Toyota Yaris (2014-present)

The Toyota Yaris is a spacious supermini with a choice of three or five doors, and powered by a range of economical engines

Strengths & Weaknesses


Five-year warranty
Spacious interior and large boot
Choice of efficient petrol, diesel and hybrid-petrol engines


Not very exciting to drive
Some cheap-feeling cabin materials
Noisy and revvy automatic transmission
Best finance deal

Toyota Yaris Hatchback (2014-2017) 1.33 vvt-i sport 5dr

Finance price £120 per month

Cash price £6,400

Toyota Yaris prices from £5,685   Finance from £120 per month

In the ultra-competitive category of small cars, people demand so much more than just a cheeky personality from their runaround. And in this respect, the Toyota Yaris goes further than many contenders in two key areas: it has a long warranty and comes with the rare option of a hybrid engine.

It costs from £16,000, and faces a great number of talented competitors. The Citroen C3, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai i20, Kia Picanto, Mini hatchback and Volkswagen Polo are just some of the models drivers should be browsing in the small car market.

The Yaris used to be one of the more shy looking small cars, but it came out of its shell in 2014, when Toyota’s designers gave it a pretty major makeover. With a distinct, X-shaped grille, borrowed from its baby brother the Toyota Aygo, the Yaris now looks quite stylish.

It’s easy to drive and park, but don’t expect to find yourself enjoying it in the way your would a Fiesta or Mini; its steering and handling suggest that, beneath the makeover, the car’s still reserved and not interested in having a good time. It does suffer from quite high levels of road and wind noise but the suspension in the non-hybrid models is soft and comfortable.

Its engine range is powered by petrol, while there is the option of the hybrid setup. However, prospective buyers should do their sums before they commit to be sure the more efficient hybrid version justifies its inflated price compared to the cheaper, yet less efficient petrol engines

Choosing which version to go for is made that bit easier by the fact that all are offered only in practical five-door form. The interior has always been a strong point of the Yaris, ever since the original, first generation car went on sale in 1999. This latest model is spacious with plenty of room for two tall adults in the front. Rear space is comparable to some larger cars, such as the Ford Focus, from the class above.

The Yaris has a flat floor too, so a centre-seat passenger can get quite comfortable. Fortunately, all this space doesn’t come at the expense of boot capacity, which is reasonably large by the standards of the class. All versions have split-fold rear seats that increase load space substantially.

The Yaris is a safe car with five stars from Euro NCAP to prove it. It’s reliable, too, as its 26th place finish in the 2015 Driver Power survey testifies, although a spate of recalls has blighted the model’s reputation.

Last Updated 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 08:30

Key facts 

Five years/100,000 miles
Boot size: 
286 litres
Tax (min to max): 
£105 to £165

Best Toyota Yaris for... 

Toyota Yaris 1.5 VVT-i Hybrid CVT Active
The Toyota Yaris 1.5 VVT-i Hybrid CVT Active 5dr returns 76.3mpg, making it the most economical Yaris, as well as the cheapest hybrid version. Icon and Icon Tech versions return the same figure but larger wheels mean Design, Design Bi-Tone and Excel return less.
Toyota Yaris 1.33 VVT-i Icon 5dr
Toyota Yaris 1.5 VVT-i Icon Tech As a five-door car, the Yaris is already reasonably family friendly but this version gets the nod for its good balance of power and economy (0-62mph in 11.0 seconds and 55.4mpg) and array of sensible safety and convenience features (front parking sensors and a sat nav on top of standard Icon’s reversing camera, air con and road sign assist feature).
Toyota Yaris GRMN
You’ll search in vain for a high-performance version of the Yaris, as only 80 of these were brought to the UK, and they're sold out. However, they are appearing on the used market. It features retuned suspension, a lower ride height and wider tyres, as well as a 209bhp engine.
Toyota Yaris 1.0 VVT-i Icon Tech
The 1.0 VVT-i engine is underpowered while Icon Tech trim loads the price, money that would be better spent on the only slightly more expensive 1.5 VVT-i Icon.


2014: Yaris launched in July with distinctive X-shaped grille and choice of engines: 1.0 VVT-i, 1.33 VVT-i, 1.5 VVT-I hybrid and 1.4 diesel
2014: Yaris Hybrids built April 2014 recalled for brake fluid check;
2015: Models built September 2014-January 2015 recalled for wheel hub check; Toyota Safety Sense suite of safety features available as an option on all versions bar Active from August.
2016: Yaris range refreshed with equipment enhancements at all levels including a temporary spare wheel on all versions, while top-spec Design replaces Sport trim. Excel becomes a Hybrid-only grade. Engines remain the same as before. Orange special edition launched with 1.8 VVT-I hybrid engine. Recall launched regarding possible rear seat belt failure and directional control failure.
2017: New 1.5 petrol engine arrives to replace 1.33 engine. Engine line-up is now 1.0 VVT-i, 1.5 VVT-i manual and auto, and 1.5 VVT-i hybrid auto. Existing Active, Icon, Design and Excel trims joined by Icon Tech and Design Bi-Tone with contrasting roof and body colour scheme.
2018: Yaris GRMN limited edition is released. Only 80 are brought to the UK - and they've all been sold.
2018: Yaris GR Sport 1.5 VVT-i hybrid launched with sporty styling and suspension. Y20 special edition launched celebrating 20 years of Yaris.

