cylinder, a 1.3-liter four-cylinder or – after the latest facelift – a 1.5 VVT-I. The most famous, however, will be the Yaris Hybrid. Yaris with a diesel engine are rare, but those who want diesel can go for the 1.4 D-4D.

Space and driving comfort

Owners are pleased with the space their Yaris offers. “In the back, two adults still have quite a bit of space. The trunk is also reasonably sized for a car in this segment,” writes the owner of a five-door Yaris from 2014. The Yaris plays the role of a second family car for a young family, and it appears to be very suitable for this. “Children can (still) easily sit behind us and the trunk can easily carry the weekly groceries for five people!”

The Yaris offers a slightly higher seat, whether this is positive or negative is a matter of taste. “The seats are beautifully designed and provide sufficient support. Even after a long drive you still get out of the car feeling refreshed. Thanks to the higher seat, you have a good overview.” The next driver is not waiting for that overview: “The point of criticism is the seating position: the seat is a bit high and the steering wheel cannot be pulled very far towards you.” He is not the only one who points out the limited adjustment of the steering wheel as a drawback.

Owners still have some things to say about the driving comfort, more than once the sensitivity to wind is mentioned as an annoyance. “I have given the comfort three stars,” says the owner of this 1.5 Hybrid, “that is mainly due to the wind sensitivity on days when the wind force is higher than 3. You then have to correct continuously, which is very unpleasant.”

The chassis of the Yaris, particularly that of the Hybrid, is described as fairly firm. “The Yaris Hybrid has fairly stiff suspension,” according to the owner of such a hybrid model, “that’s nice in corners, some find it a bit nervous because of bumps in the road. I like it very much.” Steering with the Hybrid is fine, another driver experiences. “The steering is light and direct and it kept track nicely in tighter corners. I love the stiff spring behavior.”

Engines and hybrid powertrain

Those who opt for an entry-level Yaris will find a 1.0-liter VVT-I petrol engine under the hood. An engine that is known from the compact Aygo and with 69 hp at least does not seem oversized. Nevertheless, the engine performs quite well, if we can believe this owner. “In the city, the Yaris feels nice and snappy. What is nice is that the engine reacts directly to the accelerator pedal. The Yaris makes a nice speed from a standstill.” Outside the city, the engine really has to work. “Merging on the highway and speeding up mainly means: upshift late and let the engine rev up.”

The 1.3-liter four-cylinder delivers 99 hp at first glance, a more appropriate power, but emotionally it is different. “Tractive power at low revs is low, I would have liked it to have a bit more torque,” ​​says the owner of a Yaris 1.3 VVT-I. This image is confirmed by another owner: “While driving you hardly notice that you are on the road with a 100 hp 1.3. Despite the fact that the car only weighs 1,017 kilograms, the acceleration is a bit disappointing. Only if you really drive it in the revs do the 100 hp come to life and it becomes an eager cart.”

The hybrid Yaris features a 1.5-liter engine mated to an electric motor and a variable-speed automatic transmission. The latter results in a behavior that some owners need to get used to, including this one: “The CVT automatic transmission drives well, clearly audible when merging on the highway and also when accelerating smoothly. It is good to live with but it could be better. I’m used to it and it doesn’t bother me anymore, in the beginning I did.”

The concept also has advantages, the car accelerates with this transmission without shift shocks. “The CVT automatic transmission takes a lot of getting used to for most people, but it works so well. You accelerate steplessly and you always have the right speed for the amount of gas.” This driver notes that the transmission does not only respond to the accelerator pedal. “When you’re on cruise control on the highway and there’s a gust of wind coming from the front, the revs go up. This gives a somewhat restless driving behavior.”

Infotainment and assistance systems

The Yaris can be fitted with a central touchscreen with navigation as an option. The system is not among the fastest on the market. This owner also experiences this: “I find the navigation very slow. Heard it from several riders, so the system is just like that. It can be lived with, but could be better.” Other owners add that the screen is difficult to read in sunny conditions.

Despite its age, the Yaris has been equipped with various driving assistants over the years, including an emergency brake assistant and lane departure warning. This owner lists the pros and cons: “I don’t attach much value to the traffic sign recognition. The emergency brake assistant works well, if I approach an object too quickly, the car gives a warning. Crossing lines without a turn signal also gives a signal. All warnings can also be turned off or the sensitivity changed.” Turning that off is what the next owner has done with the lane warning: “Annoying is the lane change sensor. We turned them off.”

Disturbances and irritations

Although the Yaris is generally known as reliable, owners report a number of larger and smaller irritations. Several owners report creaking of the front suspension, another owner is stranded at home with an empty 12-volt battery. A problem that seems to be more common in hybrid cars, although you can see it as normal wear and tear in a car from 2016.

In the category ‘minor suffering’, several owners indicate that the rear wiper erases a very small area. There is also something to be said about ergonomically, according to this owner: “for example, the switches on the steering wheel that are not illuminated, just like the buttons for the windows.”

Bottom line, the Yaris seems to sit well with its owners, especially once they get used to the hybrid powertrain. It therefore regularly happens that the Yaris is followed by another Yaris, as the following driver shows: “Replacing the old Yaris with the new Yaris Hybrid, a slightly more luxurious version. Hopefully the new Yaris will be as trouble free as the old one.”

Also look this occasion purchase advice video of the Toyota Yaris.


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