1999 Toyota Yaris 3 door 1.0 petrol


Competent budget motoring


- Rear hatch leaks water into the boot during heavy rain. Unable to find the leak location, but the boot mat is always wet.

- Central locking unreliable in the cold, and locking/unlocking from the passenger door does not actuate the driver's door.

- Rust on the rear wheel arches and rear skirt (previously driven in North Germany, so hardly a surprise).

- Exhaust pipes rot.

- Rear left park light goes out intermittently. A knock on the light hull fixes it temporarily.

- Headlights surface faded with a yellowish tint. New headlights cost 60 EUR/piece.

Other than that, no real mechanical or electrical failures.

General Comments:

I am the 5th owner of the car and have put 30k km on the clock within a year. This is a combination of city driving (Munich), casual highway and B-roads drives and super-long journeys abroad (1200+ km). I am writing this review on the morning after a 24h non-stop trip from Bulgaria to Germany, through snow, ice, fog, rain, wind and endless waiting at borders. This was the last day of a 4000 km journey over 10 days. The Yaris never missed a beat.


* Reliable.

* The engine is a gem! While not offering stellar performance, it is surprisingly torquey for its size across a wide RPM range and can keep the tin can cruising at speeds of 120-130 km/h all day long. Getting there requires some patience, but once up to speed, it just pulls and pulls.

* Nippy city-driving.

* Large windows provide good visibility.

* Practical - can accommodate a washing machine in the boot with the rear bank folded down.

* Decent ride for its size, but enthusiastic cornering is not recommended.

* Plenty of headroom both at the front and the rear. Four adults with limited luggage can survive a short journey in relative comfort.

* Well equipped with A/C, trip computer, ABS, electrical windows and mirrors.

* Engine bay is easy to work in.

* Cheap road tax.


* The seats!!! I am 183 cm. tall and never seem to be able to find a comfortable driving position. One needs short legs and long arms to drive this car, it seems. Journeys longer than a couple of hours can be agonising.

* Fuel consumption ranges from 4.5-5 l/100km on relaxed B-roads, up to 7+ on highways and city driving. I feel it is a bit too thirsty for what it offers, but compared to the 2.6 Mercedes 190 I previously owned, I cannot complain.

* Noisy - one hears every fly and every stone that hit the car, and the stereo has to fight hard with the engine noise at highway speeds.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th January, 2016