2008 Toyota Yaris Review

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2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

The 2008 Toyota Yaris is one of the cheapest, and cheapest to run, of all new vehicles.

In compiling this review that covers the Toyota Yaris Liftback, the experts at TheCarConnection.com have found some of the best reviews on the 2008 Toyota Yaris, then added more information on the Yaris to help make the result more useful.

The 2008 Toyota Yaris Liftback model rides on a very short 96.9-inch wheelbase and is one of the shortest new vehicles, at about 150 inches long. It’s ideal as a commuter that can fit into the tightest parking spots, as well as handle longer trips when the need arises. While it maneuvers well, its suspension is somewhat soft.

Standard under the hood of both vehicles is a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine producing 106 horsepower—adequate for a small, light (less than 2,300 pounds) car of this type. Buyers can choose either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic on the 2008 Toyota Yaris Liftback; the engine works quite well with both, though it’s a bit louder with the automatic. Fuel economy is very good, at 29 mpg city, 36 mpg highway with the manual. All models come standard with 14-inch wheels and air conditioning.

The interior is a contrast of good and bad elements, as Toyota obviously was trying to make a fashionable, desirable cabin while watching its price very carefully. The instrument panel itself in the 2008 Toyota Yaris Liftback has an attractive, almost gimmicky design, with the speedometer in the middle of the dash and a tall center stack of controls down the middle, but on closer inspection, it’s made of hard, easily scratched plastics. Front seats are rather small and skimpy, while the backseat on the Liftback is tough to get into, but decent for space; kids should be just fine back there. Base Liftback models are very basic, with manual winding windows.

The 2008 Yaris Liftback Sport model is a new addition to the lineup. The Yaris Liftback Sport gets body-color bumpers and side rocker panels; in addition, it picks up sport seats, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shifter knob, 15-inch wheels, a rear defroster, a rear wiper, and an audio system with MP3 capability and an auxiliary jack.

Toyota prices the five-speed manual Liftback from $11,300; the Sedan with an automatic transmission starts at $12,900. The new 2008 Toyota Yaris Liftback Sport with a five-speed manual is priced at $12,975.

The Yaris was one of the worst-performing cars in the federal government’s safety tests, with only three stars for side-impact safety, and the IIHS rated the Yaris as "marginal" for rear impact. Major safety features such as anti-lock brakes and side impact airbags may be ordered optionally, but electronic stability control is not offered on the 2008 Toyota Yaris Liftback.

The Hyundai Accent comes in a three-door hatchback model and, thus, is the closest rival to the 2008 Toyota Yaris Liftback. It feels a little more solid on the road than the Yaris, but its fuel economy isn’t as good. The Kia Rio5 offers a package that’s a little roomier and more space-efficient, and it's a bit more fun to drive. Also at the bottom of the price scale is the Chevrolet Aveo5, a small five-door hatchback made by GM Daewoo. The Aveo doesn’t feel competitive with the Hyundai, Kia, or Toyota; its interior is slightly more spacious and comfortable, but it doesn’t perform as well. The most appealing vehicle in this crowd is the Honda Fit; although it's quite a bit more expensive, the Fit is safer, more expansive inside—thanks to the wonderful Magic Seat design—and more fun to drive.

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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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July 14, 2015
2008 Toyota Yaris 3-Door HB Manual (SE)

Really good basic car

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My Yaris was purchased as a replacement for my '02 VW Beetle Turbo Sport. Overall, I am happy with it as a replacement. The only things I really miss from the VW are the turbo and the sunroof. I have had to... + More »
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April 14, 2016
2016 Toyota Yaris 5-Door Liftback Manual SE (GS)

Very good balance between quality and comfort.

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To be my first Toyota, this model (called ETIOS in my Country) is a very well done car.
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September 22, 2015
2015 Toyota Yaris 3-Door Liftback Manual L (Natl)

Our Yaris is an excellent commuter car that is completely reliable and economic.

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Our current Yaris is our third Yaris. It is a 2011 model 3 door hatchback. We currently have 93,109 miles on it and we've never had any problems. We drive it hard and fast, 65-75+mph routinely, and have never... + More »
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February 12, 2017
For 2014 Toyota Yaris

Watch for blind spots

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Overal love this vehicle, it's comfy and compact yet spacious, however there is one issue that has been creating problems with blind spots on many occasions. The frame around the windshield on the drivers side... + More »
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February 12, 2017
2014 Toyota Yaris 3-Door Liftback Automatic L (TMC/CBU Plant) (GS)

Good low priced reliable economy car

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I've had the car for a year, bought it used , and so far it's been very reliable. Gas mileage is in the low 30s in city driving and 40 to 45 mpg hwy. at low highway speeds. The car is basic, but came with... + More »
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April 19, 2015
For 2012 Toyota Yaris

Great city car!

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I really wanted a prius c but as that was too dear I bought a 5spd manual Yaris. In the year I've had it it hasn't let me down. I look forward to driving it and now that I'm used to manual I find it a pleasure... + More »
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June 14, 2015
2011 Toyota Yaris 3-Door Liftback Automatic (SE)

As with my 1980 Toyota Celica it is a heck of a quality vehicle!

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Fit and finish of exterior and interior materials far exceed that of cars rated equaly for the same class. It takes a beating and keeps on ticking...(TIMEX)
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February 27, 2016
For 2010 Toyota Yaris

Even better than our 2007 Yaris

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The car has everything we liked about our first (2007) Yaris plus some more modern features. The ABS and traction control give the car even better performance in snow as compared to the 2007. Side curtain... + More »
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April 22, 2015
2007 Toyota Yaris 3-Door HB Manual (SE)

Most satisfying car I've ever owned.

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Although a small car for a large guy I have adequate room - especially headroom. The gas mileage keeps improving as the car gets older - we've been getting over 40 mpg overall during the non-winter months... + More »
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