Monday, July 14, 2014

Used Car Review - Toyota Yaris (2007-2014)

Myk Belmonte explores the magic of this unnoticed hatchback back then.

2007-2014 Toyota Yaris

The Yaris (or Echo for some folks) nameplate was first launched in 1999 in hatchback, sedan or coupe styles that is based from the Toyota Platz in which it replaced the long due Starlet. It had three generations using that name in which one can buy with a trunk or not in a variety of names worldwide.

Made available in 2005, the Yaris hatchback is designed in Europe while the sedan derivative (known as the Belta) was conceived in Japan. Both variants share drivetrain components and the frame but their sheet metal is different. Bet you didn't know that from 2011 until 2013, this vehicle was sold using the Daihatsu Charade badge in Europe, as it is the last vehicle bearing the Daihatsu badge since it was leaving that market in January 2013.

After the Echo's unfavorable run, the Yaris was launched in 2007 to compete in the intense rivalry of sub-compact hatchbacks sparked by the Honda Jazz. Although not a flop compared to its predecessor, it sold less than the main market leader. It hanged on to receive updates in June 2009 and March 2012 until a replacement model was introduced in April 2014.

Value and Costs
Since it has been three months after the launching of the new model, prices are flirting between the range of P300,000-P450,000. Best bet is to find a unit sold in September 2011 or later to take advantage of the remainder of the warranty.

This is a Toyota, so expect it to last longer than you will do. Parts are similar to the Vios despite this one being a limited quantity model. With most units that you might encounter being mostly used inside the city, checking them out rigorously for wear and tear parts is the key.

Exterior and Interior
Unlike the bulbous flanks of the Vios, the Yaris is more attractive to look at unlike competitors that are too pedestrian to look at. We shall let the design speak for itself, and oh, lest I forget, the updated models in June 2009 and March 2012 have different grilles, bumpers, headlamps, and one set of wheels for the remainder period.

Going inside, you will have a hint towards its design target: the youth and younger drivers. There are tons of storage bins inside, but the biggest flaw is the lack of flexibility especially it has a single folding rear bench that will do trouble when you need it. Another weakness is the small aircon controls and the gauges (situated at the center) and radio screen tend to wash out on extreme sunlight. Other than these gripes, occupants get comfortable seating inside.

While the Jazz carries two engines, the Yaris has only one to make you life easier in the form of a 1NZ-FE 1,497cc with figures of 107hp at 6,000rpm and 142Nm at 4,200rpm. You will like revving this engine unlike in its sedan sibling, it is willing and fun.

Driving Impressions
It has its own distinct personality, especially it is well planted around the twisties outside the city although the steering is light and sensitive. Its short length gives it a strength over maneuvering around town.

While Toyotas are known to be dependable appliances, the Yaris has some qualities to get it going. If you can live without carrying passengers too much, then the Yaris is a good choice but the Jazz is the best overall.

The Good:
  • Easy to live with
  • Fun to drive
  • Funky character
The Bad:
  • Lacks the space
  • Only one variant
  • Only one engine
The Pick: 1.5, you have no choice

Engine: 1,497cc 1NZ-FE I4 gasoline
Power: 107hp @ 6,000rpm
Torque: 142Nm @ 4,200rpm
Fuel Consumption: 9-12km/L (city), 11-14km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual, 4-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear rigid axle with torsion beam

Price (New): P721,000-P780,000
Price (Now): P300,000-P450,000
Rivals: Ford Fiesta Hatchback, Honda Jazz, Mazda 2 Hatchback, Suzuki Swift
On Sale: 2007-2014

Toyota Bicutan - (02) 777-9500
Toyota Manila Bay - (02) 581-6168

Photos from

1 comment:

  1. I would like to thanks you, i was looking to buy a used car but was bit confuse to which one should i go for. I read your blog and reviews on different models with, which really helps. Now, i decided to go for Toyota Yaris.