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Toyota Yaris (2006-2011) Buying Guide

Toyota Yaris (2006-2011)
Toyota Yaris (2006-2011)Toyota Yaris (2006-2011)Toyota Yaris (2006-2011)Toyota Yaris (2006-2011)Toyota Yaris (2006-2011)Toyota Yaris (2006-2011)Toyota Yaris (2006-2011)Toyota Yaris (2006-2011)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

Building capable family cars is relatively easy, but move down a class and things get a lot harder. Reduce a car's external dimensions and price, and suddenly it's much more difficult to offer decent interior space, good equipment levels and confidence-inspiring safety credentials. But Toyota pulled off just such a trick with its second-generation Yaris, which is good (if unexceptional) to drive, remarkably roomy and very safe too. What's more, it's a Toyota, so you can usually expect the reliability of a Swiss watch. Buy a 1.0-litre edition and you'll be underwhelmed by the performance, but lack of poke notwithstanding, the Yaris is still one of the most capable superminis that you can buy.

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We LikeWe Don't Like
Low running costs
Relatively big boot
Build quality
Spacious interior
Safety levels
Sluggish 1.0-litre engine
Can be costly to buy
Dynamically so-so
Key Dates 
11/05The second-generation Yaris arrives with 1.0 or 1.3-litre petrol engines or a 1.4 turbodiesel.
4/07The sporty SR joins the range, with 1.3 or 1.8-litre petrol engines or a 1.4 turbodiesel.
6/07The high-value Yaris TR debuts.
1/08The SR and TR get extra standard equipment.
1/09A facelift brings minor styling changes, improved engines and transmissions, revised trim levels and the arrival of Stop & Start.
  • Make sure the footwells are dry as the cabin air intakes can get clogged up with leaves, leading to the interior flooding.
  • The 1.4 turbodiesel has a dual-mass flywheel, which has been known to come apart. Feel for vibrations through the clutch.
  • Check for crunching between first and reverse on cars with a manual transmission, as the clutch can fail to fully disengage.
  • Look for evidence of oil leaking from the front of the engine, as timing chain cover gaskets are prone to weeping.
  • Water pumps can prove weak, so look for evidence of the red coolant having been sprayed all over the bonnet's underside.
  • Make sure you can live with the brakes, as some models have very sensitive braking systems.

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