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2008 Toyota Yaris

Overview
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2008 Toyota Yaris Review

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Fresh from its U.S. debut last year (after a successful eight-year stint in Japan and Europe), the 2008 Toyota Yaris continues as Toyota's subcompact value leader. Unlike its other vehicles that first launch outside the U.S., Toyota decided to keep the Yaris name across all global markets. The Yaris replaced the Toyota Echo as the smallest and least expensive vehicle in the Toyota brand lineup with two distinctly different Yaris models; the Sedan and the three-door Liftback. Of the two, the Liftback's exterior makes the more expressive design statement and, although the sedan is nearly 19 inches longer, both vehicles share the same chassis, engine and drivetrain.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you trust Toyota for reliability and are in the market for a tiny subcompact, the 2008 Yaris fits the bill. You might also need to be open to a few curious looks on the street---the Yaris sports a distinctively "Euro" design.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you like more conventional styling or have a penchant for performance driving, the 2008 Toyota Yaris will not meet your needs. It's a simple, four-cylinder economy model with a whimsical design---not a sporty performer by any stretch.

What's New for 2008

The sport-themed Liftback S joins the Yaris lineup, featuring color-keyed front and rear bumper spoilers, sport seat fabric, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, rear defroster, rear wiper and an AM/FM/CD player with MP3/WMA capability and universal mini-jack port.

Driving the Yaris

Driving Impressions The four-cylinder engine of the Yaris has Toyota's variable valve-timing system (known as VVT-i) and dual overhead camshafts and is rated at 106 horsepower. There is a light, almost effortless...

feel to the Yaris in steering and during moderate acceleration; however, the engine seems strained when asked to deliver more. With this relatively small engine we found the Yaris a little lacking in performance when traveling at 60 mph-plus speeds on the highways. This is a shortcoming for Toyota since one of the main competitors---the Honda Fit---has a few more horses (109 horsepower to Yaris' 106) and is much more fun to drive. This kind of subtle difference may not impact you but, if you're in any way interested in quickness and responsiveness, the Yaris might fail to impress.

Flexible Seat Adjustments
The Yaris Sedan provides four-way adjustable front seats and fold-down rear seats that provide nearly 13 cubic feet of cargo space.

Roomy Cabin
The Yaris boasts the largest wheelbase in the subcompact arena. This is most noticeable in the interior leg and head room in both front and back seats.

2008 Toyota Yaris Details
Interior

The 2008 Toyota Yaris Sedan and Liftback share many things, but the instrument panel is where they part ways. Both vehicles have the center-stacked "waterfall" type gauges borrowed from the Lexus design philosophy. The disconcerting aspect is that at night there are no gauges or little lights in front of you, causing you to have to turn your head slightly to the right (and thus take your eyes away from the road) to look at, for example, the speedometer. This design has become a cost-savings device among international vehicles, because it allows easy production changes when the driver's side is placed on one side or the other depending upon where the car is being sold. Another unusual trait of the Yaris interior is that the waterfall gauge panel provides a bit of a "cave" section behind it, allegedly providing storage space. This oddly-sized space might allow for balancing a small map, but anything more sizable would be precariously perched. Overall, however, the interiors of both the Sedan and Liftback seem roomier than you'd expect for the sizes of the vehicles.

Exterior

The most pronounced difference between the Yaris Liftback and the Yaris Sedan is that the Sedan is nearly 19 inches longer . Though the two vehicles share a slight family resemblance, their individual styles are miles apart. Of the two, the Yaris Liftback has the more unusual exterior styling, with a pronounced short front overhang and an exaggerated "bulldog" stance. As slight as the front end seems, the wide flat-back design of the hatch door appears solid and substantial, providing a low, easy opening to the cargo area. The mesh grille treatment on the Liftback version further differentiates its exterior look from the slat-grille design of the Sedan. The four-door Yaris Sedan styling seems rather traditional at first glance. It, too, has the short sloping overhang in front but the traditional sedan look is evident by the high arch of the roofline and windows that helps provide decent head room for those in the back seat.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In this, the least-expensive segment of them all, the idea is to get the advertised price as low as possible, so the standard equipment list is usually short. This is especially true in the case of the Toyota Yaris. For instance, on the base Yaris model, no radio of any sort is included as standard equipment and, on all models, front-side and side-curtain airbags are optional. To be fair, the standard list does include driver and front passenger airbags, air conditioning, power steering, tilt steering wheel and color-keyed mirrors and door handles. More notably, the Yaris Sedan offers four-way adjustable front seats with driver's seat height adjustment, something not usually found in the subcompact segment.

