Shopping for a new Toyota Yaris?
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QUALITY | 5 out of 10
A lot more space and storage than expected, and on-target ergonomics
Long-legged drivers may want more rearward seat travel
Surprisingly commodious, with lots of hip- and legroom
Car and Driver
Hard as cardboard" headliner
The 2009 Toyota Yaris boasts more interior space and comfort than other cars its size, but the materials used are perceived as cheap by more than one reviewer.
Despite the fact that the sedan is 169.3 inches long, compared to the 150.6 inches shared by both the three- and five-door Liftback models, the Liftback models still have more interior space. "The interior is very cleverly thought out, with a lot more space and storage than expected, and on-target ergonomics," assesses Autoblog, while Car and Driver reports space in the Toyota Yaris Liftback's backseat is sufficient, and "the hatchback has a clever back seat that slides forward for more cargo space and also has reclining seatbacks." That goes for both three- and five-door Liftback models.
ConsumerGuide is more critical of the driving position, saying, "Long-legged drivers may want more rearward seat travel," and adding that some testers found the steering wheel too distant and pedals too close. An MSN Autos reviewer has trouble tilting the steering wheel high enough to clear his legs.
In terms of both aesthetics and functionality, reviewers don't like the center-mounted instrument cluster. ConsumerGuide reports that the gauges aren't canted toward the driver, and "testers find its location diverts attention from road." MSN Autos agrees.
Fit and finish are also areas where the 2009 Toyota Yaris falls flat in the eyes of several reviewers. Autobytel points to a "hard as cardboard" headliner and "hard plastic on the door sills and armrests, hard plastic on the lower dash upon which the unfortunate knee will occasionally brush, and the stiff seats that feel more like one big piece of rigid foam rather than traditional, somewhat soft cushions." They also note the "flimsy movement" of the climate controls. Autoblog criticizes easily scuffed hard plastic, surfaces that don't quite match, and storage compartment lids that feel vulnerable.
Autobytel finds "more issues than one expects from this brand," such as irregular gaps along body panels and cup holder covers that wouldn't sit flush, but the review praises the minimum of wind noise and lack of squeaks and rattles. However, ConsumerGuide reports, "Some wind rush is evident from the base of the windshield. Engine noise intrudes at all times, and road noise is prominent at highway speeds."
The 2009 Toyota Yaris has more interior space than one might expect from such a small, affordable car, but the quality inside doesn't transcend the price.