A decent car. Just remember it's an econo-car
Nothing. It was a rental.
We rented this car for several days in North Carolina. Before making any judgement on it, it helps to set your standards low because it fits in the same class as the Chevy Cobalt, Ford Focus, and Kia Sephia. In other words, it's the cheapest of cheap econo-cars. Put into that context, it's actually a pretty decent all around car for the money.
First for the good. For such a small car, it actually has a decent amount of interior room. I'm kind of short, but my Wife is 6 feet tall. Yet she was comfortable and had plenty of leg room.
Secondly, it got fantastic fuel economy. I'm guessing it must have gotten close to 40MPG the whole trip because we only filled it up once just to top it off for the return at the rental place. It only held 9 gallons and we drove it for 2 days solid without having to fill it up.
Thirdly, despite having a tiny little engine, the performance was admirable. In fact, it was pretty peppy.
Lastly, despite being an econo-car, it had a lot of features I've seen on more expensive cars. The stereo was better than the one in our own car back home, and it even had a feature that automatically adjusted the volume for the road noise.
Now for the bad. My least favorite thing about it was the engine. When you start from a dead stop and even barely press the gas pedal, the engine revs extremely high, as if you're absolutely flooring the thing. I assume in order to compensate for the small engine, the drivetrain was designed to rev way up. It honestly sounded like the engine was going to blow itself up at every stop light. I take good care of my cars, so this to me was a bit disturbing. Additionally, the engine and everything else was loud. There seemed to be little sound dampening and when on the freeway, all you heard was the whining of the engine.
Secondly, the steering was a little too fidgety and strange. It felt like the steering did a lot of wandering. The steering wheel itself was made out of hard plastic and in my opinion was too small.
The interior materials were pretty cheap. I've driven a Cobalt, which also has a super-flimsy, cheap interior and the Yaris was almost as cheap, which is kind of disappointing considering this is a Toyota.
But all in all, I'd say that if you just want a car that'll get you around cheaply, or don't have the cash for a nicer car, this would be a good option. Probably perfect for college kids too. It wasn't a bad car at all. Just know that this is basically a re-incarnated version of the former Tercel with a few added whistles and bells.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th May, 2009