Optional Equipment

Notable on the Yaris' list of options are keyless entry and a rear window defogger, both of which are standard on some competitors. A simple solution to getting the basic features you probably want (on the Sedan) is to add the Convenience Package, which includes an AM/FM CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability and auxiliary input jack, 60/40 split folding rear seat, 15-inch wheels with full wheel covers and rear defroster; and/or the comprehensive Power Package, which includes anti-lock brakes, an upgraded sound system and interior, alloy wheels, cruise control and power door locks, windows and mirrors. Those two packages are slightly different for the Liftback models. Individual options include front-side and front and rear side-curtain airbags and anti-lock brakes.

Under the Hood

The Yaris Sedan and Liftback share the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-i), producing 106 horsepower. This is enough power to tool around town, but maybe not enough to take a chance at passing a Mack truck on a two-way highway with an oncoming car in sight.

1.5-liter in-line 4
106 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
103 lb.-ft of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/36 (manual), 29/35 (automatic)

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2008 Toyota Yaris Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 752 Ratings for the 2007 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.4/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Best Car OVER 6 other Toyota's and 1 Honda I owned

By on Saturday, March 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Price, Cargo area, Fuel efficient, ALWAYS Reliable"

Cons: "No Cruise Control, Small engine"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car has been the most reliable, gas efficient, cargo space providing car over all of my six Toyota's I have owned and 1 Honda. I have fit Christmas Tree's in this car with the back seats down and the passenger seat all the way flat. The back seat has the option of keeping one side up for a passenger to sit or putting both sides down. Since buying it brand new off the lot I have never had to fix anything."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Very reliable

By on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Plenty of comforts for a economy car."

Cons: "Wish I would have waited for rear doors"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have owned this car since new. Only standard maintenance has been required. Oil changes at 5000 mile intervals. Still has lots of life left on original brake pads. Paint chips easily. Gets forty miles a gallon at sixty five MPH. Nice little car."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

I highly reccomend these

By on Monday, March 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 240,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "MPG, ZIPPY, EASY TO DRIVE,"

Cons: "TOO LIGHT IN back END HYDROPLANES EASILY IN WATER."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I own two of these cars in a 2007 hatchback model. I bought the first one in July of 2006 brand new and as of 3-2-15bought a second one. The first one has 240000 miles on it and drives like the day I bought it. I have spent less than 1000.oo dollars on Maintenance repairs not counting brakes and oil changes and tires. I bought the second one today with 68000 miles on it. I am overall very happy with the car and it just keeps going. I used it to build fence in the pasture when my truck broke down and I live in a deer thick area so had a run in with one still drives Excellent I also had a very big raccoon attack the front end and its still going. I ill continue to use the higher mile car as a daily driver to work and home. Its rough but it still gets good MPG approx. 34"

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

great little car

By on Sunday, March 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 111,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Price, reliability, economy"

Cons: "small, low to the ground"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"My yaris has 111000 miles on it, it has been dependable and gets me where I need to be. I have never had any problems with it mechanically. Over the life of the car the only maintenance I have had to perform could be considered "regular". Still as peppy as the day I bought it!"

great economy car and gave saver

By on Saturday, February 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 141,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great price ; cute car"

Cons: "little wind noise while traveling on highway"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased this car new in 2008. Great car , no major work done. Still riding on the same breaks and only get maintenance done every 5000 miles. I've taken long trips and currently have 141,000 miles. Love it..plenty of leg room , very comfortable. Little noisy with the wind on highway. Over-all great car."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Very Nice Vehicle

By on Saturday, February 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "very good value"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We bought our 2009 Yaris new. We have been very pleased with it. We have used it for daily driving and cross country trips. It is very comfortable for the two of us. It has more than enough storage space for our trips. The interior feels roomier than it would appear. I check the mileage often. I get about 35 - 36 overall but have gotten up to 44 on all highway miles. I have performed all normal maintenance but haven't had to do anything else. We love it."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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