2008 Toyota Yaris T sport 1.8 petrol from Lithuania


Perfect all rounder


Nothing wrong.

General Comments:

Well this car is quite expensive, but gives very good balance between performance and economy. It grips well in into the corners, and drives well up to 200km. It pulls at around 2500rm. At about 100km/h consumes 6 litres of fuel. Well done Toyota.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th July, 2009

2008 Toyota Yaris Hatchback 1.5L from North America


Snappy little budget mobile


Tire pressure sensors stopped working some time ago.

General Comments:

When I went shopping for a new car I basically wanted something I could finance for less than $200/month. I checked out comparable cars from Honda, Hyundai, and Nissan and the price of the Yaris and the Toyota name won out. This is definitely a no-frills car. It has AC and an auxiliary jack for an mp3 player (which I now can't live without) and that's it. Manual locks and windows and nothing fancy, but that's fine by me, I don't need a nav system (I can read a map) or KITT from Knight Rider telling me what to do. This is basically a more sophisticated version of the VW Bug without the joy of adjusting valves or broken heaters.

That said it is surprisingly peppy for a car that puts out a massive 103hp. Like other Toyotas I've driven it is quick off the line, but lacks mid-range power. Climbing long distances requires many downshifts. I've gotten her up close to 100mph and my life did not flash before my eyes, nor did the car develop any cheap-car-racer shake. Handling is fine. It is no BMW, but is fun to take through a twisting downhill mountain drive. It is nimble enough for someone who drives like me to dodge comatose drivers on the freeway.

Mileage is excellent. Drive conservatively and you can easily average over 40 mpg (some claim to get over 50, but I don't have the discipline to drive that slowly over long distances). Average 70 or 80 on a long road trip (say, San Diego to Death Valley) and you drop to around the 27 - 30 mpg range. Still very, very good. I can easily get close to or over 400 miles on one tank of gas.

Sore points: the throttle and the brakes. The throttle is weird and inconsistent, sometimes a little bit of gas will make the car jump, other times it takes off normally. I've had the car for a year and still haven't totally gotten the hang of it. The brakes are surprisingly weak for such a small car. Sometimes it feels like I'm driving my old '68 VW Bug with four drums. Every Toyota I've driven has had excellent, powerful brakes (I even put some Tacoma brakes on a 300ZX I owned years ago). I guess this was a cost-cutting decision. I don't feel that the brakes or unsafe, but I will upgrade them to something more substantial (like four-wheel discs) in the future.

Overall I like this car. You need a sense of humor to drive one when you're use to sporty cars and trucks, and I do sometimes get weird looks from people (though these cars are becoming more popular now), but I dig tiny old Euro cars, so I'm at home here. If you want something new and relatively cheap this is one to check out, ignore the online reviews that bemoan the lack of features, these people can't live without every bell and whistle in the world on their $13,000 commuter.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th May, 2009

18th May 2009, 10:23

"This is basically a more sophisticated version of the VW Bug without the joy of adjusting valves or broken heaters."

It is worlds apart from the original VW Bug, and if given a choice - if both were new - I'd take the VW Bug.

30th May 2009, 03:56

I also think the brakes of 2008 Toyota Yaris/Vitz are somewhat abrupt and hectic. I suspect it would be a part of Toyota's cost down plan, led by Toyota's bad-reputation presidents; Mr.Cho and Mr.Watanabe. So I hope such poor Toyota quality of recent vehicles released from this company within a couple of years would be improved in from 2009-made vehicles!

Apart from this point, the current Yaris/Vitz is well-engineered and sophisticated small car, I think. Especially the Yaris 1.5's snappy acceleration and overall performance are impressive to me, frankly speaking. Her 0-100km/h (62mph) acceleration time is in early 9secs, as fast as that of the Volvo S60 2.4 with 170bhp motor, it's miraculous for a 1.5-liter automatic. Along with it, its top speed is said to be about 130mph (210km/h) if limiter removed. Needless to say, its fuel economy is more than average for such econoboxes, as miser as the Honda Fit/Jazz.