One of the long-running stars of the supermini class is the Toyota Yaris, and the third-generation model is known internally at Toyota by the model designation XP130. This version was only sold as a five-door hatchback in Ireland, and was the first Yaris to come with hybrid drive, although petrol and diesel versions were also sold. The XP130 Yaris was sold for almost nine years, so had two facelifts, in 2014 and 2017.
The Yaris is a supermini that rivals the likes of the Volkswagen Polo, Skoda Fabia and SEAT Ibiza – three cars that share engines and technology. The Hyundai i20 and Kia Rio do likewise, while the French trio of Peugeot 208, Renault Clio and Citroen C3 are also worth considering. But there is great depth in the supermini field, with cars such as the Dacia Sandero, Mazda2, Opel Corsa, Nissan Micra, Honda Jazz, Ford Fiesta and Suzuki Swift all available for similar prices.
What's it like?
Most of the Yaris Mk3 models in Ireland are petrol-powered, with either a 1.0-litre VVT-i three-cylinder or a 1.33-litre VVT-i four-cylinder - which is essentially the 1.0-litre with an extra cylinder. All cars are front-wheel drive, while the split between manual and automatic gearboxes is roughly 50:50.
The diesel model is hard to find. It features a four-cylinder turbocharged 1.4-litre D-4D unit and a manual gearbox, but we would only recommend it if you can find a cheap one and need to do lots of motorway miles, which is where its benefits will come.
Hybrid models arrived from around 2013, and came with a 1.5-litre petrol four-cylinder engine, a modest battery and Toyota's e-CVT automatic, which manages energy flow between the power sources and wheels. The hybrid was expensive when new, so they only make up around a tenth of the used Yaris models for sale in Ireland.
The Yaris was sold as the Vitz in Japan, and these have arrived in Ireland as ‘grey’ imports. They are usually cheaper than Irish-market cars, but low prices may be offset by a lack of vehicle history.
Which model to go for?
If you don't drive beyond city streets, then the 1.0-litre model will be fine, although if you can afford a Yaris Hybrid, that's even more efficient. The 1.33-litre petrol is suited to longer drives, with more power and a smoother engine.
The Yaris isn't the biggest supermini, with a small boot being the main victim of its dimensions. However, that also means the Yaris is easy to manoeuvre, which is helped by the light controls.
Does anything go wrong?
Not really. If you buy an officially imported Yaris that's less than 10 years old and with less than 185,000km on the clock, and get it serviced at a Toyota dealer, you'll get 12 months of warranty cover for added peace of mind.
Having said that, the XP130 Yaris has been recalled nine times with various issues relating to the airbags, seat belts, suspension, electronics, steering and brakes.