Understanding Toyota Yaris car names 

  • Yaris
  • Engine
    1.5 VVT-i Hybrid
  • Gearbox
  • Trim
  • Engine
    There are three engines in the Yaris line-up. Like our example here, typically the name of each begins with the engine capacity (in this case, 1.5 litres), followed by VVT-i, which stands for variable valve timing and injection (simply, it aids efficiency and economy).
  • Gearbox
    CVT stands for constantly variable transmission; in other words, it’s an automatic. There’s also a choice of five and six-speed manual gearboxes, but hybrid versions are available only with CVT.
  • Trim
    There are seven core trim levels ranging from basic Active to range-topping Excel and sporty GR Sport, the latter available only with the hybrid engine.

Toyota Yaris Engines 

1.0 VVT-i, 1.5 VVT-i, 1.5 VVT-I hybrid, 1.8-litre supercharged

The 1.0 VVT-i is the smallest, least powerful and therefore most affordable engine. It does upto 61.4mpg but the trade off is it’s slow; 0-62mph requiring 15.3 seconds. You need to plan overtaking carefully, and it struggles to power a fully loaded Yaris comfortably.

On price, performance and running costs the next engine in the range, the 1.5 VVT-i, is the best. It’s lively around town and a relaxed cruiser on the motorway, all while returning good, real-world economy. The CVT automatic version is no slower or thirstier, but it’s also not as refined or pleasant. Both cost £165 to tax, in the first year. 

The 1.5 VVT-i hybrid (it can run on electric power alone at low speeds, or a combination of electric and petrol) is the most economical engine, at least on paper, but it’s also expensive and offered only with the noisy CVT automatic transmission. It has an emissions rating of 82g/km CO2.

The most sporting edition of the Yaris is the GRMN. This is a very limited edition model, sporting uprated suspension and brakes, as well as a lairy paint job. It’s powered by a 1.8-litre supercharged engine. 209bhp makes this car rapid, and a new price of more than £26,000 ensured only enthusiasts bought one. Only 80 came to the UK, and they’ve all been sold. However, some are for sale via BuyaCar.


Fuel economy



Top speed

1.0 VVT-i




0-62mph: 15.3s


1.5 VVT-i




0-62mph: 11.0-11.2s


1.5 VVT-i hybrid

Petrol and electric



0-62mph: 11.8s


1.8-litre supercharged







Toyota Yaris Trims 

Active, Icon, Icon Tech, Design, Design Bi-Tone, Excel, GR Sport

It may be the cheapest trim but Active is strong on safety features with pre-collision alert, lane departure warning and automatic high beam all standard. The door mirrors are heated and powered, and the front windows are electric. However, with its plastic wheel trims and plain black wing mirrors, it does a look a bit bargain basement.

Icon trim is around £1,500 more expensive and thanks to its foglights, smarter alloys, chrome detailing and body-coloured wing mirrors, looks it. Inside, there’s a rear-view camera, air-conditioning, cruise control and Toyota’s Touch 2 multimedia system with a digital radio. Icon is our choice for value but if you want front parking sensors and a sat nav, you’ll need to spend £550 more to move up to Icon Tech.

Design costs almost the same as Icon Tech but looks sportier. It has a honeycomb lower front grille, privacy glass and a spoiler. It has 16in wheels, too, which make it slightly less economical than cars in lower trims with smaller wheels. It’s not available with the 1.0 VVT-i engine and even at this level, rear windows still aren't standard. Yaris 1.5 VVT-i Hybrid versions get dual-zone automatic air-conditioning.

Excel trim throws the catalogue at the model. Large 16in alloy wheels, Alcantara trim, electric rear windows, chrome side sills and a height-adjustable passenger seat are all standard. It’s expensive, although more expensive still is Design Bi-Tone. However, thanks to its contrasting colour schemes for roof, body and dashboard, this trim really brightens up the Yaris. It’s only £100 more than Excel and depending on whether you like to personalise your car, possibly worth it for the impact it makes.


Toyota Yaris Reliability and warranty 

The Toyota Yaris charted in 26th place for reliability out of 200 models in the 2015 Driver Power survey but in terms of overall owner satisfaction, it finished in 76th place in the same chart – a 29-place fall from its position in 2014. It could have been worse but for owners’ apparent satisfaction with their cars’ low running costs and in-car technology. However, later versions appear to have redeemed themselves with the result that by the 2018 survey, the Yaris had risen to number 58 in the best cars to own rankings. Reassuringly, the Yaris is one of the few small cars to have a five-year warranty.

Used Toyota Yaris 

There are currently 544 Toyota Yaris' available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £5,685 to £21,291 for nearly-new models.

Monthly finance payments start from £120 per month.

Thanks to its long warranty, 2015-registered Yaris models will have around three years of their warranty (at time of writing) remaining, assuming all services have been carried out to the letter. Team that with, impressive economy, good build quality and respectable equipment levels, and the Yaris makes for a great used car.

Values take a bit of a tumble in the early years, meaning used prices are attractive. The versions that were more expensive when new, such as Sport and Design trims, are the best value used models, as they come with more equipment without much of an increased cost.

Whichever engine you choose, look out for cars with the optional satellite navigation, called Toyota Touch 2 Go, and Toyota Safety Sense which includes pre-collision assist (an emergency braking system useful in city traffic), and active cruise control which maintains a safe distance from the car in front.

Toyota Yaris: used car prices1 year old2 years old3 years old

Best for performance Toyota Yaris GRMN


Best for families Toyota Yaris 1.5 VVT-i Icon 


Best for economy Toyota Yaris Hybrid